Transcript – Episode 29

[Show music begins]

Noah Fried: This is Episode 29 of Alohomora! for May 4th, 2013. [whispers] May the fourth be with you.

[Show music continues]

Noah: Yup, I know this isn’t a Star Wars podcast, but it is in fact May 4th. I’m Noah Fried.

Rosie Morris: I’m Rosie Morris.

Kat Miller: I’m Kat Miller.

Laura Reilly: And I’m Laura Reilly.

Rosie: Look at that, we had Harry Potter Day and Star Wars Day in the same week.

Kat: How amazing is that?

[Rosie laughs]

Noah: It’s pretty amazing. I mean, that happens every single week, right?

Kat: Well, every single year.

Noah: Every single year. Well, that’s true, but really every day. Every day should be Harry Potter Day for us.

Kat: Well, it is, isn’t it?

Rosie: Yeah, but I meant the specific Harry Potter Day of the Battle of Hogwarts, of course.

Kat: Right.

Noah: Of course.

Kat: Weren’t you following us on Twitter, Noah?

Noah: [laughs] I was sending some of those tweets.

Kat: No, you weren’t. Keith was doing that.

[Rosie laughs]

Noah: That’s true. He’s a great guy.

[Everyone laughs]

Rosie: Okay, so before we start, we need to remind everyone to read Chapter 18 before listening to this episode, as that is the chapter we are discussing this week. And it’s a really short one, so it shouldn’t take you long.

Laura: So we’re going to talk about some of the comments we received on last week’s episode, which covered Chapter 17, “Cat, Rat, and Dog,” which first of all, I want to say, after listening to the episode, everyone had a lot of fun bashing me and Noah and our theories when we weren’t there to defend ourselves.

[Kat and Rosie laugh]

Noah: Mhm.

Laura: So thanks, guys, but…

Noah: Say it to my face.

Rosie: Sorry. [laughs]

Kat: Sure, any time. [laughs]

Laura: Okay, but we had a lot of comments on a lot of different subjects, particularly time travel, which still confuses me. I appreciate that Kat agreed with me in that the time travel is too much for me to comprehend.

Kat: It is so convoluted. I mean, it’s super interesting, but it kind of blows my mind. I can’t even think about it.

Laura: Anyone who knows me, the season of time travel in Lost is the bane of my existence. I am very against time travel. Anyway…

[Kat and Laura laugh]

Laura: Okay, so this comment, it comes from our forums, in response to the prejudice Ron has towards werewolves and Lupin. Infestedwithnargles says:

“I think this is typical Ron. It’s in line with the way he views house-elves, goblins, and giants. Remember when he finds out that Hagrid is part giant? He’s visibly shaken and he knows Hagrid isn’t dangerous. Ron is representative of the way most of the wizarding world views magical non-humans. He has only known werewolves as being dangerous, so why would he think Lupin is anything but?”

So I think this was in response to saying, would Ron have been as prejudiced if he was in just a less stressful situation?

Kat: Mhm.

Laura: And I have to agree with this commenter, and there is a lot of people on the forums that were talking about this and all agreeing that Ron just innately has those prejudices.

Kat: Which makes me a little sad. I don’t know, but at least he’s not as bad as the Malfoys, right?

Rosie: Yeah.

Laura: Yeah, I know this same commenter was also talking about how a bit of confusion as to why Ron really has these prejudices, when it doesn’t seem like Mr. and Mrs. Weasley really instill these ideals in their children, the same way the Malfoys do.

Kat: Hmm.

Rosie: I think that would probably be wizarding media and things. If you grew up reading The Daily Prophet, then you’re going to get some of those ideas imprinted in you, even if you’re not actually hearing them all the time from your parents. But I mean, with people like Greyback around, you hear the horror stories in the newspaper of kids being attacked. So I think that Molly and Arthur would be afraid as well, of werewolves. Not necessarily of house-elves and goblins and giants and all of that kind of thing, but if you’ve got evidence of bad things happening and you don’t know any other way, then perhaps it does filter through to your children.

Noah: And you’ve got to remember that Ron grew up on these stories of werewolves and giants in his childhood, and I’m sure Fred and George told him about all the terrible creatures out there that can get him. That’s probably the case for any wizarding child, so that’s probably the biggest element, other than the media.

Kat: The media is always to blame, isn’t it?

Noah: Except for MuggleNet.

[Laura laughs]

Kat: Right, right, okay.

[Noah laughs]

Laura: All right, so this next comment, there’s a lot of discussion about this on the topic of Harry killing Sirius and the technicalities behind that. This comes from our main site from Have a biscuit Potter:

“Every time I read the passage in which Harry has his chance to kill Sirius I can’t help but think that even if he did find it in him to kill the man, HE WOULD NOT KNOW HOW! Not with magic, at least. Harry won’t learn about the Killing Curse until his next year, and right now he probably doesn’t know enough magic to cause Sirius more than a nosebleed! Also, in this chapter, when Harry is contemplating killing Sirius, just before Lupin enters, the passage reads: ‘Harry gripped his wand convulsively. ‘Do it now!’ said a voice in his head.’ We can only ponder over what this voice really is. Is it really just a person’s inner voice, or something much more sinister? Could Voldemort’s piece of soul inside Harry possibly be behind it? It’s a stretch, but it’s possible.”

Kat: Oh, my God! I had never thought of that before.

Noah: It’s Voldemort.

Rosie: We’ve discussed the inner voice thing before, that maybe every time we hear this inner voice it’s actually the Horcrux.

Kat: That’s incredible!

Laura: I always think of – I mean, this is a movie thing more than anything, but – in Order of the Phoenix when he’s like, “You know the spell.”

[Rosie laughs]

Laura: That’s what I…

Kat: Right.

Laura: I mean, obviously, that’s not even a voice in his head, he’s right there, but still.

Noah: What about when he’s looking the mirror and he’s like, “Look at me! Look at me!”?

Kat: Well, I mean, that’s pretty obvious, Noah.

[Noah laughs]

Kat: But this is less… that’s brilliant. Have a biscuit Potter, good job.

Laura: Yeah.

Noah: But here’s another question: How would Harry… all right, so Sirius is there, Harry is going to kill him. How would Harry do it?

Kat: He wouldn’t. That’s what this person is saying.

Noah: But he was totally prepared to do it.

Laura: Harry seems… while he’s struggling with it morally, he doesn’t seem to be thinking, “How do I physically pull this off?”

Kat: Right.

Laura: Because I always just assumed he knew the Killing Curse, but the more comments I read, he hasn’t actually heard it from anything.

Noah: Harry doesn’t know anything.

Rosie: He doesn’t learn it until next year.

Laura: Yeah. And there’s a comment next, from the forums, from Snuffles that says:

“Why not? Stab him in the eyes with the wand. Petrify him and then kick him in the head until he dies. Petrify him and go grab a knife. Petrify him and bury him alive.”

[Noah and Rosie laugh]

Laura: [continues]

“If you really want to kill someone you’ll find a way.”

Harry is thirteen, guys. This is going all over the place.

Kat: And I think Snuffles needs some medication.

[Kat, Laura, and Rosie laugh]

Kat: This sounds… are you okay, Snuffles? Do you need help?

Noah: Well, Kat, that’s our loyal fan.

[Laura laughs]

Kat: I’m sure that he or she will realize that…

Rosie: One thing to remember, though, is that at the very beginning of this book, he did blow up his aunt. If he really wanted to do it, it would happen.

Laura: But by accident, by his head.

Kat: Right.

Laura: And he wasn’t like, “Blow up. Kaboom. She’s in pieces across the lawn.”

[Kat and Rosie laugh]

Rosie: No, but it’s uncontrollable emotions. So if he’s feeling angry enough that he wants to get his aunt out of the house in some way that would actually turn her into a balloon and float off, then I’m sure, if he was actually that murderous, there would be some kind of explosion involved.

Laura: I think it also…

[Rosie laughs]

Laura: This actually made me think of… it’s a bad example because Harry is never going to kill anyone, but…

Rosie: No.

Laura: …just how not… I can’t think of the word, but just… it’s not visceral, killing someone with magic. It’s like, “Avada Kedavra! Ha, you’re dead!” And it kind of almost makes it… not easier but just… versus what Snuffles is bringing up, it takes a lot more to go, “Petrify!” and kick someone and grab a knife and bury him alive and stuff. I think people almost kill each other easier without… the same could be said about guns or something, where the humanity is taken out of it.

Kat: Mhm.

Laura: It’s just an easy thing, that people can tend to kill faster.

Rosie: One thing to remember with the Killing Curse, though, is that we’ve seen with the Cruciatus Curse that you have to really mean it to actually inflict pain on someone.

Noah: Yeah.

Rosie: So I’m sure that the Killing Curse would be the same.

Kat: And I think, too, the difference between this instance and the whole thing with Marge is that Harry has his wand here and he’s very conscious of what he’s doing. And, like Laura said, he’s never going to kill somebody, regardless of how angry he feels about it. With Marge, it was the visceral reaction of, “Get her out of this house.” And I think that that makes the difference, in this case.

Laura: Yeah.

Noah: Wait, so you guys think Harry wasn’t actually going to kill Sirius even though he was saying in his head how much he wanted to?

Laura: Well, of course not.

Kat: No. He’s a wuss.

[Noah laughs]

Laura: In the same way he doesn’t kill Voldemort or Bellatrix or literally anyone when given the opportunities. After Bellatrix kills Sirius, it doesn’t get much worse than that, and he’s standing over her with a wand and he’s not doing anything. And if he wasn’t going to kill someone in that moment…

Rosie: Guys, remember that he has killed Voldemort twice now. Sure, one of them was just putting hands on someone’s face and the other one was stabbing a diary, but he’s killed him twice. That’s got to mean something.

Noah: Kind of.

Laura: Well…

Kat: Yeah, but not with his wand, not with magic.

Noah: Not with his bare hands.

Kat: Not intentional magic.

Laura: Yeah, and not particularly knowing what he was doing.

Kat: Right.

Rosie: Yeah.

Noah: I think the takeaway from all this is, Kat, you’re right: Harry is a wuss.

Kat: Obviously.

Laura: Well, not even that. Just moral. “Killing people is wrong.”

