MuggleCast EP31 Transcript
Andrew [Show Intro with music in background]: MuggleCast, no Potter Plimpies allowed, March 19th, 2006 – Episode 31. GoDaddy hosting plans are now more powerful than ever. Best of all plans start at just $3.95 per month. No matter what plan you choose, your site receives 24/7 maintenance and protection in the GoDaddy.com world-class data center. I recommend you use them for your upcoming website or podcast because as a MuggleCast listener, enter the code MUGGLE, that’s M-U-G-G-L-E when you checkout, and save an additional 10% on any order. Get your piece of the Internet today at GoDaddy.com.
And don’t forget go to MuggleCast.com to purchase your very own MuggleCast t-shirts. Just click on “Store” at the top.
Hello, everyone and welcome back to the show. I’m Andrew Sims.
Eric: I’m Eric Scull.
Laura: I’m Laura Thompson.
Micah: And I’m Micah Tannenbaum.
Andrew: And this is the show where we bring you the latest in Harry Potter news, theories, discussions and oh, so much more! Before we go anywhere else, first let’s check in with Micah for the week’s top Harry Potter news stories.
Micah: At the Sony Ericsson Empire Awards in London Monday, the Harry Potter movies were honored with the Empire Outstanding Contribution Award. Dan Radcliffe accepted the award, and Rupert Grint, Emma Watson and David Heyman were also present.
In an interview with Empire, Dan, Rupert and David discuss Order of the Phoenix filming. Dan had this to say about David Yates: “The new director’s fantastic. I’ve never been quite this pushed before, so regularly. He’s really pushing Harry’s emotional and psychological journey. But he also seems to have an incredible eye for sets and shoots and things.”
Heyman also addressed how they will be shooting until the middle of May, before taking a two-month break for exams, and then start filming again from July until roughly October or November. Additionally, individual scenes with Grawp and the Centaurs have begun taping, which requires a lot of blue-screen acting.
In a BBC1 interview, Dan discussed his first kissing scene saying: It’ll be odd because one of my parents will be on set. It will be embarrassing but hopefully I’ll work past that and be utterly professional but I’ll probably keep screwing it up so that I can keep doing it. That a boy!
Blackwell, The Knowledge Retailer, has donated a first-edition UK copy of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, signed by several Goblet of Fire cast members, to the National Literacy Trust. The Trust’s children’s literacy initiative, Reading Is Fundamental, UK (RIF), motivates children in deprivation to develop an interest in reading and donates three books to over 20,000 children annually. The book is being auctioned until March 21st (which is this Tuesday) on eBay.
Friday night, J.K. Rowling hosted a Venetian-style masquerade ball at Stirling Castle in Scotland. Yahoo! News reports, “Live music was being provided by Abba tribute band Bjorn Again, with live opera from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama’s Vocal Fusion.”
A second article from the AP states that over £200,000 was raised for the Multiple Sclerosis Society Scotland, for which the ball was held. You can check out pictures of Jo from the event over on MuggleNet.com.
To promote the UK release of the Goblet of Fire DVD (which is released tomorrow, March 20th), Katie Leung, Clemence Poesy, Robert Pattinson and Stanislav Ianevski (Cho, Fleur, Cedric and Krum) have appeared on several British morning shows over the past week. So far they’ve done interviews on E4 and ITV’s This Morning. Next Saturday, March 25th, the cast will make an appearance on Holly and Stephen’s Saturday Showdown, which starts at 9:25 AM on ITV. And it is being reported Krum has said MORE than two sentences.
That’s all the news for this March 19th, 2006 edition of MuggleCast. Back to the show.
Tootsie Rolls And Other Announcements
Andrew: All right, thank you, Micah. Well, as I’ve been overly-promoting for the past two or three shows now. Actually, it’s only really been one show.
Eric: MuggleCast: Version II.
Andrew: We are starting… Yeah. We are starting this week a couple new segments for the show, that are going to keep it live, afresh, and anew. And so far we’re about three minutes into the show and already you are thinking, “What the…there’s nothing new already.” [starts singing Frank Sinatra]
The best is yet to come, and won’t that be fine.
Eric: It’s all going to change. From this point forward nothing, nothing is old from now on.
Andrew: Nothing is old.
Eric: That’s right, we’re now going to be talking in backwards English among several other things.
Andrew: [laughs] And don’t forget, MuggleCast t-shirts are available at MuggleCast.com. Just click on “Store” at the top.
Eric, Eric has stated a few very important reasons why you must buy one of these t-shirts. Isn’t that right, Eric?
Eric: Yes, that’s correct – Episode 29.
Andrew: Can you give us another one though. I don’t think people are completely convinced.
Eric: Okay. Tootsie Rolls, right? Okay, Tootsie Rolls. I am staring at a tube of Tootsie Rolls and I am thinking, “Gee, who manufactures Tootsie Rolls.”
Andrew: [laughs] Yeah?
Eric: Now, you never know who does it. It’s not the Hershey’s company. It can’t be because I am looking at this tube an nowhere does it say, “Hershey’s Tootsie Rolls,” right? You follow?
Eric: Okay, so…
Eric: No. Okay, quiet Micah. All right. So now, Tootsie Rolls. Everybody…
Micah: Because I say so much.
Eric: No, everybody knows what Tootsie Rolls are – everybody has had Tootsie Roll. You know what? If they haven’t, they are going to have a Tootsie Roll. So I’m thinking, I’m sitting here looking at this whole tube of what used to be Tootsie Rolls – I actually ate them all – and I am thinking who manufactured these? Nobody knows. Nobody knows what company owns Tootsie Rolls unless you work for that company. I am thinking, but they sold millions. I mean how many Tootsie Rolls have you sold…have you bought in your life? That’s a lot of Tootsie Rolls. So…
Andrew: [laughs] So what’s your point?
Eric: The point…
Andrew: So what’s your point.
Eric: So the point is, Andrew and Micah and Laura and viewers at home, that you don’t know who manufactures Tootsie Rolls yet you buy them anyway. And in the case of MuggleCast t-shirts you know who manufactures them. You know that you’re going to get your money’s worth from MuggleCast. You know exactly who that money is going to and why it is going to. And you can support the show by buying this, just like you support Tootsie Roll manufacturers. Like the CEO of Tootsie Roll, the CEO of Tootsie, is sitting there on a desk chair and he’s not doing anything for Harry Potter fans, but we are, and that’s why you should buy a MuggleCast t-shirt.
Andrew: Wow, that was inspiring. Long, lengthy and inspiring.
Eric: Hey, Andrew, Andrew…
Andrew: We really appreciate it.
Laura: And full of Tootsie Roll plugs.
Andrew: And by the way when you go to the podcast Live in Las Vegas, you want to be all dressed up in MuggleCast apparel. So…
Eric: That’s right.
Andrew: Hey, before we go any further, I think Ben wants to join us. Ben, what happened – why aren’t you, why weren’t you here from the beginning?
Ben: Well, it turns out that I re-adjusted my schedule…
Ben: …so I’ll probably be able to stay here.
Eric: Ben now has TiVo.
Eric: Ben now has TiVo so he can record Barney and watch it later.
Book Discussion: Chapters 1-3, Sorcerer’s Stone
Andrew: All right. Now starting with Episode 32 this will be the part of the show where listeners will be able to e-mail in their thoughts about things that we’ve said last week. So, for example, this week we are going to be talking about Chapters 1-3 of Sorcerer’s Stone. You guys can e-mail in what your thoughts were about our thoughts. So after listening to the show this week, send in your e-mails to mugglecast at staff dot mugglenet dot com. And please put in the subject line “Listener Rebuttal” to give your feedback on what we’ve said. And then we will read them on next week’s show during this part of MuggleCast. Now, it is time for what I’ve been calling the pinnacle of the new version of MuggleCast, “Chapter-by-Chapter” – where we go through every, single little chapter of the Harry Potter series.
Ben: By the time Book 7 comes around we hope be done, and like finish the last chapter of Book 6 the week of Book 7 or something.
Eric: Okay, we can’t promise… Yeah, it would be nice to, but… Okay, I am going to talk about this a little bit here, quick. All right, this chapter-by-chapter thing is something that I know a lot of people are looking forward to – me especially. I’m trying to figure out how it’s going to be doing, working with Andrew and Ben and everybody on working this out. But basically, we’re going to as Ben so boldly put it – we’re going to read every chapter and go through. But, it is much more exciting than that. What we’re going to do, the MuggleCasters, we’re going to have to [sighs] go through each chapter (well, we will put a few chapters per episode), and we’re going to actually talk about pretty much anything we can think about. We have been taking notes as we read and will point it out to the show for discussion. Now, the point of this – we do, we do, we do, we do , we do, we do want the listeners to read with us, to read along with us, at a slow, weekly pace, a few chapters a week. Maybe another hour, hour-and-a-half’s time more than you put into the show during the week and read along with us. Now, the point of this whole thing is so that we can get a better and clearer idea of just what has happened, to relive the books as we’re going along and understand and get viewpoints and theories that have never been heard of before because nobody has done this. Isn’t that right, Andrew? Nobody has done this all out, you know, fan-wide…
Ben: It is UNPRECEDENTED.
Eric: It is unprecedented.
Andrew: And what I really like about it is that we are going to be on the same page with everyone else.
[Everyone mocking laughs]
Eric: You said it. You said it.
Chapter One – “The Boy Who Lived”
Ben: Literally. Moving on, just a little bit of information about the book. It starts off with Mr. Dursley noticing strangle things happening on his way to work one day. Then at night, Albus Dumbledore, the head of wizardry at some place called Hogwarts meets up with Professor McGonagall (who can turn into a cat). So, it is already starting off kind of weird. And then Dumbledore tells McGonagall that someone named Voldemort or You-Know-Who has killed a Mr. and Mrs. Potter. And then they tried to kill Harry, or the son, and he was unsuccessful. And so like this whole community is wowed that a baby was able to stop this evil, dark wizard, which we are not really sure about yet. We know some things are happening because some of the magic that is going on. And then a big giant named Hagrid shows up on Privet Drive with a basket and a baby, and they leave Harry, young Harry, at the doorstep of the Dursley’s with a letter explaining what happened. And then ten years later is where it all begins.
Eric: Ben, I underestimated you – that actually wasn’t complete crap.
Ben: What do you guys think?
Micah: That was very good. You did a pretty good job there.
Ben: Sorcerer’s Stone is pretty much, is the beginning of the end per se where, you know, where it all starts off. With Sorcerer’s Stone – this is where we… We probably find out the most information in Sorcerer’s Stone, just about Harry’s life and stuff like that. And then we find out that Harry has really been deceived all his life, that his mother – that his parents never really were in a car crash, that they were killed by this wizard. And we also see the Dursley’s’ last attempt to shield Harry from the magical world. Because Rowling uses some foreshadowing when she talks about how Harry used to get punished for things he would to do at home, for things he would to do at school – where one time a group of bullies was chasing him and he just appeared on the roof of the schoolhouse. And they use a lot of foreshadowing to demonstrate that the magic is actually going – that is something is up with this kid. And I don’t know – I really enjoyed it. I really enjoyed Sorcerer’s Stone. That’s just a brief overview. Let’s start with Chapter 1 here.
