Transcript – Episode 44

[Show music begins]

Eric Scull: This is Episode 44 of Alohomora! for August 17, 2013.

[Show music continues]

Eric: Hello everybody, and welcome to Alohomora! Episode 44. I’m Eric Scull.

Rosie Morris: I’m Rosie Morris.

Laura Reilly: And I’m Laura Reilly. And here today, our guest is Holly Horne.

Holly Horne: Hello!

Laura: The first thing I want to ask, which is what we always ask our guests, is what Pottermore house you are – what house do you have allegiance to.

Holly: Oh, yeah. I am a Gryffindor through and through.

Laura: Do you mind telling us where you’re from or a little thing about yourself?

Holly: Well, yeah, I guess. I’m from New Jersey. And yeah, I don’t know what else to say. [laughs]

Laura: [laughs] Yeah. Huge Harry Potter fan?

Holly: Oh yeah, I’m a huge Harry Potter fan. I’ve been one since I was five. I’m almost twenty.

Eric: I feel like the only question we need to ask is what your Patronus would be? You really get to know people that way.

Holly: Ooh. I feel like this is like the spirit animal question. [laughs]

Eric: Yeah, what’s your spirit animal?

Holly: My friends all say I’m a badger, actually.

Eric: Hufflepuff! Yeah, woo!

Holly: Yeah. [laughs]

Laura: Badger or Gryffindor?

Holly: What? No, there are traits of a badger. [laughs]

Eric: Well, yeah, like the Honey Badger, if you guys have seen that. I promised I wasn’t going to bring that up, too…

Laura: Well, Eric, you straddle Gryffindor and Hufflepuff, which Caleb has a super issue with.

Eric: It’s true.

[Holly, Laura, and Rosie laugh]

Eric: Oh yes, yes. It’s a good thing Caleb is not on. He would call you out. But our listeners know we’ve actually had a few episodes this past week.

Laura: It’s been crazy.

Eric: It’s been a really exciting week for Alohomora!, including the live episode in London.

Laura: Yes.

Rosie: Which was amazing.

Eric: So how was LeakyCon? Please tell us, because last week I’m sure you heard Michael and Terrance and the host of the episode all kind of had a “not going to LeakyCon” party.

[Rosie laughs]

Eric: And it was said, of course, in spite, because we all wanted to be there.

Rosie: But you guys all managed to go to the one in Portland, and I wanted to go to that one, so it kind of evened out. It’s okay.

Eric: But it was fun, it was a good time?

Rosie: Yeah, it was really amazing just seeing everyone. I’ve been to LeakyCon in Chicago last year, and just seeing that kind of excitement translated into a convention here in London was just amazing. We’ve never really had anything that big and that enthusiastic as a convention for purely Potter here in the UK, so it was a really great experience and I can’t wait for it to happen again, hopefully, I think they said not next year, but possibly the year after.

Eric: Oh, I was going to suggest because at the end of LeakyCons they sometimes announce…

Rosie: Yeah.

Eric: … their next LeakyCons. Did they… was there any of that this time?

Rosie: They announced that next year will be in Orlando…

Eric: Okay.

Rosie: … but they don’t have a date for it yet. And then hopefully the year after that they’ll come back across the pond and do something else over here.

Eric: Well, it’s nice to hear they did it the way Americans would do it, in London.

Rosie: Yeah. Well, I think we were a slightly more reserved audience…

[Eric laughs]

Rosie: … but we did it with style, I think. If you managed to see any of the clips of, for instance, Hank Green and any of his performances on the main stage, I think everyone who had the big rock moments really enjoyed themselves and… yeah. We did it as well as America could do. [laughs]

Eric: I can’t imagine Hank Green fans – nerdfighters – or Starkid fans being reserved about anything. [laughs]

Rosie: Yeah, reserved is possibly the wrong word, but slightly quieter than…

Eric: For us that’s blatant discrimination. No, and I understand. I think it really is tangible at these events – I’ve been to a few prior celebrations…

Holly: It’s hard not to get swept up in it.

Eric: Yes. Now that we’re back, we are going to get into discussion on… well, actually, of course you know the drill, listeners. First we talk about comments that we received from last week’s podcast discussion, which of course covered the fifth chapter in Goblet of Fire, which was “Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes.”

Holly: Which is actually two weeks ago at this point.

Eric: Two weeks ago, yes.

Holly: Yeah. I lost track of the discussion.

Eric: Time flies when you’re not at LeakyCon.

[Everyone laughs]

Laura: Time drags on super, super slowly and is really sad when you’re not at LeakyCon.

Eric: It’s true.

Rosie: So we managed to have our Pottermore party in the middle as well.

Laura: Yes.

Eric: Yes. There was that. Please listen to that, everybody. I’m begging you, begging you. Excellent Lupin character discussion on that as well. And it’s easy if you’re subscribed to us on Alohomora!, it’s as easy as updating your feed. Which you probably did, if you’re listening to this episode.

[Rosie laughs]

Eric: So, first comment from last week is about Bertha. It comes from Oison Doyle, and I believe this is sourced from the forums.

“How could the Ministry possibly think Bertha Jorkins is missing? It is almost impossible for an adult wizard or witch to get lost or go missing. If they didn’t know which way to go, they could use the four point spell that Harry uses in the maze. If they give up on finding their way, they can simply Apparate home instantaneously. How could the Ministry think that she is lost with all the different spells and modes of transportation that wizards and witches have available to them.”

Laura: That’s a pretty good point. [laughs] I think more, at least, I’m not even sure if this has come up yet in the book, but I know coming up to it, Bagman is going to be talking about how, oh, she probably thought it was one country, and it’s the next, or whatever. I think they’re attributing it more to her not being lost, but just being forgetful and not realizing how long she’s taking. But I totally agree with this comment that it is pretty difficult for a witch or wizard to be completely missing.

Eric: I think it was the previous chapter that we discussed, two weeks ago I guess now, that Mr. Weasley said she probably thought it was Australia instead of Albania. So that’s that, but I guess it just brings up the question because at dinner we hear about Bertha, yet again, and she’s lost – “Oh, silly Bertha!” – but nobody really questions it.

Laura: And Harry still hasn’t picked up on the fact.

Eric: Yes.

Laura: It’s still a mystery.

Eric: He’s still… it’s like, “Come on, Harry!” [growls] Remember your dreams.

Rosie: Do you think owls have a “return to sender” thing so that if they can’t find who they’re meant to be delivering to, it just goes back to who sent it?

[Eric laughs]

Rosie: Because that would be another way of finding out whether you can actually deliver… if she’s lost, the owl wouldn’t be able to find her.

Eric: Hmm. Good point. So the next comment we have is about Percy. We had a pretty in-depth Percy-bashing session last week… [laughs]

[Rosie laughs]

Eric: … but I tried to hold my own. This is from kmchef. They say,

“I really liked the discussion about Percy this week because it really got me thinking about his character in a new way. At the beginning of the conversation, I was apt to agree with the side that Percy was just being his annoying self and yelling at everyone because he’s, to use the twin’s word, a git. But as the discussion went on, I switched sides completely and am now more of the opinion that Percy isn’t showing his colors as a real snotty Ministry-lover quite yet, like he does in the next book.

You have to remember that right now, Percy is just a guy who’s graduated school and gotten his first job. It’s natural for him to be excited about it and, particularly because Percy’s always been so ambitious, for him to be concentrating on it SO hard and not joining in on the family fun. He wants to do a good job because he takes so much pride in doing good work.

Because we’re seeing the situation through the eyes of a bunch of 14 and 15 year olds, we see the situation as Percy just being a buzzkill; “Oh, Percy! Working so hard even though it’s summer; what a square! He doesn’t know how to have fun!” But for Percy, this job is his first act as an adult and he views himself as no longer a kid. He’s a working man now, so he should act like it. I’m actually in almost the same situation myself (having worked at my job out of college for just over a year and half) but I haven’t read this book since I was in college, so I didn’t realize how much I now relate to Percy until now! Funny how things change!”

