Episode 154: DH 4 – No Touching

It’s time to finally leave Number 4, Privet Drive behind. However, hosts Kat, Kristen, Michael, and guest host David are spotting a few flaws in “The Seven Potters” plan, Chapter 4 of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

On Episode 154 we discuss…

→ Episode 153 Recap: If Petunia had magic; Where is Mrs. Figg?; what Dumbledore owes Harry; Some Dursleys do change
→ PQOTW Responses
→ Harry and Rowling’s evolution
→ Dreams become reality
→ Hedwig’s death *sobs*
→ Motorcycle science
→ Accio Hagrid!
→ 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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  • Felix Scamander

    You tagged Hedwig, you monsters.

  • Felix Scamander

    I feel like if Petunia had gone to Hogwarts, she would have been a different person, but still probably mildly ‘unpleasant’ – even in her younger years she still thought of Severus as the “Snape boy from Spinners End” and disregarded it as a (for need of a better word) lowly-type place and thought of him as below her. Stuff after that was only really said because she wasn’t magic and felt spiteful towards Snape for, in a way, taking Lily from her.

    P.S: I agree with your thoughts on the hypothetical ‘magic’ Petunia being sorted into Ravenclaw.

  • Susan

    Thanks for another great show! Upon hearing the theory about Harry’s wand phoenix feather, I wondered if the loyalty associated with phoenixes was part of the reason the wand reacted as it did to Voldemort, saving Harry’s life as Fawkes did in Chamber of Secrets. What do you think?

  • ArthurShouldHaveDiedNotSirius

    For some reason Kat hates Sirius, but I want to point out that had he lived, we would not have Dung here. Also, birds are replaceable. Godfathers are not

    • Kat

      I don’t hate Sirius, I simply don’t love him as others do 🙂

      • ArthurShouldHaveDiedNotSirius

        Hedwig is just a bird

        • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

          and Sirius is just a dog. Ask James. 😉

          • ArthurShouldHaveDiedNotSirius

            Sirius was a human being.

        • ISeeThestrals

          She was a pet whom Harry was very close to, and no one wants to lose a pet. I know what it’s like to lose a pet and it’s terrible. In this case, Hedwig had a lot of fans in the readers and I don’t blame them for being sad about it. To some people, pets aren’t replaceable. There are people who will feel strongly about anything bad happening to an animal.
          And by your user name, I can assume Sirius was a favorite character of yours. He was my favorite too, and I bawled for his death. I agree Sirius shouldn’t have died, but I’m not sure Arthur should have taken his place.

          • ArthurShouldHaveDiedNotSirius

            Sirius’ death was the just about the only death I cared about. Didn’t care about James or Lily (who did at first anyway?) Didn’t care about Cedric, Didn’t care about Dumbledore (the old guy mentor wizard always dies) Didn’t care about Fred, Hedwig, Lupin, or Tonks. Mad-Eye, a little bit and Dobby somewhat, but Sirius A LOT. So excuse me if I’m bitter because Kat is heartless when it comes to Sirius but weeps over a bird

      • AmyMN

        Unacceptable, Kat. 😉

  • FlobberwormFangirl

    Not sure if this comment fits the best here or under PQOTW. It has to do with the plan, but I don’t really feel like it ties in with the questions so I’ll post it here. Anyways, the thing I was thinking about was the choice to let Harry go with Hagrid. Isn’t that a bit too obvious in a way? I mean, they’re not letting Harry ride a broom because they’re assuming that Snape would’ve told Voldemort and the death eaters that Harry is good at flying. Snape would also be aware of the special relationship between Harry and Hagrid and therefore the order probably should’ve assumed that he’d told the death eaters about that as well, shouldn’t they? I get that Jo wrote it this way because it’s so symbolic that Hagrid is the one to take Harry away from Privet Drive since he was the one to get him there in the first book. But because of this it should also be easier for the death eaters to figure out. This is not by far the most stupid part of the plan, and it doesn’t affect the story very much, but it still feels like a stupid decision from the order.

    Personally I would’ve put Harry with either Tonks or Bill. It’s too obvious to have him be with Moody or Kingsley, since they’re badass aurors, and too obvious with Arthur, Lupin or Hagrid since he has too much of a personal connection to them. He knows Tonks and Bill the least, but they’re both adult, skilled wizards (and aurors in Tonks’ case). The death eaters probably wouldn’t even think too much about this, I guess. But still, since they were taking things like the trunk, bird cage and flying into account, they should’ve thought of this as well.

    I’m also questioning the decision to put Harry and Hagrid together for another reason: Harry is the most important person they have, and they leave Hagrid with the responsibility of him? Hagrid who can’t even cast reparo, which is a spell taught to eleven year olds? I love Hagrid, and I know that Dumbledore trusted him, and I’m sure Harry can fend for himself, but they have aurors and very experienced witches and wizards… Wouldn’t it have been better to put Harry with one of them?

    • Eileen_Prince/Jones

      The death eaters has to make split second decisions, they weren’t expecting to have to figure out which of 7 harry potters was real, they didn’t have time to ponder how deep harrys relationships were with each of the protecting witch/wizards. Voldee shows his bias/judgemental thoughts here as he goes after moody/dung first thinking that harry would be with the most powerful auror. At least voldee never would have thought that harry would be with hagrid so in a way it was the best idea for harry to go with him.

      • Silverdoe25

        I was remembering during the show that Voldemort wasn’t just hanging back; he actively went after Mad Eye, deducing that Harry would be with him. So, pretty good choice to stick Harry with Hagrid. The hosts talked about how some of this chapter goes from tragic to absurd (Wingardium leviosa on the sidecar and Accio Hagrid). Just goes to show the realism in this battle. At just under 17, Harry is truly no match for Voldemort. In a battle, he ran out of tricks very quickly. Good thing the Golden Flames came along. (That Audio Boom would have made a great PQotW, BTW.)

    • MartinMiggs

      You just said it would be obvious to have him with Moody, Kingsley, Arthur, Lupin, or Hagrid. If there’s 5 obvious choices then they are not really that obvious. Also I have to agree with Eileen_Prince/Jones they weren’t expecting 7 Harrys and they had to make a decision on who to chase quickly. Hagrid is not an experienced wizard but that doesn’t mean he was a bad choice. They motorcycle was given enchantments to help protect Hagrid and Harry, there is a surprise factor of picking Hagrid that catches Voldemort off guard (if Harry hadn’t cast expelliarmus they probably would’ve been perfectly safe), and when there’s spells flying everywhere making it extremely difficult to hit your target it wouldn’t matter how powerful your spellcasting is it would most likely miss.

  • DoraNympha

    There’s so much I want to comment on this week, I had to take notes while listening! And hey, killer chapter intro. (So so sorry.) I was also happy you mentioned the Dumbleburn artist, floccinaucinihilipilificationa. Yes I ctrl+V’ed that. “It’s dropped!” Like Hedwig. (So so so sorry.) Poor Florean got a mention too: I just want to put it out there that he strikes me as a Ravenclaw, though we don’t know his house, just because he’s this awesome ice cream guy who helped Harry out with his History of Magic homework off the top of his head and that seems kinda Ravenclaw – he had a Headmaster relative, if I remember correctly, but then he became an ice cream parlour owner of all things. 😀 Oddly cool. Jo admitted his death was basically a pointless plot mistake. Who kills an owl? Who kills an ice cream guy? I bet the candy lady on the train was blasted off the viaduct too, with this pattern??? Also the Dursleys probs didn’t sell the house because they left stuff there, like the kettle, the dishwasher, the carriage clock… Oh and well done on the show, hosts and guest alike!

    • suprememugwump

      Totally agree that Florean Fortescue would be a Ravenclaw. He seems like a bit of an eccentric.
      And the train lady? Nooooo…

      • DoraNympha

        And Zonko disappeared too, right? Apparently retired during HBP but I’m not so sure now, what if that was just a cover story like Chartiy’s? Voldemort doesn’t seem to have a sweet tooth.

        • suprememugwump

          So Voldemort not only wanted to take over the wizarding world, he wanted to remove all joy from it? First Florean Fortescue and then Zonko? Who’s next, Fred and George? Oh wait…

          • DoraNympha

            Nooooooooooooooooooooo

  • DoraNympha

    Yeah THANK YOU Harry was there in the British late October cold night for at least a couple of hours and Petunia noticed him only when she was getting the milk bottles in the morning. Maybe McGonagall stayed there as a cat, just watching out for stuff? And I mean you can’t be mad at the Dursleys for not having checked their doorstep while they were asleep, HOWEVER, what was the milkman doing? I mean yeah Dumbledore was odd for just leaving him there but that milk was left there by a milkman who apparently didn’t feel up to notifying the household that there’s a baby on their doorstep???

    Maybe Minerva had some of that milk.

    • Heather Bates

      I had never thought about how cold it must have been, but now that I have, I’d like to think that Minerva stayed close to keep him warm. <3 🙂

  • Eileen_Prince/Jones

    One thing about this chapter that i thought was cool so i wrote it down in my notebook was that harrys polyjuice potion turned gold. Up until this point i just thought all polyjuice potion was gross looking like crabbe and goyles. I wonder what crouch jr had to drink every time he drank moody polyjuice? I wonder what hermione, ron, or ginnys polyjuice would look like? Mafalda hopkirks polyjuice is described as heliotrope in chptr 12. I just really liked this little detail.

    • Hufflepug

      I want to know what other people’s potions would look like too! I see Hermione’s as being a very clear, bright color (maybe a shining blue?) and tasting refreshing since she has an organized personality and is such a good person. Ron is harder to pin down – maybe something that tastes very warm and comforting since he’s a Weasley. I bet Luna’s would be bizarre and wonderful, lol.

      • Eileen_Prince/Jones

        What if rons tasted like gingerbread cookies…b/c those are warm and comforting and b/c hes a ginger ;-]

        • Hufflepug

          PERFECT! That would work for the entire Weasley family, for that matter.

          • DoraNympha

            Are you saying gingerbeer is just Weasley juice?? 😀

          • Felix Scamander

            Would it though? Weasleys do seem to have that personality, but Percy? (Don’t get me wrong, I love Percy, and think he just made some ad choices while trying to protect his family ect., but) He might be a little different.. the Weasley twins would probably look delicious, and then turn out to taste like bogies. They’d love that 🙂

          • DoraNympha

            Ginny’s would probably look like raspberry juice but then turn out to taste really spicy and hot – like her, the juice would look harmless but will taste sharp as knives.

          • Hufflepug

            Haha, love AVPM! If the Wizarding World marketed Polyjuice Potion, “Sour Grape Snape” had better be a flavor!

            Neville’s would taste like a nice medley of natural flavors. Umbridge’s would taste disgustingly sweet – like a mixture between honey, maple syrup, pixie sticks, and straight sugar. It would also taste spoiled, I would think. “Essence of Umbridge.” Blech!

          • Felix Scamander

            Umbrige’s would taste like that I agree completely.

          • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

            have you ever tried dripping artificial sweetener on your tongue? Don’t do it! But that’s Umbridge-taste.

          • Hufflepug

            Oh true true. Maybe it would be like a overly-snooty wine – formal and a bit too put-together but with some of that warmth and comfort deep down. Molly’s would be like a nice warm and comforting tea then. And I think Bill’s and Charlie’s would both taste like adventure. I know that’s not a thing.

          • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

            adventure is when you lick the blood off your hand after climbing up a tree, and it takes like metal and lichen.

          • Felix Scamander

            Yeah, that seems about right

      • Ravenclawesome

        I feel like Dumbledore would make a really interesting polyjuice. I imagine it could be almost vapor-like silvery mist. And then Hagrid’s would just taste like alcohol…

        • DoraNympha

          Lupin’s would taste like chocolate and sadness

          • Felix Scamander

            Perfect.

          • Hufflepug

            WAH 🙁

          • DoraNympha

            Ooh there’s this headcanon circulating that Lupin just spent his careers advice session with McGonagall just stuffing himself with ginger newts and talking about how he knows he likely won’t get a job. I think that’s pretty much Essence of Lupin… 🙁

          • Hufflepug

            My heart – you’re stabbing it. Poor Lupin 🙁

          • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

            what breakup?? He never broke up with anybody, don’t make his life more sad than it already is! 😉

          • DoraNympha

            I don’t know what’s more sad, though, because if you think about it he never broke up with anyone because he never dated anyone in the first place and then he never broke up with Tonks because they both died. Getting the Lupin Sads again…

          • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

            there are two headcanon options I go with when I feel sad about the fact that there is just this one relationship in the text for Lupin. 1) Wolfstar! 2) some people are not that much interested in dating, they are fine without it. If that’s the case for Remus, then it’s alright that Dora is his first lover.

          • Felix Scamander

            Perfect

      • Felix Scamander

        I agree with you. I think Luna’s polyjuice would be silver and fizzy. Silver seems quite a dreamy sort of colour to me, and she does have a serene, bubbly personality. 🙂

      • suprememugwump

        Am I wrong, or does Polyjuice taste the same always? I got the impression that the only thing that changed was the color. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love it if it tasted different too, but I’m not sure that’s the case.

        • Hufflepug

          I checked the wiki. It hasn’t been confirmed but they say it’s likely the taste varies person to person because Crabbe’s and Bellatrix’s are described differently in terms of taste. It would be a nice thing for Jo to answer on Twitter!

          • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

            polyjuice potion colours and tastes will likely be different depending on the person, and on the person who sees/drinks it, because taste and color perception vary from person to person.

          • Hufflepug

            Good point. Maybe it varies depending on the “donor,” maybe it doesn’t. But now I’m trying way too hard to find proof that it does vary because of all this wishful thinking about “Sour Grape Snape” and Dumbledore Polyjuice Potion. We’ll have to leave that one up to Jo!

        • DoraNympha

          Well, in the movie, Moody, the Bear Grylls of Harry Potter, compared it to goblin piss but I don’t think we ever got a description of that taste. I’d love an explanation of why he knows this, though.

          • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

            I wonder if Moody’s comment was meant to be racist. He doesn’t care if he insults anyone, so political correctness won’t be high on his priority list.

          • suprememugwump

            “Who do you know who’s lost a buttock?” Oh, there are so many interesting things to ask Moody!

    • DoraNympha

      That’s going to be a new thing to collect, isn’t it? 😀 What’s your Patronus? What does Amortentia smell like to you? What’s your boggart? That sort of stuff. 😀 I’d love to drink from Fleur’s. She’s always surrounded by pretty things, her Polyjuice would taste like flowers or fresh dew or something. 😀

      • Felix Scamander

        Seems like Phlegm.

    • Phoenix

      Thank you for bringing this up. I was wondering the same thing. I’m not sure I like the description, though. Our hero’s potion turns… gold? Because of his golden character, I suppose? Jo can do better in terms of subtlety, I think.

  • Eileen_Prince/Jones

    Every time i reread deathly hallows i choke up any time fred is in a scene…i just can’t help but think that he has less than a year to live… :,-[

  • DoraNympha

    If we don’t count the epilogue, the circle chapter matching this in DH is The Prince’s Tale, which includes the trio assessing all the dead in the Great Hall, memorably Tonks, Lupin and Fred – and in this chapter, upon seeing the curses start flying everywhere, it says that Harry thought wildly of fireworks. Just a connection there.