The First Sentence And The Dursleys
Eric: Let’s just – you know what everybody? Let’s just take focus here on the first sentence of Harry Potter. And you know people may say, “Oh my god, we’re going to be here forever. It’s the first sentence.” But I think the first sentence of the Harry Potter book is very, very intriguing. It means a lot, even today.
Laura: It’s a great hook.
Eric: The first sentence reads:
Based on that sentence, what would you say knowing what happens with the Dursleys – all these rumors that Petunia might be a Squib or a witch hiding it or something like that? What do you think that means – that they are perfectly normal and proud to say it?
Ben: I think it means that it shows that they are basically – they think that they are morally and socially superior to those around them.
Laura: And they are in denial.
Andrew: Well, we don’t know that they are in denial yet.
Laura: Oh, I think you always those people – the snotty neighbors or evil teacher who always has this facade of protection and you just know that everything is not perfect in their life, and they are just putting on this mask to try and cover up the fact that they just have something they don’t want anyone to know. They dread anyone finding out about this secret.
Eric: Facade of perfection? I love that term.
Ben: We all have our skeletons in our closets.
Andrew: “Proud to say that they are perfectly normal, thank you very much.” That to me, means the most.
Ben: Means the most.
Andrew: Right, because it’s the part that makes them look very obnoxious. It’s “Thank you very MUCH!”
Ben: The snobby line, yeah.
Laura: And you better not question it.
Ben: No, no, it’s more, “We’re proud to say that we’re perfectly normal, [in nasty voice] thank you very much!” You know? I think it’s more like that. Yeah.
Eric: No guys, I get what you mean. I think it’s cool.
Ben: I agree with you.
Eric: I also think, it’s really interesting – I thought, I read it as if it is stated matter-of-factly with JKR. I mean as you guys were reading the first three chapters, you know, J.K. really includes a lot of her storytelling narration humor that really isn’t as present at all, especially in the later books. But storytelling matter-of-factly…
Andrew: Yeah. Yep.
Eric: …you know, interactivity. While she’s talking about Harry she’s being much more vocal. She uses the pronoun “you” a couple of times and actually talks to the reader.
Andrew: Yeah, you know what? I noticed that too. And right now I am trying to find the sentence that says, “Our story begins…” because that really stood out to me.
Laura: Well, the thing I find interesting about Sorcerer’s Stone is that it is the book that has the most narration outside of Harry’s point of view.
Andrew: Yeah, why is that? Is that because she is just trying to set it all up?
Eric: Well, of course.
Ben: Why else would she do it?
Eric: Harry is very young at this time.
Laura: And it is good because like you and Ben were saying earlier, you kind of get that outsiders point of view that the Dursleys have. And she is trying to show the impression that Harry’s mere existence has on people.
Ben: Right, and guys, the way this is going we have so much to talk about just with once sentence. So I think after we do the chapter-by-chapter, we should do sentence-by-sentence analysis of the entire series.
Ben: “When Mr. and Mrs. Dursley woke up on the dull gray Tuesday our story starts.”
Laura: Oh, I see it – pg. 2.
Ben: “There was nothing about the cloudy sky outside to suggest that strange and mysterious things…”
Seriously, I’m the next Jim Dale. I can see it already.
Ben: [impersonating Jim Dale] “When Mr. and Mrs. Dursley woke up on the dull gray…” I’m sorry – go ahead. Think about it though.
Andrew: Yeah, and that sentence really stood out to me because I hadn’t read the book since like before ‘Nam practically.
Andrew: When I read that and I was like, “Whoa, just copy Jo’s writing.”
[Everyone continues laughing]
Eric: Now wait a minute it guys, it says, “When Mr. and Mrs. Dursley woke up on the dull, gray Tuesday our story starts.” Now, this is the day where Vernon goes to work and all that stuff happens and they find out that the night before, or whatever, this great, evil wizard fell. Now, why do you think JKR chose to start on this dull, gray Tuesday. If you think about it any kind of – any back story that we find out about, any story, any retelling of any event that occurred before this night is actually back story because she started it on this particular day. And I’m not saying it’s overly significant or “ovary”…overly, ovary [laughs] I quit.
Andrew: Eric, I think it is just that. It’s a Tuesday. It’s your average, normal day – there’s nothing special about it. And that’s what I think Jo was trying to show is that there is nothing special – it’s just your average, typical day except for all this weird stuff going on.
Eric: But, yeah. No, that was going back to what we said about JKR as well, being more into, you know, more personal with the fans just to start the story and establish everything. Now, it’s interesting because he’s starting to think about this nephew he has, you know? And his wife, Mrs. Dursley’s sister and husband, good-for-nothing husband it actually said – which is also probably another personality thing – who have this kid and they might behave strangely. You know? He related it to the Potters. And then he actually hears somebody talking about the Potters, and he’s thinking “WHAT?” And so Mr. Dursley stops dead.
Ben: Just as coincidence though. He reassures himself it’s a coincidence again.
Eric: Yeah, right, exactly. So now it says right here, okay, “There was no point in worrying Mrs. Dursley because she always got so upset at any mention of her sister. Now Vernon Dursley didn’t blame her. If he’d had a sister-in-law like that…” But then it cuts off. It is the classic JKR cut-off moment. “If he had a sister like that…” You know? But at the same time those people in cloaks… So, I mean that’s something too. Now Vernon seems to be very well educated at what type of person or people his in-laws are. Don’t you guys think so? I mean re-reading this it really gave me an idea that Vernon is pretty much tuned in to everything that Harry later on has to tell him over and over and over and over again because he’s trying to deny it all, you know what I’m saying?
Andrew: Yeah, this is the way he is throughout the entire series – he’s always in denial because he never wants to believe any of it. He just wants to get it out of his life.
The Risk Takers
Andrew: Now one question I had was why were they so careless when it came to walking about in public with their cloaks still on? Was it just because there was nothing to worry about now that they could go out in public and say Voldemort wouldn’t see them because he’s dead now.
Ben: Well, that makes the most sense. I mean one of the darkest wizards of the time, they believe his reign is over, so they sort of want to flaunt it. I don’t understand why they would be so careless though. I don’t quite get that.
Eric: Yeah, well that’s what they normally wear. That’s what they normally wear too. You got to imagine that. It’s just like they are particularly flooding the Muggle streets and that’s interesting, but at the sometimes I think it just is carelessness and the fact that they are really, really happy, you know? They are hanging around and talking excitedly. It is really careless for them to be out in front of all these Muggles, but at the same time, you know, the owls and shooting stars are so much worse that it’s like, you know, everybody’s celebrating yeah, but at the same time, you know it’s not like they put on cloaks just to go tell, you know – I don’t even think they were intending on showing the Muggles. They were just really happy and they were, I mean, as Dumbledore later says also, they had very little to celebrate for the past 11 years or whatever.
Micah: Couldn’t she have just written the dressing up off as a post-Halloween celebration if she really wanted to?
Eric: It’s interesting, because even though we know this is Halloween…
Micah: Because doesn’t Voldemort fall on Halloween?
Eric: Yes, but we didn’t know that and it doesn’t say that in the book.
Andrew: Well, I don’t get it, why should they be able to wear them just because it’s just after Halloween?
Eric: Yeah well, no Micah’s right, technically this is either the day after Halloween or the next day and, you know, we don’t know that and that’s not said in this book. The only thing that’s said about the date this early on is that next week is Bonfire Night, which is said on the news back at home while the small cat is watching.
Laura: Everyone’s kind of under this mentality that the darkest wizard of all time has just fallen, what are a bunch of Muggles going to do to us, you know?
Eric: Yeah, I mean everybody feels invincible and they’ve had very little to celebrate, they just go out in their cloaks. Not to tell the world about him, but just to be there and their sending owls in broad daylight and that kind of thing. They don’t really feel the need to be careful about anything because they’ve forgotten what it’s like just to be careful about being seen by Muggles. Like it’s interesting because if we’re seeing in the Second War, you know, that Muggles are almost finding out about the wizards, it makes sense that they would have before. I mean 11 years is a really big slump for Voldemort’s reign and if he didn’t try to take over the Muggle world, then that shocks me.
Micah: Yeah, I think they felt safe for the first time in a long time and they were willing to jeopardize it just a little bit.
Eric: So, Vernon goes to work with his back to the window, the big gigantic window. He yells at five people, he has a normal day. He yells some more. Goes to the bakery, right? Knocks into some guy who calls him a Muggle. What’s a Muggle? I don’t know, your guess is as good as mine. So he goes back and, you know, he’s hearing all these things and he just can’t wait to get home. So he hurries back to his car and he sets off, hoping he was imagining things, which, [laughs] as it brilliantly says, “he had never hoped before because he didn’t approve of imagination.” So, here’s Vernon and all this weird stuff is happening. He doesn’t know what’s going on, but he has this strange gut feeling that it’s coming back to him and that it’s all going to, you know, come back to them.
Andrew: And then he starts hearing people talk about the Potters.
Eric: Yes, he does hear mention about the Potters. I did not say that specifically, but he does hear that their son, named Harry, did something.
Andrew: And that’s when he really starts to worry.
Eric: Yeah. Because, I mean, it does say, you know, he’s not even sure Harry’s name is “Harry” and stuff like that, but he’s really thinking…
Ben: Yeah, he tries to play it off.
Eric: Exactly, like Ben said, he’s really trying to play this off.
Shan’t vs. Won’t
Eric: So now he gets – let’s change the pace just a little here. He gets home and finds that Dudley has learned a new word. Now this, I think, is probably one of the first big differences between the UK and the US book, because…
Eric: In the UK book, the word he learns is “shan’t.”
Laura: In ours he says “don’t.” [laughs]
Eric: No, it’s “won’t”…it’s “won’t.”
Andrew: Yeah, he says “won’t” in the US edition.
Eric: But in the UK it’s “shan’t” and it’s interesting because I think that “won’t” is actually a more characterizing kind of first word to learn or new word to learn. “Won’t” is saying that you will not do something and “shan’t” I mean, it’s kind of sissy. It’s saying “shall not.” You know? This little kid…
Ben: No, I think the whole reason Jo did that is because, because of the idiomatic differences in the languages.
Andrew: No, it wasn’t even that. It was the editors, not Jo.
Eric: Well no, she…
Ben: It was her editors. Yeah.
Eric: She had very little, you know, control over it. It’s just interesting she wrote it as “shan’t” and I think actually, you know, the UK book was written before the US one was translated and all this stuff. So, it’s interesting that it’s “shan’t” because I think “won’t” is more appropriate for Dudley that he actually won’t do something. “I shall not do this, nah” [makes baby noises] you know? “I shall not take a nap.” But maybe it just means something different, maybe I’m being very offensive right now. Maybe “shan’t” is the equivalent to “won’t.” I just find it funny that the American terminology has a more direct, you know, more direct term for classifying a rude little child from hell, you know, than the UK dialect.
Ben: No Eric, you fail to understand that even though Jo wrote the word “shan’t” or whatever, that’s irrelevant because they translate it just to…so Americans don’t think “shan’t. What’s up with that?” Just like they wouldn’t put a “biscuit,” they would put a “cookie.” You know?
Eric: A cookie, I understand.
Ben: I think we’re on the same page here… I hope we are. I hope we are in a sense.
Eric: No, we are, we are. I just think that “won’t” is funny because I know the US book came afterwards and “won’t” is actually I think a funnier, a funnier word for him to have learned and it works better to tell the story for us. For the – I don’t know.
