Transcript – Episode 177

[Show music begins]

Rosie Morris: This is Episode 177 of Alohomora! for February 13, 2016.

[Show music continues]

Rosie: Hello, everyone! Welcome to a brand new episode of Alohomora! I am Rosie Morris.

Charlotte Graham: And I’m Charlotte Graham.

Kat Miller: And I’m Kat Miller. And our special guest host today is Rebecca! Hello, Rebecca!

Rebecca Kottke: Hi!

Kat: Hi! Thank you so much for joining us today.

Rebecca: Thanks for having me. I’m so excited!

Kat: Yay! Tell our listeners a little bit about yourself.

Rebecca: I am Rebecca. I am a Ravenclaw…

Rosie: Caw!

Rebecca: … very excitingly. And I’m on the forums; I’m RebeccaTheRavenclaw.

Kat: I was just going to say, you must be RebeccaTheRavenclaw!

Rebecca: [laughs] Yeah, very non-creatively.

Kat: No, it’s cute! That’s a great name.

Rebecca: Sure, okay. [laughs] Everybody is cool [and] creative, and I’m like, “Why did I pick that?” But I’m committed now. What else? I’m in college right now. I live in Minnesota, in the US, and my Harry Potter story, I guess… I was very, very late to the party. And I was one of those people who was like, “I am way too cool for Harry Potter.” So I got the first book when I was 12, so that’s the perfect time, and I was like, “This is dumb. No, thank you,” threw it in my closet, and did not look at it for years and years. And then finally, I was sitting with my best friend in high school – I was 16 [or] 17 – and watching Order of the Pheonix, which is the best movie to come in when you have no idea what’s going on…

[Kat and Rosie laugh]

Rebecca: … so I was talking with my best friend, and I was like, “Who’s that? Who’s that? Why, why, why?” And she was like, “You need to go read the books.” So I finally went home, dug out my Sorcerer’s Stone copy, and read them, and I haven’t looked back.

Kat: Yay! Congratulations!

[Rebecca laughs]

Kat: And we do have one other new voice on the show today, and that is our host who is filling in for our regular panel: Charlotte.

Charlotte: Hello!

Kat: And Charlotte, yeah, tell our listeners a bit about yourself.

Charlotte: Well, I am thrilled to finally be on a MuggleNet podcast generally, and Alohomora! in particular. I’ve been a listener since the start of university, which probably doesn’t sound like that long, but I am almost 30, so it has been quite a while! [laughs] So yeah, I guess a decade of listening to these amazing podcasts. And I’m really psyched to finally be on and for a chapter of a book that I love so much. I am also a Ravenclaw, but I don’t have a cool, alliterative name like Rebecca.

[Kat laughs]

Charlotte: And I refuse to take a Pottermore test just in case it tells me I’m not a Ravenclaw because it’s canon, right? The Pottermore test is essentially canon about your own life, and I refuse to accept that I’m potentially not a Ravenclaw, so that’s my deal. That’s where I’m at in life.

Kat: It’s supposedly canon.

Rebecca: Yeah. I just took the new test, and… I took the old test; I was Ravenclaw, according to old Pottermore. I was very excited about this. And I just took the new test, and I am now a Slytherin.

Charlotte: What?

Rosie: The new test is just…

Kat: Those two go hand-in-hand quite often, I find.

Rebecca: I was like, “What? No!” Was I just feeling extra Slytherin-y that day? I don’t know.

[Rosie laughs]

Kat: Maybe. I wouldn’t take it as an insult. We know that Slytherins can be okay people.

Rebecca: Yeah, I am of the opinion that we all have all four Houses, and they just show themselves at certain times and… yeah.

Kat: For sure. I would agree with that.

Rebecca: So I guess, a word to the wise: Maybe just be happy with whatever House you get Sorted [into] the first time.

Charlotte: Or be like me: Live in denial and never take the test. That’s my advice.

[Everyone laughs]

Kat: That works too. Well, since we’ve been talking about Sorting and all that stuff, and Slytherins, there’s a very big Slytherin in this chapter, which is going to be Deathly Hallows 26: “Gringotts.” We finally get into Bellatrix’s vault. So be sure to read that chapter before listening to the episode for maximum enjoyment!

Charlotte: But first of all, Kat, we’ve got some comments to recap from Chapter 25: “Shell Cottage.” And there’s so much going on in this chapter, and the comments reflected that. They went off in so many different directions. But the first one I want to read is from HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis?, [which] is the username. And the comment is

“Eric mentioned that the Elder Wand was maybe bored being stuck in Dumbledore’s tomb. If we go with the assumption that wands are at least partly sentient, and some wands are described to get bored even when in use for not exciting tasks, then do other wands also get bored while being buried with their owners? If a wand’s sentience is gone when you break it, is breaking a wand before it goes into the grave a way to prevent this boredom? We don’t know if wands are usually broken when their owner is buried, but that question came to my mind during the discussion.”

This is a big question. What does everyone think?

Kat: It is, actually, and when I read that one I was trying to think of evidence we have in the series, and really, the only evidence we have of wands being broken is the song that Hagrid sings, right? With Slughorn.

Rebecca: Yeah. “Odo the Hero.”

Rosie: And Hagrid’s own wand…

Kat: Right, but that’s because he was kicked out of school, right? And convicted.

Rosie: Yeah, but just… so the idea of wands being broken with death and funerals, yeah.

Rebecca: But with the story, he says, “Odo the Hero.” It’s like, “His hat was turned inside out, and his wand snapped in two, which was sad.”

[Rosie laughs]

Rebecca: So is that because he died? Or did his wand snap, and then he died after?

Kat: And then he died? Right, it’s ambiguous. Right.

Rebecca: Yeah. I don’t feel that’s a tradition they do for a funeral. Like, “Oh, and now you’ve died, so we’ll snap your wand.” Especially because lots of people have hand-me-down wands.

Kat: That’s true.

Rebecca: So Neville… I mean, his dad isn’t dead, but he has his wand. And then I think Ron had Bill’s wand to start with. Or Charlie.

Kat: Charlie, yeah.

Rosie: Also, just the idea of being buried with a wand… The concept of grave goods has always been that you’re buried with something that you’re going to use in an afterlife. So for a wizard to be buried with his wand, it’s going to be the idea that the wizard will be using the wand in another life. So to break it first just seems more like a curse than a blessing. It doesn’t seem like a positive thing.

Rebecca: It’s like an Egyptian tomb, almost.

Kat: That’s a good point. I hadn’t thought of that.

Charlotte: The question of whether wands are partially sentient and whether they inherently really want to perform magic, and that’s their driving aim – if they have one – is such a fascinating question because when this user poses this question about the idea that a wand might get bored, what if your wand owner [were] still alive, but they were just a super boring person?

[Kat laughs]

Charlotte: Like they only ever use you for making cups of tea, and you’re just like…

Rebecca: There is a wand description like that. I can’t remember which one.

Rosie: I’m suddenly really sorry for Percy Weasley’s wand.

[Everyone laughs]

Kat: Aww.

Charlotte: You just want to go out there and do a good [Killing Curse] and blow away the cobble.

[Everyone laughs]

Rebecca: There’s a wand description that’s something like, “If the wand is…”

Kat: … neglected or something, right?

Rebecca: “… asked to fetch the slippers one more time, it might explode in their hand.”

Charlotte: Geez.

Kat: Yeah, I do remember seeing something about that. Hmm. But I would say that, yeah, I don’t think it’s so far-fetched to think that wands could get bored being buried with their owners. But maybe the life force within the wand dies when the owner dies, at least a little bit?

Charlotte: I guess it raises the question of, yeah, do they exist as almost beings before their owner gets them? Do you know what I mean? Because when Harry goes to Ollivanders, there [are] all these wands in boxes, and he takes one out, and it’s like, “Yup, I’m yours!” But what did that wand do before it met Harry? What was its…?

Rebecca: Right, is that like when it’s born?

Charlotte: Yeah.

Kat: Oh, man.

Rosie: I guess it’s kind of the idea [of] wands as soulmates, isn’t it? If the wand is choosing you, it has to be some kind of connection that it’s seeing, or seeking. So yeah, it’s whether the… Maybe wands can have multiple soulmates, but a wizard can only have one? That kind of thing? I don’t know.

Rebecca: But wizards also can have multiple wands…

Rosie: But the first one would presumably be the best for them if it has chosen them first.

Kat: This is totally [an] analogy for love.

Rosie: It really is.

Charlotte: I was going to say, this is like how everyone feels about boyfriends, right?

Rosie: At least we’ve not got Noah here anymore. Because Noah would turn it into something else.

[Charlotte and Rosie laugh]

Kat: He really would. He would. It’s a good question to ponder, though. I like that. That was a good comment.

Charlotte: Yeah. Our next one comes from DoraNympha, who left a lot of great comments on this discussion that I really enjoyed. She or he says,

“But what are the rare things that can destroy Horcruxes? Basilisk venom and Fiendfyre are the only things we know of. What else? Couldn’t they throw them beyond the Veil at the Ministry? Get a Dementor to swallow it? For real, what else kills Horcruxes and why aren’t they contemplating them at least?”

Kat: [laughs] I love the idea of a Dementor swallowing a Horcrux.

Rosie: It’s always been one of the ideas as to why the Dementors have been so attracted to Harry because not only has he got one soul to eat, but he’s got two.

Charlotte: [gasps] Yes.

Rebecca: Right. He’s extra yummy.

Kat: Okay, so maybe that’s not totally out of the realm of possibility since Dementors like souls.

Charlotte: Do you think that…? Is this one of those things in the books where she really needed there to not be too many ways that a task could be accomplished? Because it’s a fiendishly difficult task and one of those books where you’re glad that smartphones and Google weren’t a thing yet…

[Everyone laughs]

Charlotte: … because otherwise, you jump on your smartphone and you’re like, “Yo, Google, how do I destroy a Horcrux?” And there [are] 50,000 results.

Rebecca: There is, for sure, some fan art about that where it’s like, if the trio had Google, the book would be over in five seconds.

Rosie: Who is Tom Riddle? Oh, okay, that guy. Thanks, Wikipedia!

Rebecca: Yeah, right. They just google everything.

Charlotte: And surely, this is something that Voldemort would’ve researched in some way as well because he would have wanted to know how safe this was. Don’t you think?

Rebecca: I don’t know if he did or not because he has a basilisk.

[Kat laughs]

Charlotte: Oh, true. [laughs]

Rebecca: That seems like a silly… He didn’t put the Horcrux next to the Basilisk, but he has one.

Rosie: Considering how difficult it is to find information on how to create them, I think finding information on how to destroy them is probably equally as difficult. Yeah.

Kat: Probably more so.

Rosie: I think they’re just so rare, they’re so unlikely to appear, that people wouldn’t bother writing about them so much.

Kat: And really, a Horcrux is a pretty personal thing, in general. So 1) you probably wouldn’t be telling a whole lot of people that you have them, and 2) even if you did, if you found out that your neighbor, Tom, had a Horcrux, you’d be like, “Oh, all right.”

Rosie: [laughs] Would you? Wouldn’t you be like, “Seriously? You murdered someone. Keep away from me. Why are you living next to me?” [laughs]

Kat: Well, right, but you’re not going to set out to destroy it, necessarily. And maybe you don’t know that a Horcrux is made by a murder. Because you haven’t been able to read the books.

Rebecca: I think the information must be in that book that Hermione gets toward the start of this book where she’s… What’s it called?

Kat: Yeah, well, she says it’s vile, right?

Rebecca: Yeah, and it has… Because where else would she have learned about Fiendfyre? Because she knew what it was called.

Kat: Well, it’s Hermione.

Rebecca: [laughs] That’s true. She’s read every book. I just think there probably are more ways, but I think Jo did not want to take the time to think of them all and worry about them all and be like, “Here’s another thing that I have to invent.” Because just for a writing perspective, that takes even more time. And this book is already pretty long.

Rosie: Doesn’t Hermione give us a little bit of description as to something like, the only things that can destroy them are things that cause absolute permanent damage? Things that cannot be healed?

Kat: I think so.

Rosie: So that’s why basilisk venom works because the only thing that can cure it is phoenix tears, and they’re incredibly rare. Fiendfyre can’t be stopped because it’s so incredibly destructive that it kills everything in its path. So you’d have to have ultimate destruction in order to kill the Horcrux.

Kat: So throwing it into the veil at the Ministry, then?

Rosie: Presumably, yeah.

Kat: Yes or no?

Rosie: We know so little about the veil that, if it’s a portal to death, then definitely that piece of the soul will automatically go into death and therefore, be killed. If it’s something a little bit more in between, who knows what will happen, but again, you’ve got the question of what is the difference between life and a soul and that kind of thing, and we don’t know.

Rebecca: Also, they probably wanted to really make sure that it worked and not just be like, “Well, hope this worked. Just threw it in the veil.” Because otherwise, who knows? Then you could…

Charlotte: This is possibly super insensitive, but oh well. It’s where I live, but do you think Harry would’ve been really reticent to just use the veil at the Ministry as basically like a trash chute?

