Transcript – Episode 24

[Show music begins]

Caleb Graves: This is Episode 24 of Alohomora! for March 10th, 2013.

[Show music continues]

Caleb: Hey, everyone. Welcome to another episode of Alohomora!. I’m Caleb Graves.

Laura Reilly: I’m Laura Reilly.

Kat Miller: And I’m Kat Miller. And our special fan guest this week is none other than one of our moderators on the forums, Miss Ali Wood. Say hello, Ali.

Ali Wood: Hi, guys!

Kat: Thanks for coming on.

Ali: Oh, thanks for having me. I’m really excited.

Kat: Cool.

Caleb: So Ali, what do you enjoy most about moderating our Alohomora! forums?

Ali: I just love reading everyone’s comments. There’s always so many great comments from everyone, and I just love being able to basically have an excuse to go through and always being able to read everyone’s comments and get involved in the conversation. That’s the best part.

Kat: Yeah, you are kind of…

Caleb: Do you know what… can you remember what the weirdest thing is that you’ve [run] across when reading posts?

Ali: Oh, man.

Kat: That’s a good question.

Ali: [laughs] That is a good question.

[Kat laughs]

Ali: I can’t even think of anything off the top of my head. There haven’t been that many things that are like, “Okay, that’s really weird.” We’ve had some really weird spam.

Caleb: Okay. That’s natural.

[Ali and Kat laugh]

Ali: Yeah. Those are probably the weirdest ones, is the spam that pops up. [laughs]

Caleb: Of course.

Kat: Cool. All right. Well, I guess let’s jump right into our comments from our discussion from last week then, which was on Chapters 7 and 8. Our first comment comes from the forums, and it’s about memories, and it comes from user SlytherinSchaetzchen. Did I say that… is that right?

Caleb: Sounds like it.

Laura: [laughs] Who knows?

Ali: I have no idea. [laughs]

Kat: Okay, great. [laughs] It says:

“I haven’t finished listening to the whole podcast yet, but I just wanted to say one thing about the memory charms: I’ve always gotten the impression that they caused the memory to be suppressed in the person’s mind instead of wiped out entirely. We know that Voldemort is able to break through the memory charm Crouch placed on Bertha Jorkins, and Dumbledore breaks the charm Voldemort put on Morfin, so the memories must have been there all along. Slughorn also had the real memory about the Horcruxes even after he had tampered with it because he was able to give it to Harry. As for Hermione and her parents, maybe it’s easier to remove your own memory charms, but any skilled witch or wizard can bring the suppressed memories back.”


Laura: Yeah, I think that’s a really good point. I didn’t really remember the examples that they brought up of people breaking through the memory charms, but now that they did, yeah, that seems like a pretty solid theory.

Ali: Well, Snape…

Kat: Yeah, and it’s funny because… go ahead, Ali.

Ali: Oh, I was just going to say, well, doesn’t Snape… it’s either Snape or Dumbledore [who] talks to Harry about how the mind is so many layers, and so it would make sense if by erasing the memory you’re just putting on a layer that covers that. That’s how that makes sense to me, but…

Laura: Right, and I think – especially when they wipe Muggles’ memories, like at the World Cup and Aunt Marge and stuff – that they don’t… since they don’t necessarily possess those skills or know what happens there’s really no chance of them ever getting it back.

Ali: Yeah.

Laura: Unless, in Hermione’s case, she was the one [who] took that layer away.

Ali: Yeah.

Kat: Speaking of Hermione, when I was listening to last week’s episode I was actually screaming at you guys because you all kept saying that Hermione erased her parents memory. She didn’t. She actually modified it. And I feel like there’s definitely a big difference between modifying the memory and erasing it.

Ali: Yeah.

Kat: So I think, like the Muggles at the Quidditch World Cup, their memories probably weren’t erased. They were probably modified. And I think that’s the big difference in being able to get them back. Lockhart’s memory was erased. Obliviate is erasing.

Ali: That would make sense.

Kat: Yeah, so I just had to get that out there because I was screaming at you guys.

[Ali and Laura laugh]

Caleb: Now that you feel better.

Laura: I think that’s the movie that tampered with my memory of that happening. They make it seem very much erased.

Kat: Right. I feel like there’s two different spells…

Caleb: They tampered with your memories about how memory charms work.

[Ali and Kat laugh]

Kat: Right.

Caleb: We just got very meta there.

Kat: Yeah, absolutely. So our next comment comes from the forums as well. It’s by Firebolt, and it’s regarding Snape and Neville. It says:

“And the comments on Snape bullying Neville are interesting, too. Is it not the case that most bullies were themselves bullied? I think there is an element of this and also an element of Snape being seduced by the power that he has. But I think there is also a sense that Snape is angered that Neville refuses to stand up for himself. One of Snape’s greatest prides is that he has made something of himself – just think of the ‘Don’t call me a coward!’ He became what he did due to hard work and throwing off a sense of being useless. When he sees Neville failing to do the same, I think he gets frustrated and rather than help Neville, as he should, he thinks that treating him harshly might make him realize this. Hence the toad.”

Caleb: Hmm.

Laura: Hmm. Yeah, I brought up this point on the show last week. Just about how I thought it was interesting how Snape, being someone bullied, would be such a terrible bully. But I guess, yeah, that is the case that a lot of bullies were themselves bullied. I wouldn’t say that’s always the case, but yeah. I think… I don’t know if I agree with the fact that he is frustrated that Neville won’t stand up for himself. I think Snape always saw himself as a talented wizard and everything, and it was just… saw people like James and Sirius as just cocky idiots. So I don’t think he thought [of] himself as worthless, so I…

Caleb: Yeah, I don’t really know if Snape even sees himself as bullied. I mean, I think when he probably thinks about school he’s so filled with bitterness about it not working out with Lily. I think he’s focused more on that than ever being really bullied, so…

Ali: Yeah.

Kat: Yeah, he probably sees himself more as like the people whom… people were jealous of him, so to say, is what I feel like he would think other people think.

Laura: I think he probably thought himself to be of superior intelligence.

Kat: Right. That’s what I meant.

Ali: I have to agree, though, that I think that he’s just really bitter. I mean, just taking a poor thirteen-year-old kid’s toad? That’s just wrong. [laughs] I just feel like he’s so bitter about his own life that he just takes it out on anyone he can, and Neville is just the prime target because Neville will sit for it. So…

Caleb: Right.

Kat: The poor kid. I don’t know. I want to see this in Snape, but I don’t think it’s there, unfortunately.

Caleb: Yeah.

Kat: Well, our next comment comes from Miles, AKA WandMaker14, actually in the form of a voicemail. So let’s have a listen to that.

[Audio]: Hi, Alohomora! This is Miles, AKA TheWandMaker14, and I wanted to comment on the part of the book when Mrs. Weasley is talking about the love potion that she brewed as a kid, and I was thinking that this might be a reference to the play The Diary of Anne Frank when Mrs. van Daan tells the girls about all the boys that she dated as a girl, and Mr. van Daan gets angry at her. I wondered if in some way Jo was referring to the play or if it was simply a coincidence. This also might be the reason that Mr. Weasley is looking angrily at his paper. Maybe the two are still angry from their previous argument, but I’d love to hear your comments and your thoughts. So if you like the comment, I hope I’ll hear it on the show. Thanks. Bye.”

Laura: I don’t think I agree with that. [laughs]

Ali: Yeah, me neither.

Laura: I think that’s a stretch. I think it’s just… I have all sisters, and I’m in a house with nine girls and one male, so… [laughs] I don’t know, the adult females in my house… of course they’ll tell those stories of just them dating when they were young, and it’s not a problem. It’s not weird. It’s just…

Caleb: But what are you disagreeing with? Are you disagreeing with…

Laura: I disagree that it’s a reference. That it’s a reference to Anne Frank. I think it’s just something casual that… just a casual detail that she’s having that discussion with Ginny and everything.

Caleb: Hmm.

Laura: Am I missing some…

Caleb: I don’t necessarily think that Rowling intentionally did a connection, but I do think this sort of the same thing is going on. I mean, I think that may be what our voicemail provider is trying to say.

Ali: Well, I don’t know. I feel like… I almost feel like the whole point of putting in that whole part of her talking about the love potion is almost to remind us that the adults in the book were kids once, too, because I mean, we get so much of Harry’s parents when they were growing up that it’s almost like she’s just throwing in this reference to remind us that the generation before was their age once, too. Does that make sense?

Laura: Yeah, I think I agree, and I think it’s also just a little girly detail that we… this whole series is told from a young boy’s perspective that… and we see Hermione – she’s always with the guys – that it’s just kind of an aside of Hermione and Ginny giggling with their mother over something girly.

Ali: Yeah.

Laura: Or Ginny’s mother. I thought it was cute.

Caleb: All right. Well, it was a good voicemail, nonetheless, and thanks for sending that in. We encourage people to send more of those in because we love to listen to them. We’ll go ahead and move to comments you guys gave us on our special feature from last episode, which was the Beast Inquisition, focusing on Boggarts. And the first comment comes from The Head Girl from our main site, and the comment says:

“In regards to the severed hand and the eyeball, is it possible that the Boggart takes on the form of a feared object since it wouldn’t necessarily be able to represent the fear itself? Similarly, maybe Dean’s greatest fear is losing his hands. The times we learn something about him…”

Meaning Dean.

“…it’s always that he’s decently artistic. Maybe the Boggart can’t create Dean standing there screaming with a bloody stump for an arm, but it can make the actual feared object of the lost hand.”

Laura: Now I feel really bad that I made fun of him and his fear so much.

[Kat and Laura laugh]

Caleb: This is actually really interesting. I mean, I never really thought about that being the connection to Dean, but I buy it. I think that’s…

Laura: Yeah, I know, Caleb, you had said that – on the last episode – that you think JK Rowling infrequently… what am I saying? That JK Rowling doesn’t do things without intention. You’re trying to figure out what those things meant…

Caleb: Right.

Laura: …to each student, and I think that’s valid. She’s added… the few details we get about Dean are about his artistic ability, so…

Kat: Completely.

Laura: …it makes sense.

Ali: But why, then, would he making it humorous be it caught in a mousetrap?

Caleb: [laughs] That is another question, though he…

Laura: They all suck at making things humorous.

Ali: [laughs] Yeah.

Caleb: I don’t know.

Kat: Hmm.

Caleb: All right. Well, maybe now [unintelligible].

[Everyone laughs]

Caleb: Dang it. I thought we had an answer.

Kat: Yeah, that’s so… yeah, that’s very random.

Caleb: Well, still a good concept, though, that if it can’t represent the fear itself, it takes on something, as suggested here…

Kat: Well…

Caleb: …to represent that fear.

Kat: …I guess, like Lupin, I mean, his Boggart probably shouldn’t turn into a werewolf.

Caleb: Him being a werewolf, it turns into the moon. Right.

Kat: Right.

Laura: Right.

Ali: Yeah.

Laura: And I think we also talked about – maybe on the express show – if someone had something more abstract – like a fear of heights – how would it do that? Would the floor disappear from out from underneath them usually, or…

Kat: Oh my God, that would be terrifying.

Ali: That would be so scary. [laughs]

Kat: That would be mine. Yeah, my Boggart would definitely be something to do with heights. Or maybe vomit because that’s my other one.

[Ali laughs]

Caleb: Okay, on that note…

Kat: [laughs] Sorry.

[Laura laughs]

Caleb: …the next comment comes from an email from Megan, otherwise known as SomethingWicked, and it says:

“In my English class we’re reading Homer’s ‘The Odyssey’ and she…”

Who we can assume to be her teacher.

“…made a connection between Boggarts and the Old Man of the Sea, Proteus. Do you think she has a point?”

Kat: Well…

Laura: I…

Kat: …I never read The Odyssey, so…

Laura: Me neither.

Kat: …I cannot comment on this.