Rosie: [laughs] I hope you weren’t acting quite as much like Percy with your new job there.

[Eric, Rosie, and Laura laugh]

Laura: Yeah, Percy just still sucks so much.

Eric: So you’re all on that side too, right? [laughs]

Laura: Yeah, no, he’s my least… I have very little… it’s not that I don’t have sympathy for him. I do feel bad for him when he’s getting relentlessly made fun of from the twins because my sister… I’m the most nerdy, by far, in my family, and I’m not to this degree but I get made fun of by my sisters on a constant basis for working hard on stuff. So I feel bad for him in that respect, but he’s still a jerk.

Rosie: I think he’s had a lot of a pressure on him and being Prefect and Head Boy and all that kind of stuff that he feels like he should be able to go out in the world and get the best job straight away because he’s had this kind of career in school, and I think it’s quite difficult to realize that you’re actually just a small fish in a big pond, and Percy’s realizing that and compensating with his attitude, but it’s not the way to go about it at all. [laughs]

Laura: I think, just one more thing, that he’s making his job out to be obviously more of a bigger deal than it really is.

Rosie: Yeah, definitely.

Laura: That does remind me, in the sense that when kids my age do go on internships and they’re working for this great company where they are the people getting the coffee, they want to be like, “I’m working at Vogue,” or whatever, but they’re not actually doing really great work. It is difficult… I think he does expect to be getting these really important jobs in history, culture, research or whatever.

Eric: [laughs] Well, Night Strike on the forums weighs in. They say,

“I think Percy is strong for standing for what he wants and not letting his surroundings affect him. I’m sure his parents have never been anything but supporting, but when the rest of his family, and most likely the majority of students at Hogwarts, make fun of him and he finally ends up at the Ministry it must feel like a big fat revenge.

I’m not surprised he doesn’t let go of the Ministry until so late in the series. It was, I think, more than a job to him. It symbolized his victory over all those who, well, bullied him really, and I think that it was harder than we may think for him to let go of it. So, more respect for Percy!”

Holly, where do you weigh in on this? Percy, good guy, like him, don’t like him?

Holly: I don’t know. I was never a fan of Percy, ever, to begin with, but really in this… I actually just reread the whole series two weeks ago.

Eric: Oh.

Holly: Yeah, so reading it now as a kid in college and not as a fourteen year old like, “Aww, he’s such a buzz kill.” Reading it now I do see where he’s coming from because he’s almost rubbing it in Fred and George’s face, because Fred and George are so free and whatever, and he feels like he has to be the strong one that has to bring in the rules and be the law-abiding citizen to keep them in check. So I feel like that’s where he’s trying to fall in.

Eric: Well, wrapping up our Percy discussion, I’ll just say that it isn’t easy for him to be everybody’s least favorite Weasley. But actually, Night Strike also wrote in and said… Muffliato, this was a question that we asked last week and the question was, couldn’t Percy have cast Muffliato if he didn’t want to hear his siblings? Night Strike says,

“As a last side note, Muffliato was invented by Snape and found by Harry in the Half-Blood Prince’s Potions Book. So it wouldn’t have been known by the wider wizarding community, although I guess something similar should already exist.”

Thank you for your diligence.

[Laura laughs]

Eric: Yeah, really…

Laura: Keeping us in line.

Eric: Really, this is one of the reasons that we do so many comments and feedback because there are little details that we miss. Also on the forums we have a comment from wicca – this is about Molly. They say,

“Speaking of Molly, I’m surprised that she isn’t even a little impressed with the twins. They’ve spent a lot of time developing a line of products that are guaranteed to make a lot of money, they’ve compiled price lists and prepared order forms, and they already have plans for the future. All of that shows remarkable commitment, determination, and maturity.”

Laura: Well, as Chief Weasley Twins Fan #1, I agree.

[Everyone laughs]

Laura: But, I…

Eric: Well, that will come to play in this chapter too, as we…

Laura: Right. I’ll talk about that more later, but I… it’s not that I see where Molly’s coming from – I’ve experienced where Molly is coming from. I have… I’m not majoring in neuroscience, I’m majoring in cultural anthropology and journalism. It’s something I love, but I faced that kind of question, a lot of, “Yeah, but like what are you going to do for your real job?”

[Everyone laughs]

Laura: “Like when you’re done with that?”

Rosie: I’ve gotten exactly the same thing, Laura.

Laura: Yeah.

Rosie: “What are you going to do with an MA in Medieval Studies?”

Laura: Right?

[Eric laughs]

Laura: So I think that she’s not appreciating that it is hard work and a real job. She’s just like, “That’s awesome, but when are you going to really settle down and do work?”

Rosie: I think she’s still reeling from the exam results as well. She’s worried about their futures, and even though they’ve done all this work she doesn’t necessarily know it’s going to pay out for them in the future. So it’s kind of… it’s motherly worry coming out of actual proof of fear. [laughs]

Eric: And also relating to last week’s discussion, here is, from Supreme Mugwump, a random comment on Quidditch. They say,

“The teams that England, Scotland, and Wales lose to (Transylvania, Uganda, and Luxembourg) are all relatively unknown countries that had to have learned Quidditch from English traders (or, in the case of Uganda, perhaps colonizers). During that World Cup, they seem to be better than Britain, the originators of Quidditch and the country (according to ‘Quidditch Through the Ages’) with the best Quidditch infrastructure and most developed national league.

In the late 1990s (when ‘Goblet’ was being written), English cricket was going through the same kind of thing. England, the originators of cricket and the country with the oldest and most well-established national league, was beaten quite often by India and Pakistan (ex-colonies, who’d been taught cricket by the British).

I have no idea if or how much J.K. Rowling follows cricket, but I thought this was an interesting parallel.”

[Rosie laughs]

Laura: That’s really interesting.

Rosie: It’s not just cricket though either. I mean, football in England is what I would always compare the Quidditch World Cup to and we always say that we’ve only won the Football World Cup – this is English football, not American football, soccer – I think it was – I can’t remember. It’s 1966 now? I’m going to get completely killed by all the English fans that should know this date. I think it was 1966. And yeah, it was a major event and I think that everyone knows about it and every single time that we’re in the Football World Cup, we know that we’re probably not going to get to the final. So there’s a whole history of England inventing games and then not being very good at them.

[Eric and Rosie laugh]

Rosie: But to have Ireland in the Cup proves that at least somewhere in the UK we’ve got a strong national team. [laughs]

Laura: In fiction.

Rosie: In fiction. [laughs]

Eric: Well, listeners will know that as always, every single week, you guys have the last word for each episode discussion. So if you want to have your comment featured in this section, you can definitely put them. Go over to the Alohomora! forums or comment on the comments thread of the individual news post for each episode weekly. There’s always so much more that happens on the forums than we can possibly fit in to an episode, but things like defense of Ginny Weasley, because she was attacked last week too, that was… Infested with Nargles had a good defense post over there. Just a lot of good stuff happens. So go check it out and definitely, once you’re done listening to the episode, feel free to contribute.

Rosie: And feel free to correct my knowledge of football as well because I’m obviously not remembering that date correctly. [laughs]

Eric: I’m sure it really wasn’t that bad.

Laura: I mean, I don’t even know what cricket is necessarily, so I’m not even going to…

Rosie: Cricket is like our version of your baseball, but…

Laura: Yeah.

Rosie: … it’s slightly different rules. Yeah.

Eric: I confuse it with croquet.

Rosie: Very, very different from croquet!