[Kat laughs]

Charlotte: He would’ve really… I feel like it would’ve been really traumatic for him to be like…

Rosie: Yeah, I don’t think he ever wants to see the veil again.

Charlotte: … ” Oh, well. Let’s do experiments.” Yeah.

Rosie: He’s not going to go there.

Kat: Yeah, to be like, “Here, Sirius! Catch!” Sorry.

[Everyone laughs]

Charlotte: Okay, we’re in that kind of show.

Kat: I’m going to get hate mail for that one.

Charlotte: No, it was great. We’re bad people. I enjoyed it. Next comment, maybe? [laughs]

Rosie: Speaking of Sirius.

Charlotte: I actually… I loved this next comment, which is from SpinnersEnd, and they said… This is when we were talking about Harry being as reckless a godfather to Teddy Lupin as Sirius had been to him.

“I think the difference is that Sirius tended to be reckless just because. There wasn’t really a good reason for it, but Harry, whilst definitely still reckless, mostly has good reasons for his crazy ideas. And part of m[e] wonders why Lupin asked Harry to be godfather to his child. Lupin had to know that Harry has a very real chance of dying. It is, in fact, a very likely outcome. Does Lupin feel like Harry, the single most[-]wanted man in the [w]izarding [w]orld, has a better chance of surviving a showdown with Voldemort than he does?”

Which is a really good question that I think a couple of commenters alluded to about whether Jo knew that she wanted to create an orphan at the end of Deathly Hallows. And if so, whether Teddy, who’s this quite fandom-beloved character, I think, was almost a necessary plot device in that she had to give a child to someone and that Lupin and Tonks were the people who made the most sense. And then she had to orphan that child and make Harry its godparent, and whether part of the reason that Lupin making Harry the godfather is simply as a plot device, or whether there [are] more reasons behind it. Like, for example, Lupin being in denial that Harry is about to die or trying to give him something to live for or trying to stop him going off and doing something half-baked as he often does. [laughs] What do you guys think?

Rebecca: It definitely gives him a little bit more responsibility. To what extent, I don’t really know because he still does all his crazy stuff anyway.

Rosie: I think Lupin has no friends, as one thing.

Rebecca: Oh, sad.

Rosie: But Harry is the only link left to Lupin’s happiest moments, his happiest moments in his life. And the fact that Harry was the one [who] talked him into going back to Tonks and created that renewed happiness… I do think that Lupin views that as Harry’s James side coming through and a reminder of the man that Harry can potentially be and the links back to his family and the links back to Lupin’s childhood and all that kind of thing. So I do think it makes a lot of sense for Lupin to pick Harry. And I also do agree that he would think, if anyone’s going to survive this, it’s going to be Harry, and if he doesn’t survive it, then at least if Teddy survives it, then he’ll know that he had a link to Harry and can have that kind of role model through being the Chosen One, all that kind of thing.

Kat: I do see where SpinnersEnd is coming from, though, because if Lupin… Let’s pretend we’re Lupin and we’re thinking about ” Okay, I’m going to be a dad. I need a godfather. Fine. I might die. My wife might die. Oh, let’s pick Harry Potter! The kid who’s most definitely the Chosen One and is 17. And is just going up against the Darkest, most evil-est wizard of all time. Yeah, he’ll be great! Let’s pick him.” I feel like it’s a little… I get it. He’s putting a lot of faith in Harry and saying that he really truly believes that Harry is going to pull through, but it’s slightly foolhardy because then what? Harry dies, then what? What happens to his kid?

Rebecca: Okay, yeah. Imagine that same scenario, though, and then imagine he chose Bill Weasley. How does Harry feel at that point? He already was really upset in Order of the Phoenix when Ron got chosen as a prefect. Imagine now that he’s overshadowed by somebody else and is not chosen as a godfather?

Rosie: But I don’t think there’s an expectation…

Rebecca: I think Harry would’ve been really disappointed.

Rosie … that Harry would become godfather whereas there was an expectation that he would become prefect.

Rebecca: I suppose. Yeah.

Kat: Yeah, I can’t see Harry being fussed over not being picked for godfather.

Charlotte: Harry, at this point, is so single-minded and so almost uncaring about almost everything else because he has this one thing. And he knows, at this point, that he might die doing it. I actually don’t think he would’ve even really noticed. He’s happy for Lupin in the moment, he’s overjoyed, and then he never thinks of Teddy again that we know of until…

Charlotte: Of course he doesn’t. I’m not criticizing him. He’s got some stuff to be getting on with, [laughs] but it’s not like this is something that’s in the back of his mind all the time like, “Oh, I hope I’m going to be okay because I’m going to be this kid’s godfather and it’s really exciting.” And it might be because he’s a 17-year-old boy, and it might be because of the tasks at hand, and it might be because… I don’t know. It hasn’t really sunk into him yet.

Rebecca: At that point he hasn’t even met the baby.

Kat: Well, and also, I think that Harry is a little… I’m not sure “ignorant” is the right word, but…

Rebecca: Naïve?

Kat: Yeah, in thinking that Lupin could possibly die. That’s probably not something that even enters his realm of thought. So…

Rosie: Also, traditionally, you would have more than one godparent. If you’re a girl, you have two women and a man. And if you’re a boy, you have two men and a woman, normally. So it seems odd that there’d only be one godparent, especially if you’re going to pick a 17-year-old boy.

Kat: Well, who else is there?

Rosie: Any of Tonks’ relations? Any of the Weasleys?

Kat: Because he’s raised by Tonks’ parents, right?

Rosie: Yeah. I said that Lupin has no friends, but he must have some friends. [laughs]

[Kat and Rebecca laugh]

Rosie: Otherwise, he lives a very, very sad, lonely life until Tonks comes along. Which is why we love them but still.

Rebecca: I think that’s accurate.

Kat: Yeah, I think so too. Oh, poor Lupin.

Rosie: How about McGonagall? She would be a good godmother. [laughs] Caleb would love that. [laughs]

Kat: Yeah, he would. [laughs]

Charlotte: Thanks for all those comments. There [are] a lot more, actually. A lot more, including things like Pygmy Puff world domination being discussed over at the website.

[Charlotte, Kat, and Rosie laugh]

Charlotte: So head on over there and check them out. It’s

Kat: Sounds so much better in your beautiful accent.

[Charlotte, Rebecca, and Rosie laugh]

Charlotte: Either that or no one can understand me. One or the other.

[Kat and Rosie laugh]

Rebecca: No, it sounds really good.

Kat: I’m pretty sure they can understand you.

Rosie: And also over on we have our Podcast Question of the Week from last week, and we’ve got so many responses from you guys. I’ve just picked a quick handful of different opinions. Before we get on to them, though, here is the question that we asked: We said that in this chapter, Bill Weasley correctly guesses that the trio ha[s] made a deal with Griphook and cautions Harry heavily to be careful. In light of Bill’s excellent advice, should Harry be re-examining the plan that he has formed? Should he have entrusted Bill with the plan thus far and sought his unique perspective for an alternative? Or is Harry motivated by the desire to keep Bill and his family safe and resolve to accept the dangers that lie ahead? We started our previous comments with HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis? We’re going to start these ones with them as well. The first comment we’ve got is

“Who is this Bill Weasley? What makes him different [from] other people that the trio could’ve asked for help in their endeavors? He’s not a guardian figure like Lupin; he knows that, and so he doesn’t try to act like one. Since they first met right before the Quidditch World Cup, Bill has seen Harry grow up to do ridiculously dangerous stuff that most adults didn’t have to face. Things like the Triwizard Tournament, dueling Voldemort, seeing Dumbledore die. Telling Harry ‘[n]o’ has never worked before, and Bill’s number one life experience is being the older brother. So that’s his forte. Looking out for Harry, Ron and Hermione, but not in order to stop them from doing what they have to do, but to equip them with what they need to do it. Bill’s a curse breaker, and has been since he was Harry’s age; it’s a very dangerous job on it’s [sic] own, and he was doing said job abroad, far from his family, working together with witches and wizards from a different continent and also with lots of people from lots of different species. Keeping a straight head and making sure you’ve got all of your protective stuff and spells laid out before you do anything risky, but taking the risk away is what Bill has been doing. So he’d not tell Harry not to do something that involved risk, like collaborating with Griphook, but he tells them to know who[m] [t]he[y] [are] dealing with.”

Bit of a long comment but lots of lovely detail in there that really just shows how much we know about Bill without really knowing that much about Bill. I really like this comment. What do you guys think?

Kat: Right. He’s definitely one of those… So I was thinking a lot about this while you were reading, and the relationship that Bill and Harry have is pretty nonexistent. They have two conversations or so until they show up at Shell Cottage in this last chapter. I feel like Bill is never going to be one of those people, like this comment says, [who] says, “Don’t do that,” but he’s always going to be the person who wants to make sure you’re doing it properly, even if what you’re doing is dangerous, which is pretty much exactly what HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis? is saying, which, I think, is correct. I think it’s correct. And Bill… The Question of the Week asked, “Should the trio have told Bill the plan?” First off, Harry would never ever… He doesn’t even tell McGonagall, for goodness’ sake, so why would he tell Bill? But I think, even if they had told Bill, for some weird reason decided to tell him, he’d be like, “Well, good luck.” He’s not going to offer to go with them. He’s not going to try [to] stop them. He has his own agenda, his own things going on. I feel like that’s the essence of Bill, is that he focuses on…

Rebecca: He might give advice, though. He might’ve been able to give some advice.

Rosie: He already has given advice. His advice was not to trust Griphook. [laughs]

Rebecca: Right, yeah. That was pretty spot on.

Charlotte: Maybe it’s a controversial opinion, but I actually think that I don’t necessarily assume that Harry did the right thing in not letting people around him help. Someone mentioned in the comments about the psychological development of teenagers, and it was all quite hard and complicated, but what I took away from it is that 17-year-olds’ brains are still definitely developing, and their idea of grown-ups and authority and what they can and can’t do and how much adults are just going to take away all of your fun and take the control off you, that’s still a developing part of your brain. And especially for Harry, who’s a really impulsive person, and who still really does trust and believe Dumbledore that he needed to keep it between them… But I actually think that possibly if he had entrusted more people… It might have just been deciding things by committee, and it might’ve been really painful and terrible, but I just do think it’s part of him being a 17-year-old boy and not realizing “Oh, actually, people can help you. You don’t know everything.” And you know how teenagers have that instinct to run away or to make extreme solutions to problems rather than go to their parents and go “Hey, I’m having this issue. What do you think?” And maybe Jo meant us to think that. Maybe Jo meant for us to – I don’t know – wonder why he didn’t take on board all of this help that he was being offered from genuinely well-meaning people.

Kat: Yeah, and he does eventually do that with Neville, right?

Rebecca: Yeah. At the very last second he says that. [laughs]

Kat: He says, “Kill the snake.” He doesn’t say why or what it is. Just “kill the snake,” and I suppose he could have asked for help without actually telling Bill what was going on.

Rebecca: Yeah, he totally could’ve. He totally could’ve been like, “Hey, we’re going to bust into a Gringotts vault. How do you think I should do this? And I’m using a goblin to help me. What do you know about goblins?” I feel like he has somebody right there sitting there who knows the most about goblins of anybody he knows, and he just is like, “Oh, thanks, bye,” and he doesn’t ask him any questions. Bill outright says, “I know goblins.” It’s like, “Harry, use him as a resource.” Harry does not use the resources available to him, and I think partially because back in I guess it’s Half-Blood Prince Dumbledore says, “Don’t tell a ton of people. Just let it be Ron and Hermione.”

Rosie: Yeah. That’s what I was going to say.

Rebecca: And Harry takes him at his word.

Rosie: It’s completely Dumbledore’s fault. [laughs]

Rebecca: Yeah, for sure, it’s Dumbledore’s fault. That’s all. Harry takes him at his word and is like, “Okay, just Ron and Hermione.” And then Dumbledore dies, and it’s like, “Well, since you’re dead, I guess it’s just Ron and Hermione because the last thing you told me…” So he just…

Rosie: And that’s the thing. When he finally does start letting other people in, when he lets Neville in, it’s because he’s finally realized that Dumbledore was wrong, or that Dumbledore’s way is not the only way.

Rebecca: Right. There are more options.

Rosie: He needs to see Dumbledore as a complex person more than just his mentor in order to actually go back on his promise to him. And yeah, you can see that throughout his actions throughout this book. And as you were saying, the teenage brain and the childish brain is very much an insular thing. It’s [an] “I am the center of the universe and everything I do affects my little bubble, and everything that is done to me affects my little bubble.” And one of the signs of maturity is when you can break out of that bubble and start thinking about other people complexly. And we see that with Ron and Hermione’s relationship. Hermione is very mature very quickly and can think complexly about the world, and we see that with SPEW. so early on. Ron takes several years later before he can start thinking, “Oh, hang on. House-elves. They exist too.” And it’s that the house-elves are a metaphor for Ron’s emotional range of a teaspoon becoming a soup spoon because he can finally look outside.