[Kat and Laura laugh]

Ali: Oh, it’s been a long time.

Caleb: Yeah, it’s been a really long time since I read The Odyssey. I mean, I remember… I mean, Proteus is similar to the way Rowling got the Protean Charm, which is what they use on the fake Galleons later in the books, so it definitely means shifting and changing. Man, I’m going to have to really go back and look at The Odyssey. I know there are some fans out there who are banging their heads against the wall right now.

Ali: I feel like…

Kat: Screaming at us? Yeah. Sorry!

Ali: Not to…

Caleb: It’s been a long time since I read The Odyssey.

Ali: Not to cross fandoms or whatever, but isn’t Proteus in Percy Jackson? I feel like he is, and that’s why I remember the name. Isn’t he the one that changes into the seal or something? Am I totally off here?

Caleb: That might be right. That’s in a… well, it has been more recent than The Odyssey, but it has also been quite a bit of time since I read Percy Jackson.

Ali: [laughs] Yeah.

Laura: Fans, chime in here. We’re struggling.

Ali: [laughs] Yeah. But I… if there is a connection, I feel like it would just be the shapeshifting, though. If I’m remembering correctly.

Caleb: Yeah. I mean, I’m reading up on Old Man and the Sea right now, and I’m pretty sure it’s just… I don’t think there’s anything associated with fear with him.

Ali: Yeah.

Caleb: I think the shapeshifting is what… the connection they’re making.

Kat: Right. Yeah, me too. I Wiki-ed it, actually, as we were talking. And yeah, same thing.

Caleb: Yeah. All right. So the next comment comes from FawkesFan on the main site, and it says:

“Loved the discussion on Boggarts. Here’s a question: Supposedly no one knows what a Boggart looks like originally because it assumes the shape of something that scares you. In Book 5, Mad-Eye Moody can see the Boggart through the writing desk with his magical eye. Wouldn’t he be able to see the true form of a Boggart because the Boggart can’t see him?”

And this is something I always thought about, too.

Laura: I never thought about that.

Kat: I feel like this is something that we’ve talked… have we talked about this before? In some way?

Caleb: I feel like we may have, yeah.

Kat: Yeah, because I firmly believe that, yes, he has seen the true form because I think the Boggart has to be in front of you.

Caleb: Mhm.

Kat: Like in the open in order to shapeshift, if I’m correct.

Ali: Or does it just have to know that you’re looking at it?

Kat: That’s the question, right?

Ali: Yeah.

Caleb: And I would agree with FawkesFan that the Boggart would not know that Moody is looking at it with his awesome eye.

Kat: Right.

Ali: True.

Kat: Me, too.

Laura: I don’t know…

Caleb: The question is, does Moody impart that knowledge to anyone else? Or is he just holding back on it?

Kat: He’s a pretty secretive man. I doubt he tells anybody.

Caleb: Yeah.

Ali: Yeah.

[Everyone laughs]

Kat: I wonder what it looks like, though. Do we think it’s just maybe like a…

Caleb: I always just imagine some misshapened grey blob.

Kat: [laughs] Yeah. Me, too.

Ali: [laughs] I do, too.

Laura: Yeah, I see it very much… I actually think of how baby Voldemort, when he’s in that weird…

Kat: Oh, lovely.

Ali: [laughs] Oh, that’s a great image.

Laura: You know what I’m talking about? In Deathly Hallows

Kat: Yeah.

Laura: …when he’s all creepy? Not how it’s portrayed in the book, but how I envisioned it reading it. I was… portrayed in the movie, I mean. That’s how I always see the Boggart, of just like this ugly, little, sad, little, shaped thing.

Caleb: Hmm.

Kat: Aww, poor Boggart. I’m just kidding. I do not feel that way.

[Ali laughs]

Laura: Okay, so now we’re going to look at your comments from the Posed Question of the Week, which was:

“Did Jo intentionally leave some ships in the series and not complete the romantic pairing just to lead us on? Specifically, did she leave hints in the book about something between Harry and Hermione that meant more than just simple friendship?”

So pretty much everyone in the comments disagreed.

[Kat laughs]

Laura: But this comment comes from JessFudd, and it says:

“I can’t even begin to speculate about JKR’s intentions. However, I know that in my experience as a young teen, I felt in and out of ‘love’ with my guy friends all the time. At some point or another, I had a crush and/or special connection with almost all of my male friends at one point or another, but that never developed into an actual romantic relationship. I feel like this is an experience that most of my female friends had as well. Perhaps it was some of this experience of being a teen girl that colored the complexities of the interpersonal relationships.”

And I have to wholeheartedly agree.

Caleb: Well, thank you, JessFudd, for explaining the problem with the female race.

Kat: Hey!

Ali: Hey!

[Caleb laughs]

Laura: No, but it’s… I don’t know. I feel like it’s true that all of my friends…

Ali: Yeah.

Laura: …growing up were guy friends, and it’s hard when you’re that young to distinguish close relationships with people that aren’t… it’s not even that you actually like them. It’s just if you feel strongly in a friendship way towards a guy then it’s just confusing, and I think the main point that comes from this is that maybe there was… Hermione maybe had a crush on Harry, but I don’t think Harry ever saw anything towards Hermione.

Kat: Yeah, he was way too dense. He’s way too dense about that.

[Ali and Laura laugh]

Laura: And I think that especially since the book is told from his point of view, we don’t necessarily get that.

Kat: Right.

Laura: But I think it was just naturally it makes sense that she wouldn’t like Ron from the start.

Ali: Well, I think…

Laura: I think…

Caleb: I think she did.

Ali: I do, too.

Caleb: She just didn’t really know it.

Ali: Yeah. I think from the very beginning she did, and that’s why she always got so upset at him.

Caleb: Yeah.

Kat: And why she got a ginger cat. Sorry, I just love that connection. [laughs] I think it’s so cool.

[Ali and Laura laugh]

Ali: Pretends it’s Ron.

Laura: So this next comment comes from HGHR_fan. We know what they think.

Kat: Right. [laughs]

Laura: [continues]

“Yes, I do think that Jo left hints because, as we all know, she usually comes back to the hints that are left. She has said that Luna and Neville became closer than she had intended, so the Neville/Luna shippers did have a reason to hope. In terms of Hermione/Ron/Harry, I don’t think it was intentional until the fifth book. Jo has mentioned that at a point in writing OOTP she had planned to kill Ron, which would have left the Harmony shippers room to grow in that relationship. However, she did not kill Ron and he was saved, leading these trails to hint at the romantic relationships between Ginny/Harry and Ron/Hermione to grow. In all, I think that Jo lets her characters go and then changes their paths as she sees fit.”

So what I think is really interesting here is, do you think if Ron had been killed off that Harry and Hermione would have ended up together?

Ali: I don’t think so. I just don’t think Hermione could have done it, and I don’t… well, Harry might have.

Caleb: Yeah. I think at that point, though, it’s pretty clear it’s going to be Harry and Ginny.

Ali: Yeah.

Kat: Mhm.

Caleb: I mean, even though they’re not really together at that point because that’s when Harry is still going with Cho and everything, but I still think that Harry and Ginny by that point are going to happen.

Laura: I also feel like it’s worth saying because I know Luna and Neville shippers – I don’t think they’re… I know Jo says they don’t end up together, but that just means they don’t end up together. It just so happens…

Kat: It doesn’t mean that they didn’t date or whatever.

Laura: Harry and Hermione and Ron and Ginny, or… mixed up those pairs… [laughs] they get married and stuff. They don’t date anyone else, really.

Caleb: That’s the way it works in the wizarding world.

Laura: [laughs] Seriously!

Caleb: You only date one person, and you stay with them forever.

Kat: Except for Ginny.

Caleb: Yeah.

Kat: I mean, she dated how many guys, right?

[Ali and Laura laugh]

Caleb: She got… well, never mind.

[Caleb and Kat laugh]

Laura: But yeah, I mean who’s to say that Luna and Neville didn’t go out to dinner?

Kat: Well, didn’t she say that after Deathly Hallows: Part 2 the movie came out? Didn’t she say that they have a…

Caleb: Yeah, that sounds familiar.

Ali: Yeah.

Kat: …tryst or something?

Laura: Maybe.

Kat: I vaguely remember that. But yeah, I’m so curious as to what would have happened to Hermione if Ron had been killed off.

Laura: Yeah.

Caleb: Hmm.

Laura: I don’t know.

Kat: Who would there be? Would she go to Percy?

Caleb: Ugh.

Ali: No.

Laura: No.

Ali: [laughs] Oh my gosh.

Caleb: I don’t know.

Ali: Yeah.

Laura: I think that maybe that’s one of the driving reasons why Jo didn’t kill him off, so that Hermione could end up with someone that made sense for her.

Kat: So she’d have a happy ending, yeah.

Laura: Yeah.

Caleb: Blegh.

Kat: What? “Blegh” happy endings or Percy?

Caleb: [laughs] Oh. Well, both.

[Kat laughs]

Caleb: I’m being sarcastic on one, but not the other.

Kat: Sure.

[Ali and Laura laugh]

Laura: And we also had a really interesting comment from Ali Wood – who’s with us here today – on Harry and Hermione being each other’s wizard family, in a sense. So, would you like to talk about that in person?

Ali: Yeah. I basically… well, I’ll be honest, the first time I read it I was so sure Harry and Hermione were getting together…

Caleb: Yes.

Ali: …but of course that didn’t happen. And I think that… I’m pretty sure Hermione might have liked Harry when they were younger just because…

[Sounds of people yelling in the background]

Ali: Sorry, my roommates are yelling. [laughs] Because… I mean, he’s famous, he’s so nice to her, whatever. But I think by the time they’re getting older, they kind of just… as they get more involved in the wizarding world, and Hermione has to withdraw from her parents just to keep them safe with everything that’s going on with Harry, and Harry really doesn’t have anything else, that they kind of just come together. I mean, you could argue that they become part of the Weasley family, but they’re not really yet. So, I just think they come together in this special friendship, and they almost become brother and sister that understand each other enough and understand they’re both in the wizarding world enough that they kind of just become the wizarding family neither of them got to have, if that makes sense.

Caleb and Kat: Mhm.

Ali: And I wrote it much better, but…

[Ali and Laura laugh]

Caleb: Well, the way you…

Laura: No, I think that’s a really good point. I think I agree. I think anyone that’s… the fact that they both don’t have siblings, and even if they did, I know… I don’t have any brothers and that’s why I have so many close guy friends, I think is just…

Ali: Yeah.

Laura: …because I’m almost fulfilling that role and that’s how I see them, and I think that’s an important thing to have in your life. So, I agree.

Caleb: The way you just said it actually made me think of Star Wars and Leia and Luke.

[Ali laughs]

Kat: Oh my God, so true.

Caleb: I mean, they actually are brother and sister, you find out…

Ali: Yeah.

Caleb: …but it’s very much that going on. I mean, there’s almost that kind of romance going on. There’s even a scene that they kiss before they know they’re siblings.

[Kat laughs]

Laura: Awkward.

Ali: It’s been ages since I’ve seen that.

Caleb: And Han Solo is jealous of Luke, and then that’s when it comes out. He tells Han that they’re brother and sister. Or I can’t remember if it’s Luke or Leia now that actually… no, Leia tells him that they’re brother and sister. But anyway, very similar relationship I think.

Kat: Yeah, like a very strong platonic love. Totally.

Caleb: Yeah, yeah.

Laura: All right, and just one last comment to wrap that up from JulianGray. It says:

“On the topic of relationships, the one that I think of most is Dean and Seamus. Before I even knew what ‘shipping’ was, I always imagined that those two were together. The books seem to imply that the two are in fact in a relationship, or at least in the beginning stages of one. Of course I could be reading too much into it, but I’ve always thought Jo wrote them to be a couple.”

[Kat and Laura laugh]

Kat: I read this comment and I actually totally thought of Sheldon and Leonard because they’re best friends who live together…

Ali: Yeah.

