Transcript – Episode 25

[Show music begins]

Noah Fried: This is Episode 25 of Alohomora! for March 24, 2013.

[Show music continues]

Noah: Hello, everybody. I’m Noah Fried.

Rosie Morris: I’m Rosie Morris.

Caleb Graves: I’m Caleb Graves.

Kat Miller: And I’m Kat Miller. We just want to take a quick moment before we start to talk about the posts you may have seen on MuggleNet and on our Alohomora! page. Our one-year anniversary, guys, is already coming up. It’s on April 18 and I can’t believe it. I don’t know about you guys.

Caleb: It’s crazy.

Rosie: It’s come so fast.

Caleb: It’s so… how did it get there so fast?

Kat: I know. And…

Noah: Yeah. I remember watching Harry Potter and coming up with the idea and then bringing it to you guys, and that was the best time.

Kat: Yeah, it was pretty great. And I keep feeling like we should have 3,000 episodes because we’ve talked about so much, but 26…

Rosie: We’re only on Episode 25. Wow. [laughs]

Kat: Right, I know, which is just crazy. But in case the listeners out there have not seen what we’re talking about, starting last week – March 17 – what we’ve been doing is each host is posting their favorite moment from the past year and on April 18 – our one-year anniversary – we’re going to be making a really exciting announcement. So each of the posts have clues in them, so read through them carefully and you just might figure out what it is. If not we’re going to announce it on April 18, so…

[Everyone laughs]

Kat: You could just wait until then I suppose, but that’s not nearly as fun.

Noah: But only the super fans for sure will decode the message and know what is coming.

Kat: Yeah, most likely.

Caleb: That’s right.

Kat: Or not at all. But…

[Everyone laughs]

Noah: Before we start with the next few chapters, I just want to remind everyone that on this episode we’re going to be talking about Chapters 11 and 12 of Prisoner of Azkaban, so we greatly recommend that if you’re going to continue listening, especially to this show, just to read the chapters beforehand. We think you’ll enjoy everything more if you have that context.

Rosie: So we’re going to start today’s episode as usual with our comments from last week’s discussions, which was on Chapters 9 and 10 of Prisoner of Azkaban, and our first comment comes from KittiAutumn on our main site and it’s about Boggarts. And it says:

“If someone’s greatest fear was a Boggart, then wouldn’t they see what a Boggart would look like? I think this would be a reasonable fear, as they appear in nooks and crannies, and who wants anything – despite the form – to be jumping out at you?”

Do you guys think that they would actually be able to see the true form of a Boggart?

Noah: Well, I think the premise might be false for one thing because I don’t think anybody in their right mind would be… their greatest fear would be a Boggart. That seems to be impossible.

Kat: No, I don’t think it’s impossible. I think that they would see what they think a Boggart looks like.

Caleb: Hmm.

Rosie: Yeah.

Caleb: Good call.

Kat: If you think it’s a little gremlin-looking creature, then that’s what you’re going to see. If you think it’s like a blob, like Laura had mentioned last week – like a big, grey blob – then that’s what you’re going to see. I honestly don’t think anyone besides probably Mad-Eye has… ever knows what a Boggart looks like.

Noah: Yeah, and even then I’d imagine it would be a wispy cloud or a kind of shadow, formless thing.

Kat: Yeah.

Noah: But who would be scared of a Boggart? I’ll say it again, which is to be scared of something that transmits… that goes into your worst fear…

Kat: Well, because…

Noah: I mean, I could… it’s a thought experiment, so I can see… it makes sense.

Kat: Well, I mean… because then if you see a Boggart, it’s your worst fear because it turns into your worst fear.

Rosie: Yeah, but if your worst fear is the Boggart itself then what would it turn into other than itself? And what about itself is particularly scary?

Noah: Have you guys ever seen old Star Trek episodes where Kirk just…

[Rosie laughs]

Noah: …destroys the computer by making it think itself? It seems like this would kind of explode the Boggart because it would be like, “Oh, what should I turn into? What should I turn into? Myself. I have no shape.” Boom. [laughs]

Rosie: There’s actually a Doctor Who episode about that. The first Matt Smith episode of the latest Doctor Who has a creature that transforms into lots of different things and eventually it has to transform into itself and that’s how it loses. So yeah.

Noah: Wow.

Rosie: It’s an interesting idea. [laughs]

Kat: Okay, so maybe it would just implode.

Rosie: Yeah.

[Noah laughs]

Kat: Interesting.

Rosie: So who knows?

Noah: Good one, KittiAutumn.

Rosie: But Jo’s Boggarts aren’t the same as kind of traditional boggarts around England and kind of Irish and Scottish folklore. So they aren’t always seen are shape-shifters. Or at least if they are shape-shifters they normally shape-shift into something that’s recognizable, so like a little person or a horse is one of the stories. So there are lots of forms that a boggart could take other than nothing. But if you guys want to read more about boggarts, then there’s a really good book by Susan Cooper who wrote The Dark Is Rising series which is actually called The Boggart. So look it up.

Caleb: Yeah.

Rosie: It’s a really good story.

Caleb: Love that series. Love it.

Rosie: Okay, so our next comment is from SiriusFan3 and it’s also from our main site and it’s on the topic of memories. And it says:

“Thinking of memories, Dementors, and memory charms, I am starting to wonder how they connect with the scientific point of view. In the human body, long and short term memory are controlled by the cerebrum, whereas, in the magical world, it seems more connected to the soul. In CoS, the Tom Riddle that came out of the diary said that he was not a ghost, but a mere memory. As we all know, he came out of a Horcrux, which is a fraction of Voldemort’s soul. Another connection is with the Dementor’s Kiss, which sucks out the entire soul, which is described to include the soul. This leads me to ask…”

Oh, I think that was meant to say “include the memory.”

“This leads me to ask, does this connect with the memory part of the nervous system, or is magical science different than to which it would be in the Muggle world?”

That was a long comment. [laughs]

Kat: That is so confusing. I can’t follow that, but I’m not a science person. So…

Caleb: Yeah, I don’t know. I mean, that’s a really good question. I hadn’t really thought about the science of the memory on this level. I also… yeah, I don’t know.

Kat: Can you rephrase it so I can understand what they’re talking about?

Caleb: Well, they’re basically just explaining how for the normal human body – us Muggles here – long and short term memory are accessed through a distinct part of the brain. They mention the cerebrum. And the comment is explaining that our… where we see memories in the series are sometimes linked to the soul and they give an example of the Horcruxes. Hmm. But… I don’t know. I get that but I also think that’s just another way the soul sort of comes alive in the series. I still think that our magical homeboys and homegirls…

[Kat laughs]

Caleb: …had their memories locked up in their mind. Because I think that’s still the way the Obliviators and the Obliviate charm would work, is on the brain.

Rosie: I think it’s a really hard question to answer because the soul as a concept isn’t particularly scientific.

Caleb: Correct. Yeah.

Rosie: So it’s hard to say that the kind of scientific view doesn’t include the soul. I mean, if you think about it… if you wanted to, you could say the soul is a part of the brain or is part of your heart. It could be anything.

Caleb: Right.

Rosie: We don’t really know. So it’s not a question we can answer, I’m afraid. [laughs]

Caleb: Yeah, I think there’s just… they are two distinct things and it’s hard to really marry the two.

Rosie: Yeah.

Noah: But intuitively I would feel like they’re separate. Like memory should be in the brain and the soul is kind of separate from human experience and even remembrance of that life experience. It should be kind of pure and separate.

Caleb: Yeah, but the soul, I think, is still tied to what happened with that life. And so I think that’s why the memories are still associated with the soul.

Noah: Oh, that’s crazy.

[Rosie laughs]

Noah: Super deep, Mr. Scientist.

Rosie: Very, very interesting question. And it’s one that we can ponder for many more nights and not know what to say. [laughs]

Caleb: Well, that and philosophers have probably been pondering in one way or another for centuries. So…

Rosie: Definitely. [laughs]

Noah: But you know what’s interesting to consider is just the fact that there are souls in Harry Potter. That’s just… it’s just true and everyone kind of goes off the idea that ghosts exist and souls exist and that’s there essential to magic.

Rosie: Yup.

Caleb: Yeah.

Rosie: [laughs] Our next comment is from LumosNight3 and it was on our forums, and it says:

“Perhaps part of the reason healing broken portraits is complicated is because of the souls or the impressions of the people they portray that are contained inside? Maybe when a portrait is damaged, whatever essence of the person being portrayed that is inside the portrait is also damaged? This however does not explain why Filch of all people would be tasked with fixing them. If anything, it’s more of a reason why he shouldn’t be on the job.”

And just quickly in response to that, LadySpade – also on the forums – says:

“I like this theory, but what if Filch is most qualified because he has no magic? If wizards are the only ones to create moving portraits without the use of technology, then it means that there’s a magical aspect to it. I’m not saying that if the portrait is damaged, then the essence of the person might be damaged. But to fix it, if a magical person who is not the painter of the portrait fixes said portrait, then their magic and impressions tamper with the original portrait, maybe? So because Filch is a Squib with the knowledge of the magical world, then he is actually best to fix it.”

Ooh, lots of confusing comments today. I think…

Kat: Whoa. [laughs]

Rosie: [laughs] I think that one is saying that Filch is able to fix portraits because he has no magical influence on them. And if someone…

Caleb: Mhm.

Rosie: If two magical people tried to paint the same portrait, then it would be kind of conflicting and would damage it, I think.

Caleb: Right.

[Rosie laughs]

Caleb: I think that’s what I was trying to sort of get to last episode, but LadySpade explains it much better than I was that… well, I think I was saying that he didn’t necessarily need to have magic to fix these but she gave a really good explanation as to why he actually may be the best choice.

Kat: I just can’t believe that we didn’t even think about the fact that there’s a – quote, unquote – living thing inside the portrait.

Noah: But is it really alive?

[Rosie laughs]

Kat: No, I mean we’ve discussed this. I think we determined that we thought it was kind of…

Caleb: An impression.

Kat: Right, an impression of the person.

Noah: But do you think once it’s originally created that it can actually be affected if the portrait itself is damaged? Do you think…

Caleb: I think it can be affected… how well the impression is presented can be affected but not in the sense of it being a life.

Kat: Right.

Rosie: I think… do you guys think that the Fat Lady herself was damaged? Because I would have thought that she would just move out of the way and it’s just kind of the portrait itself that was damaged.

Caleb: Right.

Kat: Right.

Rosie: And she was just hiding in another portrait.

Caleb: Which is what she does. I mean, she’s…

Rosie: Yeah.

Kat: Right.

Caleb: She just relocates.

Rosie: So in essence, her character is exactly the same. She’s still painted the same just in another portrait at the moment. And yeah, it’s just the actual physical… not parchment, but the…

Kat: Canvas.

Rosie: Canvas. Yes, thank you… that needs fixing and Filch can do that easily without needing magic.

Kat: I’ve always thought that the paintings… it was kind of… the background was made and then the people were kind of magicked into it, to use that word.

[Rosie laughs]

Kat: So I feel like yes, the Fat Lady obviously leaves the portrait and is fine because I don’t think you’d be able to harm an impression of a person. You can only harm the actual portrait.

Noah: That’s what I was wondering about because if you think about the movie canon for a bit… I know it’s taboo, but think about Prisoner of Azkaban. The Fat Lady gets really upset, so one could argue that she has become psychologically damaged equivalent to the fact that the painting itself has been damaged. But that doesn’t seem active in the book, so I would say yes, Kat, the impression of the character is not affected by destruction of the painting because it can just go to any other painting.

Kat: Right, exactly.

Rosie: I wouldn’t say being upset is the same as being damaged. Yeah, she would have been afraid and things so she would have been affected in that way, but not permanently.

Kat: Right, and I think we decided that they can’t learn new things, so I feel like she wouldn’t… if she had never been damaged or hurt or cut, I suppose, then she… that probably wouldn’t affect her really.

Noah: But can’t portraits learn new things? I mean…

Kat: I think we decided that they can’t.

Noah: But Dumbledore learns about… he talks to Snape after… spoiler warning.

Kat: But he already knew all that information when he died.

Rosie: Phineas Nigellus learns that his… that Sirius has died, so he learns that his family is changing.

Noah: Yeah, I think they can learn stuff.

Kat: Right, but he knew Sirius before. I’m saying a complete new piece of information.

Rosie: But he didn’t know that he was dead. [laughs] And he wouldn’t have known about Sirius when he was alive because he was a lot older.

Noah: And what about the portrait in the Minister’s office that goes to the Minister of Magic and back to the Muggle Prime Minister? They have to pass messages of new detail every day.

Rosie: Yeah, I think they can learn things.

Noah: They might just not be real. Like real living.

Kat: Then why have people? [laughs]

Noah: Huh?

Kat: Then why have real people? If portraits can learn and talk and…

Rosie: People have to create the portraits. [laughs]

Kat: Hmm. I’m sticking with my old theory. Sorry.

Rosie: Okay.

Noah: That they can’t learn things?

[Rosie laughs]

Kat: Yeah.

Noah: Fans, tell her why she’s wrong. [laughs]

Caleb: I think the issue here is that what we are implying by our definition of learning because…

Rosie: Yeah.

Caleb: I agree with Kat that in the sense that we… the way we understand as alive humans learning, like logging information in our brain, I… like as new things that we can manipulate on our own in the future, I don’t think portraits are doing that in the same way an alive human can.

Noah: Oh, yes.

Caleb: But as far as taking information because they are an impression of a live being and then utilizing that information in this, quote, portrait world… yeah, I think in that sense of learning, they are. But in the same sense that we do as alive humans, I don’t think that’s necessarily possible.

Noah: So they can’t grow…

Caleb: Right.

Noah: …from their learning.

Kat: Okay, that’s much more what I meant. Thank you for articulating that. Thank you.

Caleb: [laughs] You’re welcome.

[Kat laughs]

Noah: Okay.

Caleb: Because you all… I think you guys actually agree.

Rosie: Yeah. [laughs]

Caleb: You’re just looking at it from two different sides of the coin.

Noah: Got it. Okay, so fans, do not launch an attack, an all-out assault on Kat.

[Rosie laughs]

Kat: Thank you, Noah. I appreciate that.

[Kat and Noah laugh]

Rosie: On a related note, we’ve got another comment from Hufflepuffskein on the forums, and it says:

“I’ve wondered about scale and portraits. If the portrait of Fat Lady is large enough to cover a human-sized hole into Gryffindor Common Room, she has to be relatively large and probably life-size as a painted figure. So if she goes into a smaller painting with lots of landscape, for example, (Sir Cadogan’s painting perhaps) does she shrink in scale to the size of humans in that painting or does she effectively become a giant in Cadogan’s painting? More to the point, if she is hiding in a painting of a map of Argyllshire, would she be a giant on that bird’s eye view landscape, or would she shrink to scale with the features of that landscape and thus hide more effectively? How would they find her?”