Eric: Yes. Okay, it’s different…

Rosie: Cricket is played by practically every single school in the country. Croquet is played by Eton. [laughs]

Eric: Okay. If I lived in the UK, I would probably go to Eton…

[Rosie laughs]

Eric: … just to play crocquet.

Rosie: Sure. [laughs] If you wanted to talk about the Podcast Question of the Week, which we obviously do every week – I don’t think we did them in the last two episodes, which were special ones, but we do every general episode – you don’t want to go to the forums, but you do want to go to our Question of the Week thread, which is where all of these answers have been found. And I believe, Eric, it was your question last time.

Eric: Yes. Well, I should give credit where it’s due. We all came up with it off of the tops of our heads as sometimes happens.

Rosie: That’s good. Okay. Well, as the lovely gentlemen of the last episode have come up with, this is the question that they asked.

Eric: I’ll tell them you called them that.

Rosie: [laughs] It says, “In this chapter, Fred and George are revealed to Harry to have constructed an entire line of special treats, and to have completely invented their own style of items, such as gag wands. How do they do this? How do the fake wands work and what is the magic behind Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes? And how did Fred and George figure out how to do it?” And there was a lot of great discussion in our archive thread on our new WordPress site and this is a few of the highlights of what you guys were saying. And this one is from Jake Pontzer and it says,

“I think it’s Transfiguration at a pretty basic level, actually, at least with the fake wand; it was a rubber mouse to begin with and was made to look like a wand until someone touched it. As to how Fred and George made it so it would only turn if someone ELSE touched it, I have no idea. But I can imagine it would be a simple spell to teach an inanimate object when to transfigure itself.”

Eric: Yeah, sure. Simple spell. Mhm.

[Eric and Rosie laugh]

Eric: For Transfiguration, mhm. Yeah.

Laura: I heard a thing…

Rosie: There was a lot of discussion… sorry. Go ahead, Laura.

Laura: Does it transform… I got the idea that it transforms when a spell is attempted, not just when you’re holding it.

Rosie: Yeah, because they do hold them in their hands for a little while before it turns later on, don’t they?

Eric: Oh. So that’s one more dimension.

Rosie: [laughs] There’s a lot of discussion about whether it was Transfiguration and I think that’s the idea that most of you agreed with. It was either Transfiguration or a charm placed on these wands.

Eric: Mhm.

Rosie: But there are a few other comments here that might shed a bit more light. So let’s have a look. The next commenter is called Pig-Desk.

[Eric laughs]

Rosie: Great name. And it says,

“The twins are using many different types of magic from transformation…”

I think that was meant to be Transfiguration.

“… to potions. In order to thoroughly hypothesize all the different possibilities one wouldn’t need to write several essays. In regards to the wand, I don’t think it’s transfiguration. Transfiguration would suggest they turned something into a wand which would only look like a wand and have no magical abilities. I think it’s more logical to assume the wand is made in the same way today’s toy makers make electronic toys, they are given a few buttons and a few responses.”

Eric: I don’t know, I’m siding with Transfiguration now, actually.

Rosie: I think this comment is trying to say that Transfiguration would suggest you actually made a fully functioning wand, whereas these toy wands are only a couple of things that they can do.

Eric: Oh, right. Okay.

Rosie: But I still think it would be Transfiguration.

Laura: Yeah, you don’t need to transform a wand. You can transform a stick and call it a wand.

Rosie: Yeah.

Laura: Still, yeah. I agree.

Eric: But it is one of the great mysteries of the Harry Potter books. Is a… when is a stick not a wand?

Rosie: [laughs] When is a wand a stick and a stick a wand?

Eric: Yeah, exactly, and how really differently do they look?

Rosie: Well, wicca says that gag wands have been around for a long time and that Fred and George didn’t invent them. It says,

“Gag wands have been around for a long time, Fred and George didn’t invent them. I imagine that they are imbued with some kind of Transfiguration spell and perhaps a spell or a substance that works as a catalyst when the wand is picked up. I don’t think it’s particularly advanced magic, but it likely requires some skill. This technique (or some version of it) is probably taught in Transfiguration at Hogwarts and they simply applied it to some of their products. There are joke shops in Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley, so maybe the twins learned a thing or two by taking apart and studying the items that they bought there. Maybe the owners of those shops shared some of their knowledge and gave them some advice.”

So that’s a two-fold comment. The idea of a catalyst, so bringing in more of a chemistry or physics idea to the magic and then the idea of reverse… I thought of the word and it’s completely gone.

[Eric and Rosie laugh]

Eric: Alchemy?

Rosie: Reverse engineering. There, that’s probably what I was thinking of.

Eric: Oh, okay.

Rosie: [laughs] I think they probably would have looked at existing products and how they were made and tried to replicate things like that, but these products seem to be a lot more imaginative than some of the others that we’ve heard of being made from Zonko’s and things.

Eric: I like the idea of Fred and George going around and speaking with adults and shop owners and that sort of thing, trying to figure out how stuff is done. Kind of like they’re doing extracurricular studying, which is funny considering their grades are so terrible in other subjects, but it’s where their passion lies.

Rosie: Definitely.

Holly: Although, I can’t imagine that shop owners would be too hot to tell them their secrets.

Eric: Well, not Zonko’s, for sure.

Laura: It would put them out of business.

Eric: Yeah, not any of the joke shops. I can’t see Fred and George getting any anything out of those guys.

Rosie: No, you’d imagine they’re the kind of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory idea where you’re not going to share your secrets at all.

[Eric, Laura, and Rosie laugh]

Eric: Slugworth!

Rosie: Okay, the next comment is from HallowsMaster97 and it says,

“While some of their products can be made using basic spells, there is obviously some advanced magic involved. One of the items that really intrigues me is the Canary Creams. They transfigure a person (advanced transfiguration) and it sort of reminded me of the Polyjuice Potion and the accident Hermione had in their second year. Did Fred and George manage to find a way of using Polyjuice Potion to their advantage with the Canary Creams? (Unlikely, as the potion is illegal.) I think that Fred and George are quite clever really.”

Eric: What do the Canary Creams do? Am I forgetting exactly what it… like…

Laura: It turns them… well, to be honest I just finished reading Goblet of Fire [laughs] because I got wrapped up in it on my plane ride home from Florida while trying to just read one chapter. Anyway, Neville eats one and turns into… it says he starts sprouting feathers. So I don’t think he turns into like a tiny little canary. I think it’s kind of like they said with how they said with the Polyjuice Potion where Hermione is not like a cat, she is a human with cat features.

Eric: Hmm.

Laura: I’ve gotten the impression it’s kind of like that.

Eric: But she gets stuck like that and Polyjuice isn’t supposed to be used for interspecies. So the fact that they kind of figured out a way around getting people stuck like that is actually really brilliant.

Laura: I doubt it’s Polyjuice Potion. I think the fact that it’s illegal would not stop them…

[Rosie laughs]

Laura: … but I don’t… but regardless I still don’t think that’s what it is.

Eric: Well, but clearly if… let’s say Polyjuice is the best thing they’ve got, the whole wizarding community, they’ve got to transfigure/transform people and that takes a month to brew and it can’t do cross-species. Fred and George found a way to do cross-species transfigurations in a small clotted cream…

Rosie: Snack? [laughs]

Eric: Yeah, snack. So that I guess speaks wonders to their ability.

Rosie: I like the fact that we see this in this book as well. After, I mean, like this commenter said, we have Hermione turning into half cat in Book 2 and in Book 3 we’ve seen obviously all the Animagi stuff happening…

Eric: Mhm.

Rosie: And we’ve seen lots of transfiguration things where they’ve turned goblets into was it birds or something?

Laura: Rats. Or no, that’s just the movie.