Noah: Or he’s moral. [laughs]

Rosie: He’s not a wuss. He’s a good person! [laughs]

Kat: Isn’t it the Weasleys [who are] like, “Moral fiber!” in the movies?

Rosie: Yeah.

Kat: They talk about his moral fiber? I mean, it’s true.

Laura: Yeah. Well, this kind of translates to the next comment which is on the subject of violence. On the last episode all of you guys kind of were saying that this is the first book where violence was really a thing. [pronounces as “sk-guy”] skgai… I don’t know.

Noah: Sk-guy. [laughs]

Kat: [laughs] Sk-guy.

Laura: Ask them to get more pronounceable usernames.

Noah: Sk-gay.

Laura: Okay.

“Basically, you guys are all dead wrong. Violence, bloody violence, has been seen throughout the series.”

And they gave an example from Chamber of Secrets.

“‘Fawkes dived. His long golden beak sank out of sight and a sudden shower of dark blood spattered the floor. [The basilisk] had been punctured by the phoenix; blood was streaming to the floor and the snake was spitting in agony. […] But as warm blood drenched Harry’s arms, he felt a searing pain just above his elbow.'”

That’s pretty gory.

Kat: [laughs] Yeah, that’s pretty bad. Okay.

Rosie: But there’s a difference there in that the gore there is associated with the bad guy. It’s the snake that’s bleeding.

Laura: Well, Harry’s arm is also drenched in warm blood with a searing pain.

Rosie: Yeah, and the blood drenching Harry’s arm at that point is still the snake’s blood. The searing pain is his arm and then obviously he does start to bleed, but we don’t see as much of the brutality as we do when they’re facing the tree and everything. I mean, having a searing pain and then seeing blood is not the same as having a tree whack you in the head and you get blood dripping down in front of your eyes.

Laura: I guess because the tree is a creature in my eyes and not a person, I’ve always kind of seen Prisoner as one of the least violent books just because there’s no fighting that really goes on. This whole kind of climatic thing right here is talking it out, and there’s a lot of drama and it’s great, but the violence presented here is from the tree which we also… the shock value of the tree kind of was presented in Chamber of Secrets, and now it’s like, oh, the Whomping Willow is pissed off again. But I don’t know, I’ve always kind of seen Prisoner as a particularly non-violent book, but…

Rosie: Do you think that’s partly because the main villain we see throughout the earlier part of the book is the Dementors as well and they’re so kind of… they are very dangerous, but in a completely different way than we’re used to.

Laura: Yeah, I think this is more like mental anguish…

Rosie: Yeah.

Laura: …with the Dementors, which is terrifying, but yeah.

Rosie: Makes it more mature.

Noah: And it’s one of those books without Voldemort.

Laura: Right. All right, so and this last comment comes from Infested with Nargles, again on the plot twist:

“To me, the biggest twist in the plot was Snape’s allegiance. Perhaps because I read PoA for the first time so long ago, I’m very used to the idea that Sirius is Harry’s godfather. I was so young when I read the first three books for the first time (I think I was 11 when they first came out? Had the first three read by the time I was 13), that I don’t even remember how I felt when I discovered this twist for the first time. However, I distinctly remember my jaw dropping as I read the chapter on Snape’s memory, and the line ‘Always’ is by far my favorite moment in all the books. Snape wins! On a side note, growing up reading the books was pretty cool. However, I wish I had been a little older the first time I read the series! When you guys ask the question, ‘What did you think when you read this the first time?’ I cannot answer the question! I don’t remember! I didn’t think deeply, I didn’t see obvious clues, and I could never predict what was going to happen.”

So I included this comment just because this is exactly what I’ve been secretly feeling because I’m…

[Rosie laughs]

Laura: Obviously I’m the youngest person here, and I’m jealous every single time you guys are talking about, “What do you remember?” “Oh, I didn’t see this coming.” Why as much as I appreciate growing up with the books, I truly can’t remember my reactions pre-Goblet of Fire. Which is why also, when I was listening to this show and you guys were saying that this was the biggest plot twist turning thing of the entire series, I think you guys are probably correct, but for me, I would say the same moment that this person wrote just because by that point I was older and able to be shocked by things like that. Because I was eight when I read Prisoner of Azkaban.

Kat: Yeah, I mean I could see where Infested with Nargles and even you, Laura, would say that Snape’s memory is probably the biggest twist. But I think… I’m not sure age factors into it, but again I get that. But I think for me the reason that was the whole biggest twist was because it’s so early in the books.

Laura: Mhm.

Kat: And honestly, if that never happened, so many things in the series wouldn’t have happened.

Laura: Yeah, and that’s… I completely agree but if you had to ask me, “Oh, what did you think was the biggest twist?” I would never say the Prisoner of Azkaban

Kat: Right.

Laura: What you guys all said. Just because I don’t remember that reaction of, “Oh, my God!” because I was just so young. I just can’t remember it.

Rosie: I can’t remember if I said it was the biggest twist last week but I definitely think it was my favorite twist. But I think it’s not necessarily because I grew up with the books or because I was only slightly older than you, Laura – not by much. [laughs] I started reading them when I was eight as well, so I was literally growing up with each book as they came out. I was so kind of immersed with the fandom when the later books were coming out that the Snape twist wasn’t actually really a big twist for me. Everyone had been pondering about Snape’s allegiance for years, like is he good? Is he evil? You don’t really know. All the clues have kind of been pointing both directions throughout the earlier books.

Laura: Right. Yeah, I could’ve very well have thought… been thrown off by this. And I think it was the twist. It’s just I can’t remember thinking whether or not I thought that.

Rosie: Yeah.

Kat: Well, then it’s a good thing that you and Infested with Nargles are here so that we could inform you the correct things.

[Noah and Rosie laugh]

Laura: Yup.

[Kat and Laura laugh]

Noah: You know what, guys? I didn’t really feel this twist at all. I’m pretty sure I saw the movie before I read the book. And I didn’t actually read the books…

Kat: Yeah, that’s because you do everything backwards.

[Rosie laughs]

Noah: …until I was like fourteen.

Laura: Do not admit to that.

Kat: Hey, that’s okay. I didn’t start reading the books until I was in college. But I’m also, what, ten years older than all of you? So…

Noah: Yeah.

Kat: Well, eight. Rosie, you’re, what, 22?

Rosie: Yeah.

Kat: 24? 22, yeah.

Rosie: 22.

Kat: So, eight years older.

Noah: Me too.

Kat: Yeah, I know how old you are.

[Laura and Noah laugh]

Laura: Anyway…

Rosie: But I think that the idea of the biggest twist is as personal as the idea of your favorite book or your favorite character.

Kat: Yeah, sure.

Rosie: It’s whatever was the most twisted for you. [laughs]

Laura: Mhm.

Kat: Although this is the biggest twist.

Laura: [laughs] Okay.

[Kat laughs]

Noah: I’m pretty sure my favorite twist is the objectively best twist.

Kat: Hmm. I beg to differ.

Laura: Okay, last week our special feature was “Pottermore, In Depth.” We got a lot of information on the Marauder’s Map and the Firebolt and different broomsticks. So this comment comes from Firebolt on the Marauder’s Map and it says:

“Just a thought on whether Harry would show up on the map when under the cloak. I imagine this is a mistake, but could there be an exception because the cloak belonged to James? I wonder if they trained the map so that the cloak would show up so that they might see James – handy if he is in trouble, for example? Or for knowing where people are if setting up a trick or something? Not the most airtight theory, but the link it draws between Harry and his dad makes me happy.”

Kat: I mean, that’s possible.

Rosie: I think Eric said something similar last week. Yeah, it’s possible but I think it’s more likely to just be a mistake. Again, I don’t think she necessarily had the idea of the Hallows at this point, so that might be why.

Noah: And doesn’t the cloak rebound spells, too? So maybe that would somehow act on the map, searching for the person underneath it.

Kat: Yeah. It depends on how that spell works but yeah, that’s true.

Noah: It’s a mystery.

Rosie: Okay, so we also had the Podcast Question of the Week last week and we were talking a lot about… the chapter is called “Cat, Rat, and Dog” and we were talking about Crookshanks, Wormtail, and Sirius and they were all acting both animal-like and human-like within the chapter. So we asked you about their qualities and what made them act more like animals or made them act more like humans. And we had some really great comments, so these might be a little bit long but I’m going to read them all out because it’s interesting. So HPAlison said:

“Many of Sirius’s actions can be linked to typical canine characteristics. That’s probably why he became a dog Animagus in the first place.

  • Like a dog, Sirius is focused on the present moment only – he has a one track mind. He wants to kill Peter, damn the consequences. His lack of thought of the future is a significant reason that he tends to be so reckless.
  • Loyalty is another classic dog trait. Sirius both does and does not exemplify this characteristic. Sirius’s actions exemplify a great loyalty to James. He will stop at nothing to avenge his best friend’s betrayer. On the other hand, he does not always show loyalty towards Harry. At one point in this chapter, he tries to choke Harry to throw him off and go towards Peter. I’d think Sirius does feel loyalty towards him given the gift of the Firebolt and his attempts to see him throughout the year. He’s so focused on getting to Peter that Sirius would conceivably harm those he cared about.
  • A more human feature is the lack of self-defense. For most dogs, I’d think the instinct for self-preservation is stronger than the desire to hunt and kill. When Harry directly threatens Sirius, he makes no attempt to stop him, other than asking Harry to let him explain. He’s so wracked with guilt that he appears willing to let Harry hurt or even kill him.
  • On the other hand, using my dog as an example, Sirius should have bounded into the Shrieking Shack with a big grin and wagging tail, gone mad licking Harry’s face, sniffed through everyone’s pockets for treats, and then curled up in the corner for a nap.”

[Kat laughs]

Rosie: Thank you so much for that, HPAlison. That’s a really great comment. What do you guys think about these individual characteristics?

Noah: Sirius is loyal and he’s fun, but isn’t he a little bit too bloodthirsty in these chapters right now? Or is it appropriate to his dog-like nature?

Rosie: I think he hasn’t really gained… he doesn’t have a reason to be loyal to Harry yet other than the association with his father. He doesn’t know Harry, so he’s still loyal to the idea of getting vengeance for James. And he becomes more loyal to Harry later on.

