Transcript #42

MuggleCast EP42 Transcript


Andrew: I’m out of cool new intros, so someone please send me one. mugglecast at staff dot mugglenet dot com. Episode 42 for June 4th, 2006. Oh yeah.

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Eric: Guys, what’s a snuffbox?

Laura: A tissue box.

Kevin: A snuffbox?

Laura: That’s what I thought.

Kevin: No, I thought…

Eric: Yeah, what’s a snuffbox?

Kevin: No, tobacco.

Laura: I thought it was – I thought it was a tissue box.

Kevin: I thought that in the old days they used to have snuffboxes full of tobacco.

Laura: I guess. I don’t know, for some reason I always imagined it to be a tissue box, because you know…

Eric: I thought it was a matchbox.

Laura: …when ever you blow your nose or something – I don’t know.

Eric: You go snuff.

[Everyone laughs]

Kevin: Here, let’s look it up.

Eric: Achoo! Snuff.

Andrew: We are definitely starting the show with a fade-in of that conversation. Hello, everyone, and welcome back to the show. I’m Andrew Sims.

Ben: I am Ben Schoen.

Kevin: I am Kevin Steck.

Eric: I am Eric Scull.

Laura: And I am Laura Thompson.

Andrew: And of course, this is the show where we bring you the latest in Harry Potter news, theories, discussions…

Eric: Snuffboxes.

Andrew: …maybe some music down the road, maybe some other cool new features we’re working on.

Ben: And, Give Me a Butterbeer.

Andrew: The newest, hottest craze: Give Me a Butterbeer.

[Everyone laughs]

Ben: I love that segment.

Andrew: People are loving them. Me too.

Eric: Ben, have you ever gotten a butterbeer? Did anyone just give you a butterbeer?

Ben: No, they haven’t.

Eric: You keep asking for one, maybe somebody will give you one.

Ben: Okay, here, here – okay, instead of sending a butterbeer, here’s what you guys need to do: send Subway gift cards to the P.O. box. Seriously.

Andrew: [laughing] We’re not even past the news, and we’re already begging for stuff?

Ben: No, no, I’m serious. I’m serious, guys. The battle against childhood obesity is never ending, and I’m on the run a lot, and it’s good to stop in Subway and get a sweet onion chicken teriyaki. So, please send me Subway gift cards, I will marry you all.

Andrew: Before we move along with today’s show, first let’s check in with Micah Tannenbaum for the past week’s top Harry Potter news stories.


Micah: Bloomsbury publishing director Liz Calder has done yet another interview, this time with The Times of India. In it she speaks about the Harry Potter phenomenon and other tales from the book publishing world. On what was it about Harry Potter that other children’s books didn’t have, she said: “Well, Rowling filled a very important niche at the right time. She produced a book that could tear an entire generation away from the TV. It had the right mix of magic, a school story, good versus evil and, most importantly, lots of humor.”

Bloomsbury founding publisher, Barry Cunnigham also spoke earlier this week on discovering Harry Potter. You can read full texts of these interviews over on is organizing a very special project this year for Daniel’s 17th birthday (July 23). The project will include the Demelza Drive 2006, a birthday edition of ACED Magazine, and the Greatest Fans Idol. If you are interested in participating or wish to find out more be sure to head over to

Breaking news this week, a prominent US psychologist says popular fictional characters such as Hermione Granger could be contributing to an increase in violence among girls. Ben addresses this issue later in the show.

Tom Morris, a former professor of philosophy at the University of Notre Dame, has written an essay about how the ethics and philosophies described in the Harry Potter books can and should be applied in real-life business situations. Morris believes that courage is crucial in business where tough decisions need to be made – but there isn’t a specific manual on attaining bravery. He notes that one of Harry’s most important qualities is courage and that it isn’t due to fearlessness but a desire to do what is right.

We reported to you recently that some filming for the Order of the Phoenix movie is currently taking place in various parts of Scotland. TLC has acquired several photos of filming at Glenfinnan, which feature Harry’s stunt double and the filming crew.

Back in March, MuggleNet reported that JK Rowling will be interviewed on the UK talk show Richard and Judy sometime near her appearance at the Queen’s 80th birthday party. Leaky recently confirmed that Jo’s appearance will be taking place on June 26th from 5 to 6 PM. The show will air on Channel 4.

Dan Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint along with producer David Heyman will be making a video appearance at this year’s Comic-Con International. A taped video message from the set will be played during one of the nights. As of now there are no plans to show preview footage from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

And finally, an article in the June 9th issue of Entertainment Weekly lists Harry Potter as the second most powerful film character behind Wolverine from the X-Men Trilogy.