Kat: …and all that.

Caleb: I’ve never thought of them like that.

Kat: Obviously, I don’t think that they’re in a real relationship.

Ali: No.

Laura: It’s a bromance.

Caleb: Yeah, Dean and Seamus have got a bromance going on.

[Ali laughs]

Kat: Exactly, exactly.

[Laura laughs]

Kat: Wow, Jo was way ahead of her time with that term.

[Ali laughs]

Caleb: She was.

Kat: [laughs] Totally. Cool, so we’re going to jump into our discussion for the chapters this week, which are Chapters 9 and 10: “Grim Defeat” and “The Marauder’s Map.”

[Prisoner of Azkaban Chapter 9 intro begins]

[Sounds of a thunderstorm and screaming]

Michael: Chapter 9: “Grim Defeat.”

[Prisoner of Azkaban Chapter 9 intro ends]

Laura: Okay, so we begin “Grim Defeat” and with… in the last chapter, we had learned that Sirius Black had just broken into the castle, slashed through the Fat Lady’s portrait, and everyone is freaking out. But Dumbledore sends everyone for a slumber party time in the Great Hall, which would be really fun if there wasn’t a mad man loose in the castle. It would always be fun to have one big group sleepover with all the guys and girls of the entire school. But no one is really feeling that vibe because everyone is terrified and speculating how Sirius got in the castle. And, of course, Percy is put in charge, which I’m sure he loves…

Caleb: Ugh.

Ali: Ugh.

Laura: …and is being mom to everyone.

[Ali laughs]

Laura: And I’m sure he loves especially he’s awake while everyone is asleep, talking to Dumbledore and Snape. And he’s privy to this information, and I’m sure he just loves that.

Caleb: Maybe… I thought about this this time around, that I had not thought of before, but I guess the Prefects – and probably the Head Boy and Girl – definitely didn’t sleep that night because they had to watch over.

Laura: I wouldn’t even… as a normal student I wouldn’t be sleeping if I truly feared Sirius Black as much as everyone did.

Caleb: Yeah, but I mean more because it was a responsibility for them to have to stay up and watch.

Laura: Yeah.

Caleb: It seems like they probably didn’t get much sleep, unless the professors, later in the night or early hours of the morning, relieved them.

Laura: Yeah, I mean, it said that the professors came by once every hour to check everything was quiet. But yeah, they did entrust the hordes of Hogwarts students to Percy, which he did a good job with because he has no fun and he’s just…

[Ali laughs]

Kat: I think it’s one of those things like when you sit in the exit row on a plane, you’re just expected to take that responsibility…

Caleb: Mhm.

[Laura laughs]

Kat: …and that’s just part of the job as a Prefect.

Laura: I’m always there. I’m always on the exit row.

Kat: The exit row? Totally.

Laura: Yeah. [laughs] Okay. So, the portrait of the Fat Lady is replaced by the annoying Sir Cadogan because all the other portraits are too frightened to take the job and he’s the brave warrior that he is. But maybe it’s just because the Fat Lady is scared and that’s what’s taking so much time to get the portrait fixed, but the way I was thinking is, wouldn’t fixing a portrait be an easy task for magic? Like, “Reparo!” and there you go? [laughs] And why would Dumbledore ask Filch, who possesses no magic, to fix it? It’s like he’s sitting there with Elmer’s Glue taping it up?

Kat: [laughs] Do we think magical portraits need to be fixed with magic? Because it’s a real painting, so maybe it needs a non-magical fix? I’m not sure.

Caleb: Well, yeah. I was thinking that maybe… I think it definitely needs magic. I don’t think Reparo is enough to fix it. I think maybe that there’s some magically-induced tool or equipment.

Ali: Yeah.

Caleb: And since Filch wouldn’t… if he’s using the tool, he, himself, would not need to be executing magic. So, I’m thinking that’s why he’s doing it.

Kat: Or, I mean, who else is there really to fix it? I mean, he is the caretaker.

Ali: Yeah.

Caleb: Right. And they’ve got other things to do right now, so…

Kat: Right. So put the Squib on it, basically.

Caleb: Exactly. [laughs]

Ali: Or maybe Filch just knows about artwork because he cleans all the paintings and everything, right? Maybe so it just…

Caleb: Right.

Ali: …is a delicate thing that he knows how to fix.

Caleb: And he would take it personally [laughs] if someone else…

Ali: [laughs] Yeah.

Laura: Maybe that’s Filch’s hidden passion. He’s an art lover.

Kat: Yeah, exactly. [laughs]

Laura: Okay. So, now because of Sirius breaking into the castle, Harry is being watched like a hawk. And McGonagall sits Harry down and it’s finally time to break the news to him that Black is after him, but Harry beats her to the punch. And I thought it was interesting that she was the person that was entrusted to do this because it seems more like a Dumbledore thing to do, but do you think that Dumbledore told her? Did she just come to her own decision of like, “You know what? Potter needs to know and I’m going to tell him”?

Kat: I think at this point, Harry is actually a lot closer with her than he is with Dumbledore.

Ali: Yeah, I would agree.

Caleb: Yeah.

Laura: That’s true.

Kat: He hasn’t had many deep interactions with Dumbledore, so…

Ali: Also…

Laura: Yeah, I guess that’s true.

Ali: Also, the next part of their conversation is how she tells him that he shouldn’t be practicing Quidditch by himself. So since she’s his head of house and she’s kind of in charge of the Quidditch team…

Laura: Mhm.

Ali: …that’s why I thought she would have done it.

Caleb: Yeah.

Laura: Yeah.

Ali: Just because that’s her…

Kat: So, she probably brought him in there to talk about Quidditch and then was like, “Well, I guess I have to tell him why he can’t play Quidditch”?

Ali: Yes.

Laura: Yeah, that…

Kat: I guess that makes sense, too.

Ali: Yeah.

Kat: That’s true.

Caleb: Though I’m sure she and Dumbledore did have a conversation about it, about her talking to him about this particular topic.

Kat: Yeah, probably.

Laura: Yeah. I kind of like to think that she just took it on to her own matter in the same way in Order of the Phoenix, Sirius and Lupin think he deserves to know, but I like that. Anyway, so the weather is… wait. Yeah, the weather is really bad right now for Quidditch playing. There’s a storm brewing and Malfoy uses his injured arm once again because he is a whiny baby…

Ali: Yeah.

Laura: …as an excuse to get out of something, so the Slytherin team doesn’t have to play in the bad weather. And I still find it odd – I think I brought this up last week – that no one is making fun of Malfoy the same way that he made of fun of Harry for being soft around the Dementors. It seems like the obvious thing to do, to be like, “Oh, you’re the only whimp that couldn’t handle the Hippogriffs,” but no one thinks of doing it.

Caleb: People don’t… no, people don’t make fun of Malfoy because he’ll get them back double.

Ali: Yeah, and I feel like it’s Harry being the bigger person.

Caleb: Yeah, that’s true.

Kat: So true.

Ali: He’s got his own problems. He doesn’t care about Malfoy.

Caleb: That’s the difference between a Gryffindor and a Slytherin. Just saying.

Ali: Yup.

[Ali and Laura laugh]

Kat: But maybe if we saw this story from his point of view, like we talked about in the express episode today – which everyone can check out on YouTube, if you haven’t seen it – maybe if we did see it from Draco’s point of view, maybe he would be getting picked on. It’s just not Harry that’s doing it.

Caleb: But then he punches the kid that makes fun of others, so…

Kat: [laughs] Right, exactly.

[Laura laughs]

Ali: My question is, why don’t they just use a sub? Don’t they have subs?

Kat: They do!

Caleb: Oh, but they aren’t going to play that game.

Laura: The point was that his arm was not even in pain. They’re just using it as an excuse.

Ali: Well, yeah.

Kat: Obviously, yeah.

Ali: But for the teachers and stuff, why didn’t they just say, “Well, get a sub for a Seeker if your Seeker is out”?

Caleb: Yeah, they should. Totally. That should be the rule.

Laura: Yeah, definitely. We also get the first mention of Cedric Diggory as Wood is prepping them that now they have to verse Hufflepuff. He is described as strong and silent, according to Katie, and they’re all giggling over him. And Fred says he’s too thick to string two words together. I thought this was interesting just because it seems like a more accurate description of someone like Krum, but we know he can’t be that dumb or thick if he was talented enough to get in to the Triwizard Tournament. But I don’t know. Thought it was interesting.

Ali: I think that’s just Fred trying to cheer Oliver up, quite honestly, because Oliver is kind of freaking out at this point [laughs] because he always does.

Laura: Well, that’s true.

Ali: So, I just think it’s Fred just trying to help him.

Caleb: Well, he probably also doesn’t like Katie, Angelina, and Alicia to be fawning over Cedric. So…

[Kat laughs]

Ali: Good point.

Laura: Yeah. [laughs] So, Harry is late to his Defense Against the Dark Arts lesson and of course, Snape is substitute teacher for the day. And I was thinking we don’t really see any teacher ever having a substitute. We see replacements with Firenze and Trelawney, and Grubbly-Plank with Hagrid, but I don’t think we ever saw anyone just having a casual substitute. So, I wonder if this is a first for the kids.

Caleb: Yeah, that’s… I’ve never thought about that. I mean, I can’t imagine someone like McGonagall missing class, so she probably very rarely has subs.

Laura: Yeah. I thought it was really funny reading…

Ali: How often do they really get sick though, that they would have to miss, is what I’m wondering.

Caleb: Yeah.

Kat: Because I mean, they have that Pepperup Potion…

Ali: Yeah.

Kat: …or whatever.

Caleb: Yeah.

Kat: I think that happens later in this book even, that a flu goes around the school.

Caleb: Now I’m worried that Hogwarts doesn’t give its teachers adequate time off.

[Everyone laughs]

Kat: They’re there 365. They live there.

Caleb: As a teacher, I’m very concerned about their well being in this matter.

[Kat laughs]

Caleb: I’m going to get the Ministry.

Laura: So, Snape is teaching werewolves and I think it’s funny reading… it’s such a throwaway line where Snape just says, “Turn to page 394,” and you don’t think of it as anything. And to think of what a phenomenom in the fandom, the “Turn to page 394” has become. It’s funny to read it and think nothing of it.

Caleb: [as Snape] “394.”

Laura: [laughs] Yeah. So, Snape is the worst kind of substitute teacher ever in that he gives an assignment as if he’s in charge of the class.

Ali: Yeah. [laughs]

Laura: Which reminds me of so many substitutes throughout high school who exercise their nonexistent power. I had teachers give me… I had a substitute teacher give me detention just because… he told me to come in on the weekend as if…

Kat: What?

Laura: …he had that power at all.

Ali: What?

Laura: [laughs] And I didn’t do anything. But yeah, so Snape gives Ron detention and it’s an awful detention…

Caleb: Ugh.

Laura: …scrubbing out bed pans without magic, which is…

Caleb: Gross! Just reading that makes me want to vomit.

Ali: Ugh!

Kat: Yeah, disgusting.

Laura: But…

Caleb: Why you gotta go there, Jo? Why you gotta go there?

[Ali laughs]

Kat: Right? And this is random and has nothing to do with what we are talking about, but I had a substitute teacher in high school that was an animal activist and he showed us a slide show…

Caleb: Oh dear God.

[Laura laughs]

Kat: …of roadkill…

Ali: Wow.

Kat: …and called us all bad drivers. So…

Caleb: Wonderful.

Kat: …that was very interesting.

[Laura laughs]

Kat: Just had to get that out there. He never worked again, just saying.

[Caleb and Laura laugh]

Caleb: Ever. Never worked anywhere, ever.

Kat: [laughs] Nope, never. Never again.

Laura: I think it’s pretty much just an unwritten rule that all substitute teachers just have to be psychotic.

[Ali laughs]

Caleb: I mean, I had some really awesome subs.