Noah: Do you think he’s become more dog or human at this point?

Kat: I think he’s acting more instinctually right now, which is definitely more dog-like than human-like. Because we get to know Sirius and we know that he is organized, maybe.

Noah: Organized.

Kat: I’m not sure that’s the word that I want, but…

Laura: I don’t think I’d ever describe him as that. [laughs]

Noah: He’s always pretty reckless.

Kat: Yes, but I mean… I can’t come up with the word that I’m trying to find, so never mind.

Noah: [laughs] You Ravenclaw, buried in your books.

Kat: Okay.

[Everyone laughs]

Rosie: Okay, well continuing the idea of loyalty, we’ve got HPotterRox – or HPotterox, even – 97…

[Everyone laughs]

Rosie: …also from the main site. And it says:

“Well, Sirius remains loyal to James and Harry for the rest of the books, and Harry confided in Sirius. I suppose these characteristics would go along with the fact that Sirius was a dog as an Animagi.

  • Poor, Crookshanks doesn’t reappear as a significant character after this book. It would’ve been nice to learn more about him as the series progresses, but Jo decided Crookshanks was to only star in ‘Prisoner of Azkaban’.
  • Of course, Pettigrew being a rat plays out to be a huge point in the series. When a rat comes to mind, generally the terms ‘disgusting,’ ‘hideous,’ and ‘stupid’ follow. Pettigrew did justice to his Animagi form by betraying his best friends, hiding in fear and following those who can give him some sort of power. Wormtail lived a life of cowardice, always hiding in the shadows – just like the rat he was.”

Noah: Wow.

Kat: Yeah, and we’re going to talk about Animagi later in our special feature for sure, but yeah, I feel like, for Pettigrew especially, his Animagus form and his personality are so dead right on.

Rosie: Yeah.

Laura: I never actually really gave much thought to the fact that the cat doesn’t play any sort of role in the next books. For how important that she made him in this book, I think there’s really nothing about it for the remainder of the books.

Rosie: Yeah, where is Crookshanks when they’re all camping in Deathly Hallows?

Kat: Crookshanks is Ron.

[Laura and Rosie laugh]

Noah: Crookshanks is not Ron, Kat. [laughs] The ginger cat.

Kat: Mandrakes aren’t alive, Noah.

Noah: Whoa.

Kat: Yeah.

Rosie: [laughs] Anyway…

Kat: Fire with fire.

Noah: Okay.

Rosie: What I was going to say is that comment said that when a rat comes to mind, generally the terms “disgusting,” “hideous,” and “stupid” follow. But to all rat lovers out there, there is a very big difference between the horrible rats that live in sewers and things and pet rats that are quite nice…

[Noah laughs]

Rosie: …and very friendly. So we’re not having any rat prejudice here.

Laura: I’m having a little bit of rat prejudice.

[Kat and Rosie laugh]

Noah: Hashtag Rat Liberation Front.

Laura: Oh, my God.

Noah: Rosie starts.

Rosie: No.

Kat: No.

[Noah and Rosie laugh]

Rosie: I just know that there are lots of people that do keep rats as pets, and that pet rats are a lot nicer than horrible rats. So I don’t want to…

Laura: They could get a puppy.

Rosie: …generalize. [laughs]

Kat: They could get a puppy. That is true, Laura. They could get a puppy.

[Laura laughs]

Rosie: They could get a puppy.

Laura: You made that choice.

[Kat and Rosie laugh]

Noah: I’m just kind of stuck on this comment from HPotterox97 that Wormtail is pretty terrible, “lived a life of cowardice, always hiding in the shadows – just like the rat he was.” All right, so that’s kind of making me think this fandom has a lot of hate for Peter Pettigrew, and maybe not unjustly.

Laura: He doesn’t really do anything redeeming.

Noah: Is there anything redeeming about this guy that we can think of?

Rosie: I think we have to wait to discuss that when we see him in… is it Deathly Hallows or is it…

Laura: It’s Deathly Hallows.

Kat: Yeah.

Rosie: Yeah, so we’ll discuss that a lot more later on when we get there.

Kat: But for now, no, he’s a dirty, dirty sewer rat.

Noah: Aww.

Rosie: [laughs] Yeah.

Noah: Okay. [laughs]

Kat: Sorry, buddy.

Rosie: So that is the end of our recap from our Question of the Week last week, so…

Kat: We’re going to move right into our chapter discussion this week.

[Prisoner of Azkaban] Chapter 18 intro begins]

Sirius: Chapter 18.

[Sounds of creaky building]

Sirius: “Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs.”

[Prisoner of Azkaban] Chapter 18 intro ends]

Noah: All right, so we last left our heroes in the Shrieking Shack. They have just come head-to-head with Sirius Black. He’s there, and he’s pointed at the rat – Ron’s rat – and apparently it’s Peter Pettigrew. And Ron is like, “Peter Pettigrew? No! This is my rat! That’s Scabbers!” And now both Professor Lupin and Sirius are pointing at the rat and saying, “No. That is actually their long-lost friend.” So the chapter opens with a bit of a scuffle. There’s kind of a wrestling match. Did anyone else find this interesting that Sirius jumps for Ron, and then Lupin pulls him off?

Kat: I mean…

Rosie: Not really.

Laura: No.

Kat: …no.

[Everyone laughs]

Noah: I got excited. It was really cool. [laughs]

Laura: Well, because I don’t think he’s lunging for Ron; he’s lunging for Pettigrew.

Noah: Well, of course, he’s lunging for Pettigrew, but Ron’s leg gets in the way. He cries out in pain…

Kat: Although wait, wait. I just found this comment which I think is hilarious. It’s on page 350. It says:

“One hand was still clawing the air as it tried to reach Scabbers, who was squealing like a piglet.”

Noah: Yes.

Kat: It just made me think of Dudley. That’s all. [laughs]

Rosie: Yeah. That’s a really good comparison.

Laura: In addition to breaking his leg, he’s also getting scratched. I think there’s a quote that says he’s been scratched and is bleeding, and… Ron is getting the short end of the stick here.

[Rosie laughs]

Noah: He is. He’s getting whaled on, and it’s not even his fault.

Kat: By a rat.

Noah: He’s just trying to protect his rat. Yeah, so obviously we know the rat is Peter Pettigrew, but Ron has no idea. So Lupin basically convinces Ron, Harry, and Hermione, “Please let me tell you this whole story of where we come from and why that rat is clearly Peter Pettigrew.” So Lupin begins to tell his entire story, starting in the beginning how he was bitten by a werewolf and how Dumbledore very graciously brought him to Hogwarts. And how he was… most significantly that the Whomping Willow was not placed there around the time of his coming to Hogwarts but was there because he was there at Hogwarts. And the Shrieking Shack: The shrieks from the shack were not from random ghouls; they were from him, himself when he would bite himself and shriek and stuff. So…

Laura: I thought it was so sad that he was scratching and biting himself.

Kat: Oh, I know.

Laura: Could they have – and I’m not even trying to be funny – got him a chew toy, essentially? Just something to bite onto that’s not himself?

Kat: Poor guy.

Noah: What kind of chew toy would be enough for a werewolf, though?

Laura: I don’t know…

Kat: A squealing pig?

[Prolonged silence]

Kat: I’m sorry.

[Noah laughs]

Rosie: That’s less of a toy and more of just an actual animal. [laughs]

Kat: No, I know. [laughs]

Noah: Maybe they could have given him…

Rosie: They should have got him a Desk!Pig! That’s what it should have been.

Kat: That would have been perfect.

Noah: Desk!Pig doesn’t like that.

[Rosie laughs]

Noah: So reportedly he was smuggled out of the castle every month. And the word is “smuggled,” which makes me think that somebody was putting him in there. So my thought was, who was smuggling him out of the castle when he was growing up at Hogwarts? Was it the teachers? Was it Hagrid? Was it Dumbledore?

Kat: Pretty sure that it said Dumbledore.

Rosie: Probably Dumbledore. Yeah.

Noah: You think once a month Dumbledore was leading Lupin? So that would make sense why they would have such a special connection.

Kat: Actually, I think it was Madam Pomfrey. Hold on. It says right in the book.

Rosie: I don’t think Poppy is that old, is she? I thought she was a similar age to…

Laura: I think it also just… they’ve kind of… the impression I’ve gotten is that very, very few people were let in on the secret.

Rosie: Yeah.

Laura: I don’t believe any of the teachers know or any staff at all. I would even say McGonagall doesn’t know. I think this is something that – because all these prejudices exist, and if any word got out to anyone – obviously [since] it does and their reactions that happen… I really just think it is just Dumbledore because Lupin says that he feels guilty about even letting James and Sirius and all know, so…

Rosie: And we all know that Hagrid is a blabbermouth as well. So if Hagrid knew, then he would have told other people. [laughs]

Kat: Mhm.

Noah: [as Hagrid] Blabbermouth? I’m no blabbermouth.

Rosie: Or tried to keep him as a pet.

Noah: [laughs] I won’t be doing that.

Rosie: So yeah, I think it was Dumbledore.

Kat: Yeah, it doesn’t say who, but I actually always assumed… yeah, I mean… yeah, I guess it makes sense that it was Dumbledore, but I assumed that Madam Pomfrey would be in on it. And she’s got to be that old. I mean, look at that gear that she wears. That getup.

Laura: I have to completely disagree…

Rosie: That doesn’t necessarily mean that she’s old. [laughs]

Laura: …that Pomfrey was involved at all just because I don’t even think that she necessarily… just ideally with a werewolf and not freaking out about it is a [big] deal. And I think Dumbledore was really the only person up for that job besides Lupin’s friends.

Kat: She was born in the ’50s. Just so you know.

Noah: I mean, somebody had to treat his monthly wounds if he was biting himself while a werewolf. He probably came out with scratches and bruises. I wonder what the students thought.

Laura: I’m sure he had stories about…

Kat: Nope. No, no, no, no.

Laura: Hogwarts stories.

Kat: I knew I was right. It says Pomfrey – this is from the Wiki – was already the school nurse when Harry’s parents were students, and it is mentioned that she was the one escorting Remus out to the Whomping Willow. So…

Noah: Oh.