Rebecca: [laughs] Slightly bigger.

[Rebecca and Rosie laugh]

Rosie: So yeah, it’s Harry not being able to trust anyone other than the knowledge that he has got a mission, and he will be the one [who] completes that mission. We’ve got a few other comments that we’ll look at that challenge that idea, but yeah. I agree that it’s very much Harry’s single-mindedness at the moment that is just stopping him from talking to Bill. Some of those other comments… We’ve just mentioned Bill as a resource, and MartinMiggs definitely agrees with that. They say,

“I think Harry made the best decision with what resources he had. Bill may be on ‘good’ terms with goblins, but I find it very unlikely that they would share secrets of the bank’s security features to a human. Only Voldemort has ever broken into Gringotts without inside help, so I doubt Bill’s knowledge with curse[-]breaking would be enough to steal from Gringotts.”

What do you guys think? Is Gringotts harder than Egyptian tombs?

Kat: When did Voldemort break into Gringotts?

Rebecca: They’re talking about Quirrell.

Rosie: Quirrell. Yeah.

Rebecca: From Sorcerer’s Stone.

Kat: I suppose that’s true. Although that wasn’t a maximum security vault but yeah.

Rebecca: I don’t know if you can really compare those two things because this is a completely different time period where there’s already a lot of uncertainty just in the city and in the wizarding world itself, and in Book 1 it’s like, “Oh, everything is flowers and unicorns and rainbows,” and the vault was so deep in this one and the bottommost, most protected, most secure vault ever of the oldest family ever and the […] evil[est] people, and then the other one was like, “Whatever, it’s just this other vault.”

[Rosie laughs]

Rebecca: I don’t know if you count that as breaking in.

Kat: Hard to compare the two experiences.

Charlotte: Although it seems like the advice he would have gotten from Bill wouldn’t have necessarily helped in terms of the security measures in place. It would have been more almost the strategy and thinking through it, of knowing how goblins work. So for example, it seems pretty obvious to me, going into that Gringotts chapter, and that’s why that chapter… I love it, but it feels like one long panic attack because you know going into it that it’s going to end just horribly, right?

[Rebecca laughs]

Charlotte: They’re really lucky that they get out of there. So you think that what Bill would have helped with would have been going “Okay, so that plan you have is going to hold up for about five seconds, and then here’s what’s going to go wrong.” And maybe not even from the goblin knowledge perspective, but just from the maturity and knowing that security ecosystem a little bit maybe. I don’t know.

Rebecca: Well, and their problems go wrong from the very start. They’re not even into Gringotts and they’re having problems. So I feel like he could have helped with “Hey. When you see other people, don’t assume that they’re horrible. They might be another Death Eater. You don’t know. And just think before you do stuff.” That’s the number one problem with the trio, is thinking before you act. And they just don’t. [Harry is] 17, and Hermione and Ron are 18. It’s like… They’re just teenagers. They’re doing the best they can.

Charlotte: Yeah. Although I know I see the contradictory thing in the last point about them having impulsive teenage brains, but also for the plot it’s really lucky that they are like that because I know I see they should have got some adult’s advice, but that’s what I would have done, and I would still be sitting in Shell Cottage now in 2016 not having actually done anything.

[Rosie laughs]

Charlotte So in some ways, I guess, this is how it pans out, right?

Kat: That’s why they’re all Gryffindors, right?

Rebecca: I know, I was just thinking that. They’re all Gryffindors, and they fly by the seat of their pants.

Rosie: They just act.

Kat: Impulsive actors.

Rosie: [laughs] So AurorPhoenix said that

“My initial reaction, though, was why couldn’t they have just taken Bill instead of Griphook? My first thought was, being a [C]urse[-B]reaker, […] he’s encountered enough hexes and jinxes while excavating. Would he not have enough expertise to at least help them deal with whatever they encountered? Yes, they sacrifice Griphook’s knowledge and experience, but they gain Bill’s loyalty and not getting double-crossed in the end. Also, thinking back to the actual break-in of Gringotts, I was trying to think what all did Griphook do that would have actually made a difference if they did not take him at all[?] He provided some information regarding what they would encounter (or after the fact with the [T]hie[f’]s [D]ownfall), but a lot of what got them in so far was [using the I]mperius[ Curse] and the [P]olyjuice [P]otion.”

So again, it’s that idea of “Is curse-breaking enough to be equivalent to Griphook’s knowledge?” But Griphook really wasn’t helpful in the end. Did they need him at all?

Rebecca: He really wasn’t.

Kat: No, but they couldn’t have taken Bill because he’s a Weasley, and he’s on the watch list.

Rosie: They could have hidden him somehow.

Rebecca: Yeah, but can you use the Invisibility Cloak at that point, or…?

Kat: I mean, Harry barely fits, never mind having…

[Rebecca laughs]

Kat: … Bill under there too.

Rosie: And yet they can just change some of Ron’s features and disguise him? Why couldn’t they do that with everyone?

Charlotte: Yeah. Although they didn’t know, though, right? They had so little knowledge and so little actual plan going into it that I think they took Griphook as insurance because they were like, “Oh, goblins work there. We’ve got a goblin. Let’s do this.” But they didn’t know how he would come in handy or not.

Rosie: Well, our final comment, then, comes from Tabularasa. They say,

“I don’t know what Bill could possibly offer to Harry, other than what he already told Harry. He wouldn’t really know the inner workings of Gringotts that would lead to them having a better plan. If I were Harry, I would think I already put Bill and Fleur in danger by harboring Undesirables. If Harry wasn’t willing to clue Lupin in, I don’t see why he would get Bill involved. With the last chapter, Harry has now become convinced of the plan and is sticking to it. Not to mention, Harry has to be thinking in the back of his mind that the last Weasley [who] got involved and helped him lost an ear.”

He has a “saving-people-thing.” [laughs]

Rebecca: Was he thinking at all, though?

Kat: Maybe. I don’t know. I don’t know if Harry’s so concerned about George, but it’s fine.

Rosie: Yeah. I think he’s completely forgotten that. [laughs]

Charlotte: Yeah. He has finally stopped at this point in the book for the first time in seven books, basically. Even checking that Ron and Hermione are good to go. Previously, right before they got into danger every time, he’d be like, “I’m going alone.” And then they would all have a fight about it and then… Yeah, he’s just stopped checking. He either feels… I think it’s a combination of feeling so secure that they are all in, and also, at the same time, all he cares about is this mission anymore. It’s not that he doesn’t care about his friends; it’s just that he no longer has mental bandwidth to worry about other people, right?

Rosie: I think since Ron went and came back as well that you can’t test that anymore. That was the ultimate test, and he came back. And Hermione has just pretty much told him to stop saying it. [laughs]

Kat: Well, and Hermione didn’t leave, and she could have, so she proved herself right there.

Rosie: I do think he still wants to save lives, and he doesn’t want more people being involved than necessary, and that is part of why Dumbledore told him not to tell anyone else in the first place, and that’s what Harry believes. But I don’t think it’s a logical choice or a forefront of his mind choice that he’s protecting this person because if they came and helped him now, they would get hurt. It’s more just a low-level, no-one-can-be-involved thing.

Kat: Yeah. He’s taking it a little bit to heart. Dumbledore told him not to tell anybody about the mission or the Horcruxes. That doesn’t mean he couldn’t tell somebody about breaking into the vault or killing a snake, for that matter.

Rosie: And that’s the end of our Podcast Question of the Week recap for this week. There are obviously so many more great comments on our website. Please do go […] check them out and join in the discussion. There are so many interesting ideas about what Harry could have done instead. I really do encourage you to go […] read them. That’s

Kat: And something else that’s over at is a link to our Patreon page. We do want to say before we go on to this chapter that this episode has been graciously sponsored by Kaitlin Richeson. And we can’t thank you enough, Katelin. So much. And if you guys would like to sponsor an episode like Rosie just said, go over to You can click on the little Patreon link at the top there, and for as little as $1 a month, you can become a sponsor. And just as maybe a little bit of incentive, our post-Deathly Hallows plans, whatever they may be, are going to be told to our Patreon sponsors weeks before the general public, any day now. We’re just finalizing our little presentation for you. And so if you want to know what’s going on, sponsor us [and] get the details weeks and weeks and weeks – maybe even months – before the general public. Just saying.

Rosie: And thank you to all of you [who] have already become Patreons on there because you guys have been so generous already. We’ve been so touched by how many of you have already tried to help us out with this. So thank you. [laughs]

Kat: And with that, I guess we’ll jump into our chapter discussion? Let’s do this.

[Deathly Hallows Chapter 26 intro begins]

Hermione: Chapter 26.

[Sound of wall exploding]

Hermione “Gringotts.”

[Sound of dragon roaring]

[Deathly Hallows Chapter 26 intro ends]

Kat: So it’s time to restart the adventure that we’ve… They’ve had this nice, cushy existence for a little while at Shell Cottage, and it’s time to leave that relative safety of those Weasley relatives. And this chapter circle theory abounds as we head back to Diagon and Harry’s first foray into the wizarding world with the break-in at Gringotts Wizarding Bank. Only this time, we’re the ones facing eternity locked inside a vault at the mercy of the goblins. We discover if the rumors of horrible curses and terrible fantastic beasts are true as we head down to Bellatrix’s worst-kept secret. [evil laugh] I don’t know; I felt like it needed a [evil laugh].

[Charlotte, Rebecca, and Rosie laugh]

Rebecca: Little evil laugh at the end.

Kat: A little bit, yeah. Bellatrix, evil, felt appropriate… So we don’t get actually a whole lot before they just dive right into this adventure. But the prep… They go through a little bit; they’ve been planning it for… Would you guys say probably the same amount of time as the Ministry?

Rebecca: At least.

Rosie: I think the Ministry was longer, even though it didn’t seem to be that much longer. They seem to have done a lot more research for the Ministry even though it didn’t work out very well.

Kat: Right. That’s what I thought too. But it even says that they still feel like they’re not ready, so that’s cool. [laughs] But they’re going anyway; they’re going for it anyway, and they talk about how they lost the tent when the Snatchers picked them up, which is something I guess I hadn’t thought about before. But thankfully, Hermione saved the beaded bag. And I was thinking about what other things that could have been important to their journey might have been lost within that tent. Do they still have the portrait? What’s his name?

Rebecca: Oh, Phineas Nigellus.

Kat: Yeah. Do they still have him?

Rosie: I’m fairly certain he was still in the bag.

Rebecca: Yeah. He must have been in the bag.

Kat: Because Hermione stopped taking him out when Ron came back, I assume.

Rebecca: Right. Well, he’s so annoying…

Rosie: And I think we hear from him that he snatches information from when she opens the bag, so he hears things when she opens it. He doesn’t otherwise.

Kat: Right. Okay. So at least they still have Phineas Nigellus, if nothing else. Hopefully, nothing else really important was lost.

Rosie: But they probably don’t have food; they don’t have a lot of other things.

Rebecca: They might have lost clothes or sleeping bags or…

Rosie: Anything that they wouldn’t pack away.

Charlotte: I actually have almost the opposite problem with the beaded bag comment rather than worrying about what else they might have lost. I just remember the first time I read it almost breaking my suspension of disbelief. And I know there are all these unbelievable things, like all of this magic and stuff that happens in these books, but just the ever-so-convenient fact that Hermione managed to stuff her handbag in her sock and that it happened to have all of their stuff in it…

[Kat laughs]

Charlotte: It would have been one weird-looking sock. I don’t know; I just remember reading this book for the first time and that being something that my brain got stuck on, where I was like, “No, Jo! No.” [laughs]

Rebecca: Yup. The same.

[Charlotte laughs]

Kat: At least it’s probable because we have to remember that this is the ’90s, so wide-legged pants were a trend.

[Charlotte laughs]

Rebecca: Oh my God. [laughs]

Kat: So it’s not like it is today, where she had this skinny little leg and probably no real sock to think of. So she probably had the…

Rosie: But if it [were] the ’90s, she would be wearing Britney combat trousers. She would have had loads of pockets that she could have put them in; she wouldn’t put it in her sock. [laughs]

Rebecca: Oh my God. Leg warmer?

Kat: Yeah, exactly!

[Rebecca and Rosie laugh]

Kat: She probably had on those knee-high toe sock things. Boom. Fad.

[Rebecca and Rosie laugh]

Rosie: Okay, yeah. I can definitely see her in the knee-high toe sock now.

[Kat laughs]

Rosie: Bright purple and yellow stripes definitely.

Rebecca: Oh my God. [laughs]

Kat: Exactly, exactly. See, your standard Hogwarts attire is what that look…

Charlotte: Okay, you guys are geniuses. I take that back.