Kat: Well, my sister-in-law is a substitute. Yeah.

Ali: My mom was a substitute for a while.

Caleb: Same. Mine was too, actually.

Laura: Oh. Well…

Ali: But I agree, I hate substitutes.

Caleb: So…

Laura: Sorry to everyone’s mothers. [laughs]

Caleb: …thanks for that comment.

[Kat and Laura laugh]

Laura: Okay, so Hogwarts is demonstrating the millionth instance of them…

[Ali laughs]

Laura: …not caring for children’s safety whatsoever because they don’t call off the Quidditch match for the thunderstorm with the lightning.

Caleb: Yeah.

Laura: Which… I’m from Rutgers University where it’s like sports is the priority. And the one football game I went to, it was thunderstorm, lightning, and they’re not calling off anything. So, I thought that was funny. But Oliver can’t even bring himself to give a pep talk because he’s given up on life. And with the rain…

Caleb: Wood’s got some like…

Laura: …and everything…

Caleb: He’s got some emotional issues.

Ali: Oh, Oliver’s… this is why I love Oliver, is just because he is so passionate.

Caleb: He’s a damaged soul.

Ali: [laughs] I just… there’s something about the way he’s so passionate that he just lives for Quidditch…

Laura: Yeah.

Ali: …that just…

Laura: I love how Fred or George says later when they lose and he’s like, “He’s trying to drown himself in the showers right now.”

[Ali and Laura laugh]

Kat: Yeah.

Caleb: That’s really funny.

Kat: Poor guy.

Laura: Just has emo music blasting.

Caleb: I mean, I understand it. I’m a really competitive person too, but I don’t know about this much.

[Laura laughs]

Kat: Doesn’t he go on to play Quidditch after?

Ali: Yeah.

Laura: Yes.

Caleb: Yeah. He goes to play for Puddlemere United, maybe?

Kat: I think so. That sounds right.

Ali: Yes.

Kat: So, pretty much he lives, eats, breathes, and sleeps Quidditch.

Ali: Yes. And it’s his last chance…

Laura: So…

Ali: It’s his last chance for the Quidditch Cup and that’s his life. [laughs]

Kat: Yeah.

Laura: Poor thing. So, Harry can’t see through his glasses because of the rain and Hermione uses a super basic spell to stop that from happening. And I always think this throughout the series when it’s upperclassmen in their seventh year that can’t come up with these really basic skills. Sure Hermione is really smart, but she’s still thirteen. It should be advanced for her and easy for seventh-year Wood.

Caleb: I mean, Wood is too busy flying around. He can’t have time to know the Impervius Charm.

Kat: Right. I think he’s just so focused on the game, it takes somebody like Hermione that couldn’t care less about Quidditch to see the solution to the problem.

Laura: [laughs] That’s true.

Ali: Yeah. And I think she just shows up in enough time before Wood can even say anything. She’s just there.

Kat: Right.

Ali: There to help Harry.

Caleb: Conveniently.

Laura: So in a flash of lightning, Harry sees illuminated the silhouette of the Grim, the black shaggy dog in the empty top row of the seats. And we know, obviously, this is Sirius. And I was thinking, is he just sitting there watching his godson play Quidditch? Not there for Pettigrew reasons, just reliving times with James or something? I thought it was nice if he was there…

Caleb: Yeah.

Ali: My question is though, why is there no one up there? Why does no one see this random dog sitting in the stands?

Laura: Well, it’s the top most row and I don’t want to get struck by lightning if I’m there. So…

Ali: Good point.

Laura:[laughs] I’m going down as far as possible.

Ali: But then, how big is this stadium? Is there anyone around him? Is there anyone that… I don’t know…

Caleb: Nope, it’s conveniently empty. Just for a dog.

[Ali laughs]

Caleb: Chill out, watch the game!

[Laura laughs]

Ali: Did everyone just run away because it’s raining?

[Caleb laughs]

Ali: Or… [laughs]

Laura: Well, maybe no one notices it because no one cares to notice it, but because Harry is hypersensitive of this Grim omen, he sees it. But, it’s convenient. [laughs]

Kat: Well, there are plenty of pets roaming around the grounds, so maybe they just think it’s Fang. Maybe they just don’t know what Fang looks like and they think it’s Fang.

[Caleb laughs]

Laura: The top most row of the stadium, though. He had to hike up quite a bit. [laughs]

Ali: Yeah.

Kat: He did. That’s true.

Laura: So, Harry sees the Snitch and goes running for it, but then hundreds of Dementors swarm the field and Harry is overcome by them. We get more insight into Lily’s murder. Harry sort of pieces that together now that that’s who he is hearing. And Harry is somehow unharmed from falling fifty feet. [laughs]

Kat: Well, didn’t Dumbledore stop him, slow him down?

Ali: Yeah, he does.

Laura: Well, I really liked how Ron used the word “magicked.” Like, “Dumbledore magicked you into the stretcher.”

Kat: Yeah.

Laura: I don’t know. Because that’s how I talk. [laughs]

Kat: If you notice, on page 179, it says, “But he didn’t even break his glasses.” So, obviously, Hermione’s charm protected more than just the rain.

Laura: Oh.

Kat: Yeah.

Laura: Hmm.

Kat: So, I think that’s… obviously that’s why his glasses aren’t broken, but I think his body is not broken because of Dumbledore.

Ali: Yeah.

Laura: That’s interesting.

Kat: Maybe Hermione protected his whole face? Who knows. [laughs]

Laura: Yeah, maybe. So, the Dementors didn’t pick up on Black in his Animagus form when he was escaping from Azkaban, so it would make sense that the Dementors are taking the field because they sense that Black is there. There is really no other reason for them to. So, I was wondering why now they sense him in his Animagus form.

Ali: Well, doesn’t Lupin say the reason they come is because everyone is all excited about the… let me see if I can find what page it’s on.

Kat: Right. I do remember that quote that you are talking about.

Ali: Yeah, where Lupin says it’s because there was so much excitement and so many emotions going on. I mean, look at Wood. They would come just for Wood alone.

Laura: Just want to be downers.

Ali: [laughs] They just came because they haven’t really had anyone to – for want of a better word – feed on.

Kat: Right. It was like a feast for them or something.

Ali: Yeah, yeah.

Laura: But is that just Lupin speculating because why… trying to find a reason for it, when in fact no one is thinking that Sirius Black is in the stadium. [laughs]

Ali: No, because I think Sirius is running around the whole year, right? He’s kind of running around the grounds.

Laura: Yeah, that’s true.

Ali: So, they would come on at other times if they knew he was there.

Laura: Yeah, that’s true. So, then we find out that Harry’s Nimbus 2000 is destroyed. And at this point in the series, there really hasn’t been any major deaths I don’t think. The only people that have died have been villains. So, reading this the first time – I don’t know, I was like thirteen or something – and this was the most absolutely devastating thing to ever happen to me. I might have cried. And that feeling of being sad about an object didn’t come back until Harry broke his wand in Deathly Hallows. But this was pretty much the most devastating thing to happen yet. This was our first loss.

Ali: Yeah.

Caleb and Kat: Yeah.

Kat: I’m not sure that I cried over it, but I feel what you’re saying. But I was older too when I read it, so…

Laura: [laughs] I was like, “No! Not his Nimbus!”

[Kat laughs]

Laura: But…

Kat: I do like that he holds them tightly and…

Caleb: Hmm.

Kat: …keeps them next to him.

Ali and Caleb: Yeah.

Caleb: It’s tough.

Laura: Okay, so that about does “Grim Defeat.”

[Prisoner of Azkaban Chapter 10 intro begins]

[Sound of paper rustling]

Fred and George: Chapter 10!

Harry: I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.

Fred and George: “The Marauder’s Map!” [laughs]

[Prisoner of Azkaban Chapter 10 intro ends]

Caleb: All right, so when this chapter starts off, we’re still lamenting the loss of the Nimbus 2000. And there’s a quote that really got me this time. It says, “He felt as though he’d lost one of his best friends.” And kind of jumping off of what Laura was just talking about, this is… the Nimbus 2000 was one of the first concrete things that tied him to the magical world. And then later when he starts working on the Patronus Charm, he thinks about taking flight and how much joy that brought him. So, this is absolutely devastating. And man, you just… I can’t imagine losing something that tied me to my new life like that.

Kat: I’m not sure I have anything like…

Caleb: Yeah.

Kat: That… any physical object that I would be that upset about.

Caleb: Yeah, that’s true. I was trying to think about that too, and I can’t think of… I mean, I have photos that are really important but I can’t think of an object.

Laura: Oh, I definitely do. I’m borderline hoarder [laughs] in that everything has such emotional attachment to it. Like, “But that was from that one time where we did this!” And I hold onto everything, which was… it was good to leave to college where I can’t do that. But, you know, there’s certainly things that I would just be devastated. Especially I… stuffed animals from my childhood and stuff, but I would cry over certain things if I lost them.

Caleb: Hmm. Well, another thing that happens when Harry is still in the hospital wing… it talks about people coming to visit him, and of course Ron and Hermione visit him a lot. But Harry doesn’t tell them about seeing the Grim. And I thought it was really interesting, the explanation as to why he doesn’t tell them. Harry says that he knows that Ron would panic and Hermione would just scoff. And I thought this was pretty interesting reversal of roles going on because I think up until this point – and pretty much throughout the series – Ron is the one that would want to blow it off and not think of anything, and Hermione is the one that’s always very extra cautious and thinks they shouldn’t do too much to get in trouble. But this sort of characterizes Hermione’s hesitancy to accept things like Divination. Whereas for some reason, now Ron is the one all invested in it.

Kat: Well, I think it also speaks to her lack of upbringing – not being a wizard or a witch growing up. Ron knows what the Grim is because his family has had experience with it and it’s terrifying to him, but Hermione doesn’t have that past.

Caleb: That’s very true.

Kat: Yeah.

Caleb: There’s a really amusing scene when they get to their next Defense Against the Dark Arts class and Lupin is back and his students just go nuts. First, they’re happy he’s there. They’re complaining about Snape as the sub, how he assigned them homework. And it really shows how much they love Lupin as a teacher even though they haven’t really had him that long. It was particularly amusing for me as a current teacher where when I’ve been gone and I always know what the sub is immediately before I ask the question – like how things went – because the way my kids respond. If it’s a particularly bad sub they are just so happy to have me back, which I’m just like, “Well, this is a pleasant change.”

[Everyone laughs]

Ali: That’s some of my favorite dialogue, is the: “Two rolls of parchment!” [laughs]

Caleb: [laughs] Yeah.

Kat: I just want to…

Laura: I also love that Hermione finished it.

Ali: Yes.

Kat: Yeah. Well, of course. Overachiever.

Caleb: Right.

Kat: I wanted to comment about Lupin’s restraint here.

Caleb: Hmm.

Kat: How hard it must be to have them… that he knows what Snape is trying to do.

Caleb: Right.

Kat: Obviously. And he must… I probably just would have chased Snape down and…

Caleb: Yeah.

Kat:AK’d him or something. [laughs]

Caleb: Yeah, exactly. It is pretty amazing he doesn’t get noticeably more… either nervous or angry or anything like that because of the topic of werewolves.

Kat: Right, exactly. There’s… yeah, it doesn’t say anywhere that it even bothers him. So…

Caleb: Mhm.

Laura: Now, is that… do you think he has such an even-tempered personality just because when he’s a werewolf and he’s trying to control that animalistic version of himself, that because of that he’s so in check with his emotions when he’s not in a werewolf state? He’s easily able to just check those feelings at the door?

Kat: Both, probably.

Caleb: Yeah.

Kat: I see him as kind of an even-keeled person, anyway.

Caleb: Right.

Kat: Very rational and sane and thinks about his decisions and his actions.

Caleb: Yeah.

Kat: On the most part. I mean, obviously once we get to Deathly Hallows and…

Caleb: Things change a little bit.

