Episode 102 – OotP 24: Memory Madness

It’s time to learn Occlumency! Join hosts Caleb, Michael and Eric as well as special guest Kayla as they dissect this packed chapter and further analyze Sirius, Snape and Harry’s relations as well as the newly introduced act of Legilimency.

On Epsode 102 we discuss…

→ Episode 101 Recap: Parental neglect; House tropes; Christmas burns and scents
→ PQOTW Responses
→ Is Snape mad at Sirius, or somebody else?
→ The gift that shall not be opened
→ why is the book so named for the Order?
→ Memories and their extraction into the Pensieve
Question of the Week
→ Check out the Alohomora! store

To listen to the show, simply click the player below or direct download the episode. You can also subscribe to us on iTunes. For more information about the podcast and to find out how to be on the show, check out our Be On The Show! page.

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  • elizabeth melas

    Hermione as a name came from Homer. She was Achilles’ daughter. God!!!

    • spielerman

      According to an October 20, 1999 interview with the National Press Club for NPR Radio, Rowling did choose Hermione’s name from Shakespeare’s “A Winter’s Tale” – so Michael was correct on this instance on Alohomora Episode 102.

      “J.K. Rowling: Um … it just seemed to suit her somehow. It’s a name from Shakespeare. It’s in ‘A Winter’s Tale’. Um … although my Hermione bears very little relation to *that* Hermione, but it just seemed the sort of name that a pair of professional dentists, who liked to prove how clever they were … do you know what I mean … gave their daughter a nice, unusual name that no-one could pronounce! I mean, parents do that! Um … and I … and I did want in, in truth, I wanted quite an unusual name for her because I think there are quite a lot of girls like Hermione, I was a girl like Hermione, and I, it crossed my mind as I was writing that without ever, knowing that I was ever going to be published, that if I ever was published I didn’t want to give her a common name, you know, just in case somewhere out there, there was a Jane with big front teeth who was really swotty and annoying. Just thought, just thought that might not be a good idea.”

      Source: http://www.accio-quote.org/articles/1999/1099-pressclubtransc.htm

      • Elvis Gaunt

        I would have been proud to share her name.

  • Albert Cashier

    GODS WHY COULDN’T HE HAVE JUST OPENED THE DAMNED THING??

  • I don’t think there’s a difference between mind-reading and Legilimency at all – Snape just has a problem with the term ‘mind-reading’. He says that “The mind is not a book, to be opened at will and examined at leisure. Thoughts are not etched on the inside of skulls, to be perused by any invader. The mind is a complex and many-layered thing.” It sounds to me like he just feels that the term ‘mind-reading’ over-simplifies Legilimency – and if he’s half as pretentious about Legilimency as he is about Potion making, then that is the biggest insult.

    On whether memories are removed or not – I think just from a logistical standpoint they can’t be completely removed, like one of the hosts (I think it was Kayla?) said. I like the idea of only a shell of the memory being left. We know that we have the memory, but the details are lost.
    I also think, though, that you might be able to choose whether you want to ‘remove’ the memory, or make a copy. In this case, we see Snape ‘removing’ memories because he doesn’t want Harry to see them; but in Half-Blood Prince, Slughorn is able to give Harry the memory he hasn’t tempered with even though Dumbledore still has the edited one. (At least, I always figured Dumbledore never gave it back.)

    I’ve always wondered if Snape put just the 3 memories we see him putting into the pensieve, or if he’d put some in before Harry came. It’s really vague in the book; it just says Snape emerged from the shadows. If it was just 3, and we know one was his ‘worst memory’, what were the other 2? One to do with his love for Lily, and one to do with him telling Voldemort about the Prophecy, most likely – but there’s no way there’s just one memory that gives those away. Perhaps you can put multiple memories into one ‘memory strand’??
    I’m just thinking aloud now. 😛 Pensieves and memories are so interesting!!

    • QuibbleQuaffle

      I find it interesting that just before he launched into that explanation about the mind not being a book Snape says “Only Muggles talk of “mind reading””. I think that a- in the magical world there is nothing that’s termed “mind reading” because- like you say- it’s over simplifying it. But also b- is this revealing a bit of lingering resentment of Muggles on Snape’s part? He’s basically starting off the lesson by saying “no Harry you’re stupid- like a Muggle”. Like woah there Severus, you may be the best at Occlumency, but for a subject so tied in with thoughts and feelings is this really the best apporach professionally. If we’re comparing Snape to Lupin with the whole circle theory thing, both Occulmency and the Patronus charm take a lot more than just waving your wand, but while Lupin guides Harry through it, builds up his confidence and make’s sure he’s okay after by giving him chocolate to help with the effects of the (fake) Dementor, Snape explains Occlumency in a way that Harry can’t understand it, attacks him before he was ready, outright calls Harry “weak” and afterwards just let’s him walk away when “Harry felt shivery; his scar was still aching, he felt almost feverish…. … he was very white and his scar seemed to be showing up more clearly than usual”. Surely there would have been something either Snape or Madam Pomfrey could have done to help with that. Like, this goes beyond the typical wizarding disregard for health and safety, because this is a magical threat that Snape is leaving Harry vulnerable to. Maybe he’s going for a more tough-love fake-Moody approach, but even fake-Moody took Neville aside to comfort him “like Professor Lupin would have done” and encourages his students as well as being hard on them. Like, nevermind that Lupin was a better teacher than Snape, Barty Crouch Junior was a better teacher than Snape.

      • I had the same feeling!! He definitely made it seem like he considered the muggle way of thought inferior.

        And man, don’t get me started on Snape’s teaching methods. A-men!

      • Hufflepug

        It’s similar to how in book one he yelled at Harry for taking notes (god forbid, right?) and then asked him several questions that he obviously wouldn’t know the answer to because it was his first time in that class and he had just come from the Muggle world. It also reminds me of how in HBP he calls Harry out and asks the difference between an Inferius and a ghost and then makes fun of him for saying that ghosts are transparent and Inferi are dead bodies. Sure it’s not an in-depth explanation but it’s certainly important to know the physical differences! It’s just so annoying how a lot of what drives Snape is his desire to prove Harry wrong and put him down for being dumb… he’s his teacher. That’s all kinds of wrong.

  • Elvis Gaunt

    There was some discussion about what would happen if V caught Snape teaching Harry Occlumency. V never tried to read Harry’s mind. He was only feeding certain selected thoughts of his to the boy-who-lived. And even if he saw Snape taking the class, I guess the potions master would cover it up by saying he had volunteered for the job with the intention of not helping Harry learn to close his mind. It would be Dumbledore doing the job otherwise and Harry would very quickly pick up the nuances of Occlumency.

  • Elvis Gaunt

    I think Sirius and Snape’s mutual animosity goes beyond mere school-boy grudges. Snape probably blames Sirius for Lily’s death to some extent for the same reason that Sirius blames himself for her and James’ s deaths. Since Snape cannot let the real reason be known, he pretends that he is getting back at Sirius for what the Marauders had to done him at school.

    As for Sirius, he might have seen Snape perform some dark magic at school and get away with it. Doesn’t Lily accuse Snape of doing something disgusting to a girl called Mary Mcdonald in one of Snape’s memories. Stories like that may have been circulating when they were all at school. After school too, Sirius may have seen Snape do some nasty work for Voldemort. And after Wormtail’s betrayal, Sirius may be finding it difficult to place his trust in people, especially in a man like Snape. If Snape is smart emough to double-cross Voldemort, he may as well be double-crossing Dumbledore, in Sirius’s mind. Add to that, the potions-master had tried to feed Sirius’s soul to the dementors less than two years ago.

