[Show music begins]
Noah Fried: This is Episode 34 of Alohomora! for June 8, 2013.
[Show music continues]
Rosie Morris: Hi, everyone. Welcome to the show. I’m Rosie Morris.
Caleb Graves: I’m Caleb Graves.
Noah: And I’m Noah Fried. And we have a special guest this week. It’s Skylar.
Skylar Jones: Hi.
Noah: Hey, Skylar. She’s the daughter of my coworker in the office. I’m working in the city, guys.
Caleb: So what are you doing in the city?
Noah: It’s really… it’s not even quite a job. I’m just interning for my dad. It’s Spirit Music Group. It’s a music publishing company.
Rosie: So Skylar, tell us a little bit about you.
Skylar: I’m thirteen, I live in Ossining, and I’ve read the Harry Potter books ten times. I’m just obsessed with it.
Caleb: Wow, that’s pretty impressive. What house are you, Skylar?
Caleb: Rad. That’s great.
Noah: Caleb is Gryffindor, too. So we just want to remind all the fans that we really should be reading Chapter 22, “Owl Post Again,” before you listen to this episode. That is the last chapter of the book. Just on every Alohomora! episode, you can maximize your listening of it if you read the chapter before the episode because then you can take notes before, with us, and you can make comments on the forums, but this episode’s going to be all about Chapter 22.
Rosie: But before we get onto Chapter 22, we have to recap our discussion from last week, which was Chapter 21, and let’s start off with a voicemail.
[Audio]: Hi, guys. I just wanted to take a quick second to point something out. My name is Katie, I am in Colorado Springs, I was listening to last week’s podcast, and you guys had briefly discussed that the Moon was behind the clouds, how the whole deal with Lupin… he didn’t see it and the whole bit with “if he saw it would he change?” that kind of thing. I was always under the impression that Jo wrote that bit, so he didn’t see it, so seeing the Moon itself could remind him. Maybe if Lupin had seen the full moon, he might have [seen] it otherwise. “Oh, no, I forgot my potion,” something like that. But not seeing it… I don’t know. Out of sight, out of mind, maybe. Probably not anything too exciting but just something I thought I’d point out. Have a great day.
Noah: What’s going through Lupin’s mind that he can actually forget? It seems like that would be one of the most important things to him: that he would know whene his transformation was going to happen.
Caleb: I mean, there’s a pretty…
Rosie: I think just the shock of seeing Peter alive would be enough to make him forget.
Caleb: Absolutely. I agree. Yeah, that’s exactly where I was going. I think there’s so… this is such a big moment. It’s like everything sort of falls out of his head at this point because he’s so focused on this.
Skylar: I think he’s also preoccupied because he’s trying to save Harry, Ron, and Hermione. So he’s just pushing everything else out of his head till he’s done with that.
Rosie: And we know that Snape hadn’t actually been up to see him, yet, so he’s just completely forgotten that he actually needs to and runs off to Snape the day before anything comes in to remind him. Okay, on a similar vein, we’ve also got a comment from LumosNight3, and this is from our forums, and it says,
“I want to take a stab at debunking the plot hole of Lupin’s transformation and the full moon being out that you guys found. It was mentioned in an early episode for Book 1, by Steve van der Ark I think, that Harry has an oddly timed Quidditch match that ends really late in the day to give him the chance to fly over the Forest at night because only then would the Sun have been down since Hogwarts is in Scotland where the sun sets at a very late hour (Scottish listeners, please correct me here if I’m off track!).”
Personally – this is me talking, not the comment – the Sun in June would set around 10 o’clock. So yeah, it’s quite late. Okay, back to the comment:
“I believe that Harry and Hermione go back in time starting at around 7:30 PM, and it’s a few hours later that they come out of the Shrieking Shack. Would that hour perhaps be just as the Sun has set 100%, and the full moon is just starting to come out? If so, that would explain why Lupin had not transformed sooner.”
So we know that they travel back in time three hours if we think about the Time-Turner being an hour per turn. So to put that back at 7:30, it would be about 10:30 that they start. So if they’ve been knocked out for about half an hour, then the Sun would have probably have just set at the time that Lupin transformed. So yeah, that does really work. I think that one is the real obligatory moment. Obligatory genius moment even. Yeah, the timing really worked out there. [laughs]
Noah: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. I just still feel, though, that shouldn’t Lupin have had a sense just days before?
Rosie: That’s true. We normally see him looking a bit ill, don’t we? Around the time of the full moon.
Noah: Yeah. Good on LumosNight3 for finding that exact detail. Again, Steve’s Lexicon is so great, breaking it into timing. And I think it’s pretty intuitive, but it’s probably not… I mean, it’s the best source we have, I guess, about time in the series.
Rosie: I mean, those details are all in the book, but yeah. [laughs] So our next comment is about Sirius’s innocence, and it’s from Batty Bags on the main site, and it says,
“I think it’s a shame that they didn’t just use Priori Incatatum on the wands. This does expose the ‘Where does the wand go?’ problem encountered (i.e., ‘Why does Sirius have a wand when he’s been in Azkaban for years’, or ‘where is Lupin’s wand?’ kind of problem). But if the charm is performed, the validity of Snape’s accusations could be tested right away. I think that’s the problem with Fudge, though. He was so quick to get this messy ‘Black’ business over with, he didn’t stop to discover the truth. This is a character flaw in Fudge and the reason he makes such a horrible prime minister. Instead of getting to the bottom of things, he cares only about how he looks.”
Noah: I mean, that’s true, and that goes to show how focused he is on the media representation.
Skylar: Yeah, I agree. I think he just cares what people think of him, so he wants them to see him catching Black. He doesn’t really care whether Black is innocent or not.
Rosie: Yeah. I think he just doesn’t stop to think that there might be any other possibility. Sirius has already been tried, whatever minimal trial he had, and evidence had already been given. So yeah, he just doesn’t consider that there might actually be another option to go down. The idea of Priori Incantatem on the wands has been discussed quite a bit on the forums with people saying that we haven’t learned this spell, yet, so it would be coming out of the blue to do it now, although when we actually do know that spell in the next book that’s kind of out of the blue as well. We don’t get taught that beforehand. So it would kind of work here as well, but I think it’s just quite a rare occurence.
Caleb: Yeah, I also think it’s really important when… even though, like you said, it does come out of nowhere in Goblet of Fire, there is a very big meaning behind it coming out at that point in the story.
Rosie: Yeah, definitely.
Caleb: So I think that’s obviously why it does.
Noah: I mean, do we even think they used Priori Incantatem every time? Honestly, their trial system doesn’t seem that great, even though that would honestly make some people innocent. I feel like they just sort of go with it, and they just instantly jail someone on limited evidence.
Rosie: We see them use it on the wand that Winky has in the forest, don’t we?
Rosie: So it’s used as a form of gathering evidence then. Maybe Jo just hadn’t thought of it by this point. [laughs]
Noah: That’s probably the truth.
Rosie: Okay, so on a related note, we’ve also got a comment from InspiredWriter, and it says,
“Just a quick thing about Fudge. I thought he got quite a rough deal in this episode. While I don’t like him and feel he acts really badly, especially in Order of the Phoenix, I don’t think he is intrinsically bad, just essentially weak and with too much self-interest. I don’t think that he would have ordered that MacNair murder Sirius on the spot if he, MacNair and Dumbledore had accompanied Harry, Ron and Hermione down into the Whomping Willow. I think that’s just Harry, who we should remember is an impetuous child at this point, overreacting or going the typical adolescent route of painting the person who’s doing the opposite of what you would do, or thwarting what you want, in the darkest way. I should imagine that Fudge would have ordered that Sirius be restrained, petrified, or knocked out, and then taken back to the castle.”