    Also, Moody and only Moody seems to be making a ton of comments in this chapter about how they will have time for everything after they’ve arrived in the safe houses, that they’ll all have time for stuff later, does anyone else get the sads about that? Oh Mad-Eye…

    • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

      Mad-Eye has gotten out of everything, even that infernal year being shut in a trunk. Constant vigilance has gotten him so far, and because of that he thought himself invincible and never doubted that there would be time later.

  • Eileen_Prince/Jones

    Question: why did hedwig have to travel in her cage? Why couldn’t she have flown? Was the burrow too magically guarded for her to get there on her own? Thats the only thing i can think of…her death bothers me…its way better in the movie, she died protecting harry.

    • SocksAreImportant

      I think she had to be shut out in her cage because she was so easily recognized. I don’t think it was because of the burrow being magically guarded because she was able to get into Grimmauld Place which was magically guarded. I have heard her death as being a death of innocence for Harry. I more see it as a convenience death. She had to die because camping with her and the trio would have complicated things. I agree I like the movie way a whole lot better.

  • Eileen_Prince/Jones

    To show up to get harry everyone was using disillusionment charms…why didn’t they do that on the way out? Maybe I’m confused on the way they work??

    • MartinMiggs

      they can’t use magic Harry is underage

      • Eileen_Prince/Jones

        Ah hahahaha as soon as I read that it clicked. No duh lol. Ok yea thanks for clearing that up 🙂

  • DoraNympha

    I feel like we’re constantly very conscious about the trio being quite young. Harry’s 16 this chapter, I mean that’s so young. However, I don’t think we’re really ever reminded how young others are! I mean after HBP we think of Fred and George as real adult shop owner businessmen right? They’re 19 at this point. That’s like so young! My first experience with HP was seeing PS when I was 10. When you’re 10, Harry with his ELEVEN whole years seemed old, not to mention Fred and George and now that I’m 24 I’m like omg you’re like babies. Tonks is my age? -ish? Fleur is what, 20? Bill is my boyfriend’s age? It’s not just my mid-20s existential crisis, honest, but like they’re all so young, not just the trio and it’s whacky to think about!

  • DoraNympha

    What if the movie added just a split second of flashbacks when Harry’s looking around at the things in the house like he looks at the mailbox and we see him get his first acceptence letter that morning, stuff like that?

  • DoraNympha

    Yeah why IS Dung there? And who else could they have brought instead? Charlie could have come if he really was needed. Are there any more Order members who are not otherwise occupied for this night and are not too old to fly? Are there any other people that are not necessarily officially Order members but would definitely have come if need be, like Wood, Angelina, Cho, Krum. all of age and good on a broomstick and probably all in Britain already? Or what about McGonagall? She was Quidditch captain in her time and she’s not too old or weak to do stuff like this. She could have come, this way Moody’s Harry could have been Tonks and Ron could have been paired with McGonagall for a little book canon waist grabbing moment? 😀 Ah now I do want this, Ron sitting behind McGonagall on a broom, awkwardly holding onto her. Another less ethical option could have been Lockhart. They could have got him out of the hospital to become a Harry… okay that was a joke but getting back to seriousness: Sirius, had he been alive, would have definitely come and been paired with Harry right? They would have taken his motorbike too, except Sirius was probably a surer biker than Hagrid! Or, sorry for the sads but, if Percy hadn’t been estranged from his family at this point, would he have been here now, just like his brothers?

    • Casey L.

      That question almost felt like a two-part one when I heard it on the show. The first part is who’s available, and the second part is who should take his place? According to the wiki, the other members of the Order who are alive but not present in this scene are Aberforth Dumbledore, Arabella Figg, Dedalus Diggle, Elphias Doge, Minerva McGonagall, Severus Snape, Sturgis Podmore, Charlie Weasley and Molly Weasley. We know Mrs. Figg is out of the equation, Diggle and Snape are otherwise occupied, and Molly is at the safe house. That leaves five people, all of whom are presumably capable of flying. (If Dumbledore could do it, I’m assuming Doge and Aberforth can as well.) As for someone outside the Order, I think this is an important enough mission that they’re not going to go with someone Moody and Kingsley don’t already know and trust.
      As for McGonagall specifically, the Order appears to be fairly politically-savvy. With what they know about Pius Thicknesse, they must have an idea that the Ministry is vulnerable to going down, and if the Ministry goes down, the school goes down, and they need someone in the school to try to protect the students. If she is seen by the Death Eaters as being involved in this operation, I think there’s a high chance of her getting arrested or worse. She might be one of the most competent Order members left, but her involvement doesn’t make a lot of sense long-term.

      • DoraNympha

        That’s right, Doge was part of the rescue mission two years before this night but at the wedding he just disapparates. Aberforth might be in another essential position in Hogsmeade, they can’t spare him either but I’m sure he could do the job. Sturgis Podmore could have been there yes, so we can only assume he had an important mission that he couldn’t abandon? I think you’re right, they wouldn’t have wanted people on this they didn’t know well but I still wonder if there could have been more trustworthy people not officially in the Order who could still have been on the guard instead of waiting at a safe house? Just like Molly and Arthur, who weren’t in the Order during the first war but they were practically in it, had relatives in it, and all, kind of like how Narcissa isn’t a Death Eater but practically acts as one. These would be Ted and Andromeda maybe? Amos Diggory? Xenophilius? Couldn’t Hagrid call Madame Maxime? Isn’t Augusta Longbottom up for a flight in the summer night? Don’t they know ONE more Auror that’s not been Imperiused?

        • Casey L.

          I agree Doge’s absence, in context of Order of the Phoenix, is curious. Is he keeping a low profile after his pro-Dumbledore eulogy? We have already seen what happens when someone speaks openly against Voldemort. My first thought was that maybe Aberforth simply wasn’t willing to help, but your idea makes sense, too. We do see later he is in some form of contact with Death Eaters. Maybe he needs to maintain the appearance of being neutral. Besides that, if any of the Death Eaters is aware of his last name, he must be in danger as well. Do you think Sturgis might be considered a weak link after being imperiused and imprisoned in Order? That was one theory I’d had.
          Without knowing more about the abilities of some of the other characters you mentioned, I don’t want to guess whether or not they could help. I will say, knowing what we do know, I could see Tonks refusing to ask her parents to be involved or Moody not allowing Andromeda to be included due to her family ties. Augusta is certainly formidable, but perhaps she is not yet ready to potentially die and leave Neville and his parents unprotected?
          I can see the Order wanting to involve as few outside people as possible at this point. If they know the Ministry has been infiltrated by one person, who knows who else can be trusted? Even if they’re not under the imperius curse, someone might have been threatened or might be afraid for their family, as we later see with Xenophilius, someone Harry, Ron and Hermione thought they could trust. This might be a sign of what we hear about life in the first war, when people constantly lived in fear.

          • DoraNympha

            You’re right, I forgot, Tonks wouldn’t let her parents get involved in this, Bellatrix was specifically out to attack her, Bellatrix would have targeted Ted and Andromeda just as viciously because it was personal. Augusta, I think,, would have come and would have done a badass job, since all we ever hear her say is how Neville should get in the fray and fight like his parents and when they tried to take her hostage she actually escaped it so basically Augusta is an untapped source of badassery. Maybe no one thought she still had it in her? Just like they might not have thought Sturgis very reliable even though he would probably have been more reliable than Dung? I think you’re absolutely right, though, there’s really no fail safe way to know if you can trust your lifelong best friends if the last war is any indication… Later, at the Burrow, we even see Lupin give a “pitying” expression to Harry when he says he doesn’t believe anyone would sell him out and Lupin then says something about how Harry’s just like James, who would have regarded it as the height of dishonour to mistrust his friends. Yeah, maybe we are supposed to take all this as indication of how much fear and mistrust there is again everywhere. The fact that the 14th most trustworthy person they thought was Mundungus Fletcher is very worrying indeed.

          • thequeerweasleycousin

            What about McGonagall? Wouldn’t she be the one you need for this job? They know her, she’s trustworthy and capable and everything. Did she have to stay safely at Hogwarts to be there for the next year and protect the students?

          • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

            Yes, Minerva is the Queen on the chess board in this game. When most of the pawns have fallen, she takes over.

          • DoraNympha

            Yes she was my first thought but we’ve said above that it was probably more imprtant for her to stay at Hogwarts. :/ I wonder if Flitwick was in the Order too, we just don’t know? I doubt other teachers were, apart from Lupin of course, but Flitwick was a duelling champion and so just strikes me as a possible member but it’s not canon or anything so probably not (why not??).

          • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

            Flitwick is not in the order, because if by some unlucky events every order member would be removed from the staff, there must be some teachers who remain because they’re not in the order, and Flitwick will do his best in any case.

          • thequeerweasleycousin

            Wow, these Order people think of everything, don’t they?

          • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

            Some do, some don’t.

            I believe being a duelling champion, Head of House of Ravenclaw and Charms teacher, Flitwick belongs to the group of Phoenix Allies who will cooperate with the Order, but pretend not to know who they are.

          • WitchWolfsbane10

            I think that’s 100% why she isn’t a part of these plans. Now that Voldemort has infiltrated the Ministry, Hogwarts is clearly next, Snape’s gonna be Headmaster….Minerva must be there to protect the innocents as best she can.

          • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

            After taking part in the advance guard mission Doge had enough of the nighttime broom flight missions with Moody. We mustn’t forget that he is as old as Dumbledore and at this age a few months can make a big difference health wise. Muriel says she’s 107 and can’t be on her feet too long, so I don’t expect Doge to be in a battle situation anymore.

        • MartinMiggs

          it would’ve been interesting to see Amos again and learn more about him.

          • DoraNympha

            Agreed – and he worked for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures so if he can control all sorts of beasts he can fight some Death Eaters for sure.

      • lifeanddragons

        The plan sounded like it was made that very afternoon, because even Harry didnt know of it until the order actually arrived. They just took whoever was available at the time, and it’s possible they just didn’t expect anything eventful to happen. According to plan there weren’t supposed to be more than 2 death eaters on watch and nobody else was supposed to know…a little oversight that wouldn’t have been a big deal any other day….

  • DoraNympha

    Another circle theory within DH is that Moody dies in this chapter because Snape had to do something real for the Death Eaters and Voldemort, give them the real date so this had to happen, or well something had to happen A) for Snape to do something for Voldemort to truly trust him and his information and B) so that we see Moody die or we’re sort of there when it happens because he wouldn’t be a character that we learn about dying in a Prohpet article. And so Snape gains here and Moody loses so that Snape can survive for long enough so that he can give Harry the memory. Snape’s strong position Dumbledore was so adamant on was all for the memory so basically in the end Moody died for the memory, in other words for the Prince’s Tale.

  • SlytherinKnight

    Go AudioBooms!!!! I think this episode had the most audiobooms in a single episode so go audiobooms!!!! And thank you for letting mine be heard, as soon as we started Deathly Hallows, I knew I wanted to speak about this part of the book, specifically the Seven Potters plan. I didn’t get a chance to ask this question in the audioboom but was the Seven Potters plan put into the book just because of the success of the films because it seems to me that the plan was made specifically for cinematography, the effects and different camera shots needed for the scene seem to be line up perfectly with that theory.

    And totally agree with how Hedwig’s death in the books totally diminished her character, the movie certainly made her death at least a bit more bearable, which is surprising since more of the changes in the series would have been better served staying true to the books.

    • suprememugwump

      I’m guessing Rowling probably had several plans to get Harry out of Privet Drive and thought the Seven Potters was the best. I don’t think she’d have catered that much to the movies, in spite of what Michael said about this book being more “cinematic” than the others. What the other plans were we’ll never know… or will we, Pottermore?

  • Hufflepug

    Oh my god this was such a hilarious episode! I’m dying with laughter after listening to everyone cracking up!

    Are wands alive? It’s certainly an interesting topic. They’re made of entirely organic material – dead cells from trees and magical creatures. They can also learn and form bonds with their owners – i.e. wands are social, which is a complex skill that we Muggles have been unable to replicate in technology. If they’re social, does it mean they’re conscious? It’s tough to answer, because it seems impossible that anything can be social without a brain, unless the core acts as the brain of the wand. That being said, I think I’m going to go with the theory that wands are somewhere between living and not-living. Although they have personalities and highly complex social natures, there are still a lot of life processes that they’re unable to do: grow, reproduce, consume nutrients for energy, etc. Maybe their personalities come from the strong magic that occurs when a wandmaker pairs the core with the wood. The animal cells and the wood may have twinges of life still around them and when they are combined together they create a magical force that mimics life without technically being alive.

    Also, I love the idea of gold in this chapter representing how Harry is a good omen for the Wizarding World. Other possible “gold” connections to Harry: Gryffindor’s colors, the golden snitch, being the person to win Felix Felicis, and the golden light in Priori Incantatem. There may be more too!

  • doubleentandre

    I really want to know more about Voldemort’s flight powers. Is he the first one in wizard history to be able to fly without a broom? Is it some ancient magic that he found and resurrected? Is flight very dark magic (that would deeply disappoint me)? He’s not a super happy guy but I have to imagine that Voldy learned the spell and then soared through the clouds saying “Wheeeee!!!”

    • DoraNympha

      What if he trained himself at the Horcrux cave? Just Voldemort jumping off the cliff and diving again and again and again like a baby bird. (That, or a giant trampoline……….)

    • SnapesManyButtons

      I’ve read that he and Snape were the only Wizards capable of unaided flight, though I don’t know if that means nobody has ever done it in history. I wonder if he dug it up when he was researching Horcruxes. I wonder why he taught only Snape how to do it? Was it a reward for killing Dumbledore? Did he think Snape might need a quick escape working among people who hated him as Headmaster (and didn’t care if the Carrows were taken out)?

      • Aimee Krenz

        I honestly don’t think Snape would have learned from Voldemort. I think Snape has proven himself to be really intelligent – look at how he altered potions and really analyzed ways to make those potions better, more powerful. He may very well have only learned it because he was so utterly obsessed with the Dark Arts. He would have devoured everything he could have found on the subject, and given his penchant for being obsessive (he still loves Lily, and he still hates James, and he never gave up applying for the Defense Against the Dark Arts position), it makes sense that he would have learned this on his own.

  • Hufflepug

    Maybe the reason Harry stopped having those dreams when he found out he was a wizard was because his magic and his past were finally at the front of his mind. I think the magic itself was trying to present itself to him when he was younger, so it was doing that in the form of those dreams.

  • Hufflepug

    Circle theory: In this chapter, the main goal is to protect Harry from Voldemort. In the Prince’s Tale, Harry discovers that his main goal is to walk to Voldemort and face his death.
    BOOM! Opposites.

  • Socks & Slugs

    Thanks so much for playing my Audioboom on the Harry being Felix. Something I never saw before, but totally hit me on this reread. This podcast really helps me to not just reread, but to really read beyond the words. Props to Alohomora!

