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Episode 219: PS/SS 5 Revisit – Treat Yo’ Self

Three up, two across…and we’re going shopping! In our first chapter revisit, join hosts Alison, Kat, and Michael, with guest Spencer (the Big Spender), as they encounter key players, mysterious places, and lots and lots of unicorn horns in “Diagon Alley,” chapter 5 of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone!

On Episode 219 we discuss…

→ Chapter episodes return!
→ Tornadoes, Wardrobes and Leaky Cauldrons
→ What does your Diagon Alley look like?
→ We miss old Pottermore!
→ Foreshadowing Alley
→ Hagrid: The Native Informant
→ Where’s Voldemort?
→ Draco the Braggart
→ The Gringotts vaults are full
→ Let’s go shopping!
Join us in Diagon Alley on September 1st!

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.

Skype users can send us a message to username AlohomoraMN. And as always, be sure to continue the discussion below!

Listen Now: | Download


RECAP: EPISODE 217

On this recap we discuss…

→ The next generation reads Potter
→ Ron the Seer
→ Crookshanks’s secret identity

Listen Now: | Download

  • Casey L.

    Flamels were French. I feel like that’s why they weren’t part of the Sacred 28, which seemed to refer to only British families. I’ve never thought they would have a Gringotts vault, but then again, I never considered who else’s vault it could have been. If it was the school’s, I would have assumed there would be more in it. Maybe it was Dumbledores’ or some ancient branch of the family that had died out, but Albus still controlled the vault? Any other guesses?

    • travellinginabluebox

      Well we still don’t know how wizards and witches would open a new vault at Gringotts. Because if that is an option, than that could possibly explain the empty vault?

      • Casey L.

        True – there’s got to be a way. Otherwise how would muggleborns keep their money? Or children from a large family like the Weasleys? I wonder if the goblins can add vaults as needed.

        And a few probably do open up on occasion. I would imagine, for example, someone like the Malfoys would have a family vault, but Draco might get his own until his father passes away, and then take charge of the family one. And of course, we do know wizarding families can die out completely – the Peverells, for example, although we don’t know if they ever would have had a Gringotts vault.

        • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

          Just from a business standpoint, it doesn’t make sense for Gringotts to only have a limited number of vaults. You would want to have enough available to grow your customer base, not limit it. Goblins are all about making those Galleons, so I think they’d look at it that way. Plus, magic- I think they’d definitely be able to magically add new vaults if they wanted to.

          • RegulusBlackout

            Yes, can someone remind me where the idea of limited vault space comes from? Because… This is the wizarding world we’re talking about, theoretically this whole bank could fit into a matchbox.

          • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

            Yeeeesss^^^^

          • Casey L.

            The only reason I can think of for choosing not to increase the number of vaults they have is if the wizarding population is stable. So if, throughout Gringotts history, there have been 3,000 witches and wizards in Great Britain, they would only ever need vaults to accommodate that many people. Otherwise, the only thing I can think of that they might need more vaults for is their own treasure, and that’s assuming they store their treasure/wealth the same way wizards do.

    • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

      I had this same thought about Flamel being French, so not necessarily having a family vault at Gringotts. However, when Harry says to Hagrid “Wizards have banks?” Hagrid replies, “Just the one, Gringotts” so I’m wondering if by that he meant just in Britain, or does Gringotts serve as a bank for the entire wizarding world? That seems like a bit much- I suppose it could serve as the as the European magical community’s bank, but to expect wizards all the way in Africa or Asia or the Americas not to have their own banks seems a bit off. Or perhaps Gringotts has branches all over the world?

      • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

        I can’t imagine that Gringotts is literally the only wizarding bank for the reason you just stated – wizards on other continents would have to travel there to access their funds. But, Charlie was working for them as a curse breaker in Egypt, which would suggest that there was not another wizarding bank closer to Egypt. Multiple branches would make the most sense and would keep each country from having to have their own wizarding currency.

        • travellinginabluebox

          No, I would assume that it was just narrowed to Britain, as this book series never really bothers about the ongoings in other countries. And also Britain always excludes themselves from mainland Europe. They do not see themselves attached to Europe (and the EU but that is a whole other story…), so it is safe to assume that Gringotts is the only bank in Britain. Which coming from a economical perspective isn’t the best thing, but seems to work for them.

          The Egypt curse breaker thing with Bill, is a close hint to British history, as the largest numbers of artefacts of Egyptian culture and history can be found in Britain (British museum) and not in Egypt. Which is an ongoing fight between the countries, because Egypt wants their stuff back and Britain being all great-empire-like and keeping it. So the wizarding community was made part of that.

          • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

            Oh interesting! I never knew that about Egyptian artifacts. Thanks for the history lesson :)

            So do you think it’s possible that other countries have their own wizarding banks and their own wizarding currency that does not include Knuts, Sickles, and Galleons? We never see money change hands in FB so I guess there’s no way to know…yet.

          • travellinginabluebox

            Oh I would have assumed that there are definitely different currencies. I think that is just a natural process where societies live apart from each other without interacting much. That is how it developed in the Muggle world, so would assume it would be the same in the wizarding world.
            Although it mentions that they knew about America before the Muggles did, so there might actually be a world trade in magical goods that we do not know about… Although I highly doubt it from what we know in the books.
            What do you think?

          • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

            Since Gringotts is able to easily exchange Muggle money with their own currency, I would agree that it’s probably safe to assume that other countries have their own wizarding currencies as well. Plus, I got the impression from this episode that the exchange rate between British pounds and Gringotts currency was pretty close – which would make sense for where Gringotts is located.

            Since currency values can swing up and down so rapidly in the Muggle world, I wonder how that information gets relaid to wizarding banks without the use of electronics. Perhaps there are teams of Squibs who work near banks, get the info digitally, and then relay it to the banks via sneakernet?

            There’s a great scene in the “Off to Be the Wizard” book series (which I would highly recommend btw – especially for tech nerds) where a “wizard” who can’t be near electronics uses binoculars and a string-cup-phone setup to tell the person at the computer what to do and then he reads the screen via the binoculars…lol. Pretty ingenious workaround :) Sorry, back to the topic at hand…

            That’s a great question about the world trade of magical goods. I wonder if there are strict laws in place about transporting certain goods across country lines or if it’s just a matter of preference/convenience/price…but we learned from Pottermore that wand makers in the US use completely different wand cores than Olivander, for example. Maybe they’re limited to the “ingredients” that can be found within a certain geographical region? OMG I suddenly want a Thunderbird feather core wand, even though I know that’s completely heretical. (Don’t stone me!)

          • travellinginabluebox

            Maybe magical goods (and beasts for that matter, eh Newt?!) do not get traded as much? However, we can assume that brooms due get traded worldwide, as in the worldcup everyone is using firebolts, so that definitely isn’t a Britain-only product.

            And I would assume that especially Potions ingredient would get traded worldwide. There must be ingredients local to some areas, that are needed in potions all over the world. So I would assume there has to be a world trade.
            How does the shipping work though? Owls? I’d hope not…

            Another issue with worldwide wizarding community is, do they have a UN of some sorts, where they tend to worldwide issues? Maybe we see something like that in FB? The one meeting Tina bursts into is with ministers from different countries right?

          • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

            All great points and questions! I really want there to be invisible magic-powered air ships for transporting goods around the world now 😀 Or hey…more ships like the one from Durmstrang that can pop up in any body of water!

            It’s a good thing Potter was set when it was. As modes of transportation become more computerized, I have to wonder if wizards can still use them?

            That meeting in FB did have a very UN feel to it with leaders from all over the world. I wonder how they all got there…portkeys? I do hope we learn more about international magical cooperation in future FB films :)

          • travellinginabluebox

            Yeah, transportation is the main issue. How would goods get transported, and especially now that we live in a world commanded by online shopping. And isn’t Amazon using drones in the US already or is that still testing phase? So in a way technical owls are used by muggles :-)

            And for the UN like meeting in FB: Do we know if portkeys work such long distances?

          • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

            According to Quidditch Through the Ages:

            “While there have been no proven referee slayings since [1357], there have been several incidences of broom-tampering over the centuries, the most dangerous being the transformation of the referee’s broom into a Portkey, so that he or she is whisked away from the match halfway through and turns up months later in the Sahara Desert.”

            Also, according to JKR’s old W.O.M.B.A.T. test, “in order for portkeys to be arranged between countries, the consent of both Nations’s Ministries of Magic may be required.”

            I can’t find a specific reference to distance limitations but it sounds as though they can travel quite far.

          • travellinginabluebox

            Interesting! So that would make portkeys an option and best solution.

          • ousley

            Now I’m picturing brooms kind of like cars – different countries known for different models, but you always kind of know what ones out of those are the absolute best.

          • Alison

            We do know the American currency is dragots – so it seems assured there are different kinds!

          • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

            Alison’s amazing memory FTW!! Thanks! 😀

      • ousley

        My wife and I picked our bank because there’s one literally every few miles near us – so I picture Gringotts as being similar. I’d be they even have a little branch, or maybe a Magical ATM in Hogsmeade, so that it’s easy to get more money for more drinks…

        • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

          I dunno. Doesn’t Hagrid say something like, “that should be enough to get you through a couple of terms” when they visit Gringotts? Sorry, I don’t have my book nearby. And don’t Fred and George always have their “life savings” basically on them?