Caleb: That’s a very good point, tapping into how Harry… how we are in some ways misled by our narrator. Or not our narrator but the narrator’s point of view, focusing on Harry here. Yeah, I would agree with that.
Rosie: Yeah, we do get clouded by Harry’s emotions quite a lot. So yeah, I would agree with it, too.
Noah: Now, do you think if Fudge…? Fudge seems surprised in this chapter later on, that the Dementors would try to Kiss a child. But do you think if he knew that, he would still have ordered the Dementors to come to Hogwarts?
Rosie:No. I think he believes that he had a lot more control than he does, so he doesn’t consider that they might actually be that risky because they would never do something that he hasn’t told them to do. This is a comment about Snape and the possibility of him getting Harry expelled by Slytherin Prefect, and it says,
“I’ve always been really torn about Snape and whether he really wants Harry expelled. As we discover later Snape has been one of the major protectors of Harry throughout the series. Until the Order of the Phoenix is re-established, this is the only aspect that really separates Snape from being on the ‘bad’ side. If Harry [were] to leave Hogwarts it seems like a bit of an easy way out for Snape. Harry would be back lost in the vast Muggle world. Also, I can’t imagine that Lily would have wanted Harry to be forced to live a life without magic. As a Muggle-born she knew the enrichment that magic has on a life. If Harry [were]n’t given the opportunity of Hogwarts and the magical world, then I’m not sure that Snape could say that he had made up for his mistakes with Lily. I think it comes down to what Snape values more: getting back at James (in the form of Harry) or giving Harry the life that Lily gave her life for.”
Noah: That’s an interesting thought. I mean, it makes sense. Harry has encountered so much danger. Maybe on some level, he does feel protective, and that’s one great way to do it: just expel him.
Rosie: Yeah, I guess, though I don’t really think that he would consider being expelled from Hogwarts as a way of protecting him.
Rosie: If anything, it would be punishing him. We’ve seen that Snape can be very vindictive, even when he was a child when he was talking to Petunia because he considered her less than him because she didn’t have magic.
Rosie: And I guess his hatred of James being put onto Harry would give him a similar kind of attitude. So maybe if he considers life without magic so bad, then condemning someone to a life without magic by getting them expelled is a very vindictive punishment that he would consider good enough for James, who was always showing off about his magic, and therefore, for Harry. He will protect his life, but he won’t necessarily protect his quality of life.
Caleb: I really like the end of this comment, how Snape is really in between this battle of whether he’s getting back at James or giving Harry the life that Lily gave her life for. Because I think that starts very one-sided at the beginning of this series, where it’s definitely on the side of getting back at James or at least… I don’t know if that’s the best way of saying it, but in that area, but as the series progresses and the war with Voldemort progresses, it shifts to the other side, to where it eventually… I don’t know if it ever gets to that full other polar opposite. I really don’t think it does, but at least it balances more out.
Rosie: So the more danger Harry is in, the more Snape actually thinks, “Okay, maybe I should be nicer to him.”
Rosie: [laughs] So on another related note, the awesome username of SheFlooLikeAMadMan, with “flew” being F-L-O-O, says,
“As for why Snape didn’t Confund Harry and Hermione I would not like to be in Snape’s shoes if Dumbledore found out he jinxed his precious Potter just to get back at a dead rival.”
Caleb: [laughs] Very true.
Rosie: Yeah. [laughs] And that is the end of our comments from last week. There has been some brilliant discussion on our forums recently. Lots of you are talking to each other, and we love seeing that, so make sure you do get involved and really send in your comments because we love reading them.
Caleb: Sure. All right, so we’re going to take a look at last week’s Question of the Week and some of your responses, and to remind you, the question was, “So the Time-Turner was only used once by the main characters in the Harry Potter
“I believe that Harry would use the Time-Turner to go back and… stop Bellatrix from killing [Sirius]. Although he could [have] stopped Dumbledore from being killed, it was Dumbledore’s wish to be killed by Snape to show Voldemort that his allegiance still belonged to him. Overall, I wish he would have saved Hedwig [although] I’m sure [Sirius] is more important to Harry than Hedwig was.”
So this is interesting because it gives us a couple of ideas of – in a perfect world, without any sort of hinderances – who[m] Harry would have chosen to save. And I think that makes a lot of sense.
Rosie: The only question would be whether actually using the Time-Turner gives him the ability to actually save these people…
Rosie: … or whether he would have just put his life at risk at the same moment.
Caleb: Which is… yup, one of our commenters gets to that.
Rosie: Okay, sorry. [laughs]
Caleb: No, no, you’re great. There’s a good comment coming up. But a couple more of what other characters would have used: So HogwartsLibrarian says,
“I’ll have to ‘go for broke’ and pick Harry at the moment of winning the Triwizard Cup with Cedric Diggory. Harry could Accio
Rosie: See, that one I don’t believe would work…
Caleb: I do not either.
Rosie: … because you can’t stop something from happening even if you go back in time. Because everything has already happened.
Caleb: Right. Well, at least if we believe in this sort of circular theory.
Rosie: Yeah. Well, it does seem to be the one that they use within the book.
Noah: It does seem to be the one, yeah. Especially since Harry is hit in the head by the… actually, no, that’s… is that movie canon?
Rosie: That’s the movie.
Noah: Yeah, you see, look what I’ve done. But yeah, I think the book operates by that theory as well. So even the above comment from [Or] expelled2002… maybe you can’t actually save those characters. But if you could based on the question.
Caleb: If you could.
Caleb: The next comment comes from Indigo, and it says,
“Lupin should definitely have gone back and left Wolfsbane Potion somewhere for himself to find before he went down to the Whomping Willow. That way, he would not have become violent, Pettigrew may not have escaped, and Sirius could have been prove[n] innocent. That would mean that Harry could legally talk to Sirius throughout the fifth book without being stopped by Umbridge. It may also have meant that if Sirius [were] not hiding, he would not have been as desperate to get to Harry in the Department of Mysteries, and it could just have spared his life.”
Rosie: That is a very, very good one.
Caleb: I agree. Because it’s like a chain reaction of one simple event.
Noah: Just the potion.
Caleb: Very nice way of plotting it all out…
Caleb: … how that one Wolfsbane Potion connects it all the way to Book 5, Umbridge. Nice job, Indigo.
Rosie: Brilliant, Indigo. Thank you. [laughs]
Caleb: And so the last comment is actually disputing the Question of the Week. We really enjoyed reading the Question of the Week responses. We understand that this is a little hypothetical, but we just wanted to see what you guys would pick. But FayeHazel also has a couple of good points, and it was this really expanded on comment, so I had to cut it down a little bit for time, but you should definitely go read the whole thing. But it starts off…
“I have two personal theories/beliefs about Time-Turners that make me feel as if there [were] no other time in the series that time travel could have been used to save the day… […] 1) I think the Time-Turners don’t have unlimited power. It seems crazy to me that the Ministry could ahve manufactured something with the ability to go back an unlimited amount into time. They have done a lot of crazy work in the Department of Mysteries, so it makes sense they know enough about time travel to work with it a little but not to create something so small with such unlimited power! […] I think that Time-Turners can only reverse a certain amount of time. Maybe they could only go seven turns into the past. […] 2) […] I believe firmly in circular time travel, that everything always happens and will always happen. […] This theory fits with that time Hermione forgot to go to Charms. If it had been in her power to go back in time, redo her mistake, and go to Charms, I think she would have. But if there was circular time travel, she would know [that] since she already missed Charms, that would have to be the way it is, explaining why she didn’t go back and change it.”