Laura: That’s really the only time we see him go off the bender, but…

Caleb: Yeah.

Kat: Right, exactly. Right.

Caleb: So after class, Lupin and Harry are having a conversation and they’re talking about the Dementors, and Lupin explains to Harry that he’s susceptible to Dementors not because he’s weak but because of his history. He also includes some things about Dementors; we figure out that they affect Muggles, and of course this comes in later in the series. But this… I never really picked up on this gesture before but there’s something… when Harry tells Lupin that, “When they get near me, I can hear Voldemort murdering my mom,” and it says that, “Lupin made a sudden motion with his arm, as though to grip Harry’s shoulder but thought better of it.” And I never really looked into that but obviously this must be some sort of action where Lupin is maybe about to tell Harry something or reveal something about his relationship with the Potters, or just something that Harry doesn’t know yet. And I’m wondering, why doesn’t he tell Harry? Why doesn’t he tell Harry that he and James were such good friends?

Kat: That’s so tough. I don’t… why wouldn’t he want to tell him? I… maybe Dumbledore has asked him to keep it quiet?

Caleb: Yeah.

Kat: In light of the Sirius Black stuff. I don’t know. I really don’t.

Laura: I don’t know.

Ali: Maybe he just doesn’t feel like he’s got a good enough… not relationship. Maybe that’s not the right word… with Harry to be able to tell him that. Because I would assume Lupin knew him when he was a baby, so Lupin knows Harry more than Harry knows that Lupin knows him. [laughs]

Kat: Lupin knows him. Right, right.

Ali: So, I feel like that sudden motion is almost… and plus Harry looks so much like James that for a minute maybe Lupin just reverts back to when they were in school and… so, I always just interpreted it as he just stops himself to kind of not freak Harry out. [laughs]

Caleb: Yeah, that’s so true in seeing James in Harry. And just think about it. This is even more agonizing to read. I… every now… through this whole reread, now that we’ve gotten back to Lupin, I just am in such agony when I think about what it must be like for him in this moment.

Kat: Yeah.

Caleb: I mean, I just…

Laura: Because he lost everyone.

Ali: Yeah.

Caleb: Everyone. Everyone. I mean, at this point he thinks that Black is this murderer on the run. He lost Pettigrew. He lost James and Lily. I mean, he’s lost other people. I’m just in such agony.

Laura: He can’t get a job…

Ali: Yeah.

Laura: …up until now. He’s a werewolf.

Kat: He’s a very tragic character. More so than a lot of the main characters, I would say.

Caleb: Yeah.

Laura: Yeah.

Caleb: I can’t even talk about it anymore. It’s just too much agony.

Laura: I want to give him a hug.

Kat: I know.

[Kat and Laura laugh]

Caleb: But then he also talks more about Dementors and he says, “I don’t pretend to be an expert at fighting Dementors, Harry… quite the contrary…” Which is interesting because we’ve talked about Lupin’s past jobs – what he may have done in his work with Dementors – because… I mean, he sounded like an expert before when he would talk to Harry about Dementors and seeing one in all these different places. And again this is when we’re starting to really get a sense that Lupin has gone through a lot of trauma because at this point, as readers the first time, we don’t know about his connection to the Potters. But this “quite the contrary,” there’s an indication that Lupin has gone through some stuff and he is a somewhat broken character already.

Ali: What do you think he hears from the Dementors? Is it as bad as Harry, I wonder?

Kat: Hmm.

Ali: I wonder if his worse ones are more like the night where everything fell apart or if it’s more like different things that have happened when he’s been transformed.

Kat: Do you think he remembers stuff from when he’s transformed?

Ali: I don’t know.

Caleb: Hmm. That’s a good question.

Laura: I also think him saying he’s not an expert has a lot to do… I wouldn’t even call it being humble. I would call it truly not thinking highly of himself.

Kat: Yeah.

Laura: Just because he can’t get a job and he probably just has no confidence and the fact that he just has no one in his life. And then everything… that I think he doesn’t claim to be good at anything pretty much.

Kat: Yeah, I think he definitely views himself as pretty kind of worthless.

Ali: Yeah.

Kat: Unfortunately. Poor guy.

Laura: Because he’s kind of been trained to think that way by everyone except his friends that are all dead or otherwise.

Kat: Right.

Laura: God, I feel so sad. [laughs]

Kat: [laughs] I know. This is such a depressing episode.

Caleb: Oh, no.

[Everyone laughs]

Caleb: Well, it gets closer to Christmas and we find out that Ron and Hermione are foregoing their own visiting home and their families for Christmas, and it says, “To keep Harry company.” And I’m thinking about how happy I always am to go back home for Christmas and see my family, and that must be a lot. I mean, Ron has a lot of family and he’s not particularly fond of everyone in his family – such as Percy – but he’s still very close to his family. And Hermione, only child, has to be close to her parents. So, I think this really characterizes the ultimate friendship between those two and Harry, that they would not go home to see their family, instead stay with him.

Kat: What happened to Christmas the year before? Refresh me.

Caleb: That is when Hermione… doesn’t Hermione go home and Ron and Harry are supposed to go…

Kat: Right.

Caleb: …and be researching the whole time for the Chamber of Secrets?

Ali: No.

Kat: That’s right.

Laura: No, they go to the Burrow I’m pretty sure.

Ali: That’s first year. No, second year, I think they both stay.

Caleb: Oh yeah, that’s right. That’s first year.

Ali: Yeah, because all of the Weasleys stay second year.

Caleb: That’s right.

Kat: Okay.

Ali: Because they go and visit either Bill or Charlie.

Kat: Because I was just thinking they invite Harry in the future, so why wouldn’t…

Caleb: Yeah.

Kat: …they just be like, “Oh, well why don’t you both come home instead?”

Caleb: Hmm.

Kat: I don’t know.

Ali: Maybe Ron…

Laura: Maybe it has to do with the Black… like the security.

Kat: Yeah. Right.

Laura: I mean, I also just… I think… what’s Hermione? Thirteen at the time? And she spends this entire year away from her parents, growing up… like you said, Ron has all this family connection. Hermione doesn’t. She’s essentially growing up… sees her parents for such a short amount of time. Because even in the summer she’s spending summer vacation with the Weasleys. [laughs]

Kat: Yeah, welcome to the world of boarding school.

[Ali laughs]

Laura: Yeah, it’s crazy. I don’t know. I can’t imagine being… what is it? Eleven through seventeen and not…

Ali: Yeah.

Laura: …seeing my parents.

Caleb: Yeah.

Laura: It’s one thing now because I’m eighteen, but eleven through seventeen to not be seeing my parents is crazy.

Kat: Yeah.

Caleb: Yeah. So, we find out that there’s going to be a trip to Hogsmeade during Christmas break, which sucks for Harry in the beginning because of course he still is unable to go. But then Harry runs across Fred and George, and we get this whole scene of where Fred and George describe the Marauder’s Map and give it to him. I’m such a big fan of this friendship and this passing down from Fred and George to Harry. It’s kind of interesting. A little later in the chapter Ron asks, “Why didn’t they give this to me? I’m their brother.” So, I’m really fond of this relationship between the Weasley twins and Harry because they pretty much see him as another brother. And then how incredible that they would give this to him because I would have a hard time parting with it.

Ali: Yeah. It’s probably one of the coolest things in the series.

Kat: They’re pretty…

Laura: And they still have a few more years left.

Caleb: Right.

Kat: Right.

Ali: Do they just not care anymore? Do they… because for me, at least, the whole… the biggest thing to the Marauder’s Map is that you can see people. So, do they just not care anymore if they get caught? Or do they think they’re just good enough not to get caught? Or…

Laura: I think they’re just great people and they see Harry in this state and I think they just… like what Caleb just said, there’s such a nice relationship between them that they kind of adopted him as another brother.

Ali: Yeah.

Kat: Right.

Laura: That’s less annoying than Ron.

Kat: Who else would have broken him out of the Dursleys’ house?

Caleb: Right.

Laura: Right.

Kat: They’re just cool guys. That’s all.

Laura: Ah, love ’em.

Kat: Most popular in the superlatives, right?

[Ali laughs]

Kat: For school.

Laura: Yeah. [laughs]

Caleb: So, one thing we… this… I don’t want to get into too much detail so that we can talk about it in the special feature, but we know that you can see everyone on the Marauder’s Map. And obviously it would not be as crowded during Christmas because there’s not that many people there – most people have gone home – but Rowling has talked about before how there’s a thousand upon a thousand students at Hogwarts. Which it’s a little skeptical of the number and there’s been a lot of discussion about using that number, but I just find it – along with that number – being very difficult to distinguish all these dots whenever normal term is in.

Laura: Yeah, I definitely agree. And that…

Ali: Yeah.

Laura: Students also tend to be in the same place. It’s one thing if someone is chilling on the Astronomy Tower for whatever reason, but there’ll be a lot of students in the Great Hall and in classrooms and such. And yeah, like you said, the number… the thousand… I know everyone… this certainly isn’t an original thought. That number doesn’t make sense in that there’s probably more like three-hundred kids in the school if you think that all the years are even. Harry’s year has around how many kids? Forty kids. So, there would need to be thirty-six students in each house in each year to hit that thousand total. So, it kind of seems like Rowling was just like, “There’s a thousand students because I say so.” But…

Kat: I think the movies probably aim for around a thousand I think, because… what? Harry is…

Laura: No.

Kat: Yeah, no, I guess… no, that’s probably true. I was just… the math…

Laura: If you look at the Great Hall that’s not a thousand people.

Ali: No.

Kat: No, not even close.

Caleb: Yeah.

Laura: Actually, because when I was looking this up last night, someone had done all the math – wrote three pages about it – and they took screenshots from the movie and pretty much counted the amount of people there, and it pretty much sticks very close to that three hundred count versus that one thousand.

Caleb: Which it would make more sense. I mean, I would expect there to be a thousand kids. Because if you think about the population of the UK and the amount of kids.

Laura: Wizarding families.

Caleb: Yeah.

Ali: Yeah.

Kat: Well… but it’s also been said that the wizarding community is very, very small.

Caleb: Well, that’s also true.

Kat: And they come from all over the place. I mean, there’s Irish people there. There’s Scottish. So…

Caleb: Mhm. Yeah, well, one of those mysteries maybe JKR will come back one day and explain it.

Kat: Hopefully. But doubtful.

[Caleb laughs]

Laura: On a live show.

Ali: Encyclopedia. [laughs]

Caleb: I did… yeah, exactly. I did also appreciate that when they’re describing the secret passageways, of course there are seven of them. What other number would there be?

Kat: Right.

Caleb: It has to be seven. [laughs] But then as Harry… as the Weasley twins depart and Harry is thinking about the Marauder’s Map, I have to point out that he’s reconsidering Arthur Weasley’s comment about not trusting objects that can think for themselves but you can’t see their brain, and I think it’s… all of these things are related to the Weasley family – Riddle’s diary, now the map, the Ford Anglia – despite, or maybe because of, Arthur’s job at the Ministry. It just sets up this contrast like Harry is out throughout the whole series. So another thing I was thinking about, we have these secret passageways that the map knows about, but I’m curious about who made these secret passageways. I mean, we have one behind the statue, we… there’s a couple more that are caved in or blocked now. Did the Founders make these? Or were they made a long… sometime throughout Hogwarts’ history?

Kat: Maybe they were originally intended to go to the other Founder’s secret chambers.

Caleb: Hmm.

Kat: And then they just died before they finished building them or something? I don’t know.

Caleb: Interesting.

Laura: Yeah, I think it seems like something the Founders would have made. Kind of in the same way that… obviously Salazar Slytherin made the whole Chamber of Secrets like what you just said, Kat, but he was making that as very a self-flattering thing whereas maybe the other Founders just wanted something that was them, just theirs, and that only they knew about but wasn’t a shrine to themselves. [laughs]

Kat: I wonder if any of them or all of them… with the exception of the Whomping Willow one because that was obviously built specifically for Lupin.