    • ousley

      The concept of a “family vault” is so strange to me – there’s no way I’d want my finances mixed and mingled with other parts of the family. Do these families have systems set up to make sure their individual portions remain intact? Do they all trust each other that much? Just look at the Black family – were Sirius and Regulus and their parents and cousins all supposed to share? That wouldn’t end well in that family.

      • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

        It wouldn’t surprise me if Hogwarts (and/or its founders) had multiple vaults to use for various purposes. It’s always felt like much more than just a school to me.

        That’s a great point about the family vaults, @disqus_58u2hxTpx4:disqus. I feel like each immediate family surely has their own vault and doesn’t share with the extended families. That would be incredibly confusing otherwise. Perhaps underage wizards are given an allowance? Do wizards have safes in their homes to store some of their gold in? And how do students at Hogwarts keep their money from being stolen out of their trunks? Jinx it?

      • Casey L.

        I guess when I envision family vaults, I imagine just one person using them at a time. And since the wizarding world seems to be very patriarchal, they would pass through the male line. For example, the Black vault would pass from Sirius’s grandfather to his father when he died to Sirius when his father died. Until he inherited the “family” vault, Sirius would have his own, as would Regulus. Of course, in the Blacks’ situation, Regulus most likely would have inherited their vault, since Sirius was disowned. Any inheritance/wealth belonging to Andromeda, Bellatrix and Narcissa would go to their husbands’ vaults. That’s how I imagined it working anyway. So I didn’t imagine everyone sharing one vault, either – hope this clarifies things!

  • travellinginabluebox

    I feel like all children would be more inclined to pick up the Leaky Cauldron, as children are more likely to see things adults deem unimportant and would overlook. Because all kids (aside from Dudley) are magical in their own way 😉

    • Huffleclaw

      There is some basis to that in lore. Children are said to be more perceptive towards the paranormal so are more likely to see ghosts. The theory as I’ve heard it told is that children’s eyes are more physically able to pick up on the subtle changes in light that a ghosts produces because their eyes have more rods and cones. A different, more metaphysical theory, is that children’s minds are more open and their imaginations are more active. As children grow and their fear of backlash from adults and peers become stronger they are less likely to comment on a ghostly figure that they see. Over time, the child becomes unable to see the ghost at all. The perceptiveness to the paranormal gets “stamped out of them” to use Vernon Dursley’s own words. Poor Dudley would have never had the chance to perceive anything beyond what was in front of his eyes.

  • travellinginabluebox

    Good comment about Hagrid flying to the hut. I would doubt it was the motorbike, because that would be super load (chapter 1 of PS) and even through the storm Harry would have heard that. Brooms are out as well, as you stated in the episode.
    Soooo… dragons? 😀

    • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

      I’m wondering if there are ways to make oneself “fly” without it really being the kind of flying we see a la Snape. For instance, could Hagrid perform a hover charm on himself and by that means propel himself to the island?

      And probably not a dragon but maybe indeed some sort of flying magical beast? In fact, could a Thestral carry Hagrid? We know he has access to them, and they are smart enough to drop Hagrid off and return to Hogwarts on it’s own.

      • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

        I love the idea of him flying on a magical beast! Though I feel that it would take several Thestrals or Hippogriffs to carry his weight…lol

        • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

          Yeah, his size causes an issue with every explanation I can think of. But now I’m imagining him riding in a hot air balloon basket attached to a herd (flock?) of Hippogriffs instead of the balloon. Lol

          • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

            I’ve got it! FAWKES!! Phoenixes can carry heavy loads!! BOOM! lol 😀

          • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

            Oh. My. God. It seems so obvious now. Duh, Fawkes. And I’m over here all “lolzz Hagrid in a hippogriff balloon basket…” Ok, I think we’re done here. Hahaha

          • travellinginabluebox

            Hahaha you guys are the best! Also thanks for solving that riddle for us, because any solution involving magic stands and falls with Hagrid’s eductation and snapped wand… So Fawkes it is!

  • travellinginabluebox

    Those “safest places” in the Wizarding World are all infiltrated multiple times:

    Gringotts: Quirrell tries to steal the stone in PS and the trio are successful with stealing the horcrux in DH

    Hogwarts: Infiltrated by Voldemort in PS, Sirius Black in PoA, Barty Crouch Jr, Death Eaters in HBP and the trio in DH

    Ministry of Magic: Infiltrated by Death Eaters and a group of teenagers in OotP, thrown-over by Voldemort in DH, broken into by the trio in DH

    Security and safety is just not a priority in the wizarding world.
    But it obviously also points out the lengths the trio has to go to, to find and destroy all the horcruxes and subsequently defeat Voldy. And both the Ministry and Gringotts were super close calls, as was going to Hogsmeade!

    • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

      Right? By the end I think Harry would be pretty skeptical of anyplace someone told him was supposed to safe or secure. Even the Burrow, which is a refuge of sorts throughout the series, gets infiltrated with DEs when the ministry falls. I think the ONLY place of safety we see that doesn’t get broken into in some fashion is Shell Cottage.

      • travellinginabluebox

        And 4 Privet Drive… Harry breaks out of that but no one ever attacks him there from the outside. The Dursleys are a whole other story. And the Umbridge’s Dementors don’t count because that was not in Privet Drive, but in the neighbourhood.

        Come to think of it, same goes for Grimauld Place. Not a happy place either, but safer than Hogwarts.

        • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

          Oh right, I guess I wasn’t considering Privet Drive a place of refuge, since Harry hates it there, but technically it totally is with the whole blood/love protection thing. Though if Harry hadn’t left before his 17th birthday, it totally would have been attacked too.

          Grimmauld Place gets accidentally infiltrated when they disapparate there with Yaxley though. Plus there’s the whole thing where they have to abandon it after Dumbledore dies since they don’t know about Snape’s true loyalties. But you’re right, up until the ministry break-in, it is entirely impenetrable.

          • travellinginabluebox

            Yeah the Yaxley thing is their own slip-up though.
            But since neither Grimauld Place nor Privet Drive provide Harry with nice memories or a homely feeling they both get easily overlooked as a safe place.

          • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

            So, I guess the lesson here is that Fidelius Charms and blood/love magic trump all. I wish you could place a Fidelius Charm on a person…lol. I wonder what kind of abode a place has to be to qualify for the charm. What if someone were living in the trunk of a tree or in a small patch of forest? It doesn’t have an address but it is a non-moving place.

          • travellinginabluebox

            The ever interesting question of how magic works… 😀

            I would assume the Fidelius charm would work on those places you mentioned, because a charm shouldn’t care what it is protecting, right?

          • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

            I guess the only caveat would be how to communicate that location with others. Maybe you could write the GPS coordinates down on a piece of paper for friends to memorize so that they could visit you there 😀 If there are no spells for apparating to a specific set of coordinates, then perhaps they would have to memorize a map…an X marks the spot type of thing :)

          • travellinginabluebox

            True didn’t think of that… Maybe the address is not the point. Isn’t the Fidelius super old and possible got invented in a time before addresses existed? I am sure as long as you can somehow describe how to get to the place it would work and we are just now using addresses which simplifies the process. What do you think?

          • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

            Hmm, I just read the “Secret Keeper” write up on Pottermore and was reminded that the Secret Keeper is the keeper of secret information of any type. It sounds like it doesn’t have to be a place at all – that’s just the only way we see it used in the books. And you are correct that the charm is “extremely ancient.” Therefore, I would agree that an address is not necessary for the charm to work.

            I’m surprised that Hermione never attempted it while they were hiding out in Book 7. Though, it is said to be very difficult (not that that’s ever stopped her before…haha).

          • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

            Yeah, I think I brought this up in previous discussions about the Fidelius, that what is actually protected is the information itself. Which is why the charm is only on the building (if the Secret is an address) and wouldn’t extend to people except when inside of it, as some folks were saying (I think some were trying to argue that the charm was somehow on the Potters themselves).

            I had originally assumed that the Trio didn’t use the Fidelius charm because it would have meant sharing that info with someone, when they had no intention of letting anyone know where they were, including their allies. But then we found out Bill was his own Secret-Keeper for shell cottage, so…
            Ostensibly Hermione could have done the same, if she were capable of performing it.

          • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

            Ooo good recall on Bill being his own Secret Keeper! I’d forgotten that! I suppose the reason Hermione didn’t use it is…drama 😛 And we probably would have thought it to be overused if she had.

          • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

            Credit to @Lisa:disqus for reminding me a few episodes ago on the Bill thing. Yeah, that’s the thing about magic from an authorial standpoint- everything becomes too easy unless you have some tight limits canonically. When those limits aren’t in place well… we have these kinds of questions.

          • Lisa

            Yup and it was such an unnecessary plot hole too. Why couldn’t she just say Arthur was Bill’s Secret Keeper or Molly or Auntie Muriel? Literally anyone other than Bill and it would have been fine. We wouldn’t have had to deal with questions like “Why didn’t Hermione do the same?” or “Why did James and Lily have to die?” or “Is the whole premise for these series a convencience and are our lives just lies?”