    • Albert Cashier

      I totally agree with this. Although Sirius is completely loyal to those he loves (like a dog), he uses just as much energy when he doesn’t care for someone. His distaste for dark magic is pretty deeply engrained in him from years of likely abuse as a child in Grimmauld Place and his subsequent disownment by his own mother. He watches his biological brother who is only one year younger fall into a dangerous crowd at school (which I am willing to bet Snape was likely also a part of), then later become a Death Eater. The Dark Lord murders his adopted brother. Sirius was a member of the original Order because he believed in the cause and felt deeply opposed to dark magic. Snape defected for a woman he was madly in love with and all his work for the Order is centered around her, not the ‘greater good’. Even if Sirius didn’t know this, he is probably pretty bitter that Snape has lived his life a free man while he was imprisoned despite having been with the ‘good guys’ from the get go. Maybe he sees Snape as having gotten cold feet the same way he believes Regulus did and in a similar fashion to Peter selling out his best friends to save his own butt. That probably disgusts him and I don’t think he is in an emotional place yet to let that go, After having spent 12 years in Azkaban, 2 years out isn’t suddenly going to right the extensive trauma he had experienced there. Snape however… I personally think he’s being a big baby.

  • DisKid

    I hope that we get more info on how the pensieve works as well, but I always thought that Snape just put those memories back because that’s not his pensieve. It’s the headmaster’s pensieve. I figured he either wasn’t allowed to keep them in there except for lessons with Harry or his memories of him and Lily are so personal and painful that he doesn’t want even Dumbledore seeing them. Too private. I never once thought it was to put the memories back in his head because he completely wiped it. Honestly, I doubt the pensieve completely wipes it but who knows!

  • DisKid

    Oh yeah and on my really rare hatstall, I can’t help you on how I got it lol. I do remember some of the questions I answered, but keep in mind this was almost 2 and a half years ago. It’s not exactly fresh in my mind what questions I got or how I answered (some of them I fit multiple answers so those ones it’s hard to remember exactly which one’s I picked). I didn’t even know pottermore had hatstalls for a long time! I thought they asked everybody what their choice was, as that’s a theme in the book, and took that into account. It wasn’t until a friend of mine set up an account and wasn’t asked this at all that I looked up the reason why and discovered that meant hatstall. I couldn’t believe not only that I got a hatstall, but that a 4-way one was possible!

  • thegiantsquid

    When Sirius gives Harry the mirror, he tells Harry not to open it right now because “I doubt Molly would approve…” but I wonder, how would Molly know that this mirror was anything other than a regular mirror? Was there something else Sirius wanted to say or do with the mirror that made it so he had to have Harry alone? If so, why did he wait so late to give it to him? Was it a last second decision? Harry remarks that the package is “badly wrapped”, so I feel like this could be a possibility.

    • angsty_Sirius

      I think Molly, and of chourse Sirius, too remember the last time Sirius tried to communicate with Harry while he was staying in Hogwarts and espechially Molly, who blamed Sirius for being too reckless pretty much from the beginning would see such a last minute gift , espechially after the scene she was exposed to the day before,pt of Sirius to ‘live through Harry’ as Hermione puts it.

      • thegiantsquid

        Yeah but how would she know it was a communication device? That’s what I wonder. I know she would disapprove of it if she knew what it was, but I don’t know how she would know that.

        • angsty_Sirius

          I think she had a suspicion, simply becsuse it’s Sirius. I mean she raised Fred and George it’s probably instinct by now

          • thegiantsquid

            I guess it would look strange for a fifteen year old boy to get a mirror as a gift. Unless it did something really neat, why would he want that?
            And it’s true, their relationship is not the best right now, though I’m sure that more people than just Molly are bothering Sirius about staying at home and being a good boy (particularly Lupin and Dumbledore). I bet Sirius liked giving the gift all wrapped up and mysterious like that because it could be his secret with Harry, and that’s like having a secret with James. And I totally agree that Sirius wants to live through Harry and direct his thoughts in the way that his own might tend to wander.
            Thanks for the thoughtful discussion!

  • thegiantsquid

    Lupin finally gets a few lines on page 527 (US edition) and they are so awesome that I’m going to put them in this comment: “…Harry, I know you don’t like Snape, but he is a superb Occlumens and we all — Sirius included — want you to learn to protect yourself, so work hard, all right?”
    LUPIN IS THE GODFATHER HARRY NEEDS.
    Lupin is fostering a relationship between enemies, mending bridges, and teaching a younger generation to look past peoples’ faults in order to accomplish a common goal. Sirius only behaves like a stubborn, slighted child, and actively perpetuates Snape hate. Lupin even compliments Snape! I think it’s important that Lupin also says that “Sirius included” wants Harry to do this. I feel like Lupin and Sirius had a bit of a heart-to-heart where Lupin put Sirius a bit in his place, so Lupin tells Harry this is a roundabout fashion by including Sirius’s name specifically. Most importantly, Lupin addresses Harry’s concerns, he reassures him, shows him that there are people supporting him, and offers him advice all in one sentence!
    Lupin is the greatest, and he deserves a much bigger moment than this.

    • SnugglesWithNifflers

      I love this. It makes me wonder, why did Harry’s parents choose Sirius as godfather, not Lupin? Is seems as though James just chose Sirius because he was his better friend, without the thought of who would actually make a better surrogate parent. How would the story have changed if this decision have been reversed? I feel like it would have been mutually beneficial to both Harry and Lupin.

      • Elvis Gaunt

        The other Marauders had suspected Lupin of being a spy at that time. That was the reason why they did not tell him when they switched secret-keepers. So he was not considered for being made Harry’s godfather either. Poor Lupin.

        • thegiantsquid

          I had forgotten about that part. Good memory. Now excuse me while I go sob for all of Lupin’s awful misfortunes.

          • angsty_Sirius

            I also think that Remus might have refused to become Harry’s godfather because of his werewolf nature. He would have been too afraid to care for a baby :'( That’s probably also the reason he never contacted Harry in all those years, isn’t it? giantsquid, I’ll go sob with you :(.

          • thegiantsquid

            I bet you that’s true too. Just like he tried to run away and “protect” his son in DH.
            Also yeah, wow. That probably is why.
            And yes, come sob with me. We can start a sobbing party.

      • thegiantsquid

        I’m sure you’re right about James — that’s entirely in his nature to pick his best, most loyal friend as the godfather for his son, regardless of how fit that person may be for the job. I feel like being a godfather might have made Lupin feel like he was worth something, and perhaps he would have sought out Harry sooner. With his sense, he might have even been able to visit him at the Dursley’s and take him out for ice cream without the Dursley’s being any the wiser.

      • Hollywobbles

        I feel like Lupin wouldn’t have allowed himself to be names godfather. Remember, this was before wolfsbane potion was invented. So for 3 nights a month he would have been a danger to Harry. Also, he would have found it difficult to take care of Harry,as he has always had difficulty finding and keeping employment because of his “Furry Little Problem” . I think, at the time, James and Lilly truly though that Sirius was the best choice.

      • SpinnersEnd

        I also think that James would have chosen Sirius regardless simply because Sirius was his best friend. If Lupin had been James’ best friend, Lupin would have been Harry’s godfather.

