Podcast Question of the Week – Episode 41

Chapter Four brings the Weasleys to Privet Drive and shows Arthur’s Muggle Liaison skills could probably use a bit of work. Laura’s question asks for your views on the events.

We see the Weasleys get trapped in the fireplace, blow up the living room, suffer through uncomfortable exchanges and then pull a prank on Dudley.

How would this whole situation potentially have gone differently if Molly had been sent instead of Arthur? Would they have been less afraid or offended by Molly? Would the twins have even tried their gag in front of their mother? Would the Dursleys have reacted as rudely no matter who it was?

Let us know your thoughts below and they just might be read out on the next episode of Alohomora!

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  • wicca

    The Dursleys are so afraid of magic and the magical community that even Molly would have intimidated them and made them uncomfortable. The situation was obviously exacerbated by the manner in which the Weasleys arrived, but the Dursleys would have been tense and frightened even if they had shown up at the front door.

    Molly mailed them the letter explaining where they wanted to take Harry instead of using an owl, so I think she would have been smart enough not to use Floo Powder or at least make sure that they had a functioning fireplace and I think she would have come alone or maybe with Ron instead of bringing half the family along and the Dursleys wouldn’t have been as overwhelmed.

  • DeAnna

    I think the entire scene would have been different if Molly had been the one to pick up Harry. For one thing, Molly seems to be much more level-headed than Arthur, so I don’t think she would have even used Floo Powder because she seems to follow the rules a bit more, so she wouldn’t have or used a connection at the Ministry to hook up the Dursleys to the Floo Network. However, even if she did, I think she would stop and think long enough to come up with a better solution than blowing up the fireplace. For example, sending everyone home and apparating into the Dursleys’ living room perhaps? Also, we know that the twins are afraid of their mother, so I don’t think they would have ever pulled this prank on Dudley with Molly there. I think the Dursleys still would have looked down on Molly solely for being a witch, but I don’t think they would have been as rude (or shocked) since I think she would have handled the situation better in the first place.

  • CentaurSeeker121

    I don’t think the Dursleys’ attitude would have changed at all no matter who showed up at their house. I also agree that she probably would have thought it through more and came up with a much better solution. I can understand why the floo powder was used because everyone else was underage and I feel like the twins only came just so they could get a glance at Dudley. Fred and George are scared stiff of Molly whereas they know they can get away with more things when it’s just their dad around so I don’t think that they would pulled that in front of their mother, in fact I somehow think that if they had tried to ask her whether or not they could come she would probably would have told them no seeing as she knows how they are. I feel like that she probably would have just come by herself or if not by herself, she would have just brought Ron and made the others stay at home.

  • Daniel Sharp

    Agree with the other posts that the arrival would probably have been better handled if it was Molly, however, I don’t think the meeting would have gone any better and may have even been worse. The fact that the Dursley’s are speechless through out most of this encounter is a blessing in disguise. Just imagine how rude Vernon could have been to that “dumpy woman” if given the chance and had even insulted her family. Family is everything to the Weasley’s but more so to Molly as a stay-at-home mum. Her family is her entire life and I think because of this her reaction to the Harry-Dursley parting would have been even way more over the top than Arthur’s.

    • wicca

      There’s no way Vernon would have said anything rude about her or her family to her face. He’s too big a coward. She’s a witch after all and he would have been afraid of what she might do to him if he upset her.

      • Daniel Sharp

        I would have thought that being in his own home would have given Vernon a false sense of confidence but you are probably right.

        • Gus

          Vernon is many things but not a coward. Perhaps his sole redeeming feature is the way he protects his family, sort of James-like. Now don’t get me wrong I regard vernon up there with Belatrix in terms of evil but he’s not cowardly. Re-read his confrontation with a giant who breaks down the door and creates a fire from nothing, and the way he sort of shields his family in this chapter.

          I would be scared of magic, would I show the courage Vernon showed. I hope so. I also hope I would be more open minded and less proud and bigoted but there you are.