[Kat and Rosie laugh]

Kat: So they go on, and they’re talking about Bellatrix’s wand, and Hermione is complaining about how she doesn’t like it, and Harry wants to set the screws to her, but he holds back, which… uncharacteristic of Harry, I just want to say. But it mentions that Ollivander made Luna a new wand. And I’m just curious. I mean, I know that they spent all that time in the cellar, and they bonded and whatever, but why Luna, out of all of them? I mean…

Rebecca: I think it makes sense that it’s Luna. I think the confusing part is how did he make the wand.

Kat: He’s a wandmaker; he can make wands out of anything.

Rebecca: [laughs] I know, but did he just carry samples of wand wood around with him and happen to bring that with him to his dungeon and all his tools and everything?

Kat: Well, they’re not in the dungeon now. The wand has…

Rebecca: No, but he didn’t stop off at home before he went to the Wealseys’.

Kat: Right, but where is he now? Where did he go after he left Shell Cottage?

Rebecca: Aunt Muriel’s.

Kat: Where?

Rebecca: Aunt Muriel’s. Right?

Kat: Right. Okay, so she lives in wherever she lives. There are trees there; there are materials.

Rebecca: Yeah, but is there wand-quality wood?

Kat: I don’t find it improbable that he made her a new wand.

Rebecca: Is there…? Does he have…? In my head, a wandmaker has all these tiny little metal instruments and things that you would shave wood with, like whittling tools and things. I feel like it’s partially a magical craft but also partially a mechanically… you are physically carving.

Kat: I think the total opposite. I think of him… and this is a terrible analogy but more of a MacGyver. He could make a wand out of anything as long as he has the right physical pieces of the wand to do so.

Rosie: What if he…?

Kat: If he has wood and a core, he could make a wand.

Rosie: Isn’t Ollivander famous for only really using three wand cores? Am I completely making that up?

Rebecca: Right. Yes, that’s totally true.

Kat: No, you are correct.

Rosie: Yeah. So does he have…? Where did he get either unicorn tail, phoenix feather, or… is it dragon heartstring, the last one?

Kat: Yes, well…

Rebecca: Yeah, he just had that in his pocket.

Kat: Hagrid proved that you can buy and sell unicorn hair.

Rosie: [laughs] Pretty much anything. Yeah.

Rebecca: Yeah, but he’s frail, though.

Kat: So that’s not a thing that I feel is this mythical substance that he can’t find; it’s just a stick and a piece of wood.

Rebecca: But that means he would have had to go to Diagon Alley and borrow this…

Kat: No, not necessarily. He could barely walk. I feel like there are definitely people who could get that for him.

Rebecca: Right; that’s what I mean. Okay.

Kat: Hagrid included, right?

Rosie: Can you send an owl to go […] pluck a hair from a unicorn?

[Charlotte, Rebecca, and Rosie laugh]

Charlotte: Don’t you think it redeems…? Not “redeems” Ollivander – because I’m not one of those people who thinks that he has anything to be sorry about – but it shows a side to his character, right? Whoever’s right about what he needed or how hard it is to make a wand, it sounds like he had to go to some kind of effort while he felt like complete crap at the same time. And the fact that he did that for Luna shows that… I don’t know. It was just a nice thing to do that he probably didn’t need to do at all.

Rosie: I think it shows Luna’s worth. Luna has been such an overlooked character that… And Ollivander is such a strange enigmatic character as well. He’s got this really dark side to him, especially with John Hurt in the film. But yeah. For Luna to have taken the time to look after him when they were down in the dungeon, and he wants to return that favor. He wouldn’t do that for anyone. When Harry gets his wand, he’s interested in the potential power that lies in that partnership. For Luna, he just wants to make her something that will fit her as a thank you, as a reparation for what she does for him. And for anyone to be able to create that much of a bond in only three or four months, it shows just how amazing Luna is. She really must have looked after him down there.

Kat: Okay. So he’s doing it for her more as a “thank you, I appreciate you.” But then poor Dean is sitting there like, “Aww, man. Couldn’t you have just…?”

Rebecca: [laughs] Dean definitely got the short end of that stick right there.

Kat: Ha. Ba-dum-dum.

[Charlotte and Rebecca laugh]

Kat: Yeah. I don’t know. I just… I mean, I guess the trio ha[s] wands, and they didn’t bond with him the same way, but I don’t know. It just seemed a little… I don’t know. Favoritism or something.

Rebecca: I think for sure it’s favoritism. I think he’s definitely singling her out and saying, “You were great. Here’s this present.” And not only is it [not] like, “Oh, I just pulled this off the shelf for you,” [but] it’s like, “No, I made this thinking of you the whole time. And I made it specifically for you.”

Kat: That’s true. That is pretty sweet.

Charlotte: Oh my God. New OTP. No, I’m kidding. That’s not true.

[Everyone laughs]

Kat: Oh, gosh.

Rebecca: I was just thinking that. Do I ship this? [laughs] I don’t know. They are both Ravenclaws, which I think is interesting.

Kat: That’s true. Yeah, and somebody pointed out in the comments from last week about why Harry didn’t use them more often to find out about Ravenclaw relics, which… Let’s not even go into Harry’s ignorance and stupidity at the moment. I feel like that could be a whole episode. But yeah, Harry, that was dumb.

[Rosie laughs]

Kat: Anyway, so Harry mentions that Draco’s wand seems to be working much better for him than the blackthorn wand he was using before, and I wonder if it’s because… Harry technically was that wand’s old master, right?

Rebecca: Well, he is the master.

Kat: Because he won the Elder Wand from Draco, and the wand was Draco’s and…

Rebecca: He’s the master of both, isn’t he?

Kat: Whatever that timeline is. You know what I’m saying?

Rebecca: He’s the master of both?

Rosie: Yeah.

Kat: If you can be master of both. I don’t know.

Rosie: Well, I think if Draco is master of both – because it’s the wand that chose him and he’s won another wand – can he dual wield wands? That would be really cool. Just a side.

[Kat, Rebecca, and Rosie laugh]

Rosie: So technically, Draco must have been the master of both wands, at least for a time. Your old wand won’t lose its allegiance to you just because you found a new one. So yeah, by winning one wand, Harry wins both.

Charlotte: I remember…

Rosie: Thinking back to the soul idea, you’ve got twin souls now. These wands are linked somehow.

Charlotte: I remember not thinking about that when I first read the book. And maybe it was my teenage brain, but I remember thinking it was interesting that he probably would have assumed that Draco Malfoy’s wand… Because at this stage, remember, he still just thinks Malfoy is 100% dick, 0% good dude, and he would have expected Malfoy’s wand to fight him, I’d imagine. And maybe just the fact that it’s easier than he thought, it’s like, “Ahh. Hah!”

Rebecca: He’s surprised.

Charlotte: I remember reading the book the first time and being like, “Oh, isn’t that funny? They’re not… Maybe their magic is actually quite similar,” and maybe it’s a moment of him realizing that, actually, Draco Malfoy’s wand isn’t going to fight him all the way because maybe they’re actually less different than they thought. But she probably meant it as a theory about the Elder Wand, but I remember reading it and thinking it was about that.

Kat: No, I was just thinking about that, how, actually, Harry and Draco are more alike than they would probably ever like to admit.

Rebecca: [laughs] I think that’s true. I think they… Harry has a lot of Slytherin tendencies, and I know people argue, “Is that the Horcrux? Is that him?” I think it’s him. I think he has more tendencies than he would admit to, and I think he has more in common with Draco because of that, and I think Draco is better than a lot of people give him credit for, but because he was brought up in this horrible family, he has these tendencies to lean toward the dark side.

Rosie: We’ve talked a bit before about Celtic tree astrology and the idea of woods having different properties and that Jo has used some of this in her thinking about wand woods, and the description of hawthorn is quite interesting because it’s got this idea of never judging a book by its cover based on it. It’s one of those things where you think it’s going to be acting one way, and it’s acting something else. So having that kind of link to Malfoy and his “Is he good? Is he evil?” idea and this battle that’s in him makes hawthorn a quite interesting wand for him to have.

Rebecca: Yeah. My wand on Pottermore […] is Draco Malfoy’s wand, as a side.

Rosie: That’s cool.

Rebecca: Yeah, it’s the exact same everything. Hawthorn wood, unicorn hair…

Kat: Wow. Slytherin. [laughs]

Rebecca: [laughs] Yeah, apparently, the Slytherin thing was accurate, I don’t know. But yeah, I was like, “Oh, this sounds familiar,” and then I’m like, “Oh, it’s Draco’s wand. What?”

Kat: That’s coincidental. For sure. So they start getting closer and closer to that day, and Harry has his doubts, of course, because they haven’t really had a chance to talk about how they’re going to screw over Griphook basically – because, as Ron says, he could give Molly lessons in lurking about and all of that, which I thought was really funny, Ron’s little humor there. But the day finally does get here, and they wake up at the crack of dawn to go out there, and Hermione takes the Polyjuice Potion and says that Bellatrix tastes disgusting, worse than Gurdyroots – which made me laugh…

[Rebecca laughs]

Kat: … a lot more […] than ever before. And I like that. And it’s funny because I didn’t notice this reading it the last time before, too, but the very first paragraph of this little chapter is about that single black hair that came floating so lovingly down onto Hermione in the movie.

[Rosie laughs]

Kat: And there it is. And here it is. Making its appearance, finally, with this Polyjuice.

Rebecca: My question on that is, there has been a very documented case in Chamber of Secrets where she thought it was one hair and it wasn’t. So she is just assuming that the hair that’s on her sweater is Bellatrix’s hair. Like, “I hope you’re right because you might be a cat again.”

Charlotte: Oh my gosh, yes. [laughs]

Rosie: She’s got very distinctive hair. [laughs]

Kat: I was going to say, it’s long and black. I’m not sure they’ve encountered any other hairs like that.

Rebecca: Yeah, but I…

Kat: No, but that’s a valid point.

Rebecca: You’re supposed to assume, “Oh, it’s definitely her hair.” And I think the movie makes it extremely clear with it floating down. But Jo has also shown us another instant where she’s like, “Oh, I’m positive it’s Millicent’s hair.” And I’m like, “Oh, okay. It’s a cat’s, though.”

[Kat and Rebecca laugh]

Kat: So it would be really funny if she like, “Whoops! I’m actually Narcissa.” Or “Whoops! I’m actually the housemaid.”

[Rosie laughs]

Rebecca: Right! And they explicitly say, “We have enough Polyjuice for one person.” So I hope you didn’t make a mistake because you can’t take any more.

Kat: That’s true. And did they just brew that Polyjuice? Where did that come from?

Rebecca: No. I think that’s from Moody still.

Kat: Leftover, huh?

Rebecca: From “The Seven Potters.”

Rosie: Didn’t they make a potion before they went to the Ministry? I thought that was one of the reasons why they took so long in preparing for the Ministry, because they were brewing a new potion in order for them…

Rebecca: I think they stole it from Moody.

Kat: I mean, that’s probable. I don’t know.

Rosie: How did they steal it from Moody?

Rebecca: I’m going to look it up.

Kat: I think Hermione just says that she took some of Moody’s stash or something.

Rebecca Right. I mean… Yeah, I’m sorry, he’s dead so…

Kat: I don’t think I’m remembering it incorrectly. I don’t think so.

Rosie: I can’t remember either. Oh no, we failed. [laughs]

Kat: [laughs] Yeah. That would have been bad. All right, so they finally get their stuff together and they go. They’re on their way. They land in Diagon Alley, and things pretty much immediately start to go to crap, basically. But before we even talk about that, do you think that Bellatrix just waltzes up into the Leaky Cauldron and goes to Diagon Alley just like that?

Rebecca: Like how Hermione did?

Kat: I mean, she’s one of the most notorious Death Eaters. It just seems a little too normal for Bellatrix.

Rebecca: Yeah, it definitely does. Especially like, “Hmm, it’s morning. Let me just… I’m off to get my gold.” I feel like she’d be more of…

Kat: Vampire?

Rebecca: … a “night person.”

[Rosie laughs]

Rebecca: Under the cloak of darkness! [laughs]

Charlotte: Also, don’t you think that she would never do her own errands?

Kat: Yeah. Never.

Charlotte: She’s the kind of person [who] wouldn’t do her own groceries. She probably doesn’t have Internet shopping, but she definitely would make someone else do it for her and then yell at them when they did it wrong rather than… She wouldn’t do her own banking. Everyone hates doing their own banking, so if you were super evil, you wouldn’t do it yourself.

Rebecca: Well, and she’s not only evil, but she’s [also] wealthy.

Kat: Right, and maybe that’s what Rodolphus is for. Maybe that’s his job.

[Charlotte and Rebecca laugh]

Rebecca: I wondered about that because, what the heck? Where is her husband this whole time? Is he even alive? He must be alive, right? I think the last time we saw him was…

Kat: As far as we know, I don’t think he’s dead.

Rebecca: Well, the last time we saw him was Half-Blood Prince. I think he was on the tower, possibly, when Dumbledore died.

Kat: Was he?

Rebecca: Was he? Maybe? I don’t remember. But where is this dude? You’re married to him. Where is he? I don’t know.