          • ousley

            Depending on the time of use, it also could have prevented Ron from finding them again.

          • travellinginabluebox

            True, maybe it takes some time to place the charm on the area/object and it wasn’t safe to do that? Or maybe the risks of the charm failing were to high and camping out in remote places worked as well, so why bother?
            Or maybe having Hermione just casually doing the Fidelius charm would have been too much. I mean after obliviating her parents, charming those coins for the DA and brewing Polyjuice in second year there had to be a line for Rowling, to not make Hermione the way out of everything. And just because we know 2 characters (Flitwick and Dumbledore) that can do the Fidelius it doesn’t mean it is a common thing skilled witches and wizards can do. I would think the Fidelius goes in line with casting a patronus but probably even harder, as Patronus charm is NEWT level at Hogwarts and fairly sure the Fidelius is not covered in the Hogwarts curriculum.
            And I have to say, personally I was already amazed that Hermione could do all those protection charms, after all we never really encounter them before DH.

          • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

            I was very impressed with Hermione’s protection charms as well :) And I agree that all of your other points make a great case for why Hermione did not use the Fidelius Charm.

          • travellinginabluebox

            I would assume that the Fidelius would work that way, it can’t be limited to protect buildings only. But whom am I to tell you how magic works 😉

  • Mollywobbles

    Maybe Hagrid flew with his pink umbrella like Mary Poppins!

    • travellinginabluebox

      Head cannon accepted 😀

    • Casey L.

      There is that theory about her being a Hogwarts student, so maybe!

    • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

      LOL!!! YES!!! THIS!!! 😀 😀 😀

    • Or maybe Harris “floo”

    • Minerva the Flufflepuff

      Please can someone with artistic talent draw this? I need this on my wall…

  • daveybjones999 .

    Haven’t listened to the episode yet, I’m still re-reading this chapter via the Jim Dale audiobook, so I’m not sure if this is already mentioned in the episode, but one thing that I always wondered about reading this chapter is how did the Dursley’s make it back to their house? Hagrid and Harry take the boat that they used to make it to the island in the first place so how did they get back? It would be fun to theorize about how they make it back does anyone have any ideas?

    • SnapesManyButtons

      I think the guy who rented it to them went looking for them when they didn’t bring the key back on time and then proceeded to charge them for an extra day and for all the damages Hagrid caused to the place. Vernon would have been outraged, but was too cold and hungry to care. Harry and Hagrid, meanwhile, never gave them another thought.

      • Horned Badger

        I like this head cannon! Something in my memory says that Hagrid like magicked the boat back to the island. I might be making that up bc unless Jo said that I think Hagrid would just have gotten a kick out of leaving them there haha.

    • Did Harry return to the lighthouse or to Privet Drive?

      • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

        Privet Drive. So they definitely go home. But I’d love to know how as well :)

  • Horned Badger

    New question, what’s the chain of evidence on Harry’s vault key? Was it recovered from the destroyed house or entrusted to someone before they went into hiding. Who is the trustee of Harry’s fortune? Dumbledore obviously makes the decision to leave Harry with the Dursley’s but they don’t know about his fortune so either the executor didn’t tell them about it or the potters willed Harry’s guardianship to dumbledore (I think).

    • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

      Good question! Dumbledore leaves a will so it would seem that wizards do, indeed, have these kinds of things.

      • travellinginabluebox

        Yes, we do see Sirius will and Dumbledore’s executed, so that should definitely be a thing.
        Since only a few select people new about the Potters going in hiding, we could assume that maybe only Sirius and Dumbledore were entrusted with the knowledge of what should happen in case of their death. I would assume that Dumbledore would be part of that, as they trusted him greatly and he was the leader of the light. It was him who suggested the Fidelius charm, so he was definitely part of the planning. As we can assume, the Potters didn’t need their vault key whilst in hiding, either Sirius or Dumbledore would have kept it for them. Maybe Sirius had it, but gave it to Hagrid when he picked up Harry? Or Dumbledore was trusted with that all along?

        • Horned Badger

          Great points, those both totally slipped my mind somehow.

    • Silverdoe25

      That’s what was going on during the missing 24 hours. Searching for the Gringotts vault key. It’s always in the last place you look!

      • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

        LOL!! I like it :)

  • Horned Badger

    Regarding the discussion of whether giving Harry a lot of money was a shortcut for Jo I don’t think it was. She could have just never spoken about money, made hogwarts a public school, or used the school funds like for Tom Riddle. I think it was incredibly intentional. A huge difference for Harry and Ron and sets up a loving family versus wealth or power motif (later explored in the Malloy family and tom riddle’s own younger years). I have such a distinct mental image from book 2 or 4 wear the weasley’s accompany Harry to Gringotts and can see in from the doorway to his piles of money. It adds a layer to Rob’s jealousy because this is the first things Ron experiences with Harry to be jealous of. Harry’s fame does truly come into play until they leave their train compartment, but before they leave Rob gets a look at how loaded Harry is via the snacks trolley. So I think the device of Harry’s inheritance gets used in such a clever character relationship affecting way it can’t be considered just an easy set up device.

    • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

      I agree. (Good call on remembering the time the Weasley’s accompany him to Gringotts!) And it’s also a good lesson for kids (as this was a children’s book). Just because you’re wealthy doesn’t mean you have to be irresponsible with money and a conceited jerk. Just as being poor doesn’t mean you’re stupid and lazy.

      • Horned Badger

        Yes, fiscal responsibility hahaha, funny now that she is one of the richest women in the world!

        • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

          But she practices what she preached. She gives away SO much to charity and doesn’t appear to spend it on frivolous things as so many wealthy people do. Some people who come from poor backgrounds have no idea what to do with wealth when it’s dropped in their lap; for instance, lottery winners who go bankrupt within a few years. Whereas she learned to be responsible with the little she had and held onto those practices once she became rich. I respect her a lot for that.

          • Horned Badger

            absolutely, just fun to compare when she wrote the books to what is now. She’s incredibly charitable

    • travellinginabluebox

      Hogwarts is a public school. Kids only need to buy their supplies, there are no fees. Rowling confirmed so in an interview.

    • DoraNympha

      Plus, the vault and the fortune, like the cloak and the map, is a way to show us that Harry’s parents were and are there to take care of him, even in death, contrasting Riddle’s lack of loving relatives. Ron is the flipside of this: he’s got a huge family but no pile of gold.

  • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

    I don’t think Harry having a butt-load of money at Gringotts was just a convenience. Given that his parents were in the Order and personally targeted by Voldemort, I think they would have had the forethought to make sure Harry was set in that sense, in case something did happen to them. I also agree that Harry having access to all that money and the choices he makes with it are a good way of building him as a character and adding another layer to the kind of person he is, just in general a really good kid.

    • If only I, at 21, had the forethought to make sure I was set for life!

      • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

        What, you mean you didn’t inherit a massive fortune? Muggle Pleb!

  • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

    I remember how I imagined Diagon Alley was influenced by a flea market my mother and I visited shortly before I first read the book, where there were just all these crazy things everywhere to look at, with barrells and shelves full of things lining the walkways, stuff just piled up on tables, and what seemed like miles of stalls selling everything you could possibly imagine. I imagined Diagon Alley being much the same, only with actual storefronts versus stalls. Jim Kay’s illustrations are actually probably the closest thing to how I imagined it than anything else, though I really like the film’s interpretation too.

  • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

    Since Seuss Landing is so close to Hogsmeade at Universal, I once wondered if the crooked buildings of Diagon Alley were at all inspired by Dr. Seuss.

    • You make me want to go back so bad. I loved Dr. Seuss land solely because it meant I was getting closer and closer to Hogsmeade! Haha

      I lived in Orlando back in 2015. I would catch a bus to Universal each Sunday, listen to the latest Alohomora episode on my way, and spend the day at Harry Potter World! (if I had the day off of course!)

      • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

        I love Seuss Landing! I think I’ve gotten my picture taken with all of the “characters” who come out on occasion. I’ve ridden all the rides (the Cat in the Hat ride is the best – but don’t make out with your honey during it unless you want to get yelled at over a loud speaker…LOL) and explored the kiddie areas you can walk around in. I’m a sucker for kiddie rides 😉

        I’m so jealous that you were able to go to Harry Potter World so many times!! That must have been AMAZING!! I try to go once a year but I’d be there every month if I could 😉

  • Kay’s right. James sucks.

    • travellinginabluebox

      And don’t get me started on Sirius 😉

      • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

        That’s right. Lupin is the only Marauder worthy of our admiration.

        I will fight whoever chimes in with “but Lupin’s a coward..”
        #LupinLove. 😀

        • I wish you didn’t say that. I seem to be the only one who does NOT like Lupin. Lupin is great in book 3, but beyond that he is such a DRAG! I absolutely hate what he does in Deathly Hallows and I love the way Harry berates him. And then Lupin physically strikes Harry? What a horribly weak man! I get that he was a great DADA teacher in his time, but beyond that he is a mopey, uncool, bore of a character.

          None of the Marauders deserve admiration. They were the Malfoy of their day. Bullies. No reason to admire bullies.

          • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

            Fight me!