That’s all the news for this June 4th, 2006 edition of MuggleCast. I’m in Vegas next week. I’ll see you all for Episode 44. Back to the show.


Andrew: All right, thank you Micah. One, one little announcement this week. It’s a big one, too.

Kevin: One little, big announcement?

Andrew: National Wear Your MuggleCast…

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: …one, little – one, single, big announcement this week. [laughs]

Kevin: There you go.

Andrew: National Wear Your MuggleCast T-shirt Day is over.

Ben: Aww.

Andrew: If you’re listening to this on Sunday, it was on Friday, June 2nd, and it was a huge success. Hopefully.

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Ben: Oh, a major success.

Laura: Oh yeah.

Kevin. [laughs] Hopefully.

Andrew: We hope. Listeners from all around the world have worn their MuggleCast T-shirts out and about and took a picture of themselves wearing it to show the world that they love and support MuggleCast.

Ben: Right, all in all we had about sort of between 300,000 and 500,000 participants…

[Andrew laughs]

Ben: Amazing.

Eric: Wouldn’t it be funny if they all said, “Screw you guys,” and actually didn’t do anything? We get like one e-mail from the craziest fan in the inbox, but everyone else kinda like, didn’t wear it.

Andrew: Yeah. That’d be sad. Well, people might be wondering right now, where on earth do you send your pictures in? Send them in to mugglecast at staff dot mugglenet dot com. Put in the subject line “T-shirt Day” and also include your name and the location of where the picture was taken. Check, and there will be a link to a gallery sometime during the week, with all the latest pictures, and we’ll be adding them as we receive them. So make sure you send those in, once again, mugglecast at staff dot mugglenet dot com. Put in the subject line “T-shirt Day.” Put your name, and where the picture was taken.

Ben: And if you didn’t get your fill on MuggleCast T-shirt Day, Wednesday, June 7th is part two of MuggleCast Wear Your T-shirt Day.

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: Wednesday, June 7th is Eric graduation day, thank you very much.

Ben: Oooh.

Andrew: Wear your MuggleCast T-shirts.

Eric: 6-6-6 is my baccalaureate and religious ceremony.

Kevin: Now I’m going to get a hundred voicemails saying, “Congratulations, Eric,” and no voicemails.

[Everyone laughs]

Ben: Yeah, congratulations, Eric.

Kevin: Sort of like someone’s birthday.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: Whose birthday would that be? [laughs] Kevin was like, there are no voicemails. We’re like, go on, Kevin, try to find a voicemail.

Ben: Actually, that was me and John calling in over and over again, just switching our voices.

Andrew: [feigned shock] What?!

Ben: [In different voices] Happy birthday Andrew. Happy birthday Andrew. Happy birthday Andrew. Andrew! Oh my God, happy birthday Andrew!

[Everyone laughs]

Kevin: Oh, God.

Eric: Kevin’s still recovering.

Andrew: Thanks to everyone, by the way, who sent in a little birthday message.

Kevin: Made my ears bleed, thank you.

Andrew: [laughs] I listened to all of them and enjoyed them immensely.

Kevin: Thanks to Kevin recording them.

Andrew: Yeah, all right, thanks to you.

Kevin: Yeah.

Voice Listener Rebuttals

Andrew: And, if you’re in New York or Vegas, let me know and I’ll give you a big hug. Alright, so, moving on this week to something we’re premiering on MuggleCast. [gasps] It is voice listener rebuttals. We’re going to play a small selection of listener rebuttals sent in via 1-218-20-MAGIC, or the username Skype. So here they are right now.

[Audio]: Hello, this is Christina in North Carolina. I have a listener rebuttal regarding the theme of discrimination in the books beyond Chamber of Secrets. I think it’s alive and well. In Prisoner of Azkaban, Lupin cannot remain at Hogwarts after his identity as a werewolf is revealed. Also, Dumbledore says that people are not likely to listen to a werewolf’s evidence. In Goblet of Fire, Rita Skeeter shows prejudice in her article about Hagrid’s giant ancestry. Others obviously support her prejudice, because they write to Hagrid or the school to object to his presence there. When Krum is attacked at the edge of the forest, Fudge suspects Madame Maxime because she is half-giant. In Order of the Phoenix, Umbridge shows her prejudice with her treatment of Hagrid, her attitude towards Lupin as a professor, and her insults against the centaurs. In Half-Blood Prince, Slughorn makes a comment suggesting prejudice towards Muggle-borns, although he denies it to Harry. Trelawney speaks of Firenze abusively. In the memories Harry and Dumbledore visit, the Gaunts are clearly prejudiced against Muggles. I think these examples show that prejudice is a clear theme through all of the books, not just Chamber of Secrets. Thanks, love the show, bye.