Caleb: Mhm.

Kat: If any of them lead or go anywhere near the Hufflepuff Common Room because we know they’re underground, and they’re badgers so they burrow.

[Caleb laughs]

Kat: Just saying.

Ali: I don’t know.

Caleb: Well, we’re just going to leave it at that. Hufflepuffs burrowing. [laughs]

Kat: [laughs] Okay.

Laura: [laughs] Well…

Ali: Hey, don’t hate on Hufflepuffs. [laughs]

Caleb: [laughs] I mean, Hufflepuffs have a really great shirt that they can get now from…

Ali: Yeah!

Caleb: …the Alohomora! store.

Ali: That’s a great shirt.

Kat: They do. That’s true.

Caleb: So anyway, Harry does use this passageway that takes him… it said he was walking for what he thought was almost an hour or maybe a little bit more. That’s a long way to walk, but obviously it pays off. He gets into Honeydukes. He finds Ron and Hermione, and they head out of the store, and they eventually get to… they go into the Three Broomsticks and they’re drinking some Butterbeer, and this is the first time that Harry is having Butterbeer. And it made me think about if I had ever really had a second thought about this drink that has “beer” in the name. But reading… growing up, even though I was really young when I read this the first time – like, twelve – I guess I didn’t really think of it as alcoholic connotation. I guess I just thought of it as a root beer sort of drink. Obviously not the same taste, but the same type of thing. I was just wondering if anyone else… if that threw up a flag for them the first time they read it.

Laura: No, it didn’t.

Kat: No, definitely not. Yeah, I always just assumed that it was… I mean Butterbeer doesn’t sound like a hardcore drink.

Ali: No.

Caleb: Right.

Ali: I still don’t even think it is.

Laura: I mean, we do learn that it is slightly alcoholic, right?

Ali: Well, to house-elves.

Kat: To house-elves, yeah.

Ali: But I always…

Laura: Yeah, I think it’s because they’re so lightweight.

Ali: I always thought that was more…

Caleb: I think that’s just because of all the sugar.

Ali: Yeah, I was going to say. I always thought it was more of a sugar high than anything.

Caleb: Yeah.

Laura: I don’t know. I will not die happy because I can never know what warm Butterbeer tastes like, the real Butterbeer. It’s my forever unfulfilled dream. It’s not the same, the cold thing at the theme park.

Caleb: Yeah, I’ve never had it. So…

Kat: Yeah, me either.

Ali: My sister made…

Kat: The day…

Ali: …some for my birthday, actually. [laughs]

Kat: Aww.

Laura: I have tried every recipe under the sun trying to find something that tastes good, but no one has one that’s halfway decent. [laughs]

Kat: The day I was at the Studio Tour, everything was open except the Butterbeer cart.

Ali: Oh.

Caleb: Oh, no.

Kat: I was so mad, I was like…

Laura: Is it the same one that’s at the theme park?

Kat: It is the same one, but apparently people say that it tastes different. I think it has to do with the water, probably.

Caleb: That makes sense.

Laura: I also had a similar experience in that I went to Infinitus and they had apparently… no one told me, it was free, unlimited Butterbeer for everyone. And no one told me, so I didn’t get it because I didn’t want to pay for it. And then I saw my friend had gotten, like, three. I was like, “Why do you keep paying for this?” She was like, “It’s free and unlimited!” And then it was too late.

Kat: Bummer.

Caleb: That’s unfortunate.

Laura: So, life regrets. [laughs]

Ali: I’ve only ever had homemade stuff, but it’s pretty good.

Caleb: While they’re chilling out in the Three Broomsticks, all of a sudden comes in McGonagall, Flitwick, Hagrid, and Fudge. So first off, when this happens, and they come toward Harry, Ron, and Hermione, Harry is forced under the table because, of course, he’s not supposed to be in Hogsmeade. But I also thought, this is a really odd group of people. Like Flitwick, McGonagall, and Hagrid – all right, I can buy that. But they don’t seem like the type of people, nor vice versa, does Fudge want to sit with them. Especially…

Laura: I mean, just talk about the fact that Flitwick’s drink has a little umbrella in it.

Caleb: It’s perfect. Absolutely perfect.

[Ali and Laura laugh]

Caleb: But yeah, it seems like a really weird group for me.

Ali: Well, maybe… well, McGonagall is Deputy Headmistress, right? So maybe Dumbledore…

Caleb: Yeah.

Ali: …didn’t want to deal with Fudge, so he’s like, “Here, go with her.”

Kat: And Hagrid makes sense because all he does is drink.

Caleb: Drink.

Kat: But Flitwick is the odd one for me.

Ali: Well…

Laura: I find it odd that McGonagall would let Hagrid come along, knowing how bad he is at keeping secrets.

Caleb: Yeah.

Laura: And this is a confidential conversation. And they bring up the fact that it’s just like, “God Hagrid, did you tell everyone?”

[Ali laughs]

Caleb: Yeah.

Laura: He’s the last person I would invite to a secret meeting.

Ali: I feel like they might have just…

Kat: Do we know that this is a secret meeting?

Laura: Well, not so much secret but they know Hagrid is so close to Harry and he’s bad at keeping things to himself…

Caleb: And Fudge talks about all of Harry’s… all the past, the history of the Blacks and the Potters and everything.

Kat: Yeah. I guess this didn’t come across as a premeditated meeting to me, though.

Caleb: Hmm, yeah.

Kat: I think it was just like a group of teachers going out to get drinks with the Minister.

Caleb: Yeah.

Kat: And it just kind of turned into that.

Caleb: And so something else happens that I thought of this time, Fudge mentions how he talked to the Dementors in Hogsmeade. And thinking back a little bit, we know Dumbledore has talked to the Dementors. He basically told them off after the Quidditch match. So there’s some way that wizards can communicate with Dementors. So it made me wonder, how do we think a Dementor converses? How are they able to communicate with humans?

Kat: Yeah, I’m not sure. I know we talked about this before and I’m not sure we ever came up with a concrete…

Caleb: Oh, did we talk about this before?

Laura: It’s charades.

Kat: I’m not sure you were on that episode.

Caleb: Oh, okay.

Kat: So that…

Caleb: So maybe that’s why, I wasn’t there.

Kat: Yeah, but I’m not sure we ever came up with a concrete answer. So…

Laura: They play charades.

Kat: Charades? Nice.

Caleb: Okay, that’s the best…

Ali: I feel like it might be…

[Caleb laughs]

Ali: Part of me wants to think it’s like memories. Does that make sense?

Caleb: Hmm.

Ali: Because Dementors take all your happy memories, so maybe…

Caleb: Maybe they just spit out a misty substance from their terrible mouths…

[Ali laughs]

Caleb: …and it just…

Ali: Forms words.

Caleb: …goes right to the wizard. [laughs]

Kat: Eww.

Laura: I feel like they don’t communicate, and they can listen and maybe creepily nod. I’m trying to think, it’s reminding me of something from another series. But I can’t place it, so…

Ali: Maybe they do talk…

Caleb: I just want them to screech like the Nazgûl do. [laughs]

Ali: Oh, gosh. [laughs]

Kat: I mean…

Caleb: Which some… never mind. [laughs] I’m not going to share that, so continue.

Kat: Listen, they have lungs, they can breathe, they have mouths. So, why can’t they speak?

Caleb: Yeah, maybe it’s like a very… I don’t even know how to describe it.

Kat: Like even the Ringwraiths, because they used to be men, so they can speak.

Caleb: Yeah.

Ali: Yeah.

Caleb: [as a Ringwraith] Find the halfling.

Kat: Very nice.

[Caleb laughs]

Kat: And thus continues the long line of…

[Ali and Caleb laugh]

Kat: …Caleb’s impressions from Lord of the Rings.

Laura: Lord of the Rings impressions.

Caleb: I’m not going to share my Nazgûl screech that I just sometimes run through my apartment doing.

[Ali laughs]

Caleb: Because that will actually hurt people’s ears. So… [laughs]

Kat: Yeah, but I’d like to think that they can talk. I don’t see a reason why they can’t.

Caleb: It seems like they need to.

Laura: They just have really calm, casual voices. Nothing creepy.

[Ali laughs]

Kat: Right.

Caleb: Yeah, they become somewhat normal for that moment.

Kat: Very Mr. Rogers like.

Caleb: Yeah.

Laura: “Sup Dumbledore?”

[Ali and Caleb laugh]

Caleb: So when they’re sitting down talking about the history of Sirius Black and the Potters and everything, Madam Rosmerta is chilling out with them. She’s the first one to suggest it odd that Sirius Black went bad. This is after we get his background story and everything. So I think this is really interesting because I mean, obviously we much later find out the true story, but this is… I never really picked up on it as foreshadowing. She suggests it just doesn’t seem likely that he would have turned out this way. So it’s a cool look into the past, I guess.

Kat: Our first hint, yeah.

Caleb: Right. And we know that JK Rowling is very good at that. So…

Kat: Right. Genius, some might say.

[Ali laughs]

Caleb: Yes.

[Kat laughs]

Caleb: Also… so going back now, I agree with you, Kat, that Flitwick is kind of the odd man out and now I’m thinking that maybe he is only there for the purpose of the conversation about the Fidelius Charm.

Kat: Yeah, most likely. Absolutely.

Caleb: So… because he’s the Charms teacher obviously, but… then we get from Hagrid the story of the night of the murders, and Sirius… so we find out from Hagrid that Sirius showed up on his motorcycle and actually wanted to take Harry, but Dumbledore said no because… we can assume… I think we can assume this is because even though Sirius, at that point, no one really suspected him of doing anything, Dumbledore knows that Harry has to go to the Dursleys because of the love protection. Can we… do you think we can assume that?

Kat: Yes, I would say so. Absolutely.

Caleb: Yeah, but I kind of…

Laura: Which is a shame.

Caleb: Right. But I’m wondering, what if Sirius would have gotten there before Hagrid? Hagrid was obviously acting on Dumbledore’s orders, but what if Sirius had gotten there first? Would he have taken Harry and just taken off?

Ali and Laura: Yeah.

Kat: Totally.

Ali: I think so.

Laura: But I’m sure Dumbledore would have obviously caught up to him and explained what needed to be done. Because, I mean, it doesn’t sound – at least from Hagrid’s point of view – that he really puts up a fight in saying, “No, I’m his godfather.” He kinds of just says, “Dumbledore’s orders,” and Sirius is like, “Okay.”

Caleb: This is another moment where I’m thinking – like Lupin we talked about just a minute ago – like showing up at your best friend’s home that is just completely destroyed and they’re dead.

Laura: And knowing that he was Secret-Keeper and he…

Caleb: Yeah.

Laura: Wasn’t he the one that convinced…

Caleb: Yes.

Ali: Yeah.

Kat: Mhm.

Caleb: Yup.

Laura: Otherwise… yeah, so that guilt…

Caleb: Ugh, I can’t even.

Ali: Yeah.

Caleb: I’m just going to move on because I can’t even think about that.

Kat: That would drive me… I think that would be one thing that would drive me insane.

Caleb: I think that’s why he… yeah, exactly. And that’s why he does, because I would go insane. Absolutely.

Ali: I think that’s why he went after Peter too, because he couldn’t… I think if he had been able to take Harry, he would have been more concerned about Harry, and then if Dumbledore showed up he could have explained it all to him and then…

Caleb: We hope.

Ali: Yeah.

Caleb: Or maybe Sirius was just so bent on revenge he wouldn’t have taken Harry. He would have dropped him off with someone and then gone after Peter.

Ali: Yeah.

Laura: No, I agree with Ali that he would have been so invested in Harry that he would have at least given him a little bit of a cool off and caring that he was okay. But I really don’t think he would have personally gone after… but once he realized that he has nothing necessarily to live for because he doesn’t have his friends now, he can’t be with Harry, he’s just like, “Well, then I’m going to go kill Pettigrew.”