Rosie: Like hedgehogs into pin cushions and all that kind of thing. So there’s always been an animal kind of object cross over. But definitely transfiguring a person into something creature-ish is different. Although we do see it in the second task later in this book when we see the kind of Krum-shark incident.

Eric: Mmm.

Laura: Hmm.

Rosie: So it is obviously possible.

Laura: Maybe Durmstrang is more lenient with teaching that sort of thing.

Rosie: Maybe. But I mean for Fred and George to have managed to do it in a snack that causes no lasting damage is quite impressive. Considering they didn’t get many OWLs at all.

Laura: Considering they’ve also had to test it on themselves too.

Rosie: Yeah.

[Eric, Laura, and Rosie laugh]

Eric: And none of the brothers and sisters realize them walking around with bird faces or anything.

Rosie: [laughs] Okay, our final comment in this section is from Olivia Cantrell and it says,

“The only thing that makes me really wonder is the fact that they never seem like they are taking in what goes on in the classroom. They don’t really take the actual academics serious (like the tests, and exams, OWLs, etc.) but at the same time they obviously must be learning something. I believe that they just practically apply school by incorporating what they have learned in the classroom into their Wheezes. They are obviously smarter than they appear on the surface for a couple reasons. One because I don’t think just anyone could be creative or ingenious enough to figure out the magic used in their jokes and two because they have to have some some basic elementary knowledge of business in order to make their shop successful (which I don’t think is a subject taught at Hogwarts). The magic itself can’t be THAT complicated if two drop outs were able to figure it out (even if they are Fred and George) but there is something even more magical about their wheezes. Just like the magic in the books goes beyond just the magic I think thats how they are able to use simple charms, potions, and transfiguration in order to start a business.”

Eric: Hmm.

Laura: Yeah, I think a main point of that is saying they’re taking simple charms and just applying them in a way no one really had thought of before.

Rosie: Yeah.

Laura: Just because they served no practical purpose. So their purpose, their thinking is, “Oh, it’s just for fun,” and we see in Half-Blood Prince that a lot of their stuff is being used by the Ministry for security stuff. But I don’t think… someone like Snape did invent a bunch of spells when he was a kid and stuff, so I think maybe it’s like that.

Rosie: It amazes me how many characters we know of that actually have created their own magic within the series. I mean, we know that Dumbledore did it, we know that Snape did it.

Eric: Yeah.

Rosie: We’ve seen the Marauders create their map and be able to use advanced magic even when they were younger. Hermione does advanced magic even when she’s eleven.

[Eric laughs]

Rosie: And the Weasley twins who have, like they said, less academic prowess are able to create all of these wonderful things just out of their own interest.

Eric: Completely casts a new light on it when you realize that everybody at Hogwarts has a fourth grade reading level.

[Eric and Rosie laugh]

Eric: Because they’ve been taken away at age eleven to Hogwarts. So classes on business… I like this comment a lot because it questions that, for sure.

Rosie: Now that we’ve got that all nicely wrapped up, it’s time to move on to our new chapter discussion for this week.

[Goblet of Fire Chapter 6 intro begins]

[Audio]: Chapter 6, “The Portkey.”

[Goblet of Fire Chapter 6 intro ends]

Laura: So we begin, it’s the morning of when they’re going to the World Cup, which is interesting because this is point where the movie starts. I mean, we see Harry have that dream-thing, but this point in the book is where we’re… the movie starts and everything else before is deemed insignificant. Sadly. So the boys – which are Harry, Ron, and the twins are all sharing a room – get woken up super early by Mrs. Weasley to go to the Quidditch World Cup. They’re too tired to even talk to each other, which I had to laugh because that’s how my roommate and I are in the morning during school.

[Eric and Rosie laugh]

Laura: We have friends that wake up and are so excited to greet the day where they’re like, “Good morning, roommate, good morning.” And they go running. My roommate and I do not address each other until 2:00 p.m.

Holly: No, I feel that. Same thing with me and my roommate.

Laura: Yeah. So I had to laugh about that. But they go downstairs and Mr. Weasley… he stands up and gives a little fashion show to Harry about his Muggle costume.

[Eric, Holly, and Laura laugh]

Laura: Oh, yeah. Super hot golfing sweater and old pair of big jeans and a leather belt. So Mr. Weasley does a pretty good job in comparison to what we’ll see other wizards do in the following chapters of dressing like a typical Muggle. Harry says, “Oh, you’re doing good.” But my question here… two things. Part one, that the kids dress like Muggles on holidays. They’ve said that. So I mean, I would think that they’d still have this basic knowledge, all these wizards, of how Muggles dress if they consult their kids. And also, they’re not interacting with Muggles on a daily basis but passing them in the street at least that…

Eric: Yeah. That’s a good point. Because if you work for the Ministry and… well, I guess if you Apparate there it’s something, but if you go to the private sector you’re surrounded by normal dressed Muggles. How difficult is it, right? Shirt, pants, shoes.

Laura: That’s… this is more in the following chapter of people that are dressing crazy like this. To me it would be more difficult to find myself a poncho and a kilt…

[Rosie laughs]

Laura: … and whatever else they were wearing than walking into an average store and picking out a T-shirt.

Eric: A kilt, as we discovered, is a lifestyle choice. [laughs] It is a…

Laura: [laughs] Yeah.

Eric: I think… Mr. Weasley does a good job. But you’re right, I think it is a matter of… it’s one of those things that’s intended to be funny, quite clearly.

Laura: Right.

Eric: But the more you think of it, it falls through.

Laura: Mr. Weasley certainly respects the Muggle choices. He does a good job.

Eric: He was so happy to show Harry. He’s like, “I got some clothes!”

Laura: Yeah. So Charlie, Bill, and Percy, they get to Apparate there later and sleep in, which all the rest of the kids are super jealous about. But this is really the first time we get details about the whole concept about Apparating versus what we knew before, which was just that they could magic themselves place to place and there wasn’t much thought behind it. We learn…

Eric: And Splinching is introduced, I believe.

Laura: Right.

Holly: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Laura: So we learn that they have to pass a test when they turn seventeen to get their license, and this is something I thought was interesting. Fred and George ask their mom, “Why can’t we Apparate?” And that was making me wonder if they already, if they think that they can do it? Is that just their over-confidence? Or can they actually, legally know how to do it and it’s just not legal. In the same way, I know that in an episode a year ago, we were talking about the driving. And I remember Caleb saying that he learned how to drive when he was fourteen or something.

Eric: Right.

Laura: In… off to the side, just not legally. So I was just wondering if that’s what they did. Or if they were just being dramatic.

Rosie: Well, we see Harry and the rest of them have Apparition classes, and that’s not until their fifth year. So I think it would be a lot harder to teach yourself Apparition before those classes.

Laura: Yeah.

Rosie: But I guess if they’ve got someone there to help them it might be easier.

Eric: I’m wondering if Side-Along Apparition, which is introduced in Book 6, I wonder if that could help a person trying to Apparate understand how it works. You at least get what it feels like, because it is Apparating, it’s just somebody else is controlling it.

Rosie: I think that’s meant to be harder than it actually appears in that book because… obviously we see that Dumbledore is the one that takes Harry…

Eric: Right.

Rosie: … on that Side-Along Apparition.

Eric: Okay.

Rosie: It just would surprise me so much that none of the others have experienced it if it was a common thing to do. Because wouldn’t it be easier for Mr. Weasley to take one of the kids with him via Apparition than Portkey?

Eric: I suppose that’s true.

Rosie: So I think it’s quite hard a thing to do, without Splinching.

Laura: I guess, as far as Side-Along Apparition, he’s got quite a big party in tow.

Rosie: He could make, back and forth. [laughs] Doesn’t take that long.

Eric: Yeah, that’s true. It’s nearly instantaneous.

