ep 148

Episode 148: HBP 30 – Grief and Gold

It’s time to say our final goodbyes to Dumbledore, and Harry is preparing for what is to come in the Horcrux fight. Amidst the grief and pain, however, we find, as always, there are still a few last golden moments. Join hosts Caleb, Rosie, and Alison, with guest host Hannah as they discuss the final chapter of Half-Blood Prince, “The White Tomb.”

On Episode 148 we discuss…

→ Episode 147 Recap: Spell trends, Lupin’s reaction, Friends with Fawkes
→ PQOTW Responses
→ Life after Dumbledore
→ Half-Blood Pride?
→ Wizarding Funeral Rites
→ Setting up for Seven
→ 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.

Don’t forget to leave us a voicemail at our phone number: 1-206-GO-ALBUS (462-5287). Skype users can also send us a message to username AlohomoraMN. And as always, be sure to continue the discussion below or on our Forums!

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  • HalfAndHalfRiddikulus

    overcooking your meat is an OUTRAGE a SCANDAL guys, even in Belgium 😀 also Michaels tagline for the movie watch this time should totally be ‘more loving, loving, loving’ 😉

  • MartinMiggs

    When you were reading a comment from the previous podcast question of the week (I believe it was Hufflepug?) they said they didn’t see any fault in Harry going to the Department of Mysteries because he wasn’t completely in the know. I have to disagree because he should’ve been listening to “the real MVP” of the books aka Hermione! Harry knew he wasn’t supposed to be seeing these dreams and Hermione gets her Admiral Ackbar on and tells him ITS A TRAP. Harry failed to trust that Dumbledore knew what he was doing and didn’t listen to or trust Hermione. Interesting how Harry cannot follow orders when he is not completely filled into the details but when he’s not telling anyone about the Horcrux mission he expects them all to listen and obey.

    • When the world literally revolves around Harry, he ought to be filled in. Especially after everything he had done up until that point. He was over qualified for a place in the Order.

      • MartinMiggs

        They weren’t telling Harry because of the Voldemort connection which Dumbledore believed could be used to spy on him and the Order! Thats kinda a major idea in book 5!

        • SlytherinKnight

          That is true that Dumbledore believed that Voldemort could spy on the Order and Dumbledore through Harry but Dumbledore didn’t need to tell Harry the specifics of what the Order was doing. All he had to tell Harry was that Voldemort was actively seeking something in the Department of Mysteries and that there was a possibility that Voldemort could send false images to Harry. That is what I think the grand flaw in Dumbledore’s grand plan for Harry, that he didn’t trust Harry enough to tell him at least most of what Harry actually needed to know to keep himself safe and out of danger, not that Dumbledore cared too much for Harry.

          • MartinMiggs

            Perhaps but then you may have just told Voldemort what you already know if he can use Harry as a spy. Why can’t Harry just accept Dumbledore’s wishes when he has shown that he knows what he’s doing?

          • MartinMiggs

            also we know Harry is an inquisitive take action kind of person. He does everything he can to learn about the Philosopher’s Stone and when he believes nobody is taking action (just like in book 5) he tries to protect it by himself. If Dumbledore just told Harry the bare bones Harry would want to know more because he would believe that he can help and he would risk putting himself and the Order in danger

        • Yes, but they didn’t need to cut him off completely. This is why I cannot blame Harry. He could only do what he KNEW to be the right thing to do. Unfortunately he didn’t actually KNOW the whole story. But there was no what for him to KNOW while he was being kept out of the picture.

        • Eileen_Prince/Jones

          yea but if they let him know voldee could’ve spied he would have tried harder to learn occlumency would he not?

          • MartinMiggs

            which Snape explained to him in the Occlumency chapter

          • Eileen_Prince/Jones

            I realize you are correct, Snape told him that Voldee had a connection to his brain so thats why Snape was teaching him Occlumency….I guess the only difference harry knowing from the beginning would be that maybe someone else would have taught him whom he would have listened to more.
            Thanks for pointing that out! :o)

    • Hufflepug

      No matter how much I love Hermione and agree that she’s the real MVP, she’s still wrong sometimes. There was really no way of knowing for sure whether or not it was a trap, it was just Hermione’s assumption which was based on Dumbledore’s warning about Voldemort meddling in Harry’s mind. Of course that assumption turned out to be right, but I think it’s kind of a case of hindsight bias where when we look at the events after they unfold we think “Harry should have seen that coming.” He loved Sirius so much that he couldn’t have seen the vision and sat idly aside, hoping that it was just a trap. His connection with Voldemort had already saved Arthur’s life – why shouldn’t it save Sirius’s too? I think Harry did what any person would have done when they find out someone they love is in danger. Sometimes love and bravery force people to act without as much planning and logic because threatening situations force us into panic mode and we have to act fast to bring help.

      • MartinMiggs

        She’s wrong sometimes but normally she is right so it wouldn’t be a bad idea to trust the judgement of a person who is normally right. All I’m saying is Harry was informed on the possibility that this may be a trap. He ignores the advice and help from his allies (who have an excellent record of being right) in order to rush into an ill advised plan (fighting Voldemort and his best Death Eaters with a group of teenagers).Why can’t you accept help from your friends Harry? Why can’t you just trust that experienced people like Dumbledore know what they’re doing?

        • Hufflepug

          Oh I agree that it was a rash decision and that in hindsight he should have trusted his friends. But I can’t fault him at the same time because his actions came straight from his love for Sirius and his fear that it could be real, and I think a lot of people would act on their feelings rather than logic in a situation like that. Also I think everything that happened in his fifth year led up to that decision. He has spent an entire year fighting with people who don’t believe him about something he saw with his own eyes. This is kind of a similar situation but this time he’s wrong. I think some of that angst and frustration carried over to this. His mantra for his fifth year must have been “Why does nobody ever believe me?”

    • lifeanddragons

      Somewhat in connection to this thread, we know that Harry has a serious hero complex and ‘saving people thing’ as Hermione so rightly puts it, and we’ve seen how it isn’t always for the best. But throughout Book 6, it feels like Dumbledore was only building on that point of Harry’s personality. Harry and Voldemort would have a final showdown sure, but no where in the prophecy does it say that Harry and Harry alone should be destroying horcruxes.(yes, he confides in ron and hermione, but really they’re teenagers themselves) For someone who barely said a word of info the previous year, he seemed to be dumping quite a bit of luggage very quickly. And Dumbledore really pushes Harry into doing this herculean task alone.
      I’ll be honest, there are a few thoughts of Harry’s at the end of this book, where he morbidly goes on about how he is all alone now and how he has to take out all the horcruxes alone, about how people had died protecting him, and he shouldn’t let that happen again, and while the prose is beautiful, there’s this part of me that wants to shake Harry and tell him, Nobody died solely for you!, they died fighting against Voldemort, and that he is far from alone. He had the whole order backing him and and his friends, and family, if he’d just tell them something. But no, cause Dd said not to…

    • Eileen_Prince/Jones

      upvoted your comment for the sole reason of: “the real MVP”…hermione…lol, I agree, love it!

  • I don’t think work will let me get out to Harry Potter World any time soon! (Insert frowny face)

  • 934always

    The little wizard in black who speaks at Dumbledore’s funeral returns in the seventh book to officiate the wedding. Harry also meets Elphias Doge so I don’t think it’s the same person.

    • SpinnersEnd

      In regards to this: is there only one person in the entire Wizarding world who can officiate weddings and funerals? (I’m being hyperbolic here, but seriously…)

      • 934always

        I always saw it as a way to have the reader directly compare the incredibly sad scene of Dumbledore’s funeral to the happy scene of a wedding. I thinks it’s a way for both Harry and the reader end the grieving period for Dumbledore. I don’t think she was saying that there is only one person in the Wizarding World who officiates weddings/ funerals.

  • Hufflepug

    Holy crap – the triple shoutout caught me super off-guard. Time to crawl into my hole of shyness for a while lol! But really, thank you!!!

    It would be so cool to learn about how the world religions are different in the wizard and muggle worlds. It would probably somewhat reflect Muggle religion since the wizard and muggle worlds only really became separated after most world religions had spread and had been solidified. Maybe they would just have more magical flairs and rites and without some of the changes that may have come in the last couple hundred years.