Kat: [laughs] That’s such a great question. I’d never thought about that.

[Rosie laughs]

Caleb: Good grief.

Rosie: I think in movie canon we see people changing sizes to fit the portrait, but we also see that giraffe that walks through that obviously doesn’t change size to fit the portraits.

Caleb: Right.

Rosie: So it’s complicated, and they haven’t decided themselves within the movie canon. [laughs] I don’t know.

Kat: I would think that they would shrink because it’s just an impression, it’s not a real, living soul, and they live in the portrait world, so they would have to be able to…

Rosie: They have to abide by their…

Caleb: Yeah, I would agree with that.

Kat: Right, exactly.

Noah: Portrait to portrait. What a great comment.

Kat: Right, exactly. Yeah.

Rosie: But then that giraffe should really shrink. [laughs]

Kat: Yeah, but that’s movie canon. It doesn’t count. [laughs]

Rosie: But it is more fun to see it in like sixteen different paintings at the same time.

Kat: That is very true.

[Rosie laughs]

Kat: And maybe it wasn’t a whole giraffe in the original painting.

Rosie: Maybe it was a collection of sixteen paintings that were just arranged together. [laughs]

Kat: [laughs] It’s possible. You never know.

Rosie: Maybe. Okay, well our last comment from last week is by CloverLover on the main site, and it’s about Oliver Wood and Hermione, and it says:

“This idea came to me when you guys were discussing Hermione and Oliver – immediately after Hermione casts the spell, quoting the book, ‘Wood looked as though he could have kissed her.’ I may be reading too far into this, but does Oliver have a crush on our favorite know-it-all?”

Kat: Hehe. I think that at that moment he does.

[Everyone laughs]

Rosie: I think it’s the phrase that’s used all the time about someone who is very happy that someone has done something. I don’t think it’s necessarily…

Caleb: Yeah.

Rosie: …indicative of a crush at all.

Caleb: Right, yeah. I think so as well.

[Rosie laughs]

Kat: I concur.

Rosie: However, there are millions of fan fics that you could write about it. [laughs]

Noah: For more on this, you can go into the fan fiction section on MuggleNet.

[Everyone laughs]

Kat: That’s right. Awesome.

Caleb: So we’ll move into discussing our special feature from last episode, which… we did the Artifact Inspector on the Marauder’s Map. So the first comment, and it’s not really a comment, it’s pictures, but rebeccatheravenclaw on the main site shared with us two pictures from an artist on deviantART. The artist is viria13. Maybe we can throw this in the show notes or something because these graphics are incredible. I love them.

Kat: Yeah, they’re pretty great.

Caleb: Yeah.

Kat: I really wanted to see these moments in the film and I’m kind of sad we didn’t get to.

Caleb: Yeah. The first one shows the Marauders all over some pieces of parchment, creating the Marauder’s Map. It looks like Sirius is over it. I don’t know what he has in his hand, if it’s a compass or just some sort of drawing tool. But they’re sort of huddled over it, Sirius, James, and Remus are doing most of the work it looks like, and Peter Pettigrew is just sort of hanging back, looking uninvolved.

Kat: He’s like, “Uhh, why am I here?”

Caleb: Right.

Kat: Is what he’s saying. [laughs]

Caleb: And the second graphic is showing Fred and George figuring out how to open it, and George is saying, “OMG, OMG. Freddie, it worked!” I also like that he calls him Freddie.

[Everyone laughs]

Caleb: Like do we ever see that happen in the books? I don’t think so.

Kat: It happens in the movie. He says, “How are you feelin’, Freddie?”

Caleb: Oh yeah, that’s true. And then Fred says, “I already love these guys, George… Georgie.” Not George, Georgie. [laughs]

Noah: Well, that’s adorable.

Caleb: Yeah.

Kat: That’s pretty adorable. [laughs]

Caleb: So we should show that in the show notes because they’re incredible.

Kat: Totally.

Caleb: But the first actual comment comes from LumosNight3 on the forums and this user was suggesting that they all made it together, all four of the Marauders. And this started a lot of other breaking off discussions about the making of it and… [pronounces as “say-an”] Saiyan? I think I’ve had trouble with this before.

Kat: [pronounces as “sigh-an”] Saiyangirl.

Caleb: [pronounces as “sigh-an”] Saiyangirl.

Noah: Guys, no, it’s [pronounces as “say-an”] Saiyangirl. Haven’t you ever watched Dragon Ball Z?

Caleb: I have not.

Kat: No.

[Rosie laughs]

Noah: You could be a Saiyan, you could be a Super Saiyan, or you could be a Saiyan level three or level four. But the word is Saiyan. Saiyangirl.

Caleb: And you… never mind. [laughs] Okay, thank you, Noah. Saiyangirl, I apologize.

[Noah laughs]

Caleb: But the comment says:

“I firmly believe they made it together. I think this is the reason the map has soaked up so much of their personalities when they respond to Snape for example, or their intent to pass their knowledge on to other troublemakers like Fred and George.”

Which I think that totally makes sense.

Kat: Yeah, completely agreed.

Caleb: On the forums, Firebolt said the following:

“In terms of how the Marauders found the passages, I reckon you’d only need to find one really. As soon as you found one passage behind a tapestry you’d check every tapestry, as soon as you found one passage behind a statue you’d search every statue, and so on with other locations. Another idea though, I think Hogwarts helps. Magic is always shown to have a personality and Hogwarts particularly so. I think it would make subtle suggestions to those curious, or perhaps even those who weren’t in order to make them curious. Perhaps a tapestry would suddenly flutter open a little and reveal a passageway, perhaps someone would walk past a statue of a one-eyed witch and think, ‘Hang on, did that witch just whisper Descendio?'”


Rosie: I like the idea of statues whispering their appropriate spells.

Caleb: Yeah, totally.

Rosie: That’d be quite fun.

Kat: Kind of creepy, though.

[Rosie laughs]

Noah: Yes, very creepy. Does Hogwarts castle want them to be misbehaved?

Caleb: Does Hogwarts have a personality, that it can transfer that to them?

Kat: I think so. I mean, it’s definitely been said that Hogwarts feels alive because of the magic in the air…

Caleb: Right.

Kat: …and the history and just the age of the building. So yeah, I think so.

Caleb: I can’t remember who it was, but there was another user… someone else on the forums was talking about the ghosts around the castle also helping.

Kat: Yeah, see that would be my problem. I’d walk by a statue or something and something would whisper and I would be like, “Peeves?”

[Rosie laughs]

Caleb: Yeah.

Kat: I probably wouldn’t believe that it was a statue. But then again, I’m not a troublemaker type anyway, so…

Rosie: I think a lot of it would come from word of mouth, though. Like these passageways must have been created at one point, and therefore people would have known about them originally, and it just gets passed down through the folklore of the school.

Caleb: Right.

Rosie: People telling you a quicker way to get to the Top Tower or whatever.

Kat: Maybe that’s true, but then I don’t think Fred and George would have been so impressive if everybody had known about how to get into the kitchens and how to get into Hogsmeade.

Rosie: Well yeah, but they wouldn’t have passed on everything, and things would have gotten lost. I just meant you would have heard a rumor about one particular passage, not about all of them…

Kat: Okay. Fair enough.

Rosie: …whereas the Marauders would have collected that information and found their own passages. Yeah, it’s an interesting idea. I don’t know. [laughs]

Kat: Can I just comment very quickly on the fact that at the book festival last week, Jo said she would never write a prequel story about the Marauders?

Caleb: Right.

Noah: But she did.

Rosie: She already did. [laughs]

Kat: I just want to express my sadness.

Noah: She did write a prequel story about the Marauders.

Kat: Okay, that was like a page and a half.

Rosie: Yeah.

Kat: I think she meant like a legit book.

Caleb: Right.

Rosie: Which is sad.

Caleb: But it also… God, now that you brought that up, it seems like every time she gets asked the question about writing more Potter books, her answer is slightly less restricted.

[Rosie laughs]

Kat: Right? Right? Definitely true, definitely true.

Caleb: Every time she answers, it’s like a little crack opens in the possibility of the way she answers it.

Kat: Yeah.

Noah: I still want a Silmarillion-esque encyclopedia.

Kat: Oh, I think we all do.

Caleb: Well, The Silmarillion is not an encyclopedia, Noah.

Noah: That’s true, I’m sorry. I’ve just insulted many fans. You know what I mean, backstory.

Kat: Yeah.

Caleb: Yeah, I agree. But I still, every time she answers, I study her words for thirty minutes. Like, what could this mean?

[Kat laughs]

Caleb: And it just seems like every time she says it…

Kat: She’s breaking down. The longer she’s away from Harry, the more she misses him.

Noah: Have there been any more tweets?

Kat: No.

Caleb: No. No, no, no.

Noah: Pen and paper. [laughs]

Kat: Are you kidding me? That would have gone viral in half a second if she had tweeted.

Noah: Anonymous should hack that account.

Caleb: No!

Noah: That [would] make some fans pretty excited. [laughs]

Caleb: Don’t even… no, those bastards. Don’t even put anything into their minds like that.

[Noah laughs]

Caleb: They already screwed up… ugh, I don’t want to go into that. Never mind.

Kat: Yeah.

Caleb: So our next comment is actually a voicemail. Mike, from Boston. So we’ll go ahead and play that now.

[Audio]: Hi, my name is Mike. I live in Boston. And I’m listening to this week’s podcast when you’re talking about when Fred and George give Harry the Marauder’s Map. And it occurred to me: How did Fred and George have a map that said exactly who was where in Hogwarts and they never noticed that Peter Pettigrew was sleeping in bed with Ron every night? And furthermore, did they ever notice in Sorcerer’s Stone that Voldemort was always attached to Horcrux-Quirrell? Well, I love the podcast and everyone is great. Have a great day!

Caleb: All right, so there’s some good thoughts here, and one of the main thoughts that Mike brought up is something I’ve always thought about. Why don’t Fred and George ever notice that Peter Pettigrew is sleeping with their brother?

[Everyone laughs]

Kat: That’s so true.

Rosie: It’s something that so many people have asked.

Caleb: Yeah. [laughs] So that’s interesting. And then, also…

[Rosie laughs]

Caleb: …we have something that I had actually not thought of, was why did they never notice that Voldemort was attached to Quirrell? Which I think there is an easier answer for that, that since he wasn’t a full person he wouldn’t have showed up on the map, perhaps.

Kat: But I think that it shows souls.

Caleb: Hmm.

Kat: Because if it showed only – quote, unquote – people, then it probably wouldn’t have shown Pettigrew.

Noah: Right.

Kat: So I think that it shows souls, and there was definitely a part of his soul in Quirrell. So…

Noah: Maybe the two names, it was like, “Professor Quirrell, Hashtag Voldemort.” Or like…

Kat: Hashtag? [laughs] I’m not sure they use hashtags…

Noah: Or maybe…

Kat: …in the wizarding world.

[Noah laughs]

Rosie: Ginny would have been carrying around Lord Voldemort for a year as well, so why didn’t they notice him then?

Kat: [gasps] That’s true.

Noah: Maybe they just thought it was a weird V or a weird squiggly line that the map couldn’t quite calculate because it was half of a person. [laughs] So it was just weird symbols around some people.

Rosie: I don’t think the Marauders knew about Horcruxes, and I don’t think the map would show up a part of a soul. It would need to be a full soul to show up.

Caleb: Hmm.

Kat: Hmm.

Caleb: Yeah.

Rosie: So that explains the Voldemort bit. But the Pettigrew bit was just a bit of oversight, I think.

Caleb: Same.

Kat: I think all of it was oversight.

[Caleb and Rosie laugh]

Kat: But I still think Voldemort would show up on the map. I do.

Caleb: Maybe he would be very faint. [laughs] Like the opacity on the dot would be only halfway there.

Noah: Yeah.

Kat: Here’s a question: Do ghosts show up on the map? Have we heard anything about that?

Noah: Invisible ink.

Kat: Ha ha. Funny.

[Noah laughs]

Kat: Ba dum bum.

Caleb: I don’t know.

Rosie: I don’t think so.

Kat: I don’t think so either.

Noah: There isn’t a Sir Nicholas ghost swaying through the hallway?

Caleb: It would just have to go back… if Jo ever reveals how they actually made the map, it would come down to that, like what kind of spells they used to make people show up.

Kat: Which is why I firmly believe that it shows souls. Because ghosts are dead and their souls are gone.

Rosie: I think it’s more the idea of… like the sci-fi idea of life signs on a map. You see it often in various sci-fi things that you would get a map with little dots on them that would be people, based on their life signs.

Caleb: Hmm.

Rosie: So ghosts wouldn’t show up that way. I’m guessing that Horcruxes wouldn’t show up that way. If you were looking for human life signs, then Pettigrew would never show up when he was in rat form. But then we see Pettigrew in rat form, so it’s a bit confusing.

Caleb: Right.

Kat: Wait. But that’s only movie canon, right?

Rosie: What, that we see him in rat form? Because I think…

Kat: On the map. No, that does happen in the book, right?

Rosie: Yeah, I think it happens.

Kat: Does it, though?

Rosie: We know that he’s following him, but maybe he’s in human form at that point.

Kat: Maybe.

Rosie: Maybe that’s the answer.

Kat: I don’t know. I’m really interested to hear what fans think about this.

Caleb: Yeah.

Kat: Because I know it has been brought up and discussed for years.

Caleb: Right. Well, the next comment comes from Hufflepuffskein on the forums and it says:

“The film version makes use of different sections of parchment moving to represent different floors, I think. But reading the canon description, it just seems like a flat piece of paper. What about the different floors? Does it change based on the floor the user is on? Harry is on the third-floor when the twins give him the map and the one-eyed witch is there, so perhaps the map senses he is there and so shows him that level.”

In a later comment, Hufflepuffskein also talks about the magic that would have gone in… would have been used to create the actual map, thinking it’s mostly James, Sirius, and Lupin. So it’s a pretty well thought out post if you want to go check that out to see. But back to the comment about the floor levels. Yeah, I guess I never really thought about that more in-depth because I got so used to the movie canon of the map.

Kat: Well, the movie canon of the map is huge. They unfold it and refold it.

Caleb: Right.

Rosie: I think the movie canon was needed to do that because Hogwarts is such a big place and it’s kind of impossible to visualize otherwise, and it just makes it look a bit more magical and interesting as well. But I think the book canon with it being just one single page would have just had… how many floors is Hogwarts supposed to have? I think it was just seven, wasn’t it?