[Rosie laughs]

Laura: Well, it’s interesting that… actually that you say that, because Mr. Weasley says a lot of adult wizards don’t even bother with Apparating since it’s risky and they prefer brooms, which is… I didn’t remember this being said or ever really considered it before, because I assumed Apparating is the most convenient thing ever. Above all else, possibly with the exception of the Summoning Charm…

[Eric and Holly laugh]

Laura: … that’s the one thing that in the magic world that I constantly on a day-to-day basis feel like, “Ugh, I just want to Apparate there.

[Rosie laughs]

Laura: So if a wizard not wanting to do it that’s fully capable of it, I guess it’s really is possible.

Eric: I suppose it’s no different than driving. If you are afraid of other drivers and stuff, or riding your bike down a winding lane if you don’t want to… it’s kind of like fear of travel. Even getting on a plane because it’s going to… because you think planes are unsafe. It’s just something like that. But…

Laura: Oh, yeah.

Eric: I guess…

Rosie: I think driving is meant to be the main parallel here as well, because getting their license at seventeen, that’s the age that kids in England are allowed to drive.

Eric: Oh.

Rosie: Or to get their driving license.

Laura: Yeah.

Rosie: So yeah, that is the main parallel, and I guess it’s actually a metaphor for road safety as well, if Splinching is so…

Eric: [laughs] Graphic. It is so graphic.

Rosie: It is! It’s horrible.

Laura: Well, it’s something I’ve really thought about too, because talk about a high-stakes test. It’s one thing… if you take… when I took my driving test, it’s in a parking lot, essentially. It’s just where they have a stop sign somewhere and the stop sign… it’s very basic, but they say that Charlie failed his test the first time and Apparated, it says, “right on top of some poor old dear doing her shopping.”

[Eric and Rosie laugh]

Laura: That’s much more high-stakes.

Rosie: Wait, so your driving test… you guys do your driving tests in car parks?

Eric: Yeah, we do.

Rosie: Really?

Eric: Well, mostly. Mine was… there was a portion of it that was out in the open road, but they try and limit that. And then we do, of course, parallel parking just in a section of cones. So I wonder if the Apparition test is just a bunch of cones on some tarmac. [laughs]

Laura: Well, Holly… yeah, Holly, you’re from New Jersey also, so…

Holly: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Laura:[laughs] you were probably on the same course I was. So yeah, it’s very silly. And then you do all this work trying to learn how to drive, and then you get there and it’s, “Go straight. Turn left,” because that’s the only way you can possibly turn.

Rosie: Yeah.

Holly: No, because… and I know for us we… to practice, a lot of kids would sneak onto the course on Sundays because it was closed.

Laura: Yeah.

Holly: So I’m wondering if you could have done the equivalent of that in the wizarding world, like “Apparate outside of Zonko’s.” And then you would take your parents and go Apparate outside of Zonko’s. I wonder if they do that.

Laura: Right, almost like an Apparating permit…

Holly: Yeah.

Laura: … which is what I was trying to get at before with Fred and George being able to do it, but not legally.

Holly: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Eric: What I find so interesting here is the insight… I don’t think I’ve ever noticed this before – there was something else in this chapter that I’ve never noticed before, which I can’t wait to bring up, but this one in particular, the mechanics of Apparating. The fact that you can, in fact, Splinch yourself, where half of you is in one place and half of you is in the other, and not die!

Laura: Right.

Holly: Yeah.

Eric: Because clearly, if you sever your torso, you’re going to bleed to death from both ends. You can’t not do that. And so the fact that you’re still together is really where I think the magic comes in. Even…

Laura: See, I actually had a question of whether or not… my memory of Deathly Hallows is a little hazy, as far as the book goes. The way Mr. Weasley’s describing Splinching right now is he’s describing it way more like an inconvenience…

Eric: Yes.

Laura: … rather than, “Holy crap, my arm just fell off and it hurts like hell.”

Holly: Yeah.

Laura: It’s more like, “Oh, you’re in two places at once, so you can’t move and you have to fill out so much paperwork.” But when Ron Splinches himself later, isn’t he bleeding?

Rosie: Yeah.

Laura: And it’s a big deal, and he’s freaking out?

Holly: Yeah, it’s very painful.

Eric: That may be too, though, because… I guess I’m thinking of the movie, I don’t remember quite as much what happens in the book, but when Yaxley or whoever is grabbing onto him and pulling him, it kind of rips him and spreads him a little bit more thin, so maybe…

Laura: Yeah, I thought Hermione had to curse him off. Or curse Yaxley off Ron’s arm, which is why he was bleeding.

Eric: Oh, okay. So it’s something like that, where it’s not as… I wouldn’t say a controlled Splinching, but there’s probably more pieces of him in more places?

Rosie: But Hermione does have to use essence of murtlap, and she can’t actually… Is it murtlap or dittany? One of the two. And she can’t heal him properly because she doesn’t know enough healing spells. Again, why don’t they teach healing at Hogwarts?

Eric: Mmm.

[Eric and Rosie laugh]

Laura: Because they have to transform goblets into rats.

Rosie: Exactly.

Holly: That’s practical.

Laura: Priorities.

Eric: They’re keeping Madam Pomfrey in a job, essentially.

[Holly and Rosie laugh]

Rosie: But yeah, so we do see that as a very painful thing, and that she can’t repair him as well as a Healer could. So it’s more than just kind of an inconvenience. But you have to remember that Arthur is talking to thirteen-year-old kids here as well. He’s probably trying not to scare them too much.

Eric: He’s trying not to scar them.

Rosie: Yeah.

Eric: He’s already scarred them with his golf outfit.

[Laura and Rosie laugh]

Laura: Yeah, and Harry, also, I can envision limbs in the middle of Privet Drive, which is a valid fear because first of all, if, let’s say, a wizard Splinches, not only are they potentially in pain or just, how they’re saying, a hassle because they can’t move, but if the Ministry doesn’t come fast enough to remedy that, and a Muggle comes and sees an arm in the street, there would probably be a murder investigation from the police…

[Rosie laughs]

Laura: … put into play immediately, like DNA testing or whatever. They’d come and take the arm away.

Eric: Yeah.

Laura: Then there’s a problem.

[Eric, Laura, and Rosie laugh]

Laura: Okay. Well, Percy’s been Apparating, they say, down the stairs just to show off, according to George…

[Eric laughs]

Laura: But isn’t that something – I don’t know if this is movie canon again – that they end up doing the next year when they become legally able to do it?

Eric: Yeah, they show off.

Holly: No, yeah, Fred and George Apparate all around the…

Rosie: That’s… in Grimmauld Place they definitely Apparate onto beds.

Laura: So the twins basically get magically patted down by their mom, and she Summons all the toffees that they’ve made.

Eric: No! Not the toffees!

Eric and Laura: Ton-Tongue Toffees.

Laura: Wait… Eric, was that you who had trouble with that?

Eric: Yes!

Laura: That was you? I was listening to the episode…

Eric: Only when I was sixteen, but still….

Laura: [laughs] “What’s a tongue?”

[Eric laughs]

Laura: Okay. So their mother is Summoning all of them and they’re zoo… zoot… zooming – I don’t even know what I was trying to say there – zooming out of all their unlikely places, like inside the lining of their jackets and outside from their pants and everything. So I wanted to know, why were they trying to smuggle them? Was it to sell them or test them, or just prank more unsuspecting victims?

Eric: Probably to sell them. I’m thinking, they’re going to the biggest magical international gathering. They could be famous internationally just if sales at this one World Cup go expectedly. This is the point where the twins’ business really could have taken off, I think.

Laura: Mhm. Because we do see that in the chapter with Bagman, that they do try to sell him a fake wand and stuff.