    I also just have some general Alohomora love to spread. People who comment on this site are so respectful of others’ ideas even when they’re disagreeing. I’ve never seen any name-calling or rude comments which is tough to find on the Internet. We’re all just passionate Harry Potter fans! So thanks for making this a fun place to come every week :)

    And finally a double holy crap that we’re done reading HBP! What?!

    • lifeanddragons

      Your comments as always are amazing! And I wanted to second what you said about everyone being so respectful here. It’s what makes this forum so enjoyable. I recently read an article somewhere that it’s scientifically proven that people who read Harry Potter and really like the series are less prejudiced, more accepting of others and are in general better people. So yay us! :)

      • Hufflepug

        Thank you! And I swear that article is right. The overwhelming majority of HP fans that I know are some of the kindest people out there!

      • SpinnersEnd

        I just saw that article today and they’re absolutely correct. We’ve had such a role model and great moral compass through these books. I think that’s something a lot of other generations lack.

        • Hufflepug

          Hopefully not anymore if we keep the Harry Potter love alive for future generations :)

        • DoraNympha

          Yeah big shoutout to everyone on this site, you’re all so brilliant I’m in awe. And, I’ve actually used that article and study as secondary sources for a research paper about the benefits of fiction this spring haha, it’s so great, I’m so proud of this fandom!

    • SnapesManyButtons

      I also want to agree with what you said about how respectful people on this site are to other ideas. I spend a lot of time on tumblr and it is actually scary sometimes how people who like Snape are treated there. But here people are actually willing to listen to other viewpoints and debate them. Even if they don’t agree they are at least reasonable.

      I only found this podcast during OOTP so I’m really sad to think there’s only on more book left. I have so enjoyed listening and commenting and it’s just not the same with past episodes. Plus I get a feeling of dread just thinking about reading DH. It was one thing when I didn’t know what was going to happen, but now it’s hard to live through everything again.

      • Hufflepug

        Glad you agree! :) I found it during GoF but only caught up to it when they were reading OoTP, so I know exactly how you feel. DH is a fantastic finale to the series despite all of the characters we lose so I’m excited for that part, but – it’s DH! It’ll be over! Wah!

        • SpinnersEnd

          There will be so many tears. So. Many. Tears.

    • I’m always so surprised when my comments are used as I’m sure there are much stronger points being made out there, but it does make my day hearing it read and discussed!

      • Hufflepug

        I get the same feeling! And I loved your PQOTW response that was discussed this week. I agree so much with your point about how Harry shouldn’t be faulted for his actions at the end of OoTP because he did everything he should have done as a decent and brave person.

        • Glad to hear I’m not alone. I’m a big Harry fan! Most every point you make is good, so it’s no wonder you always end up on the show!

    • thequeerweasleycousin

      Totally agree with what you say about people being respectful even if they disagree strongly. I actually can’t believe this is happening on The Internet. Truely amazing!

  • lifeanddragons

    The hosts touched upon the collective mourning for Dumbledore that we witnessed in this chapter and how many people might have actually known him that well, and it’s something I wondered about at the time too, but I have a completely different view after reading the chapter this week, and this might be a little unrelated but I still thought I’d share this with everyone anyway.
    I’m not sure how many are aware, but earlier this week, India’s former President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam passed away in the middle of a speech at a university here. And despite having met him only once as a child, the loss felt so personal. And not just for me, for every citizen of India. He was according to me one of the most forward thinking leaders I have seen (We all hail Gandhi and Nehru and others, but there is always a slight detachment when reading about something historically as compared to witnessing the work of a great person with your own eyes.) He was someone who strongly believed that the future of our country lay with students and in the education of children. He was someone who would give more importance to a small science fair at a small school where he could interact and inspire students over high profile meetings and fancy dinners. He was loved not just because of the things he did, but also how he’d make you feel. It’s not often that children, students and youth were respected and acknowledged in the way he did. He was a President, a Scientist, a philosopher and great thinker, but when asked how he would want to be remembered in an interview some years ago, he said he wanted to be remembered as a teacher. When someone loved and respected like that dies, it hurts even if you have never known them personally. All these years when you looked at them, they sometimes seemed so unreachable, but in that moment you realize great people, like the rest of us are not going to be around forever. You have to learn and take what you can from them when you get the chance. I was at work, but of course none of us were working, we were just sitting huddled around the little tv in the cafeteria watching his funeral, and truly grieving for the man. And then I came home and sat down to read this chapter and how close this chapter was to what I experienced that day blew me away.

    i guess what I’m trying to say is that JKR is truly an amazing and honest writer, making you feel something you never even knew you could feel. And Dumbledore was a great man. Despite the issues we might have with the way he treated Harry, he was a forward thinking leader to the rest of the world and by all definitions a brilliant teacher who respected and acknowledged everyone fortunate enough to meet him.

    • Hufflepug

      Wow… that gave me chills. Thank you for sharing this. How sad, and how weird that you read this chapter the same day. We usually think about big powerful leaders as inaccessible people, and a lot of the time they are, but when someone like this comes along it moves people in not only a patriotic way but also a personal way.

  • The Half Blood Princess

    HP wasn’t a love at first sight thing for me either.

    Maybe Snape taught his friends Levicorpus and they taught there friends, and it spread that way. Perhaps Snape taught the spell to Lily, who taught it to Lupin, who taught it to the other marauders, or maybe Lily taught it to a friend who had a crush on one of the marauders. It would have to spread through people teaching eachother though, because Levicorpus is non-verbal

    • SnapesManyButtons

      Exactly, Levicorpus is non-verbal so it can’t be passed just by someone using it. I always imagined that Snape tested it on Slytherins who then forced the spell out of him and couldn’t resist using it all over the school. And the Marauder’s certainly wouldn’t be above “convincing” one of them to give them the spell also. I doubt Snape would let it out on purpose since he’d know that any spell the Marauders had would be used against him.

      • Hufflepug

        I’m not sure if this has been touched upon before, but it popped into my head. In Snape’s Worst Memory we see James using Levicorpus, but that’s his fifth year. We know this because it was right after an OWL exam. Since this is a nonverbal spell (taught in sixth year) and we see it in Snape’s sixth year potions book, it suggests that he invented it the year AFTER James used it on him. How is that possible? Is it a timeline mistake or can something else explain it? I can see Snape being smart enough to practice nonverbal spells before he learns them in school, but not the majority of students.

        • MartinMiggs

          good point but perhaps its just a really simple spell. Just look at Harry and how easy it is for him the first time he tries it yet he had trouble with non-verbal spells

          • Hufflepug

            That seems like the only explanation that would fit with everything we learn in the books. As for Snape having his sixth-year Potions book already written in and improved upon during his fifth year – well, he’s Snape. He became the Potions master for a reason.

          • SnapesManyButtons

            Remember the book was an old one so it’s possible the book belonged to his mother. He could have been studying her schoolbooks since before he even got to Hogwarts. Seeing how much he looked forward to going to Hogwarts, I bet he’d be like Hermione who read all her books before the first day. Only he had all of his mother’s old books to read through.

        • Was he good enough to skip ahead in school?

          • Hufflepug

            I think SnapesManyButtons’s comment says it all!

        • SpinnersEnd

          Fair point. I’ve always wondered how the spell spread if A) Snape invented it and B) it’s a nonverbal spell, which means he doesn’t speak it, which means no one else hears it, which means it’s much harder for others to learn without being taught directly…

  • The Half Blood Princess

    I like the idea of Lupin being angry with Snape because he reminds him of Sirius’s betrayal, because in DH, we see Lupin give Harry the back handed compliment of telling him he reminds him of James- because neither could believe that one of their friends could betray them. Maybe he was thinking of DD as well.

  • The Half Blood Princess

    I think that Lupin sees himself in Snape a little, because one’s a former death eater, one’s a werewolf, and DD has every reason not to trust either one. But he does anyway, and a part of him thinks that if DD could be wrong about Snape, he could be wrong about Lupin as well.

  • The Half Blood Princess

    On the thing about Harry not being given all the info- why is there an expectation that he should be given all the info? Chosen one or not, he is just a teenager, and not a member of the order of the Phoenix.