Kat: Seven.

Rosie: So it would have the seven floors kind of in floor plan form, one above the other. Just small.

Noah: I’m just surprised that they were able to create something this incredible. Can you think of another device made by students? I mean… and they transform themselves into Animagi.

Kat: Yeah, they’re pretty freakin’ incredible, right?

Rosie: Mhm.

Caleb: Yeah.

Kat: They’re pretty incredible. I do think that it must [be] magicked to show different floors. That’s my word of the day, magicked. Sorry.

[Caleb and Kat laugh]

Kat: I think it must change depending on what floor you’re on.

Caleb: Yeah. I can’t… well, but also, it’s got to show you more than the floor you’re on, I would think.

Kat: That’s true because how would you know where Snape was if…

Caleb: Right.

Kat: …you were on the third floor and he was on the seventh?

Rosie: Mhm.

Kat: Hmm.

Caleb: All right. Well, our last comment on the Artifact Inspector comes from jessfudd on the forums, saying:

“I think the four worked together to come up with the whole map. Perhaps it was Lupin who thought it would be good to see where teachers were so they wouldn’t get caught. And Peter probably wanted to see where the other students were, since he was sort of a watcher on the sidelines. He seems like the kind of kid who would want to know where things were going on, or he’d want to be able to check and make sure everybody wasn’t hanging out without him. I’m sure James and Sirius were responsible for the insult aspect of the map. So they probably all contributed ideas then worked together to actually learn/do the magic.”

I thought this was a really great way to show how all four could have lended part of themselves to the map.

Kat: Yeah, their different personalities, how it meshed together. That’s cool.

Caleb: Yeah.

Kat: Good thought.

Rosie: But it’s also slightly creepy because the only other thing that we’ve seen that is a textual form of a personality is Voldemort’s diary.

Caleb: Yeah.

Rosie: So how close…

Kat: I know somebody has to say it, so did they put a piece of themselves in the map?

Noah: Whoa. Whoa.

Rosie: Yeah, how close is the map to a Horcrux?

Caleb: Well, they didn’t have to kill anyone, so…

Noah: Guys, you can’t be saying that the Marauders… the Marauders did not make Horcruxes.

[Rosie laughs]

Kat: No, because they didn’t murder anybody.

Caleb: Or did they?

Rosie: Maybe it’s like…

[Kat and Noah laugh]

Kat: Or did they?

Rosie: They almost murdered Snape.

Noah: That’s true.

Caleb: Well, that’s true.

Noah: Could you have a full-fledged conversation with the map, do you think? Or does it have only a certain amount of responses at a certain point where it just says, “Get out of my face”?

Kat: It can’t talk to you. It can’t tell you anything except the information that was put into it.

Noah: Didn’t it talk to Snape?

Rosie: It recognizes Snape, but that might be because he grew up with them.

Kat: Right.

Caleb: Hmm.

Kat: Hmm.

Noah: We know it can give hints, kind of. Little… until you know how to use the map exactly. So it seemed to have some form of agency, almost as if it has the fusion of all the brains, kind of like the Sorting Hat does of the Founders, maybe.

Rosie: Yeah, maybe it is… yeah, it’s more like the Sorting Hat than it is the diary. But then it is particularly their personalities rather than a unique personality like the hat.

Kat: Well, the Sorting Hat is a mix of all four of their personalities, and it can talk to you and read your thoughts. I don’t think the map can do that. It definitely can’t talk to you.

Noah: Well, it can speak. Doesn’t it say, “This is from Prongs, this is from Moony”? That’s kind of like talking. Not talking talking with the voice, but…

Kat: I think that’s like a title page when you start a video or something, you know?

Rosie: No, because the unique voices have unique responses to Snape.

Noah: Right. So I think it has some sort of… some kind of sentience. Maybe the same that a computer program might be able to respond to certain inputs.

Rosie: Or it’s just magic. [laughs]

Kat: That answer is not as fun.

Rosie: I know. [laughs]

Caleb: All right. Well, that’s all the comments on Artifact Inspector.

Noah: And now it’s time for the responses to the Posed Question of the Week, of the last week. Who… I forget whose question this was.

Caleb: I did.

Noah: Here’s Caleb’s question from last week: “Primarily, why would Dumbledore condone it?” And what is he condoning? The fact that Peter Pettigrew was made the Secret Keeper for the Potters. “We know he volunteers himself, but the Potters want to stick with their friends – but how could he have let Pettigrew fill the role, when he would have known what Pettigrew was like at school?” That’s “What would Dumbledore have known?” “Sirius would have, without question, died for his friends if caught, but surely the same confidence was not evident with Peter? Sure, Sirius was the obvious target if Voldemort came looking, but he was also the strongest. So in the end, our question comes down to – why did so many people accept this Secret Keeper swap?”

So our first response to that question comes from sgreybe, I believe is the pronunciation:

“The simple answer would be: Dumbledore did not know. I don’t think Sirius told anyone that he had swapped being Secret Keeper with Pettigrew, except Lily and James. Remember that Sirius also suspected that someone close to the Potters was a spy for Voldemort, so I don’t think he told anyone about the swap.”

Oh, okay. So Caleb, it would seem that Dumbledore didn’t actually know that Peter Pettigrew was the Secret Keeper.

Caleb: Yeah, I mean, that makes a lot of sense. And I can see the possibility of Dumbledore… the possibility… I still think Dumbledore probably knew because I think James and Dumbledore were very close. I mean, otherwise… I mean, James is letting Dumbledore use his invisibility cloak. I just think James and Dumbledore are very close, and I believe Dumbledore did know. So…

Noah: Okay. I mean, that’s a possibility. But then the argument is: If he did know, did he act illogically? Because then he should have been aware of Pettigrew’s…

Caleb: Right.

Noah: …misleadings. So here’s a response from Tweak6 on that:

“I think the reason they swapped is two fold – Sirius was pleased with himself coming up with such a brilliant plan, and was blinded by his genius so he didn’t see the possible faults in his plan. James however truly believed that Peter, like Sirius and Lupin, would die for their friends. It goes back to James’ ability to trust to a fault, which Lupin talks about in DH after Moody’s death. Harry shows the same complete trust in others that his father did, and this ability to trust turns out to be James’ fatal flaw.”

Caleb: Yeah.

Noah: That would be to the reason why they’d make…

Caleb: Mhm.

Noah: …this swap in the first place. And apparently… and Tweak6 is saying Sirius is blindsided.

Caleb: Right. I actually like this response a lot. I think it plays into their characters very well. And I can actually see this happening.

Kat: I’m actually surprised by the fact that this was Sirius’ idea. I guess mostly because of something that I guess sgreybe said, that Sirius suspected that someone was a spy for Voldemort. So why would he put… why would he trust anyone else with that? If it [were] me – maybe it’s mostly because I’m kind of OCD – but I wouldn’t trust anyone else with my friends’ lives if I [had] suspected there was a spy.

Caleb: Yeah.

Kat: I just wouldn’t. I wouldn’t let them put their trust in anyone else but me.

Caleb: Yup. I mean, I think that’s definitely reasonable, and I think that’s where Sirius’ character flaw comes in.

Noah: But I imagine they probably… he probably thought there was no way it could possibly be Peter because…

Caleb: One of those four, yeah.

Noah: …he was such a coward. So they didn’t think he’d be even capable of going near the dark forces, let alone betray them.

Caleb: Right.

Noah: For the Dark Lord’s benefit. Next comment from NightStrike91:

“The fact that Peter would be the last of the Marauders anyone would believe to have been entrusted to be Secret Keeper plays the largest part in why James and Lily swapped, I think.”

Okay, so that’s reiterating this point.

“Additionally, Peter can transform into a rat, and he could therefore hide more effectively than the others.”

Oh, that’s a really good point actually. Because that makes sense if potentially Peter is getting chased or something, he can just transform and get out of there.

Kat: That’s true.

Rosie: But you’ve got the symbolism of the rat as well. I mean…

[Noah and Rosie laugh]

Rosie: …if you’re going to trust anyone, would you trust the dog – which is man’s best friend – or the rat, who is meant to be evil and…

Caleb: Yeah.

Rosie: …untrustworthy? [laughs]

Caleb: Well, I think that plays more into the symbolism of Jo, the way she… choices she made for the characters.

Noah: Yeah.

Rosie: Yeah.

Noah: I mean, if the Marauders have…

Rosie: But they should know that as well. [laughs]

Noah: Well, it would seem that in their world symbols are real…

Rosie: Yeah.

Noah: …in a sense. If they knew they were in a book and that “Oh, I shouldn’t give this to the rat…”

[Kat laughs]

Noah: That makes sense.

Kat: No, but I mean the thing is he chose to be a rat for a very specific reason. It mirrors a part of his personality. Yes, sure, they needed a small animal in order to be able to push the knobby thing on the tree, but there[‘re] a million small animals: squirrels, chipmunks, rabbits, a cat. I mean, he could have been anything. He chose a rat.

Rosie: Do you think they actually choose their creatures? Because I always assumed that it was more like the Patronuses, and it just reflects part of their soul.

Kat: Umm…

Noah: Ooh.

Rosie: And that’s why James is a stag, and also his Patronus is a stag.

Noah: Well, actually that comes up in my chapter notes later, so we can even table that discussion.

Rosie: Okay. Discuss that later. [laughs]

Noah: Sweet. Next comment from nana… and Caleb, this is to what we were talking about: If Dumbledore knew, why would he do this?

Caleb: Right.

Noah: Here’s the comment:

“Despite there being four Marauders, it’s safe to say that James and Sirius were the closest. It is obvious that Dumbledore would have been the best choice, but in his arrogance and immaturity, Sirius thought he could outsmart Lord Voldemort and James was perhaps convinced by his more rash but trusted friend. More importantly, why didn’t Dumbledore exert more authority? I believe he was very busy running the school, head of the Wizengamot, Chief Mugwump, et cetera. Not to mention, the leader of the resistance. There was plenty on his plate and there were other deaths and disappearances. The war was at its height. However, I think the most significant reason is that Dumbledore did not wish to control everyone’s choices. Dumbledore believed in free will and that even the wise cannot always foresee the consequences of every decision and so he understood the importance of allowing events to play out. He does that quite often in the series.”

I could believe that. Dumbledore does want people to make their own choices, but then again he does make all these plans for the greater good. So it doesn’t seem…

Caleb: Right.

Noah: Why didn’t he control the situation?

Caleb: I can see this on one hand, but also how we’ve talked numerous times about Dumbledore being something of a puppet master in some ways. I don’t know.

Rosie: So…

Noah: Because there is a terrible implication of all this.

Rosie: We’re saying that Dumbledore let Lily and James die so that Voldemort could mark Harry as his equal?

Noah: Precisely.

Caleb: Right.

Rosie: Which is really sad, but I think it’s completely believable in the character that Dumbledore transforms into by the end of the books.

Caleb: Yeah, I mean, if he’s…

Rosie: Which I think is a very different character from the beginning, from when we first meet Dumbledore.

Caleb: I mean, yeah, absolutely. If he [were] setting it up all along for… spoiler alert, but I mean, if Dumbledore play[ed] it out because he [knew] that Harry ha[d] to die, and if he [was] willing to let Harry die then there’s no reason the same wouldn’t be true for Lily and James.

Kat: Caleb, you just ruined the entire series for me.

[Noah and Rosie laugh]

Caleb: Well, I’m sorry.

Kat: What the heck.

Rosie: The only thing that I’ve just been thinking of is that we know that Dumbledore had James’ invisibility cloak when James died.

Noah: Yes.

Rosie: Was he being distracted by the Hallows instead of focusing on what was going on?

Kat: Yes.

Noah: You know what I think?

Rosie: No.

Noah: I think he took the cloak because he didn’t want Voldemort to get it and therefore escape death.

Rosie: Ehh. Maybe.

Caleb: Oh, my God. That… we are covering some really…

[Noah laughs]

Caleb: …deep backstory huge things here that I have never thought of that I think are absolutely legit.

[Rosie laughs]

Caleb: Noah, that is completely legit.

Noah: Isn’t that possible?

Rosie: Yeah, it could be.

Noah: Oh, man.

Kat: But Voldemort didn’t know about the… he didn’t believe in the Deathly Hallows. We know this.

Rosie: No. And he wouldn’t know that cloak from any other cloak that he could get…

Kat: Right, so I don’t think that that’s true. It’s a great theory, but I don’t think that’s true.

Noah: It’s an interesting theory. No, I hear you. [laughs]

Caleb: Hmm. I don’t know. I think that if he found… if he ran across a cloak and he in some way figured out that it was empowered with invisibility then he’s taking that sucker.

Rosie: But I’m guessing that Voldemort is like Dumbledore: He wouldn’t need a cloak to be invisible.

Kat: Right.

Rosie: And he wouldn’t want to be invisible anyway.

Noah: But think about it: Of all the Hallows – let’s say Voldemort knew what they did – which would he want? The Cloak because then he could escape death.

Caleb: No, no. He’d want the Elder Wand.

Kat: Actually he said that he would…

Rosie: He would always go for the Elder Wand.

Caleb: Yeah.

Kat: No, actually it’s been said that he would take the Stone.

Noah: What?

Caleb: Said by who[m]?

Rosie: Who[m] would he resurrect?

Kat: By Jo.

Noah: Who is she in this discussion? [laughs]

Kat: Jo is who she…

Rosie: Who would he resurrect? Because he doesn’t care about his mother.

Noah: His mother. [laughs]

Rosie: He killed everyone else.

Kat: He would want to see his family again. Absolutely.

Noah: Whoa. I don’t know about that. I think he’d take the Cloak.

Rosie: I don’t think…

Kat: I’m going to find you the quote right now!

Rosie: I think that’s misremembering, Kat. [laughs]

Noah: I don’t think it’s canon. She said it after the fact. I’m calling BS on Jo Rowling. [laughs]

Rosie: He would go for the wand. I don’t believe that he would go for the Stone because he has no one that he would want to resurrect.

Noah: Right. Except for his mother, perhaps.

Caleb: No, not even her.

Rosie: But he doesn’t care about her.

Caleb: No. The only way I could see him wanting the Stone is if he thinks he can master it in some way that if he ever did die he could bring himself back, but I think if that’s the case then he would rather want the Wand to prevent it from happening.

Rosie: Yeah. He wouldn’t know the story well enough to know that the Cloak is the best choice.

Noah: Well…

Rosie: And he’s too power hungry and evil to want to hide the whole time.

Caleb: Of course.