            Jk. I think to try and limit Lupin to one box- be it hero, coward, bully, whatever- is to not understand the depth of his character, much like can be said of Snape. I absolutely love that scene of his fight with Harry, because it shows his weaknesses, that he’s got some pretty strong inner demons to contend with. He is by no means perfect, but I don’t want him to be. I wouldn’t like him nearly as much as a charachter if he were just the Lupin we see in the classroom. And that one moment does not define who he is, it just adds to his complexity. I think there is a lot of good and bad rolled in together, but ultimately, his intentions are good even if he makes the wrong choices sometimes. Which, isn’t that true of all of us? I don’t think his every action is admirable, but ultimately the role he plays in Harry’s life is. I absolutely love that Harry is the one to berate him, because so often Lupin is the one laying down the sort of hard truths that Harry may not want to hear, but needs to hear. To have that switched, to show this is the kind of relationship they have, I think is brilliant. Trust me, it was soul crushing when he attacked Harry, and I definitely don’t condone it, but I also understand why he did it. Feeling that much anger, shame, regret, and fear all at once is such a powerful thing. And I think that particular arguement cut much deeper than even Harry realized (not that he deserved the reaction he got) but I think it is completely realistic to think someone would lose control of themselves when faced with all their demons at once. I admire Lupin because even with that sort of darkness he carries around, he manages to be a great teacher, a generally good person who has made some mistakes (I disagree that the bully label can be slapped on him as it can with James, Sirius, and Snape) and at the end of the day, he values his own life less than those he seeks to protect.

          • I don’t believe a character has to be perfect to be likeable. Lupin’s flaws are not the reason I dislike him. I dislike him because he is a dull, boring character. He is exciting in book 3, but beyond that he does nothing but try to keep Harry in line and then continues on to mope around. Have some balls man! Stop whining! And then he physically attacks Harry!?! After trying to stop Harry from being reckless time after time, Lupin attacks Harry? What a hypocrite! Practice what you preach man!

            Lupin and the Marauders further demonstrates just how weak Lupin is. Lupin finds friends who accept him for what he is and he feels loved. I understand where Lupin is coming from. I understand that when his friends start terrorizing fellow students Lupin cannot do anything about it because Lupin fears he will lose his friends.

            But that IS weakness. “It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.” Neville Longbottom in his first year of school was a stronger man than Lupin ever was.

          • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

            “Neville Longbottom in his first year of school was a stronger man than Lupin ever was.”

            WOW!! I kinda want to grab the popcorn and see how @thattimeremuswaddiwasiedvoldy:disqus responds to this. But I also want to add – Neville had a difficult childhood but it was not as difficult as Harry’s or Lupin’s. He lacked confidence but he was never “othered” or abused, and was always loved. Growing up as a werewolf is akin to growing up with a chronic illness. Maybe you have to have a chronic illness to understand the significance of that, but it colors everything about you, including your mood (which is not under your control when you suffer from depression, which I believe Lupin does).

          • Lupin suffers depression and a handful of other things, but Neville isn’t “normal” either. He suffers lack of confidence. It’s a social disorder of sorts and not easy to overcome. I wouldn’t doubt that Neville is experiencing some sort of depression either. But Neville had the balls to stand up to his friends while Lupin didn’t. And on top of that Lupin was weak enough to strike.

            (So I do tend to play devil’s advocate with comments like these just to see how far or how abstract I can make my points. I may not believe this opinion entirely, but, like you, I like to grab some popcorn, sit back and debate! tee hee)

          • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

            LMAO! I feel like this is becoming a regular thing.

          • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

            That’s okay. I love popcorn 😉
            Great response btw, as always! 😀

          • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

            Aww thanks :) You bring the popcorn, Wheezy brings the absurdity, and we all have a grand time here in the Alohomora comments. Lol

          • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

            Yes. Yes we do 😀

          • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

            HA HA, I smell a troll in the dungeon with that last statement… You can’t see it, but I’m side-eying you super hard, Wheezy!

            But in all seriousness, you make some fair points and I’ll just have to agree to disagree. Where you see a mopey bore, I see a profoundly tragic figure, who is who he is both in spite of, and as a result of, the many tragedies of his life. You want him to “man up”, whereas I just want to give the poor guy a hug. I don’t see his attack on Harry as a sort of reckless abandonment of good sense, but the loss of control by man who has reached a breaking point. I think it is something that is very out of character for Lupin under normal circumstances, as we otherwise see him to have a very steady temperament and manages to maintain control of his emotions in situations where one might otherwise not be entirely expected to. That this particular scene and the circumstances leading up to it drive him to snap with such intensity, I find incredibly fascinating and gut-wrenchingly sad.

            As far as this comparison to Neville… The way I see it, standing up to one’s friends is an entirely normal thing for teenagers to struggle with and this is what makes Neville brave- because he is behaving exceptionally. This isn’t something that everyone is able to do, but that doesn’t make every person who has never stood up to their friends when they maybe should have a weak person on the whole. It’s the sort of thing where it is much easier to expect it of adults, but less so of children and teens. I would say the same of Lupin; he isn’t a weaker person, just an average person in this one respect. He is merely lacking in bravery in this one way, rather than being weak or cowardly on the whole. And like Slughorn’s Trophy Wife pointed out, their circumstances are somewhat different and I do believe that Lupin inability to stand up to his friends has added complexity that Neville’s situation with the trio doesn’t. Don’t forget, Neville’s motivation for it came from being caught up in the whole scandal of losing a ton of points for Gryffindor and being outcasted by the rest of the school as a result, something that even Harry noted as being harder for him to deal with than the trio, because they at least had each other. At the heart of his rationale for standing up to the Trio was fear of them making all their situations worse by losing even more points. Lupin’s fear, by contrast, was entirely wrapped up in losing the very friends he should have been taking a stand against. I think those are very different things, and not entirely comparable.

            We could go on about this for ages I suspect, so hopefully we’ll eventually get a Lupin episode. Then Wheezy, we shall really have it out.

            James still sucks though.

          • travellinginabluebox

            As does Sirius. #caseclosed

          • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

            Haha!

          • Yes, James still sucks. I think that is the most important lesson of the day!

            (Love chatting with you, haha!)

          • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

            Haha
            Likewise, good sir. 😀

    • Lisa

      His characterization makes it very hard to like him. Not many people feel sympathy towards the hot rich jock who bullies the ugly kid. The people who like James usually do so because he changed but the change is never shown in the books.

  • I believe Harry’s riches were entirely convenience. What kind of salary was the Order of the Phoenix paying out to a couple of 21 year olds?!?

    • RegulusBlackout

      It was all inherited wealth; James was born rich enough to never have to work! All that’s confirmed in the Pottermore Potter family back story, and I believe Rowling interviews as well.

      • If you take Pottermore as canon then sure, but the books never explain it. Either way, it’s still convenience.

        • RegulusBlackout

          One can definitely take or leave Pottermore, but I think the wealth is still important to both Harry and James’s characters. As Horned Badger already made this point above, the wealth is important to defining Harry and Ron’s relationship. It is also acts to emphasize James’s relative privilege to Snape in the penseive scenes. And, like the hosts said, book one is a Cinderella fantasy if ever there was one! Highly convenient at first, sure, but it is more than justified by the rest of the plot.

          • Great point. That is also what Rowling does best. She introduces these perfect characters or situations only to tear them apart as the books develop. The money really does play a subtle yet big part in the relationships between many characters!

            I had never realized Lily was a gold digger until just now. It always baffled me that she ended up with James, but you’ve just made it very clear!

          • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

            *eyes popping out of head* That’s definitely the first time I’ve seen Lily called a gold digger! LOL!!

          • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

            You are really on a roll today aren’t you…outrageous statements for the win.

          • Haha, I can’t see how else James could have “changed” enough for Lilly to marry him after watching him torture her childhood friend for years…

          • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

            Well, I think Jo’s intention was for that to be a rivalry/bullying thing that went both ways, and that that kind of behavior was sort of a special case just in terms of Snape-it’s just that we see the worst of it started by James and Sirius. We don’t get enough of James’ interactions with the rest of the school to really know how he might have been otherwise but I think we’re meant to infer from his involvement with the Order that he had more interest in standing up for the little guy than we see, and perhaps regretted being the bully. But, what she intended and what we are actually given are two very different things. Whatever it was that changed Lily’s mind about him, we definitely don’t get a clear picture of, only Sirius’ insistence that he did ( which talk about unreliable…). But to her credit, I do think there is something to be said for not holding the things people do as children and teenagers against them for their entire lives, if they do indeed grow and mature and hold themselves to a better standard in the future. I myself had a reconciliation with a childhood bully. While I don’t necessarily forgive that behavior from her, I don’t see her in the same light as an adult versus when we were teens. Some of her friends and partners in crime on the other hand…well, they appear to be just as crappy of adults, by all accounts. So screw them.

          • Although I both agree that people can change and an individual’s actions as a child do not represent who they become as an adult, and also that I didn’t mean to take this conversation so seriously, I will say that James was still very much a kid by the time he and Lily got together. Yes the “official” age of adulthood is 17 for wizards, but 17 years olds are not grown up. In the US we can still have 17 – 18 year old bullies in school who still can grow out of such behavior and become decent adults. But to get together and have a child by 20 years old? That is not really a ton of time to change. Snape was Lily’s first friend and James did horrible things to them. Even if the 2 guys were doing horrible things to one another equally, they were both still horrible.