Kat: I think she’s married to the Dark Lord in her mind. So it’s fine.

Rebecca: For sure. Yeah, she’s definitely…

Kat: They clearly do not have a very loving marriage.

Rebecca: Yeah. I think it’s a marriage of convenience and “Oh, you’re also a pure-blood who’s mostly evil? Cool. Let’s get married.”

Kat: “Right, let’s do this.” Exactly.

Rebecca: Yeah. That’s how it went.

Kat: So after this shady appearance in Diagon Alley, the problems just start to pile on. They’re walking through and “Oh, look, it’s Travers.” A Death Eater. Boom. Right off the bat. There he is. Oh, I skipped over something. As they’re walking through, there’s this beggar guy. Travers later calls him a “wandless,” which made me think of the factionless in the Divergent series. But anyway, he’s yelling about his children, “Where are my children? What has he done with them? You know, you know!” And I’m wondering if this guy is crazy? Or if this is some sort of foreshadowing or something here. It just seems… Jo puts things in for a reason, so I’m just curious. What do you guys think?

Charlotte: I actually think it’s Jo doing that thing that she does so well in these books, where she can’t come and outright say a lot of these really graphic descriptions of the really hideous things going on in this society as it falls apart. Because she knows that there'[re] still a lot of little kids still reading these books, and obviously, as you guys have discussed, it gets more and more graphic as the books go on. But this is one of those things where she just drops these little bits of information, like one of the beggars has a bandage over one eye. So we’re supposed to assume from that that this person probably has been tortured…

Rebecca: Or has lost an eye, maybe.

Charlotte: … presumably by Death Eaters.

Rosie: So I always saw this character as a Muggle-born or a half-blood, and it’s someone who’s wandless because his wand was taken from him by Umbridge and the Ministry. Did no one else read it that way? Because that’s how I…

Charlotte: Oh, no, I definitely think that’s true. I just was thinking…

Rosie: Yeah, yeah. So the analogy that we’ve been working with is the reference between this war and World War II. And if we’re following the idea through, the idea of missing children then becomes the idea of death camps and that kind of thing. So it’s definitely referencing incredibly dark ideas that really do show how terrible this world has become. So I completely agree that we’re supposed to think of the terrible things that this person has gone through and that his family has gone through. It’s Jo’s way of reminding us what Harry is fighting for and why these events, when he does go back into the world, are so important.

Kat: Geez, I was not prepared for you to bring up death camps.

Rosie: Sorry, sorry, I know.

[Kat and Rosie laugh]

Kat: I was not ready for that. No, it’s okay. I think that’s a valid interpretation.

Rebecca: Yeah, for sure. And I think also Jo deliberately doesn’t say, in addition to what Charlotte said with “Okay, we can’t actually say because kids might be reading,” but also to let your mind wander and think, “Well, what did happen to his children?” And it’s kind of the same strategy as not telling us how Horcruxes are actually made because you can come up with worse things in your mind and just let your mind wander. And I think that is exactly what she’s doing here, like, “Oh, goodness gracious, what happened to these kids?”

Kat: The power of suggestion.

Rosie: Number one rule of storytelling is the difference between showing and telling, and you’ve got to let your reader fill in the gaps. Yeah.

Kat: Woah, man, that’s giving me chills.

Charlotte: If these were adult books or adult-intended books, can you just imagine them being written like Game of Thrones? [laughs]

Kat: Or like her Cormoran Strike novels. If you guys have read those, those are incredibly violent – at least the latest one.

Rebecca: I haven’t gotten into those yet.

Kat: Wow. Okay, moving on to, well, only very slightly happier things. So we meet Travers, and Harry is like, “Man, I recognize this guy. I’m not really sure…” And Griphook is like, “It’s a Death Eater, it’s a Death Eater! Aah!” And really, you realize very quickly how poorly Hermione is doing at being Bellatrix. Because she does a lot of things that Bellatrix wouldn’t do – I don’t think, anyway. She says things like, “And what do you want?” I feel like if somebody [were] like, “Hey, Madame Lestrange,” she would just look at them and keep walking. I’m not sure she’d even bother herself to talk to them.

Rebecca: Or even acknowledge them.

Kat: And she’s saying things… She’s questioning what he says and allowing him to be like, “After you, madam.” He doesn’t say that, but basically… and the whole “good morning” thing: [as Hermione] “Good morning!”

Rebecca: Yeah. [laughs] Oh, I just imagine Hermione’s cheerful little voice like, [as Hermione] “Good morning!” Oh, gosh, you couldn’t have done something more wrong right there.

Kat: Yeah. Thank goodness it was only with Tom the barman, who most definitely didn’t notice.

Rebecca: Yeah, he didn’t.

Kat: Or if he did, [he] doesn’t care because he’s in his own little world here. Well, there they are, standing in the middle of Diagon Alley. Like I said, they’ve met Travers and they’re talking, and Hermione is being very unconvincing. And Travers lets drop that he heard that everyone who was at Malfoy Manor [was] confined to the house after the escape, after letting Harry go. And I was thinking about it: If Travers was at the Lovegoods’ house, why is he out walking about? Shouldn’t he have been punished too? Right? No?

Charlotte: Maybe he’s too low-level?

Rebecca: Or they did capture Xenophilius, so maybe that was good enough. Like, “Oh, we got this one guy.”

Rosie: I guess, because I don’t think Voldemort was called when they thought that Harry was in Xenophilius’s house.

Kat: Oh, that’s true.

Rosie: Whereas he was called to the Malfoys’ house. So yes, they almost had him both times, but the loss of him at the Malfoys was a lot more serious than the loss of him at the Lovegoods. They could easily cover up what had gone wrong at the Lovegoods.

Kat: That’s true. Plus, they [not only had] Harry, [but] they [also] had Ron and Hermione there to use as torture devices or whatever. So I guess it is the bigger error.

Rebecca: I don’t think they covered it up, though, at the Lovegoods’, because Hermione’s picture gets in the paper.

Kat: That’s true, but they probably just used the explosion of the Erumpent horn as reasoning for the house. I don’t know. Hard to say, I guess. But I do think that probably in this moment, he asks a lot of questions. And I know that he’s there to give exposition about what has happened recently, but I think personally that they might have waited a little bit too long to use the Imperius Curse on him. Because he’s definitely suspicious, and that doesn’t help once they finally get to the bank, personally.

Rebecca: You think they should have just Imperiused him to start with?

Kat: I mean, much sooner than they did, I think.

Charlotte: Harry is going through a transformation in that sense in this chapter, though, right? This is where he starts using this Unforgivable Curse in a really… By the end of the chapter, he’s doing it without thinking about it, but it seems like it takes him a moment to realize that that’s what he should do.

Rebecca: I don’t think that would have been his first instinct to just be like, “Oh, a Death Eater… Imperio!” It probably would have helped, but I don’t think he would have thought of it.

Charlotte: Yeah, in the first instance, you’d be looking around thinking, “How can we just jet pack out of here?” And only pretty far down the list would be, “Oh, I know. I’ll use an Unforgivable Curse.” [laughs]

Rosie: Do you think wands have a corrupting influence as well? Harry using Draco’s wand is perhaps influencing the spells that he’s using?

Kat: Well, and that’s something that I thought about too. I think that maybe the spells probably came a little bit easier to him because of Draco’s wand. I’m sure Draco is no stranger to using something like [the Cruciatus Curse] or [the Imperius Curse].

Rebecca: Well, Draco gets forced to torture people by Voldemort.

Kat: Right, exactly. So that’s what I mean.

Rosie: So if we’re thinking about wands getting bored, then this wand is going to do what it normally does, and that’s torturing and controlling.

Charlotte: Wow, I hadn’t even thought about that. I had thought that… Okay, this is possibly a far reach, but reading this chapter and the Imperius Curses and Harry using them without agonizing over them really reminded me of that moment in Book 1, where I feel like Dumbledore is almost setting us up for this to happen later. I don’t know. This might be a massive stretch, but when Harry gets the Sorcerer’s Stone, and he wonders why it dropped into his pocket when he was looking in the mirror, Dumbledore says something about “Only people who see themselves finding the stone – finding it, but not using it – would be able to get it.” Dumbledore almost sets up this idea that there is a purity of intention that means that you can do things without being too hypermorally concerned about them. And I feel like this is an idea that Dumbledore espouses through the books, that once you get to a point where your only intention is to get what has to be done done, then there’s suddenly a turning point whereby you can do things that perhaps you shouldn’t be doing, in the same way that he knows that he’s sending Harry to die, but he has justified it to himself by thinking, “This is what has to be done.” And – I don’t know – it just seems to me like Jo is setting this idea up throughout the books that there’s a purity of cause or intention that is justification for doing things that you wouldn’t normally do. Is that too far-fetched?

Kat: No, because it makes me think about the Patronus Charm and how it says you have to be pure of heart in order to use it or… yeah, it’s pure of heart, right? I think that’s what Pottermore says, yet Umbridge can still do it because she thinks that what she’s doing is right. So I definitely don’t think it’s too far-fetched. I do think it’s kind of an underlying tone.

Rebecca: So maybe with this situation, Harry had to unlock the Imperius Curse because he couldn’t have done it at the start. He had to wait until it’s like, “Okay, now it’s go time. I have to get this done.” He transitions as he moves toward the bank.

Charlotte: Because we’re not meant to think of this as a moral dilemma, right? There’s no point in this chapter where we’re meant to be pausing and thinking, “Oh, crap! Harry has just done an Imperius Curse! What’s this going to mean for the future of his character development and his soul?” We’re just like, “Yep, that seems reasonable.” [laughs] Or at least I do, anyway.

Kat: Yeah, I agree with that. I guess since we’re on the topic of wands, we can talk about Bellatrix’s wand here, where they specifically mention it. Travers is like, “Well, wait a second, your wand… I thought that it was gone, and you have it and…” Wasn’t that dumb?

Rebecca: Super dumb, oh my gosh. Big, huge… Oh my gosh, the dumbest thing they could’ve done.

[Rosie laughs]

Rebecca: They just… This is the part of the book where I’m like, “I’m so frustrated with you! Why? Why, why, why? Out of all the things you could’ve done and you used her wand,” and it’s like, “You morons.” Yeah, not the brightest bulbs. [sighs]

Kat: And it’s frustrating because I understand the want to use that wand and to make it really authentic. Because you would think that people might not know about Bellatrix losing her wand, which also makes you then think about how the news is really getting out there about all of this stuff. How does Travers know that her wand is gone? Is there a newsletter?

Rebecca: I don’t know. I was thinking that too.

Rosie: There’s just gossip.

Kat: Gossip?

Rebecca: How do the Death Eaters get news to each other?

Rosie: So I think the attack on Malfoy Manor that Voldemort does… As soon as Voldemort is called and that becomes a thing, the rest of the Death Eaters are going to know that Malfoy has fallen out of favor, and they’re going to know about what happened in that house and how they let Harry Potter go. So the loss of the wand will become public knowledge as part of that information.

Rebecca: But how?

Rosie: Not only was Malfoy able to let Harry Potter go, but they [also] let Harry Potter steal their wands. How shaming is that? How embarrassing is it that not only did you try [to] call the Dark Lord to gloat about what you’ve done, but you [also] let the guy get away with your one magical item? It’s… Yeah, they’re going to know.

Kat: I don’t know. See, I think the opposite. I’m not sure that Voldemort would want that to be out there in the world to know that Harry Potter has slipped from his grip once again.

Rebecca: Thwarted him again.

Rosie: I don’t think it’s going to be Voldemort [who] gets the information out there, though. I think it’s going to be other Death Eaters [who] are aware of what’s going down.

Rebecca: Do you think it’s just whispers? Like, “Oh, did you hear?”

Charlotte: Yes! Exactly. Travers strikes me as just the kind of guy who’s just such a drawing room gossip.

[Rebecca laughs]

Charlotte: He’s this slightly toffee, just English-like… I don’t know. I just think it’s a couple of things he says in this chapter. For example, he says, “Oh, filthy gold, but we can’t live without it, haha.” It’s such a rich person thing to say.

Kat: He’s the Gretchen Weiners of the Death Eaters.

Charlotte: Yeah, he is. And the fact that he’s still joking about money and stuff at a time like this, I can just imagine him and the other Death Eaters huddled around over a whiskey late at night just having a good old gossip about how Bellatrix did this mistake and everyone’s talking about her, and isn’t it outrageous? And I actually think that maybe Harry, Ron, and Hermione totally underestimated or didn’t even think about everyone sitting around gossiping about what had happened and who was in favor and who was out of favor. You’re completely right; it’s exactly like the Plastics from Mean Girls is how I imagine the Death Eaters at this point.

Rosie: Especially because there were Snatchers there as well, and the Snatchers survive. They have no qualms about gossiping about the Death Eaters.

Rebecca: Did the Snatchers survive, though?

Rosie: I think so, especially our favorite pirate Death Eater Snatcher bloke. I’ve forgotten his name temporarily. [laughs]

Kat: The one who doesn’t exist in the books?