Noah: While Kat is searching for that quote, let’s… let me just read the next comment from merrymarge:

“I thought Sirius had to convince James to change Secret Keepers. James was very reluctant. I don’t think he trusted Peter, not like he trusted Sirius. James wouldn’t want Dumbledore to be Secret Keeper, simply because Dumbledore was Headmaster. James didn’t have the same relationship with him that he had with Sirius.”

And I thought that was a very good point. I think, for James, it was kind of a pride thing that he wanted the Secret Keeper to be one of his close friends as opposed to someone who is in big… a lot of power. But I think that was his downfall in a way because, had Dumbledore been the Secret Keeper – which I can see is probably the most logical choice – that would have probably guaranteed his safety, but I think he wanted to test his friends and their loyalty or something. I don’t know.

Caleb: Yeah. I agree.

Rosie: I agree that I don’t think Dumbledore and James were that close. We always project Dumbledore’s relationship with Harry onto Dumbledore’s relationship with other people, and it’s not the same at all.

Noah: Right.

Rosie: I don’t think… if, for example, Mrs. Weasley needed a Secret Keeper, I don’t think she would necessarily go straight to Dumbledore. It would be the obvious smart choice, but she has a level of respect for him that isn’t necessarily friendship, and I think she would go for someone closer, although we don’t really know many of Mrs. Weasley’s friends. Maybe Tonks. I don’t know.

Noah: It just seems like James’ choice – James and Lily’s choice – seems to be on a matter of not what’s necessarily logical but what is [the] most powerful protection, and they trust their friends – in this case to a fault.

Rosie: Poor Lupin.

Noah: Silverdoe25, yeah.

Rosie: Just because he’s a werewolf.

Noah: “‘No, I think you’re like James,’ said Lupin, ‘who would have regarded it as the height of dishonor to mistrust his friends.'”

Kat: Okay, so I can’t find the quote right now, but I’m going to look for it.

[Rosie laughs]

Kat: But I remember it. I remember it specifically because she was talking about the moment where Dumbledore puts on the ring…

Noah: Yeah.

Kat: …and how badly he wanted to see his family again, and that’s why he would chose the Stone. I’m going to find the quote.

Rosie: Yeah, Dumbledore would choose the Stone, but Voldemort wouldn’t. We’re talking about Voldemort.

Caleb: Yeah.

Kat: We were talking about Dumbledore.

Caleb, Noah, and Rosie: No, we were talking about Voldemort.

Kat: Well, then the whole thing is moot because I thought we were talking about Dumbledore.

Noah: Ahh.

Caleb: [laughs] No, Dumbledore definitely wants the Stone more than anything.

Rosie: Yeah.

Caleb: Yeah, I agree.

Noah: Yeah, of course.

Kat: Okay, well, apparently I didn’t have my listening ears on.

[Caleb and Rosie laugh]

Kat: Sorry.

Noah: But guys, let’s say in a perfect world Voldemort understands what the Wand and what the Cloak [do]. He can go for either one, which is he going to pick? The Cloak.

Kat: No.

Rosie: But that’s what’s most interesing about our main three characters of Dumbledore, Voldemort, and Harry, is that Voldemort would choose the Wand, Dumbledore would choose the Ring, and Harry would choose the… I think Harry would choose the Cloak because he would want to protect his family.

Kat: Mhm.

Caleb: But that’s not what he says.

Rosie: No?

Caleb: When he, Ron, and Hermione all pick something.

Kat: Yeah, he says the Stone.

Caleb: He says the Stone, Ron says the Wand, Hermione says the Cloak.

Rosie: I guess.

Noah: And Voldemort is beyond… he’s so scared of death. That is his most motivating factor, so he knows the weaknesses of the Elder Wand. He wants to be all powerful, but I think that was because he didn’t know what the Cloak necessarily signified and did. But if he knew it was actually from the shroud of Death itself and could evade death foever, that’s what he’s going to take.

Caleb: I disagree because I don’t think he wants to hide in the shadows.

Noah: All right.

Rosie: Yeah. If you think about all of the attacks that Voldemort ever does, he always puts the Dark Mark above the house. He’s never about hiding.

Caleb: Yeah.

Noah: Okay. That’s legitimate, but I still would like to see what the fans say to that, which they think he would pick.

Kat: It wouldn’t be the Cloak because he can turn himself invisible without a cloak.

Noah: You guys are missing the point. It’s whatever. Okay.

[Caleb and Rosie laugh]

Noah: We’re moving on. [laughs] That so ends the Question of the Week responses.

Caleb: Awesome.

Rosie: Okay. So we shall move on to this week’s discussions, which are Chapters 11 and 12 of Prisoner of Azkaban: “The Firebolt” and “The Patronus.”

[Prisoner of Azkaban Chapter 11 intro begins]

[Sounds of howling wind and walking footsteps]

Hermione: Chapter 11: “The Firebolt.”

[Prisoner of Azkaban Chapter 11 intro ends]

Caleb: Yeah. So here in Chapter 11, Harry is returning to Hogwarts from Hogsmeade, feeling somewhat betrayed. He wonders why no one told him the real story about his parents and Sirius and that relationship, how Sirius betrayed them. So I can definitely understand this story that’s been looming, and of course Harry is going to go through this a lot in this series. But that’s pretty rough, never really figuring out what happened when all these people around you know. I’m trying to think… this has happened to me several times, and I’m sure other people growing up – with parents or other people – have you ever had this experience where you knew you learned something much later, and you felt very put off by it?

Kat: Yes. I’m not going to elaborate, but yes.

Caleb: Yeah.

Noah: I’ve never felt any deep-seated betrayal. I mean, I’m sure at some point, but I can’t think of a time.

Rosie: But it’s always better to know the truth and not have things hidden from you, so yeah. It’s not a good feeling.

Kat: I don’t know. Ignorance is bliss.

Rosie: Not in this case.

[Noah laughs]

Kat: Well, not in that case. That’s true.

[Rosie laughs]

Kat: But I think in some cases. I…

Rosie: Well, maybe it was because Harry was a lot happier before he knew. So yeah, ignorance is bliss.

Caleb: Yeah. And so following this, Harry starts to develop this very deep hate for Sirius. There’s a quote from the book: “He watched, as though somebody was playing him a piece of film, Sirius Black blasting Peter Pettigrew who resembled Neville Longbottom.” So the reason I brought that quote up is a little bit before that he’s talking about how much he hates Sirius now, and he’s envisioning everything that happens, but this [is] here because Harry links Peter Pettigrew to Neville Longbottom, which is something we talked about on the last episode. So that was really interesting.

Kat: Yeah, and I actually found this great quote on the forums from Firebolt. I know we don’t usually read comments from listeners at this point, but I thought it was so great because it played into what we were talking [about] last time.

Caleb: Mhm.

Kat: I’m going to read it if you guys don’t mind.

Caleb: Yeah.

Kat: It says:

“To what extent are James, Remus, and Sirius responsible for how Peter turned out? He seems to be tolerated rather than fully embraced in their group and put down quite often by the others. Maybe this changed over the years, but the ‘always tagging along’ description from McGonagall suggests otherwise. Compare this to the way the trio treat Neville. They spend lots of time giving him extra help with lessons and particularly do this in the Dumbledore’s Army sessions. They really make a huge difference in his life both mentally and in terms of magical ability. Does this show the fallibility of the Sorting Hat too? I think with both Neville and Peter it would have seen the potential to be great Gryfindors amidst the other weaknesses. With Neville it worked, the house gathered around him and helped. With Peter, perhaps the potential was never truly fulfilled.”

Caleb: What a great comment.

Rosie: Yeah.

Noah: Yeah, it’s interesting.

Caleb: I totally buy it. Yeah.

Kat: And I think that’s really the only way that you can compare Peter and Neville.

Caleb: Yeah.

Kat: Is to… how they were lifted up and, I guess, walked on [laughs] by the people in their house, and how different they turned out because of it.

Caleb: Yeah.

Rosie: But I think it’s also interesting that Neville really comes into his own when he’s given freedom without the trio there. He becomes the hero of Hogwarts when the trio have left during the last book. So he steps out of the shadow whereas Peter never does.

Caleb: Right.

Kat: Absolutely.

Noah: What I think is really interesting is that Harry makes the choice of saying that Peter Pettigrew resembles Neville Longbottom. So clearly Harry feels very protective over Neville, so by linking him to Peter in this image of Sirius Black…

Rosie: He’s the victim.

Noah: …it makes it even more sentimental for Harry…

Rosie: Yeah.

Noah: …because he feels like Sirius blasted someone who could have been like Neville, when this guy was nothing like Neville.

Caleb: Yeah.

Kat: Do we think maybe that’s why Harry shows – what’s the word I’m looking for? – doesn’t kill Pettigrew later?

Noah: Because of this potential connection to Neville?

Kat: Yeah. Because he sees him as the underdog.

Noah: I don’t think it’s that, towards the end. I think it’s just because of his moral sensitivities to…

Caleb: Yeah. The line…

Rosie: He doesn’t want to kill anyone.

Caleb: Yeah, he doesn’t think his parents… I think it’s Sirius… no, it’s Remus who says that, “Your parents wouldn’t want you to be a killer.”

Noah: So I think the Neville connection ends when he meets the real Peter.

Rosie: Yeah.

Caleb: Mhm.

Kat: Got it. Okay.

Caleb: All right. So then the holidays start, and Hermione and Ron tell Harry to not go looking for Sirius Black, which of course he wants to because he’s Harry and he’s always wanting to find that ounce of trouble. And there’s this interesting inner dilemma that Harry’s sort of going through. He isn’t sure… he’s developed this hate for Black, but he isn’t really sure he wants to kill him. But he definitely wants to take some sort of action. And this whole section of the reading, I’m thinking these are very strong feelings and very deep conflicts for a thirteen-year-old, and it really shows the trauma that Harry has gone through already.

Kat: Yeah, he’s pretty damaged.

Caleb: Right.

Kat: He’s pretty damaged.

Caleb: So I was definitely not having these issues at thirteen years old.

[Rosie laughs]

Kat: No, I don’t think most people do.

Rosie: No. Hopefully.

Kat: I’m sure that there are kids out there that do go through this, but…

Caleb: Right.

Kat: Probably not because a wizard murdered their parents, but still.

Caleb: Yeah. And so to try to get his mind… well, no, actually that’s not… well, Hermione and Ron try to get Harry’s mind off things, to take him down to Hagrid’s. It starts out with Harry being like, “Yeah, let’s go to Hagrid’s. I want to know why he didn’t tell me this story.” But when they get there, they find out that Hagrid’s having some issues of his own because he has gotten a letter about Buckbeak’s hearing with the Ministry to figure out what’s going to happen to him after the, quote, “attack” on Malfoy. It’s also interesting because Buckbeak is just chilling in the cabin, but we know that cabin is not very big.

[Noah laughs]

Caleb: So if he’s in there, there cannot be much room at all.

Kat: Yeah, the cabin is pretty small. If you see it… when you go to the Studio Tour, they have it there and it’s really not very big at all. [laughs]

Caleb: Right.

Kat: It’s very small, in fact.

Caleb: Right.

Kat: So I feel like Buckbeak would be laying on Hagrid’s bed being like, “Oh, yeah. Living the life.”

Caleb: Yeah. And how did they not know…

Rosie: The interesting fact is… sorry, about the Studio Tour, there are actually two Hagrid’s cabins, one that’s a lot larger than the other one, and they used it so that they could get the perspective size right so that the kids could look smaller…

Caleb: Oh, yeah.

Rosie: …compared to Hagrid.

Kat: Where’s the second one?

Rosie: I think they destroyed it. I think it was the smaller one that they keep in the Studio Tour…

Kat: Oh, okay. I didn’t know that.

Rosie: …and there was a larger one that doesn’t work anymore.

Kat: I was like, I didn’t see two!

Rosie: [laughs] That’s why you’ve got to talk to the people there, because they have all of the interesting facts.

Kat: I wasn’t… there were no people the day that I was there. I was there on just a press day and there were no guides whatsoever. It was…

Rosie: Well, hopefully this summer you can go back. [laughs]

Kat: Yes, absolutely.

Noah: Are there character actors, too?

Kat: No.

Rosie: There are occasionally.

Noah: That’s great.

Rosie: There are Death Eaters at half-term.

Kat: Oh.

[Rosie laughs]

Noah: I will say the best character actor, though – completely off-topic – [is] the Hogwarts Express guy at Wizarding World of Harry Potter. He is the man.

[Everyone laughs]

Caleb: I’m sure he appreciates that. [laughs]

Noah: Wherever you are, listen to this episode.

Kat: When I see him next week, I will tell him that you said that.

[Rosie laughs]

Kat: Or next month, not next week.

Noah: Yeah.

Caleb: So it’s also… there’s a funny moment because when Hagrid is moping about the trial coming up, Hermione and Harry are offering to help him. Hermione offers to help go through books, figure out a defense. Harry says that he’ll go in as a witness. [laughs] And Ron just offers some tea.

[Everyone laughs]

Caleb: He says that’s what his mom does in these moments. It’s pretty funny because they both give Ron this look, like come on, Ron.

[Noah laughs]

Kat: I feel like that’s an English thing. Is that wrong?

Rosie: Yeah, that’s a very English thing. [laughs]

Kat: Yeah, I thought so.

Caleb: Yeah.

Rosie: If there’s ever any kind of stressful moment or anything that’s sad or anything, just a cup of tea will make it all better. [laughs]

Kat: [laughs] Lovely.

Caleb: In the States it’s like, “God, I just need a drink.”

[Caleb, Kat, and Rosie laugh]

Kat: I wanted to take a second because when I was reading this chapter I realized that I knew very little about the history of hippogriffs, so I looked it up and found an interesting little tidbit. It says that Hippogriffs are the offspring of a griffin and a mare, and are the symbol for impossibility and love. And it immediately made me think of Hagrid’s father and his giantess mother.

Noah: Whoa!

Caleb: Hmm, interesting.

Kat: Is that why Hagrid is so in love with Buckbeak? Not like in love, but you know what I mean.

Rosie: Aww, that’s so sad! Like he doesn’t want them to kill Buckbeak because that’s essentially killing Hagrid.

Kat: He identifies with him, right!

Caleb and Rosie: Aww.

Noah: Is that why Buckbeak is in Hagrid’s bed?

[Caleb laughs]

Kat: No.

[Noah laughs]

Kat: Okay, don’t go there, buddy.

Caleb: God! Ugh!

Kat: Noah always has to take it that one step.

[Noah and Rosie laugh]

Noah: The necessary step. Oh no, we’re never going to get back from this.