    • WhoDoYouKnowWho’sLostAButtock?

      Agreed. I always loved the Dumbledore line about how old age is foolish indeed when it forgets what it is like to be young — and yet, that’s a huge part of the books! We side with Harry, we feel that he should be told EVERYTHING, and in doing so we are betraying our biases and also regressing a bit in maturity levels. No adult would tell Harry everything, not even Dumbledore. The idea that just because he’s Harry Potter means that all adults believe him to be trustworthy is a bit silly. He’s still a teenager, who makes arguably dangerous, risky decisions a lot of the time. And he is a kid. There is so much in this series about adults and children and the relationships therein.

      I would invite those who believe that Harry should have just been told everything try to apply that rule to the children in their own lives and tell them every detail they know about everything their children ask, no matter how personal. The fictional gloss that comes with our love for Harry might rub off a bit.

  • The Half Blood Princess

    Ironic who gets pulled out, the Patil twins are pure bloods, I assume that Zacharias Smith is a pure blood as well, and Seamus is a half blood. However, the students who are in the most danger, the muggle borns, are the ones who, as far as we know, aren’t getting pulled out of school. This makes sense, because they can effectively censor the info their parents get, but it’s still ironic.

    • SpinnersEnd

      For now, Hogwarts is still the safest place for Muggleborns, so they *should* be least likely to be pulled out of school. I also don’t think many of their parents truly understand just how serious Voldemort situation is, even if their children aren’t censoring the info that gets sent home.

      • The Half Blood Princess

        True, but Hogwarts is probably still the safest place for everyone, I don’t think the parents that did pull their children out were necessarily thinking rationally. So the children whose parents pull them out are theoretically the ones whose parents are the most worried about them, and the parents of muggle borns would be the least worried about their children because as muggles, they can’t stay quite so up to speed. It is ironic, though, that the children who are in the most danger are the ones whose parents are the least worried.

  • The Half Blood Princess

    Interesting that Harry chose to describe Draco’s connection to the dark arts as why he dislikes him, because if we assume the theory that each member of the marauders generation parallels a member of Harry’s generation, Harry parallels James while Malfoy parallels Snape. And what was Young Snape’s number one problem? His love of the dark arts.

  • The Half Blood Princess

    The person that gives the eulogy for DD also marries Bill and Fleur.

  • The Half Blood Princess

    Idea: the snake symbolizes Voldy, and when he falls off, he loses a connection to Voldy: the horcrux one, which he will lose at the end of the next one.

  • SnapesManyButtons

    Regarding the flames that erupted around Dumbledore’s body and left behind the white tomb, I think movie-Kingsley said it all, “…you can’t deny, Dumbledore’s got style!”

    • pennysoakystation

      I haven’t seen the movies, but I think in the books Phineas Nigellus said that to Cornelius Fudge in Order of the Phoenix.

      • SnapesManyButtons

        Thank you, I knew it was in the books, but just couldn’t find the passage. I did remember who said it in the movies, though because I love that scene. I really want to get the e-books someday so I can search for the passages I want to quote.

    • WhoDoYouKnowWho’sLostAButtock?

      I thought of that today listening to the podcast, too! 😀

      I enjoyed the intriguing yet clear link to Dumbledore – as – phoenix in the flames that erupted and the white tomb. If anyone thought that Dumbledore wouldn’t go out with a bit of flash and impress everyone with his prodigious skill and style, they don’t know Dumbledore. The man knew he was dying, He had a lot of time to think about how he wanted to go out. He planned for his final bit of flair.

    • Do we think this was a way to honor how great a person Dumbledore was or perhaps just another quirky effect designed by Dumbledore himself to liven up an unfortunately unhappy setting?

    • Melissa McCarthy Steinberg

      I always saw the flames as a parallel to the Phoenix. He burns to be reborn to the next life, whatever that may be.

      • SnapesManyButtons

        I like that, cool idea.

  • Eileen_Prince/Jones

    This is super random and not at all about this podcast because I haven’t listened to it quite yet…but I was on Pottermore going through old stuff and I came across the mirror of erised moment, and in a note from jk rowling it said that the mirror was in the room of requirement before being moved into the place where the stone was….did I miss this the entire time? did harry find the room of requirement in book 1?? or am I reading this wrong? would love to know what everyone else thinks…thanks!

    • As would I! Anybody know more?

    • Hufflepug

      Hm ok I’m going to try to dig at this because it’s really interesting.
      On Pottermore the quote says: “…Professor Dumbledore has made key modifications to the mirror (which has been languishing in the Room of Requirement for a century or so before he brings it out and puts it to work)…” My theory is that Dumbledore has already taken the mirror out of the Room of Requirement and is using this classroom as a sort of ‘workplace’ where he can tinker with the mirror to eventually give it the power to hide the stone. In the Mirror of Erised chapter, Harry is originally in the library and then runs down the corridor to escape Filch where he ends up in the room with the mirror. According to the Lexicon, the library is on the fourth floor and the Room of Requirement is on the seventh floor, so that must have just been an empty classroom. Also if it had been the Room of Requirement he would have had to cross back and forth three times by the door while thinking specifically about where he needed to go, when in reality he was just trying to get away from Filch as fast as he could. Also, if he had ended up in the Room of Requirement, it would be very unlikely to present itself to him as this room. It would have probably instead just showed up as a small closet where he could hide for a few minutes or maybe even as the Room of Hidden Things. It’s too bad – I think it would have been very cool to learn that Harry had accidentally found the Room of Requirement in his first year.
      This brings up a few more ideas. For one thing, now we can assume that Dumbledore was not telling the whole truth when he talked about finding the room full of chamber pots in GoF. Since he had previously taken the mirror from the Room of Requirement, he must have known about it. Another little thing that has nothing to do with the RoR but that I just noticed when I was looking back at that chapter: Harry went into the room while the door was ajar. Really, Dumbledore? It’s his biggest defense for the stone and he just leaves the door open like that?

      • Eileen_Prince/Jones

        Awesome thanks for looking into that! I had the same thoughts about dumbledores knowledge of the room of requirement…
        Anyways thanks again for answering my random question hufflepug!

        • Hufflepug

          It was such a good question! It’s kind of nice to go back and think about the earlier books while we’re close to the end of the series :)

      • DoraNympha

        Well said and it also explains why Dumbledore just happened to be there, albeit invisible. He’d been just doing his thing, working on the mirror, when he heard frenzied footsteps and tiny first year Harry Potter just intruded on him. He probably found it really amusing at first, until he saw Harry use the mirror of course… One more childhood mistery solved. Dumbledore wasn’t tracking Harry, Harry was butting in on Dumbledore’s workspace!

      • DoraNympha

        But oh wait, I just remembered, didn’t Fred and George find the RoR while, similarly, running from Filch, when it presented itself as a broom cupboard to them? They’d have had to run three times in front of it back and forth too! (But I still agree with all the other points, the RoR is farther from the mirror’s classroom anyway!) What if the RoR makes exemptions for the 3x up and down walking rule when it senses the person’s on the run?

        • Hufflepug

          Great point! I think you might be right. Either that or there’s some inherent magic that is very subtle and motivates the people who are in need to run back and forth in front of the door as if they’re pacing trying to figure out what to do. I could see magic like that working at Hogwarts.

      • Soc.forRescueofVanishedAnimals

        Your explanation makes a lot of sense to me. Thanks for thinking it through, Hufflepug, and thanks to Eileen Prince/Jones for asking the question about the mirror! This further strengthens my certainty that Dumbledore had known about the Room of Requirement for quite some time. Several things about the RoR have been bugging me for a while:

        – Why is the RoR not discussed in Hogwarts, A History? If Bathilda Bagshot is a historian worth her salt, she would have uncovered this secret of the castle in her research (perhaps in interviews with professors, such as Dumbledore, who had taught at Hogwarts, or else in historical documents). And if she had written about the room in her book, then Dumbledore, Hermione, and many others would have been aware of the room and its features.