Laura: Well sadly, I think that a lot of the changes in this book and just the title – changing it from Philosopher to Sorcerer’s – I think they were doing a lot to Americanize it that way when American children read it, they wouldn’t be confused which I think is very wrong because I think that children are smart enough to pick up on the fact that it’s a different culture, and they will use different words.
Eric: I don’t know, this early on I like that they’ve at least made more allowances lately. Like with the later books they’ve definitely not changed a lot.
Eric: You can practically smell the Britishness. You open up the book and it’s just like “Woo, a whiff of British air.”
Andrew: It smells like Jamie’s house.
Laura: Yeah, pretty much.
Eric: Yeah, it does smell like Jamie’s house.
Newscaster = Ted Tonks?
Eric: So moving on, Vernon sits down at the news and he hears about the shooting stars in Kent. Now, guys, this is a complete jump ahead to Book 5, but if you guys notice the news anchor, his name is Ted and when he’s talking about the shooting stars, it says, “He allowed himself a grin.” Now would you assume that this Ted knew a little more about the shootings stars than he was letting on? He seems like a guy who’s like really happy to be reporting that there are shooting stars. I don’t know, maybe – I’m thinking he’s Ted Tonks. Ted Tonks, you know, is a Muggle.
Laura: That’s interesting. No, actually I never thought about that and I also think that it’s possible that we know that certain people in the Muggle world do know about the magical world. Like we know the Prime Minister knows. So it’s entirely possible that certain people are enlightened, but I think that’s a really cool tie. I never thought about it.
Eric: I thought it would be really cool if he introduced – but yeah, he’s like, “‘Experts are unable to explain why the owls have suddenly changed their sleeping pattern…’ Then the news reader allows himself a grin… ‘Most mysterious…'” It’s like, “Oooo, most mysterious!” It’s very funny, but “Now over to Jim McGuffern with the weather.”
Andrew: Well, I think it could be one of those things where like on real television, newscasters, when they’re reading a story that they find really stupid, they start laughing. I think that might be the same case with him.
Eric: Which is great. Which is why it’s so normal and you wouldn’t expect but knowing that Nymphadora – well, right. But knowing that Tonks’ father’s name is Ted, I thought that was pretty funny. And that might have been a really interesting… Like, it’s possible. It’s one of those things we never find out about. But, you know?
Micah: And it’s something she’d definitely do.
Micah: She would put it in at the very beginning of the series knowing full well you’d forget about it and not really tie it in until some later point.
Andrew: Yeah, good point.
Ben: But then again, think about Mark Evans, how we thought that was something.
Eric: Oh god, no, don’t mention that.
Eric: Don’t mention that, don’t mention that – it’s five books from now.
Laura: That’s why we have to be cautious about those red herrings.
Eric: So Vernon hears all this crap on the news about everything going haywire and he finally musters up the courage to ask Petunia if she’s heard about her sister. She says “No.” He leaves it at that and goes to bed, but he can’t sleep very well. And outside he looks, and the small cat is still there. The cat is still there outside watching him.
Andrew: And then midnight comes.
Eric: And a man appears on the corner. And he walks – well first of all, he takes out a cigarette lighter-type thing and takes out all the street lights, which makes it like the thing we saw in the movie.
Laura: This is where the movie starts.
Andrew: Yeah, when I was reading a couple of these quotes, they reminded me of the movie because they’re direct out of the book, which I thought is always pretty cool when you get really down to it.
Eric: Yeah, I know what you mean. So…
Andrew: And then McGonagall rips on Dumbledore. Dumbledore says…
Eric: She rips on him?
Andrew: Yeah – Dumbledore says on pg. 9: “My dear Professor,” says Dumbledore. “I’ve never seen a cat sit so stiffly.” And McGonagall goes, “Girrrrrl you be stiff you be sittin’ on brick wall all day. Mmmhmm.”
Laura: Which sort of directly ties to the whole Lost Day thing. I mean when you think about it… How long would it take for Hagrid to fly from Godric’s Hollow to Privet Drive? It certainly wouldn’t take him 24 hours, and he’s talking about how he pulled Harry from the rubble before the Muggles started swarming around.
Eric: Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait – we didn’t get to that, we didn’t get to that yet…
Eric: [makes unintelligible noises] – I have that written down…
Eric: …about the Muggles and I was thinking “What are Muggles doing in Godric’s Hollow?” But we’ve got to talk about that later. Hang on. Okay. So when Dumbledore first appears, it says, “Nothing like this man had ever been seen before on Privet Drive.” That ties in to the missing day too because it states that he had not set foot on there before. So he probably, I think we can deduce that he put most of the protection on Privet Drive after that night if nothing had been seen like him.
Eric: I think that’s just a general observation that we can make. Now, the question is he sits down and tells McGonagall that he must have passed a dozen feasts on his way there, but you know if Dumbledore Apparated there, how would he have passed a dozen feasts? Or is it an expression? Is he saying, you know, “Yo girl, you need to get out more, Yo.” You know, to McGonagall. Or is he just… You know, it struck me as odd; he passed a dozen feasts on his way, but if you Apparate, don’t you go directly to that place? And what does he mean by that?
Laura: I don’t think that’s – I don’t think that’s what he meant. I think he was just referencing the celebration, really. Sort of bringing the topic of conversation around to all of the parties and the shooting stars and…
Why Was McGonagall There?
Micah: Why is she there, though? I mean is it just for protection? Is she just kind of watching over the house? I mean do we ever get a real reason why she’s there?
Andrew: I thought it was exactly that. I thought it was just to watch over the house. I thought it said that in the books.
Micah: Yeah, but it doesn’t really say definitively, does it?
Eric: She’s there on her own will. Actually, nobody told her to go there. She had to beat it out of Hagrid to find out where he was going, which is interesting. Now I get the impression during Dumbledore’s relation to McGonagall that McGonagall does not know about the prophecy. This is jumping ahead just a little bit, but she does say that, let’s see, it’s on pg. 15 in the UK version. Okay, well, here, you know – she’s questioning Dumbledore about how the little boy, you know, all the people he’s killed – he couldn’t kill a little boy. It’s just astounding of all the things to stop him, how in the name of heaven could Harry survive. Clearly she doesn’t know about the prophecy and I think it’s interesting because Harry didn’t tell her what happened with Dumbledore at the end of Book 6 and you know, I don’t think Dumbledore told her about the – if she knew about the prophecy, she would clearly know at least that it, you know, she wouldn’t be so shocked that Harry survived or that something weird happened at all. I think it’s another instance where Dumbledore, Headmaster of Hogwarts, hasn’t even told his Headmistress some key element of something, and I think it’s interesting to see Dumbledore hide stuff from Harry and then also hide stuff from teachers too.
Micah: I don’t think she knows all that much throughout the series. I mean, I don’t think she gets a lot of information. I think Dumbledore is very selective in terms of whom he trusts with information and it might not necessarily be because he thinks that she’s going to slip up, but just because he thinks that she doesn’t need to know the information.
Laura: And also with things like the prophecy and the myriad of other things that Dumbledore, you know, shares with Harry, the less people you tell, the less risk you have. It’s just the – it’s the same thing when you tell your friends a secret. You tell all of your friends something and suddenly the whole school knows, it’s like, how am I going to know who slipped?
Eric: Well right, I mean I think it would definitely – it’s just, I don’t even know if it’s a trust issue. It’s just in the way Dumbledore operates, I think.
Laura: Well, I mean like for instance, whenever I was doing this, I sort of picked up on things that I thought kind of stuck out and I was thinking about the Lost Day and also McGonagall’s and Dumbledore’s relationship. It just goes to show that I think we were right in assuming that they weren’t as close in the beginning of the series, and I think Harry was the reason that they got closer and they started working together more.
Eric: That would be another testament to what Ben and Andrew were saying about how the world changes around Harry and I think that’s really cool.
Eric: Speaking of this: “A fine thing would be if on the very day You-Know-Who seems to have disappeared, Muggles found out about us all.” Is this not the ultimate foreshadowing to like, Book 7? If Voldemort disappears, would, could this not be in the very first book on pg. 13 of the UK freaking book, I think it starts on eight anyways, so it’s on pg. 5 or 6 in the US. McGonagall’s saying, “A fine thing it would be if the Muggles found out about us as soon as Voldemort is gone.”
Where was Sirius?
Eric: So Hagrid comes. They’re talking and this big giant on a motorbike comes down, says he borrowed the bike from Sirius Black, which is really cool.
Andrew: So my question for this part is… Where was Sirius at this time? We know the whole Godric’s Hollow thing. What exactly was he doing right around the time Hagrid came because he borrowed Sirius’ motorcycle.
Eric: Well I think we can deduce…
Laura: Well…didn’t he…
Eric: He’s not the Secret-Keeper, but he would be…
Eric: …with the Potters.
Andrew: Do you think he’s looking out for them right now?
Eric: I think, I think it would make sense in, in…you know…
Laura: Well, didn’t he – wait, wait, wait, didn’t he actually – not to jump ahead in the series, but didn’t he go after Peter the day after they were murdered?
Eric: Yes, he did. Which is…
Laura: Or hours after they were murdered?
Laura: Which means he’s already been arrested at this point.
Eric: Ummm no. No. No, no, no. It was the next day. It was the next – I think it was sunlight.
Laura: But this is the next day.
Eric: I know, but mid-afternoon, I’m talking. Like it had to have been – I think, I think it would be still another day or so, Laura. I think…
Laura: I’m almost positive that there’s something up there. That there’s a mistake…
Laura: …because it really seems like he went after him right after he found out.
Eric: Yeah, but that doesn’t mean he caught up with him right away. You know, Peter could be miles away. He could have told Voldemort. I mean, because the thing is – Hagrid says in Book 3 that he went back to return his bike back, but Hagrid would have found out. If he’d delivered Harry… If that had already happened….
Andrew: He doesn’t say it in Book 3, he says it right in the beginning of Book 1. “Okay, I have to go return this to Sirius.”
Eric: But in Book 3, he says when he found out about Sirius being a lying murderer, that was after. Like he didn’t say any of that when he dropped Harry off. So that hasn’t happened yet or they don’t know. They don’t need – and it’s interesting also; it’s kind of a contradiction like Laura was almost saying because Professor McGonagall, again, doesn’t know any of this about Pettigrew and the Secret-Keeper and all sorts of other stuff and yet it’s so mainstream in what’s happening. But I think that does happen the next day.
Micah: Well, no one knows about Pettigrew being the Secret-Keeper. Not even Dumbledore. We went over this when we talked about Pettigrew.
Eric: You’re right. So…
Eric: But still, still, they don’t know that Sirius is a bad guy. So she mentions his name and that’s all good, and this whole thing happens I think, before all that stuff happens. So I’d imagine right now, Sirius is – Oh yeah, that’s right! Sirius shows up and asks to take after Harry because he’s his godfather, remember that? He asks Hagrid to take him. And then Hagrid says no, “I’ve got orders from Dumbledore,” but okay so, Hagrid…
Laura: Yeah, that was at Godric’s Hollow.
Eric: So, Hagrid lands and he tells, he tells him that the house was destroyed and stuff and that he had to get Harry out of the house before the Muggles all swarmed around. First of all, okay, this is Godric’s Hollow. At the end of Book 6 we don’t even know what it is. We can assume that Harry knows what it is because that’s one of those things that JKR never explained and probably should have, but we get a pit feeling that Harry knows because he’s all like, “Let’s go to Godric’s Hollow. My parents are buried there.” Anyway, Godric’s Hollow: What is it?