Kat: But I thought it was so great, that maybe that’s why they’re like best friends.

Rosie: Aww.

Noah: Aww.

[Noah and Rosie laugh]

Caleb: Yeah.

Kat: So I thought it was interesting anyway.

Noah: Buckbeak would leave Hagrid for like a… I don’t know, what does he eat?

Kat: A dead ferret. Dead ferrets.

Noah: Yeah, he’d leave Hagrid for a bunch of dead ferrets.

Caleb: Nom, nom, nom!

Noah: It’s completely on Hagrid’s side, this love thing.

[Kat laughs]

Noah: Friendship, whatever. [laughs]

Kat: I wasn’t saying that they’re in love.

Noah: Oh.

Rosie: She’s saying that they’re like twin souls.

Kat: Right.

Noah: Oops.

Caleb: Right.

[Noah and Rosie laugh]

Caleb: Okay, so before Noah takes it another step…

[Noah laughs]

Caleb: Hagrid starts talking about Azkaban and he talks about his own experience, which is really one of the first times we hear Hagrid talk about what he went through there, how he was going mad… despite being innocent, because we obviously know Hagrid was innocent. And it made me think, how was Sirius Black able to stay relatively sane while he was in Azkaban? Like what did he do to keep… I mean, he was there a long time. What did he do to keep the Dementors from infiltrating his mind?

Rosie: He transformed into a dog. [laughs]

Caleb: See, and I was thinking about if… because I can’t remember because it’s been a while since I read later books when he gets to talk to Harry more, particularly in Order of the Phoenix, and I can’t remember if he ever actually talks about it.

Rosie: Yeah, he does. I think he does say that he transformed into a dog for most of the time because he still had his powers. Because of the whole idea that he was innocent wasn’t a happy thought, they couldn’t sap away enough of his personality to stop him being able to perform magic.

Noah: Right.

Caleb: How do they not notice him turning into a dog then?

Rosie: Because he’s a lesser mind. Or the brain waves are different so they could tell that he wasn’t quite human anymore, which is what the insane people register as. So they just thought…

Noah: But you’d think they would have filed it in their report that one of the inmates kept turning into a dog.

[Caleb laughs]

Rosie: They can’t see.

Noah: Because we know they talk…

Caleb: I don’t think Dementors file reports. [laughs]

Kat: I was going to say. They don’t have eyeballs, I don’t think.

Noah: But they can communicate, so they could have told Fudge in their raspy voice: [as a Dementor] “He’s a dog now.”

Rosie: They don’t know that he’s a dog. They know that he’s not quite human anymore, but they think that he’s insane.

Caleb: Hmm. Okay.

[Rosie laughs]

Noah: Oh.

Rosie: And he just transforms back into a human when other people come and inspect. So he was human that day that Fudge was there, but he’s a dog all the other time.

Noah: Right. I just had this great vision of Dementors filing their reports, their daily reports. “Hey, what did you get, Jim?” “Oh, you know, I had the dog again.”

Kat: [laughs] Jim? You think the Dementor’s name is Jim?

Noah: “How are the wife and kids?” “Oh, they’re all right. They’re…”

[Rosie laughs]

Noah: “…a little sad these days.”

Rosie: Okay, we need a t-shirt that’s Jim the Dementor saying, “How are the wife and kids?”

[Everyone laughs]

Caleb: God. All right, so they’re talking more about how they can save Buckbeak from an execution, and this is when they’re in the library actually looking up past cases, and they come across a couple but none of them ended well. But it also made me think… God, and I know Noah is going to take off on this.

[Noah laughs]

Caleb: What kind of animal rights groups do we think might exist in the magical world? Because some of these creatures, these cases they come up with, shouldn’t have necessarily ended the way they did. And it made me wonder… then my mind took off to, if there are animal rights activist groups in the wizarding world, are they as excessive as the one that we see most often, PETA?

Kat: So what, do they go around and throw dragon blood on people or something?

Caleb: [laughs] Exactly. Yeah.

Rosie: Stopping people from wearing dragon-hide gloves and things.

Caleb: Yeah.

Noah: No, I don’t think it exists because what I’ve been getting from these chapters is that the wizarding community isn’t… they don’t seem to be very passionate or worried about use of animals for magical purposes.

Rosie: Yeah. The wizarding community seems to be very kind of supremacist.

Caleb: Right.

Rosie: They don’t think of any creatures other than humans as having intelligence. They get that whole thing of “near human intelligence” for centaurs. So wizards and humans are considered a lot more important than any animal or creature.

Caleb: Mhm.

Noah: Right, and we happen to know that as Hermione grows up, she actually changes laws and policies for creatures in the wizarding world.

Kat: Can I go slightly off-topic for a moment and say, how do we think wizards tolerate… I guess, what is their tolerance level of other things, like gay wizards?

Rosie: I don’t think they’re particularly intolerant towards that kind of thing. I would hope not anyway.

Caleb: Yeah, seriously.

Noah: Does sexual orientation come up at all as a theme?

Caleb: Yeah, I mean, it doesn’t. Jo doesn’t address it, so…

Rosie: I think that’s important, though. The fact that she doesn’t address it and the fact that she so readily just says, “Dumbledore is gay, just accept it,” I think that is important within the books.

Noah: There is an Academia episode Keith was telling me about in which it’s all about canon, and this expert claimed that Dumbledore is in fact not gay because it’s not mentioned in the books. It was mentioned kind of as peripheral information.

Rosie: Yeah.

Kat: Screw that, who cares if it’s not mentioned in a book? Jo said it, it’s true.

[Noah laughs]

Caleb: It’s her character, I’m pretty sure she can do whatever she wants.

Rosie: It’s alluded to in the books. Yeah.

Noah: But, just to play devil’s advocate here, let’s say… she has said many things in the past that tend to contradict each other. So could it be argued that what she says is not necessarily…

Rosie: I think the fact that it’s not dealt with is a good thing because it shouldn’t necessarily be something that needs to be dealt with. The fact that it’s just readily…

Kat: It’s not a big deal. Right.

Rosie: …accepted and it’s just okay makes it even better than if it was an issue.

Kat: Yeah, I agree.

Caleb: I agree.

Noah: We’re all agreed that Dumbledore is gay?

Caleb and Kat: Yes.

Rosie: Yeah.

Noah: All right, me too. Cool.

[Kat and Noah laugh]

Noah: Moving on.

Caleb: All right…

Rosie: It would be nice if there were a gay character that we see, but it’s not important within the books.

Noah: And we talked briefly about how Gilderoy Lockhart is particularly flamboyant, but that shouldn’t and doesn’t necessarily transfer over to gay, just even discussion of those stereotypes and stuff. Yeah, I don’t think she touches on it really anywhere in the book series.

Kat: It’s just not part of her message.

Noah: Yeah.

Kat: Which is fine, it doesn’t have to be. I was just curious.

Rosie: Love is good, therefore…

Caleb: [laughs] Yeah.

Rosie: …love is fine in all respects.

Caleb: Bingo.

[Noah and Rosie laugh]

Caleb: So then, Harry suddenly gets a new broom, and it is the amazing, incredible, awesome Firebolt.

Rosie: Woo! [laughs]

Caleb: It comes without a note though, and so we don’t know who has sent it to him. So it made me think about who I thought it was the first time I read the book, and I can’t remember who I thought…

Noah: Lupin.

Caleb: …if maybe I just blew through it. I think I did think Lupin. He seems like the obvious choice, and I think it’s even… I can’t remember if it’s Ron or Hermione who suggests it. No, I think it’s Ron that suggests that it might have been Lupin.

Noah: That’s what I thought except he’s dirt poor.

Caleb: Right, which is the argument brought up. Then I thought maybe it’s McGonagall again because she gave him the first one, and we know how intent she is on winning the Quidditch Cup.

Noah: But if that’s true, she has a really funny way of hiding it. She takes it back. [laughs]

Caleb: Well, yeah. Of course. That sort of squashes that rumor. So then… well, we’ll get to this at the end of the chapter, but did anyone think of anyone else it might have been that sent it to him?

Rosie: Dumbledore?

Caleb: Yeah, that’s another possibility.

Rosie: I can’t remember who I thought of at the time because it was so long ago. [laughs]

Caleb: Right.

Kat: Yeah. Me either.

Noah: Voldemort.

[Everyone laughs]

Noah: He’s not in this book.

Kat: No, I probably would have assumed Dumbledore, quite honestly.

Caleb: Mhm.

Rosie: Yeah.

Caleb: Yeah.

Rosie: Because he’s always sending him secret messages and things.

Caleb: Right.

Noah: Yeah.

Rosie: Like the cloak, for example.

Noah: I really thought it was Lupin. He would have sold all his life savings just to be Harry’s friend.

[Caleb and Rosie laugh]

Kat: Oh, what a sad, tragic story. But no.

[Everyone laughs]

Caleb: That was the coldest thing ever. Oh, my God. [laughs] Okay.

Noah: Smack down.

Caleb: So we get the scene of Crookshanks’s pounce… they’re in the dormitory and Crookshanks pounces on Scabbers. Ron is trying to kick Crookshanks and then he misses, kicks the trunk, hurts his foot, hops around. And I just really wish this scene would have been in the movie because it’s just all over the place, in complete chaos.

Rosie: Rupert would have loved the slapstick stuff.

Kat: Can I say… I wish that they did with this movie what they did with Half-Blood Prince. Not so much for the fact that you completely lose the plot, but what I enjoy about Half-Blood Prince, one of the only things I enjoy…

[Noah laughs]

Kat: …is that it’s very light-hearted…

Caleb: Yeah.

Kat: …and it’s funny. It includes so many of my favorite comedic moments.

Caleb: Right.

Rosie: Yeah.

Kat: And I feel like… while I enjoy the Prisoner of Azkaban movie, I feel like it’s very serious.

Caleb: Right.

Kat: There’s not enough comedic moments.

Rosie: Are you kidding? With all of the Whomping Willow cut scenes?

Noah: Killing the birds. Yeah.

Rosie: The little bird and everything. [laughs]

Kat: That’s not funny. I don’t…

Rosie: True, I guess. I think there’s…

Kat: It’s not a person doing – quote, unquote – “slapstick.” It’s like…

Rosie: No.

Noah: Yeah.

Rosie: But I think Prisoner of Azkaban is very much a transition movie and a very artful movie. It’s changing from the Chris Columbus nice, kind of Christmas, kids movies to a proper, kind of fancy drama series.

Noah: Yeah.

Kat: Sure.

Rosie: And it was needed in that tone that it is, and it is actually one of my favorite movies.

Noah: Objectively speaking, it is the best movie in the entire series.

Kat: No, okay, we’re not going to get into this discussion. That’s not true.

Rosie: It’s very sad that they had to cut out so much of what they did to make it as artful as it is.

Noah: Alfonso Cuarón is a cinema God, but who am I to say? [laughs]

Kat: Yeah, who are you to say?

[Noah laughs]

Rosie: But to get back to our discussion for this week… [laughs]

Caleb: Right. So while this is happening, the Sneakoscope – Harry’s Sneakoscope – goes off, and we know now that it’s obviously because of Scabbers/Peter Pettigrew, but it’s interesting that it just sort of gets passed off. They sort of just move over it and don’t really pay attention to it going off and actually alerting them that something’s going on.

Noah: But here’s my question: Why doesn’t it whiz all the time? Because that… if Peter is always with them, then the Sneakoscope should…

Caleb: Well, because it’s in his sock, isn’t it? I think that’s what it is.

Kat: Yeah, it’s stuffed in his sock.

Rosie: It’s still in his sock when it goes off. But it’s…

Caleb: So this is the first time that he’s really around it with Pettigrew there.

Rosie: No, because he’s… it’s… Peter, or at least Scabbers, is always in the dormitory with Ron, but this is the first time… I think I’ve mentioned before, I assumed that the Sneakoscope goes off when Peter is… when Scabbers is thinking like Peter, so when the deception is kind of at its height.

Noah: Ah, that’s what I thought.

Caleb: Hmm. Okay.

Rosie: Because I think that Scabbers… he kind of does assimilate with the rat most of the time. So when Crookshanks chases him he’s afraid and he’s thinking like Peter, so the Sneakoscope goes off.

Caleb: Okay, that makes sense.

Kat: Plus the trunk is open and it fell out of the sock and it’s on the floor.

Caleb: Right.

Rosie: Yeah. Okay.

Kat: So it’s more easily heard.

Caleb: Mhm.

Kat: But I agree with Rosie. That’s completely…

Noah: How many meters does the Sneakoscope have a range for, of deception?

Caleb: Sixteen point two.

Noah: Whoa.

[Kat laughs]

Rosie: It depends on the size of the Sneakoscope.

Noah: The length of Hagrid’s wand.

Caleb: [laughs] Okay.

[Noah and Rosie laugh]

Caleb: So they get to the Christmas dinner and they walk into the Great Hall, Harry and Ron, and there’s only one table. They pushed the house tables to the side, and Snape and Dumbledore and McGonagall are chilling out eating, and they join the table. [laughs] And there’s also another really amusing scene that I want in the movie. It’s when Dumbledore has one of the crackers, and Snape pulls it back and it explodes. And I think it’s a vulture hat, pops out…

Rosie: Yeah.

Caleb: …and of course, Harry and Ron think about the Boggart scene. [laughs] That’s just really amusing.

Rosie: It’s brilliant.

Caleb: I would have loved to see Alan Rickman respond to that on film.

Kat: It would have been pretty awesome.

Caleb: Yeah.

Kat: Yeah.

Caleb: So Lupin is… they bring up that he is sick. [laughs] And there’s this really good back and forth between Trelawney and my home girl Minerva…

[Caleb and Noah laugh]

Caleb: …and she says something like, “But surely you already knew that, Sybill.” And it kind of goes back and forth a couple of times, where McGonagall is pretty much calling out Trelawney on being a fake. And then that ends with her mentioning a mad axe-man waiting outside to kill them because Sybill makes a big deal out of the thirteen sitting down. When thirteen dine together, the first to rise is the first to die.

Noah: Who is the first to rise?

Caleb: Well, Harry and Ron get up at the same time.

Noah: Hmm.

Caleb: So…

Kat: I think that this… if Jo had decided to kill Ron…

Caleb: Yup.

Kat: …in Book 5, she would have brought it back to this moment.

Caleb: Probably so. I think that…

Noah: Right.

Caleb: …she set it up there as a possibility.

Kat: Right. Completely agree.

Noah: And Harry kind of dies.

Caleb: Yeah.

Kat: Well, no.

Noah: A little bit. [laughs]

Kat: But yeah, I think that this was her setting up Ron’s death in Book 5, since they are the parallel books in circle theory.