Caleb: Very good assertion of the circular time theory with Time-Turners there, with the Charms example. I really dig it.
Rosie: Yeah. So with circular time theory then, the main thing is the idea that you must not be seen. Once you have been seen, then you are a fixed point in time, and you have to have been there at that time. So as long as no one sees you, you could go back and do anything, and little things could have already changed. So for instance, the whole period of time when the Invisibility Cloak is stuck under the hump of that statue. As long as we don’t know that it’s been moved, you could do whatever you want with that as long as it gets put back by the time that someone goes and collects it.
Noah: What if it wasn’t?
Rosie: But if we know that something has happened, then it always has to happen. So it’s interesting within a narrative structure, and there are some brilliant fan fictions [that] actually manage to play this really well, where they have played with an element that we know is within the narrative structure of the actual books, but they can use a Time-Turner and twist it and then come back into the actual original story, which is brilliant, and I think that’s the mark of a brilliant writer. But anything that has already happened that we’ve seen already happen has to have already happened and cannot be changed.
Noah: Rosie, have you ever read a time – sorry – fanfiction that acted on the other theory of time? That maybe not circular theory but multiple universe theory…?
Rosie: Yeah, there are plenty of those as well.
Noah: So have you ever read a character out of time?
Rosie: But then you’ve got the whole “does that really count as part of the story?” because you’re basically just changing an element and then running with on a whole new story strand.
Rosie: So yeah, it’s perfectly valid, but it doesn’t work within Jo’s actual narrative structure.
Noah: No. So I guess in some way, it would be impossible for Harry and Hermione not to get back in time.
Rosie: The point is [that] within the original time stream, we never see them come back, but we know that Harry was in the past because of the whole seeing himself casting the Patronus thing.
Rosie: So that has to have happened.
Noah: That had to happen.
Rosie: It has to have happened. He always had to go back in time to do that. And if we had been able to see that Buckbeak had escaped and if we had been able to see the amount of time that Sirius had already left by the time that he was discovered to have left, then those things always would have had to have happened, and they would have had more of a clue that something was about to happen.
Rosie: But the fact that Jo has managed to hide those elements within her writing makes the time travel element even more interesting because it gives that element of “Did this happen? Did it not?”
Noah: And it speaks to the sheer power of her writing, as you’ve said. That is very…
Noah: That takes talent.
Caleb and Rosie: Definitely.
Rosie: Which is why this is one of my favorite books even though a lot of people say it’s horrible. [laughs]
Caleb: Oh, man, it’s totally my favorite. Until the last couple of books came out, Prisoner of Azkaban was my favorite for a very long time.
Rosie: It’s just so very, very clever.
Caleb: It is.
Noah: And yet people don’t support the movie. I love that movie.
Caleb: Well, I am a fierce opponent of the adaptation of the movie. I think in general… well, I mean, we’ve talked about this…
Caleb: … and we’ll be able to talk about this whenever we do the movie episode in a couple of weeks.
Noah: That’s right.
Caleb: This will be probably the biggest heated discussion of movie episodes that we ever do.
Noah: I know.
Rosie: But we’re looking forward to it. It’s going to be fun.
Noah: I can’t wait.
Caleb: Before we continue, we want to let the fans of Alohomora! know that you can now purchase the Harry Potter eBooks and audiobooks directly on the Alohomora! website. And you can get ten percent off if you purchase the entire series, which, of course, you would want to do. Both are available in a variety of languages – German, Italian, Great Britain and US English for audiobooks and [Spanish], German, Great Britain and US English, French, Italian, Japanese for the eBooks. So you’ve got a lot of options there. You can also buy the eBook only version of [The Tales of] Beetle the Bard, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and Quidditch Through the Ages, of course, proceeds of which all go to charity, to Lumos and Comic Relief. So if you’re looking to buy eBooks of the Harry Potter series, especially if you want to buy the entire series and get a ten percent discount, make sure you head over to alohomora.mugglenet.com and use the link to buy those over at the Pottermore website.
Rosie: I’m so excited that we’re able to offer that now…
Caleb: I know.
Rosie: … because it’s a brilliant, brilliant offer. So…
Noah: And it makes total sense. [laughs]
Rosie: Yeah, it definitely does. [laughs] So we are now done with our discussion from last week, which means that it must be time for our new chapter.
[Prisoner of Azkaban Chapter 22 intro begins]
[Sound of a train]
Harry: Chapter 22.
[Sound of a train whistle]
Harry: “Owl Post Again.”
[Prisoner of Azkaban Chapter 22 intro ends]
Noah: So guys, last chapter of the book – the third book, one of my favorites – “Owl Post Again.” We know that the book starts with “Owl Post.” My first question to you guys is “Do you see any connections between this chapter and the first chapter?” And what is the significance of owl post?
Caleb: So it doesn’t seem like there’s that big of a connection, really, between the two…
Rosie: It’s just closing out the book. [laughs]
Caleb: It’s just Jo being… parallelling it, which… I’m always a fan of parallel structure. So…
Noah: Yeah. And…
Rosie: I guess the main thing would be that this time his letter is from Sirius. So suddenly he’s got a family member to send him letters almost.
Caleb: Oh, yeah. That’s true.
Rosie: That makes it more important than just friends, I guess. I don’t know.
Noah: Yeah. I think it’s kind of sentimental in a way because the letters in the beginning are from his friends, and the one at the end is from his godfather…
Noah: … all tying it together. It also speaks to… does it speak to circle theory at all? I don’t know. I feel like if you look at the chapter titles, there’s stuff there, but that’s probably better left to another podcast. So as we see here, the chapter begins with Harry and Hermione hurrying to get back to the room just in the that time Dumbledore wanted, and they pass MacNair and Snape talking. Snape [is] talking happily about the Kiss and how it’s going to happen to Sirius. Fudge [is] telling Snape that he can’t wait to tell the Daily Prophet about it, as we know because he cares so much about his image. And then…
Rosie: The amount that he mentions the Prophet there is so important. It just shows everything about his character, really, doesn’t it? That…
Rosie: … he’s completely focused on what the public reaction will be.
Skylar: Yeah, he seems more focused on the public reaction than on actually catching Sirius.
Caleb: Which of course is Fudge’s downfall for every case that he shows up pretty much.
Noah: But I mean, that’s sort of the nature of politics, too. At a certain point, you get the public image…
Caleb: I mean…
Noah: … so…
Caleb: … it paints a very… it paints one end of the political spectrum, I would say.
Rosie: It kind of shows what’s bad about British politics in the nineties. [laughs] I think, it’s very… it does reflect quite well on…
Caleb: Well, yeah. I guess that makes sense…
Rosie: … what happened.
Caleb: Jo knew what she was writing about, so…
Rosie: Yeah. [laughs]
Noah: And in the beginnings of the content she would talk about in The Casual Vacancy. More of a…
Noah: … political exposé.