            Money can change a person. That’s for sure!

          • RegulusBlackout

            Oh, you know that swindling Lily Evans!
            Kind of a “Mr. Darcy-doesn’t-seem-so-bad-now-that-I-see-his-huge-house” situation eh? 😛

            Also was just missing the Alohomora! merch. Tried to find it to no avail :(

  • RegulusBlackout

    Hagrid’s Slytherin line is still pretty problematic; while he’s not saying all Slytherins are evil, he’s saying all evil people came from Slytherin. Which is just as bad, and also a downright lie!

    • SMills

      I agree. I think it only sets Harry up for further bad feelings towards the Slytherins when he should be worried about reconciling the houses.

    • I don’t think what Hagrid said was a lie. What evil people came from a house other than Slytherin?

      • RegulusBlackout

        Pettigrew, Lockhart, Quirrell… These aren’t people he knows about at the time, but given that they reveal themselves to have “gone bad” one per year in such quick succession… Not likely they are the first non-bad non-Slytherins he has ever encountered. Moreover, it’s the type of “always” or “never” statement that is inherently unlikely.

        • But Hagrid really isn’t wrong. We have never seen a good Slytherin. Slughorn was close enough to good but he was always hesitant. Sure he comes around in the end, but that is just 1 sole Slytherin. Snape also came around, but he was just as bad as any other Slytherin in his day.

          Slytherins are the cruelest people in the books. They are never kind nor caring. And I can’t blame Hagrid for having these opinions either. A Slytherin got him expelled. I don’t think it’s wrong of him to share these opinions either. Slytherins are a bad influence.

          • RegulusBlackout

            Andromeda Tonks? Regulus Black? Merlin?
            I definitely understand why he feel this way (good point about Riddle) but it still paints an inaccurate image of the house for the readers. Which was very intentional! But still inaccurate.

          • Regulus was a bad guy. He was a Snape. He changed in the end, but he was still a Deatheater.

            I just don’t think it’s right to say Hagrid was wrong. Slytherin house is a dangerous house.

          • travellinginabluebox

            I think the problem with that accusation is, that we as readers were never introduced to the Slytherin house properly. We have not met all of them, as we have not met all of Hufflepuff or Ravenclaw. And after the second book I disliked Hufflepuffs because the ones we met in Harry’s second year were really annoying, until Cedric came around and we actually learned to like Hufflepuffs again.

            We didn’t get that with Slytherin. We only ever met Malfoy and his lot and there had to be other Slytherins, that just weren’t seen by Harry and his friends, because the kept their heads down and stayed away from the fights.

            There are even Slytherins in Harry’s year that we know next to nothing about. Greengrass, Bulstrode to name 2 girls and there had to be at least one or two more girls in Slytherin. And Nott and Zabini from the boys do get a couple of mentions, but we do not properly get introduced to them and their beliefs either.

            So I would assume there are good Slytherins out there but we were never introduced to them, as they weren’t important to the story.

          • I would have to disagree based on the way Rowling developed her series. Sirius Black was first introduced as a good, “fun uncle” sort of character but he was revealed to be a bad influence. Dumbledore was first introduced as a grand master wizard who could do no wrong, yet he was revealed to be full of flaws and mistakes. Snape was introduced as a truly hateful person, but he was revealed to be motivated by love. You even said yourself that Hufflepuff house was introduced in a negative light, but later they are revealed to be a great house full of great brave students!

            Slytherin house doesn’t get this revelation as the books progress. While everything and everybody else in the wizarding world is broken down or developed, Slytherin house remains the house of villains.

            Slughorn is really the only shining light in Slytherin house, but he himself never reveals a change within the house itself. The house in it’s entirety remains the same. They do not redeem themselves. Hagrid is right in calling them a house that produces evil wizards.

          • travellinginabluebox

            I still don’t see your point there, because we see the whole series out of the point of view from a 11-17 year old boy. So of course his perception changed, but he never was in close contact with Slytherins to have a better understanding of the house dynamics.

            Similarily Draco and his goons always attack Harry and his friends but never anyone else in Gryffindor, or Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff.

          • Eh, sure the story is about Harry, but the books are not solely from his point of view. The first chapter of the entire series is follows Vernon Dursley. The characterizations are not created by Harry himself. We as readers may be influenced by Harry’s opinions of other characters but the descriptions and actions of other characters are from an omniscient narrator.

            We don’t see Slytherins as bad guys because Harry doesn’t like them. We see Slytherins as bad guys because Slytherins are bad guys. My point was that Rowling works to make us understand characters who are not what they first appear to be. She does this with everyone. She shows us that Gryffindor house can even be the bad guys sometimes, through the Marauders. But she doesn’t do this with Slytherin house. They remain the evil, unchanging characters of the story.

      • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

        Zacharius Smith. I’ve got some beef with that guy.

  • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

    In regard to the discussion on Ollivander and his moral neutrality, I agree that we often get this sense of detachment from him, where he seems more interested in wands as an academic passion than in terms of personal responsibility. However, I wanted to bring up this quote of his, from after he touches Harry’s scar-

    He says, “I’m sorry to say I sold the wand that did it.”, followed by, “…Powerful wand, very powerful, and in the wrong hands…well, if I’d known what that wand was going out into the world to do…”.
    He definitely seems to be showing a bit of remorse here, or at least some sense of responsibility for putting that particular wand into the hands of someone who would go on to do such terrible things with it. This makes me wonder if he had any kind of suspicion of the young Tom Riddle at the time, but ignored it as his role of neutral middleman required. I don’t think such a brief encounter would likely have given him great reason to suspect Tom of future misdeeds, unlike Dumbledore who learned a great deal about Tom in their first meeting and remained skeptical of him ever after, but then again as pointed out by the hosts, Ollivander does seem to be able to read a great deal into a person’s character in the pursuit of matching them with their wand. Also, I’d like to know more about his thoughts after his last statement that just trails away. If he had indeed known what Tom would go on to do, what would he have done? Is he implying that maybe he wouldn’t have sold him that particular wand; would he have insisted on trying others, maybe ones less powerful, or less inclined to dark magic? Is it even possible that any other wand would have “chosen” the young Tom Riddle? I don’t know the answers but I think this does raise some interesting questions regarding how much choice and responsibility Ollivander really has and that perhaps he isn’t as detached from those things as we think he is.

    • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

      maybe he would have written to Hogwarts “You guys, I’ve just sold this young Riddle boy a wand that is linked to death somehow and could aid him in becoming evil and powerful. Thought you oughta know. Regards, Olli” 😉

      • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

        Hogwarts: “LOLZ…let’s put him in Slytherin. It’s fine, everything’s fine here.”

        • travellinginabluebox

          Dumbledore: Yeah that boy seemed suspicious, but hey whatever… now he is acting all nice. Job done.

          Hogwarts: In fact let’s make him head boy!

          • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

            LMAO!!!

          • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

            Slughorn: Indeed, bravo! Great student, ol’ Tom. *Whilst literally sweeping his horcrux memories under the rug..

    • DoraNympha

      I think Ollivander’s clearly not a fan of Voldemort – he endured over a year of being held hostage and still barely gave him any information. So he’s awesome. But it’s Harry’s perspective and anyone who doesn’t ride into battle on an enchanted chess board horse, wielding Gryffindor’s sword, is morally dubious… Damn, Harry, this is the thanks Ollivander gets, just because he dared to consider the idea of Voldemort having the Elder Wand? And what is he supposed to do, even if he suspects his wands will be used for bad things? He must have known what kind of a person Bellatrix will turn out to be, just by her name and her wand, but if Ollivander doesn’t sell them the wands, they’ll get one from somewhere else, perhaps from a less safe place in Knockturn Alley…

  • MartinMiggs

    the malfoys though Harry was the next dark lord because he supposedly killed Voldemort as a 1 yr old. They would have no reason to believe Delphi was the next other than Voldemort being her father which we don’t even know is true

    • Lisa

      We do know it’s true. Just because some people would prefer a different father for her doesn’t make it ambiguous that he is her father. But the Malfoys might not have known that.

  • I had a pretty unique experience with my first reading of Sorcerer’s Stone. I saw the first movie when it came out at 8 years old. I was a very creative child and absolutely loved the movie. However, I hated reading. I did not pick up a Potter book until after movie 3 was released. I was obsessed with Potter at this time and my mom had been reading the books. She would tell me such exciting things about Goblet of Fire, but would never go into detail, stressing that “If you want to know what happens, read the book!”

    My mom is the best. At 11 years old I picked up the massive Goblet of Fire book and began reading. This was the first book I ever read for my own entertainment and wow was it amazing. I became a reader. And I read each Potter book as they were released. But I never went back to the first 3 books.

    I had tried to read Sorcerer’s stone once, but it felt so similar to the movie that I didn’t feel the need to finish. It wasn’t until 2014, at 21 years old, that I finally actually read the entire book. At this age I was still a huge Potter fan and I had re-read books 4 – 7 at least once through. But I hadn’t gone back to the first 3!! It was thanks to Alohomora that I finally went back to those first books. I wanted to read the books and listen to the podcast, chapter by chapter.