[Audio]: Hi MuggleCast, this is Sylvie calling from Massachusetts. I’m calling in with a listener rebuttal about Episode 41. You guys talked about why Professor McGonagall doesn’t like Divination; and do you think it could have anything to do with her, being like Hermione maybe when she was in school, having no aptitude for the subject? She is a brilliant witch, and maybe if she wasn’t that good at Divination, she’d hate it like Hermione. I love the show, bye.

[Audio]: Hello, I’m Alexander from Indiana, and I have a rebuttal on the red and green sparks issue. In Goblet of Fire, Harry accidentally makes gold sparks shoot out of his wand when he’s polishing it before Ollivander sees it. In Sorcerer’s Stone about the midnight duel, Ron says the most Harry and Malfoy will be able to do to each other is shoot sparks. I think this shows sparks are the most basic thing you can do with your wand, and it can happen on accident. Like, they just think, “I want green sparks,” and that’s what they get. I don’t think there’s actually a spell for it. Love the show, thanks.

[Audio]: Hi MuggleCast, this is Ashley from Oregon. I’m calling in a listener rebuttal for the discussion of why James Potter left Dumbledore the Invisibility Cloak. I think that James gave the cloak to him to be used by the Order. The Order, in Order of the Phoenix, has two cloaks. I’m sure that an invisibility cloak has infinite uses to the Order. Also, the note from Dumbledore, folded in the cloak, doesn’t say that James left the cloak in his possession specifically to be given back to Harry. Just that Dumbledore was given the cloak before James died. This could mean a few years before he died, for all we know. Thanks, love the show.

Andrew: All right, thanks to those people who sent those in, and if you have a rebuttal concerning this week’s show and want your voice heard on Episode 43, call your message in to 1-218-20-MAGIC, or Skype the username MuggleCast. And, please keep your rebuttal under, let’s say, a minute long.

Listener Rebuttal – Detention in the Forbidden Forest

Andrew: Now let’s move on to our regular listener rebuttals, sent in via e-mail to mugglecast at staff dot mugglenet dot com. Look how many ways there are to e-mail us and communicate with us. It’s just cutting edge here.

Laura: It’s astounding.

Eric: Ouch! It cut me.

Andrew: First one comes from C. Young, age 18 or older – he put 18 plus – in Singapore, Asia. He writes:

I believe that Dumbledore knows about the detention and I believe he felt that it was safe for Harry to go there. It’s most probably his belief that the sooner Harry sees Voldemort firsthand and learn more about him through incidents like this, the better it is in molding his character and dictating where he wants to go. If Harry was a coward and timid boy, and not the brave, somehow reckless and curious person he is, he could have left it as that and not learned about the stone, and try to prevent the whole Book 1 incident from happening. It is because Harry was intrigued to investigate the stone that actually solved the subsequent unfolding of the events. Dumbledore, I’ve always believed, has a hand in most of the events that Harry has experienced. Dumbledore’s idea is probably to let Harry have a choice in choosing the route that he is meant to take. Just like how Harry said in the chapter “Horcruxes” in HBP, “There is a difference between being dragged into a fighting arena to face a battle to the death, and walking into the arena with the head held high.” Dumbledore wanted to give Harry a chance to learn and finally come to the conclusion that he, Harry, wants to fight Voldemort because he wants to, and not just because the prophecy said so.

So, this is a good explanation to our discussion on why Hagrid would take them out into the Forbidden Forest.

Laura: Mhm.

Andrew: I agree with what he had to say.

Kevin: I do, too. Yeah. Definitely.

Laura: Yeah. I agree, as well.

Eric: Yeah. Additionally – additionally, there’s proof in this week’s chapter that Dumbledore must’ve known or it was very good reassurance – which we’ll talk about later, I guess.

Listener Rebuttal – The Invisibility Cloak

Andrew: Next rebuttal comes from Mayra, 22, of California. She writes:

You were all talking about the fact that Dumbledore gave Harry his invisibility cloak and says, “Just in case.” Well, we all know that Harry is famous. He is the Boy-Who-Lived. Due to that, Dumbledore knows that Harry will always be in danger until Voldemort and his Death Eaters are gone. So until then, Harry needs everything he needs to keep him safe – which is why I also think why it is that Dumbledore allowed Harry to go into the Forbidden Forest – so that Harry could see what he has ahead of him. “Dark and difficult times lie ahead, Harry. Now is the time that we must choose between what is right, and what is easy.”

End quote.

Eric: I don’t know. Last week we talked about – and I guess we have to get into it because it’s about Dumbledore leaving Harry to die. Both these rebuttals kind of made it seem that Dumbledore really gave Harry the choice to go into the forest and really kind of sent him in there, and that’s kind of like saying that these two people would also agree that he let Harry nearly die.