Rosie: Yeah. See, I’d never thought of it that way. I thought it was just them trying to get them out of the house, because if they’re leaving Molly behind…

Eric: Yeah.

Rosie: … then they’re leaving all their stock in a house with somebody who doesn’t want it there.

[Eric laughs]

Laura: Oh, that’s true.

Rosie: So I just figured that they were trying to get them out of the house, maybe give them to Lee Jordan or someone as well.

Eric: They could owl it to themselves or owl it to Lee Jordan.

Rosie: They could.

Eric: Yeah.

Rosie: But then they’ve only got Errol.

Eric: Yeah, that’s true. Well, maybe if they were nicer to Percy, he would let them borrow Hermes for a night.

[Eric, Laura, and Rosie laugh]

Eric: Ah, life choices. These are our choices. Look at your life.

Laura: So the twins are devastated, rightfully so, that all their hard work is being destroyed by Mrs. Weasley, and they have another fight about their OWL scores, and they leave really angry, very angsty, out the door without kissing Molly goodbye, saying anything, just very, very upset. Mr. Weasley says they need to go walk only a short way to a meeting point because large groups of wizards cannot congregate in one spot without attracting Muggle attention. They’ve been organizing a bunch of different methods to fix this issue, and the people with cheap seats have to get there weeks early and camp. Now, the people that have the cheapest seats – likely it’s because they can’t afford stuff like that – it’s kind of sad they have to camp there the longest and therefore pay, I would imagine, for the accommodation for that much longer.

Eric: I guess what you’re trying to say is, say that they’re camping, that takes them away from work so they can’t earn money because they’re busy camping.

Laura: But also in the same way, if you’re paying for a campsite, you pay for one night, or you pay for seven nights.

Eric: Oh! Right. I wonder if they’re paying to camp there though.

Laura: I think they do, because doesn’t Mr. Weasley say…

Holly They do because…

Laura: … in the next chapter?

Eric: But is it per night or… we never find out because Harry and Mr. Weasley stay one night only, right?

Rosie: And they have a prime spot right by the forest as well, so perhaps there are cheaper campsites further out or even free ones further out.

Laura: Oh yeah, that’s true. Yeah, because I know Muggle attendance was just for the one night only…

Rosie: Yeah.

Laura: … and they deal with the Muggle money.

Eric: I think it’s like standing room only – not standing room only – general admission… at a concert venue, when you go in and there are assigned seats, but you get the cheap ones, the general admission, and so you get there early just to get a better view…

Laura: Yeah.

Eric: … rather than be last in line. So I think it’s probably analogous to that.

Laura: That’s true. Oh yeah, that’s a good one. Okay, so Mr. Weasley says there’s only a few small places that Muggles can’t penetrate, like Diagon Alley. Which I never really thought that there would be that few places…

Eric: It’s true.

Laura: They’re just on a deserted Muggle moor where they said they need to put up a bunch of anti-Muggle precautions and stuff. They say only a limited number of people can use the Muggle transport system so you don’t clog the trains, but let’s be real, Muggle transportation is always crowded. I don’t think I’d notice…

[Everyone laughs]

Laura: … if it was particularly more crowded. They should just tell them they’re going to a convention, because I picture how it was at Leaky, where there was everyone in wizard costumes, by the way…

[Rosie laughs]

Laura: … on the trains and then the people are like… they see a lot of people and are like, “Where are you going? Why are there a million people in wizard outfits?” It’s like, “Oh, I’m going to a convention.” That would have been easy.

Eric: Well, it is a Statute of Secrecy. People [are] not allowed to say anything or draw too much attention to themselves. They’re just abiding by the law.

Laura: Okay, so this chapter is really all about the introduction of the Portkey – that’s the title of it. This is the first time we are introduced to it, and it’s objects that can transport people at pre-arranged times. Except for the World Cup, they’ve set around about two hundred all around Britain. This one they have is on Stoatshead Hill. And [what] we learn is they just have to be any piece of crap, basically, like litter, so that Muggles don’t pick it up. But to me that’s a fairly dangerous risk that they’re taking, thinking that Muggles won’t touch them.

Eric: Well, there’s two aspects to it, right? It has to be something inconspicuous so Muggles don’t touch it, but then the second part is it’s at pre-arranged times it activates…

Laura: That’s true.

Eric: … which is so a Muggle would not only have to be playing with this dirty old boot, but he’d have to be playing with it at five past five, I think, is what the time that it says in the chapter.

Laura: That’s true.

Eric: So that confuses me because she’s, of course, introducing the Portkey. She makes the rules. But then I wonder how Cedric and Harry get transported with their Portkey. Who knew what time exactly Harry and Cedric would touch the cup at the same time to get to the graveyard at the end of the book?

Rosie: But in that case I think it’s more like the theory of the wands where they… the gag ones that activate when you touch them. So there are… I think there are different rules for different Portkeys.

Eric: See, [the] Portkey to me… the way it’s introduced, it seems like it has to always be a time that was arranged.

Rosie: But then we see Dumbledore as well later on create a Portkey in front of Harry to take them to Grimmauld Place when Arthur gets attacked in the next book.

Eric: Right. Portus is the spell, isn’t it?

Laura: And also when the…

Rosie: Yeah. And that’s not a timing. That’s just a one, two, three…

Eric: It could be an immediate… you set it for an immediate time.

Rosie: It could do.

Laura: God forbid someone tried to clean up the litter. Someone’s doing this big service, like in a prison…

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: I know, right? It’s counting on people leaving it dirty.

Laura: Yeah. They’re waking up early, cleaning up the trash on the hill…

Eric: And all of a sudden they’re somewhere they did not intend to be.

[Rosie laughs]

Laura: So everyone is literally dying from this little bit of physical exertion…

[Everyone laughs]

Laura: Because you know exercise is foreign to these wizards, because their only sport is played in a seated position.

[Everyone laughs]

Laura: So everyone’s all exhausted but they meet up with Cedric and Amos Diggory, which is all nice and convenient since Cedric will become super important in this book…

Rosie: Yup.

Laura: … to remind us… which is why, when I was rereading Prisoner of Azkaban, I forgot that Cedric had been introduced as a character in Prisoner.

Eric: Cedric and Cho, I think. Weren’t they both?

Holly and Laura: Yeah.

Rosie: Mhm.

Laura: But Amos is fourteen times more annoying than I remember him being.

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: He’s just a dad, okay? Look, he’s proud of his kid.

Holly: Yeah, you’d be proud of your kid, too, if they beat the famous Harry Potter.

Eric: Right.

Laura: Yeah.

Rosie: I think that’s one good thing that the movies did, though, was tone him down slightly. [laughs]

Laura: [laughs] Yeah. That’s what I remember. I remember him in the movies, because in the movies he’s got that really sad scene at the end where he’s like, “My boy!”

Rosie: Yeah.

Laura: And at that time I was like, “Oh, poor Amos Diggory.” But now I’m just like… I guess I still feel bad for him.

[Holly and Rosie laugh]

Eric: What are you going to say? How far is she going to go on this? [laughs]

[Laura laughs]

Eric: But it’s true, it is meant to be abrasive or grating.

Laura: Mhm.

Eric: Because obviously even Mr. Weasley senses it, because he’s like, “Okay, let’s go. It’s our time.” He doesn’t want… Harry’s not the kind of person to get angry at that…

Holly: Right. The twins seem more angry.

Eric: Cedric does kind of, “Well, you know, he fell off his broom. It wasn’t really fair.”

Rosie: I think that’s what it’s meant to be. That whole dynamic is meant to show that Cedric is actually a good guy.

Eric: Actually humble.

Rosie: We spend a lot of this book hating on him because he’s the other champion and because of his relationship with Cho Chang…

Laura: Oh, I love Cedric.

Rosie: … and all that kind of stuff.