          • wicca

            Vernon confronted Hagrid because he had a rifle and thought that he had the upper hand. He shielded his family instinctively, the way most people would in his situation. It wasn’t an act of bravery, it was a reflexive reaction.

            He did nothing to protect Harry though. That would have been brave, because Harry was right next to Hagrid. Instead he did nothing, because he’s a coward. And there’s no way way that he would have said anything rude to Molly’s face. He’d have plenty to say once she was gone, but not in her presence.

  • mudbloodandproud1996

    I think that this whole scene would have gone much differently had Molly come and pick Harry up. Molly was well aware just how badly Harry was treated at the Dursleys and would want the pick up process to be as quick and smooth as possible, a simple come in, get out, sort of thing. I think they may have been just as equally afraid of Molly as they were of Arthur. To me, the Dursleys would have been scared of any witch wizard who entered their house, even if it was the kind hearted Mrs Weasley. I don’t think the twins would even have come to pick up Harry had Molly been the one to do so, because the purpose of the twins to go was to purely play the prank on Dudley and to watch what would happen if he ate one of the sweets.

  • RoseLumos

    For some reason I imagine Molly taking the Knight Bus to pick up Harry. It might cost more than Floo powder, but I think she would have seen all the problems with unknowingly hooking the Dursley’s fireplace up to the network. I also think she would have known better than bringing Fred and George with her. Overall, I think Molly would have gotten Harry out of Privet Drive with little to no conflict (besides, she might have actually been on time!).

  • Jake Pontzer

    I think the entire scene would have changed if Molly had gone instead of Arthur. She wouldn’t have brought Fred or George because she may have anticipated the “foot-long purple slimy thing” fiasco. Even if she brought them, they would have never dared try something like that in front of her. Arthur seemed to be mostly angry at the twins because he knew how Molly would react, then Arthur himself would be scolded as well.

    She would have been a lot less overwhelming to them because she wouldn’t be geeking out about plugs.

    Finally, I think Vernon called Molly a “dumpy woman” because he couldn’t think of anything else to call her, considering how nice she was. Maybe if Molly had gone and met them properly at their house, they could have realized truly how kind and warm (and normal) a witch could be.

    Perhaps this would have changed the Dursleys’ attitude towards magic in some way. This could have had an astounding effect on the rest of the series; Dudley might have panicked less when he was with Harry during the Dementor attack in book 5, the Dursleys may have trusted Dumbledore when he visited in book 6, and their departure and farewell to Harry could have, as a result, been less awkward and more friendly.

    (I don’t have any idea what form of transportation she could have thought of using besides Ministry cars. But those were only used in book 3 because of the escaped prisoner and Harry being in danger.)

  • Gus

    I’m going to take the opposite view to most people. Things would have been much, much worse if Molly came! Hestia Jones, Dedalus Diggle and Mr Weasley have all reacted to the Dursley’s treatment of Harry and specifically their lack of affection in saying goodbye. Molly is perhaps the most affectionate person in the series but also the most fiery! When things don’t happen the way Molly wants, especially when they concern her family and Harry, she’s like a lion. Think about her argument with Sirius in OoP, with Arthur in PoA, and even her treatment of Hermione after the Rita Skeeter article! A Molly-Vernon showdown would never have the comic hilarity provided by Arthur and the twins, but it would be much more explosive!

  • dittany

    All of the other posts regarding Molly being able to handle it better are totally correct and I agree completely. Molly not only would probably refrain from talking about electricity, but she would have a good hold on the boys. Fred and George would be too afraid to pull any stunts like that in front of Molly (I believe it’s said she yelled at them before going to pick up Harry?). It would’ve been not only a screaming match, but it would bring up the topic of their OWLs and what they want to do with their life, which we know she is not very happy about.

    The Dursleys would still have acted pretty much the same, I think, because she’s still magical and still strange. But, she probably would have had the sense not to use Floo Powder or bring anyone with her. I think Fred and George and Ron being there also intimidated the Dursleys because they were clearly Harry’s friends & had his back, something that they’d never seen happen with Harry before.