Laura: Where the heck was that?

Rosie: There we go.

Kat: Eagle pride.

Noah: And she was likely treating his wounds, too, right? Otherwise, he would come back…

Kat: Right. And Snape saw them walking out there, and that’s what made him investigate.

Noah: [in a disapproving tone] Snape. [back to normal] So Lupin being a werewolf and doing this every single month is part of many different revelations coming out of this chapter. We learn that the Marauders created the Marauder’s Map, we learn their nicknames – Moony, Padfoot, Wormtail, Prongs – and we learn that they all became Animaguses, which I believe is the right [term]. It’s not “Animagi.”

Kat: It is “Animagi.”

Noah: It is “Animagi”?

Kat: Mhm.

Noah: All right, good, because that makes so much more sense.

[Kat laughs]

Noah: As opposed to “Horcri.” It’s not “Horcri”; it’s “Horcruxes.”

Kat: [laughs] Yeah, it’s “Animagi.”

Rosie: I explained this to you in the previous episode, Noah. It’s all about the Latin.

Noah: It’s all about the Latin. That’s true.

[Rosie laughs]

Noah: So they are… it’s revealed that they are Animagi, and that of course makes sense why the rat is Peter Pettigrew, though I believe that at this point Ron is still holding Scabbers without worrying about it even though he must believe them on some level, right?

Kat: I mean, I think if I were Ron I’d be thinking about the fact that he slept in my bed for twenty years…

[Rosie laughs]

Kat: …or however many years it’s been. Ten years. Eight years. Five years. Any number of, even, days is too long.

Laura: Insert number of years here.

Kat: [laughs] Right. Exactly.

Rosie: I think out of all of them Ron is the one that’s least likely to believe the story at this point because…

Kat: Yeah.

Rosie: …he’s had this rat for so long, and it’s never been a human. [laughs]

Laura: He’s also just the least logical of all of them.

Kat: Exactly.

Laura: The least willing to accept things.

Kat: Right.

Noah: And the things that rat has seen and that Ron would have to admit that he’s seen. Yeah.

Rosie: Moving on.

Noah: Yes. [laughs] Moving on. We… it’s really huge of James and Peter and Sirius to become Animagi for Lupin’s benefit. And they manage it in their fifth year apparently, at which point they’re able to go off with Lupin. He’s not really supposed to leave the Shrieking Shack, but he does, and they all go off on adventures. Adventures that – I might add – we would all love to read, I’m sure, in some prequel or some level if JK Rowling would ever write those, but I feel like – among the fandom – those would be the adventures we most want to see.

Kat: Except that she just said that she would never write a story about that, so…

Laura: And they’re all animals.

Kat: Yeah.

Laura: There would be very [little] dialogue going on.

Rosie: You’d be surprised, Laura.

[Noah and Rosie laugh]

Noah: Yeah, Rosie, fan fictions where they’re talking telepathically or something, or I can just imagine…

Rosie: There'[re] talking animals and things as well. But yeah, Marauder-era is a massive category within fan fiction. People are so interested in their stories and their school life.

Laura: Yeah.

Rosie: But yeah, it’s really interesting reading it.

Noah: Yeah, I mean, maybe she’ll do something years down the line for charity. I mean, she’s done it before.

Kat: Except that she just said that she never would.

Noah: She doesn’t know that she never will. She doesn’t know the future. She could change her mind. But that’s true; that is a good point.

[Kat laughs]

Noah: And of course there’s the Pottermore information. Anyway, anyway… is it possible to read James, Peter, and Sirius as engaging in Lupin’s life here? I’m not going to play the sexual card because it’s really… it’s kind of hard to play, but it’s like Lupin is suffering with a condition. He has a unique identity, and they’re sort of engaging his identity. Is it kind of like in a way… do you get where I’m going here? Is a…

Laura: I understand what you’re saying, but I’ve always… I have, and so has… I believe Rowling said this also, just Lupin being more of an allegory towards disease and stuff like AIDs…

Rosie: Yeah.

Laura: …moreso than homosexuality or anything like that.

Kat: Mhm.

Noah: She said that?

Rosie: I think she explicitly said that it was an HIV allegory.

Laura: Just the stigma around… yeah, the danger of stuff like that.

Rosie: Yeah.

Noah: Okay. That makes a lot more sense because…

Laura: But obviously the…

Noah: Yeah.

Laura: She also said that while that’s where she’s going, I think, specifically, it can be more general and just kind of oppressed…

Rosie: Yeah.

Laura: …stuff like that. So I’m sure… yeah, the comparison can be made. I don’t think that’s what she was going for, but yeah.

Noah: Right. I mean, HIV makes more sense here because he’s literally bitten, and then he becomes a werewolf, and it’s this transmissible thing. But then for the fact that… when he’s a werewolf, and he’s running, and he’s going on these adventures, he kind of… there’s this one line where he talks about how the transformations used to be terrible, but then they became some of the best experiences of his life with the other characters, so it’s as if he’s really engaging this animal personality. So…

Kat: Yeah, but I think he’s talking about the experience, not the actual transformation.

Laura: Yeah, I think just having friends and everything.

Kat: Right.

Laura: Friends that understand… because I think growing up, especially with him being like, “I am a werewolf. I’m never going to have friends, or at least friends that I can be myself around,” I think he’s just consistently so happy about the fact that… and we’ve discussed so many times that Lupin has such a tragic life that I think he’s just so happy consistently that he has friends that know his secret, and accept his secret, and embrace it, really.

Rosie: Mhm.

Noah: Yeah, yeah.

Laura: And then they’re cool guys on top of it. It’s not like he’s with freaky people. They’re two of the coolest guys in school.

Noah: Yeah.

Kat: I know I may be jumping ahead here, but I was just thinking about this: Is there any other end to Lupin’s story besides death?

Laura: What do you mean?

Kat: I mean, is there anything else…

Laura: Literally? Or…

Kat: No, I just… he’s so tragic. I feel like she had no choice.

Rosie: It was inevitable. Yeah.

Kat: It was inevitable that he was going to die.

Noah: I mean, maybe she always knew because the way the Marauders are laid out in the ordering… it’s reverse order that they died in.

Kat: I don’t think that was intentional, but that would definitely call for a genius moment if it [were].

Laura: I could be making this up, but I feel – I don’t know if this is already what you were going to say, Rosie – that she wasn’t planning on killing him because she was planning on killing…

Rosie: Yeah.

Laura: …Mr. Weasley, and once the decision was made to not kill Mr. Weasley then that was replaced with the killing of…

Kat: Right.

Laura: …Lupin and Tonks because she wanted that…

Rosie: Yeah.

Laura: She wanted someone else’s parents to die and there to be that mirror thing.

Kat: Right. Mhm.

Laura: So I think…

Rosie: Yeah. The mirroring with Teddy was important.

Laura: So I think the decision to kill Lupin and Tonks was made after deciding not to kill Mr. Weasley which… I’m sorry, I would have never accepted for many reasons the fact that if Mr. Weasley had died. So I thought this full circle thing with Lupin was way better, but this is getting ahead of ourselves.

Kat: Totally. It was just a thought that I had, thinking about his tragic life, you know?

Rosie: Yeah.

Noah: I mean, every death we should talk about or think about why those characters had to die. What is the symbolic…

Rosie: But we should discuss them when we actually see them happen. [laughs]

Kat: Totally. We should. Totally.

Noah: Yes.

Kat: That’s my fault. Sorry.

Rosie: One thing to think about is that we always discuss the four Marauders as if they were all Animagi rather than three Animagi and a werewolf, and I think the werewolf transformation should only happen at the full moon, right? So…

Noah: Yeah.

Rosie: …for the rest of the month, the three of them can go off and have adventures, and he’s just stuck there being a normal human.

Kat: [laughs] That’s so true.

Laura: Aww.

Noah: They probably did.

Laura: [laughs] Add another check to the tragedy list.

[Kat and Rosie laugh]

Kat: Right? Exactly.

Laura: Can’t even be an Animag[us]. [laughs]

Rosie: Hopefully they give him the Invisibility Cloak so that he can run off as a human with them at that point.

Laura: I mean, Greyback was transforming not on full moons. So I mean…

Rosie: Was he?

Kat: …if Lupin really wanted to get in on the action, he could have.

Laura: But…

Rosie: Do we ever see Greyback transform when [it’s] not a full moon?

Noah: I don’t think he transforms. Doesn’t he just become more wolfish?

Laura: He just bites. He just eats people as a human because he’s ridiculous.

Kat: No, I’m pretty sure it said that he’s half-transformed or is transforming… yeah, I think so.

Noah: Kat, you’ve got to find that.

Kat: I’ll look it up.

Noah: All right.

Rosie: I know that when he attacks Bill, he wasn’t tranformed. And that’s why Bill…

Laura: Yeah, I think he just became so demonic that he was starting to attack people without even being transformed.

Rosie: Yeah.

Noah: And then Bill got a taste for red meat from that.

Rosie: But he doesn’t become a full werewolf.

Kat: [laughs] Okay, let’s get back to this chapter.

[Noah and Rosie laugh]

Noah: Okay.

“‘Hurry up, Remus,’ snarled Black, who was still watching Scabbers with a horrible sort of hunger on his face.”

That’s from page 355 of the US edition. So with that hunger on his face it made me go, “Oh my God, does he want to eat Peter Pettigrew?” No.

[Everyone laughs]

Laura: No.

Noah: But this is more about how much he just wants to kill Peter Pettigrew/Scabbers. So do we think that Sirius… I mean, we’re pretty sure Sirius would totally do it. Do we think any less of him a little bit considering that he’s willing to just flat out murder this guy?

Kat: Do you think he would have killed him?

Laura: Yes.

Rosie: Yes.

Kat: I don’t believe it. But actually…

Rosie: Sirius…

Laura: Sirius is my favorite character, and…

Rosie: Me, too.

Laura: …I just… and it’s not something I necessarily even agree with, but I totally think that he’s [the embodiment] of someone who just can’t see that morality of… not see it but just want that revenge and, “You killed my best friend. You’re the reason they’re dead. And you’re going to pay for it,” and not in… I think also just because he’s been wrongly imprisoned and everything…

Rosie: Yeah. He’s suffered so much because of it.