Rebecca: Scabior?

Rosie: Yeah, Scabior exists [in the book].

Kat: Yeah, he’s there. No, I was not thinking about him, and then she said the name, and I was like, “Oh yeah, him.”

[Rebecca laughs]

Rosie: Yeah. I’m fairly sure Scabior is going to talk. [laughs]

Kat: Yeah, I mean, if it had been 24 hours [earlier], this plan would have been ace.

[Rebecca laughs]

Kat: Because nobody would have known, but they waited too long.

Rebecca: Sure did, yep. But I think… Didn’t Voldemort go back and punish everybody? I know in the movie it’s like, “He killed everyone! It’s bloody and ugh!” But I thought at least some people… I know Bellatrix says that…

Kat: Well, definitely, because Travers even says, “Well, wait a minute, everyone’s confined to Malfoy Manor.” So yeah, he definitely punishes them.

Rebecca: True, okay. But I thought for sure the Snatchers, at least… Because Bellatrix, I think, Stuns them and says to Draco, “Get these people out of here. Move them out to the garden,” or whatever. And I thought she said something like, “If you can’t finish them, I will later.” So I’m not sure if they did die or not.

Kat: Well, they show up later, don’t they? At least Greyback does.

Rebecca: Yeah, Greyback is one of those weird characters who is toeing this line of Snatcher/Death Eater, whatever is convenient for him at the time.

Rosie: But that’s interesting because I see Travers as one of those characters as well. He’s not solid Death Eater, but he’s also not… So it would make sense for him to be one of these gossiping in-between-y characters who really want[s] to see Malfoy fall because he had so much power and so much influence, and now he’s this confined-to-his-manor, shell of a man. So they’re going to want to talk about it and criticize it.

Rebecca: Yeah, because now I’m thinking about it, I don’t think Travers was mentioned in the graveyard pow-wow with the “real Death Eaters” in Goblet of Fire.

Rosie: Yeah. He’s secondary.

Rebecca: I think he must have come on later.

Kat: He’s a new recruit.

Rebecca: Right, he’s new. He’s a newbie. [laughs]

Kat: So they finally get up to Gringotts, and there’s just this throwaway line about “Ah, Probity Probes… so crude, so effective.” And it’s funny because you think of a Probity Probe personally, and you think of definitely something that actually probes, but no, it’s just more like one of those security wands at the airport.

Rosie: It’s just like a stick that’s going to poke you.

Kat: Exactly, and it’s gold.

[Rosie laughs]

Kat: That’s about it.

Rebecca: My problem with the Probity Probe wasn’t so much that it’s another invention that we haven’t heard of when we already have something that is the same thing, which is what Filch uses all the time… It’s called a Secrecy Sensor, I think. And he always… like when he’s checking the students to go in and out when they’re going to Hogsmeade. Why do we have another thing? Is this a more…?

Rosie: It’s not looking for secrets; it’s looking for a different particular thing.

Kat: It’s probably just a different brand, like Campbell’s and Progresso soup. Just different brand, same object.

[Rebecca laughs]

Kat: I’m hungry, guys, I’m sorry. I can’t help bringing up cookies and soup.

Rosie: So a Secrecy Sensor is going to look for things that are hidden, whereas a Probity Probe is looking for probity. So it’s looking for having strong moral principles of honesty and decency and morality and all of those kinds of things. That’s what “probities” means. So not only is it a pun – Probity Probe, they sound the same – but it is [also] looking for a different particular quality.

Kat: Thank God you’re here, Rosie.

[Rosie laughs]

Charlotte: Oh yeah. Don’t you think that this is quite an average beefing up of security? If you’re going to beef up security and a teenager can get past it with an Imperius Curse, don’t you think that’s something they would have thought of?

Rebecca: Not even an Imperius Curse, a Confundus [Charm].

Charlotte: Oh yeah, a Confundus [Charm], sorry. Yeah, my mistake.

Rosie: Well, this is airport security, isn’t it? It’s exactly what happened when these books had been released. We went from being able to go through airport security fairly easily to get into the secure place, to now being checked and having to take off our shoes and not being allowed liquids and all of that kind of thing. They’re relatively small inconveniences. Some things still get through, but they’re just possible checks to make that might stop some things based on some idea of evidence.

Kat: And these are wizards who lock doors, and there’s a spell to unlock doors.

[Charlotte laughs]

Rebecca: That’s so true. They’re also not super keen on security in general.

Kat: No, not really.

Rosie: And they trust all of the things that they’ve got in Gringotts itself. The breaking in is not going to happen through the front door; it’s going to happen through the vaults.

Kat: Haha, or so they think. That’s what they think.

Rebecca: It’s like the lowest level of security at the furthest out place in the building.

Kat: Like the Sorcerer’s Stone.

Rosie: Because a three-headed dog is nothing. [laughs]

Rebecca: This is the equivalent of Fluffy. [laughs]

Kat: So the trio and Travers and Griphook finally make it into Gringotts after getting by the Probity Probe very easily. And there'[re] lots of great little moments in this chapter – as we talked about earlier, that tie back to the first book – and here is one of them: Harry is sitting there, and he’s remembering that first time he came to Gringotts with Hagrid, and it’s a very cute little moment. And he’s remembering how Hagrid was like, “You’d be mad to try [to] rob it.” He probably grins or giggles to himself. I know I would personally if I were there.

Rosie: [laughs] And it’s such an important thing, isn’t it? When we were first introduced to this world, Gringotts was the most magical place because not only was it a wizarding bank, but it was [also] a wizarding bank where Harry was given a fortune. And that’s every little kid’s dream. And he was told that no one could ever break in there, and then someone broke in, and he thought, “Wow, that’s really impressive – scary, but impressive.” And now he is the one doing the breaking in. How far we have come since that first book to be at this moment here. It’s just… I love this moment. [laughs]

Kat: No, it’s good. And there'[re] – like I said – lots of good little moments like that in this chapter.

Rebecca: Do you think from a writing perspective that Jo planned in Book 1, “Hey, maybe later on in this series, Harry will come back and steal something from here, so I’ll put this funny line to tie back to”? Or do you think it was just like, “Oh, I have that funny line. I’ll tie back to it”?

Kat: No, definitely planned. Because it’s Jo, and I think that she knew… She probably didn’t plan it out to the fact about the lines and everything, but I think that she knew where she wanted to hide the Horcruxes and Tom’s story and that Harry would eventually have to break into Gringotts…

Rosie: The fact that we were told about a dragon in the first book made me think that, yeah, this dragon has been planned since that first book.

Kat: Right, exactly. And speaking of dragons and stuff, we’re almost there, we’re almost there…

Rosie: Yay! [laughs]

Kat: They walk up, and the goblin says, “I need identification!” And she’s like, “What?! You’ve never asked for this before!” Somehow they get through because Harry finally does the Imperius Curse, and it’s a little bit of a sad moment because it sucks that it’s come to this, but he has to do it. And then there was a moment that really stuck out to me – which I hadn’t ever thought about before – and it’s when they’re finally walking back, and a goblin comes running toward Bogrod, and he says, “We have instructions. Forgive me, madam, but there have been special orders regarding the vault of Lestrange.” And I had never thought about that before because that goblin is not under any curse or anything. He just sees that she’s in here and all of that, so probably sometime in that two months or three months or however long it was they were at Shell Cottage, they’ve been alerted by Voldemort, we think? Maybe? Since the cup has been involved?

Rosie: Has it been two months? I didn’t think it had been that long.

Kat: It had been a while. Right?

Charlotte: Also, doesn’t it make you think about Voldemort and strategic planning and thinking five steps ahead and thinking about the little details of things? He doesn’t seem like an Excel Spreadsheet kind of guy.

[Kat and Rebecca laugh]

Charlotte: And then neither does Bellatrix. Not to be rude, but she just seems pretty insane. So who is the person who’s thinking about things like, “Huh! So if someone has Bellatrix’s wand, what if they went to try [to] steal something from Bellatrix’s vault?” Who’s the person who…? You know how every organization has a secret administration ninja who always thinks about the things like that and no one else thinks about?

[Kat, Rebecca, and Rosie laugh]

Charlotte: Who is that person for the Death Eaters? I genuinely want to know.

Rosie: I think Bellatrix has realized her mistake. She was so focused on the sword and the fact that they had it and it should be in the vault that she now knows that someone wants to get in there. And the fact that Lord Voldemort has made such a thing [that] you have to protect the Horcrux – you can’t let anyone in there – for her to have given that away has created this plan, and they know how Harry’s mind works. They do know Harry quite well, especially Lord Voldemort. We see that later on with the forest; he knows exactly what Harry is going to do. So for that information to have been revealed, it was always going to be inevitable that Harry would go to that vault. So it would make sense, especially with Bellatrix’s wand being stolen, for them to expect that someone would try [to] get in. They don’t necessarily think it’s going to be Bellatrix herself – they don’t expect Polyjuice Potion or anything like that – but they do expect some kind of activity in that vault. And it will have been locked down, so they would expect no one to be going in there at all.

Kat: So you do think these are new measures, then, and not something that necessarily has been in place since the Horcrux was put in there? Because Bellatrix doesn’t know it’s a Horcrux; she just knows it’s a cup.

Rosie: Yeah. These are new measures since Malfoy Manor.

Rebecca: Yeah, I agree. I think they specifically made those instructions because of her slip.

Rosie: Crackdown on security because of it. Yeah.

Kat: But does Voldemort know?

Charlotte: I wouldn’t tell him. [laughs]

Kat: Or is it set up by Bellatrix as a fail-safe?

Rebecca: I see Narcissa, Lucius, Draco, and Bellatrix all freaking out together like, “Oh, crap! What do we do? We need to call the goblins. What do we tell them? Don’t let anyone in our vault!” And I just see them…

Kat: But it’s not the Malfoy family vault.

Rosie: It’s Lestrange.

Rebecca: I know, but they’re sisters. I’m expecting them to be freaking out in Malfoy Manor like, “We made a mistake. What are we doing?” And then I don’t know if they tell Voldemort…

Kat: Why would they? Personally, I wouldn’t. He’s [a] scary dude.

Rebecca: That seems like a great way to get killed.

Rosie: Yeah, they’re not worried about the Horcrux at this moment, and obviously, it’s them breaking into this vault that then triggers Voldemort thinking about the Horcrux and that Harry is aware. And that leads to that quick treasure hunt of him going to check on all of his [Horcruxes]. It is the sword that they are worried about because they have seen Harry, Hermione, and Ron with the sword, and so it’s triggered that paranoia. So it could be Bellatrix herself trying to crack down because if the sword means that much to them – and Griphook has just told them that it’s a fake, but she’s told them that she has the real one – they probably want to go replace that sword with the real one. So she can easily work out that thought process. Yeah, so I don’t think it would be necessarily Lord Voldemort [who]’s cracking down on this information; it’s the Death Eaters. It could even be Snape, within the Death Eater half of himself, trying to cover that basis if Bellatrix has told him that someone has been seen with the sword. So there'[re] several ways that these security measures could have been triggered, other than Lord Voldemort himself.

Kat: And Snape always creeps into our conversation. He’s not even in this chapter, and yet he’s in it.

[Kat and Rosie laugh]

Rosie: He’s the one [who] gave her the sword!

Kat: So then do we think that somebody…? So nobody at the bank is under Voldemort’s control, then, if we think that Bellatrix is the one who put these in place?

Rosie: No, I don’t think anyone at the bank is directly under his control.

Charlotte: Yeah, I’ve changed my mind. I don’t think he has a secret administrative ninja.

[Kat and Rosie laugh]

Charlotte: I think it was Bellatrix. I agree with you guys totally.

Kat: If he does have one, it’s going to be Tracey from MuggleNet because she’s most definitely our secret ninja.

[Charlotte and Rosie laugh]

Rosie: Yeah, definitely.

Charlotte: Don’t you think it was Peter before that, though? He would just be the exact [puppet] who would just take all the minutes at the meetings and make everyone cups of tea and stuff…

Kat: Maybe, but he’s not…

Rosie: He’s dead.

Charlotte: Yeah. But it would have been him in the past, I reckon. Anyway, sorry, tangent. [laughs]

Kat. No, it’s okay. I mean, that happens. That’s like the sub-heading of this show: Alohomora! – Open the Dumbledore – with Tangents. It’s fine.

[Charlotte and Rosie laugh]

Kat: So eventually they get in, and they’re like, “Oh my God, this is the stupidest thing! I can’t believe that we’re here doing this!” And Ron is like, “What should we do? Should we leave?” And Hermione is like, “Yes!” And Harry says, “Nope, we’re doing this. This is happening; we’re going forward. Sorry, it’s happening.” [sighs] So they get on a little cart, and they’re going through, and he tells Travers to hide, which I think is the best throwaway line ever. It says, “They hurtled past Travers, who was wriggling into a crack in the wall…”

[Rosie laughs]

Rebecca: Yes, I loved that.