    So glad I did. Sorcerer’s Stone is amazing. It is difficult to settle on any particular Potter book as being my favorite, but Sorcerer’s Stone often takes that spot. Reading it for the first time after watching and reading everything else was a wonderful experience. It was like being 8 years old, sitting in the movie theater and watching Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone for the first time all over again. Truly magical

    • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

      Now that you mention it, I don’t believe I read SS after seeing the movie either. I was told that it was so similar to the movie that I could skip it, so I did. I read CS and POA, and then went back and read SS to catch the differences. That’s probably why I still have such a hard time remembering novel canon vs. movie canon with the first.

    • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

      I’m continually surprised by the unique ways people are introduced to Potter and experience the books. That’s a really interesting perspective you experience the series through. Also, it warms my heart every time I hear about non-readers learning to love reading through Potter.

  • Also, the imagery I see when reading is all over the place.

    For Harry, I visualize the Potter Puppet Pals Harry.

    For Dumbledore, I visualize Lego Dumbledore

    For Hermione, I visualize Emma Watson, but with Hair about 4 times the size.

    For Snape, I visualize a tall, slender man with a face very similar to Alan Rickman’s, but with Squidward’s nose.

    For Voldemort I always see my own Voldemort, who has ACTUAL RED SLIT EYES. They make him all the more terrifying. Movie Voldemort is a bit too short and wide looking.

    Oh, and Slughorn was always Mr. Waternoose from Monster’s Inc. Yes, the spider guy. Slughorn has 8 legs…

  • ousley

    I enjoyed the discussion about how Harry Potter is similar to other stories like Narnia in that there’s another world waiting, it just needs discovered. I think Harry Potter is unique from many of those other stories in that it is completely intertwined with the Muggle world. It isn’t “go through this passage and you’re in a totally different land,” it is “go through this passage and you’re literally in a building in London surrounded by Muggles but they can’t see you.” And wizards throughout the series are integrated with Muggle culture in so many ways – or sneak through / blend in with Muggle culture (renting the ministry cars to take Harry to the station, for example) that it leaves you with a sense of wonder that “wow, this really could exist!” in a way that no other story has ever done for me. The oddly acting people at the stop light really COULD be Ministry officials transporting a wizard under cover – we’ll never know!

  • Guys, Rowling just apologized for killing Snape. Did she need to apologize?

    (queue dramatic “bum bum buuuuum”)

    • Mollywobbles

      There’s so much drama in the fandom right now! I really wish people could just accept that other people like characters that they might not like themselves and that liking a character doesn’t make you a good/bad person. I don’t understand why this is such a divisive issue!

      • You’re right. People can like what they want. I’ll forever argue in favor of my opinions just because it’s fun, but that doesn’t really mean anything. Snape as a person was horrible but Snape as a character in a series that we all love is fantastic. We can only thank Snape for what he was able to contribute to the story, regardless of if we hate him or not!

        Just remember, forget Cursed Child.

        • travellinginabluebox

          I’ll fight you on that one ;-P #TeamAlison

          • Oh no not again!
            I really don’t feel like getting back into a Cursed Child debate. That went on long enough last time! I’ll just say that I really truly do not understand why anyone would possibly defend that story when it is just so bad. We Potter fans are fans of some of the best writing on the planet, but Cursed Child is so generic and typical! Sure a new Potter story is fun to read, but admit when it’s horrible!

          • Lisa

            Lol if you don’t want to get into a debate/discussion why do you keep mentioning it all the time even when it’s completely off-topic? 😀

            Best writing on the planet? Nah I think the books were great, don’t get me wrong, but they’re not exactly Nobel Prize material. As for CC, it may be horrible (though taste is subjective, remember) but that’s beside the point as far as canon goes. There are plenty of godawful stories out there, doesn’t make them not canon.

          • I didn’t mention canon

          • Lisa

            I beg to differ: “Nothing is canon beyond the 7 books” 😛

          • That’s a whole different comment! Different conversation!

          • travellinginabluebox

            Well I have seen it on stage first and I loved it as the theatre play that it is. I understand the points many make about the story, but since I have seen it first it had already stolen my heart by how amazing the play is.

          • Alison

            *pops in just to whisper*: I have a team *disappears again*

      • Lisa

        Agreed. I never really understood the hype surrounding Snape or the Marauders so maybe I’m the wrong person to say this but breaking up real life friendships over differing opinions on these characters is just very sad. I realize that people who’ve done so are probably very young and therefore immature but still. It might have made sense to get into controversies over Snape and/or the Marauders while reading the books, but ten years after the series is over it’s time to move on. “He’s a hero!” “No he’s a bully!” “Nuh-uh!” “Yuh-uh!” He’s a hero AND a bully and that’s how it was intended. No point in arguing over the obvious, IMO. There are plenty of “good-but-nasty” characters in literature so it’s not like Rowling reinvented the wheel. People just need to read more.

        • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

          Agree with you so much here. I find it endlessly fun to debate the many facets of her characters but I find it so beside the point to try and stick them into any singular box. I honestly don’t understand when people can’t accept that so many of her characters have a certain amount of moral greyness that defies stereotypical labeling of “good” vs “bad”. They can be both! Or neither, completely. And you can still love or hate them as a character. The petty sort of bickering where fans turn differences of opinion over characters into personal attacks is absurd. All those “HP confessions” tumblr and facebook pages are THE WORST for that sort of thing.

    • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

      Hmm…I don’t take issue with who she chooses to apologize for, but the more I’ve thought about it, I think it is a bit odd that she is making these apologies at all. Like, every character’s death added something to the story, why apologize for that? I guess I just think it isn’t something we should take too seriously, or as anything beyond a nod to the fans because she knows the emotional impact these deaths had on us. I think this is an instance of unnecessarily catering to fan entitlement, but it’s sweet of her to do it I suppose.

      • Alison

        I think it’s just her fun, kind of silly way to memorialize the day each year. People expect it from her, so she’s just going to throw something out there. I think the first one (Fred, if I remember correctly) actually came from a genuine question someone asked or something, and after that, she just decided to roll with it, make it a tradition. Who knows? Maybe one day she’ll say “I apologize for Lavendar” and we’ll finally know! Or she’ll shock us all and announce someone we didn’t even think about asking about was dead!

        • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

          Omg, this would be a pretty epic way to finally tell us Lavender’s fate once and for all. Also, I just realized how many more years she can continue on with this (12+ any I might be forgetting) and I wonder if she’ll eventually apologize for any of the straight up baddies, like Crabbe or Bellatrix? Or anyone with some gray area that is generally more detested amongst the fandom as a whole than Snape, like Scrimgeour or Pettigrew?

          • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

            I still want an apology for Colin Creevey! #TeamColin

          • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

            He’s probably not too far down the list. She can’t NOT apologize for Colin now that she’s made this a thing. I’m going to place bets on Dobby for next year, or maybe Hedwig. And eventually, Ted Tonks :(

  • So the Nimbus 2000 was the fastest broom yet. Then the 2001 came out. Next year was the firebolt.

    It has been 24 years since the firebolt was released. Has there been 24 faster brooms to come out? Is the Nimbus 2000 a piece of crap at this point? Are we talking play station 1s vs play station 4s?

    • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

      Seeing as they just went through the trouble of releasing a new editions of the Hogwarts Library, seems it would have been a good opportunity to add an updated broom section in QTtA. Are Firebolt makers still top dogs in the sport broom industry?

      • Were the other books updated at all or was it just Fantastic Beasts that contained new content?

        • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

          I don’t think so, but I only briefly looked through the ones I bought for my friends birthday before giving them to her. I haven’t heard anything stating otherwise though.

    • ousley

      Brooms – the iPhones of the wizarding world?

  • Silverdoe25

    I’d like to bring up a point from the end of the chapter that was overlooked. Hagrid apparated??? Expelled as a 3rd year and his wand snapped, but he manages to apparate away? I love Hagrid as much as the next fan, but I think he’s a couple of Ds short of the 3 Ds. Obviously, this was one of those “things Jo hadn’t quite worked out” in book 1, which means… time to theorize how he disappeared in the blink of an eye!

    • ousley

      I just went back and reread that – it says the train pulled away and Harry was watching with his nose to the window, so I picture it more like the train had traveleled far enough that Harry couldn’t see Hagrid anymore, and because he was so anxious it felt like his whole connection to the new world was gone in a flash.

      • ousley

        #dontcallmearowlingapologist haha

        • Silverdoe25

          It also says, “Harry wanted to watch Hagrid until he was out of sight; he rose in his seat and pressed his nose against the window, but he blinked and Hagrid was gone.” I feel like it implies that he saw Hagrid out there, but he was then gone in an instant.

          • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

            Don’t Hagrid and Madame Maxime use apparition to get to the giants? I’m pretty sure I remember it taking Hagrid so long to get back (and why Madame Maxime parts ways with him) because he couldn’t apparate back with Grawpe. Though, I guess it could have been side-along apparition. Hmm. I feel as though Dumbledore would have taught Hagrid how to apparate. He’s rather noticeable traveling via Muggle methods.