Caleb: Right. Yup.

Kat: Wait, was he going to die in Book 5 or Book 6?

Caleb: I can’t remember.

Kat: “5”. I’m pretty sure it’s Book 5.

Rosie: “5”, I think.

Caleb: Oh no, wasn’t it Arthur was going to die in Book 5?

Noah: Yeah, because she wanted to kill all the father figures.

Caleb: Because Arthur was going to die first and so… but she decided to save him, which is why Lupin ended up dying.

Kat: Right, but she did say she had considered killing off Ron.

Noah: She did.

Caleb: Right, but I don’t think… I don’t know if it was limited to a certain book for Ron.

Noah: Right.

Kat: Hold on, I’m going to look it up.

Noah: It was probably going to be “7” for him, I would anticipate.

Caleb: Yeah.

Kat: It says, “Midway through writing the series.”

Noah: Midway? Kill Ron midway? She must have been really dark.

Rosie: I thought she decided midway.

Caleb: Yeah, that’s what I was thinking.

Noah: Oh.

Rosie: That he would die midway.

Kat: No, it says, “She considered giving the red-haired Weasley a chop midway through the series.”

Caleb: That’s talking about Arthur.

Rosie: Yeah, that’s her considering it midway, not that he would die midway.

Noah: And are we talking death or a haircut?

[Rosie laughs]

Caleb: Oh, my God.

Rosie: Carry on.

[Noah laughs]

Caleb: Well anyway, they leave the dinner. Harry and Ron get up together, they find there’s in fact no mad axe-man waiting for them in the Great Hall. They get back to the dormitory, and Hermione comes up with them shortly after, but she has Professor McGongall with her to take the Firebolt away because they’re concerned that it has been jinxed, cursed, modified in some way because it might have possibly come from Sirius Black.

Noah: And in fact, it did come from Sirius Black.

Caleb: Right, we find much later.

Noah: Very ironic. All right, that was Chapter 11. Now we’re going on to Chapter 12: “The Patronus.”

[Prisoner of Azkaban Chapter 12 intro begins]

Harry: Expecto Patronum!

[Sound of a spell being cast]

Michael: Chapter 12.

Harry: Expecto Patronum!

Michael: “The Patronus.”

Harry: Expecto

[Sound of a body collapsing]

Harry: Ow!

[Prisoner of Azkaban Chapter 12 intro ends]

Noah: Our next chapter begins with Harry being very angry with Hermione because – again as, Caleb, you just said – the Firebolt has been taken away by Professor McGongall. And he is so whiny in the opening of this chapter.

[Rosie laughs]

Caleb: Yeah.

Noah: He is so upset about it. “He was positive there was nothing wrong with the Firebolt,” is the exact quote, but then I was thinking to myself, “Harry, come on. Don’t you remember just two years ago, you kind of had issues with a broomstick, almost died.” Shouldn’t he be a bit more wary of broom issues, given that happened? Or is he just… this is just classic Harry here, not thinking about anything. [laughs]

Rosie: Yeah, but the broom itself wasn’t a problem at that time. It was someone cursing the broom from the stands.

Caleb: Right. Plus, it’s a Firebolt! Man, you just want to take off on that thing.

[Noah and Rosie laugh]

Caleb: You want to shoot out the window on that sucker. I would.

Noah: Yeah. And he’s like… I understand that, and he and Ron are mortified when they sort of describe how Hermione and McGonagall… McGonagall’s going to strip it down to look for jinxes and curses. And I was thinking, what does that necessarily consist of, stripping down a broomstick for jinxes? Or are they actually taking apart manually, or are they maybe putting other spells and enchantments on it?

Caleb: Yeah, I think Harry and Ron are overreacting about the stripping down because I think if they actually physically took apart the broom, it would not go back together perfectly. So…

Noah: Yeah, because that was left pretty ambiguous. I mean, he will get it back at the end of the chapter, but he’s so concerned about it, both he and Ron…

Kat: It’s Wood, actually. Also in the beginning of the chapter, his face goes pale when Harry tells him that McGonagall wants to strip it down.

Caleb: Right.

Kat: So I have a feeling that what it does is kind of like if you were to take apart the transmission in your car…

Noah: Yeah.

Kat: …it’s just never going to quite run the same as it would if you didn’t tamper with it.

Noah: Yeah. And given that, this seems to be a pretty good moment to bring up something I have later in my chapter discussion. And please go with me here, I hope no one is necessarily offended. There is a theory – it’s not necessarily a feminist theory, but it’s also kind of Freudian – that the broomstick is not necessarily a phallic symbol, but could reflect… maybe it being taken away by McGonagall and Hermione is some kind of castration anxiety, that they’re losing this broom, or this thing that’s very powerful, happens to be phallic.

Rosie: Umm, no.

[Kat, Noah, and Rosie laugh]

Noah: Okay.

Rosie: It’s a small item, he wants to be able to fly on it because it’s amazing, and yeah it’s not… I mean, historically, it’s always witches and broomsticks that are related, not as a phallic symbol.

Noah: Yeah, I would just say that it could be here…

Rosie: If anything…

Noah: …because the Firebolt is judged as this really… the best broom in the world. It’s prized by specifically the men here, even though there are women who also play Quidditch. This is between Wood and Harry and Ron, this excitement for the Firebolt…

Rosie: And Angelina and Alicia and all the other women that look at it. [laughs]

Noah: Right, but they’re not looking at it now. But seriously…

Rosie: Because they’re not there. It’s Christmas!

Noah: Yeah, but maybe the gender of the players aside, is it a beacon of masculine power or excitement for Harry as a young guy?

Kat: Absolutely. They’re definitely looking at it as, “Yes, this makes me almighty, powerful Quidditch player.”

Rosie: But not necessarily…

Kat: Yes, I do agree with that. Completely.

Noah: Right. So then I was… there is some other evidence in the chapter that I can kind of circle back to this, but I don’t know to what degree it’s true or I’m reading in too much of it. You might be right, Rosie. But I just thought it was a kind of interesting thing to look at.

Rosie: I agree that it makes him more powerful. I disagree that it’s because he’s male.

Noah: Yeah, okay, it’s just sort of a power thing that both men and women can see.

Rosie: Yeah.

Noah: Yeah. All right, so moving on to the next point. On page 174, he’s talking – Harry’s talking – and he says, “McGonagall reckons Black might have sent it to me.” That’s when he’s talking to Wood. And as you were saying, Caleb, yes, it actually came from Sirius Black. Little ironic moment in this chapter.

Kat: Or, you might say, a genius moment.

[Caleb laughs]

Noah: Or maybe a genius moment. You would say… [laughs] Kat’s phrase. But that made me think, how did Sirius end up by… how did he come to buy the broom in the first place without being detected? Because that is the argument that either Wood – I forget who exactly gives it to Harry – but how could Sirius have…

Kat: Doesn’t he tell us later on that he sends a message with Crookshanks or with Hagrid – I mean, Hedwig – or somebody. He orders it by mail, basically…

Rosie: Yeah.

Kat: …and orders them to take the money out of his vault.

Noah: Out of Sirius’s vault?

Kat: Correct.

Noah: Okay. If that’s the case, then the owls are not doing their job because if the Ministry really wanted to catch Sirius Black, maybe they should have watched the owls.

Kat: I don’t think owls are under the law. I don’t think they’re mandated.

Noah: [laughs] Now I’m thinking of these owls against the law.

[Everyone laughs]

Kat: Like Cops or something?

Rosie: But how would they take the money out of Black’s account? Surely Black’s account is being watched.

Kat: I’m sure it is, but if nobody… he didn’t physically go into the bank. He can probably order whatever the heck he wants by owl post.

Noah: Rosie, didn’t you hear? The owls took the money out.

[Kat and Rosie laugh]

Noah: They went right into the Ministry of Magic. “We don’t need a key. We’re owls!”

[Kat and Noah laugh]

Rosie: It just seems really silly. If Gringotts is meant to be this magical place that no one can ever break into, and yet an owl can take money out of your account, it’s just, what?

[Caleb and Noah laugh]

Noah: They have no way of stopping owls.

Rosie: Anyone can mail order anything.

Kat: Right.

Noah: No, they can’t stop those owls.

Kat: Okay, it says here… in the final chapter of this book, it says that Crookshanks, who is half Kneazle, took the order form to the owl office, which instructed the money to be taken out of his account at Gringotts. So no owl went to Gringotts to do it. It was just an owl order thing.

Noah: That’s what you think.

Rosie: But surely then whoever should refuse to take the money out, refuse to take the order of a…

Kat: But why? They don’t know that it’s Sirius. What if he has a long-lost relative that uses that account?

Rosie: That’s not how the accounts work. [laughs]

Noah: Wouldn’t it be reasonable to follow up on that purchase, though, and to say, “Maybe this guy knows where Sirius Black is…”

Rosie: Yeah. [laughs]

Noah: “…if they’re using his money”?

Kat: It’s just a cat.

Rosie: It is very lax security at Gringotts, I think, at this moment.

Kat: Well…

Noah: Only for owls.

Kat: …it’s the wizarding world. They just don’t care.

Noah: And back to the… back to castration anxiety.

Caleb: Oh, God.

Kat: Of course. I mean, let’s segue.

Caleb: Can we please stop? [laughs] Can we please stop?

Noah: My main issue was the fact that Wood becomes pale, Harry and Ron are utterly shocked. So not so much that the Firebolt was a symbol of power, but for them specifically it was as if these women had taken away this powerful icon thing, and for them it might have represented a castration complex.

Rosie: Or it’s as if they had the best broom in the world, and they’ve taken it away. [laughs]

Noah: No, that’s all. It’s either what I said, or they’re just generally upset that they had this cool thing and it was taken away. Pick which side you want.

Kat: I’m sure there’s somebody out there that thinks… that agrees with your phallic symbol stuff.

Rosie: Yeah.

Noah: Well, we have thousands of fans. So statistically speaking, someone is going to…

[Caleb and Rosie laugh]

Kat: At least one percent.

Noah: At least one person out there cares! [laughs]

Kat: [laughs] That one person should write to Noah. Give him support.

[Rosie laughs]

Noah: Please. Or I’ll just write an essay about it and plug it to the entire MuggleNet audience. Anyway, so Harry… Wood again – not for the first time – intimates to Harry that he is afraid of “What if Dementors come, and are you prepared?” And Harry says, “Yeah, I’m going to take lessons with Professor Lupin, and he is going to teach me how to ward these Dementors off.” And in fact, much of this chapter is spent in Lupin’s office with Harry learning the Patronus Charm. The Patronus we first get from Lupin is kind of described as an anti-Dementor. I’m just going to read the brief summary of what he says. It is on page 176, if you will bear with me a moment.

Kat: Or 237, if you are reading the US edition.

Noah: Right, right, I’m sorry. I’m using the British copy because we all know that is the legitimate copy.

[Rosie laughs]

Noah: “The Patronus is a kind of positive force, a projection of the very things that the Dementor feeds upon – hope, happiness, the desire to survive – but it cannot feel despair, as real humans can, so the Dementors can’t hurt it. But I must warn you, Harry, that the charm might be too advanced for you. Many qualified wizards have difficulty with it.” So once that happens, you guys will remember the iconic scene in the Prisoner of Azkaban movie – which is, again, the best movie – of Harry just trying to fend off this Boggart/Dementor. And again, of course it’s in the book too. But as it’s happening, Harry continually fails but he remembers… he hears voices in his head – specifically of his mother screaming out – and after that there is a concern that he might be failing on purpose because he wants to hear more of these voices. However, the scene in general, just Lupin teaching him this whole thing – I’m sorry that my chapter notes are so problematic this week – but I find this entire scene to be kind of like the most oddly sexual in the entire series, just in terms of the fact that Harry is being taught to use his wand. Expecto Patronum charm is this… the language that is described when it comes out of his wand, it’s this silvery gas. Lupin is teaching him, it’s a discovery of maturity in the sense that the Patronus Charm is a… in the sense that it is a protective force. It also comes out of this happy memory. He has to fill his mind with this happy thing and then it kind of comes out in this spew. So am I reading too much into it, basically is what I am saying? Or is there some… is Jo possibly playing some tricks here with some kind of hidden sexual undertones?

Kat: Well, our special feature this week is all about the Patronus Charm. So let’s talk about that when we get down there because I think I have a couple of points that will help you with that decision.

Noah: Okay. All right, thanks. Then that’s fine. I also want to talk about the fact that Harry is hearing Lily’s voice. Is this like using a Pensieve in a way, this fact that he can go back into his own memories? Or should we hold off on that, too?

Kat: No, we can talk about that. I don’t think it’s like a Pensieve. I think it’s the Dementor feeding on… I don’t know, bringing those things to surface, and that’s why he remembers them.

Caleb: Yeah, that’s deeply rooted in his subconscious.

Noah: Right, but the effect of it is that he learns more of his memory. He doesn’t necessarily go into it like a Pensieve, but he’s able to tap more of that memory just by having this experience.

Kat: To recall more.

Noah: Yeah. And there’s a sense of…

Rosie: It’s brought forward.

Noah: And there’s also a sense in the chapter that, again, like I said, he has this desire to do it. The exact quote is on page 180: “He’d never be able to produce a proper Patronus if he half-wanted to hear his parents again…” Then later in the chapter: “He felt guilty about his secret desire to hear his parents’ voices again.” So do you think that featured into why he didn’t learn the Patronus immediately, because was he potentially using these lessons with Lupin to hear more of these memories inside his head?

Kat: Yeah.

Noah: Like seeking this sort of druggie experience.

Rosie: I think we’ve already heard him say that it’s not exactly a nice memory to be able to hear Lily screaming just before her death. Yes, he wants to hear his parents’ voice and things, but I don’t think he necessarily would like to hear that particular memory so much because it is quite a sad one. So I think it is just a hard charm as well. It’s like an additional perk, but not necessarily stopping him from being able to cast a Patronus.

Kat: I agree with that, that it’s probably not the ideal memory for him. But do I think that he put off putting a hundred percent effort into it so that he could hear his parents again subconsciously? Yes.

Noah: Yeah.

Kat: Because… yeah.

Caleb: I mean, that’s the inner monologue… I think that’s pretty implied in the reading.

Kat: Yeah, very much.

Noah: Exactly.

Kat: Very much.

Noah: But my question is, is he seeking it almost like a drug? It’s this weird thing that he’s doing. He has this strange desire to hear their voices.

Kat: Absolutely. Yeah, absolutely. And I don’t think he’s doing it consciously.

Rosie: It’s the same as the Mirror of Erised.