        – Why has not Dumbledore or a Ravenclaw scholar searched the RoR for the diadem already? It seems an improbable oversight, given Dumbledore’s keen mind (unless he hadn’t yet had time to think through the potential Ravenclaw horcrux before he died). But surely Ravenclaw scholars and enthusiasts have been searching for the diadem over the centuries (I imagine there are Diadem Questers, just like there are Hallows Questers). I believe Helena Ravenclaw tells Harry that many others have asked her what happened to the diadem. Perhaps it is a stretch to think that someone would hit upon the RoR as a potential location, but a thorough search of Hogwarts would be a logical starting point … unless someone had tried to search there but was unable to access the Room of Hidden Things because they were asking the wrong question.

      • Dumbledore’s through & through

        This makes a lot of sense, but it then seems that Dumbledore must have known about the Room of hidden things. However, if I was Dumbledore and would find this room in it’s hinding incarnation then I would grab some food, close the door and spend the next couple of days exploring it. There has to be a lot of interesting and powerful magical objects in there! So why wouldn’t he have found the diadem? Maybe the room with his own magic hides things that aren’t yours when you come looking for them. But since Harry already knew the diadem was there, because he saw it the first time when he wasn’t looking for it, he was able to find it. Or Dumbledore did find the diadem, and decided it was best to leave it there, unused, as it already caused so much trouble and pain, and in his struggle with this decision he didn’t notice it was a horcrux? Maybe he then had the strength he lacked when he saw the ring-horcrux?

        On the other hand, I also really like the idea of Dumbledore not knowing anything about the Room of Hidden Things. So maybe he was just passing, thinking really hard how to protect the stone, and then the Room presented itself only with the mirror in it. Dumbledore knows about the RoR, but not about the incarnation where everyone hides their stuff. That’s how I imagine it.

  • WhoDoYouKnowWho’sLostAButtock?

    Any feminist-lens readers out there who want to join in with me to cheer for Jo’s portrayal of Ginny and Hermione here? Woooooooooooooo!

    Seriously, Ginny is my hope and my salvation in this chapter. As a feminist and a voracious lover of fiction and film, her reaction was so, so beautiful. I wanted to send JK Rowling a giant box of kittens in thanks. Or something.

    Every movie — EVERY SINGLE HERO STORY — there’s the love interest. And lately the trend has been “Strong Woman Who Is Strong Until She Isn’t So Our Hero Can Still Hero All The Things.” So you have characters who are amazing and strong and awesome for 99% of the story, until the man is about to go face danger, and suddenly there’s the stock dialogue: “Don’t go!” “Why do YOU have to go?” “I can’t lose you!” Blah blah blah.

    No. Harry and Ginny belong together. Ginny is the strong woman he needs, the woman who already knows him well enough to know what he’s going to do – break up with her – and doesn’t once try to talk him out of his future dangerous course. She knows that’s pointless, it won’t help him be strong, and it won’t stop him anyway. And he wouldn’t be the man she loves if he would consider NOT doing the brave, noble thing just to be with her and be ‘safe’ somewhere.

    And then Hermione, our lovely Hermione, who trounces the aforementioned trope in every single book. Even here, she doesn’t let Harry try to do the Hero Trope of “I must go on alone,” etc. She simply says, “You told us once that there was still time to turn back. We’ve had time, haven’t we?”

    So, yes. It’s a feminist’s moment of exultation to have this, where two female characters make their own choices, actually display intuitive knowledge of others and themselves, demonstrate bravery and strength and love, and don’t have to resort to clinging and sobbing and begging to make the hero look better. It’s a beautiful moment and Ginny blows me away every time with her awesomeness.

    One of these days I’m going to write an EVEN LONGER post than my usual lengthy ramble all about Ginny. ONE DAY. Tremble in that knowledge.

    • Lisa

      I have to disagree, sorry. With Ginny, it often feels like Harry says “Jump” and she says “How high?”. Even in this chapter, she’s ignoring her own needs and desires to suit his. She proves over and over again that she is what he needs and wants, yes, but he doesn’t prove he is what she needs, IMO. It’s okay with her for the relationship to be on his terms, it seems. Ginny had a feminist moment when telling Ron to mind his own business, though. I agree that was feminist, but nothing in her relationship to Harry is.

    • SpinnersEnd

      As a feminist-lens reader myself, I must also disagree (to a point) with your assertion that a female character can’t be strong and still love her man. I don’t think it’s a sign of weakness to tell your loved one you don’t want them to leave you, especially to face a dangerous situation. I think the problem comes when women in film/fiction can’t or won’t save themselves. *That* is when I have issues with the “Strong until their not…” persona. But I think it is absolutely acceptable and plausible to be a strong self-rescuing damsel and still tell her man that she doesn’t want him to get hurt.”

      But I do agree that Ginny and Hermione fit the “Strong Woman” bill wonderfully. I do think they both are great examples of well-developed, independent female characters in fiction.

    • thequeerweasleycousin

      Ok, I have to disagree, too. Ginny has been maybe my favorite character in the series from CoS on, and this is one of the scenes I’m most frustrated with her. Harry is pulling the “I have to stay away from you to protect you”-card and she just buys it! Arrgh! It’s nearly the same scene with Lupin and Tonks from last chapter, and there Tonks was allowed to say: Well, I don’t care, because I love you and I will stick with you. Ginny could so easily have done this, too. She could have told Harry that she’s not going to take this, that she’s from a known family of bloodtraitors and Order members, that she knows the danger and will stay on his side no matter what. They should have at least talked about her joining the trio, and oh, and for Dumbledore telling Harry only to confide in Ron and Hermione, if it’s Harry who risks his neck, he can tell whomever he likes. So they could have talked it through and conclude that Ginny should go t Hogwarts and lead the resistance there, or something along that line, so she wouldn’t have joined the camping trip, but still Harry would have shown some respect for her, her needs, her agency and her capability. Instead it’s just like: No, because I need you to be safe, while I’m going to risk my hero neck because I’m the hero, because I’m the hero. Bla.
      I love Ginny, but this is just…. uugh.

      I know many people feel that the books have some strong female characters, and for a while I thought so, too, and we get some moments of females being strong and independent. But when things get serious, they are always recieving orders and being overshadowed by men: Minerva by Dumbledore and even Snape, Luna by Neville, Ginny by Ron (and also Neville), Hermione (and everyone in general) by Harry. Tonks gets the love story and a child, Kingsley becomes prime minister. Fleur isn’t even fighting once for all we know, though she must be capable. We instead see her doing housework in shell cottage. And while I love the books, calling them feminist seems far fetched to me.

      • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

        so we need to ask the question: what is a feminist book?
        Of course it is important to have strong girls and women in stories.
        Of course female characters need to be fully developed and not just tropes and plot-devices.
        But as not all women in real life are strong, it’s important to have all kinds of women in stories represented. Represented in important interactions, represented for their own stories, represented in their relationships to other persons.
        The HP series is not the most feminist book series ever, and that is not the point of the series. It features many different female characters who are not tropes. It is a rich example for the exploration of many aspects and issues, some of them are very important for feminism. Even if the text fails in some points, it is useful for discussion, and I love that we are discussing this now.
        Last year in a panel a friend and I held about Geek Feminism we talked about our favorite franchises and their pros and cons regarding the representation of women and the way female fans are represented, accepted and respected (or not) in the fandom. Harry Potter was kind of the compromise of feminism and Geek Culture in our discussion and that’s how I view it: Let’s celebrate the characaters and moments in the books (and movies) that we perceive as feminist! Let’s point out where the books are lacking in regards to feminism, let’s look at them with an intersectional lens (did I phrase that right?) and be enthusiasticly respectful in learning from each other!

        • thequeerweasleycousin

          Mmmmmh, I agree with many of your ponits, especially that it’s important to have all kinds of women represented, not only “strong” ones, whatever that means in first place. And of course the books have a lot of different female characters in them, and we have female characters that are developed. However, rereading them now, I have two things that bother me:
          1. many women we get to see are kind of stereotypical: Hermione the annoying know-it-all, Petunia the evil step-mother, Molly the mother figure per se, Luna the dreamy hippie-girl…
          2., and this may be my main point: It’s a male story, where all the central figures are male: Harry, Voldemort, Dumbledore, (Snape). Those are the ones who get to decide about the future of the magical world. Everyone else is kind of working for one of them. Those are the ones we learn about most, about their past and their development and their fears and their dreams. They get to act and decide and fear and struggle with their decisions. They are strong and they are weak. I want to see that in female characters! The one female character that is somewhere close to that is Hermione, and she’s not nearly as central to the story as the male ones.