    • DoraNympha

      It was an amazing observation! Brilliant! He has his unlucky moments too but Harry is generally a very right-place-at-the-right-time guy, help comes to him in just the right moment, he overhears just the right conversations, etc. He’s attributed to gold in general but Harry juice is literally Felix-ish and I never made the connection and you blew my mind basically, well done. 😀

      • WitchWolfsbane10

        Yes, and Harry specifically told the DA back in OotP that most of the time when he’s facing danger, he has help, or he gets lucky!

  • Socks & Slugs

    I am going to start this with I LOVE HEDWIG and shed tears every reread and rewatch.
    I have heard JK say that Hedwig presented another issue as this book unfolded. Since Hedwig is a snowy owl and not native to the UK, she is highly identifiable. (an issue that has lead to her being caged and pissed at Harry in the past) Hedwig would have presented a problem in Harry’s time of hiding out. It would have also been awful to have a year of her being stuck in a cage in the tent. (not as awful if we knew the alternative was death, but we would not have known that)
    Also the Death Eaters had a general idea of where Harry was so Hedwig flying out of thin air would have been a dead give-a-way as to Harry’s location and given them an advantage in the battle.
    That being said, I way love the movie interpretation over Hedwig dying helplessly in her cage.

    • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

      maybe someone knows a real spell for turning your pets yellow, or owl-brownish, then Hedwig could have stayed at the burrow and they’d tell everyone she’s Pigwidgeon’s cousin.

  • DoraNympha

    Wait, Hagrid fell when he jumped on that Death Eater mid-air and from there he and Harry basically go into free falling and they land in the Tonks family’s pond. Yet, there’s no sign of that Death Eater, just Hagrid. Unless said Death Eater is crushed under him or screwed into the ground like his equally cartoonish DE mates.

    • WitchWolfsbane10

      I’d imagine that Hagrid killed him under his weight. If the impact didn’t snap his body in half, Hagrid’s dead weight holding him under the shallow water would have done it too. Harry isn’t fully aware of what’s going on until after he wakes up inside the Tonks’ house. He’s so focused on making sure Hagrid’s alive and making his Portkey, I don’t know whether Ted or Andromeda felt it necessary to mention the broken, dead body out in their pond.

    • lifeanddragons

      Perhaps the same barrier that prevented Voldemort from pursuing them, stopped the falling death eater as well, so Hagrid was able to fall through, but the death eater just bounced off or something…

      • SnapesManyButtons

        I think this is what happened. The protective wards were made to only let in the people who were assigned to fly there. Voldemort hit them and disappeared, so it would make sense that the Death Eater wouldn’t be able to get through either.

    • suprememugwump

      Maybe Hagrid kind of knocked the Death Eater off his broom and the two fell separately to earth. Just imagine the Tonks’ neighbors waking up to find a dead man in robes and a mask in their garden… Although, I do quite enjoy lifeanddragons’ visual of the Death Eater going boing boing!

      • DoraNympha

        I always imagined it as a fly that gets shocked by an electric flytrap. “BZZZZZ thud” rather than a “boing boing”. Wow we’re so articulate. 😀

  • Ravenclawesome

    After the discussion about the last time we see the Dursleys, I started thinking about the final moments for two other characters that happen in this chapter: Hedwig and Moody. The last time we see Hedwig, Harry is talking to her about his memories in Privet Drive, and she’s sulking in her cage. Moody’s final moment is when he sends everyone off. The interesting thing is that neither of these beloved characters end their time in this book series with a “big moment”. I really wish that each of these characters’ final scenes were more eventful, but I guess Rowling may be using this to show that death can be sudden. I also think it’s so sad that the last thing we hear Moody say is “See you all in about an hour at the Burrow.” Why do you think that Rowling chose each of these particular ways for these characters to end their time in the series?

    • WitchWolfsbane10

      Dobby and Snape are really the only deaths in this book that get properly sent off. Fred’s death happens in the blink of an eye, and all we get is a glimpse of Lupin and Tonks’s dead bodies in the Great Hall.

      I think Dobby’s funeral encompasses all the losses Harry had up until that point. He never went to Cedric’s memorial, there weren’t any for Sirius or Hedwig (mainly because none of their bodies were recovered), he had to make Moody’s grave quickly before setting off again, and the eulogy at Dumbledore’s funeral didn’t really reflect how Harry remembered him. Dobby died in Harry’s arms, and he, like the others, died close to or for Harry himself. I think that’s why Jo decided Dobby’s last words would be Harry’s name; because, in the end, like those before him, he died in the name of Harry Potter.

    • SnapesManyButtons

      Death is a big part of this series because Jo lost her mother before the first book even came out and she was very affected by that. She has said the books would be different if that hadn’t happened. As readers we want our beloved characters to have a last big moment or a memorable last line, but real life is rarely that generous. The way Fred was laughing one moment and gone the next, that’s more like what life does to us. I was so upset that Hedwig was sulky in her last hours and never got to get out of the cage and fly. But I think that added to the unexpected nature of her death, I mean, who kills off a character who’s sulking… or laughing? Well, life does. So I think you’re right, she wanted to show how sudden and unexpected death can be and how it doesn’t usually give us a chance for goodbyes or big moments. There are so many deaths of people we love, it wouldn’t be realistic for all of them to be a big moment, though it would be better for us readers.

      • DoraNympha

        Like Slughorn said in the movie, “But that’s life! I suppose, you – you go along and suddenly… poof.” 🙁

  • AGoldsteinAndTheMagicOfHanukah

    RE: “Accio Hagrid!” pg 61 US Hardcover.

    In the show you described this as an instance of magical slapstick in the face of chaos, but I read it as anything but. This is Harry’s single most emotionally desperate moment in the chapter, (maybe even the book, but who cares to check?). Everyone is in mortal peril purely to get him to a safe house, his Firebolt is gone, and Hedwig is dead, and it’s all his fault because he kept her locked up in the cage. Hagrid, before Hedwig, was Harry’s first connection to the wizarding world, the keeper of the keys to this new life; and here Hagrid has catapulted himself on to a Death Eater to save Harry and his falling Merlin knows how far, surely to smash on the ground below. “Accio Hagrid!” is Harry screaming “I can’t lose anyone else!” it’s “Not Hargrid!” it’s “Don’t give your life for me!” it’s “People are dying at it’s my fault and please oh please let me save him!” Harry had to know the Accio could never work on Hargid, as much as he had to know the Wingardium Leviosa pages earlier could never have held– knew all this as much as he knew he’d never forgive himself had he done nothing as his biggest friend plummeted into the blackness.

    (Side note, Disqus only gives you 30 characters, but my username is supposed to be “Anthony Goldstein and the Magic of Hanukah,” and I’m Ben from the Cunfundledoor episode in HPB, finally making good on my promise to comment.)

    • RoseLumos

      I totally agree. When you are despite, like Harry, you will do absolutely anything for those you love, even if they make no sense. It reminds be of the time in OotP when Harry yells for Sirius in the mirror and when he again yells at Dung in HBP for stealing Sirius’s stuff. We all know, including Harry, that nothing it going to happen but he has to try. In a much less extreme example, I work at a boarding school and yesterday morning I was the morning person who had to get up first and unlock all the doors and turn off all the alarms. But I found out that I forgotten my keys. I was basically trapped in the school lobby because my dorm room room was behind a locked door leading to the girl’s hallway and the office with all the spare keys was also locked. Even though I new exactly where my keys were in my room I still emptied my purse and ran around the lobby looking for keys that one of the student’s may have left behind. Even when you are helpless, you always try to do something because it feels better than sitting around doing nothing.

      And yay for the Anthony Goldstein/Hanukah love! I don’t know why, but it made me fell better to know that there was a Jewish student at Hogwarts! Now if I ever go I wouldn’t feel alone!

      • AGoldsteinAndTheMagicOfHanukah

        Someone’s forgetting Debbie Friedman’s Classic jam “Wherever you go there’s always someone Jewish”~~

        But you’re right, Harry does make desperate, pointless moves in his frustrations, as do we all.

        • RoseLumos

          I REMEMBER THAT SONG!!! I was forced to sing it in Hebrew school!

    • thequeerweasleycousin

      I also wonder whether Accio was really as useless in this situation as the hosts mentioned.

      “Hagrid!” Harry called, holding on to the bike for dear life, “Hagrid- accio Hagrid!” The motorbike sped up, sucked towards the earth.

      I always was under the impression that Hagrid was to big to be summoned, but instead pulled Harry towards him, like gravity. How else would Harry hit the ground so close to Hagrid, although he jumped off the bike quite some time before?

      • suprememugwump

        I’d like to respectfully disagree.

        I always got the impression that the motorbike speeding up was just description. It would actually speed up as it fell until it reached terminal velocity, and I think it’s a coincidence that Rowling happened to describe that in this particular place.

        As for Harry and Hagrid ending up so close together, I know Hagrid jumped on the Death Eater, but I don’t think he jumped that far. After that, he would have fallen straight down. The bike’s path down would probably have been influenced by its weight distribution. So, what I’m saying is that it would be very possible for Harry and Hagrid to end up close together through entirely non-magical means.

  • lifeanddragons

    I’m curious about what might have happened if any of the others polyjuiced as Harry used Expelliarmus before Harry himself…I get that the fact he used it on Stan was the bigger give away rather than the spell itself, but what are the odds that none of the others didn’t even think of the same spell? Would that have misled the death eaters and possibly Voldemort too?

    • Felix Scamander

      True :

    • Socks & Slugs

      Harry was the ‘best DADA’ for the other teens when they were in the DA, so I think odds are good that they would use Expelliarmus.

    • MartinMiggs

      Nobody else would use expelliarmus in a life threatening situation escept for Harry

      • DoraNympha

        Which is weird because that’s the spell that makes the most sense to use. You can magic-punch/blast/throw/push/kick/wall/net anyone and they might recover and attack you back but you take their wand away and they can’t do a thing.

    • WitchWolfsbane10

      If one of the decoys was a part of the DA (not including Ron and Hermione), I’m sure the odds of Expelliarmus being used would have been higher.

      But the guard is made up of Aurors and Order Members, most of whom are full-fledged wizards. This is a life or death situation, and disarming isn’t the go-to spell. Plus, Harry wouldn’t have used it if Stan Shunpike hadn’t been revealed. And since none of them had a personal connection with Stan Shunpike, no one’s going to hesitate to protect themselves from someone (Imperiused or not) trying to kill them.

  • Felix Scamander

    On the Phoenix Flames:
    I think ‘Incendio Aurum’ is a good name for the spell 🙂

    Since some spell are actually an edited version of another to give a slightly different/more specific effect (Bombarda and Bombarda Maxima; Lumos and Lumos Maxima; Flipendo and Flipendo Duo ect) This is an edited version of Incendio. ‘Aurum’ is Latin for ‘gold’. So Incendio Aurum means Golden Flames!

  • lifeanddragons

    To comment on the discussion about all of them being really young, or too green, I feel like everyone is treated as an adult at that point of time in charge of their own decisions. If you think back to the first time Voldemort was in power, the Marauders and Lily and many others were essentially teenagers too, so it comes down to a very basic lack of man power and/or a lot of faith in the skills of these kids. That said, I’m 100% percent sure Molly had plenty to say to all of her children. Regardless of age, Molly will never stop mommying her kids, although she’d have to accept her waning influence. I also wanted to bring up the discussion on how Harry sort of had the upper hand with the Dursleys because he had the Order behind him. The Order would have been instrumental in getting the Dursleys to agree to the plan, but the rest of it is Harry’s sass. How many of us as 16-17 year olds really feared our parents/teachers. I think there’s a point of time as we all grow up where we basically wake up and think, what’s the worst they could possibly do, and just get on with stuff. My point: They may be teenagers and they maybe a tad reckless, but they are bad ass and no one could stop them if they tried.

    • suprememugwump

      I also kind of wonder why most of the people who turned into Harry were the younger ones. Obviously, they wanted the more experienced Aurors as themselves to be convincing, but, for example, Tonks could totally have been a Harry if they’d had a few more Aurors. Also, if they had more Aurors, wouldn’t it be better for “Harry” to be able to defend himself really well? Why not a Kingsley-Harry paired with Moody or something?

      • Laurel Phoenix

        The fake Harrys are obviously the younger ones because of their inexperience. Granted, Fleur, Fred and George are a little older, but they still are inexperienced in defensive magic compared to even Tonks, who I think many of us underestimate despite the fact she did pass her Auror exams. The main problem here is the lack of Aurors in the Order. Yes, they have Kingsley, Moody, and Tonks, but honestly, how many more members of the Auror office are in the Order? My guess: none. Even though this is the Aurors’ job, finding and stopping Dark magic, I think the majority of them are not involved in the Order. That coupled with the infiltration of the Ministry makes adding Auror protection to the plan too risky, with the possibility that the news could get back to Voldemort a huge issue. As to why Harry wasn’t paired with someone more able to defend him, that was meant to be a diversion tactic. Moody rightly guessed that the Death Eaters and Voldemort would go after the Harrys being escorted by those who were considered a threat. Voldemort went after the Moody-Mundungus pair first, and I’m guessing Kingsley was another more heavily pursued than the others. Pairing Harry with Hagrid in the bike not only throws them off in terms of knowing Harry’s comfortable on a broomstick, but it also shows how much Hagrid is not seen as a threat magically. Logically, the fake Harrys on broomsticks and paired with a well known Auror are actually in more danger, and since Harry is the one this plan is protecting, not putting him with a wizard better at defensive magic is actually safer.

        • DoraNympha

          It is safer for him not to be with an Auror, yes, but they could have paired him with someone who can at least do magic reliably, in case something happened (and it did). Hagrid couldn’t even do a simple Reparo, so I feel like Harry would have been safer with Arthur, whom people underestimate because he dealt with nosebiting teacup accidents for a long time at the Ministry but who can actually fight quite well if his survival of the battles he participated in is any indication. They may have been chased by one or two more DEs but Arthur wouldn’t have done something like blast the sidecar off by botching a first year spell. I love Hagrid but he can be so frustrating and this is unfortunately one of those times.

          • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

            maybe there were more reasons behind pairing Harry with Hagrid in this escape. We figured that the most skilled protectors would be most in danger of being killed, and the person who the real Harry is with. Arthur surely is capable and would protect Harry at any costs, but he has a house full of children and so it’s preferable to put him in a less dangerous position.

          • Laurel Phoenix

            Yes, he would probably have been safer magic wise, but the issue with Harry going with Arthur is the fact that Arthur was riding a broom. Harry couldn’t go with him because of that; the Death Eaters know Harry is good on a broom and would target the broom riders after going for the Aurors. True, perhaps Arthur could have driven the motorcycle, but my guess is that there weren’t a lot of volunteers for this plan so they needed to use Hagrid. The only mode of transportation open to Hagrid is the bike, and as it is the least likely option for Harry in the Death Eaters eyes, it would be the most likely to be overlooked as a possibility for the real Harry to be there. Hence the pairing they had in the end, of course not overlooking the the poetry of Hagrid escorting Harry away from the Dursleys in the same way he brought him there nearly 16 years before.