Laura: Wasn’t that answered?
Eric: Muggles, Muggles, can be there though. So what’s…
Laura: Well, we don’t know that it was a pure wizarding community.
Eric: But, you’d think it would be if it was named after – but then again, Godric was a welcoming person. But the question is, we had this whole Fidelius charming thing so I don’t even know why Hagrid could have found the house the Potters were in, even though after they were dead, it might have worn off. That’s the other thing. But Hagrid went and there was all of this smoldering rubble. First of all, the Death Curse shouldn’t leave any trace, so I don’t know why the house was destroyed. Maybe that was because Voldemort, you know, kind of blew up when he died – whatever. That’s fine I can deal with that. Where are Lily and James? Why would Hagrid pick Harry up and take him out and what would happen to Lily and James? That’s the other thing: Harry is so convinced that they’re buried there at Godric’s Hollow. I don’t even know why he would know that, because from the look of things, it just seemed like the whole house was destroyed and Hagrid kind of went in to get Harry and left.
Laura: But didn’t Sirius say something about seeing their bodies?
Eric: I really doubt it. I really don’t know. I don’t remember. We’ll find out when we’re reading through but… Listener Rebuttal please call, phone in.
Andrew: Actually, e-mail mugglecast at staff dot mugglenet dot com.
Eric: “The house was destroyed and he got Harry out before the Muggles started swarming around. He fell asleep as we were flying over Bristol.” But you did bring up a point. I don’t know how long Hagrid was going through, flying, and taking him, but…
Laura: Yeah, but it’s…the kids get on a train in London and we know that they’re going somewhere in Scotland. That only takes them, you know, from the morning to the evening.
Eric: Well, it’s just, it’s just like at the end of Chapter 3.
Laura: And that’s in a train, not flying, and flying is much faster.
Eric: Well at the end of Chapter 3, Harry’s counting down to his birthday, and he starts from like five minutes when he starts hearing Hagrid on the rocks, you know, when it’s five minutes to go. So, it’s like, you know, it takes five minutes for Hagrid to get out of, you know, whatever he’s using, climb up and knock on the door. That’s just crap. It’s not right, but it’s perfectly timed with his birthday. And we still don’t know why Harry knows when his birthday is, but that’s been speculated and stuff.
Andrew: So, we learned a lot about a few people in this chapter. We learned a lot about Mr. Dursley, a good amount about Dumbledore, a good amount about Dudley, and how already we can see that he’s pretty obnoxious. We learn that McGonagall is very “rrrarrr,” snap.
Eric: [attempting to impersonate Andrew] “Girl, you be sittin’ like that too, if you had your back to the wall, Girl.” That was funny, Andrew. He’s got the Jersey thing going on. Andrew has totally got this Jersey Hooker, red-light district type attitude going on. It’s really funny.
Andrew: Flattering. Thanks, Eric.
Chapter Two – “The Vanishing Glass”
Andrew: So , that wraps up Chapter 1. Now let’s go on to Chapter 2. “The Vanishing Glass.” Eric?
Eric: So, it’s Dudley’s birthday and that’s when Harry wakes up. It’s Dudley’s birthday and we get really, if we didn’t have enough of it from his childhood, we really learn a lot more about Dudley in this chapter.
Andrew: And this is the chapter where we first see Harry’s ability. His real ability that’s going to play a part mostly in Chamber of Secrets.
Eric: His specialness.
Andrew: It’s Dudley’s birthday and they decide to go to the zoo…
Eric: They don’t…
Andrew: Where do you want to start talking, Eric?
Eric: Well, first of all they go – yeah – he’s basically getting treated really badly. He lives in a cupboard under the stairs, they don’t really acknowledge him and don’t ask questions. That’s pointed out very early. That’s the key to living a life with the Dursleys. No questions, and Harry really can’t help it, you know? Dudley doesn’t want him to go to the zoo, but they really have no place other to take him and Harry can’t…
Andrew: Because Mrs. Figg broke her leg…
Eric: That’s interesting.
Andrew: And then Uncle Vernon says, “Oh, we could phone Marge,” and then Mrs. Dursley says, “Don’t don’t be silly, Vernon, she hates the boy.”
Eric: But Harry can’t help but feel responsible for this because strange things have always happened around him. Such as – you know, I think I found something, and it offers complete insight into the Goblet of Fire films and the trend of the future films. But I think it’s very unfortunate because it’s foreshadowing. Let me just find this, it’s on 21 in the UK book. It says, “About once a week, Uncle Vernon looked over the top of his newspaper and shouted that Harry needed a haircut. Harry must have had more haircuts than the rest of the boys in his class put together, but it made no difference. His hair simply grew that way, all over the place.” So, people of the world: I’m sorry. If you want to see Dan Radcliffe and Rupert Grint with shorter hair in the future movies, don’t count on it. JKR has said it quite clearly, right here, that Harry’s hair simply grows that way.
Harry Talking to the Snake
Laura: What I thought was [laughs] particularly interesting about Harry talking to the snake from Brazil was that he really didn’t seem to find it all that peculiar.
Eric: Yeah, hey I’m talking to a snake.
Laura: There were really no thoughts of “Why is this happening? Why am I talking to a snake? Am I imagining this?”
Andrew: Well, I think it doesn’t come as a surprise to him because like Eric said, strange things have happened to him in the past.
Eric: But actually I think…
Eric: I still think that would throw an alarm. I think there was a moment where Harry was like, “Is this happening?” I think because…
Laura: It was the part where you know he was thinking, wait, “Snakes don’t blink.”
Laura: Or something like that, “snakes don’t wink.” The snake winked at him.
Andrew: It winked.
Laura: It makes you kind of wonder does Harry think there are – yeah – he’s probably at that point wondering, “Are there other kids out there that this is happening to? Am I just weird?”
Eric: Well, it was right now. He looked quickly around him to see if anyone was watching and they weren’t. So he looked back at the snake and winked too, and then like the snake jerked his head and gave Harry a look that said, you know, kind of, that said, he didn’t say, the snake didn’t talk to him first, but the look in the snake’s face or eyes or whatever said, “I get that all the time.” So, Harry just kind of starts talking as he, as kind of – he doesn’t expect it to reply, you know? Even though it just winked at him, he can understand what the snake’s going through because clearly they relate to each other in probably more ways than one, Harry and snakes. But you know he kind of feels empathetic or sympathetic, so he starts talking to him, and lo and behold, he can actually talk to – I think it’s just the way it was written, and the way it happens. Harry, you know, he looks around – even if he’s imagining it, it’s a new friend to talk to.
Laura: I think it goes to show a lot about Harry’s character. Just with the fact that the Dursleys have always told him, you know, “we don’t approve of imagination, don’t ask questions.” Yet Harry is, of his own free will, sitting here, kind of testing the waters. He winks back at the snake. And it just goes to show that he’s not letting his curiosity be buried by the Dursleys.
Eric: Which is really cool. Now the Dursleys said when they took him in, they’d put a stop to all the magic. And I know, they say that in Chapter 3 when they get the letter, but what do you guys really think that means? They always say, “We swore when we took him in,” and you know Vernon says that in the movie in the hut. And he says, “We swore when we took him in.” I think they just swore to themselves really. They didn’t have to promise Dumbledore anything, certainly. I mean that would be against everything the letter must have said because Dumbledore, when he dropped the letter, he said to McGonagall that they’ll be able to tell him everything. He had no reason to believe the Dursleys wouldn’t tell Harry.
Andrew: So then at the zoo, Piers calls over Mr. Dursley and Dudley, and they push Harry aside to get a better look and then the glass in front of the snake’s tank vanishes. Now, this is Harry’s doing.
Eric: Kind of – it’s wandless magic.
Andrew: Which I would think is pretty advanced for Harry, being so young.
Eric: Uh, no.
Eric: I think it is part of – in this case I think it’s a part of growing up. When you were angry or scared, as Hagrid tells him in the movie…
Andrew: Oh, right, right.
Eric: By accident. That kind of thing.
Eric: Like when he was trying to escape Dudley’s gang and wound up on the chimney. Now do you guys think he Apparated then? When that happened?
Eric: I get – it’s either – because Harry didn’t feel any squeezing or anything he feels when he does properly Apparate, so he must have gotten up there some other way. I mean he thinks it’s the wind or whatever – that’s silly. But he got up there somehow and I was thinking, “Wow, did he just accidentally Apparate or what?”
Laura: Well, I think strange things like that often happen to kids because again, not trying to jump too far ahead, but Colin Creevey said he was having weird stuff happen to him.
Eric: Wait, he did?
Laura: Yeah, he did. He said he could never figure out why all these weird things were happening to him and then they got the letter and they found out why.
Micah: Well, going back to the anger thing. Doesn’t Mr. Dursley knock him over when he’s going up to look at the snake? Which is a possible reason…
Andrew: That’s why he got angry and that’s the reason I’m pretty sure…
Micah: …why the glass…
Andrew: Yeah, especially in the movie they made a point to make that stand out. So people understand why he, why the glass vanished. Because when Hagrid explains it…
Eric: Yeah, actually in the movie he twitches his eyes even, you know, and then he seems surprised, but he really did the eye twitch thing, where he’s like “I wish that happens.”
Andrew: Well, if I remember, Mr. Dursley knocks him over and then it’s an immediate cut to Harry falling and then staring at him really intently and then the glass vanishes.
Eric: Actually it was Dudley. Dudley knocks him over.
Andrew: Well, Dudley then. Right. Sorry. Yeah
Eric: Get over here, boy! Okay, so this earns… The escape of the Brazilian Boa Constrictor earned Harry his longest ever punishment. So, now, whatever date it was to start with it says by the time he was let out of his cupboard again, the summer holidays had started. So it’s now summer, and there’s kind of this thing where Harry’s being punished for another thing he couldn’t do, and he goes to check the mail one morning and it’s a letter, for him. Now nobody’s…
Something Scares The Dursleys
Andrew: Are we on Chapter 3 now?
Eric: Nobody’s ever written… Yes. Nobody has ever written Harry. Let alone cared about him, or knew he existed, pretty much except Dudley’s gang.
Andrew: So can I just add something real quick?
Andrew: The reason why the Dudleys – [laughs] the Dudleys?- the reason why the Dursleys had him locked up was because, I think in my opinion, and I think we could discuss this a little bit, is because they were scared, right?
Eric: I think…
Andrew: Scared of what he would do next.
Eric: Well, right. That’s also why they won’t leave him home.
Laura: Well also think they were scared because he would be turning 11 soon and, of course, Petunia knew that was when Lily got her letter.
Eric: I actually don’t know…
Laura: So they’re afraid because he’s showing magical ability that he’s going to get his Hogwarts letter.
Eric: I think that’s interesting. I don’t think Petunia had, like a conscious thought going that he’s now soon 11, so he’ll get his letter then. You know I don’t really think that was…
Laura: Well, she was around when Lily got hers.
Eric: She was, but at the same time, I thought she – I get the idea that she was just afraid any magic would spark something as opposed to, you know…
Laura: Oh, I’m sure…
Eric: We didn’t see…
Laura: …but I mean, with that deadline coming up, it would definitely make it more apparent.