Kat: Right, yeah. Very much. Although he did make the conscious decision to sit there in front of it. I think that Harry is so lonely and he wants to… anything to do with his parents, he just wants to experience that world so bad, to be with his parents – to hear them, to hug them, to touch them, to feel them, whatever – that subconsciously he just can’t produce the charm properly because he’s missing so much of that part of his life.

Noah: Right. Until he actually has a conversation with himself and actually confronts his subconscious and says, on page 180 of the UK edition: “‘They’re dead,’ he told himself sternly. ‘They’re dead and listening to echoes of them won’t bring them back. You’d better get a grip on yourself if you want to win that Quidditch Cup,'” as he eats a chocolate frog. And I just thought that scene was cool because Harry rarely just sits down by himself and deliberately talks to himself. And I think on an earlier episode, I brought up the “in his own head” theory – how many Harrys are there? I’m not saying he has multiple personality disorder. I just… I think it’s interesting in these scenes where he’s talking to himself and then the character seems to grow out of that. Is this… did anybody else find this particularly cool or interesting?

Kat: Yeah. I mean, I definitely think that Harry talks himself in and out of things a lot by just force of sheer will, actually. I think he’s a very willful person. If he says he’s going to do something, dammit, he’s going to do it.

Noah: Yeah.

Kat: So…

Noah: I think what I was thinking about was the fact that he really grew up alone. I feel like he has a stronger sense of person than a lot of other characters, so he can more easily just talk to himself and have full fledged conversations.

Rosie: Because he had no one else to talk to.

Noah: Right. So as if this is like… this scene is symbolic of some sort of psychosis and issue that he might have.

Rosie: Not necessarily. I mean, have you never sat down and told yourself you can do it? It’s just that kind of thing.

Noah: Oh, I do it all the time. But…

Rosie: Yeah. Loads of people do.

Noah: …I think I have like… yeah.

[Rosie laughs]

Noah: I think my psychology is pretty crazy.

[Rosie laughs]

Kat: I think we would all agree with that.

[Noah laughs]

Rosie: He’s not talking to himself in the same way as having a conversation with himself. He’s just reaffirming his ideas and convincing himself to do something.

Noah: Yeah, but it just seems ridiculous because he should already know what he’s about to say, if it’s him. But anyway… [laughs]

Kat: Yeah, but I mean…

Noah: It’s fun to talk to yourself.

Kat: Well, and it’s the same… I talk to my cats. It’s the same thing and I’m not crazy. I’m sure plenty of people out there talk to their animals. It’s the same type of thing. It doesn’t matter. You know what you’re going to say, but you say it anyway because you need to hear it out loud.

Rosie: And it’s also… fundamentally, this is a book and we need to be aware of what Harry is thinking. It’s…

Kat: Right.

Rosie: …simple in that respect as well. So…

Noah: Yup. All right, so later in the chapter, Harry continues with his Patronus Charm practice. He’s getting the hang of it or he’s getting better, and Harry just asks Lupin, what do Dementors have under their hood? What’s their face like? And Lupin goes into describing what a Dementor’s Kiss is and the idea that they actually clamp their jaws onto the victim and suck the soul out of their body, leaving a witch or wizard just completely without any soul or spiritual function. They’re just a body. And the fate is described as just being the worst ever. So that in itself just reminded me of maybe a person in a vegetative state, which I guess is the only way we could… that would be the most similar thing in our world, which would be just a mindless person maybe living on life support. So there’s that and then also, Lupin wonders aloud who would deserve that treatment and Harry says that Sirius Black should deserve that and Lupin says, “Really?” And Harry is, yes, in some cases. The actual line is, “‘He deserves it,’ says Harry.” And I was thinking to myself, so we have potential… this commentary on vegetative states and on, I guess, what the nearest thing to that – of the Dementor’s Kiss – would be in our world would be the death penalty. Does Jo…

Kat: No, I disagree.

Caleb: Yeah.

Noah: Is Jo condoning the death penalty…

Kat: No.

Noah: …through Harry?

Caleb: No, because that’s what Harry suggests in the beginning, that it would kill them, but Lupin says it’s far worse.

Kat: Right.

Rosie: It’s a fate worse than death, yeah.

Caleb: Yeah.

Kat: Right, it’s…

Caleb: I don’t think we really have an equivalent…

Rosie: No.

Caleb: …in our world, unless there was… I mean, well, I’m sure there are these things and they get used and we don’t know about them, but where someone is punished by some drug or something that intentionally makes them like a lesser mental state.

Kat: Yeah, I think the only thing we have in the Muggle world isn’t a punishment. I think it’s just like you said, somebody in a vegetative state, somebody who is in a coma or…

Rosie: I would say that something like locked-in syndrome would be worse than a vegetative state, where you’re aware that you can’t do anything. I think that’s more of a torture.

Noah: Yeah, I don’t know. But I see it very close to the death penalty in our world, especially because… I guess you have to look at our political structure and the implications for it because for the death penalty it’s the ultimate… it is our ultimate form of punishment, and in their world, the Dementor’s Kiss would be the ultimate form of punishment. So just by virtue of that…

Rosie: Yeah, but their punishment is worse than ours. Yeah.

Caleb: Yeah, I think that’s Jo finding a way to show how much further the magical world goes than the Muggle world. Like it’s taking it…

Noah: True.

Caleb: …to the next level.

Noah: Okay. Yeah, I don’t know. This is just a sense I had. But I just…

Caleb: And I also don’t think the wizarding world has been using Dementors’ Kisses for that… forever either. I mean, it’s not something they’ve always done.

Rosie: No, and that’s proven by the fact that Grindelwald still has his soul.

Caleb: Right.

Noah: Right. But the…

Caleb: He’s in Nurmengard, so…

Rosie: Yeah. He’s…

Noah: But I would say that the argument and the fact that the Ministry brings it up and says that Dementors can now do this, it reminded me of when authorities say, “That man is now wanted, dead or alive,” or just, “wanted dead.” Just like… even going after Osama bin Laden, that was a… it was a buzzword. So I feel like it’s treated in this book kind of like the death penalty is treated in our world. And the fact that Harry says that in some cases you deserve it, I think that’s very interesting for his psychology, and I wonder if he still would believe that after he realizes Sirius’ innocence or if that becomes problematic for him, that thought that he had. Because he was fully willing for that to happen, but then once he learns the innocence, he would of course say that Sirius Black shouldn’t get the Dementor’s Kiss. Do you think he would change his politics, therefore, later and say no one deserves that?

Rosie: Yes. I think he does a lot of growing up and a lot of soul searching after this and decides that it is a fate worse than death and it’s not anything that anyone should ever be inflicted upon.

Kat: I don’t even believe that he believes that at this point. I…

Rosie: No, he’s just angry.

Kat: Yeah, very much. Yeah. He just wants Sirius Black to pay for what happened to his parents. But I think when it comes down to it, no, he wouldn’t want that to happen.

Noah: So after those scenes, Harry does actually eventually conjure a pretty great Patronus. He’s getting the hang of it, Lupin is pleased, and he goes back and he’s happy to find that the Firebolt is returned to him by Professor McGonagall, and he is ecstatic. So is Ron. Ron takes it up to his room and Harry finds Hermione, of course, working. And again we get mentions to the extent that Hermione has been taking two classes at the same time and this still goes unexplained. But Harry doesn’t seem to mind or care. He says… he sits down as if he’s very interested in Hermione’s homework now, because he’s over the hill because he’s got his broom. And he asks her about Arithmancy because he doesn’t think it looks like an interesting course, but Hermione is so excited and she says: “‘Oh, no, it’s wonderful!’ said Hermione earnestly. ‘It’s my favorite subject, it’s – ‘” And then it completely stops. “But exactly what was wonderful about Arithmancy, Harry never found out. At that precise moment a strangled yell echoed down the boys’ staircase,” and that’s Ron coming down to say, “‘Crookshanks killed Scabbers!'” And he’s going nuts, but I just thought it was very funny because potentially, Jo could have extended that scene where Hermione was just talking about the greatness of Arithmancy to Harry and his homework, but the readers wouldn’t find that interesting at all. So she just completely ends the sentence and it becomes a “strangled yell from the staircase.” [laughs] So that is a classic Jo segue, in my opinion. And that’s why these books are so great, because she has a sense of what fans like and you got to keep putting in forwards there, where new exciting things happen continuously.

Kat: Okay, we’re going to jump into our special feature for the week.

[“The Unspeakables” intro begins]

Michael: The Unspeakables.

Welcome Witch: Welcome, visitor, to the Ministry of Magic.

[Sound of elevator bell]

Welcome Witch: You have reached Level Nine, Department of Mysteries. Please refrain from engaging the Unspeakables in conversation and attempting to access restricted areas. Have a magical day.

[“The Unspeakables” intro ends]

Kat: So our special feature this week, The Unspeakables, we’re going to talk about the Patronus Charm and per the ushe, you know I like to give a little bit of history on the thing that we’re talking about. So I looked up what the words meant, and Expecto – as you would expect, ha ha – means “expecting” or “waiting on.” And the word Patronus is Latin, of course, and it means “protector” or “guardian.” But I found this great bit that said that in the old version of Latin, spoken before 75AD, Patronus meant “father,” which I just thought was super cool.

Caleb: Yeah.

Kat: That’s all. Since his Patronus is so much like James. Well, exactly like James. Anyway…

Noah: And considering he has that whole complex where he thinks it’s his dad.

Kat: Right, yeah. I just thought it was super cool. Again, Jo, you’re freakin’ amazing. Anyway…

Noah: We love you!

Kat: Ah! Okay. So I also found out that back in ancient Rome, it was a form of unique relationship between a patron – which is obviously the Roman word for Patronus, that’s where it comes from – and a client. So the Patronus was a protector and the client was known to be of a lower class. So the protector – or the Patronus – would have more wealth, power, and would do favors for the client. And that started to make me think about the patron saint, the guide and advocate for the heavens that’s in many religions.

Caleb: Mhm.

Kat: And I guess what I found interesting was that comparing a Potter Patronus to the patron saint is that it said – and this is from Wiki, I got this – that they’re transcended to a metaphysical and are believed to be able to intercede effectively for the needs of their special charges. So Noah, this is for you: Could we potentially say then, in some way, that Patronuses are in fact not alive but…

Noah: Alive?

Kat: Not alive, but… I can’t think of the right word for it, but I guess can feed off of and can read the emotions of the person that they’re working for. Protecting, so to say.

Noah: I don’t know. Can’t they talk too? Like Kingsley Shacklebolt’s Patronus talks.

Caleb: Well…

Kat: I think that’s a different charm.

Caleb: Yup.

Noah: Like a recording machine? Or like a thing of agency?

Caleb: But that’s just his voice.

Rosie: Yeah.

Caleb: It just carries his message.

Rosie They carry the owner’s voice.

Noah: Because what I wanted to talk about is how the Patronus might mirror the Animagus form. And Rosie, you brought up, could you… does that speak to the creature that you are inside, like some essence of yours? Or can you become any creature by choice? You just… it’s… and I think it seems to be mirroring the essence of the person, just like the Patronus is… it’s based on your emotions or who you are. So with the Animagus, it makes sense that Sirius is a dog. And it speaks to their character. Peter is a rat.

Rosie: Yeah.

Kat: But we don’t know what his Patronus is. The only two characters we know the Patronus and the Animagus form is McGonagall and Sirius, and they just happen to be the same.

Noah: Right.

Kat: But it’s not to say… it’s funny because Wonderbook of Spells has a ton of new information on Patronuses – which I thought was great – and it says that – I didn’t have this in here, but – they will not necessarily always be the same.

Noah: Is that true?

Kat: It just so happens that…

Rosie: We see Tonks’ change, don’t we?

Caleb: Yup.

Rosie: We know that before she had something else and it becomes the werewolf.

Kat: Right.

Noah: Her protector…

Caleb: Right.

Noah: …is Lupin.

Rosie: Right, because she falls in love with Lupin.

Kat: Right.

Noah: That’s interesting that Lupin becomes the form of her protector, as opposed to something that would be close to her protecting herself.

Rosie: I guess the most interesting person to discuss Patronus ideas with is Snape.

Caleb: Of course.

Noah: [singing] “Snape, Snape, Severus Snape.” Yeah.

Rosie: Because you wouldn’t necessarily say that Lily is his protector, although she does protect him at various points…

Caleb: Right.

Rosie: …that we see.

Noah: But maybe that’s what falling in love is. It’s when your Patronus becomes your partner, in a way, protecting you as opposed to you protecting you.

Rosie: Yeah. I guess that it would be like you trust them and they would be a guardian of your heart and soul. [laughs]

Kat: Well, it’s funny that you mention Snape because there was actually another bit, again, from the Wonderbook of Spells.

Rosie: Okay.

Kat: And it says that: “Only wizards that are pure of heart can conjure a Patronus.”

Rosie: Aww.

Kat: It says: “If the Patronus Charm is attempted to be cast by a dark, or otherwise non-pure-hearted wizard, who would otherwise be magically capable of casting one, rather then the intended effect of the spirit guardian bursting forth, a horde of maggots will be conjured from the caster’s wand, which will attempt to consume the caster.”

Rosie: How much of Wonderbook is actually coming from Jo? Is it all from Jo?

Kat: All of it.

Rosie: Okay.

Kat: Mhm.

Caleb: Yeah.

Kat: But that still doesn’t answer our question. Do we think that the Patronuses are in fact, I mean, alive? Quote, unquote, alive?

Rosie: I think they have a certain amount of sentience but they are based on the life force of whoever is casting.

Caleb: Yup. I would agree.

Noah: But they don’t last too long, right? They have… don’t they… what’s their timing?

Rosie: However long you need them.

Noah: Their life span is as long as you need them?

Rosie: Yeah.

Kat: Yeah.

Noah: Could they be magical orgasms?

Caleb: Umm, what?

Noah: Because, based on the fact that they’re tied to relationships…

Kat: They’re not though.

Noah: They are, because if you think about Snape’s, it becomes…

Caleb: Okay…

Noah: …the embodiment of Lily.

Caleb: …but Harry’s is based on his father.

Noah: Right.

Caleb: And Hermione’s is an otter.

Kat: Right.

Noah: Yeah.

Caleb: Ron’s is a Jack Russell terrier. So I would say no.

Noah: But they can change to take on the appearance or essence of your partner.

Rosie: They reflect your heart and soul, so they become whatever you need them to become. And for Harry, throughout his childhood – it may change later on, we don’t know – it’s his father because he needs that father figure. He needs that protector, that guardian, which he stills sees as his father even though his father died when he was young. For Snape, it reflects the thing that he’s always… that he’s protecting. So throughout his whole life despite the fact that Lily has died, he is still doing everything because he…

Kat: For her.