        • suprememugwump

          I agree with you, though I also agree with DoraNympha that Arthur might have been a good choice. They could have switched him and the real Harry to a Thestral and put Bill and Fleur (more experienced adults) or Tonks and Ron (Tonks, at least, is pretty badass) on brooms instead.
          My question was more about a hypothetical situation in which the Order had more Aurors whom they could trust. Kingsley and Moody would have been an amazing pairing, but perhaps the Death Eaters (especially the ones who’d fought Harry before) would realize that “Harry” was fighting a little too well to be real.

          • Laurel Phoenix

            I see your point. I do also have to agree with you about the issue being that “Harry” would be fighting much better than a teenager should, which could easily narrow down who was the real Harry. In regards to pairing Harry with Arthur on a thestral and having someone else on the broom, Rowling covered that. Tonks and Ron are already on a broom and Fleur and Hermione, who rode the thestrals, did so because they are extremely uncomfortable traveling by broom. With everyone already risking their lives for this plan, the least that could be done would be to make sure everyone is comfortable with their mode of transportation, especially with the possibility of having to defend themselves at the same time as they are fleeing to safety. Rowling, in my opinion, made sure to cover most of the issues we could raise with this plan if we pay attention to the details. OGM!

  • lifeanddragons

    Does anyone remembers the vlogbrothers video right before Deathly Hallows came out? Cuz, If you saw that song before reading the book like I did you would have been freaking out at this chapter, I don’t think anyone else predicted Hedwig’s death at the time and OMG was Hank Green spot on about so much more!

  • Eileen_Prince/Jones

    Are there any fan fics out there about the muggles reactions to what happened in the sky that night? Where exactly did Moody’s body fall? Did muggles find George’s severed ear? What was the explanation given for all the “fireworks” they saw? And also any of the death eaters that fell as well?

    • RoseLumos

      I think they MIGHT have broken the International Statute of Secrecy. Just a bit.

      • Eileen_Prince/Jones

        Yes they did didn’t they…
        I also had this horrible thought…did any muggles die because the death eaters got moodys body?!? Like if the order got to it first they would have just wiped their memories…but since the death eaters got his body there might have been some innocent muggles that were tortured and killed :,-[

  • MartinMiggs

    Dumbledore may have left Harry on the Dursley’s doorstep but can I just say MAGIC. In a normal situation yes leaving a baby on a doorstep alone can be dangerous but Dumbledore could cast some spells and enchantments to ensure that Harry was perfectly safe. Should he have just kept Harry until the morning and delivered him to Petunia personally? Yeah that would’ve made more sense but on the other hand maybe Petunia would’ve slammed the door in his face.

    • suprememugwump

      I think it would also just have been more polite for Dumbledore to hand over Harry personally. It would seem like he was giving the Dursleys a choice. He wouldn’t ever let them not take Harry, of course, but just leaving Harry there means that they almost had to accept him.

    • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

      If he can keep a baby warm with magic, he can keep Petunia from slamming the door in his face.
      Let Minerva take care of this. if she would have brought the Dursleys the news and their nephew, they would have all agreed on that it is for the best to keep him and while she’s in their house she’d have given Dudley one stern look while he throws a tantrum and he’d not do that again.

    • RoseLumos

      Using the math from the books, Harry was fifteen months old at this point. They are all lucky that he didn’t use his little toddler legs and run away (especially into traffic….)!

  • Phoenix

    One small comment on Kat’s favourite description of Kingsley as “bald, black and broad-shouldered”: I love it, too, not only because of the alliteration. But it always slightly bothers me if a character is described as “black”, while no character is ever described as “white”. It underlines and reinforces the fact that white readers (I am no exception!) tend to picture every character as white unless stated otherwise. Of course, this is not a problem specific to JK Rowling. We all really need to work on that.

    • RoseLumos

      I thought the same thing. I think Dean Thomas is described in a similar way.

      On another thought, maybe I watched Star Wars too much but I always imagined Kingsley as Samuel L. Jackson from the new trilogy, especially in his jedi robes. I wish Jackson was British because I still think he would have been the perfect person to portray him in the films!

    • thequeerweasleycousin

      So true, it’s sad that we need to be reminded not to picture every person we meet on page as white. When I read the books the first time as a kid, I didn’t even pick up on the explicit mentioning of some character’s skin colours, and I was really suprised when the mivies came out and had a Black Lee Jordan, for example. So although I wish it wasn’t necesarry, I’m afraid we will need explicit reminders a little longer. At least she included Black characters at all…

      • Phoenix

        You’re right, but it is a bit of a catch 22. We do need those reminders, but on the other hand, it is exactly these reminders that make us feel that we were right in assuming that everyone else was white. I don’t see an easy way out of this…

        • thequeerweasleycousin

          It’s not only that- we also tend to picture every character as male, heterosexual, cisgender, christian/atheist, ablebodied etc if not stated otherwise. I read a blog of someone saying she decided unless it’s clearly stated otherwise, she is going to assume everyone is Black and queer. That’s really the only way out of it I can think of- willingly forcing yourself to portrait everyone as not-white, not-straight, not-all-these-things in your headcanon. However realistic that may or may not be, I like the idea 🙂

          • Phoenix

            It’s a good excercise in any case!

    • Kat

      That’s a really great point, and to further cement that what you’re saying is incredibly important – I didn’t even think of it that way or consider that reading of it. It’s very odd and worrisome at times, what is engrained in our upbringing and culture.

      • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

        you said you like the aliteration and it does sound great, but as soon as you translate it into another language, the aliteration is gone and Kingsley’s description becomes less badass. In German if you don’t know that Kingsley has dark skin you’d ask “what happened to his hair?” because being bald and white is not viewed the same.

  • suprememugwump

    I guess it pays to have friends in high places. Thanks for the shout-out, Michael!

    About Pius Thicknesse and Privet Drive: I think Thicknesse’s regulations concerning Privet Drive were actually really clever! The Floo Network, a Portkey and Apparition are all ways to get Harry from one safe place to another almost instantaneously. It doesn’t matter that Voldemort knows what protections are on the Dursley house. He still can’t get inside it. So, his only chance is to get Harry beyond the protections of the charm, and he manages to do that. However, as bad as the plan may have been, Voldemort’s sleuthing wasn’t the best either. Yaxley was taken in by the Order’s false trail and, after Snape killed Dumbledore, it isn’t certain that he’d be able to get the right information either. That said, is there something Voldemort could have done better to make it even harder for the Order to get to Harry?

    As for why Mundungus was there, the fact is that the plan was (as far as the Order knows, at least) his. It would be pretty mean to say, “Okay, Dung, we’re going to use your plan but you’re not going to participate.” Of course, Dung would have been happy to sit in safety, but I think Moody is also using the plan as a test of Dung’s loyalty.

    • Laurel Phoenix

      I totally agree on how Pius Thicknesse handled the regulations on Privet Drive. He cuts off any instantaneous travel, forcing Harry to step outside the protection and break it before heading to safety. Any other option open to Harry forces him to step into the open, where Voldemort can easily get to him. I however don’t agree that Voldemort’s sleuthing is sub par. The fact he had two contrasting views in the meeting in Chapter One shows how far he casts his net to receive intelligence. Yaxley is taken in by the false trail, but it is clear to me that Voldemort is not. If he had, he wouldn’t have had so many Death Eaters waiting the night the Order’s plan was enacted. While Dumbledore’s death has severed Snape’s ties to the Order, it is obvious that there are other channels set up that only Snape and Voldemort know about to get reliable information, information that Voldemort does trust. Also, (Spoiler Alert!) if I’m not mistaken, Snape gets the idea for the seven Harrys to feed to Mundungus from Dumbledore’s portrait. Since Dumbledore knew he was dying for a year, I’m sure he imparted a wealth of information to his portrait so his plans can be enacted after he dies, meaning Snape’s channels for information are probably the most reliable.

      • suprememugwump

        Everything worked out for Voldemort, which, I think, makes his sleuthing look better than it is. Obviously, Voldemort trusts Snape more than he does Yaxley, so he’s not taken in by the false trail. However, I’d forgotten that Dumbledore’s portrait is Snape’s major source of information. This is making me wonder what Snape told Voldemort about his “source.” Did he say he’d managed to turn an Order member into a double agent? Did he tell the truth (kind of) about Confunding Mundungus and say that he used the Charm to extract information?

  • DisKid

    I agree that during the seven Potters scene that, while some of them may have kept silent to be more respectful to Harry, SOME people in there *cough cough* Fred and George *cough* do not have that kind of sensitivity. I honestly was surprised that JK Rowling didn’t put something in this moment that was borderline enough for her to get away with. For example: It is known that Fred and George are taller than Harry, so why not have one of them say “Whoa! I’ve shrunk!” then have Harry’s face turn beat red. A more innocent reader can take that to mean Harry wishes he was taller, but somebody who’s not….yeah use your imagination.

    During your moment of silence one of my Sims was playing a sad song on the violin. So fitting.

  • ILoveLunaLoveGood

    So I am tempted to make a defense of Mundungus 🙂 Yes, he’s a coward and scarpers when VOLDEMORT, most powerful wizard at the moment, chases *him*. That would be even be understandable for any man but when you read Moody-Dung interactions before the flight he was *clearly* reluctant to participate in this part of the plan and Moody more or less forces him into it. So while its not particularly surprising that he runs off, the Order did coerce him into it somewhat. As to why the Order continues to use/trust him; in OotP he is active enough in the meetings (ie he attends, is present) and helps with the cleaning… He was clearly present in preparing the plan and suggesting the 7 potters angle shows he was “participating” in the discussions etc. He is clearly not the best/reliable Order member but again this shows JKR’s ability to create characters on the “good” side who are not all good or bad. In every group or organisation or workplace there is always someone like Dung who puts in minimal effort and tries to see how much he can get away with. He is probably very useful in the intelligence gathering side, as for why he was involved in the action side like now, do we know how many order members were available…? How big is the order? How active is it outside of Harry-related activities?
    I can see why he was involved but in the moment he was clearly hesitant and having cold feet, but at this point it was way too late to back out?

    Also Hedwig’s death floored me, Dobby’s as usual is the biggest emotional punch but Hedwig’s is just so unnecessary/unexpected and from a writing POV perfect for setting the scene…
    While the movie does engage in a bit of fan service with Hedwig’s sacrifice, its noble and mushy and is great onscreen but I dont think it would have worked as well in the book. Besides as someone pointed out already alot of these types of deaths are quick or offscreen or deliberately cold and heartless to show the mercilessness of the situation, moody, tonks/lupin, the creevy brothers, Fred, even Cedric. Its not supposed to be noble “oh, Hedwig died but at least he died saving Harry or taking a death eater with him” its supposed to be depressing and jarring and painful symbolising the ruthlessness of the death eaters killing left, right. center, indiscriminately. Hedwig’s death, in the book, is supposed to be unnecessary, needless, unlike the film…Both are great in their own way and work well in their own medium

  • AGoldsteinAndTheMagicOfHanukah

    For many of us transgender fans of the Potter series, Polyjuice Potion experiences like Hermione’s and Fleur’s in “The Seven Potters” and Crabbe and Goyle’s in HBP are what we covet most in the wizarding world. The fact that both MTF and FTM transformations (if not identities, sadly) happened on the page has been really validating to us transfolk. Makes me wonder how transgender wizards, witches, and non-binary magic folk go about transitioning. Polyjuice potion seems cumbersome and even the best transfiguration spells wear off. Both do seem convenient enough for experimenting with gender…maybe best for genderfluid people who often feel like a different gender day to day. Anyone have some ideas for more permanent magical transitioning?

    Anyone think any of our 4 sex swapped characters were actually a little excited to feel out how the other side lives? Think any of them tried again?

    • DoraNympha

      What about Metamorphmagia? How do you think that affects someone’s identity, if at all?

      And wasn’t there a warning for if you don’t make Polyjuice correctly the change might be permanent? What if that’s the desired effect? Maybe all it takes is a bit of tinkering with the brewing process! 🙂 Other than these we’ve seen a lot of possibility for superficial changes like hair growth and stuff with charms but idk if those charms wear off? There’s a brief mention of nosehair curling in GoF, and if that’s possible… 😀

      • AGoldsteinAndTheMagicOfHanukah

        Oh of course! Metamorphmagi! But those are really rare and I don’t believe it’s something that one can just learn… Although, it is influenced by one’s emotional state, so I figure that includes gender state influencing which transformations will come most easily.

        I’m not sure where that warning is, although even if you do “mess up” in just the right way, my greatest concern about using Polyjuice to transition would be that you’re becoming someone else, rather than just changing your own body to how you really want to look. Although a fanfic of an FTM wizard and an MTF witch who chose to swap bodies with each other would be neat…

        I think periodic upkeep of transfigurations/charms would best mirror the muggle experience of hormone replacement therapy (HRT), where regular doses are required to maintain appearance. I mean, if Krum could turn his head into a Shark, a magical transman should be able to charm on a beard!

        The real question is how the Gryffindor stairs would react!

        • DoraNympha

          Oh right, Polyjuice, you’d have to have a “donor” body. 😀 Pick someone wisely!

          I agree, Metamorphmagia is pretty much established to be something you have to be born with but if you can learn to fly… I think some talented people would be able to learn some of it but it’d be a long, arduous and difficult process. Maybe it’d even be easier to just transition the Muggle way? But what about if someone is actually a Metamorphmagus? Isn’t someone’s gender identiy more likely to be affected by it, that you’re not that concerned about gender or gender expression when you’re basically a shapeshifter so you don’t really have a physical identity really. Like small stuff too, like, you can’t be like “I’m a brunette” because that’s relative. So maybe a Metamorphmagus does usually have a gender identity in their head but it’s more prone to flexibility due to the physical limitlessness they grew up with, if that makes sense? They’d grow up with the mindset that physical things don’t matter at all, that they’re not restricted, what matters is inside, so they’d be more prone to genderblindness, right? Correct me if I’m wrong, I just think it’d be cool if someone wrote like a study on the possible effects of Metamorphmagia on someone’s gender, identity, expression and psychology but I’m not the best person for the job!

          I agree, though, think about it, you can learn to become an ANIMAL at will in just a few months. I bet it’d be infinitely easier to stay within the realms of your own species but just swap sexes. Maybe St Mungo’s talks you through it so it’s safe and everything?

          And I do think the stairs would sense someone’s gender! I’m a Ravenclaw and I doubt we have this sort of medieval sliding staircase situation in our house! I think it’s something specifically Gryffindor because he built that tower with the mindset of chivalry and stuff, didn’t he? Like, Hermione and Ginny were NOT princesses in a castle to be protected by a staircase, they can look after themselves, but Godric Gryffindor lived the Knight Life so of course he’d do this… 😀 I mean it’s up for debate, maybe it’s not just Gryffindor tower but I still doubt we have it in Ravenclaw.