Laura: I think Cedric’s a great guy. And it’s actually super, super sad rereading this when Amos says, “Oh, that’ll be something to tell your grandkids one day…”

Eric: Aww!

Laura: “… that you beat Harry Potter.” It’s like, oof! Oof! No.

Rosie: So all the details are there. If Jo hadn’t written that in, he probably would have survived. [laughs]

Laura: Yeah.

Eric: That’s true.

Rosie: It’s the whole “be right back” kind of thing. Never make plans.

[Everyone laughs]

Laura: Well, this is also, to my knowledge – correct me if I’m wrong – the first peek we get at the Lovegoods. This is the first mention that they say, “Oh, the Lovegoods couldn’t get tickets.” Is that the first mention of them?

Rosie: It is, I think.

Eric: Well, the Fawcetts are the ones who couldn’t get tickets. The Lovegoods arrived weeks ago.

Laura: I’m sorry. Yes, you’re correct.

Eric: This is not only the Lovegoods, which… this was the other thing I was talking about when I said, “Oh my God, I never noticed!” It’s the Lovegoods, but also that they live in the area is established. Because they would have taken this Portkey with Arthur and all of them and Amos and Cedric if they…

Laura: Could have met them earlier.

Eric: … hadn’t gotten there, because they live in the area.

Laura: Mhm. Which makes me think that – I guess we know that Ginny and Luna become friends, but I would think if they live in this area, and just for wanting to play with…

Eric: Other kids.

Laura: … neighbors and stuff, rather than… especially Ginny, who’s only got all brothers. I would seek out the other wizard girl who goes to Hogwarts across the hill.

Eric: Yeah, definitely. And we see that Ginny… if I’m not mistaken Ginny and Luna are kind of… well, they know of each other. But they’re in different houses too, so it does make sense that they wouldn’t…

Laura: Not allowed to be friends…

Holly: I would also assume that the Weasleys and the Lovegoods would have also been friends anyways because they were also invited to the wedding. You wouldn’t just invite random people to your wedding.

Rosie: Yeah, true.

Eric: Well, I was wondering in this chapter if the Diggorys and Lovegoods got on, because of the way Amos was talking about them. It just seemed like he knew them well. So because they live in the area – again it’s the friendship of proximity thing, where we think the Weasleys would have hung out – it’s strange that the Lovegoods don’t get introduced until now.

Rosie: But then Xenophilius is such a strange character that I think the adults would all be slightly wary of him.

Eric: Mr. Weasley…

Rosie: They probably got on, yeah. [laughs]

Eric: … but they’re like soulmates.

[Eric and Rosie laugh]

Eric: Two peas in a pod. They’re both crazy.

Rosie: But I do think Ginny and Luna would have hung out, probably as younger children before Hogwarts. You know, Luna lost her mum. So you can just imagine Mrs. Weasley trying to look after her a bit as well, maybe.

Eric: [laughs] Yeah, exactly.

Rosie: That might just be my fan-fiction brain, I don’t know.

Eric: I think that works… I think Molly tries to fill that void as often as possible.

Rosie: Yeah.

Laura: Well, we see her do it for Harry, but… it’s funny that you bring up that they come to the wedding, because you never really…

Rosie: See the Lovegoods, yeah.

Laura: … do see them interacting with each other, which would have been fun. Xenophilius is a really interesting character to have only been introduced once…

Eric: Yeah.

Laura: … really, and toward the end of the series. And I know obviously that was done for a point, but – and Luna for that matter, too – I could have certainly… I would have loved to have seen them in smaller parts earlier in the same way that we said Cedric and Cho are just brought in a little earlier without becoming main characters. I mean, I do like the way it’s done, where Luna is introduced, but…

Eric: It’s just another obligatory genius moment for Jo to have mentioned the Lovegoods and placed them by the Weasleys…

Laura: I guess.

Eric: … as early as Book 4 when it doesn’t come into play until Book 7.

Laura: So do you think that – I mean, I’m sure she at this point had planned out the character of Luna and everything – when she’s saying that the Lovegoods lived there when she wrote that, she totally knew in her head where she was going with having Luna be a main character next, or do you think she was like, “Oh, I’ll use that last name”?

Holly: I think…

Rosie: Luna is a really interesting character in terms of her introduction and her role within that book, and I think the movie in particular shows that really well, where she is the kind of breath of fresh air for Harry. She’s the odd friend outside of his main circle who can speak those truths in that very uncomfortable way that she does.

[Eric laughs]

Rosie: Yeah. But she turns out to be what he needs as a distancing factor but also as another view on the world, and I don’t think he would have got[ten] that if she had been introduced earlier. So I think it’s a very skilled way of introducing her, but I would have loved to have seen her in earlier stories as well.

Laura: Holly, what do you think? Would you have liked to have seen Luna earlier, or do you like where she is?

Holly: Well, I would have liked to have known Luna earlier because I think her character is absolutely fascinating. I like where she comes in because she’s that reassurance to Harry in Book 5 where he’s doubting himself, and I feel like she would have only worked there, and if we had gotten to know her earlier we would have been like, “Yeah, yeah, okay.” [laughs]

Eric: Yeah. That’s a good point. I mean, Neville has to pretty much cut a head off a snake for us to pay any attention to him since Book 1.

[Holly laughs]

Eric: Although he continuously forgets stuff, so that’s fair.

Laura: So they all huddle around the boot, and they describe the feeling of the Portkey – which I think is interesting because it’s a different sensation than Apparating – where it says they feel a hook around his navel, and then they’re speeding in the wind. So I wanted to know, theoretically, how does this look to people observing? Are they just 100% disappearing like they would with Apparating? Or would wizards see them swirling in the sky? Because Harry can see people around him.

Eric: Yeah, I know, and in the movie – obviously it’s a movieism – where they spin, and they go up into the sky and get smaller because they’re far away. I definitely don’t think that’s how Portkeys work; I think of it as being more of a transportation thing because it would just be too obvious [laughs] that people are using Portkeys if they spin and spin and go into the sky and be like, “What the heck was that?”

Laura: Yeah, I was thinking maybe the only argument that it might actually be visible, or at least maybe toward wizards – perhaps not Muggles – is that really, the times that we see Portkeys being used are at this really super early daybreak right here and then at night back in Deathly Hallows when they’re all doing it after the battle thing in the sky.

Eric: Hmm. Good point. My thing… maybe with the spinning… here’s my guess… okay, this is my guess here: that they spin so fast that they actually deconstruct the fabric of the dimension of reality and travel into inner space – not outer space but inner space – interdimensional fabric wormhole-creating thing. That’s how… that’s where the spinning creates.

[Holly laughs]

Eric: Okay, they spin, and then they go into inner space, and then they pop back out where they’re supposed to be because they were spinning so fast.

Laura: Well, there you go!

Eric: And that would definitely make you feel the centrifugal force on your navel. So there you go.

Laura: [laughs] Well, I have no response to that, so I’ll take your word for it. So everyone but the Diggorys and Mr. Weasley slam onto the ground, and the rest are still standing, but I love how in the movie they descend from the sky like angels…

[Eric and Holly laugh]

Laura: … and it’s this cloud – all the light – and I think the music is very [vocalizes].

Holly: Yeah, the music is really nice, too.

[Eric and Laura laugh]

Laura: I love the way they do that. But in a love-to-hate-it kind of way.

[Eric and Holly laugh]

Laura: But…

Eric: I forgot how crazy..

Laura: And now they’re at the Quidditch World Cup site.

Eric: Oh, geez. End of chapter.

Laura: And this whole beginning of GobletGoblet of Fire is one of my favorite books, which I’ve talked about many times before, and the reason why I love it so much is because there'[re] so [many] details of just fun wizard[ing] world activities that aren’t just Hogwarts; it expands the world a bit more.