          That being said, I still think the Potter series does ok with at least including a vast variety of female figures. I know that my “feminist standard” might be very demanding. And I love the books, that’s why I’m complaining in first place 😉 Otherwise I just wouldn’t care… As I said before, I certainly think we get some quite feminist moments, and I love to celebrate them. Also, it’s a good sign that the books touch on these topics at all, and it’s great to be able to discuss them.

          • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

            yes, the book we love are held to higher standards, BECAUSE we care about them and their message. We demand more feminist characters and accurate representation of women in media overall, and especially in works from authors who we love and who are “on our side of the battle”. We can demand more feminist characters from the LotR-Books, but as Tolkien won’t write anything new, the message goes to those who adapt his stories today. Our criticism of HP goes to the author and she hears us, and that is something to appreciate.

            I agree with your point 2, male protagonist, male mentors, male main villain. That lack of leading women has been a problem in media for a looong time, and I hope if we repeat the call over and over again it won’t be as much of a problem in the future. (and I am focusing on gender aspects here, but of course there are more aspects that need to be adressed!)
            Remember, when PS came out nobody believed that the book could be successful if a woman’s name was on the cover, how much less if the protagonist was a girl! (another problem, sexism in the publishing business)

            About point 1, I think it is a matter of discussion what makes the difference between a well developed character and a stereotypical character. I believe that Jo has made an effort to break as many stereotypes as she can. And we have to look at our own perception: when PS was published I believe Hermione was a character who readers had been waiting for, but today we have got more characters who are similar and the stereotype exists because of this. So while you could sort her into “know-it-all who always saves the hero” it is because she started the stereotype.

            To your previous post, yes, we don’t see Fleur fighting in the Battle of Hogwarts, but she’s there. We don’t see Augusta Longbottom fighting, and didn’t you cheer when she turned up and went to look for Neville?
            We see Fleur AND Bill doing housework, so they are sharing this responsibility, maybe not 50:50, but they share, and that’s great.
            Molly is more than the mother figure per se, she fights in the battle, she does guard duty for the order. Petunia gets a small character development in 5 and 7, that is just a hint at something else than the stereotype. The Dursleys are portrayed in a special way and that keeps all of them from developing further. And regarding Luna, she is as much a dreamer as a therapist and a crafter and a nature lover and a self-confident loner. No stereotype in that, I believe.

            Love the discussion! didn’t have time to comment earlier in the week and the movie watch is almost here!

      • The Half Blood Princess

        I feel that HP definitly can’t be considered feminist, but it’s not anti-feminist either. Everyone, male or female, gets overshadowed by DD and Harry. Neville, Ginny, and Luna all lead the DA together, we just think of Neville as the main leader because he was the only one still at Hogwarts when the tri arrive there. We never actually see Mcgonagall taking orders from Snape, I always imagined during DH she treats him like she treats Umbridge in OotP. Ginny never takes orders from Ron in the later books, and just because not every single last women fights doesn’t mean that the books are sexist, it’s not like every last man fights either.

    • The Half Blood Princess

      I both agree and disagree about Ginny. I definitly admire the fact that she handles Harry’s “I’m going to go save the day” thing, but I don’t think that heroines that do try to stop their romance interests from saving the day should be considered weak either. I don’t think that it should be limited to one gender, but I feel that emotion should never be considered a weakness in general.

    • Eileen_Prince/Jones

      so I didn’t have time to read through all of the lengthy comments that everyone left, but as I scanned I saw that a lot of people disagreed with the view you had of ginny…I’d like to say that I agree with you. I think Ginny and harry are perfect for each other..she doesn’t take it personally when harry said he needed to leave her to keep her safe, and then she wasn’t a crybaby or stubborn about it. That’s a woman that stands by her man, that understands his choices, even if she doesnt necessarily like them…and then she didn’t wallow in grief when he was gone, she restarted the DA and gave hell to snape and the carrows. Ginny rocks!

      • WhoDoYouKnowWho’sLostAButtock?

        Thanks! :)

      • WhoDoYouKnowWho’sLostAButtock?

        And you know, I think one of the things that I guess (again) I didn’t make as clear as I should was that not only do I love Harry and Ginny and how low-key their relationship is, but that I particularly liked Ginny’s reaction in the book BECAUSE of that specific movie/book trope particularly (the Woman Who’s Strong Until She Isn’t And Clings To Her Man).

  • Voldemort’s Lost Nose

    I find the idea of being buried with your wand snapped in two as a tradition very interesting. This would symbolise not only the end of the wizard’s or witch’s life, but also the end of their magic. In the Ode to Odo, the act of snapping the wand in two is ‘sad’ – well, of course it is, it shows that the person has left both life and magic behind!

    So why is Dumbledore’s wand whole? Maybe they couldn’t snap it in two because it’s the Elder Wand, which of course can’t be broken in such a way (looking at you, Steve Kloves…) This, then, would symbolise that even if Dumbledore has left the world, his magic lives on – love lives on! And that’s beautiful, I think.

    Also, the wizard “priest” (for lack of a better word) can’t be Elphias Doge, as he’s also the “priest” at Bill and Fleur’s wedding where Doge is, too.

  • SlytherinKnight

    Listened to the podcast yesterday and I had to point something out, I noticed that the hosts who seem to be all huge Harry/Ginny shippers, and while I thought that book Ginny was much better than movie Ginny, I noticed that none of the hosts brought up the most heinous lines of the entire series IMO, the ‘I knew you wouldn’t be happy unless you were hunting Voldemort. Maybe that’s why I like you so much,’ line. That one line destroyed any development that Ginny had throughout this book and the series, it shows that she still sees Harry as the Boy-Who-Lived at least in some capacity. Sure Ginny doesn’t try and pull the ‘why can’t I come with you’ card but that line makes me feel that Ginny hasn’t advanced as much I would have liked.

    • I’m still a strong fan in the little to no relationship development in books. It’s not interesting and there are more important things. Friendship and bravery. (Sniggering)

    • DoraNympha

      I always thought that was Ginny’s jokey sort of sarcastic voice speaking. She does that sometimes, so maybe she just said it to make fun of her old fangirly self a bit? At the beginning of this paragraph she talks about Harry being too busy saving the wizarding world “half-laughing” so maybe she said all this, even the cringey line in a sort of “oh you…” half-mocking tone?

    • Eileen_Prince/Jones

      I guess I take that line from Ginny as a view on Harry’s personality as a whole…like Dumbledore said, the prophecy didn’t necessarily make Harry the chosen one, Voldemort made him the chosen one when he acted on the prophecy…and then Harry still didn’t have to be the one to kill Voldee because of the prophecy, he is doing it because Voldee killed his parents and many more people and harry can’t abide that. I think that is what Ginny is saying, that harry is choosing to do something that is brave and courageous where many other might run and hide to preserve their own life. She admires him for the hard choice he has made to save many others. I think she definitely sees him as more than the boy who lived, when she viewed him that way she could barely talk to him, but she got to know him and be more comfortable around him…she got to see him and know him as a person over the last 5 years and that’s who she ended up with in hbp…
      ummm, yea, that’s just how I felt, and since Ginny is one of my faves I thought I’d try to give her a defense :o)

    • I agree completely. As much as I do love the idea of Harry/Ginny in theory, their dynamic just isn’t executed as well. Ginny barely knows Harry. Also, isn’t it sort of shallow that Harry finally notices Ginny when someone else has her? Another thing is she’s popular and pretty now. It’s pretty much all the wrong reasons to like someone. It’s a shame that that ship has wasted on me. It did have some potential.

  • SlytherinKnight

    And shout out to Hannah, guest host this week. MIZ…

  • My Patronus is Leslie Knope

    I know this is being tangential, but I love thinking about Harry and Ginny’s relationship in this book in relation to circle theory and relationships to books or texts as a whole. I find it so interesting that both Chamber of Secrets and Half-Blood Prince involve the idea of what I guess I’ll call “possessive” texts in the form of Ginny’s literal possession by Riddle’s diary and Harry’s more symbolic one by Snape’s old copy of Advanced Potion Making. Both Harry and Ginny look to these texts for some sort of support and guidance (Ginny does so for more emotional purposes, and though Harry’s relationship to Advanced Potion Making is a practical one at first, it eventually becomes arguably an emotional tool as well when he wonders whether it belonged to James).