Noah: So Harry and Hermione get to the door just in time to see Dumbledore, who is brimming because just asking “Have you…?” Well, I don’t… let me see the exact line. It’s something to the effect of [as Dumbledore] “‘Have you done it?’ [back to normal] Dumbledore’s back appeared. ‘I’m going to lock you in,’ they heard him say.” And then he just turns around and says, “Well?” And they say, “We did it.” So I just thought that was a cool moment. Again, Dumbledore seems to just… he… I wonder if he has a little bit of vanity here because he realizes that just by telling them to do it he’s kind of created this situation and made it happen. So it’s just another example of one of his ideas coming to fruition within the span of five seconds.
[Noah and Rosie laugh]
Noah: You know what I mean?
Rosie: There’s been a lot of discussion on the forums about whether Dumbledore knew that the Time-Turner-y stuff was happening three hours prior when he was delaying everything in Hagrid’s hut.
Rosie: And they were all kind of wondering… “How does Dumbledore know that he needs to give them more time?” So if Dumbledore already had this plan – because he is the one [who] sets this plan in motion – it just… he hasn’t done it, yet. So if he knows how the whole circular Time Turner theory – all that kind of stuff – works, then he’s hoping that by giving more time he’s actually helping out the plan that hasn’t actually happened, yet.
Rosie: It’s very complicated. [laughs]
Caleb: And also, it must mean that he – in his extra out-of-school studies – managed to master the magic of time in a way that’s on a level of the people in the Department of Mysteries because how…? He must be able to navigate the timeline in some way.
Noah: Whoa. [laughs]
Caleb: To know that he is – like you said, and I was thinking about this same thing – taking extra time with certain moments, delaying people, because he knows the players. He knows the pieces that are moving around, which…
Rosie: I don’t think he necessarily knows that it’s happening. He hopes that it’s happening.
Rosie: Because that is his plan that he will set into motion later on.
Caleb: Oh, okay. That’s…
Rosie: So yeah, he has enough confidence in himself and in Harry and Hermione’s ability.
Rosie: But then he wouldn’t know about Sirius at that point, so I have no idea.
Caleb: Yeah, unless he’s been… yeah, man, that’s true. Man, Jo…
Caleb: … you need to come tell us some things. [laughs]
Skylar: So I think he probably… he doesn’t know exactly what’s happening because I don’t see how he could, but he probably – based on knowing his ability and knowing enough about Harry and Hermione – assumes. He can guess something similar to that is happening, so he just delays…
Skylar: … with the hope that it is going to happen.
Caleb: But not that…
Rosie: But without knowing about Sirius…
Caleb: Yeah, I’m stuck with you now, Rosie, because… right. Because while it would be great to save Buckbeak, my…
Rosie: It’s not the point, though. [laughs]
Caleb: I am willing to assume that he is not going to risk breaking Ministry laws using the Time-Turner to save a hippogriff.
Rosie: Yeah. So he must know something’s going to happen.
Noah: Or he rather knew that the hippogriff was necessary to free Black.
Rosie: But he doesn’t know about Black, yet.
Caleb: Right. He doesn’t know that story, yet.
Noah: Oh, you mean several hours before.
Noah: Or did he?
Rosie: Exactly! [laughs]
Caleb: I don’t know how he could have known.
Rosie: It’s complicated. So yeah, there’s a massive discussion going on in the forums about this at the moment that we obviously can’t help with, so make sure you guys get your opinions heard.
[Caleb and Rosie laugh]
Noah: Out of curiosity, which thread in particular were you guys looking at or just in the main podcast thread?
Rosie: It’s the main podcast thread from last episode. There’s a big discussion about it in there, but…
Noah: That’s cool.
Rosie: … feel free to continue that discussion in today’s episode as well. There’s a discussion there that goes on between Harry, Hermione, and Dumbledore that is completely cut down into one word in the movie, and that’s just Harry com[ing] up and say[ing] “we did it” or something and then Dumbledore says, “Did what?” And I really love that jokey humor of that movie moment, but it… and it does treat Dumbledore in the same way where he knows something’s happening, but he’s not really going to tell you, so it plays well into that character, but the little discussion in the books is nicer as well, I think.
Noah: But I actually didn’t like that scene as much, not that we are talking about the movie too much here. [laughs] But in the book, Dumbledore beamed at them, so he is really happy about it. I wonder if he comes off as a little bit more pompous in the movie because he’s like, “Oh, I did this” or…
Rosie: Hmm. I guess.
Rosie: I thought he was just playing. [laughs]
Noah: I’m sure he was. Anywho. So Harry and Hermione go in just in time for Madam Pomfrey to come in striding, saying, “Did I hear the Headmaster leaving? Am I allowed to look after my patients now?” And I’m just thinking to myself that Madam Pomfrey… she’s always, always in this character role of this attitude there. Whenever Harry is in the hospital wing, there’s somebody trying to get at him so that he can’t be treated, and in this chapter she’s just fluffing them both… them all with so much chocolate. There'[re] so many repeats of that. Should she be this agitated, I guess, is my general question? Does…? What does it speak to about her character?
Rosie: I think there’s a caricature of the very strict matron character within English literature…
Rosie: … and I think she does play into that quite well.
Noah: So after Madam Pomfrey enters and force-feeds them even more chocolate – which is obviously good because it fights off the depression and stuff that comes with Dementors – we hear loud noises from far away. And what the reader knows is, obviously, Snape and Fudge discovering that Sirius is gone. He’s totally gone. And the noises come closer and closer. Madam Pomfrey is watching the door unnerved because she’s saying, “Oh, they’ll wake everybody up.” And then, Snape just roars; he bursts in, screaming “HE DIDN’T DISAPPARATE! YOU CAN’T APPARATE OR DISAPPARATE INSIDE THIS CASTLE! THIS HAS SOMETHING TO DO WITH POTTER!” So this is when Fudge is trying to say, “Oh, he must have Apparated. He Disapparated out of the castle,” but of course, we know that no one can do that. But Snape’s instant thought is “Harry Potter.” But how is that possible? Because as far as Snape knows, Harry has been unconscious, and yet he instantly goes to Harry. Is this…? Was this too far? Or “How does he know?” I guess, is my question.
Noah: Go for it, Skylar.
Skylar: I think he’s just so sure about it because Harry is so similar to James, and he knows that’s what James would have done. And also, Harry always seems to get out of trouble and get his way, so Snape is just so convinced that he’s done it again, and Dumbledore has probably helped him somehow, as Dumbledore usually does.
Rosie: Yeah. He knows that Harry is defending Sirius at this point as well, so if anyone [is] going to help him escape, it’s going to be Harry.
Rosie: I’m amazed that none of the other teachers seem to know about the Time-Turner.
Rosie: And Fudge as well. Surely it needs to have Ministry approval.
Noah: Yeah, that’s what I was thinking. And then…
Caleb: I wonder… I bet Fudge doesn’t necessarily need to know, thinking about the way bureaucracy works.
Rosie: Yeah. Head honcho.
Caleb: It doesn’t necessarily have to be… yeah, probably just someone in that office.
Noah: But I think it’s possible that Snape does know because Dumbledore has that interesting quote of “How could Harry and Hermione be in two places at once?” looking at Snape as he says that. So is Dumbledore hinting that they used the Time-Turner and “this was my idea”? By…
Rosie: So he’s warning Snape off?