          • Phoenix

            I always assumed that every house has a similar mechanism because it was something the founders agreed upon, maybe even to reassure parents – sending children to a co-ed school wasn’t common in the muggle world until a few decades ago, so I think it is quite remakable that the magical world started this as early as the middle ages.
            The fact that the magical world was this progressive this early makes it even more surprising that everything has stayed pretty much unchanged ever since. I wonder if that spell can be lifted. If so, I think the students should petition to have it removed, since it seems to create more problems than it solves, and there are far better ways to ensure the girls’ safety.

          • MartinMiggs

            Hermione said the founders didn’t trust boys so I assume the slightly sexist stairs are in every common room

          • AGoldsteinAndTheMagicOfHanukah

            Thinking more about it, Polyjuice is probably just erotica fodder.

            That would be a nifty study “The Effects of Metamorphmagic on Gender Identify and Expression,” probably written by Yonica Phallon or some surface pun-name like that. It seems like most shapeshifters in pop culture do tend to have one primary gender presentation, Tonks does at least. I think the trans narrative would go: Parents assign metaphorph kid a gender at birth, the powers begin to display themselves in fulfilling the kid’s identity, as they harness the ability, they’re able to craft a dominant presentation, but still play around with it, cuz it’s just so fun!

            St. Mungo’s Gender Dysphoria Ward is now my dream magic job. I doubt magic folk would opt for the muggle way of doing things here when they haven’t elsewhere (save for plumbing, and this is a different sort of plumbing). But I bet they would have cases of botched transformations of people who didn’t want to out themselves by going to a healer or didn’t think they could pay for transitioning.

            Ravenclaws for lyfe!! No goofy booby traps here; just tricky riddles.

          • DoraNympha

            Can I just say your puns are a joy to read. 😀 And I do think this wouldn’t be an issue to deal with at Mungo’s, if we accept that homophobia is a non-issue in the magical world, because it’s probably not at all odd compared to someone being stuck half-way transformed into a flamingo or something. You can be half a shark, a cat, have a person on the back of your head or learn Animagia at 14. Imagine how easy it’d be to transition magically compared to these! 🙂

            And umm yeah umm I don’t think all the umm shall we say possibilities would be appropriate for Alohomora to discuss and I’m not entirely censoring myself because I’ve been up since 2 am to take up university courses as soon as they open, but basically just two words: Polyjuice Brothels.

          • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

            good luck with your courses!

            polyjuice is a wicked thing, and I believe the combination with love potions / date rape drugs is dangerous, both socially and physically, and I’d like to have a convenient answer for this problem like: if you drink both love potion and polyjuice potion at the same time, the ingredients will interfere with each other and none of the potions will work.

          • DoraNympha

            Thank you, I got my classes perfectly. 😀

            And okay so, on Academia they compared Imperio to Polyjuice, but I’d rather compare it to Imperio. Maybe this is just me but I’m so so so not okay with the concept of love potions in general, like, they’re really no different than Imperio, they’re just romanticized. The only reason they are even legal, I think, is because people would use them anyway so it’s pointless to ban them. It’s probably better if you can buy sanctioned amounts and stuff, safely and all, in shops. (Plus it’s weird that in WWW it’s like a girly section, seemingly, and we get Romilda and Merope using it even though in real life it’s usually men who roofy people, so… maybe the pink and purple bottles are a deterrent for guys to buy it? But girls giving someone love potions are just as dangerous, as we’ve SEEN.) The only way it’d be okay is if you get consent first, which deafeats the entire purpose of love potions. 😀 No one is ever going to go “will you drink love potion for me?” that’d be equal to “May I Imperio you, please?” Pretty sure the only time in history that’s ever happened is when Fred and George were testing their potions and that was with contracts and stuff, but actual buyers of love potions won’t do that!

            I’m not sure about mixed effects of Polyjuice and Love Potions, though, maybe it’s fine, maybe it isn’t – though umm well, I guess you’re responding to the brothel thing? 😀 I meant that, potentially, you could steal hairs from your crush and a wizard brothel worker would drink Polyjuice Potion so… yeah, like that’d be just as much of a violation of privacy as if love potions or Imperio were involved but the person the hair is from isn’t physically violated. BUT let’s not even go there omg this is like Knockturn Alley after dark stuff. 😀 Privacy, I feel, is one of THE most vulnerable things in the wizarding world anyway. You can protect yourself from attacks and pain and death and lots of other bad things but there’s no guarantee you can take a bloody shower at your SCHOOL without Peeves floating in the bathroom to mess with you. I’m glad Jo wrote Harry that line where he thinks they others could have respected his privacy a bit more!

          • thequeerweasleycousin

            Ok, how DID the twins test their love potion? I assume one of them drank it while the other one made sure nothing bad happened? But don’t you normally give it to a person who then falls in love with you? So how did that work if they drank it themselves? Did they just fall in love with themselves? Weird stuff, they should have left it out of their product line! And it should really be forbidden.

            I think I read somewhere that we only see girls giving love potions to boys because the other way round it wouldn’t be funny but just instantly make everyone feel uncomfortable because of rape implications.

            And I have to totally agree with you that privacy is so vulnerably in the wizarding world, great observation! Is this maybe a comment on privacy politics in our world? With Legilimency and Veritaserum and Imperius and Love potions and Polyjuice Potions around and journalists disguised as beetles… First thing I would do is try to learn Occlumency… keep all the creeps out of my head. Uagh!

          • Phoenix

            Good point about the love potions being only used by girls and women in the books. I had never noticed that before. I HAD noticed, though, that love potions have a terrible potential and should in fact be considered on one level with the Imperius curse. It still disturbs me that they are not.

            As for Fred and George testing them, they probably made themselves fall in love with random people or their shop assistant Verity or Lee Jordan. And yes, the other twin watched closely and used Petrificus Totalus if necessary.

          • DoraNympha

            Yeah I’ve always wondered if Lee stayed to help with the business after Hogwarts of if he went on immediately to do his own thing (which was what? Had he already done some radio thing before Potterwatch?) or if Verity just tended the till or also served as tester for the shop. Deep dark secrets of Weasleys’ Wizarding Wheezes: enslaved house-elves in the brewery and testing room? Hopefully not.

          • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

            I agree with you that men using “love potions” on women produces other implications than women using them on men. On the other hand, we see only two occasions in the books (thankfully!). in both cases the use is just one part of a bigger plot line, so we look at them in their context and I believe that emphasizes even more how much not okay it is to drug people, because it’s not okay to drug people, regardless of their gender or relationship status.

          • DoraNympha

            Well, they’d have to have taken the love potions themselves but there’s only so many times you can poison yourself with a half-made potion and they also made ‘kissing concoctions’ according to he set so if that were true (and I can totally imagine, there was a whole line of products described in the book so the set designers had to get creative) so if they used testers for these type of things, they’d have had to find older people to do that than first years! But who would be as insane and gullible to actually agree? Probably a lot of fanfics about this out there. First years will agree to puke and faint and bleed for a couple of galleons but if they tried to get people to test their Wonder Witch products, they’d get slapped in the face! 😀 The bottles also say that the effectiveness of the potions depends on the weight of the taker and the attractiveness of the person in question so maybe they ranged this from the hottest people at school to Filch or Umbridge? Imagine them drawing lots or flipping a sad SAD coin to decide who drinks love potion that day to see how strong it works on Umbridge (and see it not work at all?). This is kinda mean but imagine being so so SO disliked by your crush that a love potion doesn’t even work. 😀 Of course, this wouldn’t happen, Merope had no problem whatsoever, and I’d argue that was rape indeed. But there are probably love potions other than Amortentia that are more fallible. If you can fight off Imperio and Veritaserum, maybe you can fight off some types of love potions, too.

            Point is, IRRESPONSIBLE but I’d still like to know how they tested those things lol. I mean if ANYONE, let alone Fred and George, asked you if you’d be up for drinking love potion for them you’d take Moody’s advice and only drink from your own flask from then on!

          • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

            Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes has a range of products that were neither invented nor tested by Fred and George personally. They import the Peruvian Instant Darkness Powder, surely they import other stuff, too. I’m not sure if we can assume from the text that some of the wonder witch products are manufactured by some other producer, I believe that they’d call the entire product range theirs, even if they did not invent every single item theirselves.

          • DoraNympha

            The didn’t invent love potions, in that sense, of course, but they must be selling their own recipes, otherwise the bottles would say “Amortentia” like in a normal potions shop and not some branded product, so I think it’s safe to say most of these are their original products. The darkness powder is imported yes but if they just used it as an ingredient in a product like, say, a chocolate bar that turns you into a mass of dark smoke for five minutes, then that would be their own product with an original recipe. Like, they didn’t invent invisibility cloaks, but their dark arts line has all sorts of garments that they charmed with invisibility spells so the endproduct is a WWW product – therefore, the Wonder Witch line is a line within the realm of what WWW sells and so if they really have worked from an original recipe, they’d have to test them and possibly get the Ministry to approve of them, much like they bred Pygmy Puffs and we know you can’t just breed new species of magical animals so even though it’s never said in the books we can still assume they had to get some sort of permit for that first. So like, they wouldn’t have had to test the darkness powder but they’d have to test everything they concoct themselves. Imported stuff also has to be permitted, though, like they can import the powder but they wouldn’t be able to import flying carpets, since those are banned in Britain. I mean, who am I to know for sure, but I think they very likely had to test the WW line. But idk maybe I’m completely wrong.

          • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

            you’ve really thought this through, great!
            I still believe that there is no way that they can invent, test and improve all the products they sell themselves, and having them approved must take some time, too. My guess is that they have international contacts and get some of their stuff ready to sell and then just have their employees re-package or relabel it. They are magical engineers, but also businessmen and when WWW leveled up from school boys’ enterprise to expanding store-business, they had to re-prioritise their tasks.

          • DoraNympha

            Sorry, I’m a bit obsessed with the shop yes. 😀 And that’s an excellent observation, they must have a lot of suppliers of stuff, both ready-made and just ingredient-material. I doubt too much time is taken up by packaging when you can just use magic, though, but I wonder if they design their own packages. Do they hire an artist or they’re just that infuriatingly good at everything? But what’s even more of a mystery: they got permit to breed Pygmy Puffs and completed the process in just four months tops? How?? 😀

          • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

            Of course they hire an artist, that’s how they got to know Verity. Her older sister Charlotte is a muggle designer. Fred and George met her on one of their trips to the village, when they wanted to impress the muggle girls with their tricks. Charlotte recognized that they were using magic and told Verity about it. That’s entirely my headcanon, so no sources or quotes to prove it.

            Pygmy Puffs have the same gestation time as mice or hamsters or other tiny furry pets. Starting off with one couple you get tens of thousands in a year if all their offspring reproduce, and the twins stated that they can’t breed them fast enough.

          • DoraNympha

            Hahaha the paper shop girl! A graphic designer in a dayjob? The unsung hero of Diagon Alley? XD What did they tell her? That it was for a movie? Still not convinced the art department for the movies is not just a bunch of wizards and they’ve just been feeding us the lie that the films are a Muggle production. Even less convinced that this very chapter in the adaptation is not just magic and they really drank Polyjuice Potion and just faked some Muggle technology on the DVD extras. I mean, it’s “almost” like real magic!

          • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

            Charlotte knows that she’s working for two very charming wizard twins, she’s in on the secret of the magical world because she still lived at home when Verity got her letter and visit from Professor Flitwick. Imagine how awesome that would be, getting in touch with the magical community through your family and making a day job out of it! (I’m not aware of witches or wizards in my family, so I’m aiming for second best and working in a library to introduce people to fantastic worlds and new knowledge, but IMAGINE! Well, I’m sure you’re doing that already)

          • DoraNympha

            Yeah my art and craftwork being 90% HP-related…. if that graphic designer exists either in the Muggle or the Magical world, I want their job where can I apply? 😀 I could still paint living paintings in my sparetime – DREAM WIZARDING JOB
            Until then, I join you in doing the second best thing and making fanart!

          • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

            you are so right, privacy is not really a thing in the magical world. Maybe that has something to do with the population being so small, if basically everyone’s related to everyone else, then it’s like one big family and everyone’s allowed to know what everyone’s doing! (not what I would promote)

          • DoraNympha

            A horrifying thought! I’d jump on the Hogwarts Express in a heartbeat, don’t get me wrong, but the lack of privacy would be even bigger an issue than trying to be a vegetarian in world where animals are used for virtually everything. I don’t want Myrtle popping into my cubicle when I’m peeing, thanks. Or when Prefects are bathing. Or Peeves to be floating over my bed at the crack of dawn to wake me with blowing in my ear??? THAT WAS WEIRD. SO WEIRD. I’ve pranked my boyfriend with that several times, a gem of stupidity if there ever was one in Harry Potter. XD

          • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

            You’re right, not getting privacy when you want it is really bad.

            To speak for myself, I feel that I would not mind a ghost entering my cubicle as much as I’d mind a living person opening the door by accident. Peeves and to an extent Myrtle have dismissed human manners and dealing with them in situations of privacy feels similar for me like scolding annoying siblings when they try to get you angry. And the other ghost don’t appear in the bathrooms, as far as I remember they stay out of the students’ common rooms and dormitories, too.

        • Phoenix

          I like the idea of the stairs acting according to the student’s identity rather than specific body parts. That would mean that a trans boy could not get into the girls’ dormitory while a trans girl could, which might be frustrating or confusing for an 11-year-old but also helpful in some cases as it would help them make their case to get a bed in the dormitory in which they feel they belong.
          Then again, the staircase was built in the middle ages, and it is unlikely that the founders would have been particularly sensitive to transgender issues. Any helpful features the staircase offers are probably coincidental.

          In any case, I think magic isn’t going to solve the social development that is transgender rights. Magic might help individuals with minor changes in their appearance, facial hair and the like, but even if witches and wizards could change their appearance permanently and convincingly, the real issue is still acceptance of gender diversity. I’m afraid the wizarding world has to do the same work the muggle world has to do. But I am optimistic that it eventually will! 🙂

          • AGoldsteinAndTheMagicOfHanukah

            Now I’m worrying that the stairs would accidentally out a trans tween who wasn’t ready to tell all their new friends in their own way!

            And you’re right, magic transformation is now panacea for helping transgender magic folk. And while the gender roles in Harry Potter don’t seem as pervasive and suffocating as Western society’s we don’t really see too many people tackle the fence (save for that one guy in a dress at the World Cup)

          • thequeerweasleycousin

            in my imagination Dumbledore or McGonagall had a nice long talk with the stairs the moment they noticed there was any problem with them not letting someone in the dorms they belonged/choose or outing someone accidenally. much like Flitwick taught the doors (?) to recongnize Sirius in book 3. they both would be absolute supportive to any trans* or queer student, and most rules in Hogwarts are quite flexible if necessary 😉 if something like that happened, it probably happened only once (bad enough, for sure).

            i also believe there are some safe magical ways of transitioning that are probaby easier than the muggle ways. Isn’t there one scene in this book where Hermione changes facial features of Ron, like growing him a beard and stuff? I’m sure things like that work

            i completely agree with you that we don’t get to see many characters challenging gender roles, so i’m always exicted about discussing what it would be like to be a gay/queer/trans* witch or wizard!