    I love the idea that one of the parallels between Ginny and Harry’s relationships to these books involves their pining for one another – Ginny uses the diary while she has a debilitating crush for Harry, and Harry finds the Prince’s book when that has finally come full circle and he is developing feelings for Ginny. In a way, both texts end up being epistolary. Ginny writes to Riddle, and pieces of Snape’s scrawlings in Advanced Potion Making, such as “why not just stuff a bezoar down their throats?” suggest an exchange – as if Snape wrote certain notes in the book expecting someone to pick it up and encounter them later.

    In a way, is Advanced Potion Making a sort of diary for Snape that parallels Riddle’s? If Snape were to have a horcrux, would Advanced Potion Making be it, since he preserves a bit of himself within the pages? I suppose I am just fascinated with the idea of books being an extension of ourselves, and then creating a sort of domino effect to reach others in the same way. I like to think it harks back to Jo creating the series as an extension of herself, and then us readers consuming the novels voraciously, thus making them extensions of us as well.

    Also this is my first comment and I’m way smitten with this podcast and keep up the excellent work!

    • Hufflepug

      This is an excellent comment! And I just have to say… BEST USERNAME EVER!

  • thequeerweasleycousin

    What I love about this chapter is how there are so many characters from the previous books showing up who we haven’t seen for a while, maybe even forgotten: Madame Maxime, Gwrap, Aberforth, but also Arabella Figg, Mad Eye, Tom the barman… It’s like getting little scenes from the all the books that remind me what happened so far, how complex and dazzeling this magical world is, and how I love all these characters regardless of if they play major or minor roles. And it showes the importance of Dumbledore so well, linking everyone to and through him.
    It really builds up to the final book. Makes me shiver.

  • Roonil Wazlib

    “White smoke spiraled into the air and made strange shapes: Harry thought, for one heart-stopping moment, that he saw a phoenix fly joyfully into the blue, but the next second the fire had vanished.”

    I’m curious about this phoenix (or phoenix-like shape) that Harry briefly saw…could that be Dumbledore’s patronus, or even his actual soul being released from his body?
    We know that souls exist in the wizarding world, and that they can be separated from the body. Some cultures believe that the soul clings to the body after death for a certain amount of time (ie Dumbledore’s soul could still be present even though he has been dead a couple days). This is the only real wizard funeral we see…could it be that this fire spell is always used to release the soul?

    I might be way off base here, but either way I’d be interested to hear other people’s thoughts on whether we are meant to see the phoenix as just a trick of the light or something more.

    • Melissa McCarthy Steinberg

      Posted this above, but yes. I always saw this as an intentional parallel to the Phoenix. He burns to be reborn to the next life. It’s really a beautiful thought. Thank you for fleshing it out so well.

    • Septumseverus

      I don’t think it was actually dumbledores’ soul, I think it was symbolic for harry and harry was probably the only person who saw this, kind of in an a “this is happening inside your head harry, but why on earth should that mean it’s not real” kind of way. I articulated that badly I suspect!

  • TheShadingonDraco’sSweater

    I was listening to the podcast and was struck by the point: what if Fawkes belonged to someone else before Dumbledore. The first person that came into mind was Nicolas Flamel. I mean he was over 600 years old and supposedly immortal-just like a phoenix- and he and Dumbledore were quite good friends. I’m imagining Fawkes being handed over as like the greatest Christmas Present ever.

    • Eileen_Prince/Jones

      I thought I read somewhere that when ollivander sold harry the twin core to voldee’s wand that he told Dumbledore and Dumbledore then went to find the phoenix whose feathers were used aka fawkes…in the podcast the hosts talked about fawkes coming to dumbledore in his time of need, but I always thought it was the way I stated above…I could be totally wrong… 😛

  • DoraNympha

    Great episode again and thanks for including my comment too, wow! :)))

    So I wanted to talk about the fact that, in this chapter, the characters explicitly state that they won’t be coming back to Hogwarts next year and we leave HBP knowing that the next book will be different, that we’re supposed to expect something other than what we’re used to. The question is, was this necessary or positive/negative with regards to the experience of reading the beginning of Deathly Hallows? I mean I think it was a good heads up to go into Deathly Hallows knowing that, this time, there is going to be something else but I know others who would have preferred not to know this, just because it would have been a bigger, more shocking sort of literary cold shower when things go wrong and all hell breaks loose at the beginning of Deathly Hallows. Anyone has any thoughts on this? Is it good or bad that Harry gave us a bit of what to look forward to as early as HBP? Did it take away from the surprise of how their next adventures start off or was it good that we were prepared so in advance for the heroes’ troubles to expand beyond the walls and grounds of Hogwarts?

    • SocksAreImportant

      It didn’t bother me that we knew they wouldn’t go back to Hogwarts after DH. It felt more like a firm determination to get the job done. In the other books, the gang was busy at school and then near the end of the school year, something interesting with Voldemort would happen. In DH I knew the whole book would be about trying to find the horcruxes and defeating Voldemort. I think I would have been sad if I didn’t already know they wouldn’t be going to Hogwarts.

      I was a little sad that we didn’t see more of Hogwarts when Snape was headmaster and the Carrows were there. I know the story is mostly told through Harry’s point of view, but it would have been nice to get a glimpse of what was going on there besides at the end with Neville.

      I was also worried that Hogwarts would not open at all. I was reassured this by Jo when she said in an interview somewhere that of course there would be a new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher.

      • DoraNympha

        Yeah it would have been a bit sad to learn that there won’t be much (or any?) Hogwarts only once I was reading DH. I mean I did want to see them get out there and widen the magical world like that, use magic outside Hogwarts, so I was glad of the foreshadowing too for the same reason as you! And I agree, I wish there had been more of what others were doing, at Hogwarts or the Weasleys, the Order… we only got morsels of information. :(

  • DoraNympha

    Oh and this is not relevant anymore but if Sirius really had been being tortured by Voldemort as bait for Harry, I don’t think Voldemort would have killed Sirius instantly upon Harry’s arrival but would have continued to use him to get Harry to take down and hand over the prophecy. Maybe they could have gotten away but I have a feeling that Sirius’ thing for dying for a good cause would have kicked in and indeed he would have ended up dead even sooner because of that. Not necessarily instantly, like you guys guessed at on the show, but we know Sirius, he’s the one jumping into the fray like the giant Gryffindor he is sooo yeah, I don’t think he would have been killed at once but he may just have ended up killed that night all the same, yes.

  • DoraNympha

    Last chapter’s stuff but… What if Bill were a vegetarian/vegan? I mean it’s not like you’re ravenous for meat once you’re affected by lycanthropy in any way, so does that mean they’d just be in that ideal state of bliss where they can stay veggie/vegan like normal but are no longer annoyed by the smell of meat? Is that one possible benefit of werewolfness??? Seeing the good in bad things…?

    • I think because a wolf simply isn’t vegan or vegetarian this wouldn’t matter. They take on wolf-like traits rather than have their personal traits altered and modified.

    • Soc.forRescueofVanishedAnimals

      Ha, that would be a huge benefit! I was actually wondering the same thing – while I agree that someone with full-on lycanthropy would take on more of the natural characteristics of a wolf, Bill’s situation might be different. Of any of the Weasleys, I could see Bill being a vegetarian (I don’t know why … ).

      By the way, in my headcanon, Luna and her father are vegan — although I just re-read the chapter from DH, Xenophilius Lovegood, and realized that he tells the trio that Luna is fishing for Freshwater Plimpies to make soup … perhaps he is just frantically grasping for an excuse as to her whereabouts and is so distraught that he forgets? I also imagine that, as a result of her discussions with Luna over the years, Hermione eventually decides to become a vegetarian. She never convinces Ron, though; he can’t imagine giving up any of Mrs. Weasley’s dishes that he looks forward to when they gather for holidays and family dinners …

      • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

        Bill became a vegetarian after travelling abroad, meeting more wizards from different cultures and religions. He realizes that a more diverse diet is beneficial for his health, and at some time stops eating animal parts entirely. Once he get’s used to it, the thought of eating meat or fish becomes strange. Bill would try something new if he is offered food from somewhere, but will cook vegetarian meals for himself.