Eric: But, Petunia is not the one who’s punishing Harry. She doesn’t like the boy, but Vernon’s really the one who’s burning all the letters, who’s doing all this and that. And actually…
Laura: Well, she’s not stopping him…
Eric: Yeah, but Petunia is so locked up in denying everything, even more so than Vernon, you know, not talking about her sister, pretending she doesn’t even have a sister, that I think, until the letter comes, I don’t even think she realizes that a lot of this stuff is going to happen to Harry.
Micah: I think the thing that may have scared them the most was when they were going back in the car…
Eric: And he was talking to the snake.
Micah: …and Piers mentions that Harry was talking to the snake.
Eric: I think so too, that’s freaking crazy.
Laura: Well yes, someone else noticed that they have a nephew who has an abnormality.
Eric: They can’t…yeah.
Chapter Three: “The Letters From No One”
Andrew: So now, Chapter Three: “The Letters from No One.”
Eric: Yes. This is – It’s funny because there’s more J.K. Rowling humor in the addresses of the letters. Now, don’t jump to the end of the chapter already, but no matter where they go, the letters always know exactly where Harry is, which is quite, you know, the contrary to anybody ever knowing that Harry even existed, you know, widespread and so… [sighs] It’s funny because Harry was originally going to be away from Dudley anyway this year. Dudley is going to Smeltings and Harry is just going to Stonewall High.
Micah: You know what’s funny about Smeltings, just to throw in a quick thing? When you smelt something you basically take a piece of crap and turn it into something good.
Andrew: That’s funny.
Eric: That’s like the funniest thing ever. Okay, and J.K. Rowling humor, see – okay so he finds this letter in the mail, he says nobody writes to him, right? And I’m actually going to read this because this is really, really, really funny. “Harry picked it up and stared at it. His heart twanging like a giant elastic band. No one, ever, in his whole life, had written to him. Who would? He had no friends, no other relatives. He didn’t belong to the library so he’d never even got rude notes asking for books back.” Now, that is a J.K. Rowling sentence.
Andrew: “Yet here it was, a letter, addressed so plainly…”
Eric: “…there could be no mistake.” But that is a J.K. Rowling sentence.
Eric: Come on. This is a complete jab, from JKR to all the libraries. See, I see a scenario where JKR had to do some research for these books, so she borrowed books and then, you know, she’d always get – I feel she’s speaking from personal experience. That she’s gotten rude notes asking for books back. I mean, just the way this is worded, it’s incredibly funny that it should just state here that he doesn’t even get letters from libraries that are really, really rude, you know? It’s just, I laughed because it seems like JKR’s just…
Laura: Oh, I think there are a lot of personal examples in the books.
Andrew: So, get the letter, Uncle Vernon gets all afraid all over again. Harry tries to keep the letter, but Uncle Vernon keeps it from him. The following morning, Harry wakes up again. Well, he tries to get up early that morning to see if there’s another letter that arrived, by any chance. At this point though, he doesn’t know it’s magic, so I don’t know what would lead him to believe that another letter would show up automatically.
Micah: Especially the day right after.
Eric: No, no, no, no. There was another letter to the – no, you guys are forgetting a day. That day, after the first one arrived, Vernon went in to the cupboard and told him to move into Dudley’s second bedroom. At which point, the next morning, he made Dudley get the mail and then there was another one addressed to “The Smallest Bedroom.” So they had actually tried twice to get him and then that’s how…
Micah: Yeah. But the point is, why would he be expecting it right after the first one?
Eric: It’s not after the first one, it’s after the second one.
Micah: You know…whatever. Why would he be expecting it that quickly?
Eric: That’s two days straight. That’s two days in a row that they’ve tried to contact him, you know? It’s – they knew he was changing – that’s why, because it goes from the smallest – you know, from the cupboard under the stairs to the smallest bedroom. Somebody’s like, pinpointing his exact location and they…
Micah: I think he’s getting spoiled…
Eric: He really is.
Micah: …getting his letters one day after the other. He’s starting to anticipate too much.
Eric: Yeah, it’s not good for the healthy mind. But…
Micah: It’s not good for the ego.
Eric: I think he definitely does have enough to go on – to want to get up early. The problem is, Vernon beat him to it. He, you know, Vernon, it’s funny because Vernon puts all this confidence in Harry that he’s going to try and sneak up really early so he better, you know, sleep there the whole night. And Vernon actually gets out a sleeping bag and sleeps there to prevent Harry from doing it. I think, you know, he just gave Harry the best compliment there ever is, knowing he’s like, that intelligent to figure that out and try and stop him.
Andrew: So then, more letters start to arrive in all these impossible ways, and long story short, Mr. Dursley says okay, it’s time to move out. Dun-dun daaa.
Eric: And they can’t take it. They can’t let Harry get these ideas that what he – that there are other people like him out there because they’re so bent, you know, hell-bent even, on keeping it down that he’s special at all.
Micah: Well, he knows something’s up now.
Eric: Yeah, he does and that’s unfortunately – you know, they can’t stop because magic has a sense of humor and magic is determined.
Laura: Well, they also can’t stand the thought of letting Harry think that he’s actually important enough to be getting all of these letters.
Eric: That’s right, too.
Laura: They don’t like the idea that he thinks that there’s someone out there who so persistently wants to contact him.
Eric: And that’s their problem because every time they try and deny it more letters come, and more letters come, and more letters come.
Why Don’t the Dursleys Like Harry?
Micah: I still don’t get why they don’t like him, I mean…he’s just…
Andrew: Yeah I was just thinking that, too. Why do they treat him like that? Okay, it’s because Lily was a wizard, or a witch, and Aunt Petunia absolutely hates the thought of that, but…
Micah: It’s family…I mean…
Eric: Well, the Potters…
Andrew: Yeah. I could see not…
Laura: Well, not everyone comes from, like great families. I mean, there are a lot of situations where family members are spiteful to each other just because, you know, “I didn’t like your mom,” or “I don’t like your dad,” so…
Eric: Yeah, I mean…
Laura: It’s just a simple matter of…
Eric: It does say at the beginning of the book that…
Eric: …the Potters were as “unDursleyish” as they could be. So, even if it weren’t like magic in general, just something – like I can see common talk, kind of like what happens with, you know, when Arthur Weasley goes up to – or the way Arthur Weasley views Muggles. You know? They’re just so peculiar and so different they just can’t get over, you know, he can’t get over their differences. So I’m thinking, well, the Dursleys, in addition to the fact that Petunia absolutely hates Lily and, you know, her husband’s unemployed and they totally looked down on that or whatever. I think it’s just also the kind of people. You know, James, even though that – he used to be a really egocentric prick. I mean, let’s face it, that’s what we found out. So, I can’t say he’d pull a Fred and George Weasley on them, but he might not be terribly, you know, fixated on making the best impression possible when he’s around the Dursleys and I think that could have an effect, or we can just assume and – or at least…
Laura: They are just these kind of people who, if you don’t fit their definition of normal, then they’re just going to shun you. That’s who they are.
Micah: I still think that maybe there’s a little bit more we have to learn about, hopefully, about Lily and Petunia’s relationship.
Laura: Oh, I’d love to learn more about that.
Micah: So I think that plays a big role. I think that does play a really big role in why there’s this sort of like, animosity between them, or at least between the family and Harry.
Eric: Well it’s almost a question…it seems like, especially – no, even all throughout the books, it seems like Vernon is even more hell-bent on stomping the magic out of Harry than Petunia is. I mean, would you guys agree? I mean, he’s the one who’s saying, you know, “No effing owls,” you know and all this other stuff and Petunia is kind of sitting there. I mean, obviously, he’s a decent husband if he doesn’t want his wife to get upset, but at the same time, he’s going even further out. I think he’s taking most of the initiative to try and make her happy and he’s ruining it for the both of them. I don’t know, I’m just wondering how many of the ideas that the Dursleys do – I’m wondering how many of the ideas are actually Vernon’s, you know, to torture Harry?
Laura: Well you, I mean, you look at it, Vernon and Petunia have very similar ideas about how people should behave and, you know, here he comes along and he has, in his eyes, the perfect wife, but if anyone finds out that she’s related to a witch, I mean that’s just going to ruin the reputation.
Eric: Yeah, but witches are cool. Magic is cool.
Laura: Not to him, obviously. [laughs]
Eric: Well right, but, I don’t know I think it’s – I think that more of that is kind of needed, but at the same time also, if we don’t find more out, we have to accept that this is a fiction story and there are people that the Dursleys could relate to in life who just really aren’t nice people and aren’t, you know, well-rounded and aren’t completely there and they might be mean just to be mean because it’s something that gets them by for whatever reason.
Andrew: All right, so that concludes our Chapter Discussion this week. First one. Not too bad, we were thinking…
Eric: We’re going to work on cutting it down slightly.
Andrew: Yeah, not only that but we’re just going to plan out a little bit more, highlight the key parts of it.
Andrew: Obviously the first three, especially Chapter 1, needed the most work.
Eric: The one thing – I just want to mention one thing – the one thing that will determine the future of this section – no you can’t axe it, but please send in suggestions. Talk about it on the forums: MuggleCastFan.net. Talk about it and let us know what you think and what should happen, how we should handle things. Because this did last longer than even I wanted it to and, I mean – but it was interactive, as I hoped it would be, and it is, as I said, I mean – if you guys do read along, it will be a completely excellent re-living of the entire series and it’s at a slow pace and we can analyze everything and really get everybody, like the whole world, re-psyched. I mean, as Andrew said, “It had been since ‘Nam…”
Andrew: Yep. So…
Eric: …since we read. I mean, hey, same here…
Eric: …which is why I did it, because I mean, we have this podcast and, you know, we haven’t…
Laura: I feel like such a loser. [laughs]
Eric: I feel like one too. We have this podcast and we’re always talking about Harry and we’re always talking about the books, but it had been forever since we last read the books that we’re talking about. It’s almost hypocritical. Which is why this section was so great.
Laura: Well, I tend to flip through them a lot, but that’s cool.
Eric: I know.
Andrew: So next week, we’ll be doing Chapters 4 and 5, that is, “The Keeper of the Keys” and “Diagon Alley”. And so if you want to send in your questions about those chapters, read up on them, during the week. Actually, read up on them soon, over the weekend because we record this show usually during the middle towards the end of the week. So read up Chapters 4 to 6, email us your questions.
Eric: 4 and 5!
Eric: 4 and 5!
Andrew: 4 and 5. And send in your questions to mugglecast at staff dot mugglenet dot com. Put in the subject line: “Chapter-by-Chapter” and we’ll read your questions and we’ll answer a couple of them on the air.
Eric: For people who will be reading along, this will be a much more fan-interactive section in the future chapters. We will focus on voicemails…
Eric: …you ask and those will be our highlighting topics.
Andrew: Yes. So don’t forget, Chapters 4 and 5 for next week. It’s like homework. All right, class…
Andrew: …next week have Chapters 4 and 5 read and we will discuss it in the podcast.
Eric: You really want to kill this section, don’t you? You really want to get them, “Eric, that sucked, that was the worst section ever. Andrew gave us homework?”
Andrew: No, I like – I like being the teacher.
Eric: You like getting homework?
Andrew: And Micah, if you forget to read one more time, that’s a detention.
Micah: Oh man.