Noah: To back off.
Rosie: Saying, “This is my plan; you can’t foil it now.”
Noah: Because right after that, Snape does look at Fudge and then looks at Dumbledore, then looks at Harry. It’s just a possibility.
Rosie: [laughs] Yeah, no, I think it’s probably likely.
Noah: But in any case, Fudge says that it’s “just terrible news. We’ll have the Dementors packed off tonight.” And I thought to myself, “packed off”; do they have luggage? Are they…? Is that what he means?
Noah: They’re packing their stuff?
Caleb: What would their luggage look like?
Noah: What would their…? [laughs]
Rosie: Oh, it has to be one of those sticks with a tablecloth bag on the edge of it.
Rosie: That’s going to be their luggage. [laughs]
Caleb: Yeah. That’s perfect.
Noah: I can just imagine the Dementors doing their sad walk down the lake with their stick.
Noah: It’s like they’re cartoons.
Rosie: Okay, someone needs to draw that for us.
Noah: Yeah. That’d be some interesting fan art. But yeah, Fudge packs them off and suggests that maybe there should be some dragons in front of the school to protect Hogwarts at that point.
Noah: Caleb loves dragons. So does Hagrid, as Dumbledore says. But alas no, that’s sort of the end of that. We have a page break, and then the rest of the chapter, we’re just speeding through. Jo is rapidly wrapping everything up. “When Harry, Ron, and Hermione” – I’m quoting now directly – “left the hospital wing at noon the next day, it was to find an almost deserted castle. The sweltering heat and the end of exams meant that everyone was taking full advantage of another Hogsmeade visit. Neither Ron nor Hermione felt like going, however, so they and Harry wandered onto the grounds.” They go to the grounds, and they find the giant squid, just waving its tentacles out of the Black Lake. Hi, giant squid.
[Noah and Rosie laugh]
Noah: Wassup, from the reader. I don’t… what does the Giant Squid do in that lake? Just kind of chilling there?
Caleb: I just think that the giant squid is living the life. He has everything he needs. He probably gets plenty of food, whatever he wants. People sit around and watch him like he’s the star of his own show. He’s living it up.
Rosie: [laughs] Plus, what is a lake in Scotland without some kind of creature in it?
Rosie: Nessie, giant squid.
Caleb: Oh, my gosh, when I’m going to Scotland this summer, I’m going to just look for things like this.
Noah: So after Harry, Ron, and Hermione wave to the giant squid, the giant squid waves back. [as the giant squid] “Good job, Harry and Hermione!”
Caleb: Oh, is that how he talks?
Noah: [as the giant squid] “Hello! I’m the squid!”
Caleb: We need an Alohomora!
Rosie: We do.
Noah: Forget about the Mandrake shirt. Nobody cares about that. Let’s have a giant squid shirt.
Caleb: There we go.
Noah: So Hagrid comes over, and he is so happy because “Don’t you know it, Buckbeak got out!” He has no idea how it happened.
Rosie: You don’t say.
Noah: Exactly. And Hermione totally plays cool. They’re so happy and supportive even though they made that whole thing happen. And then it gradually comes out that Professor Lupin is leaving because Hagrid… and Hagrid talks about that Lupin being a werewolf was let slip in the dining hall by Snape just because he was, presumably, upset at Lupin for connecting with Sirius. So was this wrong of Snape? Or did it make sense?
Rosie: I think it makes sense within his character. He was waiting for something to happen that he would actually get Lupin out of there.
Noah: It just seems a little messed up because that totally destroys Lupin’s reputation, and then he must leave Hogwarts. So Harry, on hearing this, decides he has to see him immediately even though the others question that. Harry has to have a private moment with Lupin because I think those two characters have a connection in this book that the other two didn’t forge with Lupin at all. Lupin was really a mentor to him.
Rosie: Yeah, definitely. He’s the first connection back to his parents.
Noah: That’s true.
Caleb: This makes me wonder what Lupin does when he leaves to make a living. [laughs]
Noah: I was thinking that might be…
Rosie: There are so many unanswered questions about Lupin.
Caleb: [laughs] He’s such a… so much… yeah. That’s so true.
Noah: Because I think ultimately this sort of… I wonder if this fiasco at Hogwarts gets out to the public.
Rosie: Yeah, because it’s… we’re told that… well, we should expect that parents would send letters by the next day and all that kind of thing, so yeah.
Rosie: The Slytherins would tell their parents, and they would make a big fuss about it.
Caleb: Yeah, that’s true.
Noah: So maybe that gets in the way of his getting a job after this whole thing.
Noah: So Harry visits Lupin, and when Harry comes in, Lupin is actually bending over the Marauder’s Map. Now this could be for many reasons. Lupin is either just sort of watching all the people at Hogwarts for fun. Or is he potentially communicating with the Marauders in some way? What do you guys think?
Rosie: I don’t think he’s necessarily communicating with the Marauders. I think the map… we’ve learned from Pottermore that the map has very limited responses.
Rosie: It’s not alive, Noah.
[Caleb and Rosie laugh]
Rosie: I think he’s just watching Harry, perhaps because he’s about to leave, and he feels sad about that. He’s probably feeling nostalgic and sad.
Noah: Yeah. I mean, the map is very much an emblem of the bond he had with the other Marauders, and of course it could be a way for him to watch Harry and everything that he’s doing. Because there is that hesitation later before he gives it to Harry, which I don’t think is because he doesn’t want Harry to get into trouble, but it’s because maybe he wants to watch what Harry does when he leaves.
Skylar: I actually think the whole time he’s watching the map he’s waiting because he doesn’t want to leave until Harry comes because he knows Harry would feel really betrayed and insulted if Lupin left without speaking to him.
Rosie: Yeah, I agree.
Skylar: And I think the whole time he’s planning on giving the map [back] to Harry.
Caleb: Man, what if he did leave without saying bye to Harry? That would’ve been devastating.
Noah: One of…
Rosie: Because he doesn’t even send a letter like Sirius does or write anything either.
Rosie: He’s just… “See you later.”
Caleb: As if Harry needs something else to make him more emo.
Noah: That’s true. Harry is kind of self-hating in this chapter as he often is. Even though he does less…
Rosie: Not as much as Order of the Phoenix.
Caleb: [laughs] Oh, yeah.
Rosie: Not even close.
Caleb: Nowhere gets near that.
Noah: It’s all over the place, and then everyone else has to cheer him up.
Noah: But his parents did die.
Rosie: He’s just a teenage boy, and he’s got so much bad stuff in his life!
Rosie: Poor Harry. [laughs]
Noah: So Lupin handily handle… gives Harry back the Cloak and the map…
Caleb: “Handily handles”?
[Caleb and Rosie laugh]
Noah: Right. Everything. And do we think Lupin…? What would Lupin use the cloak for? He had it for maybe eight hours. Is it possible that he was secretly messing with Snape? What would you do in that situation?
Caleb: Man. Oh.
Noah: Last day at Hogwarts.
Rosie: Oh, I wish he’d mess with Snape. That would be fun.
Caleb: Yeah. Totally.
Noah: What if he pulled one final prank?
Caleb: In true Gryffindor style.
Rosie: Marauders rule again. It would be nice. I don’t think he did. I think he’s too sensible as one of the Marauders.
Noah: It’s true. He’s…
Rosie: He’s the sensible one.