          • Haha, if Hagrid can still side-along apparate, but can’t apparate on his own, maybe he had little Flitwick in his pocket the entire time?

          • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

            LOL!! I was thinking more along the lines of side-along apparating with Madame Maxime but your idea is much more funny 😀

          • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

            Lol Didn’t Warwick Davis used to have an app called Pocket Warwick?

          • ousley

            I guess we just picture it differently in our mental images (which is the great thing about reading because neither of us can be wrong).

            We have a window on the landing of our stairs, about 5 steps up. The view can see anyone who is leaving the front door or the garage. Every time either of us leaves the house, our dog will sit in that window with her nose to the glass looking sad and watch as we drive away. Eventually, we’ve driven far enough that she can no longer see us through the window. And I imagine, if she’s focused on the car, and we reach that point when she blinks, it would be as though we disappeared. And that’s exactly how I picture Harry watching Hagrid, except Harry is the one moving on the train.

          • ousley

            And also Harry with sad dog eyes, lol.

  • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

    I think I need that on a t-shirt…with a Niffler…LOL XD

    • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

      Omg YES! I need Alohomora merch to come back and this be one.

      • I was JUST thinking about Alohomora merch just yesterday!!! Where did it go? Just suddenly we stopped hearing promotions for those legendary flip flops!

        • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

          Patreon is far more lucrative I’m sure. But hey, those flip-flops might be a valuable collectors item someday. A quick eBay search revealed none up for resale lol. I did however find a pair of Alohomora thong undies….uhhh Pretty sure those weren’t official merch though..

  • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

    Since I’m strangely obsessed with what was done with Voldemort’s body(ies) after his death, I noticed a couple of apparent contradictions during this reread of Chapters 4-6 of SS. (I read all three because that’s what you covered in your original reread episode.)

    “But what happened to Vol-, sorry — I mean, You-Know-Who?”
    “Good question, Harry. Disappeared. Vanished. Same night he tried ter kill you. Makes yeh even more famous. That’s the biggest myst’ry see…he was gettin’ more an’ more powerful — why’d he go?”
    (SS pg 57 – US edition)

    “You know that black-haired boy who was near us in the station? Know who he is?”
    “Who?”
    “Harry Potter!”
    [snip]
    “Poor dear — no wonder he was alone, I wondered. He was ever so polite when he asked how to get onto the platform.”
    “Never mind that, do you think he remembers what You-Know-Who looks like?”
    (SS pg 97 – US edition)

    “You were the seventh Horcux, Harry, the Horcrux he never meant to make. He had rendered his soul so unstable that it broke apart when he committed those acts of unspeakable evil, the murder of your parents, the attempted killing of a child. But what escaped from that room was even less than he knew. He left more than his body behind. He left part of himself latched to you, the would-be victim who had survived.”
    (DH pg 709 – US edition)

    Hagrid, who went to the Potter’s house that night to collect Harry, said nothing about a body. He literally said he, “Disappeared. Vanished.” The Weasley twins wonder what Voldemort looks like, as though there were no pictures, portraits or (again) a body left to gaze upon. Yet Dumbledore specifically says he left a body behind the night that he tried to kill Harry.

    I’d love to hear your theories on who’s right (or if, somehow, they both are).

    • Lisa

      Maybe Dumbledore meant “left his body behind” more in a metaphorical sense than a literal one? Voldemort was in spirit form before GoF so maybe DD just meant that he lost his strength. I don’t think there was an actual body left behind, I think the rebounded curse turned him into a spirit, making his body sort of evaporate.

      • Yea, I don’t think there could have been a body. People enjoyed the idea that Voldemort was dead, gone for good, but there was always a lingering fear that he would return. If there was a body, proof of his death, nobody would have the fear of him returning. Wizards must have seen the destruction of the Potter house, found the surviving baby, and saw little to no activity from Voldee or his death eaters afterwards, resulting in the assumption that the dark lord was defeated and all was well.

        • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

          Those are great thoughts @disqus_CPtOmLcjmO:disqus and @theyvetakenmywheezy:disqus

          Is it possible that Wormtail (or another Death Eater) went along with Voldemort that night but stayed out of sight and never entered the Potter’s house, just in case something went wrong? But after the explosion, when Voldy didn’t emerge, they went in and retrieved his body before Hagrid or anyone else got there?

          The DE’s wouldn’t have wanted anyone to know that Voldemort was dead (and also wouldn’t want “filthy blood traitors” handling his body) so I could see them hiding it. But then, most of the DE’s started running scared and pretending they were Imperiused to avoid Azkaban…which is as good as admitting to the wizarding world that he’s dead. So why bother hiding it, unless those super faithful few kept it around just in case he needed it in the future (which, it seems he didn’t)?

          • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

            I get the feeling that killing the Potters was something Voldemort would have relished doing on his own, and would not have brought anyone along at all, much like how he is so intent on being the one to kill Harry. Plus, what we do see of the scene where he kills the Potters, there’s no mention of anyone else being with him and he seems fully confident that with the Fidelius Charm broken, there’s absolutely no way he can fail. As far as Pettigrew tagging along, there’s no way he actually had the balls to be present when his former friends are murdered, thanks to his betrayal.

          • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

            I guess I was thinking more of someone hearing where he was going and following behind without his knowledge. Bellatrix seems the type that would relish in being nearby when Voldemort defeated his only threat. Now that you mention it, I agree that Pettigrew wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere near there when it happened. As in awe of the Dark Lord as he was, I still like to think he felt some regret over his betrayal.

      • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

        ^ This. I’m leaning towards it being a metaphorical thing as well. Even if there wasn’t a physical body, Voldy did technically “leave” it behind in terms of a separation and assumed whatever form he was in all those years possessing snakes in Albania.

        • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

          I completely agree that even if there was a body, he left it. So I guess Hagrid could have been saying that his soul disappeared. But Harry, being brand new to the wizarding world, would have assumed (like we, the readers, did) that he actually meant the body disappeared.

    • ousley

      He was cremated by Death Eaters and the ashes were kept in the basement of Malfoy Manor until such time came that they were placed inside Delphini’s baby rattle, giving it enough magical property to allow her to throw curses when she was hungry or needed a diaper change. #CursedChildPart2

      • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

        LMAO!! XD

      • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

        As believable as anything else in that script, certainly.

    • Nikki Schmalstieg

      I’m torn on this, I agree with @disqus_CPtOmLcjmO:disqus that I always thought Dumbledore’s statement was more metaphorical, but what on earth would have happened to his body? Did it really just vanish, disintegrate, like at the end of the movies?

      It would make his true death when Harry finally defeats him even more potent, I suppose, considering there was a body to look at. When his curse rebounds upon him at the Potter’s, he still has 7 horcruxes to keep him alive, so it wouldn’t matter to him what happened to his body, or maybe he never thought about what he would be left with as long as he was still “alive”. The lack of a body is probably what kept people like Dumbledore and Hagrid suspicious that he wasn’t gone; but how would the rest of the wizarding world believe he’s dead without a body?

      • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

        Yeah, I would be really interested in reading the news articles published by the Daily Prophet after his downfall and their description of the events. Somehow the news traveled super fast, as witches and wizards all around the UK were out celebrating. Perhaps they all just took Dumbledore’s word for it?

    • SnapesManyButtons

      Wild theory: Supposedly Peter removed Voldemort’s wand from the house, so why not Voldemort’s body? He was a wizard, at the time he wasn’t injured, so maybe he transfigures the body, vanishes it, something like that before his fateful meeting with Sirius? Then both would be right, there’d have been a body, but it vanished before any Order members got there. (Heck, maybe it was there, just transfigured into a teddy bear or something… that’d be creepy.)

      • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

        Oooo, I like this theory very much! I’d forgotten about his wand! Good call :)

        And now I’m going to have nightmares of Voldybear…LOL

    • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

      The rebounding spell was pretty destructive to the house as well, like an explosion, right? So perhaps the logical conclusion is that whatever there may have been of Voldemort’s body was also blown apart…so perhaps rather than a Voldy-body, there was just a load of Voldy-Bits all over the place. Hey, it’s a tad gruesome but it would explain why people wouldn’t really question there being a body, even if the body did in actuality just disappear or something.

      • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

        Good call! I much prefer Voldy-Bits in this scene than at the end of Deathly Hallows 😉

  • Nikki Schmalstieg

    On Hagrid’s wand, I would imagine that Dumbledore would have repaired his wand to test out the elder wand, but when this happened I think it would have been closer to Voldemort’s rise. Hagrid is Dumbledore’s, I’d say, most dedicated subject; he worships him. It would be far more useful for him to have a functional wand in such disastrous times, and it would be easier to make an excuse for if the Ministry found him out. Desperate times and all that. I dont think Hagrid would have needed a wand for his basic gamekeeper duties, so I don’t see Dumbledore repairing it when he’s an apprentice or even when he becomes sole gamekeeper.

  • Rosmerta

    Couple of comments on your earlier thoughts hosts
    Wands as umbrellas, yes perfect, have you seen the way this is used in Fantastic Beasts? So clever (there’s that iconic fanart of Queenie kissing Jacob!)
    Also regarding imagination, as you were chatting about how each of you ‘saw’ Diagon Ally in your mind’s eye. Each of us have different levels of visualisation, from really strong to hardly anything. Some people won’t see anything at all when they read, whilst others see anything in technicolour detail. I fall into the later, when anything anyone tells me becomes visually represented in my mind’s eye. What about you?