      • DoraNympha

        Oh yes Xenophilius does plan that soup (and I think he’d just eat whatever he hears is beneficial, however unreliable the source) but even Evanna Lynch has said she thinks Luna was a vegetarian and I compeletely agree, though of course I’m biased. 😀 From how Fleur spoke, it sounded like Bill ate meat and now that they’re getting married Fleur won’t overcook it. Hermione? Maybe, just because she seemed unable to drop the subject and ignore house-elves’ suffering once she learned that they cook for Hogwarts but she also didn’t seem concerned about the fact that what she was eating was dead animals so I don’t know, maybe she did second-guess it one day, but maybe not. But Luna yes definitely!

        And, well, Lupin eats chocolate all the time and he’s a werewolf and dog type animals are supposed to get sick from chocolate so that means that a werewolf is able to eat whatever they want while human, so I think if Lupin were a vegetarian (I know he wasn’t, but just for the sake of argument let’s imagine) then he would’ve been able to continue it like normal. I’d feel insanely guilty for the possibility of harming people or animals at full moons, though, if I were a werewolf, like, I would always just be scared that something goes wrong, that would be worse than anything else about lycanthropy :S Also, the chocolate thing: I read meta that Lupin didn’t just use it against depression, like remedy for Dementors, but also precisely because it’s an un-wolvish food so maybe it kind of chases the wolf in him away. I don’t remember where I read this but this is not my meta but a pretty cool thought.

        Oh and another thought while we’re at it but I don’t want to resurrect the desk-pig debate: there’s no way a magical school slaughters a hundred chickens twice every day, I think they use an origin animal, not a desk-animal, whatever it is, and just increase its quantity. I could draw up a whole essay of meta on animal welfare and ethics at Hogwarts from a veggie perspective but like I said, let’s not bring back the poor old desk-pig! 😀

        • Soc.forRescueofVanishedAnimals

          That is a neat thought about Lupin and the chocolate – I’d never thought about it that way. I agree, the fear of doing such damage would be the biggest burden of being a werewolf. That’s definitely part of the parallel that she was drawing to the way that people with certain medical conditions are wrongfully stigmatized as being “dangerous” to others, and the fear, shame, guilt, and stress that those individuals experience as a result. Poor Lupin.

          My feeling about Hermione is that she’s someone who is actually quite willing to change once she has been exposed to new facts and ideas that allow her to see things in a different light. I also like to imagine that she and Luna garnered respect for one another through their experiences together, and that Hermione started listening to Luna more closely, and perhaps, through Luna’s gentle comments about animals (the ones that Hermione knows are actually real, not Snorkacks), along with further self-education in the library and some serious thought, Hermione could come around to agreeing with Luna on some things.

          By the way, would you possibly be interesting in joining my organization, The Society for the Rescue of Vanished and Transfigured Animals? Our acronym (S.R.V.T.A.) is obviously not as catchy as S.P.E.W., but our mission is just as important! <| : )

          Your last theory is very interesting, too! I'd also like to write an essay along those lines … I actually think there was a thread on animal welfare and ethics in the forums somewhere – need to read that sometime.

          • DoraNympha

            S.R.V.T.A. does rhyme with RSPCA, though! 😀 I’d be glad to join, where are the badges? 😀

            On second thoughts, I think you’re right, Hermione might be up for it. Once she learns something, she won’t ignore it, she won’t forget it, so if she ever gave meat eating a thought she wouldn’t be able to let it go, probably.

            And yes well I think I drew up some meta about the ethical conflictions there’d be at Hogwarts in reality before, but I’m too lazy to type it all up now and it’s not really relevant to the chapter… However, it’s quite interesting how one can draw the line between what to do and what not to do when you have the feasts at they are, and then magical possibilities and limits of foodmaking and then it doesn’t even matter what you eat and wear once you get to Potions – I’d like to see anyone try tell Snape they can’t use animal parts for ethical reasons. They’d probably get the most gruesome detention with lots of dead animals involved… and it’s not like there are vegan or kosher versions of potions, which are so meticulously made up, so that’s something everyone just has to do. And I mean you have to use dragon hide gloves in Herbology, that’s just part of the school list and I bet anything else would be too weak to handle certain plants with. And then the age old debate whether transfiguring/vanishing animals harms them and whether the deskpig can feel…? I mean most of the arguments were about ‘would you eat it’ and I mean since that’s irrelevant for me, I’m rather thinking about whether it can feel pain once it’s not a desk etc. Or what about synthetic stuff, what are the limits on it in magic? And a million other things and I guess everyone has to just find their own limits and what their conscience allows and consider health reasons and all, but really, what is and isn’t okay when there’s magic in play? Moreover, what is a plant and what is an animal when you have stuff like Mandrakes??? They looked like human babies and they just sliced them up and cooked them?? Or garden gnomes who can somewhat talk and you’re just supposed to throw them over a hill? Even Aragog could speak (not that you’d eat a spider)! I know, I know, it’s fiction, let it go, but I can’t let it go, I’m a Ravenclaw, I can’t just let it go, I need to know! 😀 Sorry I just always like examining Hogwarts anew from a special perspective, e.g. Anthony Goldstein was Jewish, so that’s interesting how the Hogwarts experience is different for him. If you think about how Ravenclaws are all about individualism and they’re often quite eccentric, there’d be more veggies at our table than just Luna, tbh, but that’s just my assumption! And I bet if you ask nicely, house-elves would be glad to make sure there’s always something without kippers and bacon at breakfast. :) I don’t think it’d be a problem all in all, except perhaps when you have to chop up frogs in Potions… 😀

          • Soc.forRescueofVanishedAnimals

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  • DoraNympha

    And why was Umbridge there at the funeral even? Everyone knows she had it in for Dumbledore, by showing up at the service she’s not making a polite public gesture like I assume she was trying to, she’s just embarrassing herself. So why even go?

    • Proof? Perhaps it is hard to believe that the great Dumbledore is actually dead and she wanted to see it for herself? Perhaps she found pleasure in that knowledge?

      Dumbledore also saved her from the centaurs. Perhaps she felt the need to pay respects although I doubt that. He was a great wizard, so being at his funeral could be both historic and a way to better her own social image.

      • DoraNympha

        I don’t have proof this is just what I thought about her when she was mentioned to show up. I assume she appeared because it would have been weird not to, in the public eye, you know, but because everyone knows she had worked very hard to destroy Dumbledore and keep him from power and everything, then the gesture is obviously hollow, not just for readers but for the characters of the world as well. I mean this is the woman who will launch the Muggle-Born Registry in just a little over a month from this day. I agree, though, that another reason would have been that Dumbledore’s funeral was this historic event, besides a good opportunity for a politician like Umbridge to make a formal appearance at.

        • SnapesManyButtons

          Yep, I agree. I think she went because it was an important event that important people would go to and she wanted to show how important she was by being there. She cared about nothing but her own perceived status and she wouldn’t miss something like this.

        • The Half Blood Princess

          I think he meant that everyone’s least favorite character needed proof that the wizard he so hated was truly dead.

  • Ravenclawesome

    I think it’s interesting to consider the many different types of relationships that Dumbledore had with all those who were mourning him. One of the hosts said that Harry didn’t really “know” Dumbledore, which got me thinking: Who really did know him? His relationship with Aberforth was different than his relationship with the professors at Hogwarts, which was different than people like Doge that he knew from way back when. But did any of them know everything about him? Did he ever reveal the true Albus Dumbledore to any of them? So many people were mourning his death, but they all knew him in different ways, so they each grieved his loss in different ways.