    • Luna LoveDuck

      You said this so perfectly, all I can do is agree with you instead of thinking of anything else to add! Lupin definitely deserves more (and we will always want more Lupin).

      • thegiantsquid

        Thank you! 🙂

  • thegiantsquid

    While I’m not a huge Cho fan either, I also give Cho props for not being upset that she and Harry kiss that night, and then he disappears and presumably never contacts her for the whole holiday! If this had happened to me when I was a sixteen year old girl, I would have been mortified.

    • BlameitontheNargles

      I think even as an adult I’d be mortified. Haha.

  • thegiantsquid

    Snape’s body language during his explanation of Occlumency to Harry is very interesting. Harry mentions twice that Snape is tracing his mouth with his finger during his explanation. Just before this, Snape explains to Harry that “The Dark Lord… almost always knows when someone is lying to him. Only those skilled at Occlumency are able to shut down those feelings and memories that contradict the lie…” He’s just told Harry exactly what he’s been doing. Voldemort ALMOST always knows, but Snape seems to be the exception, and Snape knows it, but he doesn’t name is own name. Later, during the lesson, Snape says: “Fools who wear their hearts proudly on their sleeves, who cannot control their own emotions, who wallow in sad memories and allow themselves to be provoked this easily… stand no chance against his powers!” Once again, Snape is relaying his own experience to Harry without specifically saying it’s him. Snape tracing his mouth reminds me of the idea that people cover their mouths when they are lying, but Snape is telling almost a half-truth, he’s revealing something and he’s telling Harry to pay attention. I think Snape is very, very invested in Harry doing well in Occlumency. He is actively relating to Harry, and his frustration and anger comes from confusion and irritation that Harry isn’t doing well, but not necessarily at Harry himself.
    In re-reading this, I realized that I think Snape is actually teaching a good lesson, considering the subject material. He does tell Harry what is about to happen, but there isn’t a whole lot he can do to prepare him. People probably deal with that kind of thing differently, and since Harry is good at blocking the Imperius Curse, he wants to see how Harry fights this without instruction. He’s testing his skill.
    I am not a Snape fan (at all), but in this reading through this scene again, I’ve decided it’s one of his best moments.

    • Soc.forRescueofVanishedAnimals

      I noticed the description of his body language, too, and I really like your analysis of what it might mean. Snape is one of my favorite characters (I know, I know … but I have a thing for exceptionally smart people), and the Snape/Harry dynamic is one of the most interesting aspects of the book, since it’s so ambiguous on Snape’s side. There’s another interesting moment later on, in the chapter called Seen and Unforeseen, which I’m really hoping that we’ll discuss: Snape tells Harry that it’s not his business to uncover what the Dark Lord is saying to the Death Eaters, and Harry retorts, “No — that’s your job, isn’t it?” H immediately regrets this comment, thinking that it will enrage S … then we get this: “But there was a curious, almost satisfied expression on Snape’s face when he answered. ‘Yes, Potter,’ he said, his eyes glinting. ‘That is my job. …'” I’m really curious what everyone thinks about Snape’s expression here. Harry’s comment seems to have recalled him to his larger goal in this war, reminding him that it’s bigger than these routine snarking matches with Harry. He might even be remembering Lily and his original purpose for putting himself in this position. He immediately gets back to business and resumes the Occlumency lesson, rather than continuing to argue with H. I think this description of Snape, as he’s reminded of his role, is significant, because usually, Harry interprets Snape’s expressions as malicious, gloating, sneering, hateful, etc. Why this “curious, almost satisfied” response to H’s comment? Clearly, Harry intends it to be an accusation, a hint that he suspects S hasn’t give up his loyalties to Voldemort. But Snape knows the real story and how much more complicated it is … Hoping others will have some thoughts on all of this!

      • thegiantsquid

        Thanks!
        I really believe that Snape gets the “curious, almost satisfied” expression on his face because he is really proud of what he’s doing, and he’s unsure exactly how to respond to this kid that’s calling him out without entirely realizing the implication of what he’s just said. Snape was not special as a child, he was neglected. Lily made him feel special and important, so he idolized her and made her his life’s happiness. Magic made him feel special, so his competency grew into arrogance and a need to pursue beyond the bounds of what many pursued (such as power, Voldemort, wizard supremacy, whatever). When he asked Voldemort to spare Lily, he thought that, as a favorite, he would get special treatment, but Voldemort denied him that. But Dumbledore restores his sense of self-worth by accepting him as a double agent. He’s beyond satisfied and smug about having the unique position in society that he has, and the neglected little boy inside is still thirsting for that recognition. I think that’s why he doesn’t get angry at Harry, but rather it makes him feel a glow for a minute and he quickly moves on.

        • Soc.forRescueofVanishedAnimals

          I think your analysis is spot-on. I think Snape only cares about gaining recognition from people who as or more powerful than him; he’s above caring what the common person thinks (he’s got that Byronic hero bit going on). He looks down on people like James Potter who want popular adoration — and because he assumes Harry is just like his father in that respect, he constantly paints him as an attention-seeker. I think what Snape always wanted was to do something significant, and he has achieved that, not because he was “chosen” but because he worked harder, learned from his errors, took on the difficult task, etc. So he gets satisfaction, and like you said, a smug sense of superiority in this moment from knowing that he is as significant as Harry in the overall plan. Like real wars, this war with Voldemort unfortunately cannot be won on moral superiority and bravery alone; it requires strategic thinking, understanding your enemy and his motives better than he understands them himself, etc., all of which Snape (in association with Dumbledore) provides. It’s not enough to run bravely into battle and hope for the best, as Harry usually does. If Harry succeeds, it’s because a lot of groundwork was laid by D and S in advance.

  • thegiantsquid

    Also, I think Snape might be saving memories in the Pensieve of his conversation with Harry about the Department of Mysteries so Dumbledore can see them.

    • Hollywobbles

      I had never thought of that, thats a really good thought!

      • thegiantsquid

        Thanks! It just occurred to me this read through!

  • thegiantsquid

    I think when you put memories in the Pensieve, you can’t just forget them, or you wouldn’t know to go get them again. I think your brain keeps a file name, almost. Like, if you deposit the memory of your first kiss, your brain remembers the basic details: it’s a memory of your first kiss with so-and-so and maybe a date or location, but nothing specific, no images, or anything like that. So you have basic recollection, and you know when it might be an appropriate time to go and fetch that memory from the Pensieve for further inspection.

  • BlameitontheNargles

    On the memories that go into the pensive, I feel like the idea behind it to see patterns or to obtain information is like and index card vs a book. Like how we can only recall certain details of events in the 10 ish percent of our brain but we have a perfect recollection of events in the other parts we can’t frequently access. The silver memory strands sort of remind me of DNA in the sense that it looks like a strand until you look closer and all the sudden it’s a wealth of information and I feel like the pensive is like unto a microscope on that sense that it takes something fuzzy and small in scope and blows it up into lifelike detail. As the memory exclusively lives in the event in which it is recalling it won’t be as muddled (unless modified) by the current feelings of a situation. I think that it allows the user to objectively view a situation. By almost taking the feeling out of it. As far as possibly loosing the memory I also think that has a strong likelyhood as well. It’s a very powerful and rare device and is likely so because of the danger it imposes. Most people I bet would be terrified at the idea of loosing themselves in an object. Which I guess the idea of horcruxes is do terrifying because it is loosing a vital part of you to possibly never see again. But I digress.