Noah: He certainly is. I mean, how much…? I have a note here. Lupin is such a complex character. What do you think he’s feeling in this scene? In terms of emotions, with the whole school and parents hating on him, but also missing Harry, I guess.
Rosie: We see that so many of our key characters consider Hogwarts to be their home, and I think Lupin is a prime example of this. Hogwarts is the only place where he’s ever been accepted, and now he has to leave it again, so I think it’s really sad. He doesn’t want to leave, I don’t think, but he’s afraid of his image of Hogwarts being tainted, I guess. It’s always been a safe haven, and now it’s not anymore. Therefore, if he stayed it would ruin the rest of his experience there.
Skylar: Yeah, I agree. I think the main reason he’s so sad about leaving is the reason he has to leave. He’s not just going to do something else. It’s because he’s a werewolf, which is one of the reasons he wasn’t sure if he could even go there in the first place.
Skylar: So I think he’s just really upset that he has to leave there because of that.
Rosie: There’s no escape for him.
Noah: Yeah, I mean, Hogwarts is home for Harry and for Voldemort, for Dumbledore, for a lot of people.
Noah: So Lupin, upon leaving… it’s not… Harry only has a couple of pages with him. Lupin explains how Dumbledore just reasoned to Fudge that Lupin was not in cahoots with Black but rather trying to save Harry and the others even though Snape obviously had a different take on that. But Dumbledore probably told him, “No, this is part of my plan. You can’t say any of this stuff.” And that probably led to Snape letting it slip that Lupin was a werewolf. So in some way, perhaps Dumbledore is responsible for Snape doing this and Lupin being humiliated like that. But better that than going to Azkaban.
Noah: Then Dumbledore actually comes right by, comes in after the Invisibility Cloak and Marauder’s Map are handed down. There’s a final handshake, which I thought was cool. I mean, it makes sense. You’re going to shake [hands] with your old professor before you leave. And you’ve just got to think to yourself that in the past maybe ten hours Lupin and Sirius have shared a great deal with Dumbledore about all of the Marauders’ history.
Caleb: And also, that’s also very relevant to whatever Dumbledore has going on at this point with Harry, so…
Noah: Oh, yeah. And Dumbledore has a good sense of everything that’s going on. However, when he starts talking to Harry, Harry, at one point, after sobbing a bit and Dumbledore cheering him up – which happens a lot in the books – talks about the prophecy and about how he shouldn’t have let Pettigrew escape because he’s going to go connect with Voldemort. And when Harry describes the prophecy and how it was made, how it was Trelawney getting into a weird voice, Dumbledore was actually a little shocked because he didn’t know about that, and the line is “He was mildly surprised” or…
Noah: Right. “He was mildly impressed.” And I think if you mildly impress Dumbledore, that’s a big deal.
[Caleb and Rosie laugh]
Caleb: Yeah. Not many people can probably say they’ve done that.
Rosie: Is he “mildly impressed” at Harry or “mildly impressed” at Trelawney?
Noah: I don’t know that it’s necessarily “at” either of them. Just that…
Caleb: There’s a moment where he’s impressed.
[Caleb and Rosie laugh]
Caleb: Which is rare in itself.
Rosie: I think it’s Trelawney.
Caleb: That’s probably true.
Rosie: Because the one key prophecy that she’s made before, he gave her a job for and also to protect her. But I don’t think he ever expected her to make another prophecy.
Noah: Right, because he follows up with how that is two prophecies… two right ones that she’s ever made.
Rosie: [laughs] Yeah. “Brings the total up to two.”
Noah: And I think we’ve talked about this on the show before, but given the fact that she goes into a weird mode, do we even think she’s even responsible at all for these prophecies? Or is she just some vehicle that some other force is sending prophecies through?
Noah: And if so, what is that force?
Rosie: Fate. [laughs]
Noah: It is fate.
Rosie: There’s an interesting dichotomy between choices and fate within this book, which we’ve discussed in the past, whether people’s choices can really make an effect on their character or whether they’re just destined to be evil – in terms of Voldemort and people. So to have that element of prediction and prophecy really plays into that. How much of it is actually always going to happen and how much of it is actually down to their choices that they make? I was going to say something else. What was it? Oh, yeah, the actual prophecy itself. For Dumbledore to look “mildly impressed” after someone’s just told you that the Dark Lord is definitely about to return is a bit weird.
[Caleb and Rosie laugh]
Caleb: Perspective, ya’ll.
Rosie: Yeah. Shouldn’t you be a bit more worried about that at all?
Noah: He doesn’t seem too worried about it.
Rosie: No, they don’t… they say, “Oh, cool, she made a prediction!” He isn’t actually worried about what that prediction was.
Noah: He seems rarely worried. He just has an attitude toward life that everything’s just going to happen. It’s just going to happen. He’s just got to be smart when it does.
Rosie: I think that’s one of the main things that we see change about Dumbledore. At the beginning, he really doesn’t seem to care too much, and then the more we learn about him, the more I grow to dislike him.
Rosie: In the way that he reacts to things all the time.
Caleb: And Rosie gets all the hate mail this week.
Rosie: Yeah, oh, well.
[Caleb and Rosie laugh]
Noah: Especially in those movies, huh? Angry Dumbledore.
Caleb: Oh, my God.
Rosie: Yeah, but don’t get me started on the whole Goblet of Fire scene. [laughs]
Noah: We can… that’ll be a great movie, guys.
Rosie: That will be next time. [laughs]
Caleb: When is that going to be? Two years from now when we finish Goblet of Fire? Good grief.
Rosie: I’ll probably discuss it during the chapter as well. It’s all right.
[Caleb and Noah laugh]
Caleb: You can’t hold it.
Noah: So then Harry just laments again: “Why? Why did I let Pettigrew go? I should have just let him die,” and then Dumbledore says, “[as Dumbledore] No, no. No, Harry. James would have done the same thing.” And how Dumbledore knows that I’m not sure, but we all believe it.
Noah: I’m pretty… I believe it, Harry believes it. Maybe it’s because Dumbledore is saying it. Maybe it’s just what Harry needs to hear because… or maybe James would do it, but in any case it gets to a conversation about life debts, which we’ve been talking about a lot. And Dumbledore says, “Pettigrew owes his life to you. You’ve sent Voldemort a deputy who’s in your debt. When one wizard saves another wizard’s life it creates a certain bond between them, and I’m much mistaken if Voldemort wants a servant in the debt of Harry Potter. This is magic at its deepest, its most impenetrable, Harry.” So just thinking about that, I know we discussed on the episode that life debts weren’t actually magical at all in a way – that they were more human – but when I saw a quote like this, I thought it was a very real, magical contract that in some way just can’t be dismissed once it happens. And that’s sort of how I reasoned how even though Pettigrew, who can definitely not want to save Harry at all, be totally against him… when Harry says, “You owe me a life debt,” he must choke himself. It’s obviously not his own hand choking himself; it’s Voldemort’s hand. But his hesitation is because of the magic – not because he necessarily has good morals and thinks about it. Or does he? Or is he redeemed in that moment? What do you think?
Rosie: I had forgotten about this quote when we were having that discussion before. I had forgotten that Dumbledore had ever spoken about life debts, but I guess we’ve seen the term “magic” be applied to things we wouldn’t necessarily think of as magical.
Noah: Like love.