  • Kirsten

    Reading the chapter this time, certain things jumped out at me:

    -Harry annoyed me quite a bit with his “I’m going to do this alone” angst. I know he is grieving right now, but did he REALLY think he was going to do it alone? He would have failed MISERABLY if Ron and Hermionehadn’t gone with him. I guess Harry’sinitial response to grief/doing scary things is, “I want to be alone/I don’twant anyone else to get hurt.” Even in DH, he says that and Ron says, “Uh, no, we’re going with you, don’t you get it?” So, my question is, as much as Harry knows (deep down) that he needs the help of others, why does he always seem so initially reluctant to take it? I can understand breaking it off with Ginny to keep her safe, but Ron
    and Hermione have stood by his side for six years and faced many things along with him, so why in the world would/should they stop now. I see that the PQOTW is on this topic, so I guess I’m not the only one wondering about this. :)

    -Ron asks in this chapter, “Anyone else we know died?” and “Hermione winced at the forced toughness in his voice.” This fear of Ron’s becomes even more obvious in DH.

    -At this point, Harry doesn’t feel “excited, curious, burning to get to the bottom of a mystery.” He’s been downright obsessed with Malfoy for the entire book, so to havehim like this now shows the tremendous impact of Dumbledore’s death.

    -The “almost unendurable thought” that Snape had helped him
    through Potions, when we know now that it is Snape who sends him the sword of Gryffindor in DH, providing the even more valuable help of the means to destroy a Horcrux. I know the two instances are unrelated, but it’s interesting to think about anyway. Do you think Hermione is right that Snape didn’t want to associate himself with the book and that’s why he didn’t turn Harry in?

    -Harry does cry at the funeral, but actually purposely turns away from Ginny at that point. His strength is, in some ways, more heart-wrenching than his movie tears because in the book it’s obvious the whole world is on his shoulders. Ginny comforting Harry as he loses his composure is a movie-ism. I’d forgotten that until this re-read. And I love Ginny’s reaction of “Oh, I knew you would, your nobleness is why I love you” when he breaks up with her. Book Ginny ROCKS!!!

    -I had forgotten that Harry thought about going to Godric’s Hollow at the end of HBP. When I first read DH, Godric’s Hollow came out of nowhere for me. But, here it is at the end of HBP.

    -The last line made me so sad this time. “One last golden day of peace left to enjoy with Ron and Hermione” did not even happen. The Death Eaters came ON THE DAY OF THE WEDDING and broke up the party. Isn’t that so sad when you think about it?

    • The Half Blood Princess

      I agree. Go book Ginny!

    • Eileen_Prince/Jones

      Book Ginny is the best, I agree.
      and I never thought about the golden day not being golden!!! it was totally ruined! so cool you caught that :o)

  • DoraNympha

    If Dumbledore’s buried at Hogwarts, everyone, family or others, would always have to go to Hogwarts to visit his grave. We’ve got all these outsiders now coming to the funeral, who are neither student nor staff, and we’d only seen outsiders show up at Hogwarts when they are on school business, like for the Triwizard Tournament, or Fudge, Lucius, or the OWL examiners, so whenever an outside person comes to visit Hogwarts, it’s always on account of an event or school business. My question is: is there another place of pilgrimage for adults to go study things at or, even more so, a library? It just seems almost plot-holey that we never hear mention about a public library for the magical community yet we never see non-students pop into Hogwarts to borrow a book or two or to even consult with teachers of the subject. We know that the Ministry conducts some sort of research but the Dept of Mysteries seems to be the restricted section of magical sciences, tbh. So I guess if you’re Hogwarts alumni, you’re just going to have to start buying every book you ever want to read unless you’re Hogwarts staff? But what if there’s a 500-year old book you want? Is there a library in Diagon Alley we don’t know of? No one, not even from Hogsmeade, randomly shows up at the Hogwarts library. Just always found this a bit odd!

    • SnapesManyButtons

      Good question. Hogwarts is so protected that I’m sure they wouldn’t let anyone in who didn’t go to school or work there. I suppose that just because something isn’t mentioned, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Since the books are about people who attend Hogwarts, that’s what we see and there is no occasion to show people needing to do research outside the school. I think we’ll just imagine that somewhere in Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley are libraries.

      • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

        There is a library in Diagon Alley, but you can’t borrow books from there. It is more like an archive, they also keep copies of newspapers and magazines. Madam Pince was trained there, before she came to Hogwarts. Minors are not allowed in there, they have a section reserved for specialists of the specific fields, kind of several restricted sections.
        A public library with children’s books or comic books or travelling guides or fiction titles or music records can be found in Hogsmeade. It’s right beside Madam Puddifoot’s café, so parents can drop their kids there and go for a cup of coffee together in peace.

        • DoraNympha

          Is that legit or did you make it up? Where do we know this from? Or is that just meta? Enlighten me! 😀

          • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

            I made it up, should have led with that. Anything concerning libraries is important to me, so I could not resist the prompt to develop a headcanon and share it.

          • DoraNympha

            Oh okay. My hc about this is that the logical conclusion is that there’s a public libraray for non-Hogwartians, either in Diagon Alley or elsewhere in London. Maybe there’s a special bookcase that opens for the right password in the British Library? 😉

          • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

            that would be awesome! Wizards and Witches working in the muggle library and then disappearing behind the secret bookcase into the magical library… and be careful not to get the books mixed up! They refuse to add the Monster book of monsters to the library because it always tries to escape into the muggle part…

  • RavenPaw

    Just a question about the movie watch, when you say Eastern Time, does that include daylight saving? I’m from Australia so I have no idea how your times work, but I have heard that some US states are using daylight saving now?

    • SnapesManyButtons

      Yes, we are in Daylight Savings Time right now. That means we moved the clocks Ahead one hour from Standard Time. So if you search you would look for EDT, Eastern Daylight Time. Or you could search for the time In New York City, New York.

      For anyone else who is unsure, you can go to http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/converter.html and enter 10 am for the time, then select USA – New York – New York for the location. Below that select your time zone, or a city that is in your time zone, and it will convert the time for you. Good Luck!

      • RavenPaw

        Thank you :)

  • DisKid

    We never got an explanation to what the white flames around Dumbledore were. I remember this lead to theories that Dumbledore was still alive and had been “reborn” from his ashes (I never brought that cause that could imply that Dumbledore became a baby again lol). Some people have theorized this did have to do with Dumbledore’s connection to the phoenix, but different theories as to what. However, Dumbledore’s funeral is the only funeral we see throughout the entire series despite all the deaths. Could this simply be anything more than a tradition in the Wizarding World? Or could it have been a request on Dumbledore’s part? Whatever these flames were, they obviously did not burn Dumbledore to ashes as we find out when Voldemort goes into his tomb. So could this possibly be a wizarding version of cremation only the body does not reduce to ashes in this version? I really hope this gets explained one day cause it is a mystery full of speculation to readers.

  • SnapesManyButtons

    I always wondered why Dumbledore would have Snape, of all people, tell Harry about his having to die. He has not only always hated Snape, but after killing Dumbledore why would Harry believe that Snape wouldn’t want him dead too? But then I realized he might think nobody else would be able to do it, they’d all want to help him or find a way around it. I don’t think Dumbledore believes Snape wants Harry to die, but that after years of being a spy he knows Snape can harden himself to do what must be done. Even if it means giving up on the promise he made all those years ago to protect Lily’s son so her sacrifice will not be in vain. I can’t see Minerva or Lupin, or anyone else at the school, being able to pull this off.

    • SocksAreImportant

      I think the important thing here was not to have too many people know about Harry dying in fear of Voldemort finding out. Dumbledore has already given Snape confidential information that was not divelged to Voldemort, so he knows that he can trust Snape. If Voldemort would have found out about Harry dying, then I don’t think the ending in DH would have happened the way it needed to. Dumbledore does put a heck of a lot of trust in Snape. I also think that there might have been a plan for Dumbledore to tell Harry some or all of Snape’s plan to kill him before he died. Because I agree, it does complicate things to have Snape tell Harry that him he needs to die.

  • RavenPaw

    The start of the chapter was definitely Seamus’ redemption, in my opinion! From OotP, I had never been a huge Seamus fan; I didn’t hate him but he definitely wasn’t one of my favourite characters. Here, he got back into my good books. I think that this is one of JKR’s subtle comments on how war changes people, and people change.

  • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

    The tribute from the centaurs and the merpeople was really important to me. They are not fond of humans in general, but they show their respect for the old wizard who reached out to them. Asking the merpeople to help with the second taks at the Triwizard Tournament, inviting the centaurs to teach divination – did any other head of Hogwarts do this?