  • PuffNProud

    I think Kayla had it right on Sirius – he was going to go outside if Harry was in trouble no matter what. I keep recalling POA when he says “I would have rather died” than betrayed his friends. This is Sirius’s true nature. Great job overall, Kayla!

    • thegiantsquid

      I agree on both points. Even if no one had provoked Sirius at all, he was going to get out of there on the first decent excuse he had, but particularly if it meant he could help Harry. Also, Kayla was great! I love it when the guests are so active in the conversation.

    • Silverdoe25

      I agree! Kayla was a terrific guest host. She jumped into the conversation a LOT and had plenty of good contributions.

  • PuffNProud

    The mirror…doesn’t everyone have one thing they truly regret doing or not doing, even though the right answer was in front of you the whole time and you just never saw it. Opportunity missed, wrong choice? Something that replays in your mind, that when you think about it you want to kick yourself in the head? I think that’s the mirror for Harry.

    • RoseLumos

      I like that! A physical representation of a lost opportunity! I also liked how a shard of it cuts Harry’s finger in the beginning of DH. It’s like the mirror is saying, “Still hurts, doesn’t it?”

      • Elvis Gaunt

        It sure hurts. I feel a pang evry time I read about the mirror.

        Harry you fool! If only you had used the mirror, we would have had Sirius with us today.

    • Snatch The Snitch

      I think it also served its purpose as a becon of hope for Harry in DH. Seeing the blue eye gave him some hope that Dumbledore may still be alive.

    • Luna LoveDuck

      I love all the comments you inspired! I agree that it’s a necessary thing to have had happen, because we really do all have at least that one big thing that we regret, and that pain needs to be that strong in order for us to learn the lesson from the experience and grow. But then Snatch The Snitch is right on about the full circle journey- The mirror means something different to Harry by book 7. He’s sadder but wiser,so then he’s able to use the mirror as it was intended so they can get out of Malfoy Manor. It’s a tough lesson, but he learns that he needs to ask for help and reach out to people. Yay to you for inspiring some great discussion!

  • PuffNProud

    And I think Snape has every right to be furious at Dumbledore. Snape probably felt has Harry did in DH but for most of his adult life – trust Dumbledore when not everything is clear and known. Do this for me when I’m only telling you part of the truth. Did Dumbledore really love Snape or was Snape just another in a set of pawns for Dumbledore to play with? Poor Severus all right, he went to his grave thinking that Harry was to be groomed for sacrifice. And that he (Snape) was in all probability set up for his own sacrifice – Voldemort would have wanted to kill Snape anyway, had the plan worked out and he truly was the Master of the Elder wand.

    • UmbridgeRage

      I don’t think that Dumbledore’s “Plan A” involved the Elder Wand at all. If Harry had made it to the Burrow without facing Voldemort then the Dark Lord would not have known that any wand but his own would not have worked and would never have felt the need to seek out the Elder Wand. It wasn’t the Elder Wand that allowed LV to “kill” Harry at the end, since LV was never its master, it was the fact that Harry didn’t arm himself and went willingly to his death. Snape was probably more than willing to make that sacrifice in the belief that by doing this he would be with Lilly in the next life. Snape = hero for all the wrong reasons.

      • PuffNProud

        I concur that any wand would have killed Harry/horcrux. I think Dumbledore absolutely wanted Snape to have the Elder wand. Dumbledore probably wanted a strong wizard who didn’t know what it was to help keep it safe. And I do think that Dumbledore would have anticipated the issues with the twin cores and the blood sharing. Unlike Voldemort, Dumbledore did not underestimate his enemy. (Dumbledore underestimated his friends which is a different story)

        • Snatch The Snitch

          I replied to your other comment, but Dumbledore did intend for the wand to die with him…Harry states this when explaining the situation toward the end of the book, can’t remember exactly where. The reason the allegiance of the wand didn’t go to Voldemort when he “killed” Harry, was because Harry went willingly. Just like Dumbledore intended to do with Snape.

          • Elvis Gaunt

            Yes, it is stated clearly in the chapter aptly titled “The Flaw in the Plan”.

          • Snatch The Snitch

            lol, well that is fitting

    • Snatch The Snitch

      Dumbledore intended for the wand to die with him, and in that event be its last true master. He had planned the death with Snape thus the wand wouldn’t change allegiance. That plan fell apart when Draco disarmed Dumbledore.

      • PuffNProud

        You are absolutely right on that point about allegiance. I had forgotten that, however, it still doesn’t impact the outcome as Voldemort fails to appreciate the subtleties of wand lore and still thinks he must kill Severus to master the wand. The question then becomes does Severus get that subtlety to figure out that Dumbledore did not intend to pass the wand allegiance to him, and to understand this in his final moments facing death or is he more likely to feel set up given that his knowledge that Dumbledore has essentially done the same to Harry.

        • Elvis Gaunt

          I don’t think Snape knew about the Elder Wand.

        • Snatch The Snitch

          Snape didn’t know about the wand or at least we have no indication that he did. And yes, that did prove to be Voldemort’s undoing, but look at it from his perspective. He didn’t know Dumbledore died willingly so that thwarts his whole plan to begin with. Also, it’s likely he was so happy Dumbledore was dead, that the small detail of Draco actually disarming him first probably didn’t get brought up. Or everyone was so caught up in the moment they forgot? Regardless no one else knew it was the Elder wand aside from Dumbledore, especially in that exact moment. So it was also some time after Dumbledore died that Voldemort even figured out that he possessed it. It’s definitely probable too, that Voldemort just didn’t know much about wandlore; indeed this is why he captured Ollivander.

  • Hufflepug

    I think when someone puts their memories into the Pensieve, they just remove the images of those memories from their head and keep the abstract idea. When we remember things, we’re actually remembering our memories – that is, it’s impossible to perfectly recall every detail of a scene because it’s impossible to take in everything at once. The Pensieve is not like this. Everything that the owner of the memory sensed yet did not consciously perceive is perfectly copied in the scene: colors of strangers’ shirts, random chatter in the background, facial expressions of people who the memory owner may not have been focusing on (this is especially evident when Harry entered Snape’s memory yet paid a lot of attention to the Marauders, who came in as clearly as they would if they were there in the flesh). This suggests that magical people keep everything they’ve ever sensed deep in some subconscious part of their brain and can’t extract it via thought but can via magic. This would enlighten us about the true purpose of the Pensieve: instead of trying to recollect everything through hazy, abstract memories, wizards and witches can examine a scene closely and repeatedly as if they were watching it on TV. This is similar to how Legilimency seems to work, since the person is blinded to the outside world and sees past events scrolling by, crystal clear. This means that Legilimency is very visual and therefore it would be much harder to access someone’s abstract thoughts and emotions through it, although I’m sure a powerful wizard like Voldemort could do it. Snape was probably confident that Harry wouldn’t be able to witness any of his personal memories if he took out the sensory element and only left the abstract element in his mind. I find it very hard to believe that they would just forget everything because memories are so tied with general cognition!

    Two more things: I always freak out about how Harry could have seen pretty much the whole Prince’s Tale two years early, and Legilimency is a combination of legere (to read) and mens (mind) so Snape is just trying to be difficult.

  • Hufflepug

    Oh also, I’m glad you guys agree that some of the books are poorly named. It’s really disappointing that the Half Blood Prince ended up playing not that big of a role. Should have been called “Harry Potter and the Raging Hormones” or something lol.

    • spellephant

      I know the Half-Blood Prince is Snape, of course, but could the word “half-blood” also be referring to Voldemort at the same time? Book 6 is where we start to get more information about Voldemort’s past, which includes half-blood Tom Riddle.