Laura: …he’s fed up with the whole bureaucracy of it. Oh, put him through a trial, put him in Azkaban. I think he’s just like, “The whole thing is stupid, so let’s just kill him because I’m over all that.”

Kat: I see him more… I mean, I feel like that personality you’re describing is the opposite of Harry, and I see Sirius as a lot like Harry in a lot of ways. I think in fact Harry is probably more like Sirius than he is like his father. And the fact…

Rosie: I completely disagree.

Kat: Really? You don’t think Harry is reckless and all of that?

Rosie: No, I think Ron is. If you’re comparing Marauders and the trio, then I would say that Hermione is Lupin, Harry is James, and Ron is Sirius. They are the… I don’t think that Sirius was ever kind of the leader of the gang. He was kind of the outgoing one sure, but…

Laura: But the thing is Harry is… I agree with you, Kat, in saying that Harry is reckless, but he’s never reckless for the fun of it, almost, and… he just wants so badly to have this normal life or whatever, but he’s so driven towards justice and figuring things out and all, that he leads a reckless life. But I don’t think he’d choose that life given the option. [laughs] Really…

Kat: I don’t think Ron would either, though.

Laura: Well, I kind of… yes, but in Goblet of Fire when he gets the whole… he likes the whole glory aspect of everything, and… but…

Rosie: I do think there are similarities between Harry and Sirius, though. I mean, if you look at their childhoods growing up and if you look at kind of the effect that that’s had on them, then sure, Sirius being a Gryffindor and all that kind of stuff, they definitely do have some parallels but not in that respect.

Laura: Yeah, I a hundred percent agree that there is certainly a lot of connections, and yeah, maybe even more so than James because I always see James as someone way more conceited and it’s… I mean, I always relate Fred and George more to Lupin… to Sirius and James, than I do Harry and Ron, but…

Rosie: I suppose.

Laura: Yeah, I think Sirius is a reckless person in his emotions more so than Harry. And I think he’s also… he’s a grown man who is prepared to kill. A lot of them are prepared to kill. Harry never was, but even I think in Deathly Hallows, Lupin says, “Harry, if you’re not prepared to kill, then stun them.” That’s kind of saying Lupin was prepared to kill, all of the adults are, and I think that Sirius would have totally been fine with it. He might have regretted it afterwards because then his name wouldn’t have been cleared, maybe, and all the different repercussions of it, but in that moment he wanted him dead.

Rosie: Yeah.

Noah: Well, given that, I kind of don’t see Sirius as great a character as I thought he was, quite honestly, even though he went through all of that. I really admire Harry’s initiative to take a step back, once Pettigrew is [unintelligible] formed and says, “Let’s leave him for the Dementors,” which is arguably a worse fate. But it’s not instant death, when maybe man can’t necessarily lead… land that final blow, maybe it’s not man’s duty to do that.

Rosie: I think, yeah, Sirius is not a role model…

Laura: Oh, yeah.

Rosie: …in any way.

Laura: He’s very flawed.

Rosie: And we definitely see that in the next couple of books as well, when he’s kind of constantly kind of confusing Harry with his father and things like that. Yeah, I don’t think that Sirius was ever kind of in control of himself in this scene. He’s almost less human at this point than any other time we see him because he is, like the comment said earlier, so driven on that kind of one track mind that he just wants to kind of get the vengeance and get that kind of thing that he’s been in prison for over with, that he can’t see past that.

Laura: Yeah, also we kind of, I think, given too much credit in that in him not being insane after going through all of Azkaban and the Dementors because we were consistently told that he didn’t let the Dementors get to him and… because he was innocent.

Rosie: Yeah, he must have done a little bit. [laughs]

Laura: But to a degree, he couldn’t have hundred percent not been affected by them in any way, regardless of how innocent he was. Yeah, he might have not completely submitted to them, but just even being in that environment for that long, surrounded by other criminals, being there unjustly, he’s a little bit unhinged. [laughs]

Rosie: Yup.

Noah: That’s true. That’s a good point. I can hear that excuse or argument for his sake. Bringing it back to the chapter though, there’s a moment where the door mysteriously opens, if you guys remember. The exact quote is this:

“Lupin broke off. There had been a loud creak behind him. The bedroom door had opened of its own accord. All five of them stared at it. Then Lupin strode toward it and looked out into the landing. ‘No one’s there…’ ‘This place is haunted!’ said Ron.”

He shouts that, actually. And I thought it was funny that Ron instantly went to “It’s haunted!” even though he’s seen ghosts, he knows of all different kinds of creatures. But he has such a thing about myth and storytelling that he is easily frightened by this kind of stuff. But, of course, we know that it is not just a random door opening up. In fact, I’m kind of surprised that nobody there thought to realize it, but it was somebody under the Invisibility Cloak. That didn’t just happen yet, but I’m just going to leave you with that.

Laura: Oh, I didn’t even realize.

Noah: Hmm?

Laura: [laughs] I didn’t even realize what was happening. Duh.

Kat: That it was Snape?

Laura: Yeah. [laughs]

Noah: I had no idea, and I’ve read this book several times. But… [laughs]

Kat: No, that’s a good point. I mean, that’s something really easy to just kind of let go.

Laura: I think it was I forgot that he had the Invisibility Cloak. That was what threw me off because I was… I did think, “Oh, it would be Snape,” but I was like, “Why wouldn’t Lupin see him there?” I forgot about the Invisibility Cloak.

Kat: Mhm.

Noah: You kind of forget that Harry doesn’t have the Invisibility Cloak, so you just kind of wave it off.

Laura: Harry is so irresponsible with the freaking Invisibility Cloak.

Rosie: He just leaves it around all the time.

Laura: For how ridiculously valuable and useful it is, he’s just like, oh… not even just keeping it on. Like when he gets in situations where he needs the Invisibility Cloak, the second he thinks he’s alone he just tosses it off, throws it behind his shoulder…

[Rosie laughs]

Laura: …and it’s gone. And I’m like, “Hold onto it.”

Kat: And he leaves it on the tops of towers…

Laura: Yeah!

Kat: …and under witch’s humps and all that.

Laura: Come on! [laughs]

Noah: So this is page 352, and at this point we know that Snape has entered the building and he is listening to everything. He doesn’t reveal himself; he’s just kind of chilling even though Sirius Black is there and he really should have just grabbed him. But I would say the fact that he didn’t meant that he really wanted to listen to this entire story, which works perfectly for him because Lupin pretty much goes into the full story of the Marauders that Snape obviously knows in part but hasn’t probably heard from this point of view. And they even talk about him, to a big degree, especially on page 357. They’re talking about Snape, and Lupin says:

“He especially disliked James. Jealous, I think, of James’s talent on the Quidditch field…”

And this is a sentiment that’s all throughout the books that, “Oh, yeah, Snape didn’t like James, so it was probably because of Quidditch.” But we of course know that it wasn’t Quidditch; it was Lily.

Kat: Well, I mean, yeah, Snape is jealous. They just got wrong over what he was jealous about, that’s all.

Laura: Yeah. No, I agree with what Noah was saying, and just like how everyone… Snape doesn’t seem like someone even that… obviously he doesn’t, but care about stuff like Quidditch or sports. He’s much more academic and everything that I think it’s weird that everyone was like, “Yeah, he’s probably jealous of Quidditch,” not even getting it a second hypothesis. But…

Kat: Well, I mean, he does care a little bit, right? Because he does all sorts of things to keep Gryffindor off the pitch.

Noah: But I think all that stuff was because of the Lily stuff.

Kat: Oh, totally.

Noah: This secret was so deep that even the Marauders, it would seem, didn’t… had no idea.

Rosie: Well, you have to remember the only thing we’ve ever seen of the actual Marauders is Snape calling Lily a Mudblood and things as well to their face, so…

Kat: Right.

Rosie: …they’ve seen the bad side of Snape and Lily’s relationship more than kind of his affection for her, which he only ever shows in private.

Noah: Right.

Laura: Also, yeah, I just… I don’t even like… because as I said, I never picked up on this, but Snape standing right there listening to all this, I’m thinking of his thoughts, whether he’d be like, “Oh my God, you’re so ignorant,” not about the Quidditch, or just getting really depressed over Lily hearing all this.

Kat: He was rolling his eyes.

Laura: Yeah.

Noah: This entire time, he was doing… he was making hand signs behind Lupin. He was making weird faces.

Rosie: Do you guys think that Snape knows about Pettigrew?

Kat: Umm…

Rosie: Because if he was involved with the whole plot with knowing both sides and everything, he should know Voldemort’s orders. But does he know that…

Laura: Oh!

Kat: I think…

Rosie: Oh, and we know that Dumbledore says that he put his trust in the wrong person, right? We see that in a later book, in a flashback. So he’s seeing this scene and knows that the person who betrayed the woman that he loves is in this room.

Kat: Yeah, I mean, if Snape… if that really is Snape standing there, and Noah is correct on…

Rosie: I think… yeah, I think he is.

Kat: I think he is, too. Then Lupin goes into the whole story about how they became Animagi and…

Noah: Oh, it’s definitely Snape because at the end of the chapter, Snape walks in.

Kat: Well, obviously.

Noah: Yeah.

Kat: But I’m just saying, if that exact moment is Snape showing up, then if he didn’t know then he…

Rosie: So this is Snape discovering the tools.

Kat: Exactly, and…

Rosie: Tools that lead to Lily’s downfall.

Kat: Mhm.

Laura: Yeah, which makes me think of… I mean, obviously he had to play that whole double side of it, but if it’s Pettigrew’s fault that Lily and James are dead, really… wasn’t Pettigrew living with Snape in Half-Blood Prince?

Kat: Yeah, I mean…

Rosie: That’s true.

Kat: …I think this feeds into… I don’t think Snape is a hero, and I think that this kind of backs me up right here, is the fact that…

Laura: I agree with that.

Kat: …Snape basically learns everything about what truly happened and he still hates Sirius and defends Pettigrew. Not defends him, but…

Rosie: But that’s the thing. If he never knew about Pettigrew – because he never sees Pettigrew in that room, don’t forget…

Kat: That’s true.