Kat: Poor Travers.

Rosie: That just shows how dangerous that curse is as well.

Kat: Yeah. I don’t know. It made me laugh way too hard. But anyway, they go, and suddenly they see this waterfall, and Griphook shouts, “No!” and uh-oh, it’s too late. They have already gone through what we come to find out to be the Thief’s Downfall. And first off, I just want to say that that sucks because they are now drenched…

[Rosie laughs]

Kat: … and nobody likes to be wet in their clothes. I hate it, personally.

Rosie: It’s just the water ride on the theme park; it’s fine.

Kat: There’s no water ride at the theme park. [laughs]

Rebecca: They’re in robes! And shoes! It’s not really water either; it’s potion, so… yuck.

Charlotte: Don’t you think that it doesn’t actually downfall them that much, though? It just pretty much takes the enchantments off them, but it still doesn’t actually stop them from stealing.

Rosie: Yeah, they’re not impeded in any way; it’s just, “Ooh, now you’re you.” [laughs]

Kat: Yeah. No, I mean, all it really does is, they go through it, the cart stops, and it dumps them out, and they fall. But it’s funny because then they still use the Cushioning Charm to stop them from dying on the rocks. Why not just let them die on the rocks? Why bother with the charm? I don’t know.

Rebecca: No, I think it is Hermione who does the charm. Because I think Harry says he heard Hermione shout something, and then later she’s like, “Cushioning Charm!” and…

Kat: Oh, I guess I assumed that because it said, “heard Hermione shriek,” not “mutter.” If it were mutter… But shriek to me is more like, “Ahh! I’m falling!” I don’t know.

Rebecca: Yeah, I always assumed that was her casting the spell.

Kat: Okay, I mean, that’s cool. I definitely never read it like that, but you’re probably right. Which is good because I was giving the goblins way too much credit for that Cushioning Charm anyway.

[Rebecca and Rosie laugh]

Rosie: But if it [were] the goblins, it’s probably a way of avoiding the cleanup.

Rebecca: [laughs] The mess.

Kat: Maybe. Or being able to punish them after the fact.

Rebecca: Yeah, and then you can put them in a vault or something.

Rosie: Feed them to a dragon.

Kat: Feed them to a dragon, exactly. Is the Thief’s Downfall…? Do we think that the vaults that are under/past that are only the older vaults? Or do you think other people get the benefit of the Thief’s Downfall too?

Rebecca: I guess I didn’t ever think there was only one Thief’s Downfall, so… But I assumed that where they’re going now, it’s definitely the older vaults.

Kat: Sure. So it helped them by dropping them so much closer. Cool.

Rebecca: Quicker. [laughs]

Kat: And the last thing about the Thief’s Downfall, which boggled my mind – we touched on it a little bit before – is the little beaded bag. So the Thief’s Downfall… I’ve got to find the line. It says, “… washes away all enchantment; all magical concealment.” There’s a beaded bag; and why did that suddenly not become 12.5 million pounds?

Rebecca: That’s a good point.

Charlotte: It’s a really good point.

Rosie: Maybe Hermione’s socks are waterproof.

[Kat, Rebecca, and Rosie laugh]

Rosie: I don’t know.

Charlotte: Maybe it only removes charms and concealments from animated beings, like humans or goblins.

Rosie: Does it technically count as a concealment? It’s not trying to hide something; it’s just trying to offer more space. It’s a portal into… I’m trying to think what my analogy is here. There’s another…

Kat: Like the car or the tent or whatever, yeah.

Rosie: Yeah, it’s like a TARDIS. It’s a time and relative dimension in space. It’s fitting two moments in time on top of each other and that kind of stuff, so you’ve got a little parallel universe that you’re putting things into and taking things out of that you’re carrying with you rather than actually hiding something that’s actually bigger.

Kat: I suppose I would agree with that if it didn’t say, “all enchantment, all magical concealment.” It’s enchanted.

Rebecca: Yeah, I’m looking at that right now, and Harry also still has the Cloak, and [it] says he “thrust his own hand under his jacket to make sure he had not lost the Invisibility Cloak.”

Kat: Yeah, that’s not enchanted.

Rosie: Maybe it’s Death’s beaded bag. [laughs] A present to Hermione from Death. [laughs]

Rebecca: But it’s a concealment thing.

Kat: Yeah, but I don’t see the Cloak as being an issue, personally, because it is a Hallow, and it is above all rules.

Rebecca: Yeah, I guess it doesn’t count.

[Rosie laughs]

Rebecca: But I don’t know. The wording is really specific.

Rosie: Yeah, I guess it depends if you see that particular wording as a list or as additional information. If you see it as a list, then it’s all magical enchantments, absolutely, plus, especially, Concealment Charms. If it’s additional information, then it’s all magical enchantments that are concealment charms. So grammatically, there’s a bit of ambiguity as to what you actually mean with that comma. [laughs] Which would explain why the bag didn’t expand. Which then would rely on it being the Hallow that protects the Cloak, which is fair enough because we know that that cloak is impervious to deterioration and destruction. So yeah, who knows?

Kat: Who knows?

Rosie: Maybe Jo just forgot about it.

Kat: She might have, but she made a point of saying that Hermione stuffed it in her sock, so I don’t know. So here we are, guys. We are finally at this dragon that we’ve been hearing about, that lives in Gringotts, and it’s here. And supposedly, by the way, it’s a Ukrainian Ironbelly, just for the record. And we touched on this very briefly before, but that dragon has probably been down there a really long time, and I don’t know, I’m just thinking about neglected animals and all that. Wouldn’t it probably have died before now [from] either starvation or depression for being locked up? I don’t know.

Rebecca: Every time I read this, I always feel so bad for that dragon because I think Harry says that he sees slash marks on its face, and he infers that it’s from a hot sword.

Kat: Ugh. God.

Rebecca: What? What are they doing? No! Stop.

Rosie: We’ve already seen that goblins are not the most humanitarian of creatures. Being goblins rather than humans, that makes sense, but they don’t see the value of life in the same way as other people. And historically, throughout fantasy literature, goblins are always incredibly greedy and proud, and they are always the ones that are after riches rather than anything more kind and emotional, and that they don’t really value quality of life or anything like that, so it does make sense that they’re going to abuse a creature like this. But at the same time, this creature has incredible value to them, so they are keeping it alive. It may not have the best life, but they are not going to let it die because it has so much importance in its job. So yeah, they’ll torture it, but they will make sure it survives, unfortunately.

Rebecca: They must keep feeding it, for sure.

Kat: It definitely just struck me on how extreme the abuse is because I feel like even a wizard would be like, “Ahh, this is probably a bit much.”

Rosie: Yeah, and that’s why Gringotts is run by goblins, not wizards. They work together, but…

Rebecca: Yeah. Also, I think part of the dragon’s appeal is just the legend of it. So like Hagrid says in the first book, “Oh, they say there are dragons down there,” they really only need to have one because people… It can spread like, “Oh, they have dragons!” and it helps the impenetrability of Gringotts.

Charlotte: How do you think they got it in if there’s so much trouble getting it out?

Kat: I just really hope it wasn’t a baby.

Rebecca: Me too.

Charlotte: Oh yeah, of course it’s how they would have got it in.

Rebecca: Oh, that is terrible. I can’t handle that, oh.

Kat: And maybe that’s why she’s blind, because she just grew up down there and just never has seen the light, ever.

Rebecca: Yeah, it says its scales [had] turned pale and flaky; it’s like a plant kept in the dark.

Kat: Oh, poor baby. I hope that once they finally escape later on that she has a very long, happy life somewhere very far away from London. And that her scales get all hard and happy again.

Rosie: She’s got nice mountains to go and live in now. I think there were… Yeah, they’re meant to be [a] graying color anyway; you’ve got the Ironbelly idea that it is that kind of grayish to deep red color. So it’s going to be a relatively pale dragon compared to some that we’ve seen; it’s not going to be very chromatic, but yeah, it’s definitely been parched by the lack of sunlight. It’s, yeah, like the plant that’s been out of the sun. And I think it has been there for a very long time; I don’t think it’s ever experienced freedom, really.

Rebecca: Well, how long do dragons live?

Kat: A long time.

Rebecca: Do we know about their lifespan?

Rosie: Not sure. In terms of dragon lifespans, I don’t think we’ve got anything in Fantastic Beasts that tells us of lifespans within this particular mythology. Dragons in general are believed to live thousands of years in mythology general.

Kat: Yeah, she’s definitely pretty old, and I’m sad because she was probably put there as a baby.

Rosie: Yeah, she was probably put there as an egg.

Rebecca: Do you think it was a girl?

Kat: I don’t know. I know that the one at the Wizarding World is a girl, so I always just by default assumed it’s a girl.

Rebecca: Oh, really? I have not been to the Wizarding World, unfortunately. I will get there eventually in my life.

Kat: It’s definitely sad.

Rosie: I think it’s described as quite diminutive in size. It’s not meant to be a big scary brute of a dragon. It’s still scary, but it’s described in such a way that we feel it’s smaller than it would normally be. Does that make sense?

Kat and Rebecca: Yeah.

Rosie: I can’t think of the actual description at the moment, but it doesn’t seem like it’s [an] alpha male dragon here to destroy [or] that kind of thing. [laughs]

Kat: But they finally do make it past the dragon with the unfortunate Clankers, which is really effing terrible. And they get to the vault, and it made me realize that really all they needed from Bogrod was his hand. If they were meaner people, they might have just taken the hand.

Rosie: If they were actually Bellatrix, yeah. [laughs]

Kat: Yeah, just one less body to worry about, I suppose. But they make it into the vault.

Rebecca: Could they have done some James Bond-ish thing where it’s like, “Okay, we’ll just take your palm and handprint” ? Do you actually need the whole person, or goblin, in this case?

Rosie: I guess it depends on how sensitive the magic is. If it has to be a living hand, then they definitely need the whole goblin.

Kat: Right. That’s true, that’s true. But they finally do make it inside the vault with the living hand or not, either way, and of course it’s full of stuff. And we get a couple [of] new curses here that I really wanted to talk about. So the first one is [the] Gemino [Curse], which is the multiplication curse, which makes sense because Gemini, twins, multiplication, whatever. And I always wondered about how they discern which one is the real item.

Rebecca: Well, actually, I looked on the Wiki about [the] Gemino [Curse], and I think it’s the same charm [or] spell – whatever you want to call it – that Hermione uses on the locket.

Kat: It is.

Rebecca: Yeah, which is interesting to me because you can use it, then, to just replicate one thing or to infinitely replicate something. So it has multiple uses, which I don’t think many spells have.

Kat: Or it’s like a chain spell where the first object has the curse on it and it duplicates, and then that one gets a curse on it and it duplicates. Do you know what I’m saying?

Rosie: So if you touch the same object several times, it would only trigger once?

Kat: Oh, maybe. I don’t know. Maybe it goes more than once. I don’t know. I’m just pontificating, I suppose.

Rosie: Yeah, I don’t know.

Kat: But how would you know which one is the real one? If they dropped that cup, are they going to take 50 cups with them?

Rosie: Whichever one makes Harry’s spider senses tingle.

Kat: [laughs] Ah, spidey senses.

Rebecca: But on the Wiki… I don’t know where this information came from because I don’t remember reading it on Pottermore, but the Wiki is generally accurate. But it says that the way that you tell between the original object and the duplicated objects is that the duplicated objects will rot or tarnish more quickly than the original, so eventually you can identify it. But obviously, if it’s brass or gold or something, that would take a really long time for that. But that’s how they decided to clarify that the copies have no value, because they tarnish.

Rosie: Yeah, so Harry just got incredibly lucky that he didn’t take his eyes off it, I guess.

[Rebecca and Rosie laugh]

Rebecca: The whole chapter is all luck. The whole thing’s luck.

Rosie: It is.

Kat: Harry Potter’s life is luck, let’s be real. So do the items eventually…? I don’t know where that info on the Wiki came from either, but I assume that that means that the items eventually just rot and go away and disappear.

Rosie: Presumably whoever did the Gemino [Curse] can reverse it so the duplicates would disappear.

Kat: Oh, that’s true.

Rebecca: Yeah, that’s what it says. It says that’s the way that they used… It’s called the Doubling Charm a bunch… So that’s also a word for it, but they say that’s how it’s used as crushing or trapping trespassers because only the person who casts the spell can stop it. So then it could just go on and on and on until it crushes people, as in this case.

Kat: I find it odd that that’s seemingly the only use for this curse, but…

Rebecca: No, it’s just one of the uses, but they say… There’s so much information on this curse, and I should have looked at the sources because I was like, “Where are they getting this from?” but… Oh, the Wonderbook. It’s from the Wonderbook: Book of Spells.

Kat: Ah, okay, so you have to take it with a grain of salt to see: Is it canon or is it not? Because purportedly that’s written by Jo, but who really knows if it really was?

Rebecca: Right. Yeah, because it has a whole history on how the charm was invented by a pair of twin witches, and it even has their names.