      • Hufflepug

        I’ve never thought about that before 🙂 Maybe it could also be about Harry, being half blood and also being the chosen one. My least favorite title would probably actually have to be the Goblet of Fire though. I just don’t get why it’s not Harry Potter and the Triwizard Tournament.

        • spellephant

          True, it could be Harry too! Blood status is such a major theme throughout the books, it actually does make sense that it’s referenced in a title.

          And though I agree that Goblet of Fire is probably the least important and impressive as far as titles go, especially for the individual book, I do think the significance is symbolic rather than literal and works better when you consider it as part of a whole. Everything hinges on this one magical element that will bind Harry to a certain future (somewhat like the prophecy). Harry has no choice in going forward, but he does have a choice of how he will react to this magical object’s power, and just like in the series overall, he chooses to react bravely and with strength. GoF is the turning point in the series, and the goblet represents a catalyst. The goblet could also be seen as an object that symbolically unifies wizards from different schools and countries, then forces them to compete, which could be seen as representative of one of the overall themes of magical cooperation in the series. It also chooses the most worthy wizards and makes them prove that worth, which is also an important part of Harry’s heroic journey.

          Or possibly I’m just reaching in all of this and it is just a weak title 😉

          • Hufflepug

            Wow, that was a fabulous analysis that makes me rethink my opinion on the book titles! 🙂 Now I’m considering the symbolism behind each title. SS/PS represents the theme of accepting the inevitability of death and working to greet it as an old friend, which is arguably the most important theme in the whole series. CoS is a very straightforward title but may also refer to the inner demons that Harry starts to deal with in that book – keeping this idea bottled in his head that he should be a Slytherin – but then he literally and figuratively enters the Chamber and fights it. PoA to me just evokes how easy it is for society to misunderstand someone. You’ve already perfectly explained GoF. Then I think an argument could be made for ring theory. OotP expands on the idea of the misunderstood individual and emphasizes the theme of a noble group of people hiding away because society disagrees with them vehemently. Your explanation of HBP as referring to three characters instead of one could expand on CoS’s theme of our choices impacting our identities because Snape, Harry, and Voldemort are all the same in that way but as different as possible. Finally DH expands on the theme of accepting death and suggests Harry’s mastery of it, which was one of the ultimate goals of the series. My mind is officially blown. Thank you for such thoughtful analysis and for changing my mind on the titles! Hopefully this comment makes sense and is not just 1 AM craziness coming out.

          • spellephant

            That was a superb analysis! All of the titles really do work as having double (or more) meanings.

          • Luna LoveDuck

            Just wanted to say that you two are awesome for totally rocking this discussion. So many wonderful ideas!

          • Luna LoveDuck

            Kudos for your 1am craziness, what great ideas! I especially always love any opportunity to have a ring composition discussion, so way to go 🙂

          • Hufflepug

            Thanks 🙂 It’s been so long since I’ve even thought about ring composition but it’s so fascinating. JKR is a genius.

    • RoseLumos

      I always thought that Goblet of Fire was poorly named. Yes. the goblet picked Harry as a champion but after that we never see it again. I think a better title would have been “HP and the Triwizard Tournament” or something. Also, is it just me or does anyone else feel that “HP and the Deathly Hallows” was not the best choice since the hallows really don’t turn up until half way through the book and don’t have as major as a role in the book as the horocruxes. I guess it is better than the “Peverell Quest.”

      • Hufflepug

        I’ve always thought it should be named after the Triwizard Tournament too! It’s not like the name would give anything away, you know? And yeah, maybe DH’s name should have been a reference to their journey or something? But something vague like “Harry Potter and the Final Battle” would have just sounded dumb. Books 1, 2, and 3 are named very well.

        • spellephant

          I actually love Deathly Hallows as a title. Like with GoF, I think the title is meant to be symbolic of some major themes of the book and series as a whole, rather than stating the major event or focus of the book itself.

  • skgai

    Ugh. I wish I specified in my Audio Boo, but I meant for that comment to be about the Snape vs. Harry interaction during occlumency. Snape is just spewing venom with everything he says in that scene. He seems to even enter that scene angry as if annoyed at Dumbledore for tasking him with this unenviable delegation.

    JKR has always been awful at titles. Goblet of Fire, Order of the Phoenix and Half-Blood Prince make no sense. Book 5 should have been Harry Potter and the Department of Mysteries. A. that is actually what the MacGuffin of the book is and B. the book is about unsolved mysteries. The reader is constantly asking who, what, when, where and why? Such a better title.

    More later…

  • BlameitontheNargles

    I always loved half blood prince as the title. Always. Simply because it levels the playing field for everyone. It evens out who is who and why is why. It draws a direct line through all of the main protagonists and antagonists and sort of cuts them in half as all people. That no one in the series is better than the other in their beginnings. “There are no wizarding princes” says Hermione. And I think that’s a theme that runs deep in the book as it humanizes rather than glorify or demonize a specific person(s).

  • IPutTheRaveinRavenclaw

    Where does Snape get off making fun of Sirius for living at his mom’s house? He does literally the exact same thing!! He lives in Spinner’s End, where he grew up. I don’t remember if it states explicitly that it is his parent’s house, but it’s not much of a stretch to infer this. What a hypocritical jerkface.

    • BlameitontheNargles

      Right though? What a poo…

    • Elvis Gaunt

      He is a jerkface all right. Look at the way he runs out of the place without even congratulating Arthur on his recovery.

  • CentaurSeeker121

    While I was rereading the chapter I noticed something interesting in the passage where Harry walks into the kitchen to find Sirius and Snape on page 518 of the U.S. Addition:

    “He pushed open the kitchen door a minute or two later to find Sirius and Snape both seated at the long kitchen table, glaring in opposite directions. The silence between them was heavy with dislike. A letter lay open on the table in front of Sirius.”

    What could have been in that letter? It doesn’t get mentioned again and so it kind of made me wonder. Could it have been that Dumbledore knew what Sirius reaction was going to be and so he decided to send a letter to insist that Snape was really doing this on his orders? What does everyone think?

    • BlameitontheNargles

      I know Dumbledore often does not call ahead, so to say. But maybe this letter was either sent with or before Snape to explain, maybe not everything as it would have made the discussion moot, but to say that Snape was coming to speak to Harry alone. And to basically brandish it to whomever gave him guff about needing to see Harry, not only for Sirius, but likely Molly, Ron and Hermione as well. So yes I agree, though I think the letter was meant to be a stopper for any number of people wary to leave him with Snape

      • CentaurSeeker121

        It could have been and I wonder what the reaction would have been had it been Molly in the room and not Sirius. Snape, I am sure, would have still been his snarky self but I don’t think Molly would have felt the need to raise her wand and would have encouraged Harry to do what he was told whereas with Sirius it feels like they had already been fighting when Harry arrived and were only contuing where they left off when he got in there making me think that if the letter was what I think it was intended for, Sirius obviously didn’t like what it said Still, both men acted ridiculous and I don’t think Molly would have done so.

        • BlameitontheNargles

          It’s probably true Molly wouldn’t have reacted as poorly. Maybe for more the Ron Hermione part of it. But yeah I agree that they both really loose it here.