Rosie: For her, yeah.

Noah: But isn’t the Patronus supposed to be the protector? And so, if his Patronus is a doe…

Rosie: It protects you from…

Noah: …wouldn’t that imply…

Rosie: Yeah, it protects you from Dementors.

Noah: …that she is protecting him?

Kat: Yes, she is protecting him.

Noah: As opposed to the doe being a reflection of how he is protecting her?

Rosie: It’s both.

Kat: He didn’t protect her. She’s dead.

Noah: That’s true.

Kat: She is absolutely protecting Snape.

Rosie: Yeah.

Noah: Or he wants her to be. There’s no clue that… she’s not necessarily actually doing it. She’s dead. But his creating a doe Patronus is his wish and want for…

Rosie: Yeah, his heart and soul is reflecting Lily…

Kat: Right.

Rosie: …in a protector and in something that will guard his happy memories.

Noah: Yeah. So I guess what I’m trying to say is this idea that it’s so closely tied to relationships in a way, it makes me think that there’s something spiritual or sexual about Patronuses. But I have no… I don’t have anything to back that up. So…

Rosie: There is no connection between sexual and romantic love, is what I would say.

Noah: Well, that’s another argument that I don’t know about either.

Rosie: So it doesn’t… you can have expressions of love without necessarily needing to bring it to sex. So I don’t think that it is a magical orgasm. I think it is a protector and an embodiment of love in so far as your heart and your soul is wanting to embody this creature who represents something that you love. Or something…

Noah: I think I jumped to sex in terms that it seemed to be like Lupin was encouraging Harry in this classroom scenario to have this personal, spiritual awakening.

Rosie: If you think of that as sex, it worries me.

[Kat, Noah, and Rosie laugh]

Rosie: Lupin encouraging him in a classroom scenario equals sex. Okay.

Noah: I mean, the idea itself, the private lessons, it’s just problematic. But…

Rosie: [laughs] I think that it’s very hard to describe a spell erupting from a wand without it becoming some kind of unfortunate sexual overtone, but I don’t believe it was actually intended as anything like that.

Noah: Well, that’s the thing. I feel like you could do that with so many of the spells in the books. But I feel like in these scenes specifically, she was conscious of how it could be read that way, and wrote it such that it was kind of accessible.

Rosie: If anything, I think she was writing it to try and avoid it.

Kat: Right, I was just going to say. Yes, she’s probably very aware of the fact that it could come across as sexual, but she definitely didn’t intend it that way at all.

Noah: I’ll ask her about that if she ever comes on the show. [laughs]

Kat: There you go.

[Caleb laughs]

Kat: I think the laundry list of things we want to ask her at this point is very long.

Noah: Yeah.

Caleb: Right.

Kat: Anyway, so we got a great submission to be a guest on this episode from Kelsey from Boston. And Kelsey, I know you’re listening, I’m sorry we couldn’t schedule you to be on this episode, but I did want to bring up your point because I thought it was really great. You bring up the point about the types of memories that are needed in order to conjure a Patronus. So in this book, Lupin tells Harry that he needs a single, very happy memory, and Kelsey goes on to bring up that if in fact that were true, then why is George unable to conjure a Patronus after Fred’s death? Which is something that we learn from Jo after the fact. He’s married with children, so why wouldn’t he be happy enough to conjure one?

Noah: I guess the death took such a toll on him that it was impossible.

Kat: But it takes one single very happy memory, so are you telling me that every happy memory he’s ever had is erased because his brother is dead? What about all the times that they had together? What about all the times he has with his wife and his children?

Noah: Well, I’m thinking all the times at least with Fred are probably marred by the fact that Fred is dead. So it’s like they can’t work because it’s cancelled out.

Rosie: Lupin telling Harry that he needs a single happy memory at that moment is kind of a simple way of saying how to access this spell.

Caleb: Hmm.

Rosie: I think you need to be happy in general because otherwise everyone at Azkaban could think of a happy memory. But it’s the feeling of happiness that that happy memory brings you that is also required, and the fact that Fred’s death always kind of overshadows George’s life…

Caleb: Yeah.

Rosie: …even if he has a happy memory, he’s still got this inherent sadness involved.

Noah: Right.

Caleb: Right, I agree because I don’t think… Harry needs to call up on that memory a couple of times more when he does the Patronus Charm, but eventually becomes almost muscle memory.

Rosie: Yeah.

Caleb: He doesn’t have to think of the memory every time. He just taps into that emotion to really knock the charm.

Rosie: Sorry. I guess you’ve got kind of twin theory there as well, but Fred and George are only really complete when they have each other.

Caleb: Yeah.

Noah: Right.

Kat: Okay, so then the other point is that Draco, Jo has said that he is unable to conjure a Patronus, has never been able to do it. I would say that… despite the fact that he’s had I guess what most would consider a charmed life. So does that mean [that] Draco was never happy?

Rosie: I would say that goes back to the pure hearted idea. Draco was never entirely good, therefore he couldn’t do it, rather than happy.

Kat: Really? Because I think that Draco is actually quite good.

Caleb: I mean, he does make good choices in the end, but the fact remains that he becomes a Death Eater.

Noah: Hmm.

Rosie: I think inherently… yeah, I think Draco is good, but he’s not pure of heart.

Caleb: Yeah, exactly.

Rosie: Which makes Snape even more interesting.

Caleb: The Malfoy family transforms. They make good choices in the end, but really not because they are good of heart. Only because they have their own family’s self interest in mind.

Rosie: Yeah.

Kat: But I think Draco was pushed into doing all those things. I don’t think at heart, he ever wanted to do that. I don’t think he ever wanted to be a Death Eater. Sure, he’s not a nice person…

Caleb: That may be true. Yeah, I can agree with that, but I still don’t think he’s pure of heart.

Kat: Okay. Then let’s talk briefly for a moment about this horde of maggots that are going to be conjured from the wand…

Rosie: That’s gross.

Kat: …which will attempt to consume the casters. Isn’t that nasty?

Rosie: Yeah.

[Noah laughs]

Kat: Jo, that’s sick.

Caleb: Yup.

Kat: And I guess the last thing I just wanted to point out here… which isn’t really a point because these are all known things. I just wanted to mention a couple of the Patronuses that we do know in the series. Obviously, Harry and James’s is a stag; Lily and Snape share a doe; Aberforth has the goat; Albus has the phoenix; Hermione, the otter; and Ron, the terrier, as was mentioned. But I found this lovely gem – again, from the Wonderbook of Spells. Hedley Fleetwood, her Patronus, guys, is a woolly mammoth.

Noah: [laughs] What?

[Caleb laughs]

Kat: A woolly mammoth. And it says that it’s incredibly rare because it’s obviously an extinct creature, and they said that this is the first one in, like, hundreds of years, the first person to have a woolly mammoth.

Rosie: Does that mean that someone could have a T-Rex as their protector? [laughs]

Caleb: Yes!

Kat: [laughs] Oh my God, that would be so rad.

Noah: Caleb would have a T-Rex.

[Caleb and Rosie laugh]

Caleb: I mean, if I didn’t already know my Patronus, then I would probably go with a T-Rex.

Noah: Hey, guys, what do you all think your Patronus would be? And then after, we can throw it to the fans, too. Tell us what your Patronus would be.

Caleb: Yup. Mine’s a dire… direwolf? No.

[Noah laughs]

Caleb: Mine’s an Arctic wolf, which…

Noah: A what?

Caleb: Mine is an Arctic wolf.

Noah: Okay.

Kat: Can you elaborate as to why?

Caleb: Well, they’re kind of in some ways sort of solitary but also very… like obviously, wolves are very true to their pack. And they’re also very strong animals.

[Noah laughs]

Caleb: To keep it short and simple. Yeah.

Kat: Okay. Noah? Rosie?

Noah: I would have a rabbit and specifically a French Lop, if you want to Google that.

Kat: Are those the ones with the big, floppy ears?

Noah: Yeah.

[Caleb laughs]

Noah: I had one of those rabbits, and I felt so connected with it. I just imagine myself prancing through the fields and burrowing and… yeah, I’d be one of those rabbits.

Kat: I think you would be an asexual toad.

[Rosie laughs]

Noah: An asexual toad.

Kat: Yup.

Noah: No, I would be a rabbit, which is actually the most sexual…

Caleb: Okay.

[Everyone laughs]

Rosie: I don’t know. I’ve always liked the idea of an otter, but then Hermione stole it. [laughs] I’ve always had an affinity with dragons. I’m kind of obsessed with dragons, so I would like my Patronus to be a dragon.

Noah: Wow. Well, your Patronus can eat all of ours.

Rosie: A nice dragon, not a scary dragon.

Kat: Not just like a stupid lizard dragon, but a dragon dragon.

[Rosie laughs]

Noah: Kat, I already know yours.

Kat: What?

Noah: A cat.

Kat: Totally.

[Caleb and Noah laugh]

Kat: And that’s not a play on my name or anything, but definitely… I’ve kind of always identified with cats, so…

Caleb: That works.

Kat: Cool, good, I’m glad you all agree.

Noah: Do you think Patronuses can fight each other, kind of like Pokémon?

[Rosie laughs]

Caleb: No.

Kat: If you believe that they are kind of like a part of your soul, like the dæmons in…

Rosie: His Dark Materials.

Kat:The Golden Compass

Caleb: Oh, yeah. His Dark Materials.

Kat: …then yes.

Noah: Hmm.

Kat: I would say yes.

Noah: Because they do seem closest to that.

Caleb: Yeah, I don’t think they quite reach that potential of the dæmons in His Dark Materials.

Rosie: No. They have… they’re not a solid form, so I don’t think they would be able to fight.

Caleb: Yeah.

Kat: They can obviously communicate with each other, though, which…

Rosie: Yeah.

Kat: …is cool.

Noah: But fans out there, if you guys want to tell us your Patronus too, let us know.

Kat: Yeah, that would be really cool. There’s definitely a thread going already on the forums about that, so you should pop over there and tell us what your Patronus is and why.

Caleb: Yup.

Kat: I would love mine to be a woolly mammoth, but…

[Caleb and Rosie laugh]

Noah: As we all would.

Kat: A T-Rex, Rosie, that was brilliant.

[Rosie laughs]

Kat: I’m just saying right now. [laughs] That was brilliant. I love it.

Noah: Okay, so now I believe it is time for the Podcast Question of the Week. And it is pretty short, but I think it’s really cool. Very interesting. What happens to a soul after a Dementor has implanted the Kiss on you? What happens to your soul? Where does it go? Do you enter a kind of Dementor purgatory, or is the soul completely destroyed? Let us know in the comments on the Alohomora! main page and we’ll read them next week.

Kat: And if any of you guys want to be on the show as a guest host, as always, you know you can email a clip to alohomorapodcast at gmail dot com. Don’t forget that you need the appropriate audio and recording equipment, and that does include headphones – those are very important. And, of course, you can submit content on the Alohomora! website. If we see your comments and we like them, we just might invite you on the show. So head over to the forums and start commenting.

Caleb: And there'[re] a lot of different ways for you guys to keep in touch with us across the web. On Twitter: @AlohomoraMN. On Facebook: You can call in and leave us a voicemail at 206-GO-ALBUS – that’s 206-462-5287. Our main page is at And our main email account: alohomorapodcast at gmail dot com. And don’t forget to subscribe to us on iTunes. Leave us some comments about what you think of the show – we love to read those.

Noah: We also recently launched the Alohomora! store where you can buy shirts with the logo on them or the fabulous host shirts with their own individual designs that mirror all the main hosts of the show. They’re really cool. We also have iPhone cases, tote bags, water bottles, and much more. I would like to plug my host shirt, the “Is it alive?” shirt. Everyone should get that shirt, clearly. And they come in multiple colors, too.

Rosie: Everyone has been able to mention their shirts during the show today, so I’m just going to say mine quickly. Mine is “Hug me! I’m a Hufflepuff.” Because I can’t work that in as easily as everyone else can. [laughs]

Kat: And I just wanted to comment, a lot of people are asking why they can’t buy their shirts in house colors. We personally do not set the colors of the shirts they’re available in. We apologize if the shirt that you want is not available in house colors. You might want to try perhaps a sweatshirt because every single product comes in a different set of colors.

Noah: Yeah.

Kat: You can get the design on many different styles of shirts and sweatshirts. So if the one you’re looking at doesn’t have the right color, maybe just try another one.

Noah: Yeah.

Kat: I promise they’re all there because I made sure of it.

Noah: And the great thing about these shirts is you wear them and then you can tell your friends. They’ll be like, “What’s Alohomora!?” and you can be like, “It’s this new reread.” And that’s another thing – please tell everyone you know about this great reread. Please because we love doing this and we love connecting with more people in the world who are also rereading the books. So get the shirt; tell people about it. Let them know.

Rosie: And don’t forget, we’ve also got our app. It’s available in the US for iPhone and Android and in the UK for iPhone only, and it’s $1.99 or £0.99. And there are transcripts, bloopers, alternate endings, host vlogs, and much, much more on there. And there’s going to be a lot more coming in the future, so make sure you do get hold of that.

[Show music begins]

Noah: Well, I do believe that ends Alohomora! today. I’m Noah.

Rosie: I’m Rosie.

Caleb: I’m Caleb.

Kat: And I’m Kat. Thank you for listening to Episode 25 of Alohomora!

Noah: Open the Dumbledore!

[Show music continues]

Kat: Yay!

[Horn sounds play in the background]

Noah: Do you guys hear a horn in the background?

[Kat and Rosie laugh]

Kat: It sounded like a trumpet.

Noah: Oh, you know what? It’s the Irish Day Parade! It’s right outside.

Caleb: Ah! When everyone listens… oh, when everyone listens to this, it’ll already be over, though. But Happy St. Patrick’s Day anyway…

[Kat laughs]

Caleb: … because I’m really happy, because of my Irish heritage.

Noah: Please, everyone. Pardon the horn, but just know that it’s everyone getting really excited about the podcast.

Kat: Woo-hoo!

Rosie: Of course. Definitely.

[Kat laughs]

Noah: Hey, Kat.

Kat: What?

Noah: Do you mind if I go wash my hands? There’s like some sticky stuff on it.

Kat: Yes.

Noah: Because I was playing with some tape and…

Kat: Of course you were.

Caleb: Oh, God.

[Noah laughs]

Caleb: Just go wash your hands, Noah. Oh, God.

Noah: [laughs] I’m sorry.

[Prolonged silence]

Noah: Food for thought… or food for Dementor…

Caleb: It’s going to be such a long episode.