Kat: I’m not surprised. If Michael were here, this would have all been in the episode, so…

[Rebecca and Rosie laugh]

Rebecca: Yeah. I was like, “Whoa.” I’m glad I looked this up because there’s so much on it. So apparently, they created this charm because they lived in a mansion together, and they just created two of everything. [laughs] They were very reclusive, so only after their deaths, their relatives found out about this spell.

Rosie: Fair enough.

Kat: All right, well, does the Wiki have anything on the other one, the Flagrante Curse? The one [that] causes items to apparently burn the intruder? There must be some sort… The thing is, I know that these are curses and not charms, but there must be some person that uses them more often than just to trap people, or hurt them. Everything in here… Harry eventually says that it’s so hot, it feels like an oven. I don’t know. Maybe you use a Flagrante Curse as a source of heat?

Rebecca: Right. There has to be a practical use, yeah. The Wiki doesn’t have as much information on this, but it does say that it comes from the Latin word flagro, meaning “I burn,” so that makes sense.

Kat: Not surprised.

Rebecca: Jo knows her Latin.

Kat: That, indeed, she does.

Rebecca: It mostly just talks about this chapter only because I think this is the only time we see it.

Kat: It is, yeah. And it’s not surprising because this is pretty evil, and basically, Bellatrix is saying that “I’m going to drown you in fake gold, and I’m going to burn your skin off.”

Rebecca: Right. Happy, happy, happy!

Kat: Yeah, she’s brilliant. She’s great. That was sarcasm, for the record. We do see a couple [of] other spells here. There’s [a lot] of spell work going on in this vault. The next one is Levicorpus, and Harry is like, “Gee, thanks, Dad. This spell was handy after all.”

[Rebecca and Rosie laugh]

Kat: It harkens back to that time when he used it on Ron and woke him up by floating him through the air. So thanks, James Potter!

Rebecca: Yeah. That part always makes me laugh because, really? There’s no other way to do it except for hoisting you up by your ankle? That’s the only way you can think?

Kat: I mean, [the Levitation Charm] I’m not sure works on people, right? So…

Rebecca: That’s true. I don’t know. I feel like they could have put their brains together. I guess they’re really under pressure at this point, and they’re like, “Whatever, let’s just do…”

Kat: They are. They can hear the people outside the door with the keys and everything. But then it goes on to say that Hermione casts [the Impervius Charm] on herself and Ron and the goblins to try [to] protect them from the burning metal. And I understand that it worked before on Harry’s glasses, but would this really work on flesh?

Rebecca: Yeah, it said that in the Wiki too. Let me go back to that.

Rosie: Well, to be impervious to something is to not be affected by it, so anything that’s impervious can’t be affected by something. So it would make sense that it would be a majorly protective spell.

Kat: But that seems like if you can just go around casting [the] Impervius [Charm] on your body every day… Maybe that’s why there aren’t really a whole lot of people with “disabilities” in the wizarding world, because everybody’s impervious.

Rosie: [laughs] But then you’d be impervious to…

Rebecca: Yeah, all it says on the Wiki is that it offers some degree of shielding.

Rosie: Yeah, so it would probably wear off after a while as well. If they stayed in the cursed items, they would start burning again. So it’s probably got a time limit, like on video games when you’ve got the shield effect that always seems to run down. It’s going to have that kind of thing.

Kat: Yeah. I think there’s clear proof that it doesn’t really work because eventually Griphook is sunk out of view, and he’s basically screaming because he pretty much has third-degree burns and is slowly, slowly dying. Yet somehow he manages to grab the sword, keeps it out of Harry’s reach, while on top of Harry’s shoulders to keep himself from getting burned. He’s a jerk. He’s showing his real goblin-y colors here.

Rebecca: He’s a major jerk.

Kat: And this whole time, Harry is quite literally burning his flesh to keep ahold of the cup, which he has finally got by using the sword because the sword doesn’t make anything duplicate, so he finally has it.

Rebecca: Well, and also, the book says that Harry grabs Griphook’s fingers and pulls. And so he’s saving him from being burned, and what does he do? He grabs on his hair and pulls, and it’s like, ”You major jerk. You just got saved.”

[Rosie laughs]

Kat: Yeah, he’s a bit of a jerk. He’s a bit of a jerk. But they finally have the cup, and I feel like Harry is going to permanently forever have a pattern of the badger in his palm of his hand. [makes a sizzling sound]

Rebecca: Burned in there, yeah.

Kat: Yeah, exactly. He’s been branded for life. But they finally get it, and Harry turns around to find that Griphook and Bogrod have opened the door, and they are escaping from the vault. They’re leaving. And Griphook goes running out yelling, “Thieves! Thieves! Help! Thieves!” And I’m just speechless because that’s so mean. And does he have any cred anymore, at all, at Gringotts? Because when they go in, he says that they need Bogrod because he doesn’t have the ability to use the carts anymore. So why would anybody believe him?

Rebecca: I think the fact that he’s a goblin just trumps everything.

Kat: Ugh. I guess.

Rebecca: It’s like, “Oh, there’s one of our own.”

Kat: I don’t know. He’s just proven that he’s untrustworthy in my opinion.

Rosie: I think he would still be mistrusted by the goblins, but he’s going to be trusted more than the people who have obviously just broken into the vault. He is still an ex-colleague, he’s still a goblin, he’s still got the… He knows how the bank works. He knows all of that stuff. He would probably be arrested. He would probably still be targeted as a thief, but he is more likely to get off lightly than Harry, Ron, and Hermione.

Rebecca: Well, and he didn’t leave Gringotts because of the other goblins. He left because… I think he says he left because the wizards were taking over. So it’s not like he left them on bad terms with the other goblins.

Kat: But wouldn’t that be abandonment?

Rosie: I don’t think they’re conscripted. They’re allowed to leave.

Rebecca: I don’t know if you’d call it abandonment. I don’t know.

Kat: I suppose. I think just because the goblins aren’t on anybody’s side… I feel like Griphook leaving, they would see that as maybe a cowardly thing to do.

Rosie: It depends on how much power Griphook had in the first place – whether he left in disgrace because he was acting out against those that were working there or whether he literally just walked away because he didn’t like what was going on. I always saw him as leaving in disgrace for some reason. Something about the way he and… There was another goblin with him, wasn’t there, originally?

Rebecca: Yeah, he was murdered.

Kat: Right, that’s what I thought too, and that’s why I was so curious as to why he would be acting the way he is.

Rosie: Yeah, I think there’s got to be some kind of backstory. There’s got to be some reason why these two particular goblins left the bank. And if Snape asked Bellatrix to hide the sword and that influenced what’s happening already at Gringotts, and there were things that were Death Eater-implemented that the goblins wouldn’t necessarily believe in, then they would act out or they would perhaps try [tp] work against it in some way. And maybe if it’s a case of the people who put the things into Bellatrix’s vault – such as the sword, such as the cup itself – are then at risk of being targeted because they know that they’re there, they would go […] hide. So if that’s how Griphook knows about these things in the vault, perhaps that’s the reason he left.

Rebecca: Yeah, because it says he was the one who took the sword.

Rosie: Yeah, so he’s trying to protect his own interests. He’s trying to protect himself from potential risk of someone targeting him because he was the one [who] did it.

Rebecca: Right. Backlash.

Rosie: But in terms of him just yelling, “Thieves,” he’s not been left… The other goblins won’t think badly of him just because he’s not working there anymore. He’s still their race; he’s still “goblin pride” [and] all of that kind of thing.

Rebecca: I did have a point, too, about him sliding back easily with the pack of goblins: What if they had been discovered – I mean, they kind of were, but definitely discovered – in the hall in the main entrance of Gringotts, and Griphook was seen to be definitely with Harry, Ron, and Hermione? Do you think the other goblins would have been like, “Oh, okay, you definitely betrayed us”? Because he is very lucky that he can easily slide from Harry, Ron, and Hermione to the other goblins because if he [were] found in any other position, I think he would have been definitely treated as a traitor.

Rosie: I think he would always be able to say that he was in it for the sword. He could always spin it to be betraying them in order to get back goblin goods.

Kat: That’s true. Sneaky little git, as Ron would say.

Rebecca: For sure. [laughs] He’s horrible.

Kat: But that’s it, really. Griphook runs off and gets away, and they escape the vault, and Harry is like, “Hey, guys, this is a dragon. It’s cool. Let’s just ride it. Let’s just leave.” So they make a path. Hermione starts it off, and Ron and Harry finish, and the dragon escapes, and they ride it off seemingly into the sunset. Nice romantic ending of the chapter.

Rosie: Yay, dragon!

Kat: There’s not a whole lot to the escape. In the movie, there’s a whole lot to the escape, and it’s very dramatic, and there’s fire and all this other stuff. Obviously, there’s fire here, but…

Rosie: Yeah. They’re still riding a dragon. [laughs]

Kat: They are still riding a dragon, that’s true, which is pretty gosh darn cool. So that’s it. That’s Chapter 26, “Gringotts.” It’s done. The cup is ours.

Rosie: So aside from the dragon, Gringotts hasn’t seemed to be quite as scary as was originally suggested. When Harry was a little boy and went there for the very first time, it seemed to be this completely impervious place. You would not be able to get in there. If you did, you would be locked inside forever. It’s not somewhere you wanted to try [to] break into. And yet here we are, and to be fair, it kind of goes really [easily]. Gringotts security is meant to be renowned and feared, and yet what we experience does not seem terrible at all. So our Podcast Question of the Week this week is, how exactly is the Thief’s Downfall supposed to be dangerous? Is the biggest danger really just being locked in a seldom-visited vault? The curses in the vault Lestrange appear to have come from Bellatrix herself, so why is Gringotts considered to be the safest place in the wizarding world, outside of Hogwarts, of course? We want to know your theories. We want to know your ideas. So please do go onto our website,, click on our Podcast Question of the Week link, and come […] answer our question.

Kat: So we want to take a moment and thank you both, Rebecca and Charlotte, for being here today. We really appreciate, Charlotte, you stepping in, and Rebecca, you joining us for this awesome episode.

Charlotte: Thank you. It’s been amazing.

Rebecca: Thanks. Thanks for having me.

Rosie: And of course, if you guys want to be on the show, we still have spots available right from now until the end of the book. So please do submit your applications to the “Be on the Show!” page at All you need is a set of headphones with a microphone. Apple headphones will do. No other fancy equipment needed; just you and an Internet connection.

Charlotte: And if you want to contact us, there are heaps of places that you can do that. On Twitter, we are @AlohomoraMN
, [on Facebook we’re], on Tumblr we’re mnalohomorapodcast, we’re @alohomoramn on Instagram, and on the Internet generally we’re, and if you go there you can download a ringtone for free. Or you can send us an owl to audioBoom on It’s free, but please keep it to under 60 seconds or we’ll be here all night.

[Kat and Rosie laugh]

Rosie: And as you guys all know, we’ve also got our store. We’ve got some fabulous goodies on there, so do go […] check it out. Buy all of your fun things for the summer. Just stock up already.

Kat: Flip-flops! They’re available. It’s almost flip-flop time. It is for Charlotte now, right? Yeah.

Charlotte: It’s the middle of summer. It’s perfect flip-flop weather, but we call them “jandals.”

Kat: Jandals? So go get your jandals in the Alohomora! store.

Charlotte: I will.

[Kat and Rosie laugh]

Kat: And guys, don’t forget about our smartphone app. You can download it for free. Just search for the Podcast Source in your phone’s app store and it’ll be there. It includes things like bloopers, alternate endings, transcripts, vlogs, [and] tons of other things, so definitely go check it out.

Rosie: So we hope that you guys have enjoyed our show today. I’m Rosie Morris.

[Show music begins]

Charlotte: I’m Charlotte Graham.

Kat: And I’m Kat Miller. Thank you for listening to Episode 177 of Alohomora!

Charlotte: Open the Dumbledore.

[Show music continues]

Charlotte: But just when he says, “crude,” right, it makes you think, “Oh, wow, that’s going up your…” Anyway…

Kat: [laughs] Exactly.

Charlotte: Maybe it’s just me. [laughs]

Rosie: Okay, you guys, do you not have the other meaning of “crude,” which just means roughly made?

Kat: Obviously we do, yes, but when something is called a probe, and then somebody says the word “crude,” there is an implied…

Rosie: Is there? Okay.

Charlotte: Yeah, I think so. It’s the probe and crude, you’re absolutely right. By the end of that sentence, you’re thinking about the check that you would get if you were going into prison.

[Charlotte and Kat laugh]

Kat: It’s true.

Rosie: See, I have never read that as being that dodgy before.

Kat: I wonder if it’s a British thing.

Rosie: Possibly.

Kat: We’ll have to ask other Brits.

Rosie: And just the idea of probing not always being that intrusive. [laughs]

Kat: Listeners, tell us how you read that, please. We’re very curious if you have dirty minds or not, like all of us but Rosie.

[Everyone laughs]