          • CentaurSeeker121

            The only thing I know to say about this particular scene between Sirius and Snape right now is that I have been in a similar situation where I ended up in the same room as someone who, along with a few other boys, acted much the same way towards me as James and Sirius did towards Snape while they were in school many years after the incidents took place and although nothing happened, reading this particular scene always kind of gives me a sense of déjà vu for some reason. I guess what I am trying to say is that there is such a thing as a high road.

            Going back to when Harry first arrives in the room though….Snape tells Harry to “sit down” to which Sirius then comes out with, “I think I’d prefer it if you didn’t give orders here, Snape. It’s my house you see.” Snape then says that he was supposed to see Harry alone but that Sirius insisted on staying which makes me wonder about what exactly was said between the two of them right before Harry arrived in the room and if that’s why they were sitting there glaring in opposite directions the way they were (it’s about 3:00 AM where I’m at right now, so I hope that I am making some sense) and it also makes me REALLY want to see that letter.

            Also, Harry may later blame Snape for his goading of Sirius but Snape isn’t the only one to say something to Sirius about him not doing anything useful. In fact, in chapter 22 we see Fred Weasley of all people bellowing at Sirius, ” Easy for you to say, stuck here! I don’t see you risking your neck!” Just something I thought I would mention…

          • BlameitontheNargles

            Yeah, that’s I think part of the reason I love this series. Is mainly because the characters are all so flawed. And it makes it so relatable as we are as well.
            It’s one of these ogms that I gag at simply because that by keeping a fight in the dark to an audience is the perfect way to have a reader connect with it by allowing them to fill in the blanks with personal experience.
            The series is so human it hurts…. But I digress.
            I think that whatever the letter actually said (pottermore moment??) regardless of wording, or really anything, that could be left in there I think that Sirius was in a place to start a fight, between goading him from every corner of this awful house, to feeling impotent, which I imagine from a chosen Gryffindor hurts more than I can imagine, it was something I bet was brewing for at least a semester. Not to get all victim blame-y, but I agree there is something to be said about taking the high road, and had Snape considered being a bit more like honey he could have caught Sirius and blow ups like this could have been avoided. Having been someone in Snapes shoes as well, I never really got over what they did until I thought of the nicest thing that could happen to them and wished for that. Though his holding a grudge ability is the only thing that kept him alive as a spy that long, his deep seated revenge like mindset drove him to the very end. Unfortunate to whom it directed itself most often.

          • CentaurSeeker121

            You are right, this series is so human it hurts.

            I also agree about Sirius. I was rereading the chapter and it’s Sirius who makes the first smart remark, and it’s Sirius who takes out his wand first (even calling Severus ‘Snivellus’ for good measure).

            This one of those scenes that I wish had made it to film because I would have loved to see the interaction between Alan Rickman and Gary Oldman.

        • Elvis Gaunt

          Molly does not know Snape as Sirius does. If she did, she too would be wary of him.

          • CentaurSeeker121

            You’ve got a point there.

      • Elvis Gaunt

        Maybe Sirius did not take the right approach, but Snape should certainly not be left with children . Look at the way he taunted an eleven-year-old Neville, when he knew about the boy’s parents and knew that he is being bullied by other students. How does one have the heart to do that.

  • QuibbleQuaffle

    I’ve actually always loved the title of this book. Maybe it’s partly because in the UK editions this is also my favourite cover. Both are just so exciting, the cover is mainly yellow and has a huge massive phoenix rising up in flames, and the title just sounds so dramatic. I have to admit it did mislead me the first time I started reading it. I assumed at some point Fawkes was gonna give a literal order to Harry or something and that would be his task for the book. But like, up until now, everything in the Wizarding World, apart from Hogwarts, has come under the control of the Ministry. Suddenly now Voldemorts back, we know from the end of the last book that that the Ministry ain’t gonna do nothing about it, so some other force needs to be formed to take on Voldemort. This is the book where it’s made clear that “The world isn’t split into good people and Death Eaters”. This book isn’t so much a mystery as, for example, Chamber of Secrets. Sure, Harry has the weird corridor dreams all the way through, but those dreams aren’t seen, by Harry at least, as the immediate threat. This book is about exposing the incompetance of the existing power structure and the need for rebellion. The phoenix on the UK cover illustrates that, even if it did turn out to be only a metaphor. I would agree that for a book called the Order of the Phoenix I would expect to see a lot of more of what the Order was actually doing. It super frustrates me that Lupin is basically written out of this book with the excuse of “he’s on mysterious missions for the Order”, like no, I’m sure he could have had maybe one conversation with Harry over Christmas. But I think that title-wise The Order of the Phoenix is a good title. It just represents one of the main themes of the book rather than a literal thing the book is building up to.

    (side note: if I had to say one title was my least favourite it would be the Goblet of Fire, because that’s not a person like books 3 and 6, not a mysterious thing hidden in the somewhere (1 2 and 7) or symbolic of any of the books main themes, (5). Sure, it’s the trigger for the events in the book, but at least with all the other title’s they’re relevant right up until the last chapter. The actual Goblet of Fire just gets shoved back in a cupboard somewhere before the main plot even gets going.)

  • ChocolateFrogRavenclaw

    Just a couple thoughts on the pensive and legilimency….
    I agree that Dumbledore would’t just put important memories (such as Karkaroff being a death eater) in the pensive and “forget” them. But we do know that the pensive does store memories. One of the explanations I came up with is that you can remember viewing the memory in the pensive. Just like Harry remembers seeing the trial of Barty Crouch Jr., Dumbledore can remember viewing the memory. I always thought the pensive was more a way of keeping memories safe rather than taking them out of your head. Over time, memories can become fuzzy and you can forget them, so I always imagined that the pensive was a way to make sure that doesn’t happen. It’s probably more effective for Dumbledore to remember analyzing a certain memory than the memory itself (because in analyzing it he can remember what the memory is – if that makes any sense). Also, I always imagined that the pensive was a way to protect memories from legilimency. So Snape isn’t necessarily putting the memory of Lily into the pensive, just specific memories he doesn’t want Harry to see, and by doing so, he is giving them an extra level of protection.
    On what legilimency actually is: I think when someone is preforming legilimency, they cause the legilimenzied to think of certain memories, rather than digging though his/her brain to find them. Sort of like the domino effect – Snape makes Harry angry and Harry is forced to remember other times he was angry (like with Dudley). Legilimency is, in my opinion, kind of like imperious-ing the mind. You can make a certain person think certain things. Voldemort does, then, reverse legilemency on Harry in a sense. Voldemort took a thought from his own head (which was fake, but you can have fake thoughts) and made Harry see it, rather than taking a thought from Harry’s head for him (Voldy) to view).
    Last thought – I believe that there are many different types of legilmency. The sorting hat uses a certain kind that is almost more like a pensive (the sorting hat remembers Harry and Harry’s thoughts even after he’s been sorted). It views and sorts the thoughts of someone, but the person isn’t viewing or sorting those same thoughts. Another interesting difference in mind reading ability with the sorting hat and other characters we see is that the sorting hat has to have physical contact with the person who’s mind is being read.