Rosie: Like the whole idea of Lily’s love being magical, yeah. So would you… if we extrapolate from that – that other things can be magical – maybe the idea of morals and the idea of doing the right thing in itself can be a magical concept as well. So in that way both theories work. [laughs]
Caleb: That’s a lovely thing to want to be true.
Rosie: I know. [laughs]
Caleb: It sounds so…
Noah: Isn’t that nice? Just to do the right thing, and that is the most magical.
Caleb: Interesting, yeah.
Rosie: I think it’s a very difficult concept to get your head around.
Rosie: I don’t think it’s explored well enough for us to be able to define properly within the books with the evidence that we’ve seen to far. We might be able to go back to it later on.
Noah: So that’s just something I’m thinking about because I know there was a quote from Jo that somebody in the forums put that sort of went against the theory and said that she didn’t think it was anything magical particularly about life debts – just that they’re active. But then again, Dumbledore says otherwise. It’s really a mystery whether Pettigrew could have chose[n] not to feel anything for Harry in that moment. Then there’s a brief discussion about Harry’s Patronus, which both Lupin and Dumbledore thought and wanted to know about, and Dumbledore talks about how Prongs rode again that night, and this is really an example of James within Harry, which is what Dumbledore says. I mean, that’s sort of a motif of these other characters kind of having their piece within Harry. Obviously Lily and James both have… it’s like half and half, I guess, in a way. However, there’s also this idea that, with the soul, Lily has infused something of herself to protect Harry’s soul – that is the love – and Voldemort has infused something that is the Horcrux, so those are extraneous to what Harry is, whereas the James bit comes from inside him. But what’s the deal here? I guess I’m asking, “Is Harry proportional? Is he part Lily, part Harry? I mean, part James, part Voldemort, or is it something else? Is he all these characters?”
Caleb: I don’t know, I mean, I think there’s… I mean, the James… he’s just genetically…
Caleb: … related to James, so that’s something different, but I think I don’t necessarily… thinking about it in proportional terms is really the way [to] go about it because what he has inside of him, magically speaking, with Lily is very blood-based, and what he has with Voldemort is… I don’t know if we want to say “the soul,” or just him holistically, but I just think they are a part of him in different ways.
Noah: Like a soul buddy.
Caleb: I mean, I wouldn’t say buddy, but…
[Caleb and Noah laugh]
Noah: A soul parasite.
Caleb: Yeah, a parasite.
Rosie: Well, in that case then James… everyone always talks about their spirit animal, and what else is a Patronus if not your spirit animal? And therefore James becomes – if Lily is blood, and Voldemort leeches onto his soul – his spirit in some kind of way.
Noah: Is there any reason why it’s a stag instead of a doe?
Rosie: Because I think we’ve seen Harry look up to his father so much, and he’s always being compared to his father and saying that he was such a great figure and someone to look up to, that there are daddy issues there. He really wants his father to [be] proud of him, and he misses his father, therefore, that’s why it’s James. Lily’s love is kind of intrinsic. I don’t know why, but everyone always considers a mother’s love to be more natural than a father’s love in some way.
Rosie: So to have James’s approval is different than Lily’s approval.
Rosie: They both died for him ultimately.
Noah: But Lily is somehow more because she was given a choice, but if James had been given a choice wouldn’t the same thing happen?
Caleb: I guess.
Rosie: James is kind of the same kill-the-spare character.
Noah: [whispers] Kill the spare.
Rosie: [laughs] Yeah, it’s weird.
Noah: Many different discussions there, broad comments that I’m throwing at you, too. But after this happens – after this scene – Harry is left more confused than ever [since] Dumbledore always leaves him, I think.
Noah: And Dumbledore probably likes that. But there are many quick moments here and quotes from characters that we don’t hear often a lot. Dean talks about how he hopes the next Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher is a vampire. I don’t know why or if that’s significant or not. There’s a quick quote from Percy who says he’s excited to work for the Ministry so that he can tighten up reform here.
Caleb: [scoffs] Hate.
[Noah and Rosie laugh]
Noah: Yeah, and as we know Percy is slowly working his way into there. It’s setting up for the next book. Hermione decides to drop Muggle Studies, which makes sense because…
Caleb: Glad you got your life together, girl. It was time.
Noah: Yeah, you should…
Rosie: Good to admit your limitations.
Noah: Yep, she’s just really tired. The Time-Turner was really taking it’s toll. And obviously she’s Muggle-born, so she has a sense of Muggles anyway, though she was taking the course to learn about them from the wizarding perspective. But again, a little bit too much for the…
Caleb: Yeah, that’s a little excessive.
Noah: A little excessive. Ron invites Harry for the summer, we hear about the Quidditch World Cup, and suddenly, we’re riding back on the Hogwarts Express home. And then there’s a little owl that flies in, introducing Pigwidgeon. And there it is, and Harry catches Pigwideon like a little Snitch – or that’s not the exact quote, but it’s something like that – and lo and behold, it is a letter from Sirius Black. Sirius talks about how he’s doing all right. He and Buckbeak have flown away. He can’t reveal his location just in case the owl is picked up, but Hermione has a little Aha! moment when Sirius explains that he was the one who sent the Firebolt, and I thought that was pretty funny.
Rosie: “I told you.” [laughs]
Noah: Yeah. Even though… and then Ron is like, “It wasn’t jinxed, though!” And the old debate is kind of hinted at a little bit. They’re going to have a fun…
Rosie: They’re such teenagers at the moment.
Noah: They’re going to have a fun marriage. Don’t you know it?
[Caleb and Rosie laugh]
Caleb: That’s actually a really good point, Rosie. In the end, Jo at this point is still able to bring it back to the fact that they are still rather young teenagers.
Caleb: Obviously, that is about to start to change drastically, but… hmm.
Noah: So in the letter, Sirius also says that Ron can have the owl in return for the rat issue and coming to kill it.
Rosie: Which is really nice. He thought of Ron.
Noah: He did. That’s cool.
Noah: He’s become closer to Harry, Ron, and Hermione and says, “You can write to me anytime you want, Harry,” which is great but… and Sirius tells them out front that your owl will be able to find me no matter what.
Noah: So I was thinking about that again, and I was like, “Wait a second. If an owl can find anyone at any moment, what if the Ministry just sent an armada of owls to kill Sirius Black because they can find him?”
Caleb: An armada of owls to kill Sirius Black…
Caleb: Here is a man who was able to get his way out of Azkaban…
Caleb: … and you think that owls are going to do him in?
Caleb: Man, he’s got a hippogriff on his side now.
Noah: That’s right.
Rosie: That’s true. [laughs]
Noah: But do you think, hypothetically, if the Ministry wrote him a letter – “Where are you?” [laughs] – would it get to him?
Rosie: Surely you could just get on a broom and follow the owl.
Rosie: I guess owls… okay, the postal service is meant to be very nice and private and loyal, isn’t it? So owls should encompass that…
Caleb: [laughs] Yeah.
Rosie: … pride as well…
Noah: Oh, well, that’s true.
Rosie: So they’d probably just fly off in a different direction. They’ll protect their sender at all costs and protect their recipient at all costs.
Noah: That’s probably also why when Sirius takes money from his own bank account in Gringotts no one tells the Ministry because they’re goblins, and they don’t care. [laughs]
Rosie: Yeah, probably.
Noah: But if the owls and the goblins could help, Sirius would have been caught like that. So after Pigwidgeon comes in, Ron asks Crookshanks if Pigwidgeon is all good…
Noah: … and Kat would be happy to know that they have become friends…
Noah: … because clearly they are foils in the series, and Hermione is in love with both of them.