    • Nikki Schmalstieg

      I’m personally the kind of reader that I can visualize places in a general way, but I barely ever actually picture the characters. When I first saw the first movie, all I remember was that the inside of Hogwarts, such as the hospital wing and the common room, were exactly as I’d pictured them, it felt like my imagination had come to life. I don’t remember at all how I’d pictured the characters besides their hair colors and the fact that Harry had green eyes and glasses. Once seeing the movies, I just pictured Dan, Emma, and Rupert.

      I’d love to be able to picture things in technicolor like you! That’d be amazing!

  • DoraNympha

    Throwback to chapter discussions! And there’s an intro! <3

    I'm only 13 minutes in and I love the comparisons – my partner's cousins live a bike ride away from what is supposed to be the Hundred Acre Wood, which has taken me a while to imagine: it's a non-place, what do you mean you can just go there? But I guess the Wizarding World parks are so far from me that they are equallyas mythical right now as Hogwarts… But this chapter reminds me of why I love London chapters in all books particularly because of comparisons to other fantastic lands to which a door opens from our mundane, Muggle streets: the London chapters are very Neverwhere. The secret door that appears on special command, the hidden buildings, fallen between the cracks… It's such a different, exciting dynamic between the magic and the non-magic, I wish we had got more of this – to this day one of the biggest joys of reading PoA is to read the pages where Harry spends a few weeks in the Alley, doing homework at Florean's and welcoming Ron and Hermione back to the wizarding world rather than the other way round for once.

  • DoraNympha

    Hagrid and flying: wait, the exact quote is

    “How did you get here?” Harry asked, looking around for another boat.
    “Flew,” said Hagrid.
    “Flew?”
    “Yeah — but we’ll go back in this. Not s’pposed ter use magic now I’ve
    got yeh.”

    But what if Harry heard “flew” when Hagrid really said “Floo”, it’s just that this particular magical concept was not familiar to him yet?

    • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

      Wouldn’t Harry have seen him come in through the fireplace? Now I’m trying to remember where Harry was in the hut before Hagrid arrived…

      • DoraNympha

        He would have Flooed to a nearby wizard’s house whose fireplace is A) connected to the network and B) big enough. A stretch but plausible if it’s 11 year-old Harry’s limited narrative point of view. Words words words.

        • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

          But then how would he have gotten to the island?

          • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

            Exactly, this is the whole point of Harry’s question. The shack is supposed to be the only building on the island right?

    • Wait

      My God it all makes sense now

      We don’t hear Hagrid’s motorbike. We don’t see what Hagrid “flew” on. Harry was also hidden out in the middle of nowhere.

      Everything makes sense.

      Hagrid used a Thestral! It would have been a bit much to have Harry ride an invisible beast right off the bat, and Thestrals can take you anywhere you say!

      • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

        We already covered this 6 days ago 😉 My theory is that Fawkes carried him there.

        • Interesting Fawkes theory. If I connect your Fawkes theory to my Fawkes theory, in which Dumbledore is indeed his own pet bird Fawkes, then that means Dumbledore flew Hagrid to go pick up Harry! Interesting…

          • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

            Very interesting indeed! :)

      • DoraNympha

        Yes, Thestrals were my other guess! I bet they can carry Hagrid’s weight because, well, they’re magic, like the impossibly strong phoenix.

        • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

          Yep, I thought Thestrals were a good idea too, but I think I like the Fawkes theory best.

      • Rosmerta

        I like the threstral theory too!

    • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

      I would actually love for this to be another bit of Jo’s cleverness that readers only pick up on later, but unless there’s another fireplace somewhere on the rock island with the shack it doesn’t help us much unfortunately.

      • DoraNympha

        I’ve always wondered if you can floo on open air bonfires or if it’s restricted to fireplaces.

        • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

          I imagine it would need to be an indoor fireplace. If it were outdoors, it could not be guaranteed that a passing Muggle wouldn’t see a wizard pop up in it. The Ministry seems to have pretty strict guidelines on which fireplaces can be hooked into the Floo Network.

    • metaphora

      Or maybe he coughed and sneezed himself to the island? (Just kidding.)

  • Phoenix

    As for Quirrel shaking Harry’s hand: Maybe just like with other types of complicated magic, intention plays a role when Quirrell touches Harry. Maybe he can shake Harry’s hand but he can’t hurt him?

    • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

      That’s as good an explanation as any :)

  • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

    Mild *spoiler warning * for anyone not caught up on the previous season of Doctor Who-

    I’ve been binge watching to catch up, and just watched the “Face the Raven” episode and couldn’t help noticing how perfectly it fits with the discussion about how magical worlds are accessed from our own world in various fantasy series like HP and how much it actually was JUST LIKE Potter. The Doctor, Clara, and Rigsy go looking for a “hidden” street in London, and the Doctor tells them that they must “Forget the way you usually look at the world; the street’s going to be hiding in plain sight..If you see something unusual, ignore it. But if there’s a bit of London so unremarkable that you don’t even think about it, stop.” and tells them to count everything, because when they hit the right place they will probably become distracted and lose count. The alleyway they eventually find is revealed to hide an entire street that serves as a safe haven for alien refugees living on earth. So while it is alien cloaking technology being used rather than magic, the similarities are uncanny. I wonder- if a Muggle were to follow the Doctor’s instructions, would they be able to see and walk inside the Leaky Cauldron?

    • Michael Harle

      Well, this certainly must be somewhere in the neighborhood of how it works, since Hermione’s parents manage to enter Diagon Alley in book two.

      • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

        I feel like there must be special dispensations for Muggles accompanying a witch or wizard. It may be as simple as her parents can’t see it, but since Hermione can, they can hold her hand and follow her blindly. If Muggles could accidentally wander in, there would be a lot of obliviating required.

        • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

          I’d always assumed that Hermione’s parents could only get in if they were brought in by Hermione, and that the wards would prevent muggles from just accidentally wandering in. But if a Muggle knew about magic and actively searched for the entrance in this way? I think it’s plausible, though they’d only be able to get inside the Leaky Cauldron- they’d still need a witch or wizard to tap the bricks to get into the Alley itself.

  • DoraNympha

    I don’t know about the Noble Collection bezoars but it’s a great present idea to make a bezoar box and just put dates in them, which look kind of like bezoars AND they’re delicious. #HPsnacks

  • kootkitty

    The discussion around “The other side has magic too” quote made me think of this tried and true wisdom: mo’ money, mo’ problems! But I guess in this case it should be
    MO’ MAGIC, MO’ PROBLEMS!
    😛

  • Pigmypuff

    When did Kat interview Dan?

  • Soc.forRescueofVanishedAnimals

    “A single wand lay on a faded purple cushion in the dusty window.”

    Does this piece of description intrigue anyone else as much as it does me? I’ve wondered about this wand on its little cushion in Ollivander’s shop window (faithfully replicated in the Wizarding World shop) and what its story and significance might be. Has JKR ever offered any explanation, and if not, could we add this question to the list for her?

    Is it the first wand ever created by the Ollivander family? I assume it is mainly valuable as an historical artifact, because if it were known to have special powers or be the wand of Merlin or some illustrious and powerful wizard, Voldemort would have stolen it in a flash. I don’t know why it’s so interesting to me, but it seems like a memorable detail that is nonetheless not discussed much, and I just like it.

    • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

      Thank you for bringing this up! I had the same thought while reading this chapter but forgot it by the time I got online to comment :) I like your idea of it being the first wand created by the Olivander family or perhaps by Garrick himself. In that case, it most likely would not be very powerful but it would certainly hold special value and significance. If I were a customer in his shop, I definitely would have asked him about it :)

    • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

      or maybe it is the current “wand of the week – as featured in ‘World of Wandlore’ “. A faded cushion does not have to determine the age of the wand.

    • I bet its a dud, nothing more than the wood carving of a wand, used as a display piece to attract customers

      • Soc.forRescueofVanishedAnimals

        Now now, Mr. Ollivander does not need to stoop to such mercenary tactics. His product and his reputation are all the advertisement he needs!

    • SnapesManyButtons

      I’ve heard that at one time people thought it would turn out to be one of the Horcruxes, which of course it didn’t. She may have put it in on purpose as a false trail, but it was probably just a bit of setting the scene to show how little things change in that shop.

      • Soc.forRescueofVanishedAnimals

        Thanks for sharing — I’d never heard that theory. The wand itself would have had a significance if Voldemort had chosen it as a Horcrux object. The presence of a Horcrux in the shop also could have accounted for the unsettling feeling Harry gets around Mr. Ollivander. As it is, I believe it’s there to set the mood of the scene, but also that she probably has an interesting backstory for it in her head (or would come up with one if asked).

  • Eric

    Speaking of shopping, whatever happened to the Alohomora! store page? I noticed it’s no longer included in the dropdown menu at the top. Did WB or WWoHP make them take it down because of copyright infringements? (I remember MuggleCast had to stop selling their T-shirts because of that about 10 years ago.)