Rosie: …which we’ll cover next week, or the week after – if Snape really does believe that it is Sirius that betrayed them, then that gives him an extra reason to hate Sirius, other than basic trying to kill him at school kind of thing. But if he does know about Pettigrew, yeah, then Snape is a lot colder than I ever thought he was.

Noah: But you’ve got to remember that Snape’s hatred of Sirius goes way back, all the way to the… that trickery that happened with the tree…

Laura: Oh, true.

Noah: …the Whomping Willow, and how Sirius almost got Snape killed.

Rosie: That’s what I meant, yeah. By killing him.

Noah: Yeah. So that’s actually mentioned in here: Snape is, of course, still silent in his Invisibility Cloak, but Lupin goes into the story of how Sirius led Snape over to the Whomping Willow while Lupin was going through one of his werewolf phases. But then James heard about it and saved Snape’s life in the nick of time, and thereby creating a life debt for Snape to James.

Laura: I think this… also, I think… I’m forgetting which side you took on this, Kat, but in comparing Harry and Ron to James and Sirius. What Sirius did I think is a much more Ron thing to do of… I wouldn’t say Ron would do that, but I think of in Deathly Hallows when Malfoy’s life – Draco’s life – is in jeopardy, and Ron is like, “Oh my God, just leave him there,” and Harry is like, “No, I have to go back and save him even though he’s the worst.”

Rosie: Yeah. That’s much more of a James thing than a Sirius thing.

Laura: Yeah.

Kat: All right, in that one particular instance, I’ll give you that.

[Rosie laughs]

Kat: It’s fine.

Rosie: I think we don’t know enough about James, really.

Kat: No, we don’t know.

Laura: We have a very skewed… Harry is super biased and Snape is super biased.

Kat: Mhm.

Laura: In opposite directions. We really don’t have a good idea of what he truly is. I actually… that’s my issue with James. I don’t… because I don’t know enough about him, I just think everything is so biased. My only thing that makes me like him is the fact that Lily loved him, so clearly he had to be halfway decent. [laughs]

Kat: Mhm.

Noah: But is Lily that great if you turned away Snape?

Kat: Yeah, let’s not get into that debate right now.

[Noah and Rosie laugh]

Noah: Snape’s a hero in my book, even if he owes a life debt to James. Kat, was it you who said in one of the past episodes, that Snape totally didn’t owe James a life debt? It was somebody.

Kat: No. [laughs]

Noah: So, there’s a Wiki article saying that Snape did owe James a life debt, and I’m pretty sure he did. So, on some levels, because Snape owed… so, according to that article, Snape paid that back by protecting Harry throughout his life, similar to the way that Snape loved Lily, so that’s why he’s also protecting Harry. So the one counter argument to Snape being a hero theory is that, on some level, because of this life debt, and because of his selfish love, those were why he was protecting Harry and therefore, maybe a hero is someone who does it out of his own personal need?

Rosie: I completely disagree with that. I don’t really believe that the life debt thing comes into him protecting Harry. I do believe that he’s protecting the only living thing that is related to Lily. But I don’t think that that makes him less heroic and I don’t think that his love was necessarily selfish either.

Noah: Kat?

Kat: I don’t think that he has a life debt, but I still don’t think he’s a hero and I do think he’s selfish. So… [laughs]

Laura: Yeah, I agree with half of what Rosie said and half of what Kat said…

[Rosie laughs]

Laura: …in that I agree that the life debt thing totally doesn’t impact Snape’s protection of Harry. He literally could care less about James or anything about him. I think his protection of Harry one hundred percent has to do with Lily, and I agree that Snape is not really a hero. So…

Rosie: He’s an anti-hero.

Noah: Oh, an anti. Wow. Okay, and then the chapter ends with the most epic scene in which… let me read the passage because the reveal is pretty cool.

“‘So that’s why Snape doesn’t like you,’ said Harry slowly, ‘because he thought you were in on the joke?’ ‘That’s right,’ sneered a cold voice from the wall behind Lupin. Severus Snape was pulling off the Invisibility Cloak, his wand pointing directly at Lupin.”

[makes an explosive sound] So, just from a writing standpoint, that’s an awesome forward because you totally want to turn the page and read the next page after that happens, because just the line of events is so cool.

[Prolonged silence]

Noah: I judge by the silence that I’m the only one who thinks that’s cool. Okay…

[Rosie laughs]

Kat: No.

Laura: No, I agree.

Rosie: No, it’s good.

[Noah laughs]

Rosie: It’s good writing.

Kat: Yeah, what can we say?

Laura: I don’t understand…

Kat: That’s obviously true.

Laura: Rowling should have just made “Cat, Rat, and Dog” and this Moony, Wormtail chapter the same chapter because…

Noah: It was so short.

Laura: …it’s the same scene happening of them talking.

Rosie: And to be fair, “Rat” and “Dog” are Wormtail and Padfoot. So…

Laura: Right.

Rosie: I think she just wanted to have a chapter called “Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs.”

Laura: Yeah, I agree. Which just makes me feel like there might have been more of a story that got cut in editing because it was extraneous.

Noah: Yeah.

Kat: Well, I…

Laura: A deeper backstory on them because it’s so interesting and we’ve said how everyone is so interested about them. But I feel like there might have been more there that just got cut down because it slowed down the plot.

Kat: Well, this chapter got cut off on Pottermore, right? They only released through Chapter 17.

Rosie: Yeah. Hopefully next time.

Kat: So this chapter is coming up, and let’s keep our fingers crossed for some backstory.

Noah: Or maybe the second half of the chapter.

[Noah and Rosie laugh]

Kat: No, well, I mean, she did say that she wrote Lupin’s backstory.

Laura: Oh, that’s true. We might get that here.

Kat: This would be the most logical place, wouldn’t it?

Laura: Yay, I’m so excited. Yeah.

Noah: Well, everyone, Alohomora! just stumbled upon a nugget of truth that no one else has.

Kat: Yeah, I’m sure no one else has figured that out.

Noah: No one else, yeah.

[Kat laughs]

Noah: That’s all I got.

Kat: All right, so let’s move on to our special feature for the week.

[“The Beast Inquisition” intro begins]

Michael: The Beast Inquisition.

[Sound of fire crackling]

Harry: Hagrid, is that a dragon’s egg?

Hagrid: Yup, what I got there is a Norwegian Ridgeback. They’re rare, them.

Hermione: Hagrid, you live in a wooden house!

[“The Beast Inquisition” intro ends]

Kat: Okay, so we’re going to do [pronounces with a hard “g”] Animagi, [pronounces with a soft “g”] Animagi, however you want to say it.

Noah: [pronounces as “Animagee”] Animagi.

Kat: I think both are correct, except Noah’s pronunciation. [laughs]

Noah: Oh!

[Laura laughs]

Kat: That is not correct.

Noah: It’s always… I’m always wrong.

Kat: Yeah. So, per the ushe, I’m going to start out with a little Latin lesson, although Rosie should probably do this but I’m going to anyway.

[Noah laughs]

Kat: So I looked it up, and it says that… I found out that Animagi is Latin. It’s a combination of two words: “animal” and “mage.” Right? That’s “mage,” right? I said it right?

Rosie: Yup.

Kat: Okay. In other words, basically the words mean “animal,” “magical person.” So it’s…

Noah: That’s pretty standard.

Kat: Yeah, it’s pretty straight up…

Noah: Yeah.

Kat: …like most of the words she uses. And so, we obviously know that a person’s Animagus form is determined by their personality and traits and can’t be predetermined. So I was wondering, we talked a little bit about this before, but how do we feel that the Animagus forms of the characters that we actually do know, do we think that they fit their personalities? What part of James would have turned him into a stag? Or Sirius a dog?

Laura: Well, I think we already talked a little bit about Sirius being so loyal…

Kat: Yeah, that’s true.

Laura: …and stuff. And also just goofy. I don’t know, my dog is a big goofball that it’s always causing trouble but harmless.

Rosie: The Snuffles personality, yeah.

Laura: I’m more concerned… I would have been a little bit of an alarm setting off if they truly cannot predetermine it and it’s just their personality. Pettigrew just transformed into a rat.

[Rosie laughs]

Kat: Right!

Laura: This is a red flag. [laughs]

Kat: Right. People should be worried about that. I understand.

Rosie: The image of the stag for me was really interesting. I love Arthurian legends and all that chivalric stuff. So having a heraldic symbol like a stag – and obviously, you see knights going off hunting stags and it’s that noble tradition of hunting stags…

Noah: What does the stag itself represent though, Rosie?

Rosie: Within heraldry and things?

Noah: Yeah.

Rosie: I can look that up if you want.

Noah: Sure, I’m just curious.

Laura: It would have been such an exciting thing just to…

Noah: Be an Animagus?

Laura: No, to find out, “What am I going to transform into?” And of course, I have to feel bad, even though Pettigrew’s the worst. You’re like, “Really? You transformed into a rat? Come on.” Unlucky.

Noah: Do you think it’s the same as your Patronus?

Kat: All of the ones that we know about are the same.

Laura: Oh. Interesting.

Noah: Yeah. I’m still going with rabbit for me.

Laura: I’m mad because I’ve always said I was a wolf and Caleb stole that one from me because I wasn’t on that episode.

Kat: That doesn’t mean you can’t have a wolf.

Laura: So…

Rosie: You can both be wolves, it’s fine.

Kat: You guys are very similar.

Laura: He’ll have a problem with that.

[Laura and Rosie laugh]

Noah: Little wolf pack.

[Rosie laughs]

Kat: Okay, this isn’t Twilight. Let’s not go there.

[Noah laughs]

Rosie: Okay, a stag is one who will not fight unless provoked. It represents peace and harmony, and antlers represent strength and fortitude.

Noah: So, I mean, that pretty much tells us the kind of guy James was. He was pretty cool.

Kat: I mean, but does it?

Noah: I guess… I mean, if he turned into that, then I guess it does, right?

Rosie: He wouldn’t fight unless he was provoked?

Kat: That’s not true.

Noah: Hmm.

Rosie: Well, it’s true of him later on, perhaps.

Kat: True.

Noah: Because you can’t produce a Patronus or become an Animagus until you’ve matured magically. Maybe that’s also personally.