Holly: Yeah, I agree.

Laura: So…

Rosie: In this one in particular you just get a massive world being created.

Eric: Hmm.

Laura: Right. So the beginning of the books – for all the Harry Potter books for me – struggle the most for me in their beginnings. They tend to be kind of slow-moving and a lot of recap. But I love Goblet of Fire because it’s just… all that time is spent exploring the world and how the Weasleys live their lives and stuff. And all of these scenes were just so fun to me, and we’re leading into the World Cup now, and it’s such a shame to me that they just [snaps] got axed from the film. I’m a fan of these chapters.

Eric: I mean, I remember knowing early on that the Dursleys were not appearing in Movie 4, and we thought, “Well, are they going to start it at the Burrow then?” and they didn’t even do that.

Laura: Mhm.

Eric: They started on Stoatshead Hill.

Laura: This chapter. Yeah.

Eric: Yeah, pretty much this chapter.

Laura: Hermione slapping them awake.

Eric: I forgot how zany the film really was, though…

[Rosie laughs]

Eric: … with the descending like angels. I will have to keep that in mind for our commentary episode.

Laura: Yeah. I mean, I do like the film. I don’t… I know this one gets a lot of heat, but I do like it. I think it’s a good adaptation.

Eric: Anything after [Movie] 3 is a plus.

Rosie: [laughs] I think it’s just there is so much detail in this book like you said that there is just absolutely no way that you can actually put that all into one film, so to manage to do the story justice in the film is a talent.

Laura: Right. That’s why I do like the film. I do feel like they get to the heart of it…

Rosie: Yeah.

Laura: … and do it all quite nicely, but this is just one of those things that makes the book just such a more… more better… [laughs]

[Eric and Rosie laugh]

Laura: … now I can’t think of a proper way of saying it… experience.

Eric: And the designers really have their picking of what they want to create…

Rosie: Yeah, definitely.

Eric: … they have countries and schools and knick-knacks and…

Laura: Yeah.

Eric: … sports and travel things, and it’s just unbelievable how new and how fresh…

Laura: That’s… yeah.

Eric: … the whole palette has become.

Laura: And that’s why it’s really my favorite… why I think I love the next chapter really – which is called “Bagman and Crouch” – which is not so much the Quidditch World Cup. It’s just walking around the campsite.

Eric: Mhm.

Laura: I’m studying cultural anthropology, and I’m just obsessed with traveling and all the different cultures that I absolutely love even reading about these fictional cultures where it’s how all these people are wizards and just different ways, and I just love it so much, and I would’ve read a whole book just on all the different international ways of going about wizardry.

Rosie: Well, that brings us nicely into our Question of the Week this week, which is talking about all those magical ways of transport[ation] and travel. And we’ve been introduced to so many different types of wizarding transport[ation] now throughout the series, and we’ve just been introduced in detail to Apparition and Portkeys. Obviously the Portkeys play a massive role at the end of this book, but my question this week is “Why do wizards actually need so many different types of transport[ation]? Why don’t they all just Apparate or take the Floo Network [since] they seem so proficient in getting magical people from place to place really quickly? Why is there this preference to what has to be uncomfortable broomstick travel?”

[Eric laughs]

Rosie: So yeah, you can find this question on our Podcast Question of the Week thread on our main site, and you can answer all there, and hopefully your comments will be read out in our episode next week.

Laura: So I think that wraps about everything up. Thank you so much, Holly, for joining us.

Eric: If you would like to be a part of the show the way Holly was for this episode you can find out all that you need to know by heading over to our website, which is, or you can email us a little about yourself at alohomorapodcast at gmail dot com. The requirements that we ask: You must be 6’4″, 120 pounds, and… no…

[Laura laughs]

Eric: I’m joking there. Which means you’re rail thin, by the way, if you were that. But have good recording equipment. That’s all we require: a microphone and headset, tried and tested. You need to be able to be sure that you can actually do what we do. So yes, you can contact us. Again, that address is alohomorapodcast at gmail dot com. In the meantime, subscribe to us on iTunes if you want to keep listening, and leave us a review as well, which also helps other people find us, and perhaps they will leave on our show a comment that you agree with strongly.

[Rosie laughs]

Laura: Okay.

[Laura and Rosie laugh]

Rosie: Well, we just kept going there. Okay, you can also contact us on Twitter at @AlohomoraMN, on Facebook at, and you can Skype us at 206-GO-ALBUS or 206-462-5287. We have an Alohomora! store in which we sell shirts and tea/coffee mugs, tote bags, all sorts of stuff with our show insignia, our individual host sayings, and those are still being developed. Laura, have you got yours, yet?

Laura: No, because mine… the only thing I had was… I’ve got two definable things about me: my hatred of time travel, which is over since Prisoner of Azkaban is over, and my obsession with the Weasley twins, and that’s all I got. [laughs]

Eric: We’ve got quite a bit more of them coming, I guess, so maybe eventually you’ll say that one thing that we say, “That’s got to be on a tote bag.” But anyway that store is accesible from Click on “Store” at the top, and go and check out what we got.

Laura: Also, be sure to check out our Alohomora! app. It’s available in the US and the UK for iPhone, iPad, Android, [and] Kindle for $1.99 and £1.29. And actually the super fun video that we released a year ago was filmed by Miss Holly Horne over here, so always be sure to check out that again for fun in case you haven’t seen it a million times already. It’s available also now for the Windows 8 phone users for the same price – US only at the moment – but all of [these apps have] transcripts, bloopers, alternate endings, host vlogs, more, and we’re going to have I think some nice videos coming up there from LeakyCon, I suppose.

Rosie: Yeah, definitely,

[Show music begins]

Eric: Thank you, Holly, for joining us. Once again, I am Eric Scull.

Laura: I’m Laura Reilly.

Rosie: And I’m Rosie Morris. Thank you for listening to Episode 44 of Alohomora!

Eric: Open the Dumbledore.

[Show music continues]

Eric: We need a Bill Nye the science guy to show how wizard stuff works.

[Laura and Rosie laugh]

Eric: Were you too young for Bill Nye the Science Guy? Do you guys… there was no reaction to that.

Laura: No, no.

Holly: No, I watched a lot of Bill Nye.

Eric: Okay, I was worried that. I was worried that I may be too old.

Holly: No.

Laura: You’re not that much older.

[Rosie laughs]

Laura: Can I just applaud you, Eric, for finally pronouncing “Alohomora!” like the rest of us?

[Laura and Rosie laugh]

Eric: I’ve started seeing commnets, and when you start seeing the comments, that’s when it’s time to change…

[Laura and Rosie laugh]

Eric: … because by then, people have already internalized their dislike for how you say “Alohomora!” and they’ve already internalized it, they’ve decided that they can no longer live with it – they have to say something.

[Laura and Rosie laugh]

Eric: And when they say something, when they create an actual thread on the forums that says, “Eric can’t say ‘Alohomora!‘”…

[Laura and Rosie laugh]

Eric: … then it becomes a problem. So fortunately, I don’t think it came to that, unless it did and it’s hidden from you, which I guess is possible to do on [unintelligible]. But…

Laura: [unintelligible] had such a…

Eric: Yeah, it’s been…

Laura:[laughs] experience over this.

Eric: I nipped it in the butt, so I just decided to say it the way that other people say it. Is it Aloe-homora?

Laura: It’s not “Aloe.” “Aloe” is like aloe vera that you put on your skin. Alo-homora.

Eric: I’m going to have to find a recording of somebody saying it the way I say it.

Rosie: It’s like Aloha! Aloha-mora.

Eric: Aloha-mora!

[Laura and Rosie laugh]

Eric: That would be cool. Now I’m imagining a tropical island getaway and Dumbledore in his sunscreen.

[Rosie laughs]