    • Hufflepug

      I think your explanation of Legilimency is spot on and explains why Occlumency is possible yet hard to master. A person’s focus on things that they want the Legilimens to believe would have to be much stronger than the Legilimens’s power to force thoughts out of them. As much as I dislike Snape, this makes me respect him quite a bit because Voldemort is such a powerful wizard. Anyone could probably conduct Occlumency against a less skilled wizard with a little practice but this is Voldemort and requires much more personal control. I wonder if it’s easier for Snape because he has had practice in blocking certain thoughts from his mind since he has been through so much pain in the past and seems to cover that up with his stern outward demeanor. In contrast, Harry is very conscious of his emotions which is one of the reasons why he was much more successful at producing a Patronus than he was at this (other than, of course, the fact that the amazing Lupin taught him the Patronus Charm). Yay opposites! Yay ring theory! I also agree about the sorting hat. It seems like it can read thoughts as well as personality traits. Maybe it can’t see memories in as specific detail as a Legilimens or the Pensieve can because it figures out where a person belongs so quickly. It’s also interesting how there’s an aspect of Divination to the sorting hat. It could just use logic based on the person’s personality traits to figure out where they would best end up, but that logic is tuned enough for it to be really confident in its choice. Maybe there’s a magical element to how it can see potential timelines of the person in each house.

      • ChocolateFrogRavenclaw

        There is an aspect of Divination to the sorting hat that I hadn’t thought of! Especially with the hat stalls, it can see how well a student would do in multiple situations. I also just thought of something else – isn’t Snape also hiding the memories from Voldemort when he puts them in the pensive during his lessons with Harry? If Harry has access to the memories, then Voldemort does. Maybe this is less about Snape’s grudges as it is about being an undercover spy for Dumbledore.

        • Hufflepug

          Mind blown. That could be one of the underlying reasons too why Snape is not happy to teach Harry Occlumency – he knows he probably won’t do very well. And hiding that information from Voldemort is 1000x more important than hiding it from Harry.

  • kmchef13

    This is a comment i’m writing on behalf of a friend of mine who doesn’t have an account here (yet!) but she’s a Ravenclaw, so no surprise that she pointed this out:

    You guys mentioned on this episode that Bellatrix obviously knows Occlumency, because she taught it to Draco. I don’t think it WAS her that taught him; it’s MUCH more probable that it was Narcissa. The only evidence we have to think that Bellatrix taught Draco was because Snape assumed she did. However, the text holds much more evidence that Narcissa is the true skilled Occlumens, chief of which being that she’s is one of the only people we know who has ever lied to Voldemort! Just straight to his face said, “Yup, HP is definitely dead.” Sure, he may not have used legilimency on her at that moment, but she must have had the skills to block him, or she wouldn’t have dared to risk the lie.

    Combine this with the fact that Narcissa’s main directive throughout the books is keeping her family safe, particularly Draco, AND that one of the core messages of the whole series is to never underestimate a mother’s power and love, it hardly seems a leap to say that Narcissa was the one who taught her son how to shield his mind.

    • BlameitontheNargles

      I like there may be something said for genetics too. Seems like there is a predeliction for the mind powers among them all. But I love this theory as it does fit a little better in theme.

    • Soc.forRescueofVanishedAnimals

      I’ve always wondered how Narcissa was able to circumvent Voldemort’s Legilimency powers and lie to him so easily … thank you and your friend for a solid explanation!

  • SpectacularlyHypothetical

    I think I have a decent working analogy for how the pensieve works. Think of the mind like a computer and the pensieve like an external hard drive.

    With a hard drive you can either copy files over (this is what I believe Dumbledore mostly does) or cut the files from the main computer and store them (what I think Snape is doing here)

    Crucially, even when you delete files from a computer, they aren’t gone permanently, a reasonably good IT guy would be able to retrieve them. We see a version of this where Voldemort recovers Bertha Jorkins’ memories.

    Snape storing his memories doesn’t delete them, it just hides them from anyone who isn’t an expert (he rightly assumes that Harry isn’t) but they are all there still in his “source code”

    • RoseLumos

      I was just thinking the same thing! I don’t think memories are ever truly gone when they go into a pensieve. Even Dumbledore says something about how it just helps him observe his memories better. I like to think of it as a 3-D model. It’s like if you are trying to remember the layout of a house. You can sketch out a blueprint on paper, but there are so many more details if you go through and really walk though the house. A pensieve just helps a person see their memories from a different point of view!

    • ChocolateFrogRavenclaw

      Great analogy! This makes total sense and definitely explains all of their actions.

    • Snatch The Snitch

      I don’t think it has so much to do with the pensieve as the act of pulling the memory from your brain. Let’s not forget that memories can also be stored in viles, and I’m sure it makes no difference where the memory is actually put. I do agree with your analogy though.

  • RoseLumos

    Great episode! Here are a few of my thoughts:

    I like how someone besides me also isn’t fond of Sirius and his relationship with Harry. It makes me wonder what it would have been like if Wormtail was caught at the end of PoA and Harry had the opportunity to live with Sirius. Sure, Sirius would be a lot happier since he would finally be totally free but I still don’t think that him and Harry would have a perfect relationship. Sirius wouldn’t be one to parent Harry and would probably encourage him to do more risky things in life. Also, we know Sirius didn’t seem to have a job before entering Azkaban since he did have money, so what would he do with his time after Azkaban? I think he would thrust himself into the Order, doing as many risky and dangerous missions as possible. Assuming he spends as much time away as someone like Lupin does, it seems like he would be more focused on fighting than on being there for Harry. Basically, I don’t see Sirius being a stay at home dad that Harry probably needs.

    My biggest question from the episode is why Snape decides to remove his memories right in front of Harry. Clearly the pensieve is already there so why doesn’t Snape use his time wisely and store his memories just before Harry gets there? I am sure by now that every professor knows that Harry gets into trouble when he gets curious so why stop Harry from getting any ideas?

    This chapter is so frustrating because no one wants to just tell Harry what is going on! They always hint to Harry that Voldemort will try to “hack” into his memories, but they are never clear to Harry about what they really think is going to happen, even though it seems that Dumbledore knows everything! If they just said, “Harry, Voldemort wants you to do something for him and he may implant a false memory into your mind. If you see something odd, tell someone” than Harry would have been more prepared and would have acted better when it eventually did happen. The question asked on the show is if Snape was responsible for Sirius’s death. My answer is it was partially Dumbledore’s fault for not properly warning and preparing Harry.

    Also, while I know it wasn’t mentioned much on this episode and will be mentioned much more next episode, I would like to agree with Kayla and stand up for Cho. Sure, I’m a Harry/Ginny shipper, but I don’t think Cho deserves all the hate that she receives. It’s clear that she is going through a lot that Harry is, in that she is attracted to him even though they don’t have much in common or have spend much time together. Like Hermione said a few chapters ago, she is going through some really tough emotional stuff and she is doing the best she can to get over it. She is just an average teenage girl who has gone through some horrible times early in her life and, like Harry, she doesn’t know how to get over it. The only difference is instead of shouting and going into emo moods like Harry, she cries it out. Just another reason why Hogwarts really needs a guidance or grief counselor.

  • jessfudd

    I almost never disagree with Eric, but in this episode, I just think he is a thousand kinds of wrong. (Sorry buddy.)

    1. I think the pensieve is like a workspace for memories. It’s like when you open up several files on your computer’s desktop at once so you can look at them collectively. It doesn’t take them out of your file system, but it does make them temporarily unavailable for use by other programs or users. I like what the guest said about moving the part of the memory that exists in your conscious, but leaving the breadcrumbs intact in your subconscious.

    2. I think the times that Eric pointed out where Dumbledore and Snape were not using legilimancy were actually legilimency both times. I think that legilimency requires looking for something specific (what are you most ashamed of, what makes you scared, etc.), and in the case of a teacher wondering if a student is lying, those thought are already at the forefront of the mind, so nothing new has to be drawn out. It’s not that there was no legilimancy happening, there was just no surge of memories because Harry was already thinking, ” I hope they don’t know [memory].” In the lessons, Snape is pulling memories from a further depth, so there is the woosh of old memories that come to the forefront.