Rosie: We see him attack Snape for no reason in…

Noah: Fifth year.

Rosie: …fifth year, which would be after he’s learnt how to be an Animagi.

Kat: Or around the same time because they learn in their fifth year.

Rosie: Yeah.

Noah: So that’s pretty problematic then.

Rosie: Not necessarily. I think it shows who he should be, not necessarily who he is as a child.

Noah: Ooh.

Rosie: Because I don’t think he is matured enough…

Kat: Hmm.

Rosie: …at that point. And we obviously know that he changed a lot and matures a lot very quickly once he gets to sixth and seventh year when the war is kicking up.

Laura: And correct me if I’m wrong, people’s Patronuses can – and I would say Animagi too – could they change? Because doesn’t Tonk’s change to reflect Lupin eventually?

Rosie: Yeah. I would think that…

Laura: So, would someone’s Animagus be able to change if they matured?

Rosie: I wouldn’t think so.

Kat: I wouldn’t think so.

Rosie: I think Patronus can change, Animagus form shouldn’t.

Kat: Because I feel like the Patronus is more about the emotions behind who you are and the Animagus form or whatever is more about who you are…

Rosie: Yeah.

Kat: …who you really are.

Rosie: Yeah, an Animagus is a reflection of yourself, whereas a Patronus is more of a guardian for yourself. It doesn’t necessarily have to be part of you.

Kat: Mhm.

Laura: Hmm, interesting.

Noah: Can Tonks transform into any animal at will?

Kat: No. She’s a Metamorphmagus, so she can change her appearance but she can’t become an animal.

Noah: Can she change into the appearance of an animal?

Rosie: No.

Kat: Not full body. She could have a pig nose or frog lips, but she can’t have a pig face.

Laura: But I don’t know, I’m a little bit with Noah on this that… I don’t think she necessarily would want to, but if she can change all of her features at will, if she really sat down and was like, “I’m changing this part of my face and I’m changing this part of my face,” I think it would take a lot of work…

Rosie: But that’s superficial. To change into an animal, you’d have to change your entire size, your internal organs…

Kat: Right.

Laura: All right.

Rosie: You’re basically…

Laura: You got me on the internal organs.

[Kat and Laura laugh]

Noah: I mean, can she change internal organs?

Kat: No.

Laura: That’s kind of…

Rosie: I doubt it.

Laura: It’s a bit dangerous.

[Rosie laughs]

Kat: She would be like a Desk!Pig, different on the outside. Get it?

Noah: I… yeah.

[Laura laughs]

Noah: No, it’s okay.

Kat: All right, so…

[Noah laughs]

Kat: …if we buy into the fact that their personalities fit for these people then, I’m just curious because we know that they all have identifying features, like McGonagall with her glasses and Rita Skeeter, coincidentally, with her glasses – JKR, come up with something new…

Laura: Dream big.

Kat: Right. [laughs]

Rosie: So, do you think James’s stag would have had messy hair in the antlers?

[Kat laughs]

Laura: And glasses!

Kat: That’s what I was asking. Would he have a glasses mark too?

[Rosie laughs]

Kat: What would their identifying features be?

Laura: Well, I think the fact that Sirius is shaggy, right?

Rosie: Yeah.

Laura: Isn’t he a shaggy dog?

Rosie: Yeah.

Kat: Yeah, but that… isn’t that just after he’s out of Azkaban? I mean, he obviously showers at some point.

Laura: No, I always see him as having the long hair…

Rosie: He had long hair and…

Laura: …shagginess.

Rosie: Yeah.

Laura: A little rock and roll kind of shagginess.

[Rosie laughs]

Laura: Not like he starved in a prison for ten years shagginess.

Kat: All right, so long, black hair is his identifying feature?

Laura: Sure! [laughs]

Kat: All right, cool. What about James? Any idea at all?

Laura: Now I’m just picturing a stag wearing glasses.

Rosie: He could probably have a tuft of hair. [laughs]

Laura: I don’t know. I don’t think I can know enough about James’s…

Kat: Sure.

Laura: …physical features besides his hair. I just think of what Harry looks like.

Kat: They… it’s just weird that most of the Animagi that we know about have glasses. I’m just saying. Anyway…

Noah: Do you think McGonagall’s glasses work when she’s a cat and then become that pattern around her eyes? If she takes them off and she transforms, she doesn’t… her eyes don’t work as well?

Kat: I mean, that’s…

[Kat, Laura, and Noah laugh]

Noah: Did I just blow your mind?

Kat: That’s an interesting thought. I don’t know.

Noah: There’s no way to prove it.

Laura: I think I agree with Noah.

Noah: Okay.

Laura: We agree with Noah, everybody!

Noah: We agree with Noah? [sings angelically] Ahh!

Kat: All right, so going on, kind of, Noah’s train of thought here, what do we think happens to their clothes when they transform? Because it’s not like there’s a little rat wearing Pettigrew suit. Or a little… oh, a little witch hat on McGonagall, on the kitty.

[Rosie laughs]

Noah: Where do those clothes go?

Rosie: Like on our t-shirts.

Kat: Right, like on the t-shirts.

Laura: I think that they just kind of get absorbed into them.

Rosie: I think it’s too complicated for them to disappear. They just transform with him in this. It’s a kids’ book. [laughs]

Laura: No, but because we see McGonagall transform directly in front of them.

Rosie: Yeah, and there’s no nudity after that…

[Kat and Noah laugh]

Rosie: …so they must just keep their clothes on. [laughs]

Laura: That would be out of place.

Noah: So, has Peter just been wearing the same pair of clothes for twelve years?

Kat: [laughs] That’s disgusting.

Laura: Yeah.

Rosie: He’s really not a nice guy, is he? [laughs]

Kat: Smelly and gross. Disgusting.

Noah: Hasn’t taken a shower.

Laura: Pettigrew ever… I think we might have talked about this and I think I was shot down. Did Pettigrew ever secretly change anywhere? Did he seriously just spend his entire time only as a rat, or did he ever leave Ron’s sight in the woods or something to look for Voldemort… I don’t know. Something. Where he…

Rosie: I think he could have done, but he had no reason to.

Kat: Yeah.

Rosie: As long as he was living happily as a rat, then he could have stayed as a rat.

Noah: Shot down. No, no, I like to think that he might have occasionally raided the Weasley refrigerator.

[Kat laughs]

Noah: I don’t know. It’s not comfortable to be in rat form for so long.

Rosie: Do they have to eat a different amount, do you think?

Kat: Oh.

Rosie: Like a rat would have to eat a lot less than a full bodied human, so…

Kat: Interesting.

Laura: I always think of… you know how in Charlotte’s Web, Templeton…

Kat: Mhm.

Laura: …if that was his name – the rat – is really evil and he’s just going around stealing all the food?

Kat: [laughs] It’s Peter!

Laura: I was going to make a really bad joke, but now I’m not. [laughs] I was just going to say if Peter is secretly stealing from the Weasley food stash, it’s not making it any easier on them.

Kat: That’s why they’re so poor!

Laura: That’s where I was going with that, but then I felt too bad about it.

Kat: Oh, it’s all Pettigrew’s fault. That evil, evil man.

[Rosie laughs]

Laura: Damn it. [laughs]

Kat: Damn you, Pettigrew. Okay, all right. [laughs] So actually we have a comment from HinkyPuff that I’m going to read just briefly. It’s kind of interesting. It says… this is on our discussion last week about if there was a cat, where do the cats go to poo and if there’s a cat Room of Requirement?

Laura: Hard hitting stuff we talk about here. [laughs]

Kat: Totally, totally.

[Rosie laughs]

Kat: And HinkyPuff asks if McGonagall could get in there and does she secretly hang out with Mrs. Norris? And then this is the part I wanted to chat about:

“And when she’s in cat form, can she communicate with cats? Therefore, could Crookshanks have somehow told her about Pettigrew?”

So I thought that was really interesting and I wanted to kind of expand on that a little bit. When you’re in Animagus form, you can communicate with other animals. But do you think once that person transforms back into a human they can still talk to animals? Because that would make sense because when Snuffles is Sirius… wait, when Sirius is Snuffles [laughs] – I’m all backwards – he can understand English as a dog. So as a human, shouldn’t he be able to understand dog?

Rosie: Yeah. I think that he would be… as a dog you can understand other dogs and as a dog you can understand humans, but you can’t understand dogs as a human. So if McGonagall was a cat, then she could talk to Crookshanks. But if she is back in her human form, then she wouldn’t be able to. And I don’t think McGonagall would have had any reason to transform whilst at school.

Laura: Well, I have to kind of disagree on that. I don’t actually think when they’re communicating with the animals, I don’t actually think there’s a dialogue going on that they’re understanding like dog-speech and having full-fledged conversations. I think it’s just being more aware since you’ve now become a dog and you are more aware just of the mannerisms of being a dog physically that you would understand if you were to get to another dog while they’re making that body movement and stuff like that. I don’t think there is actual dialogue going on. I think they’re just…

Rosie: No, but there is some kind of communication.

Laura: Yeah, and I think it’s very much mannerisms, which is why I think they would kind of be able to understand the animal because it would still be able to observe physically what they’re doing.

Kat: See, I think there’s got to be a language because it says in the books that Sirius told Crookshanks about Pettigrew. And how do you convey to somebody, a cat especially, that this guy is bad?

Noah [barks and meows] That’s how.

[Laura and Noah laugh]

Laura: End discussion.

Kat: Okay, and so…

[Noah meows]

Kat: There was one other kind of interesting comment found on the forums when we were reading through. It’s by HufflepuffSkein and it says… this is on the idea of transfiguration and Animagi, I guess. It says:

“What if wizards are harnessing powers of evolutionary time and so through transfiguring into animals, are de-evolving into lesser mammals, or I imagine bird or amphibians too? We know magic can manipulate time, so what if evolutionary timescales could be ‘messed with’? Maybe animagus-ing is so hard because of the time-depth involved in the transformation, and perhaps it also has to do with the physiological and cognitive complexity of the life form as well. Would animagus-ing into a rat be easier than animagus-ing into a chimpanzee?”

Rosie: That’s an interesting thought. Is Pettigrew a rat because it’s an easier form to transform into than the others?

Laura: Simpler, yeah.