Kat: Right.

Caleb: Hmm.

Kat: I’m going to go get revenge for my best friend. Yeah.

Laura: Because what else is he going to do?

Kat: Right.

Caleb: And we get a particularly touching moment from my home girl, McGonagall. They’re talking about Peter Pettigrew and how… at this point everyone thinks he’s been murdered, and she says… she’s talking about how he’s not particularly sharp and he just sort of… he followed James and Sirius around everywhere. It’s also interesting they never mention Lupin, but they just talk about James and Sirius, they never mention Lupin in the gang. But she says, “I was often rather sharp with him. You can imagine how I – how I regret that now…” and it’s just really sad. But for the wrong reason because Pettigrew is a d-bag!

[Everyone laughs]

Kat: Right?

Ali: Yeah, I want to see her reaction when she finds out the truth. [laughs]

Caleb: Yeah.

Laura: Yeah, it has to be an awful adjustment for everyone in that they’ve spent all this time… like Hagrid goes off screaming about how he comforted the murderer, and then they find out, “Oh no, Sirius is good,” and then everyone is like, “Oh. Okay then.” [laughs]

Kat: He must get so many apology letters.

[Ali laughs]

Caleb: Well, he goes off into hiding. I mean, most people think he’s dead.

Ali: Yeah, that’s true.

Kat: No, that’s true. That’s true.

Laura: People in the Order, yeah.

Ali: And then he actually… okay, never mind. We won’t get more depressing.

[Ali and Kat laugh]

Caleb: We also learn from Fudge that Sirius Black was fairly normal in Azkaban, which is obviously very abnormal for the conditions there. And it’s interesting that he never really tries to defend himself, like he never tries to explain – at least that we know of – that it was really Peter. And it almost seems like he gave up completely on everything, but I’m assuming that we can know that he was just scheming and waiting for that one chance to escape.

Laura: I thought it was…

Kat: Yeah, I think that he definitely did give up, but the reason he didn’t let himself be taken by the Dementors is that he knew he was innocent.

Caleb: Right.

Kat: And whether he thought Pettigrew was dead or not, he wasn’t going to let himself be, I guess, taken or deteriorated because of the Dementors.

Caleb: It also just…

Laura: I love that line.

Caleb: Hmm.

Laura: I was just going to say I love that line where Fudge says… where Sirius was like, “Oh, I miss doing the crosswords,” because I pictured the Sirius we know who’s like a great guy.

Kat: Yeah.

Laura: I think when I first read that, it came off as creepy in that he was so cold towards the whole thing and he was unaffected. But now reading it, knowing how great of a guy he is, you’re like, “Ah, Sirius. Classic.”

Kat: Yeah.

[Ali and Kat laugh]

Kat: Classic Sirius, the jokester.

Caleb: And then the teachers leave, Hermione and Ron look down to Harry and they are lost for words because they have just found out the whole story of Sirius Black. Or what they think is the whole story of Sirius Black and his parents.

Kat: Except Lupin, like…

Caleb: Right.

Kat: How did his name never once come up?

Caleb: Yeah, that’s…

Laura: Especially given the fact that he’s teaching at Hogwarts now and is relevant to their daily lives.

Kat: Right.

Ali: Well… not to say that they forgot him, but maybe he was just… I always saw him as kind of the quiet one in the group. So maybe he was just easily overlooked in the whole scheme of thinking back of what happened when they died.

Kat: It’s funny that you mentioned that because there’s a whole topic going on in the forums right now about people comparing the Marauders to the trio and Neville. And it’s just super interesting what some people… who they compare between, I guess, the two groups.

Caleb: Right.

Kat: And… I need to look at it now.

Laura: Yeah, that makes sense. James and Sirius being Harry and Ron, and Hermione and Lupin as both the dutiful “We shouldn’t be doing this!” And I guess I would imagine they’re saying Neville is like Pettigrew.

Ali: I just don’t see that one, though.

Laura: I don’t know. I think the Ron/Harry dynamic is different than James and Ron… than James and Sirius, and that they say James and Sirius have much more of a Fred and George dynamic. Whereas Harry is not a troublemaker; trouble finds him. He’s not overly confident, as much as Snape says he is. So I think that’s a different relationship. But I see Hermione and Lupin being similar.

Kat: I was just trying to look for the comment and it’s LeslieLovegood that starts the conversation. And she says that she sees James and Sirius as Ron and Harry, and then Lupin as Hermione. So I guess poor Neville is Pettigrew.

Caleb: Yeah. I came back… I also commented in that thread, saying that I just never really paired up people from the different groups like that. I just always saw them as very different. It never really entered my mind to compare them like that.

Kat: Yeah. I don’t know. I guess if I had to make that comparison, I would probably take Pettigrew out of that group and maybe put in someone else. I want to say Snape because he wasn’t friends with them but he was definitely someone who orbited.

Laura: But there’s no one like…

Caleb: I mean, we’ve got Lily.

Kat: Yeah.

Laura: There’s no one, though, that… James and Sirius straight up bullied Snape. There’s no one… Harry and Ron don’t do that.

Kat: No, I know.

Caleb: Right. Which is why I was never able to really compare them.

Kat: Right.

Laura: I think we’re… if you see Pettigrew as that evil coward that we’ve seen now, it’s hard to compare him to Neville. But if you’re thinking of him just as a kid, of being that bumbling, awkward, not really fitting in, not part of the group but kind of in the group, I think it is a very fitting comparison. The difference being is that Neville prevailed as a hero and Pettigrew was a coward. But it could have… and I guess this was kind of explored a little bit in the scene that was added in the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 movie, where Neville steps forward. And he could have easily been joining that side and taken that cowardly approach that is really what Pettigrew did…

Kat: Right.

Laura: …but he gives the whole rousing speech.

Kat: Yay, Neville!

Laura: So, I don’t know. I see the comparison, at least.

Kat: Yeah.

Laura: As a student, not in their future.

Kat: Right, okay. Young Pettigrew.

Laura: Yeah.

Kat: Okay, so we’re going to move on to our special feature for this week.

[“The Artifact Inspector” intro begins]

Michael: The Artifact Inspector.

[Sound of car engine running]

Molly: What on earth is this, Arthur?

Arthur: Muggles call it a car, Molly. Isn’t it wonderful?

Molly: What does it do?

Arthur: Well, once I know I’ll be happy to tell you. [laughs]

[Sound of car horn honking]

[“The Artifact Inspector” intro ends]

Kat: Okay, so for this special feature we’re going to talk about the Marauder’s Map. And I just wanted to very quickly take the moment and express my frustration with Pottermore.

[Everyone laughs]

Ali: Yes.

Kat: Because I guarantee you there’s going to be information on this in Pottermore…

Ali: Oh, yes.

Caleb: Probably the day after…

Kat: …and what the heck is taking so long?

[Ali laughs]

Caleb: Yeah. Probably the day after the episode goes live.

Laura: And the same thing on Lupin’s background we’re speculating…

Ali: Yeah.

Laura: …and there will be a Lupin backstory.

Kat: Right.

Caleb: There’d better be.

Kat: Well, she said she wrote it.

Ali: When were the last chapters even opened? How long has it been?

Caleb: I don’t know.

Laura: I can’t beat one of the stupid games, so I’m stuck.

Kat: I think they opened right at the beginning of the year because… they were open when we started our Prisoner of Azkaban episodes.

Ali: That’s right.

Caleb: Mhm.

Laura: Yeah, it was around New Year’s.

Ali: Mmm.

Kat: Right, I thought so. So…

Ali: Three months, Pottermore. [laughs]

Kat: Hurry up! Hurry up, we’re anxious. Okay. So I just wanted to go through, I guess, the history of the Marauder’s Map, in a timeline kind of way. So the first thing I am curious about is what brought the Marauder’s Map to be. Where did they get the idea, where did it come from, whose idea was it, and who actually created it? Do you think they created it together, or was it Lupin – who seemed more of the accomplished wizard, I guess – who did it? Or was it all of them? What do you think?

Ali: Well, we know that…

Laura: Hmm.

Ali: …they kind of came up with the idea just because they were all out wandering as Animagi. So part of me… I almost want to say it could have been Lupin – just worried about them getting caught at some point – which came up with the people moving around. I don’t know why that idea is stuck in my head today, but… yeah, I think it could have been almost James and Sirius kind of reassuring Remus that… this is their reassurance that they’re going to be okay to be sneaking out like this all the time.

Kat: So more out of concern than wanting to.

Caleb: Hmm.

Laura: See, I saw it more as… we don’t actually get the sense that James and Sirius are super dedicated students or anything, but I compare that totally to Fred and George in that we see everything that… the amazing things that they create in their shop, that’s extremely advanced magic when they are doing a project that they care about, I kind of see it as that. I think James and Sirius made it. It seems like something that they’d do, with the input from the others, but I think they do possess those skills, they just don’t care about putting it towards academics, the same way Fred and George do.

Kat: So what was Pettigrew’s contribution?

Caleb: Nothing.

Laura: Nothing.

[Ali and Laura laugh]

Caleb: Putting his name on there. [laughs]

Kat: Right, putting it on parchment or something?

Caleb: Yeah.

Ali: Maybe he went and found all the little tiny crevices to things as a rat. I don’t know.

Caleb: [laughs] Yeah.

Laura: Maybe.

Kat: Oh, that’s possible I suppose, right? So then… so you think that it was actually James and Sirius who actually spelled it and…

Laura: Yeah.

Kat: …made it come into being?

Ali: Yeah.

Laura: Yeah, because I think it was something, I don’t know… I can’t remember if that was you, Kat, or Ali that said this, what you had just said that they kind of maybe presented it to Lupin and ended up being like, “Look, this is… we’re going to be fine, so you can stop worrying now.”

Kat: So how do we actually think they made it? What kind of spells and expertise go into that? What year did they make it in, do we know?

Ali: Oh, I feel like…

Caleb: Hmm. I don’t even know the year.

Laura: I feel like we’re told.

Ali: Let me look in the end. Does it say?

Laura: Because… hmm. I don’t know.

Kat: I would assume first year because…

Ali: First year?

Kat: …they became friends… well, yeah…

Laura: No.

Kat: …because they became friends in their first year and… well, what year did they find out Lupin was a werewolf? Fairly early, right?

Ali: It was third or something, wasn’t it? But they don’t…

Kat: Oh, that would be awfully convenient, wouldn’t it?

[Laura laughs]

Ali: But they don’t become Animagi until they find out, right? Until fifth year, and then… it says somewhere that they made the map because they knew the grounds and the castle so well from wondering around.

Laura: Yeah, that would make more sense.

Kat: But what would be the point of making it if you’re in your sixth year? You’re only going to be there for another year.

Laura: Well, we know they’ve obviously left it there. They must have, I guess, for the next mischief makers. I don’t know. Or it got confiscated by Filch, I guess, from them? I don’t know. But they left it there for whoever wanted to take up their legacy.

Kat: It’s funny. Speaking of Filch, it does say that… I believe Lupin says that it was confiscated, or maybe I’m reading something wrong. But do we think that anyone had it between the Marauders and Fred and George? Do we think Filch took it and then Fred and George stole it?

Caleb: My guess is that no one had it between them.

Ali: Yeah.

Kat: Because then it probably would have been lost or…

Caleb: Right.

Kat: …who the heck knows what.

Caleb: Yeah.

Kat: And… okay, so we know that Fred and George took it from Filch’s office.

Caleb: Mhm.

Kat: And it was in a drawer called “Confiscated and Highly Dangerous.” How did he know that?

Caleb: Yeah, that’s probably just because he got pissed off with the way it talked back to him.

Ali: Yeah.

Kat: But how would it talk back to him? Because the reason it talks back to Snape is that he tries to read it. And obviously, Filch isn’t magical.