          • AGoldsteinAndTheMagicOfHanukah

            Good call about the doors in POA! My roomie (also trans) would like to point out that Hogwarts, as a sort of living magical being, does like to embarrass students, and those stairs would probably have to take some real trans sensativity training to not out the kiddos. I have a good feeling that The Sorting Hat also would be able to sense someone’s gender (I mean if we believe that I could sense the part of Voldy in Harry, I’m sure it can tell if an AFAB is really a boy) and that would be a nice pre-slightly-sexist-staircase sieve.

            As Movie 1 Ron would say “That’s /wizard/ gender!”

            What are your other thoughts on queer wizardry, QueerWeasleyCousin?

          • DoraNympha

            Does anyone else have their headcanons about which characters other than Dumbledore are LGBTQIA?

          • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

            oh yes, I have, and if you visit some tumblr blogs you’ll find SO MANY ideas on that, it’s amazing!

            Remus and Sirius are shipped by many, so Remus could be bisexual and Sirius gay, and that’s just one option, genderfluid Teddy is popular in fan art, I believe Voldemort can be assumed as asexual, Wilhelmina Grubbly-Plank does not care for female gender representation, lesbian fan fiction located at Beauxbaton surely does relate to the movie canon, and after Charlie Weasley realized he’s intersexual he chose to identify with dragons because they’re not prejudiced in who they roast.

          • Phoenix

            Love that list! 🙂
            Remus and Sirius had occurred to me, too, of course (independently of fanfic/fan art, I never consumed much of that). Also, since the last two episodes, I like the Elphias Doge idea very much. Genderfluid Teddy had never occurred to me, but it is an intriguing thought!

            It’s always the slightly (or very) non-conforming characters that we imagine as gay/lesbian/genderqueer, though, thereby implicitly reinforcing stereotypes. I would be even more impressed if a character was declared gay/lesbian who never gave us a “reason” to assume they might be. Like Rita Skeeter. Gabrielle Delacour. Lee Jordan. Rufus Scrimgeour. You get the idea.

          • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

            there are lists of characters and their headcanon gender identities and I remember one where Ron was the only straight person. I can dig through my tumblr favorites and try to find it, the night is still young…

            Poppy Pomfrey, Leanne, the Hufflepuff friar ghost, Dudley Dursley, Bilius Weasley who liked his firewhiskey and interpretative dancing, even Molly brewed a love potion once so I believe she does have a dating history beyond being eternally in love with Arthur, they may even have experimented together. Rufus does enjoy his heliopath army more in private while he writes erotic fiction than as an armed force.
            The healer who is in charge at St. Mungo’s, Hippocrates Smethwyck.
            Dawlish. Zacharias Smith.

          • Phoenix

            I like that list you posted for its range of variation, but not all of the ascriptions make sense to me. The Harry one is… interesting… I guess we could talk about that one for ages.
            I like Luna as ace panromantic, though. That certainly fits.

          • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

            as it is not my list, I’m not going to try to explain, and I agree talking about Harry alone will be a looong discussion. For short: demisexual makes sense to me, he’s really not interested in sexual relationships until he has formed a bond with a person. Aromantic seems not as fitting to me, I think Harry is as romantic as many teens who are kind of busy saving the world.

          • DoraNympha

            RIGHT, I’ve been saying that for ages, Grubbly-Plank. 😀 But Sirius had girls on his bedroom wall, and we know how much he wanted to annoy his family with them and the Gryffindor posters so if he really were gay, he’d have put guy pics on there too. :/ I’m going to be biased (yes that’s a bi pun yes I’m allowed okay :D) but I can totally imagine Remus, Tonks, duh, and also Luna being bisexual? Evanna Lynch even said something on account of feminism that she thinks Luna probably doesn’t care about gender in these terms of that she’d be surprised to learn that there are people who treat a gender differently for no reason so that kind of just encouraged me further in my headcanons… and I mean Tonks, and maybe Teddy, I’ve said this many times before that I think I’d care even less about gender if I were a Metamorphmagus, others’ or mine. We should mention Lockhart but I feel like he was just in love with himself more than anyone else. If he were a queer character, that’d come across as stereotypical indeed. :/ I like an ace Charlie, to be honest, but yes why settle for being a human when dragons exist? Or Wood??? More interested in quidditch than anything, even though he’s frequently described as kind of a fit guy. It’s hard to imagine he never married unless he didn’t want to, and he didn’t marry so he probably didn’t want to.
            The rest of the characters we know so little about, which makes sense, so I won’t assume anything, just like I won’t assume a character’s house unless confirmed by Jo. But. for example Olivander doesn’t seem to have a family but wandlore has been passed down in his family from before Britain was even invaded by Romans and named as such. 😀 Are we just assuming he had a family that worried about him while he was kidnapped or… ? Not even relevant to the queer characters meta, just wondering. And I agree with Phoenix too, most queer characters wouldn’t give us reasons so we can have any headcanons we want.

          • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

            concerning Sirius: I’d say he can be gay and still enjoy to look at females, because why not?
            Wood is the guy that can have his pick from any gender, because he’s a dreamboat. He’s way too much into flying to care.
            About Luna, I believe she’s someone who just goes exploring and does not ask for specifics, she will state it if she’s attracted to someone, but her main interest is in being with friends who encourage her curiosity.

          • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

            The “Charlie Weasley is asexual” fan canon has even inspired artists to produce an Ace Flag Dragon pendant with the words “But Guys, Dragons!” and that’s really, really awesome! The artwork is done by Rin Venieris, if you’d like to look it up.

          • thequeerweasleycousin

            I have some headcanon on characters we never see. First, Lee Jordan’s little sister who has a crush on Ginny. And then I’m 100% convinced that there is at least one cousin of the Weasley kids who’s queer 😉

          • Phoenix

            Clearly. 🙂

          • thequeerweasleycousin

            I don’t have a lot of very elaborate thoughts on it, since I was never in touch with the fandom much when I read the books as a teen and head canons and fanfic were things that didn’t occure to me.. Also, related to DoraNympha’s question, I’m afraid I totally thought of everyone we meet as cis and straight, because it seemed to be such a straight world to me… families with mums and dads and gender-seperated tents and rather stereotypical characters… The only exeptions I can think of are Tonks, maybe that’s why I always loved her so much, I’d definatly agree that metamorphmagi would be more willing to see genders and sexuality/attraction as fluid concepts and not so dependent on body parts. And Luna, who seems to be so open to accept truths other people might struggle with.

            Thinking about it now, I can see the queer wizarding community being really clandestine and trying not to attract attention. They know each other, meet up and are able to live their lifes, but in a very private way and trying to blend in when in public. On the other hand, I would think there is a little more space to be yourself, dress and act a little different, considering all the characters we see who are special in the best way (Arthur with his muggle things, Dumbledore and his choice of clothes and words and actions, the twins, Olivander, Tonks and Luna obviously…). One example I came up with is that I personally think they don’t help with transitioning on a regular basis at St Mungo’s, I would rather expect the community to have some really experienced and skillful people who would help.

          • Phoenix

            I wonder whether if Jo wrote the series now, she would write in an explicitly queer character or two. It’s true that her world is straight to the point of being unrealistic. Maybe now, nearly two decades later, she would navigate that field slightly differently. Other YA authors do: In the Divergent series, for example, a gay couple is mentioned.
            (I realise it’s a paradox to wonder what JK Rowling would do now, because YA literature would be very different without Harry Potter having been in existence for 18 years.)

          • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

            I believe she’d still be very subtle about it, because that’s what she does when reader imagination is more effective than author words. Of course it would be great to have a few characteres explicitly described as queer. On the other hand, the queerness of the characters that the fandom has imagined over the years is more diverse and inventive than Jo could have ever put in the books. And I love how some of the actors treat their characters as queer (Deamus)

          • Phoenix

            They do? (Deamus?) Do you have a quote?

          • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

            From what Devon Murray tweeted on May 23rd regarding marriage equality in Ireland, I’d say he does.

          • Phoenix

            Nice. 🙂

        • Hufflepug

          Ah, the return of the “Slightly Sexist Staircase” from months and months ago! I remember on that episode’s comments we talked at length about this. I would hope it responds to the students’ identities rather than their physical genders. Magic seems to interact with the soul a lot, and if your soul is not the same as your biological sex, it would hopefully let them up the stairs.

          • AGoldsteinAndTheMagicOfHanukah

            I think you’re right about magic interacting with souls over physical bodies. I’m willing to believe that the enchantment learned more about gender and the complicated ways it works as the rules of gender and presentation changed over the centuries.

  • DoraNympha

    What if one of the Harrys dies while transformed? Do they go back to their original body while dying or after or do they just stay that way forever?

    • AGoldsteinAndTheMagicOfHanukah

      Mrs. Crouch stayed transformed in death. JKR thinks of everything!

      • suprememugwump

        Do you think she stayed permanently transformed? I imagined her realizing she was dying and then taking enough Polyjuice Potion to last her until she’d been buried (very morbid, but she was willing to go to Azkaban). It’s quite creepy to think of a body transforming underground, but I do think that’s what happened.

        • Yo Rufus On Fire

          I feel like the polyjuice potion would wear off it usually does. So I think even if they buried him as “Harry”, after about an hour, they would transform back into themselves.

  • Phoenix

    As for Harry not having a dragon tattoo on his chest, I believe the real question is not how Ginny knows this but how Ron doesn’t.
    Ginny doesn’t need to have seen Harry naked to know he doesn’t have a dragon tattoo. Harry is not the guy to tattoo his heroic deeds on his chest. Besides, Ginny didn’t even come up with the tattoo story herself: someone asked her about the silly rumour that Harry has a tattoo and she went along with it and made something up.
    To be clear, I’m not saying Ginny hasn’t seen Harry’s bare chest, I’m just saying she doesn’t have to in order to come up with this lie.
    Ron, on the other hand, has been sharing a dormitory with Harry since they were 11, spent most summers in a room or tent with him, and they play on the same sports team. Is it possible that Ron has never seen Harry with his T-shirt off? Unless wizard boys are very, very prudish, this is a serious plot hole. 🙂

    • DoraNympha

      Exactly! At the wedding, Muriel complains about Ginny’s dress being too low-cut and Ginny’s response is just turning around in her seat to wink at Harry. They’ve dated, it’s okay. But how on earth did Ron manage to be kept in the dark about that tattoo? I’m confused about the changing arrangements in all the school, while we’re at it. Do they only change robes = cloaks for quidditch or do they just change everything co-ed without question? They change on the Hogwarts express? Again, do they only wear robes over their muggle clothes in the books? (Movie uniforms sort of wipe this part out in my brain all the time.) But Snape wasn’t wearing Muggle clothes under his robes in the memory so what exactly are they wearing, what do they even change for quidditch and how does Ron not know that his best friend and roommate of 6 years doesn’t have a tattoo? Hermione could have said that line or Fred or George.

      • suprememugwump

        I know! The movie has made clothing issues so much more confusing. If you read the books, you get the impression that robes are similar to what monks wear i.e. long, sort of flowy single garments. Molly and Arthur wear robes all the time, and Arthur’s total failure at dressing like a Muggle seems to imply that the movie canon of robes being kind of like really long overcoats is false. If Arthur was wearing Muggle clothes under his robes, he’d know how to wear them without robes. But if that’s the case, then how on earth does anyone mount and sit on brooms while wearing robes? There’s only so much you can move your legs when you’re wearing a long dress (the most similar thing I can think of to robes). Are Quidditch robes sewn differently? In this one instance, I actually like the movie canon a little better.

        But to your actual point about Harry’s tattoo, I imagine the boys might change behind the curtains of their four-posters in the dormitory. There’s no real reason to, but if that’s the way it’s always done, I don’t know if they’d think to change in the open. Quidditch is more of a problem, but maybe it’s customary to wear something under your Quidditch robes so that they don’t get all sweaty?

        • DoraNympha

          Right, the robes are supposed to be like long monk coat type things but they are said to be pulling their robes over their heads when they change so they are not buttonable or anything and yeah so that’s what everyone wears all the time and what the movies have are more cloaks than robes, right? So maybe that really is impractical for flying, it’d be annoyingly riding up… But Snape or Archie, the Muggle Pants guy at the campsite, were definitely not wearing trousers under their robes so what exactly is the dress code again? If they’re not wearing proper Muggle clothes under their school robes and they change that then the quidditch changing rooms are really problematic! So I’d bet they dress properly under them, it’s Scotland, it’s winter, they cannot just be wearing their robes, it’d be cold at Hogwarts. Plus, Molly knits jumpers so they must wear stuff like that. It’s hard to think Dumbledore has all these fabulous robes but doesn’t own a jumper.

          Maybe Quidditch robes are different in that have a big long cut in the front up until the waist so that you can lean forward on a broom without fabric being in the way. It’ll still be slapping around in the wind behind you, though, but whatever. The lack of mention of any kind of protective gear or goggles in the book is way more concerning when you’re playing a game that has balls specifically designed to bludgeon people with and that they might fly in January rain and stuff……. shouldn’t they wear all sorts of protective things? Harry had to Impervius his glasses so they were flying without goggles or anything in a storm. Nevermind bludgers, they’d have to run straight to the Hospital wing for Pepperup Potions.

          And you’re right, I forgot about the curtains! Or, you can just get dressed in the bathroom right after a shower. But then again, they’re teenagers, they would be all proper at first but by the end of their schoolyears they’re probably not that shy, like locker rooms get louder and louder as kids grow up, at first everyone’s super polite but by graduation we’re copying one another’s homework on locker room benches in underwear after P.E. 😀 Plus, even if Harry and Ron don’t change in front of each other at all, Harry would’Ve told his best friend about a tattoo. 😀

          So basically, in conclusion, idk what they’re wearing but Ron was probably just teasing Harry with that comment and we’re taking it too seriously. 😀

          • suprememugwump

            Maybe Dumbledore just wears robes upon robes upon robes 🙂

            I agree with the multiple layers theory and the fact that we’re probably taking Ron’s comment too seriously.

            I’d thought about the Quidditch robes having a cut between the legs, but that reminded me too much of skorts and I just don’t want Quidditch robes to look that way. As for the magical world’s completely cavalier attitude to safety, I think that the hosts explained this one some time ago. It’s *so* easy to fix any injury that wizards don’t even think about preventing them. I mean, if we think about it, a lot of our safety equipment doesn’t prevent injury. It just lessens the severity (I’m thinking car airbags in particular) so that the injury doesn’t become too serious or possibly lethal. Magic can fix almost anything so easily that there’s no need for safety equipment. Though I’m sure Madam Pomfrey wouldn’t mind some Muggle safety equipment 🙂

          • DoraNympha

            Oh right, I remember that… but, there’s no spell that can reawaken the dead! A bludger to the head or falling from a hundred feet in the air are potentially deadly injuries, though I’m not sure what protection could prevent those.