Rosie: Because he’s less academic.

Kat: I mean, I would say yes if we didn’t already know that you can’t choose what animal you turn into.

Laura: Well, I think what Rosie is saying is that it’s not that he’s choosing it because it’s easier, he’s achieving it because it’s easier.

Kat: Oh, okay.

Laura: He goes to rat form before a different animal because it’s so… well, it’s a lot easier.

Kat: And he’s kind of simple anyway.

Laura: Yeah.

Noah: Understandable, but I don’t think he can be anything other than a rat anyway because it’s his essence.

Kat: A weasel?

Noah: I mean, that’s true. But what if it’s even harder to become a rat for Pettigrew because it’s so spatially smaller than a dog?

Kat: Well, I think that’s what this question is essentially asking, Noah.

Rosie: I wouldn’t necessarily think of all animals as less evolved than humans either, so the idea of de-evolving wouldn’t necessarily work for me. But I do like the idea of perhaps simpler animals and more complex animals. Like Rita Skeeter. We haven’t really discussed her at all, but being a beetle. Would that be easier than a mammal?

Laura: What a dangerous thing to turn into, first of all.

Kat: Right?

Laura: It’s so easy to just get squished.

Rosie: Yeah, you’d be easily squished.

Laura: Yeah.

Rosie: I think that’s mainly being the bug on the wall.

Noah: I want to say intuitively that it’s equally hard for each one. I have no evidence to back that up though.

Laura: I’m kind of with Noah that I don’t think it has anything to do with the biological of a rat’s… even though I just said this like five minutes ago.

[Laura and Noah laugh]

Laura: That it really has much to do with the biological differences of… because to…

Rosie: I like the idea, but I don’t think it actually applies. [laughs]

Laura: Yeah, to say one animal is more complex than the next… in what way? Is it just because it’s smaller? What is their mental capacity? But are they even thinking like an animal? I don’t know. I don’t necessarily think that’s the case.

Kat: I mean, but we do know that it is harder to transfigure animals like snakes and pigs, so I feel like it does make sense because this is a form of transformation. It’s not transfiguration so to say.

Rosie: Yeah, but you’re essentially transfiguring yourself into something else rather than transfiguring something else into something else. So it’s going to be equally hard for everyone to transfigure a human.

Kat: That’s true. No, that’s true. Because it’s not like you’re turning a desk into a pig. You’re turning a person into something with bones and blood and muscle and all that. That’s true.

Rosie: Yeah.

Kat: Okay.

Noah: Oink, creek.

Kat: [laughs] Okay.

[Noah and Rosie laugh]

Kat: And I just thought that this bit was a little interesting when I was reading up on… you know the registry at the Ministry of Magic? I found out that the punishment for not registering is a sentence in Azkaban. [laughs] And I was like, “Yeah, that seems about right for this unforgiving wizarding world!”

[Kat and Noah laugh]

Rosie: Everything just sends you to Azkaban.

Kat: Yeah, that’s their punishment for everything. Azkaban.

[Rosie laughs]

Laura: I just want to quickly say, the only… four of the five Animaguses – Animagi – that we that we know of are unregistered. The only registered one I believe we know of is McGonagall.

Kat: Correct.

Laura: So, are there… do you think there are other…

Noah: There’s a whole other six!

Kat: There are, actually. Hold on.

Laura: Oh, did we know this?

Kat: We do know this.

Laura: From where?

Noah: It’s on the registry.

Laura: Oh.

Kat: We know it from the Wiki. It has it. Hold on, I can read them.

Laura: How’d they get it? [laughs]

Kat: Because the Wiki… I don’t know.

[Rosie laughs]

Kat: They’re hardcore. All right, so the first one is Falco Aesalon, and it’s a falcon. It’s the first registered Animagus and the registration system was not in existence at that time. And then another one is Morgan le Fay, which is a bird.

Rosie: Awesome.

Kat: [pronounces as “cly-oh-duh-nah”] Cliodna. I can’t even…

[Rosie laughs]

Kat: [pronounces as “clee-oh-duh-nah”] Cliodna? I can’t pronounce it. C-L-I-O-D-N-A. [pronounces as “cleed-na”] Cliodna? It’s a sea bird. And then we’ve got McGonagall, and then an unidentified witch which is a cat. [laughs] And Babbity, which is the rabbit. So we know five out of the seven registered Animagi.

Laura: Wait, so there’s only seven in the entire wizarding world?

Kat: Yes. It says, “Total…”

Laura: Because that’s…

Kat: “Total of seven registered in the twentieth century.”

Laura: That’s ridiculous.

Noah: I’m sure there are tons unregistered. I’m sure that’s… I’m sure there are tons of witches and wizards unregistered because it’s a total way to get by.

Laura: Why would people do that? I mean, I know that it’s complex magic, but they were only fifteen. Or approximately. I just find it ridiculous to think that no other wizard…

Noah: Well, that’s why it’s…

Laura: …thought, “I’m going to become an Animagus today.” Or at least spend a month figuring that out.

Kat: Right.

Noah: But I’m saying it’s more likely that there are more out there, and the fact that it was so… not necessarily easy, but the fact that these students could do it makes me think that there are tons and tons of them out there that just go unregistered because you can do cool stuff.

Kat: But what’s the point?

Laura: Yeah, why can’t you just become registered?

Kat: No, but I mean, what would be the point of becoming an Animagus?

Laura: Because it’s awesome?

Noah: It’s awesome.

[Laura laughs]

Noah: There are… it has other… if you can get by Dementors easily, maybe there are other ways that it lets you sneak through.

Rosie: But you never know what animal you’re going to turn into.

Kat: Right.

Rosie: So… or at least you would after your first time, but you wouldn’t know…

Kat: You could be a cockroach or something. Not me, I’m just saying.

Rosie: Yeah.

Laura: Well, then you can transform and be like, “All right, this sucks,” and never do it again.

Noah: Then have someone stamp on you because you realize that you’re a cockroach in your soul.

Laura: Okay, that’s… [unintelligible]

Noah: That’s really morbid. I’m sorry.

[Laura laughs]

Kat: Okay.

[Noah and Rosie laugh]

Kat: I mean, that’s the ushe for you, so it’s fine.

Rosie: So it’s time for our Podcast Question of the Week, and it’s fallen to me this week which is quite exciting because it’s normally the boys that get to do this. We have kind of realized in our discussion that we’ve gone through this episode that we really don’t know all that much about James. We kind of tried to draw some links between him and Harry, or him and other characters. But one thing that we really do know, obviously, is that he is Prongs and that he has this form of a stag when he turns into his Animagus form. So what we’d like you guys to think about is what that really says about James and about his characteristics and his exploits. What else can we actually draw from his being a stag, as we can draw from Sirius being a dog or Wormtail being a rat? So yeah, let us know what you guys think and maybe we can unlock some of the secrets about James Potter.

Kat: Great. Okay, and I just want to let everyone know how you can be on the show as a guest. As always, you can email us a clip of yourself analyzing a part of the chapter to alohomorapodcast at gmail dot com. And don’t forget, you need the appropriate audio equipment and headphones, all that jazz. And as always, you can submit content on the Alohomora! website and we just might read it on the show.

Laura: If you want to contact us, to do that you can follow us on Twitter at @AlohomoraMN, you can visit us on Facebook at, you can leave us a voicemail in our comments by calling our Skype account at 206-GO-ALBUS, which is 206-462-5287. Feel free to leave us comments and check us out on our main site at You can email us any questions or comments at alohomorapodcast at gmail dot com. And don’t forget to subscribe to us on iTunes.

Rosie: Also, don’t forget to check out our store where you can get all of our amazing host shirts. We are working on getting those images vectorized so we can put them on other products such as iPhone cases, tote bags, and water bottles. And of course, Laura and Eric, our brand new hosts, have been tasked with coming up with their own host shirt ideas, so keep an eye out for them soon as well.

Noah: And you’ve got to download the app, the Alohomora! app. I know I don’t leave my house without the app in my pocket, in my…

Kat: [laughs] You don’t have an iPhone.

[Rosie laughs]

Noah: …iPhone, iPad, or Android device. [laughs] It is available in the US, in the UK, for $1.99 or 1.29… is that Euros? Pence?

Rosie: 1 pound, 29 pence, Noah.

Kat: How many times have you heard us say that?

Laura: Every single episode, we’re going to ask.

[Noah and Rosie laugh]

Noah: And don’t forget you can also get it on your Kindle and your iPad. It’s an amazing, awesome app and it’s got tons of extra stuff from the show, bloopers, transcripts, you know what we’re talking about. We’ve talked about it on every show. [laughs] You’ve got to download that app because we’re always putting secret stuff on there.

Rosie: [laughs] So that’s the end of the episode, guys. Thanks so much for listening.

[Show music begins]

Laura: Okay, so yeah, I’m Laura Reilly.

Noah: I’m Noah Fried.

Rosie: I’m Rosie Morris.

Kat: And I’m Kat Miller. Thank you for listening to Episode 29 of Alohomora!

Noah: Open the Dumbledore!

[Show music continues]

Noah: Have I paused sufficiently?

Kat: They really only need about two seconds, so yeah.

[Noah and Rosie laugh]

Noah: Okay.

Kat: More than enough time.

Laura: Awesome job on the pausing, Noah.

[Noah and Rosie laugh]

Noah: But first, what does Lee Jordan do when McGonagall turns into a cat?

Kat: All right, we’re not going there.

Rosie: Noah.

Kat: Okay.

Noah: Shot down. Boom.

Rosie: Do you honestly not know what a pound sign looks like?

[Kat and Noah laugh]

Noah: The only country that matters. Dollars. No, that’s terrible.

Kat: Whoa!

[Rosie laughs]

Noah: Sorry. [laughs]

Kat: A lot of anglophiles out there really mad at you right now.

Rosie: Okay…

Noah: [laughs] No one is going to hear this. It’s fine.

Kat: Really? I’m going to tell Patrick to include you on the episode.

[Rosie laughs]

Laura: Just leave that in for the purpose of that.

Noah: Whatever.

Laura: We’re firing Noah.

Noah: Let them come! Let them come!

[Everyone laughs]

Laura: Oh, God. On that note…