Caleb: Well, I’m sure something similar happens to Filch.

Kat: What?

Caleb: I’m sure something happens similar with Filch. It insults him or something.

Laura: Yeah, because they put… if we’re going with the theory that he confiscated it from the Marauders themselves, they were probably walking around. They didn’t… well, I get they did have an invisibility cloak, but… maybe he saw the map and saw them like, “Looks like they’re causing mischief,” and just assumed if it’s related to them, it must be…

Ali: Yeah.

Laura: …highly dangerous or they wouldn’t be carrying around some piece of parchment.

Ali: Filch has a tendency to overblow everything, too. So maybe he just…

Laura: That’s true. [laughs]

Ali: …was exaggerating.

Laura: Yeah.

Kat: Well, VirtualWeasley on the forums says that maybe only those who are destined to use the map can figure out what’s in it, kind of like the Philosopher’s Stone or the Mirror of Erised. So maybe that’s why Filch… I don’t think Filch could ever really figure it out. Honestly. But…

Laura: Yeah, because we don’t know how the hell the Weasley twins figured out those were the words they had to say and stuff. So I think it has to… it would have to be something like that.

Kat: Actually, we do know because JKR said in an interview that she had with the Leaky Cauldron, and this is between JKR and Melissa Anelli. So Melissa says:

“How did they figure out how to work the map?”

And Jo said:

“Don’t you… well, this is how I explained it to myself at the time, and this does sound glib. Don’t you think it would be quite a Fred-and-George-ish thing to say in jest and then see this thing transform?”

And Melissa says:



“Can’t you just see them?”

And this is Emerson… oh, so this was the three-people…

Caleb: Yeah.

Kat: Okay, didn’t know that. Didn’t see that Emerson was in there until right now. Anyway, so Emerson says:

“But the exact word combination? Is that just a lot of luck or Felix Felicis or…”

JKR says:

“Or the map helped.”


“Well, yeah. You can sort of see them answering and joking with each other.”


“And the map flickering into life here and there when they got closer and closer, and finally they hit upon the exact right word combination and it just erupts.”

Caleb: Ah. I like that. Gosh, she’s…

Laura: I like that.

Kat: Obligatory genius moment, right here. Here it is.

[Everyone laughs]

Caleb: Got it.

Kat: I can just picture it. They do so many… I wish they did a few flashbacks like this, kind of in the films. How amazing would that have been?

Ali: That would have been great.

Kat: To just flashback for ten seconds.

Laura: More Phelps twin scenes!

[Ali laughs]

Kat: Yes, well I’m always an advocate for those.

[Laura laughs]

Kat: Just to see that for three seconds.

Laura: That would have been beautiful.

Kat: I just think that would have been pretty cool. So then, obviously we know how it works. They say these words, and the map opens and you can see everybody on there. But in Harry’s experience when he uses it this first time, he walks up to the one-humped witch – I believe it is, right? – and it says to say…

Laura: Isn’t it one-eyed witch?

Kat: Oh, one-eyed witch?

Laura: I don’t know.

Kat: Maybe it’s…

Laura: Continue. It’s irrelevant.

Kat: No, I need to know!

Ali: Okay. I will look it up!

Kat: No, it’s okay. I think that he says…

Laura: Oh, I have it right here.

Kat: I do have to look for the word, though. Isn’t it Descendo?

Ali: I have that right here, too. [laughs]

Kat: Dissendium.

Ali: Yes.

Kat: Anyway, so he walks up to it, and a little speech bubble appears and says, “Dissendium.” So Harry says the word, and he gets to go down the witch’s hump, I guess.

[Caleb and Kat laugh]

Ali: Yeah, it says humped-back one-eyed witch.

Kat: Okay. Oh, we were both right.

Caleb: What an unfortunate soul.

[Ali and Kat laugh]

Kat: Right? But how… I’m wondering… how did they find these secret passages? What made one of the Marauders walk up to that witch and be like, “Oh, Dissendium!

Caleb: Yeah, that’s a good question.

Kat: Any thoughts at all?

Ali: Maybe there’s some… this is way out there, but in… you know how in Half-Blood Prince how Dumbledore can feel the magic, kind of?

Kat: Oh.

Ali: Maybe…

Laura: Like in the cave?

Ali: Yeah, like in the cave. Maybe somehow there’s some way that James and Sirius…

Laura: Spidey senses? [laughs]

Ali: Yeah. [laughs]

Kat: Wizzy-sense!

Ali: …found that these things were open. I don’t know. I wonder how long it took them to go and explore all of this stuff. How did they find all of that in a year?

Laura: Maybe in the same way that… this is also going way out on a limb, but in the same way that Fred and George were the pranksters and they passed this down, maybe there was an older group of… another generation of people that had devoted their Hogwarts life to figuring out this stuff that kind of… I don’t know. Never mind.

[Ali and Laura laugh]

Kat: No, I mean, that’s possible. I like the idea that they could feel the magic. I think that’s cool.

Ali: Yeah.

Kat: But then why wouldn’t have someone found the Room of Requirement before now? Or before two years from now? From then, from the books. That’s what I meant.

Caleb: Hmm.

Ali: They probably have. They probably just didn’t tell anyone about it.

Kat: That’s true. It is full of stuff. I suppose that’s true.

Ali: Yeah.

Laura: Yeah. Since it’s filled with so much stuff… and we see Trelawney casually emptying stuff there.

Kat: Right.

Ali: It also comes up as other things, too. Don’t Fred and George say it was broom cupboard once when they were trying to hide?

Kat: Mhm.

Caleb: Yeah.

Ali: And they never really thought about it?

Kat: That’s true. So then, there’s this great comment on the forums from Firebolt, and it says:

“At the risk of tempting the ‘Is it alive?’ question from Noah…”

Caleb: God.

[Ali laughs]

Kat: [continues]

“…the map has a degree of sentience in insulting people. Not only does it recognize Snape but it modifies its insult to reflect a passing of time, et cetera. Therefore I think the map would be very receptive to the Weasley twins. In fact I might go as far as to suggest that it would prompt them to read it – it would make the first move, as it were.”

Caleb: Yeah, I like that.

Kat: Which totally goes with what Jo said about how they discovered the words. The map helped it along.

Ali: Yeah, that makes sense.

Kat: I don’t know. If Noah were here, he would be going crazy about this.

[Ali and Laura laugh]

Kat: Which is why…

Laura: Now we referenced all four shirts.

Ali: I was just going to say that.

Kat: I was just going to say! I think we have, actually. That’s probably true. But I really hope that Pottermore opens up some time soon because…

Ali: Please!

Kat: I could talk about the Marauder’s Map forever. It’s probably my favorite object in the series, easily.

Caleb: Yeah, it’s pretty baller.

Laura: That’s what I just had the Phelps twins sign.

Kat: Nice! Nice.

Laura: Yeah, it’s my new prized possession.

[Ali and Laura laugh]

Kat: So that’s our special feature for this week.

Caleb: So I will be taking over the Podcast Question of the Week this episode. So we talked earlier, briefly, about the Secret-Keeper swap that happens for the Potters’ home, and there’s a lot to really think about why Sirius didn’t end up staying the Secret-Keeper, why they switched to Peter Pettigrew. And that’s kind of what I want to focus on for the question this week. So a lot of it I want to know what you guys think about, why did Dumbledore condone it? Obviously, he left some room for the Potters to make that decision for them, but my guess is that he had some suspicions about Pettigrew’s ability to hold up in that position. And I want you guys to let us know what your thoughts are as to why Dumbledore let that go through. Why didn’t he push harder on the Potters to either keep Sirius as the Secret-Keeper or – as we find out later – use him as the Secret-Keeper? Why were the Potters so willing, also, to switch? Because, sure, Peter was a friend of James, but James knew what Peter was like. He was not a strong-willed person. Why would he be willing for Peter to be their Secret-Keeper, knowing what might happen had Peter gotten captured by Voldemort, if he would have been good all along? He would have been much more easy to break than Sirius. So… and we’ll type this up a lot more concisely and better-worded for you guys on the site, but I’m really interested in why you guys think it played out the way it did. Why did they so willingly switch from someone who was so dedicated to the Potters – such as Sirius, who could hold out and would very much die for his best friend – to someone like Pettigrew, even though he was less suspected as the Secret-Keeper, would certainly be less strong of will had he been caught.

Kat: That’s such a great question. I cannot wait to hear what the fans have to say.

Caleb: I’m very excited, too.

Kat: It’d be good. So we want to take just a moment to thank Ali again for coming on the show.

Caleb: Yes.

Ali: Well, thanks for having me on. This was great.

Kat: Good, I’m glad you had fun.

[Ali laughs]

Caleb: And thank you for all that you do on the forums, keeping them straight and facilitating everything that happens there.

[Ali and Laura laugh]

Ali: Yeah. It’s great, it’s fun, so everyone keep commenting because we love all the other moderation. We love getting in the conversation with everyone.

Kat: Yeah. And if any of you listening want to be moderated by Ali… no, I’m just kidding.

[Ali laughs]

Kat: If you want to be a guest on the show, as always you can email a clip to us at alohomorapodcast at gmail dot com. Just make sure that you do have the appropriate audio and recording equipment – that includes headphones, don’t forget that. And of course, you can always submit content on the Alohomora! website or like the forums. And if we see your comment and we like it, we just might invite you to be on the show. So head over there.

Laura: And remember, you can also contact us in a lot of places. You can find us on Twitter at @AlohomoraMN, on You can call us and leave us a voicemail at 206-GO-ALBUS, which is 206-462-5287. Leave comments, check us out on our main site Like Kat said, you can email us at alohomorapodcast at gmail dot com, and do not forget to subscribe to us on iTunes.

Caleb: And we also want to take a moment to tell you about the great things that are happening in our Alohomora! store, which you can find the link to our store right on our homepage at You’ll see a nifty little link that says “Store” at the top. And we now have amazing host shirts designed by Kat, which just came out so great. There’s one for myself, Kat, Rosie, and Noah for some of the things that we use most frequently on the show. You’ll definitely recognize those sayings. We used… Kat and I both used ours today.

Kat: I think we referenced all four.

Caleb: Oh, that’s true.

Laura: You referenced Noah and Rosie’s, yeah.

Caleb: Yeah, that’s true. We did. And we will have more products coming in the future, things like iPhone cases, tote bags, water bottles, and a lot more. Also, we want to remind you guys about our smartphone app, which you can check out. Which is really great, has a lot of great content from the show. It’s available in the US for the iPhone and Android, and over across the pond in the UK for the iPhone. It’s $1.99 here in the US and 99p in the UK. And the app has a lot of great things like transcripts, bloopers, alternate endings, host vlogs, and a lot more.

Kat: Yeah, and we also just recently added a forum. For all of you guys using the apps, you have a special private place to discuss the very special private things that are just for you guys on the app. So if you have our app and haven’t visited the forums, make sure you do. Noah gave you the password in one of the most recent episodes, so make sure you watch all the special features and you can get the password to join in the conversation on the special forum. Super secret club. That forum…

Laura: We have handshakes, we have jackets… [laughs]

Kat: Right. That forum right there is what is beyond the other side of the Dumbledore.

[Caleb and Laura laugh]

Kat: So if you want to find out, you better go join.

Caleb: Yes.

Kat: Download the app, and you can get the password.

Caleb: Do it.

Kat: Yeah.

Caleb: Well, that about wraps up the show for this week. Thanks everyone for joining in whenever we do push this episode. I guess you’re not joining in right now, but you will!

[Kat laughs]

Caleb: And that will be great.

[Show music begins]

Caleb: All right. I’m Caleb Graves.

Laura: I’m Laura Reilly.

Kat: And I’m Kat Miller. Thank you for listening to Episode 24 of Alohomora!.

Michael: Open the Dumbledore!

[Show music continues]