    • RavenPaw

      I think the real question is how on earth Romilda Vane came up with the idea that Harry had a tattoo, having barely even spoken to him

  • SpectacularlyHypothetical

    I’ve had my own crackpot theory about what the involuntary spell that shot out of Harry’s wand was for some time now, so I’m glad it’s never been fully explained as I’m sure it would be disproven.

    I’ve always thought that the spell wasn’t down to Priori Incantatum or the Horcrux link between Harry and Voldemort. Instead I think these were the triggering mechanism for a much MUCH more powerful spell; the detonator in the C4 if you will.

    I think the real power behind the spell is Lily’s sacrifice as woven into a protective enchantment by Dumbledore. Bear in mind that this is a spell so powerful that Voldemort says that even with the full power of the Ministry behind him he would be able to touch Harry at 4 Privet Drive.

    I feel like a spell of this power wouldn’t just disappear without some form of massive discharge. Harry is wilfully leaving Privet Drive for the last time, so the spell is going to be forcibly broken, where does all the power and energy go?

    I think that when Voldemort approached, the blood that contains Lily’s sacrifice that he stole set off a chain reaction, which channeled itself through Harry’s wand (via the Blood/Horcrux/Priori Incantatum link) which burst the dam of this massive spell and it all came flooding forth to overwhelm Voldemort.

    Obviously slightly crackpot, but I’d be interested to hear what you guys think of it.

    • WitchWolfsbane10

      Interesting theory!

      But Dumbledore basically explains the reason in “King’s Cross,” though I still find it complicated. While *that* chapter is a year away, I’m sure we’ll circle back around to this.

    • Hufflepug

      I think this theory suits your username perfectly 🙂 I like your theory! We know why his wand acted that way and I think a good connection to make is the scene in Ollivander’s in book 1 when Harry waves this wand for the first time and sparks come out of it. The wand forms a connection with Harry in that moment and we see here an even stronger release of magic based on a complex connection between Harry and Voldemort (circle theory?) But even that connection doesn’t explain where this magic comes from. Your explanation fits nicely into the story and, after all, we see other instances when powerful magic has some form of discharge or aftershock (destroying a Horcrux, breaking an Unbreakable Vow, etc.)

  • RavenPaw

    It has always seemed strange to me that Hagrid’s Reparo spell was so pathetic. As the hosts said, it is a basic first or second year spell. However at the end of Half-Blood Prince, Hagrid performs the Aguamenti spell to extinguish his house with ease, even though it is a N.E.W.T. level spell not learned until 6th year. Perhaps it was just the situation (i.e. Hagrid was most likely more stressed here than he was in HBP), but either way, thinking back to Half Blood, that was pretty impressive that Hagrid could perform the spell with no prior practice and only three years of magical education!

  • RavenPaw

    My theory for the golden sparks coming out of Harry’s wand is as follows:

    In CoS, Fawkes saves Harry when he shows loyalty to Dumbledore/what he stands for. As Harry’s phoenix feather comes from Fawkes, maybe the same happens here? Harry shows loyalty by not killing Stan on purpose, which is something Dumbledore would agree with. My theory is that Fawkes, or at least his healing powers and ‘spirit’ save Harry because of his loyalty to Dumbledore. This would also explain why Voldemort never receives anything from Fawkes: he shows the opposite of loyalty.

    And even though Dumbledore’s dead…

    “He will only be gone from the school when none here are loyal to him,”

    • Hufflepug

      That’s really interesting! It’s funny – I always just kind of slide over the fact that Voldemort is associated with Fawkes through his wand, but it’s a really important detail when you think about his character and his relationship to Dumbledore. I wonder why a wand that contains Fawkes’s feather chose Tom Riddle in the first place. Maybe it shows that he had the tiniest bit of potential to choose the good side, but ended up choosing evil. “It is our choices, far more than our abilities, that make us who we are.” I wonder if Harry had a wand core from some animal that was loyal to Voldemort, then would his wand not have acted this way? So many questions. But I love your theory AND the theory from Spectacularly Hypothetical. In both situations, Harry’s wand acts this way because of some deep magic related to love and loyalty.

  • YES! I definitely remember reading Books 5-7 in high school and seeing some of my SAT practice words in there. That was one of the reasons I pushed when my mom was skeptical of my reading the books. lol. I said, “MOM, there are SAT words in here! You can read it & see for yourself.” 😀

    I do love words. I recall “wake” & “gait.” I do remember looking up another one that was in the description at the memory of the Gaunt house.

    • RoseLumos

      My favorite HP SAT vocab word was pensive, the root for the pensieve, which according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary means “quietly sad or thoughtful.” And, amazingly enough, I always got at least one questions in each test or practice test!

    • Hufflepug

      The word gaunt itself was one that Harry Potter taught me! Before we met the Gaunts, Sirius was described as looking gaunt and that was one that I looked up. Harry Potter also helped me with Latin, weirdly enough. All the spells and names that I remembered from Harry Potter made it easy to remember some of that vocabulary!

  • SpinnersEnd

    My coworkers think I’m nuts because I’m just laughing at my desk…..

    You guys are fantastic. Thank you for making my Monday.

  • DoraNympha

    I know the guard used Disillusionment charms on the way to Privet Drive, but they still came the same way, by thestral, brooms and bike. How did they not run into/spot some Death Eaters on the way here? (With Moody’s travel plans, they must have taken a roundabout way to Calais but they for sure didn’t fly that low above a Muggle settlement like Little Whinging, Disillusioned or not.)

    • suprememugwump

      I’m assuming the Death Eaters had orders to let people through and only start the ambush when Harry was outside the protective enchantment. After all, the objective was to kill Harry. A giant magical battle above his house would have made him stay inside. Or maybe he would have tried to make his own way to safety, when it would actually have been easier to kill him, but hey, Voldemort is impatient when it comes to Harry, right?

  • RoseLumos

    Ok, I’ve got two funny stories about this chapter, one that I know I already mentioned on the site so feel free to ignore it.

    First, I remember standing in line with my mom to get this book at midnight. We were talking about the “Snape kills Dumbledore” spoilers out there and I was super paranoid that someone would ruin something for me. As I joke, my mom said I should shout out something made-up to see what everyone else’s reaction in line would be. I told her that would be really mean and she said, “Just tell them the owl died.” I told her, “That’s stupid, who would believe that?” Well look what the first major death was (not counting Charity since we didn’t know her. I hate to say it, but I laughed out loud a little when Hedwig did die because I couldn’t believe my mom was right. For context, my mom only read part of SS/PS and only saw the first two movies in theaters and fell asleep. Also, since I mentioned this story to her yesterday, she claimed she predicted it, yet had no idea what the J.K. in J.K. Rowling stood for. Let it be known that despite all of that, I love Hedwig and was devistated when she dies. Every time I got into the Wizarding World at Universal I find a Hedwig plush and give it an extra long hug!

    Also, my favorite tradition of getting a new HP book was opening it up and reading the chapter titles. When I heard of The Seven Potters, I legit freaked out thinking that we were suddenly going to find out Harry had a bunch or relatives that just appeared. But I guess you can say that the Order had become Harry’s surrogate family!

    • Eileen_Prince/Jones

      I liked to read the chapter titles too! But that ruined dumbledores death for me in hbp when i read ‘the white tomb’…

      • RoseLumos

        Yeah I kind of had the same thing happen, but since it didn’t say “Dumbledore’s White Tomb” I couldn’t be positive so there was still some element of a mystery.

  • I always preferred the books killing of Hedwig vs. the movie version because the movie version is too sanitized. The movie version gives us what we wanted, a proper and strong send off of our beloved owl friend. But Rowling knows better than to give us what we want. She gave us, and Harry, what was realistic and necessary. Rowling is depicting a Wizarding war and just like our own wars, innocent people and creatures are killed. Hedwig is one of the innocent ones. There is no beauty in what happened. She is just dead. Not only that but as most of us know, Hedwig’s death symbolizes the true loss of Harry’s innocence. It is at this point that he knows he can never return to his childhood. It is a mark on Harry the character as well as a mark on the reader of the series, especially those of us who grew up with the books. It is our own entrance into a different genre of fiction which is why I love this book so damn much! We as the reader are growing up too.

    • SnapesManyButtons

      The worst part is that moment of relief when Harry catches the cage and thinks he’s saved her, only to have her hit by the spell in the next moment. Ouch, that made it hurt even more…

  • John Granger frequently discusses literary alchemy in the Potter books and this chapter perfectly fits in with his theory. Alchemy is the science for the perfection or sanctification of the alchemist’s soul (for more info, Google “literary alchemy” and visit The Hogwarts Professor). This is often represented by the color of gold which symbolizes perfection. Knowing this, it is clear that Harry’s polyjuice potion (gold) foreshadow’s Harry’s role as the perfect Christ figure of this story…that he will always be the one to choose good over evil in the end and do the right thing. Another important thing to note is that another aspect of literary alchemy is that the character must go through big changes in order to reach perfection and throughout the previous 6 books we see Harry being molded by none other than Albus Dumbledore (and still is in this book!). Make of that what you will.

  • MartinMiggs

    Can I just give a major shoutout to Hagrid in this chapter? Hundreds perhaps thousands of metres in the air and he decides he’s gonna jump off the bike like it’s nothing! Imagine what he’s thinking in that moment because he knows that broomstick will snap when he lands on that death eater. Hagrid has a rep for being irresponsible and unreliable but this moment shows just how much of a BAMF he is. The dude’s Gryffindor is showing like craaaazy! Kudos to him.

    • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

      Hagrid will never hesitate to protect a friend, and Harry is like family to him. I imagine he’s thinking something like Molly says when going in to duel Bellatrix, without words, but with a half-giant mother-of-dragons and father-of-outcasts war cry!

  • Yo Rufus On Fire

    Great Episode!!

    I’ve got to bring up ring theory in the 1st and 7th books, Hagrid brings Harry on the motorcycle to Privet Drive in book one and takes Harry away from Privet drive on the same Motorcycle in the seventh book. Also, within the book, the corresponding chapter is The Prince’s Tale. In Chapter 4, Harry is reflecting upon his life and his parents death. In the Snape’s memories during the Prince’s Tale we see Snape share his life and his reaction to Harry’s parents death.

    The Hosts were touching upon the fact that Fleur had volunteered for to be on of the seven potters. The reason why Fleur was there was because Harry saved her sister in the 2nd task in the fourth book. She owes harry and this is her making up for it. She was extremely appreciative of Harry and now that we know Fluer’s character we know that she would repay that debt. Also, I think the reason that Ginny wasn’t there was because she was underage. Molly probably threw a huge fit making Ginny stay home like the way she does during the battle. Mundungus is one of the seven potters because he owes a debt to Dumbledore and this is how he is repaying his debt.

    The Hosts talked about where Voldemort was during the flight of the Seven Potters and that he was somewhere near by waiting for them. We find out in the next chapter that he was actually chasing other potters. He started with Moody and Mundungus first, then he went to Kingsley and Hermione and then went to Harry and Hagrid. He is so desperate to find Harry that he is out in the field immediately looking for him. I think the Death Eaters also call him over by touching their dark marks.

    Hedwig’s death is so sad. Thank you for doing a moment of silence for her. I think a moment of silence will be needed for each death of our beloved characters. But I have a question about the stuffed owls. Couldn’t someone have enchanted the stuff owls to to move so they looked for life like?

    Poor Stan. That man has had nothing good going for him since he met Harry. He gets thrown into Azkaban for allegedly being a Death Eater and now he’s been imperiused to help look for Harry with the Death Eaters. I agree that this is a test for Harry to see if he would stun Stan. I wonder what happened to him after the chase. Nothing good I bet…

    Here a a few questions I thought of when I re-read this chapter. How far does the protection range go? is it just the block of 4 Privet Drive, or is it the neighborhood? or more?

    When Moody gives the directions of who is going to be flying to who’s house he mentions his own house and Kinglsey’s house. What do you think they look like inside?

    The last thing I want to touch upon is the gold spell that comes out of Harry’s wand on it’s own. The core for Harry’s wand is Fawkes’ tail feather. People have speculated that Fawkes and Dumbledore are intertwined with each other. Fawkes is Dumbledore and Dumbledore is Fawkes. So my only conclusion is that Dumbledore is controlling Harry’s wand! I mean, how could he not?!

  • CatOak123

    I wonder who found Harry’s Firebolt lying on th ground? Can you imagine some random muggle kid coming across it and picking it up? What if they thought, “this broom is kinda swanky looking for sweeping the floor with. Wonder if it is meant for something else?” Firebolts have unique registration numbers on them; what if he Googled it?

    • Yo Rufus On Fire

      I doubt that anything would pop up, but it would be hilarious if they had a website. ha!

    • SnapesManyButtons

      Wizards don’t have electricity, so no computers, but I bet any muggle that found one would certainly try to Google it. It looks useless for sweeping but too cool to just leave there, I’d wonder what it was for, too.

      …although you can buy them on the Wizarding World of Harry Potter web site, maybe they’d see it there and not realize theirs was a real one!

    • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

      why did Harry carry it himself? Does Hermione not have her Beaded Bag yet?

  • Dobby’s Sock

    Big Flaw: Why do the actions of Pius Thicknesse effect the Order’s plans at all?

    It’s an imprisonable offence now to do side-along apparition, as was originally planned. But so what?

    1) The Ministry would have no way of knowing who cast the magic, so Mad-Eye couldn’t get in trouble even.

    2) They can’t be worried that Harry will be arrested, as they surely all know he has to stay in hiding anyway.

    • SnapesManyButtons

      That’s what I was thinking! Snape said that once Harry was in the safe house there would be little chance of taking him and Voldy agreed. The only thing I can figure is that the Ministry can charge Harry with a crime and have all their aurors searching for Harry on top of the Death Eater’s forces. If he steps a toe outside of the protections set by the Order there would be that many more people looking for him. By avoiding apparition from there, Voldy loses the chance to have the auror’s help in finding Harry. Personally, I’d have thought it worth the risk to apparate from Privet Drive rather than fly in the open with the protections broken.

      • Dobby’s Sock

        Yeah that’s a good point, but Voldylocks is in charge now, Pius is his puppet, he could totally just say ‘Harry Potter apparated’ and they’d have the Aurors after him anyway. It’s interesting though, we never hear how the non-Order Aurors reacted to the change in command. Did they just go around carrying out Voldie’s orders unquestioningly?

        • Eileen_Prince/Jones

          Nobody really knows its voldee in charge tho right? Thats part of his reign of terror is that he doesn’t rule out right making everyone nervous not knowing who to trust anymore.

  • CatOak123

    Ha ha, who else immediately heard emperor Kuzko from the Emperor’s New Groove when they read the title of this episode? – “Hey, no touching! Noo touchy!!”

    • Hufflepug

      “The potion for the Order. The potion specifically meant to change the appearance of the Order. The Order’s potion.”
      I had to 🙂

      • CatOak123

        Yesss! Excellent!

  • Ooh, wow! I got chills hearing the Audioboom from Socks& Slugs. That was really cool! I didn’t take notice what color Harry’s Polyjuice was. That was a fantastic link.