Caleb: One more than the other, and it’s the cat. [laughs]
Noah: Unfortunately for Ron. But then Harry makes it to the… makes it to King’s Cross. Vernon Dursley… the Dursleys are there, Vernon upset as usual, but he’s not freaking out more than usual even though the whole aunt fiasco with Aunt Marge… that’s been… it’s not really addressed here, but…
Rosie: I think that’s different because it was sorted out by the Ministry this time.
Rosie: So something official happened to put Vernon at ease.
Noah: That’s true, and he probably was told, yet again, he had to… “You have to take Harry back.” Skylar, you have a thought.
Skylar: Yeah, I think, as much as he hates magic, he acknowledges that a professional government decision was made, so he’s not going to freak out about it too much.
Noah: Yeah, because even though he thinks that they’re all weird, he probably trusts a government’s decision.
Rosie: Men in suits. [laughs]
Noah: Right. Anyone with authority.
Noah: So Harry tells Vernon that… “I’ve got a Godfather now, and he’s a murderer. He’s a convicted murderer.”
Noah: “He’s broken out of wizarding prison, and he’s on the run. He likes to keep in touch with me, though. Keep up with the news. Check if I’m happy.”
Rosie: I love that.
Noah: And then he was grinning broadly at the look of horror on Uncle Vernon’s face.
Noah: He believes…
Rosie: Is this the first real sign of proper sassy Harry?
Caleb: It might be.
Rosie: That’s… it’s really funny. I love it. [laughs]
Noah: And he gets…
Rosie: He now has the power to get back at him.
Noah: He gets progressively sassier as the books proceed as any young male does.
Noah: I, myself, have had this transformation. I’m still not quite out of it.
Caleb: I’m pretty sure I was born this way.
Caleb: So I was born this sassy.
Noah: That sassy? [laughs]
Noah: But yeah, so that final line: “Harry set off toward the station exit, Hedwig rattling along in front of them for what looked like a much better summer than the last.” And just a final point before we’re done: “looked like a much better summer.” Maybe there’s sort of a bit of – those weren’t in italics…
Noah: … but if they had been – it “seemed” like it was going to be good, but we will see because we know it’s going to be riddled with Tom Riddle. And that is the end of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
Rosie: End of the book! Yay!
[Triumphant music begins]
Caleb: Wow! Man, this is… compared to the first two books, we spent… well, obviously since it’s longer, but we spent so much time on this book. It will be hard to let go. Especially since I love this book so much.
Rosie: I know. It’s so brilliant! But the rest of the books are brilliant, too, so…
Rosie: … we’ll be fine. Okay, so we are done with our chapter discussions. So it’s time for our Podcast Question of the Week. And we didn’t really touch on this one much within our discussion itself, so it will be really great to hear your comments. So we know that the Defense Against the Dark Arts job is cursed. We don’t really know at this point, but we will discover it very shortly. And what we really want to know is “Do you think that Dumbledore knew about this curse throughout Harry’s time at Hogwarts? Because why would he hire Lupin this year? And if he knew that your Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher was only going to be there for one year and then something would happen that would make him leave, why would you risk hiring a werewolf for the job if it always ends in some kind of disaster happening? Surely that’s asking for something bad to happen. And to tie into that, what do you think Lupin does after he leaves?” We don’t really know much about him. We don’t really know what he’s able to do once the wizarding world finds out that he’s a werewolf. So yeah, we want to learn more about the life and times of Remus Lupin. Let us know. [laughs]
Caleb: Yeah, I really like that you asked the first part of that question because it’s actually something that’s been latent in my mind for a long time reading the series. It’s… does Dumbledore know about this curse? Because that’s never really clear. So I’m really interested to see what people say about that.
Caleb: And if so, like you said, how…? Why is he making these decisions? Because I’d be willing to bet he may not know the full thing, but he has an inkling. I mean, it’s too suspect for him not to know something.
Noah: How do we…? I’m interested to know how the jinx even works in some way. It’s… how do you put a jinx on the post? Because that’s… it’s almost like manipulating the universe around just a fact that it must be a different teacher every year, and I wonder how much that influences everything.
Rosie: I think it’s just a general curse. It’s giving bad luck to who[m]ever gets that post.
Noah: Bad luck.
Rosie: Because we see luck works. Felix Felicis gives you good luck. Therefore, it must be possible to curse someone with bad luck as well.
Rosie: So something bad will always happen to the teacher…
Rosie: … until Voldemort gets the job.
Noah: Man, that is a sucky position to put anyone in.
Caleb and Rosie: Yeah.
Noah: Anyway, thank you, Skylar, so much for joining us on such short notice to be on the episode.
Skylar: Thank you for letting me come.
Noah: Yeah, absolutely. I hope you had a…
Rosie: We hope you enjoyed it.
Caleb: And if you would like to join our show, like Skylar, we would definitely love to have you on. And you can find all on that information about how to be on the show at our website – alohomora.mugglenet.com – and emailing us at alohomorapodcast at gmail dot com
Rosie: Don’t forget [that] you can also contact us in a variety of different ways, including on Twitter – @AlohomoraMN – on Facebook, which is facebook.com/openthedumbledore, and via Skype you can leave us a voicemail – like the one you heard earlier on the episode – which is 206-GO-ALBUS. Or 206-462-5287.
Noah: And we want to remind you again that we have a store. There is an Alohomora! store where you can buy T-shirts with the different slogans from the hosts. It’s a cheesy thing that we do, but it is also cool just to have the Alohomora! brand on a shirt because then you can share the podcast with everyone who sees you in a given day, which is awesome for us because we want to just get the word out.
Rosie: And you may even get free hugs out of it.
Noah: That’s right. If you wear Rosie’s shirt…
Noah: … which is “Hug Me, I’m a Hufflepuff!” you will get the most hugs whether you are a Hufflepuff or not. And also, if you have an idea for a shirt design or any concept art, just send it our way. Just send us an email, @ reply us on Twitter, because we want to know what kind of shirts you guys would most be interested in buying. And also what other merchandise you are interested in. And we are planning on bringing a whole lot of new merchandise just because it is fun to produce different products with you guys and share them around.
Rosie: Also, don’t forget that we have our app, which is available on iPhone, iPad, Android, and Kindle in both the US and the UK. It is $1.99 or 1 pound 29 pence, and it’s got transcripts, bloopers, alternate endings, host vlogs, and much, much more, so make sure you check it out.
Noah: All right, guys, we have finished Prisoner of Azkaban. We will see you next time… well, our next show is going to be… oh, it is going to be the book wrap where we analyze the entire book and…
Caleb: And do one of my favorite things: look at all the different covers of the book.
Noah: Yeah. And for many people, Prisoner of Azkaban is such a favorite story for a lot of Harry Potter fans, so it’s going to be an excellent episode. And start thinking about busting out Goblet of Fire because it’s going to be soon. We’ll be tackling that book next, but for now, congrats, guys. We finished all the chapters of Prisoner of Azkaban. Thanks for sticking with us all the way through. That is the end of our episode today. I’m Noah Fried.
[Show music begins]
Caleb: I’m Caleb Graves.
Rosie: And I’m Rosie Morris. Thank you for listening to Episode 34 of Alohomora!
Noah: Open the Dumbledore!
[Show music continues]