Third Place Winner
Andrew: All right, now let’s take – let’s shake things up a bit. It is time now for the Third Place winner of the Create Your Own MuggleCast Segment Contest. For the past three shows, I’ve been, we’ve been revealing winners, well, for the past two. And third week, here we are with Third Place, and the Third Place winner is…
[Eric makes drum-roll sound]
Andrew: Da da-da, da da-da. Heather Cachet and her third and fourth graders at Southwestern City Schools in Ohio.
Andrew: Congratulations to them and here is their segment right now.
[Intro music from The Goblet of Fire Movie Soundtrack]
Heather: This is Mrs. Cachet coming to you from Grove City, Ohio. I have some students here with me that are also interested in Harry Potter.
Student 1: Yo, yo, what’s up, I’m Margo and I love Harry Potter.
Student 2: My name is Jordan V. and I love Harry Potter books.
Student 3: I’m Kennedy F. and I love Harry Potter books.
Student 4: I am Emily C. and I can imitate Hermione.
Student 1: Emily, why don’t you do it?
Student 4: Okay. [Imitating Hermione’s voice] “Have either of you seen a toad? A boy named Neville’s lost one. Oh, are you doing magic? Let’s see then.”
Student 1: Great job!
Heather: In the first episode, the MuggleNet boys ask, “Do younger kids read the series?”
All the students: Yes!
Heather: If Hogwarts stays open, will Harry return?
Student 3: Well, I think Harry definitely will go back because he always says that Hogwarts is his home.
Student 4: I also have a question for the seventh book. Will JK Rowling really put in Bill and Fleur’s wedding?
Student 1: Yeah, really.
Heather: It’s a happy beginning.
Student 4: Yeah, it would be. They always…
Student 1: Yeah, I think things should start out with a happy beginning.
Student 4: It’s always really dull and boring. Visit the Dursleys, go right to the Weasleys… Or, you could start out with the wedding music, right when you open the book.
Student 1: Do you…
Heather: Would it be like of those cards that has the little microchip in it that plays music?
All the students: Yeah.
Student 4: What if they are getting married by Muggles?
Student 1: Yeah.
Student 4: They wouldn’t know.
Heather: I wonder. Would they have the same kind of wedding ceremony?
Student 4: I don’t know.
Student 3: Probably not.
Heather: It should be on Valentine’s day. [laughs]
Student 4: They will probably just, like use a wand to get away from them.
Student 1: After they kiss, they like blast off.
Student 4: And they’re going to have sparks that said, “Just married.”
Heather: Oh, that would be cute. [laughs]
Student 4: And they’d have…
Student 2: Well I think that it definitely won’t be a Muggle wedding, because if something pops out of thin air, the Muggles might suspect something, then they’ll tell the news and the news people will put it in the news and then everyone all around will know.
Heather: Because the wedding is a happy place, do you think that it would be a time that Voldemort would take advantage of something that is happy and bring in misery?
Student 2: Yeah.
Student 4: Yeah, that would…yeah.
Heather: Any ideas?
Student 1: Voldemort could just pop in any second.
Heather: Do you think that they’ll really fight with wands though?
Student 1: Well maybe…no. If it was a Muggle wedding, no way. They would have to punch each other and be like, “Ha-ha ha.”
Student 4: I think that somebody unexpected could come to the wedding.
Student 1: And then they kill Fleur.
Student 4: Yeah, I think that they’ll kill Fleur.
Heather: Do you think so? Why?
Student 4: Yeah.
Student 1: Because she…
Student 4: I think that is was a little bit of a mistake for her to be in the Triwizard Tournament.
Student 1: [Imitating Fleur] “Awww ‘Arry.”
Student 3: Explain yourself. She put the…
Student 4: Well, yeah, but…
Student 1: She’s a little too…girly.
Heather: [laughs] But girls can be amazing athletes.
Student 4: And I also think that either, at the wedding, if Voldemort does come, two or three people will die. One of them is Fleur and the other is either Harry or Voldemort. One of them has to die in the seventh book. Somewhere in there.
Heather: But do you think Harry is actually going to be the one to kill him, or will he die somehow by another hand?
Student 4: One of them is going to kill each other.
Student 3: I have a little theory. Malfoy is not going to be in the seventh book.
Student 3: Because he said, to Dumbledore, “Well if I don’t kill you, then Lord Voldemort will kill me.”
Student 1: Yeah but Snape killed Dumbledore, so he might be dead.
Student 4: Yeah.
Student 3: Oh.
Heather: I’m kind of wondering about Malfoy because now he has this life debt to Dumbledore, basically.
Student 3: But if he does not die, then does it make a really clear path right to Harry?
Heather: If who doesn’t die?
Student 3: If Malfoy doesn’t die. It’s a real clear path.
Student 1: But who knows when Malfoy will turn seventeen, because, when they’re seventeen, they are of-age wizards and they can do magic outside of school. So, Malfoy could track down Harry and kill him if he has to.
Student 4: Do you actually think he would cause that cause that commotion?
Student 1: I think he could. He hates Harry.
Student 4: Yeah but what…
Student 1: Yeah, but he secretly likes him.
Heather: But I don’t think he has the rage. Because remember in the fifth book, when Harry tries to cast the Killing Curse on Bellatrix and fails, she turns around and laughs at him and says you have to really mean it…
Student 3: No, it wasn’t…
Heather: …Does Malfoy and does Harry really have that in them – can they really do that to someone else?
Student 1: No, they can’t.
Student 2: Harry’s got a heart…he can’t kill anything.
Heather: And doesn’t it say that Harry will best Voldemort with something that he doesn’t have? And he has love.
Student 4: Yeah.
Student 1: Yeah, that’s why he couldn’t touch Harry in the first book.
Student 1: And Voldemort has hatred.
Student 1: But Harry has enough strength and enough heart to kill Voldemort with Ava-dada Kadabara.
Heather: The Killing Curse.
Student 1: I just like to say the name.
Student 1: I don’t know if I say it right, but still, I like to say the name.
Heather: That’s good.
Student 2: I think Ginny will definitely die because there’s a chance she might be a Horcrux. In Chamber of Secrets, when Tom Riddle says to Harry that “Ginny gave her soul to me,” you have to give your soul away for you to be a Horcrux and she gave it away. He could’ve gone in there and it came back to her, so she could be a Horcrux. And it’s also going to be someone who you’d least expect, because no one will want to kill Ginny, except for Slytherins but not more than Voldemort does.
Heather: Thinking about what you said about a piece of the soul being used to create a Horcrux. It wasn’t a piece of Ginny’s soul that was killed, it was Tom Riddle.
Student 4: Yeah.
Heather: When Harry struck the snake fang into the journal, and Tom Riddle died…
Student 1: His memory died.
Heather: Well, he was a Horcrux.
Student 2: One out of seven gone.
Heather: One out of seven that’s gone. The reference to Ginny’s soul… Did he actually leave a piece of that soul?
Student 2: He possibly did. When he had her right under control, he could make her do anything he wanted. And he also took her soul a little bit…she would have died if he took hold of it.
Heather: An interesting idea.
Student 4: I’m Emily.
Student 3: I’m Kennedy.
Student 1: I’m Jordan.
Student 2: And I’m Margo.
Heather: I’m Mrs. Cachet.
Everyone: See ya!
Andrew: Okay, so once again, that was Heather Cachet and her third and fourth grade classes, so congrats to them once again.
Laura: You guys were great!
Laura: I really loved listening to your segment.
Laura: It was awesome.
Andrew: Let me just read her email real quick. “I’m attaching an entry for the Listener Challenge. It’s one my students and I put together. The students were third and fourth graders who, until last Friday, had never heard of podcasting. It took three sessions and lots of editing to compile this and we hope you enjoy it.
Andrew: And yes, it turned out great. We really enjoyed it.
Laura: I thought it was really amazing, because these kids…
Laura: …really put some effort into their discussion.
Eric: I love little kids.
Voicemail – How Did Sirius And Voldemort Get Their Wands Back?
Andrew: Now it is time for the general voicemails. Let’s roll the first one right now.
[Audio]: Hello, MuggleCast. This is Zev from Peaks Island, Maine. I was wondering, how do you think Sirius and Voldemort got their wands back after so long? I’m guessing Sirius had his confiscated when he was arrested, and I would imagine that Voldemort dropped his when he was ripped from his body. And, speaking of wands, what did you think of Voldy’s wand in Movie Four? Did it seem a little un-Ollivander for the handle to look like a bone? Just wanted to hear what you thought. Thank you!
Andrew: To answer the second part of that question: Yes, it was very un-Ollivander, but it was another one of those things where the movies don’t really relate to the book. I think it appeared like that in the movie just to illustrate what evil things Voldemort could do with this wand.
Eric: He wouldn’t have a pink teddy bear as a wand.
Eric: But, at the same time, I think, in the movie they did mention that “Its brother gave you that scar,” you know that kind of thing. I think it’s possible to change the outside of your wand at least if you are trying to make sense of the movies, which again, you don’t have to. But really I think it’s what’s at the core of the wands that matters. And, the Holly and – I mean, sorry the Phoenix feather, being from Fawkes that’s what counts and you know, they dueled and they couldn’t do it and Priori Incantatem and “boom,” and…that’s what counts. That…yeah.
Laura: It’s what’s inside that counts, guys.
Eric: I know.
Andrew: So, how did Voldemort get his wand back? First of all, was there any clear proof that said he lost it in the first place?
Eric: Well, he must have.
Laura: Well, even if he did, Pettigrew could have gotten it…
Andrew: That’s what I was going to say.
Laura: I mean, Pettigrew could’ve just gave it back.
Eric: He lost his body.
Andrew: It wouldn’t have taken much for Pettigrew, or any of the other Death Eaters to grab it.
Eric: Well, let’s assume…
Micah: Especially if Pettigrew was there.
Eric: Yes. Well no…
Micah: …the night…
Andrew: He would have snatched it right away.
Eric: It’s interesting though, because if he would have… We’re assuming Voldemort used his wand to say, you know Avada Kedavra and kill the Potters. And then at that moment he would have been gone, you know, whatever. But the question is, at what point did the house actually explode? When he lost his body or what? Because would Pettigrew have been able to go in there and just snatched the wand – and would he have not snatched Harry then, or something? You know, what was the thought process there? Because… I mean, I think Pettigrew had Voldemort’s wand, but I don’t know…
Laura: Why would he, though? His master was gone, you know?
Eric: I don’t know how he would’ve…
Laura: Pettigrew only serves himself and it wouldn’t be much to his benefit if he were caught running around with Harry Potter after his parents had been murdered.
Micah: I mean, was it possible the house was destroyed afterwards…
Laura: I mean it’s possible that Death Eaters…
Micah: …by whoever was there with Voldemort?
Laura: …could have just shown up and blown the place to smithereens.
Eric: But why would they save Lily and James’ bodies? You know, apparently, they’re…
Laura: Who says that they saved them?
Eric: Well, if they’re buried and somehow Harry knows that, you know, that they’re buried in Godric’s…
Laura: Well, what do you mean by “save their bodies”? I don’t – you mean, why wouldn’t they take them? Or…what? I mean, no one says – I mean, I’m not trying to get morbid here, but no one says their bodies were perfectly preserved after the house blew up.
Andrew: [laughs] Yeah.