  • Tweak6

    If Molly had gone, I definitely don’t think the twins would have tried their gag, knowing full well what her reaction would be.
    The Dursely’s would probably act much the same as they do with Arthur. I feel like Vernon would be as patronizing as possible, and be incredibly rude. However, I doubt Molly would blast apart their living room, and have the good sense to not start rambling about magical things to them, but would try to keep everything calm. It would have been hilarious to see how Molly would have reacted to ornaments being thrown at her though!

  • eriseddream

    If Molly had gone I agree with Rosie and believe that she at least would manage to be on time. I think there would have been less property destroyed but a greater conflict unearthed. Molly would know not to subject the muggles to her mischievous twins and left them at home and brought Ron. Perhaps with side along apparition (although I’m not too sure if this is commonly used among wizarding families with only Dumbledore using it with Harry. I think we need to question why this method is not used more in the books). I feel that the presence of another mother in her house would completely threaten Petunia. Particularly another mother who acts so affectionately towards her nephew, the child she herself is suppose to mother and love. I think the blatant display of affection that was bound to take place between Molly and Harry would severely aggravate Petunia and cause her to verbally attack Ms. Weasley. They fear would dissipate and the jealousy that this woman has so easily formed a bond with a child that naturally she should want to protect and love but has been unable to do so because of her “Lily” issues would rear its ugly head. I do think Mrs Weasley would be more than a match for her however, just ask Bellatrix.

    • Gus

      Yes you’re right. Petunia wouldn’t be able to handle Molly. Remember in this chapter that Petunia ‘looked like she was biting back a diatribe she wished to throw at Harry’. This might be one of those times, like after the Hagrid confrontation on the island, that she couldn’t hold it in any longer. Petunia is a fascinating character!

  • Aidan Fitzgerald

    I think if Molly had gone to take Harry to the burrow, this scene would be totally different. She would have probably attempted to use floo powder, but instead of blowing up half the Dursley’s living room, she probably would have helped her children apparate home one at a time and then come back to Privet Drive for Harry. The twins would NEVER do a prank like that with Molly around. However the Dursley’s would still react the same way due to the fact she is a witch.

  • HallowsMaster97

    I think that the destruction of the Dursley’s living room could have definitely been avoided if Molly had gone. As nice as Mr. Weasley is…he gets a bit too excited when interacting with muggles and his curiosity gets the better of him.
    Molly would have understood that the Dursley’s have no appreciation for any sort of magic and she might have chosen a more appropriate way to arrive at the Dursley’s house. Also, Mrs. Weasley does seem to intimidate the twins more than Mr. Weasley, Fred and George probably wouldn’t have left the toffee if Mrs. Weasley was accompanying them.
    As for the Dursley’s, I think they would be just as rude to Mrs.Weasley. She was part of the wizarding community, part of a world that they prefer to stay away from. The fact that she was a witch would have made the Dursley’s as uncomfortable as ever.
    However, I think that Vernon Dursley would have felt that Molly was easy to intimidate. He would have judged her by her appearance as he often does. What if Vernon had insulted Molly or her family, and agitated Mrs.Weasley? I think we would have gotten a glimpse of the Mrs. Weasley that murders Bellatrix.
    And what an amusing scene that would be: Vernon being yelled at by Molly.
    “HOW COULD YOU? HOW DARE YOU? NOT MY FAMILY, YOU…..”
    Very amusing indeed

  • Peggy Ruiz

    I don’t believe Molly would have brought the twins at all. It would have been her and Ron. She definitely wouldn’t have blown out the fire place. But I do believe the Dursley’s would react the same to her as any other witch or wizard.

  • LunaLovegood

    I think the MR Dursley would be afraid be wouldn’t show it. He would be sceptical of her size. I don’t think Fred and George would of dropped the sweets because they and there father are very scared of her as shown when they get back, MR Weasley never dreamed of telling MRS Weasley. I think they might of been ruder to MRS Weasley.