  • thequeerweasleycousin

    Quick comment on the magic that happens when Voldemort tries to attack Harry. I think Dumbledore says in the Kings Cross chapter that the wand recognized Voldemort as an enemy and released some of its own powers. So I don’t think of whatever happened as some specific spell, but rather like raw magic, much like the magic Dumbledore and Voldemort use in their duel in the ministery. I would compare it to programming (although I don’t really know a lot about it): You either use something someone has programmed already, then there is a limited amount of possibilities to choose from (you use a spell someone has invented before). Or you can skip this step and go directly to the raw material, programming whatever you’d like to have. Dumbledore and Voldemort are brilliant wizards, so they can manipulate raw magic with their wands. And I believe the wand does something similar here. It’s not some ordinary spell, it not only attacks Voldemort, it also breaks the wand he uses.

  • If Dumbledore had spoken to the Dursleys while delivering baby Harry, the Dursleys could have easily said no. Leaving Harry on the doorstep with nothing and nobody is a way to force the Dursleys to take Harry in. As rude as it might be to force Harry upon the Dursleys, the blood protection is important and necessary.

    • Yo Rufus On Fire

      Agreed, but they could have also easily taken him to an orphanage.

      • SlytherinKnight

        And Dumbledore risk another Tom Riddle being unleashed upon the magical world…though honestly, Harry would have been treated at an orphanage than at the Dursleys and does anyone really think that the Death Eaters would have been able to find him in the muggle child services system.

        Though I think he would have had to been moved once Harry arrived at Hogwarts since people would quickly learn that Harry was in an orphanage

        • MartinMiggs

          I think she meant what if the Dursleys decided not to keep Harry and just dumped him at an orphanage.

      • Well, as I said, the blood protection was important. That’s why an orphanage wouldn’t have worked. Lilly had a loving mother at one point who may or may not be living. James too had parents. There were many options, but the blood protection was the main reason for the Dursleys.

      • MartinMiggs

        but what would the neighbours think?! :O

      • Hufflepug

        The fact that the Dursleys didn’t take Harry to an orphanage – is this suggesting that they feel the tiniest bit of familial duty toward him? Or do you think they just did it because they were afraid of Dumbledore retaliating with magic? Because if that’s what they feared, then it might not have made a difference whether he left Harry on the doorstep or talked to them about it. Dumbledore terrifies them.

        • SlytherinKnight

          That’s why I want to know what was in the letter Dumbleodre wrote so badly. I think he probably did tell the Dursleys that he would have people watching them to make sure they took Harry in and that it was that veiled threat that made the Dursleys ‘accept’ Harry into their home. I don’t think it was familial duty, it was due to their fear of Dumbledore and magic in general.

          • Yo Rufus On Fire

            I think in the 6th book, Dumbledore reveals a little bit of what was in that letter. He tells them that he had asked them to take Harry in and to treat him as their own. They don’t do that, but Dumbledore says that they at least didn’t treat him like Dudley.

        • Yo Rufus On Fire

          I think they are terrified of Dumbledore. As we see when he comes to their house in the 6th book, they barely speak! I also think that Dumbledore’s dropping for Harry to their door step isn’t helping the Dursley’s to like wizards. Some guy is dropping off a baby of Petunia’s dead sister and tells Petunia that she must take care of him. That’s a little ridiculous.

        • lifeanddragons

          I think that this was the only situation where Petunia would have put her foot down and said Nope. Harry stays here. Whether out of guilt or the weirdest form of love, I can’t say. But Vernon certainly didn’t decide to have Harry around. Petunia seems like the type to rarely ever speak up, but when she does, there is no crossing her. Harry stays.

  • Roonil Wazlib

    Just a quick thought about Fleur–we know she likes Harry and all, but I think her participation is more about Bill. Fleur truly loves him and he almost died VERY recently while working for the Order (like, 2 months ago?? is he even fully recovered?). No way she is going to sit at home while Bill goes out on another super dangerous Order mission! They are all there to protect Harry of course, but I’m sure Fleur is also there in the hope that she can keep Bill safe.

    • DoraNympha

      Yes and she’s also supposed to be really skilled and all, she was a champion afterall, I do hate hearing Fleur played down to be just there for no reason. She’s really awesome at magic and she’s pretty brave, too. Of course she’ll be there, not just for Bill but WITH him. Team Windswept but Unhurt. <3

      • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

        YES! Fleur is the brightest witch of France of her age, she’s smart enough to work for Gringotts, is hanging out with curse breakers, maybe she can even do some flame throwing like the Veela at the Quidditch World Cup and we just don’t see her doing that.

        Fleur is going with Bill to get Harry to safety, because if Bill is injured again or Harry gets caught by the Death Eaters, there will be no wedding, and that’s not going to happen to Fleur Delacour! Fleur is going to be part of the Weasley family very soon and she does her part in protecting Harry, because that’s Weasley family tradition since 1992.

        If this mission is honeymoon for Tonks and Lupin, it the “we’re in this together and no one will do us part”-thing for Fleur and Bill. They’re in love, they fight for each other, this is passion!

        Fleur does not feel entirely comfortable in her Harry-body, the gender swap may be part of the reason, understandably, it must feel weird, and I guess she has not experienced this before.
        For Hermione, of course it is strange to be in your friend’s body, but she was a cat for a month in her second year, what are male genitalia for a couple of hours against weeks with a hairy tail?

      • the head girl

        Is that their ship name? Oh my gosh, I LOVE IT. I am here for that!

  • I’m sure I’m not the only person a little disappointed there was no username attached/ given with the guest host this week.. lol. Just sayin.

    • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

      I’d like to know if every guest who is on the show has gone through an application process or if some guests are invited by the hosts because they’re rad.

      • RoseLumos

        I was a guest co-host way back in GoF, chapter 1. I sent in a voice recording but didn’t hear back until much later. I just sent in another audition because I would love to be on again if they don’t mind someone going twice (fingers crossed!).

        • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

          I suggest that on the Kings Cross chapter every guest who wants to guest host again is allowed just because it’s a good chapter for welcoming people back. Chances are that lots of listeners would love to be on that episode, anyway. So let there be five or more guest hosts in addition to the host team, and it will be crazy but awesome!

          • RoseLumos

            Well I auditioned for “The Wedding” since I had a good point about it, but my absolute favorite chapter in the whole series is “The Forest Again,” so if I get that one it would be amazing. I may cry through it, though.

          • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

            Love the Wedding chapter!! So many Weasleys, all the guests, the music, the dancing… nearly there.

            I wonder if there are readers who can make it through DH without crying, so it’s perfectly understandable if you tear up during that chapter. Probably the hosts have already developed ways to deal with emotional upheaval during recording, so I wouldn’t worry about that.

      • I didn’t even think it like that. I was saying how he had such a cool voice, but left no way/revealing a username for future interaction w/the rest of us. 🙁

        • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

          and that is how I understood your comment, and I suppose everyone else read it this way, too.
          I believe sometimes hosts or guest hosts prefer to leave a bit more of mystery than usually.

  • Gryffindora The Explorer

    I had a thought while listening to the part about Voldemort flying unaided, and it made me LOL. What if Voldy wasn’t flying unaided, and he had just put a disillusionment charm on a flying carpet to mess with people’s heads? I’m sure Voldy probably was flying unaided, but this gave me a good laugh while I was at my desk at work.

    • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

      Voldemort’s invisible flying carpet. Anyone who needs a username, here you are.

      • RoseLumos

        Now I’m imagining Voldemort on a magic carpet singing “A Whole New World.” Bellatrix can be Jasmine.

        • WitchWolfsbane10

          StarKid would have eaten that suggestion up back in the day!!

    • Hufflepug

      I can’t believe the Weasley twins haven’t thought of that one yet!

  • Hufflepug

    Jo just tweeted that she thinks she’s the only one who pronounces “Voldemort” with the silent t. She obviously needs to meet Kat! 🙂

    • MartinMiggs

      I also immediately thought of Kat when I saw that tweet too haha

    • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

      Yes, she does.

      Rufus Beck who reads the audiobooks in German pronounces it with a silent t, too.

    • RoseLumos

      More proof that she listens to the show. I wonder if she has a fake screen name and comments here…

      • Hufflepug

        God that would be amazing. I mean, she did publish a book under a pseudonym, so who are we to say she’s not on here?

  • WitchWolfsbane10

    I’m sure reading ahead is cheating, but there have been many theories (cool ones!) about Harry’s wand in this instance, and I had to chime in with what, according to Dumbledore in “King’s Cross,” actually happened.

    “‘Without meaning to, as you know, Lord Voldemort doubled the bond between you when he returned to a human form. A part of his soul was still attached to yours, and, thinking to strengthen himself, he took a part of your mother’s sacrifice into himself….

    I believe that your wand imbibed some of the power and qualities of Voldemort’s wand that night, which is to say that it contained a little of Voldemort himself. So your wand recognized him when he pursued you, recognized a man who was both kin and mortal enemy, and it regurgitated some of his own magic against him, magic much more powerful than anything Lucius’s wand had ever performed. Your wand now contained the power of your enormous courage and of Voldemort’s own dedly skill: What chance did that poor stick of Lucius Malfoy’s stand?'”

    –(p.711 “King’s Cross” in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – American edition)

    • suprememugwump

      I have so many questions about this chapter. So. Many. But I’ll save them all for when we get there. It’s supposed to be the chapter in which Dumbledore explains all. But he’s still so very vague that it infuriates me!

      • WitchWolfsbane10

        I know! I know! This is what is so strange and simultaneously cool about rereading this series. Even after all this time (8-18 years, depending on the book), we can clearly still get something new and confusing out of it! There are so many things that tie in to what we find out so much later that it makes it impossible not to cite….but then makes me feel like I’m getting way ahead of myself!

    • thequeerweasleycousin

      So Harry’s wand contains a part of Voldemort? Woaaah, that’s creepy! How did that happen? Wandlore is so complex and mysterious, I don’t get it. Also, somehow Voldemort basically left pieces of himself everywhere like a crumbling cookie.. in the diary, the locket, the snake, Harry, oh look, there’s a Voldy piece in Harry’s wand! Maybe someone should put a warning on those things: May contain traces of Voldemort.

      • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

        that would be very thoughtful for all the folks with allergies, remember when so many kids suffered because the lessons contained Umbridge?

      • WitchWolfsbane10

        “Crumbling cookie” That is spot on!

  • RavenPaw

    I have always seen the ‘seven Potters’ idea as a way to link Harry to Voldemort (even more :D):
    1) 7 Potters, 7 Horcruxes, and the people who take the polyjuice potion could be considered the equivalent of the hiding places for the horcruxes.
    2) Even though there are ‘seven Harrys’ there is really only one, in the same way that there is only one Voldemort even though the horcruxes technically are parts of him
    3) I have even heard someone argue that when there are seven Harrys, the real Harry becomes ‘less human’ (because his identity and individuality, two human traits, are taken away) in the same way that Voldemort becomes less human as each new horcrux is made.

    It may just be that 7 is the most magical number, it shows how magical and powerful Harry is.

    • Eileen_Prince/Jones

      Someone makes a sarcastic comment in this chapter about voldemort not being able to split 7 ways! I like the insight you’ve noted here, I’ve never thought of it that way before.

      • Lisa

        Yup, Moody. Oh, the irony 🙂

  • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

    Buckets of Host Love for Kristen! Your R2-D2 sounds made my day, great to know you’re “the one with the R2-whistle sounds on her devices”, too!

  • Silverdoe25

    Random comment on a point brought up in this week’s discussion. I completely agree that the effect of Voldemort flying with neither broom nor thestral was very well done in the DH part 1 film. UNFORTUNATELY, because the film makers used the dark smoke apparition effect with every Death Eater, it didn’t look like Voldemort was doing anything unique.

  • Dobby’s Many Hats

    I’m in the middle of listening to another awesome episode and I’m going to join the comments for the very first time because I can’t believe you all forgot what Voldemort was doing before Harry used “expeliarmus”.
    He was first chasing the best auror, “Mad Eye” Moody, and killed him after Mundungus Fletcher disapparated.
    Then, he went after the second best auror, Kingsley Shacklebolt, who was flying in a thestral with Hermione.

    And this is the thing that no Jo Rowling fan should ever forget: Voldemort was about to kill Hermione when he was summoned away, so Harry unknowingly saved them, but the remarkable act of gigantic courage was when they didn’t disapparate into safety, because they knew they were gaining time for Harry and Hagrid to reach the safeguarded house of Ted and Andromeda Tonks. They could have saved themselves by disapparating and Voldemort would have gone down the auror order to chase Ron and Tonks, but eventually someone would have realized that Harry was safest with the magically incompetent, but immune to curses, Hagrid.

    So, Hermione turns out, again!, to be the bravest and awesomest character in the books.

    • Phoenix

      Dear hosts, would you consider taking this as a comment for the next episode? It technically belongs to chapter 5 anyway, and it is one of the best comments I have read in a long time.

  • Griff

    The Fawkes connection is so interesting. Dumbledore-Harry and Harry-Voldemort connections through Fawkes make sense– Two brave, powerful men who sacrifice themselves, and two connected by horcruxes. But how on earth did Voldemort get a wand with a feather that came from the pet of one of the most just, empathetic wizards of all time?

    • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

      the wand chooses the wizard.
      And if Ollivander is excited about young Tom’s potential, imagine what the wands in his shop would have felt.

      • Griff

        I see what you’re saying, but I think the Dumbledore-Voldemort connection has to be about more than Tom’s magical potential. Rowling used such a significant symbol- a character at the center of Dumbledore’s psyche- to form the core of Voldemort’s wand. I think there is meaning there.

        The Fawkes feather connects three of the most important figures in the fate of the wizarding world — the two destined to battle, and the one in-between. Dumbledore was tempted by power, intelligent as Voldemort, and yet kind and just, like Harry. He understood both, but put his might on the side of good.

        There also is the theme of rebirth and the phoenix- and I suppose all three are caught in the web of mastering death. Voldemort obsesses, Dumbledore accepts, and Harry sacrifices.

        I think the thing that is hard for me to wrap my head around is that Dumbledore and Voldemort’s fates are inextricably linked, just as Harry’s is. The Fawkes feather seems to imply this. Dumbledore will watch a young man grow into the most evil wizard Britain has seen, and he will learn his downfalls, understand his thirst for power. He will ultimately train the man destined to kill him. So much of Dumbledore’s life is about Voldemort. Maybe this is the Fawkes connection.

        • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

          that’s a wonderful explaination, thank you!

  • Aimee Krenz

    I love how I think I know everything about Potter and then I come listen to your podcast and I realize I am Jon Snow. I know nothing.

  • RavenPuff

    weird thought as i’m re-listening DH ch 4 … isn’t it interesting that as Harry’s wand reacts to Voldemort, it never tries to hurt Voldemort. Priori Incatatem doesn’t actually injure him, it just restrains him so Harry can escape. And the Golden Spell shatters Lucius’ wand.

    Has it (the wand) learned that it’s wizard prefers defensive/non leathal spells or is it more.