Eric: I think Hagrid said that, actually. Because he said saw Lily and James or something when he picked him up. But, you know, I really don’t know, I’m just saying it’s really a question – I don’t know. I think Peter had Voldemort’s wand and I think that’s what makes sense to me, but I don’t know how he would’ve gotten it.
Micah: And that he blew the house up?
Eric: No, I don’t – well, he blew the street up.
Micah: I just have a hard time believing that he would be all, you know, fine after the house blew up and he was still inside it.
Eric: Yeah, well he blew the street up, which was cool. I don’t know – I just don’t know why the house blew up, but, getting back to the voicemail question – what was the first part of the question?
Andrew: Oh, well, it was how did how did Voldemort get his back and then how did Sirius get his back? But, I think it’s completely feasible that Sirius could have picked it up as he was escaping.
Eric: No, they would have taken it from him.
Laura: Well, it is interesting though, because you would think that Azkaban would have varying degrees as to who would get their wands back. Because we know that people like Hagrid, for instance, have gone to Azkaban and gotten out, and obviously they’re not going to snap the wands of people who are going in there for, you know, only specified periods of time. I would think that with someone like Sirius, who they believed to have murdered so many Muggles and killed Peter Pettigrew, betrayed the Potters, that they would have destroyed his wand.
Laura: So I’m just wondering how that worked.
Eric: And he, he broke out of Azkaban. It’s not like he was released, and they were like, “Oh, here’s your wand.” You know? He broke out. So…
Eric: …if he still has the same wand that he always did, then it would make – he would have to find it, first of all, in Azkaban, and grab it and take it with him, you know, during his escape. I think that’s needed, that’s extra unneeded baggage.
Micah: Was it possible Dumbledore got it back for him?
Eric: No, because the whole…
Andrew: But what would his excuse be? For getting it back?
Andrew: “Hey, uhhh, could I, uhhh…”
Eric: Wait a minute, wait a minute. Actually, that’s a good question.
Micah: He’s Dumbledore! He can, you know – I don’t know.
Eric: I was going to say that he couldn’t have because Sirius had his wand in Book 3, but if you think about it, I don’t think he did. Because when he’s standing over Ron, he has, like, a knife or something. He doesn’t have his wand, does he?
Laura: Well, and he stole – I think he was using Ron’s wand whenever Harry and Hermione got into the Shrieking Shack.
Eric: That’s a good point! So…
Laura: Maybe he got a new one.
Eric: …I think Dumbledore could have haggled a wand out, you know, a wand for Sirius. Or, do we actually see Sirius with a wand before the end of Book 5? When he has to…
Micah: No. I mean, what does he need it for?
Eric: Exactly! Like, he’s been in the house, you know, in Grimmauld Place. And in Movie 4 he’s in the cave, in Hogsmeade – he doesn’t really have a wand. So actually, did he ever get his wand back is the real question.
Micah: But how is he changing into and out of…
Eric: I don’t even know if he has a wand.
Micah: …his Animagus form?
Eric: What do you mean?
Micah: Well, we see Pettigrew using his wand specifically to do that.
Laura: Maybe it depends on…
Micah: His power?
Laura: …the amount of power you have. I mean, he could be using wandless magic.
Eric: When did, when did Peter use a wand to turn himself? Because I think that’s crap because you can’t take the…
Laura: In Prisoner of Azkaban.
Eric: …you can’t take the wand with you. So did he do it in the movie or the book?
Laura: The book. He, whenever Remus started to transform, he dropped the wand and then Pettigrew took it.
Eric: I think he did that to unbind himself, though. I don’t think you need a wand to turn out of Animagus form.
Laura: Well it, actually, I looked into that after we talked about it on one of the shows, and it’s not specific. It doesn’t say whether or not he just used it to unbind himself. So we’re not 100 percent sure.
Eric: Because, like, I think that would be stupid because you can’t take – that’s the other thing, can you take your wand with you when you change into an animal? Like, that’s the thing about the Prisoner of Azkaban movie. His clothes fell to the floor, you know, Peter Pettigrew – all his clothes fell to the floor and he turned into a rat out, you know, under, inside his clothes and crawled out of them. So…but then other Animagi kind of seem to turn with their clothes on, you know, and when they come out of Animagus form, they aren’t naked. So how does that work?
Laura: I think that’s just a movie error. [laughs]
Andrew: [laughs] Yeah.
Eric: It’s just a matter of him escaping, I guess.
Voicemail – Will the Time Turner Be Important Again?
[Audio]: Hi, my name is William Blake and I’m from Red Hook, New York. My question for you is, what role do you think the Time Turner will play in Book 7, if any? We all see that it played a profound role in POA, so do you think JKR will bring it back? Also, just how rare do you think that Time Turners are? Do you think they will be a savior of the Trio if they make a fatal error in the final Voldemort-Harry showdown? Thanks, guys. I love the show, so keep up the good work.
Andrew: Does Hermione still have that thing?
Eric: No, she gave it back. You have to be very strict to use it.
Eric: But she, JKR, has not forgotten about time. We saw the time room, you know, the whole room devoted to time, and it turns – well, it actually aged, or rather de-aged a Death Eater’s head and gave him the face of a baby. You know what I’m saying? I mean, it’s, like crazy stuff. There’s nothing you can’t do with time. So it’s really… I don’t know. Do you guys think time management will, [laughs] time management, in many ways, play a book in – play role, a part in Book 7?
Laura: I think it’s got to because I think the Department of Mysteries is going to play a huge role in Book 7.
Micah: I could be wrong on this, but didn’t Time Turners – weren’t they banned in one of the books? [long pause] Was it after Prisoner of Azkaban?
Laura: I can’t remember. I know that students aren’t normally allowed to use them. Hermione was a very, very special case.
Eric: Yeah. She had to write, you know, all those letters, and McGonagall had to really lay it down hard on her.
Micah: But also, I think she uses certain magical instruments for a purpose, and I don’t know if I see her reusing things over and over. I think she brings them up only when they’re necessary.
Andrew: Yeah, exactly.
Eric: Well, that’s the question, also. Polyjuice Potion. That’s the number one overused thing in the entire series. I mean, if you have to think about it, it was introduced like this vague thing that Snape once mentioned in Book 2, and then, you know, in Book 3, you get – no, in Book 4 you get Barty Crouch Jr. using it with his mom, and you get Rita Skeeter using it, you know – oh no, she’s an Animagus, I’m sorry. You get – that’s the other thing, Unregistered Animagi. Polyjuice Potion and Unregistered Animagi. I mean, Crabbe and Goyle are using – you know, it’s like, Book 3 we found out there are three of them, and then Book 4 there was Rita Skeeter, too. It’s like, how many Animagi can there possibly be that aren’t registered? And then, you know, the Polyjuice Potion. Just stuff like that. So…
Laura: Well, it’s sort of like people who are driving without licenses. [laughs] It’s a pretty…
Laura: …I’m sure that that’s got a common likeness. I mean, it happens. And then Polyjuice Potion is simple; anyone can do it. So…
Andrew: So basically we’re all…
Laura: …why wouldn’t it be common?
Andrew: …yeah. So we’re really, we’re all in agreement here – one-hit wonder. [laughs] It was.
Micah: Yeah. I still…
Andrew: That’s what Micah’s thinking, and I agree with that.
Eric: Well, we saw it again, so at least it was a two-hit wonder.
Micah: I mean yeah, you can go to that, you can go to Polyjuice potion. You can even talk about the Pensieve and how many times that’s been used after it’s come into play. But I just think that this is the type of thing that – I don’t know, after Book 3, I don’t really see a use for it, and Dumbledore was pretty strict about its usage in the first place. So…
Andrew: So, I think it’s one of those things that’s just best not brought back. Just leave it out of the picture. Saying it was banned would be a good way to get out of it, but then again, Harry does a lot of illegal things, so…
Eric: How did Fred and George know the outcome of the Quidditch World Cup hours and hours before it happened?
[Eric and Laura laugh]
Andrew: I don’t know! That’s not a voicemail question. Why are you asking that?
Eric: It just relates. It would make sense if they had a Time Turner. I don’t know. Moving on.
Andrew: Yeah, so moving along. We’re actually going to cut the voicemails right here, because at this point, the show is very long, longer than shows that we’ve done before. So we’re going to go to the Editorial Discussion right now.
New Editorial Segment
Andrew: We’ve been talking about this for so long, and finally our first one is here. This one was done by Laura and Micah.
Micah: No, it was really well done. Brandon really did a good job explaining everything about the editorial we discussed. And actually, to I guess sort of promote him, he’s got another editorial that just came out recently. It’s about Aberforth Dumbledore, and it’s kind of interesting. So be sure to check that out in addition to the one we talk about.
Andrew: So here it is now: our first-ever editorial discussion with Brandon Ford.
Editorial Discussion – Brandon Ford
Laura: Micah and I are now joined by Brandon Ford, MuggleNet.com editorialist and author of The Underground Lake column. First off, Brandon, we owe you a huge thank-you for helping us kick off this new segment. This is our first time doing it. We’d contacted quite a few people and you were the first person to pull through. So it’s really great to have you here this week!
Brandon: Thank you! That’s mostly because I have no life.
[Laura and Micah laugh]
Laura: Well, we don’t either.
Laura: So do you want to tell us a little bit about yourself? Like, you know, a little bit of background information?
Brandon: Sure! I am a junior, a senior by hours but I’m a junior by years, at the University of Kansas. I’m a theater major, film minor.
Micah: All right. So I guess a good place to start would be, you know, what is the Underground Lake? What is the significance of it? I know you went into it a little bit in one of your editorials and you mention it every now and again, but why did you choose that name for your section?
Brandon: Well, what happened was first I had submitted a regular editorial, which was the Lost Day series that went up there. And then when Nicole asked me to get, if I wanted my own column, I went through a whole bunch of names and most of the ones that I wanted were already taken or were about to be taken. And I was just looking, I was reading Sorcerer’s Stone at the time, and I came across when Harry and Hagrid were in the – in Gringots. And they mentioned this underground lake, and I was thinking about how all the lakes are connected in Harry Potter. And I guess that was kind of my whole theme behind the column is that everything is connected somehow. And that’s how I came up with it.
Laura: Wow, that’s pretty cool! So today we’ll be discussing your latest editorial, The Underground Lake #32 – “Hogwarts: Year Seven – Why Go Back?” Now, I thought this was a pretty interesting piece due to the fact that Harry himself said he wouldn’t be going back to Hogwarts. So for a little bit of an outline, why should Harry go back for his seventh year? Does he need to?
Brandon: Yes, I definitely think Harry has to go back for many reasons. One: you know, Harry and Hermione and Ron, they’re pretty clever, but I don’t think they know nearly enough to be able to, one, destroy the Horcruxes, and I think there’s a whole lot more that’s going to be going on in Hogwarts in Year 7, which is actually going to be coming up in my next editorial. But I think he has to go back. I think he’s got to look in the Pensieve, I think he’s got to talk to Dumbledore’s portrait, and those are just a few of the things that – a few of the reasons I feel that he has to go back.
Micah: You kind of laid out here what he’s going to do, I guess, leading up to his seventh year and then if he actually does go back to Hogwarts. The first thing that you talked about was going back to the Dursleys’ home until his birthday. Could you elaborate, you know, what you think is going to happen? Is anything specific going to take place during I guess, maybe that period of time he’s going to be there?