    • QuibbleQuaffle

      I agree that legilemency doesn’t always seem to mean that the person being legilemensed (?) sees the memories in strong visions like Harry in the Occlumency lessons. Maybe there are varying degrees of subtlety involved? Maybe actually using the spoken spell causes the visions and Snape’s just doing it that way to make it obvious so Harry can try to fight against it more easily (so maybe that’s one point in favour of Snape’s teaching methods) but in real life it would often be done way more subtely? I dunno.

    • Snatch The Snitch

      I agree. I think the difference between seeing a surge of memories and not has to do with their importance. The ones Harry is forced to relive with Snape are very significant to him, and I’m sure bring a flood of emotions as well. That isn’t likely to happen if a professor is seeing if a student lied about their homework.

  • SnugglesWithNifflers

    Occlumency seems like a weird tool for Dumbledore to recommend to block out Harry’s Voldy dreams. Wouldn’t a big vat of Potion for Dreamless Sleep be more effective, not to mention much simpler?

    • Hufflepug

      It’s a great idea but I have a feeling it might not work because what Harry sees are more visions than dreams even though he sees them while he’s sleeping. We know this because he ends up having visions while awake too and because they seem to come out of nowhere and bring him to more awareness after he has been having real (and much more hazy, humorous, and surreal) dreams. So the potion might not work, but if it did that would have been perfect 🙁

      • Snatch The Snitch

        I always thought the same thing: they are more of visions than dreams; however, they are definitely a mix of the two. People always seem to have an issue with the “The Riddle House” chapter because they think Harry is watching the scene from an outside perspective. Isn’t it possible though, that in the chapter itself, we are seeing the scene exactly as it unfolds and not from Harry’s perspective? Harry wakes up and can’t remember anything. To my knowledge I don’t recall another time Harry can’t remember one of his other vision/dreams fully. I think it’s likely he was experiencing it possibly through Voldemort or Nagini, but as we are reading the chapter it is reality itself. I just don’t think we were meant to see the scene the same way Harry did in his version of the dream/vision.

        • SnugglesWithNifflers

          That’s very true! I really like this; I had also always wondered about this scene, but this makes complete sense to me!

        • Hufflepug

          Yeah the POV in that chapter took me a long time to process. I assume that it’s one of those rare chapters where Harry isn’t present at all. It would make sense because that’s a trend with the first chapters in books 6 and 7 too. Maybe she wrote it that way because she didn’t want to reveal to us yet that Harry was seeing it through Nagini’s eyes. Maybe Harry didn’t realize it because Voldemort was not at his full strength yet. It’s almost like the reader had to disconnect from Harry for that one chapter to get all of the information we needed because otherwise it would have just come out of nowhere, if that makes sense.

  • GobblingFire

    While I agree with the hosts that the Knight bus isnt the best fit for their travelling needs in this instant I think it serves a good purpose when it appears anywhere in the books. Its seems to be a big comedy angle which JK introduces at the opportune moment to break the tension or distract the readers attention from the current situation eg when snuffles appears to harry in POA the bus appears to break the moment and provide some lightness in an otherwise dark and intense start to the book/movie. Similarly in this instant (although they had a good Christmas) they are all a bit down about going back to Hellwarts (sorry my petname for Hogwarts with Umbridge as head) coupled with everything else which is ging on, it helps to bring a little bit of light before another quite dark sequence after this

  • Snatch The Snitch

    Some quick, interesting thoughts regarding the dreams and memories. Memories can also be stored in viles not just the pensieve. It appears you can give a false memory yet retain the real one, no matter how far-fetched or similar they may be. I think it is meant to be hard to interpret the connection between Harry and Voldemort because the brain is so complex. Imagine being asleep while your brain’s connected to another mind and soul that is very much awake. Who knows what the brain would experience? I think that alone can explain some of the weird mix of the dreams/visions Harry experiences.

  • ChocolateFrogRavenclaw

    Isn’t Snape also hiding his memories from Voldemort when he puts them in the pensive? He understands (probably more so than Harry) that Voldemort has access to Harry’s mind and any information he shares with Harry is also then shared with Voldemort. Also – do we know if Snape tells Voldemort that he is helping Harry with this? If so, then Voldemort would probably want Snape to actually weaken Harry’s defenses so he could have easier access. And while Dumbledore would (probably) tell Snape to do the opposite, Snape would know that Voldemort was paying much more attention to Harry’s thoughts and that could result in him dying if Harry got access to the wrong information (because Voldemort would then know that he was a double agent, still in love with Lily, and working for Dumbledore). With all of this, I have to ask another question… Dumbledore understands that Snape’s vulnerability and him teaching Harry has mostly negative foreseeable outcomes, so why does he do it? The potential dangers, not just for Harry but for the movement as a whole, are massive with Snape and Harry going into each others minds and the power Voldemort has. What was Dumbledore hoping to get out of this? Is possible cooperation between Harry and Snape enough to risk hopefully overthrowing Voldemort?

    • Elvis Gaunt

      Voldemort is not trying to read Harry’s mind. He is only planting visions there.

      • ChocolateFrogRavenclaw

        even if voldemort can’t, does Snape know that? And is he willing to put himself in that position if Voldemort does develop that capacity?

    • CentaurSeeker121

      Could it have been that maybe Dumbledore thought that Harry and Snape would overcome their differences?

      • ChocolateFrogRavenclaw

        Possibly. I’ve always thought Dumbledore was a little too optimistic about people working out their differences. There is a difference between being able to work together (like Snape and Sirius) and having to get along (which, I think, is important for the lessons to work). Personally, I always thought it was impossible for Harry and Snape to get along (even if Snape decided to be nice to Harry, I don’t think harry would be as forgiving). Why is Dumbledore willing to risk so much on this?

      • ChocolateFrogRavenclaw

        I think that’s a possibility, but I always wondered if Dumbledore would fight a war on that hope…

  • I feel like Sirius never grew up (for obvious reasons) & Snape reverts to a bratty child when they’re together. They both seem to forget that there are more important things going on & that they need to focus when they are in each other’s presence.

  • Luna LoveDuck

    Great episode guys! I especially enjoyed Kayla guest hosting, way to jump in and be really involved in the discussion!

    And sorry, I have to just fan girl for a moment: THIS WAS THE FIRST TIME I’VE EVER HAD MY COMMENTS READ ON THE SHOW, I WAS SO EXCITED AND I DID A LITTLE HAPPY DANCE! Thanks for including me, it’s great to be able to geek out and get all analytical with people like this 🙂

    • thegiantsquid

      Yay! Congrats! I’ve had a few of mine read and I still do the happy dance every time. I’m totally with you on that one. 🙂

    • CentaurSeeker121

      Same here. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

  • Laurel Phoenix

    On the memory discussion: I had always envisioned the Pensieve as a sort of library of excess memories. I think when someone extracts memory with magic, the memory itself is in fact extracted. If it was just a copy, I don’t see why Snape would need to put the memories he takes out back in after occlumency lessons. When the memory is removed, I think there is a marker of some sort left behind. That way, the person whose memory it is can recognize it as theirs and analyze it as Dumbledore does or put it back as Snape does. I see the magical markers in the mind as the old-fashioned card catalogues in the library that direct you to the memory that is stored in the Pensieve.