Brandon: Yes. Of – well, first of all, we still haven’t – I thought we were told we were supposed to find out what Dudley, what happened to Dudley when the Dementors attacked him in Order of the Phoenix. So I’m still waiting for that. But mostly, the reason that I know he’s got to go to the Dursleys is it’s a selfish reason. I really feel like there has to be some kind of closure with Harry and the Dursleys. I don’t know what’s going to happen with Petunia, if they’re just going to stay evil all the time, but I’d really like it… Personally, I would love for Harry to be able to read the letter that Dumbledore wrote to Petunia back when he left him on the doorstep, because I think she’s got it stashed somewhere. And I – basically, I just want them to have some sort of conversation at the end that gives closure to the Dursleys, because he’s not going to go back again, obviously.
Micah: Right. Were you taken a little bit back when you found out on Jo Rowling’s site that Petunia doesn’t have any sort of magical ability?
Brandon: Yeah, because it kind of poked a hole in one of my theories about her being a closet broomstick: that she has powers, she chooses not to use them. So that kind of put a huge hole in one of my thoughts. I thought that somehow they were going to get attacked and she would have some kind of latent magical ability, but it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen. But I just feel like there needs to be some kind of closure, basically.
Laura: Right. Something else that you said you were looking forward to seeing was Harry picking up on more of the little details as opposed to having Hermione do it for him. Apart from the pretty obvious Regulus Black connection, what are some of the, if any, finer points you’re waiting for Harry to catch on to?
Brandon: Well, I think one of the ones I mentioned was about the – and the thing is, he’ll need Hermione for this, but it is the runes on the Pensieve. And, because I think Dumbledore has left a lot of clues for Harry still, in the Pensieve. I don’t know what happens to thoughts after the person dies, their memories, if they just stay in the Pensieve or how that works. But I – the Pensieve’s still there. I like the Pensieve, and I want to see the Pensieve. And I think probably written on it is how it’s used, and so I think Harry needs to figure that out. But mostly, Harry – there’s a lot of stuff going on, and I’m thinking Harry just needs to kind of pick up stuff a lot faster than he has been, basically.
Micah: You also mentioned in here that, and you said that you’ve said it before, that Dumbledore is showing Harry how to play chess with time. What exactly did you mean by that? Are we going to see any more of that in the upcoming book?
Brandon: Basically, that metaphor, I kind of screwed it up when I wrote it and I didn’t bother to change it. But I meant he was kind of playing chess against time. That Dumbledore has to make all these moves that he can’t do anything with for years, stuff like taking Harry and giving him to the Dursleys knowing that basically, Harry’s got to wait there for 10-11 years before he can come to Hogwarts. And he has to make all kinds of decisions now that won’t come into play for years and years, like, just stuff like with Peter Pettigrew and all kinds of other things. And so I think the reason that Dumbledore had to die, which of course was sad, was to show Harry that he needs to sort of watch and wait. Because as I’ve said before in my editorials, if Dumbledore wanted to get away from Draco Malfoy, he could have done it.
Micah: Cool. And you just, in your previous answer, you talked about the Pensieve and maybe what lies in there in terms of Dumbledore’s memories. Do you think that – you mentioned destroying the ring and Harry possibly going in and seeing how Dumbledore did that. Do you think that’s going to be able to tell him how to destroy all of the Horcruxes, or just the few in particular?
Brandon: Just a few in particular. I kind of had a theory that somebody else had too that I thought was interesting, that the reason that Dumbledore’s hand was all messed up during Six was that he actually had the ring and he put it through the veil. I don’t know if anybody’s talked about that. But that’s kind of where I got the whole Voldemort-going-through-the-veil-will-kill-him theory. And so I was just thinking that – because to me, the only Horcrux that Harry knows that he has destroyed was the diary. And since I don’t think he has any basilisk fangs just hanging around somewhere, I think he’s going to need some help learning how to destroy them.
Micah: And do you think maybe that was a little bit more by accident than anything else that he destroyed that one?
Brandon: Yeah. Because I think it was just, when you read it and when you watch the movie too, it was just instant that the fang was sitting there and it was all about the book. So he knew, poison fang… book is controlling this guy… [snaps fingers] Put two and two together.
Micah: Okay. And I guess kind of a wrap-up question, we didn’t really talk about the Godric’s Hollow part of your editorial. You said obviously, Harry is going to be going back there and that a future editorial is going to be written about this. Can you give us a little bit of a preview as to what you’re going to talk about there?
Brandon: Yeah. Godric’s Hollow, I’ve been thinking about a lot just because I’ve wanted to go, I wanted to go there in Book 6. But basically, I want to see the scene of the crime, where everything happened, and hopefully there’s some details that will corroborate some of our theories. Maybe there’s a hidden Horcrux there, I don’t know. I’m just thinking that he’s going to go there, and obviously there’s something very important hidden there that nobody has thought of, and I haven’t thought of it either. But I just – it’s more that I just really want to go to see Godric’s Hollow and find out what’s really there and what actually happened that night.
Laura: Mhm. And I think we’re running out of time, but Brandon, do you have any last minute theories you’d like to share with us? Any…?
Brandon: Theories, no. I did want to say, just because I’ve gotten a lot of emails about it recently, the fact that we’ve been talking about my most recent editorial, but that was like a month-and-a-half ago. And I just want to let everybody know that I have written one, and I just sent it to my editor. And I’ve got four more that I’m writing right now about Slughorn and Draco and Ron and Peter Pettigrew, and where he was. I guess that’s the one theory that I could be talking about is Peter Pettigrew and why he was gone for pretty much all of Book 6 and most of Book 5, and what I think he’s up to. But I haven’t put that much thought into it yet, but that’s what I’m working on now.
Laura: Well that’s awesome. We’ll definitely be looking forward to reading those. And thank you again for spending a few minutes with us this week, and…
Brandon: No problem!
Laura: …just really, just getting the show on the road for this section.
Laura: Because we’ve been really excited about it, and I think it turned out great.
Brandon: Well, thank you!
Laura: Thanks again!
Micah: Yeah, as you say, thanks for setting the wheels in motion.
Brandon: [laughs] Thank you.
Laura: Mhm. Definitely.
Micah: You did a great job, thanks a lot.
Brandon: Thanks. No problem!
Andrew: All right, so there you have it. And if you have any ideas for a future MuggleCast editorial discussion, please send them in to mugglecast at staff dot mugglenet dot com, and be sure to put in the subject line: “Editorial Discussion Idea.”
What If… Slughorn Had Given Ron The Potions Book?
Andrew: All right, now it’s time for another new segment on MuggleCast. This week we are premiering What If?, the MuggleCast segment where we take a look at something in the Harry Potter series that, if it was changed, if the tiniest little detail had changed, what would have happened? We’ve got a good one for you this week. This one was sent in by Carrie. And Carrie writes, “If Slughorn had given Ron the Half-Blood Prince’s Potion book instead of Harry, what would’ve happened?”
Eric: They both needed their – it’s important to mention, they both needed books. They both needed Potions books, because neither of them expected to – I’m sorry, Defense Against, or Potions, or whatever it was, Potions – neither of them expected to be in the O.W.L. class for it. So they both needed to borrow their books, otherwise they would have bought them in advance. And it’s important to mention that Slughorn handed out, you know, them both rental copies that were in the cupboard…[sighs] and Harry got the Half-Blood Prince’s. Luck of the draw.
Andrew: [at the same time as Eric] Luck of the draw! [laughs]
Laura: Well, do you think that the story could have worked out had Ron had it? I mean, obviously Harry would have been more in the dark on what was going on. Do you think Ron would have told him? Or would he have kept it secret?
Andrew: Well, that’s what – no, I think Ron and Harry’s… [laughs]
Eric: Ron shares more with Harry.
Andrew: I think Ron and Harry’s relationship at that point would have been…well, is, where Ron would have told him.
Eric: I think Ron would have shared.
Andrew: Because it is really interesting, and Ron wouldn’t have thought about it. He wouldn’t have thought it through.
Laura: The thing is…
Andrew: He would have just been like…
Laura: …I was thinking…
Andrew: …”Harry, look what I found!”
Laura: And I’m not sure Ron would actually take the initiative to follow the directions.
Andrew: Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. For sure.
Eric: I think also, Ron would show more to Harry than Harry would to Ron. I think it’s just a personality thing. So it wouldn’t be like Ron has all the secret spells and he’s doing excellent in Potions and, you know, all the stuff. I think he would have shared with Harry, especially. Like even if he didn’t – even if he regretted it later.
Micah: Do you think Slughorn’s perception of Harry would have been a little bit less as a result? Maybe he wouldn’t have developed a closeness that he did?
Eric: I think Harry…
Laura: Oh, definitely.
Eric: Harry Potter is still Harry Potter, he’s still the Boy Who Lived, and Slughorn likes famous people no matter what. I think his praise for him in class may not have been so outstanding, but at the same time, I think he still would have tried to stalk Harry like he did just because he is the Boy Who Lived and Voldemort is back. I think Harry’s still famous enough, be it he’s good at Potions or not, you know? And Slughorn had all the memories of Lily, which were just enhanced by Harry’s knack at Potions. But I think Slughorn still would have made a point to be around Harry all the time.
Micah: And Ron would have ended up with the good-luck potion, most likely.
Eric: Felix Felicis, yes.
Andrew [Show Close with music in background]: All right, so that does do it for MuggleCast 31. That was a longer show than normal, and all future shows will probably not be as long as this one. It’s just we got a little carried away with our Chapter-by-Chapter discussion, I’m sure you all understand.
Next week on MuggleCast, we will premiere our Theory of the Week segment, where we pull a popular theory out of the MuggleNet CoS Forums and put our spin on it. And then we’ll be happy to read and respond to your listener rebuttals on the air. Then, don’t forget Chapter-by-Chapter. We’ll be looking at Chapters 4 and 5, so make sure you read up on them and have them ready for next week. That’s your homework, don’t forget!
And, to the delight of podcast fans world over, MuggleNet and MuggleCast’s favorite Brit, Jamie Lawrence, will [coughs pointedly] most likely be returning next week for MuggleCast. He is on a break, he IMed me the other day and said, “Hey mate! Guess what? Going to be on a break starting March 17th!” So I said, “Okay, dude! That’s sweet! Come on down!” So, hopefully we’ll have him on for at least three or four shows, starting next week on Episode 32 of MuggleCast.
Oh, and by the way, in case you’re wondering where Ben went, [laughs] well, let’s spend a little, let’s spend a minute on this. Ben suddenly got attack of the allergies, and if you can’t hear it in my voice, I’m pretty congested too.
Andrew: Laura’s not feeling well either. [laughs]
Laura: I’ve been sitting here popping cough drops like Dumbledore pops his lemon drops. So…
Eric: Which is…
Laura: So I have an excuse.
Micah: Hey. Who gave you that line?
Laura: Yes. I completely credit you, Micah.
Micah: Yeah, okay.
Laura: I completely credit you.
Eric: Good night. Oh wait, are we going to say our names?
Andrew: Oh yeah! Yeah. So, I almost forgot! [laughs]
Andrew: So once again, I’m Andrew Sims.
Eric: I’m Eric… [snores] Scull.
Laura: I’m Laura Thompson.
Micah: And I’m Micah Tannenbaum.
Andrew: [laughs] Now we will see everyone next week for Episode 32. [In a nasally voice] Good night!
Written by: Micah, Ally, Martina, and Sarah