Andrew: Yeah, but it was to build this – this courage, is what they’re saying.

Eric: No, I understand that. That’s why I’m supporting it. But I mean, at the…

Andrew: This could be considered, arguably, his first real test.

Eric: I agree. But not that many people might like the idea that Dumbledore’s testing Harry.

Kevin: Yeah, that’s – well, that’s the problem…

Laura: Mhm.

Kevin: …that we had last week. I mean, we were trying to…

Eric: Yeah.

Kevin: …rationalize why Dumbledore would put him in harm’s way, whether or not it be a test – you know, you don’t…

Eric: Or just an act of…

Kevin: …you still don’t want the kid dying, you know?

Andrew: Right.

Eric: Maybe…

Kevin: Maybe he thought it was a lesser of two evils?

Eric: Either that or he really does hate Harry and he kind of wants him to die.

Kevin: Yeah. Possibly. He’s in league with Voldemort.

Eric: I think that’s it.

Kevin: And…

Andrew: Yeah.

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: All right, Jess.

Eric: Dumbledore and Voldy for…

Laura: [laughs] Yeah, that’s what I was thinking, too.

Kevin: Yeah. [laughs]

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: Could Firenze have been told to kept an eye – keep and eye on him?

Laura: Yeah, that’s what I was thinking – that maybe Dumbledore had faith that Firenze would keep Harry safe.

Eric: No comment. Absolutely no comment.

Kevin: [laughs] Oh geez.

Andrew: Why not, Eric?

Eric: Because we’re going to talk about – all right, I have a chapter-by-chapter thing to bring up.

Kevin: Oh.

Listener Rebuttal – Why McGonagall Hates Divination

Andrew: Oh, okay. Ooh, there’s a little teaser for you. Last rebuttal comes from Mariko of Birmingham, Alabama. Thanks for giving me the pronunciation guide, too. Hopefully I didn’t screw it up. [laughs]

[Eric laughs]


Dear MuggleCasters, this week you had a great discussion on why McGonagall seems to hate divination. I agree with your suggestions – like perhaps she believes it’s better left up to magical creatures or its potential misuse, but it’s actually pretty common for scholarly people to have distaste for a certain concentration. Lots of academics question the value of studying Philosophy – simply one’s opinion, poetry – simply one’s emotions, or statistics – they’re all made up, anyway. My chosen field of study, Psychology, has had to prove itself as a ‘real’ science ever since it began being studied. And I won’t even mention a certain Mr. Cruise. O-M-G.

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: O-M-G.


I think McGonagall is simply, fairly, voicing her opinion of the validity of the subject, and the value of teaching it to students. She is a practical, no-nonsense person; she probably believes that if one has to have a so-called ‘natural gift’ to even perform it, what’s the use in ‘teaching’ it to everybody? And, if you think about it, the trio seemed to have the same opinion: Hermione quit it completely, and Ron and Harry didn’t care about flunking it. If they were teachers, I’m sure they’d probably not place much value into the subject either – which makes me wonder if Harry has changed his mind, now that he knows he is the subject of a prophecy – but that’s another
discussion. Anyway, love the show and keep up the good work.

End quote. And I was going to mention this last week but you can sort of make another real-life connection here – like with my – my math teacher. She absolutely hates English and it’s sort of – it’s a little – it’s a little different…

Laura: Mhm.

Andrew: …because like, it’s Divination… [laughs]

Laura: Well, I think…

Andrew: …versus Transfiguration but…

Laura: I think that we all have that kind of connection because I had a teacher who thought that it was pointless for students to be taking German and French because we live in a country where the next predominant language would be Spanish. So she thought everyone should be taking Spanish because it would be more practical. This same teacher also thought that P.E. was a stupid required credit because not everybody is good at sports. Not everybody is a physical person. So, I don’t know.

Kevin: Yeah. I definitely agree because I know at least from – coming from an engineering aspect, we – there’s great prejudice against Art majors and Music majors, and stuff like that. Just because not many people – at least, within my own major – believe that it’s difficult in any way or it’s rewarding.

Eric: Kevin, you’re currently working on a device that will blow up all the Music majors at UConn, aren’t you?

[Laura laughs]

Kevin: Oh, yeah. Right.

[Eric laughs]

Kevin: I’m plotting against the Art majors.

Laura: Kevin doesn’t like me because I’m going to major in Journalism.

Kevin: Yep. I’m plotting against the Art majors.

[Laura laughs]

Eric: No, but honestly, Andrew, what was the name of the person who sent in this rebuttal?

Andrew: Mariko.

Eric: Mariko? Well, I – because this person gets a cookie.

[Kevin laughs]

Laura: Aww.

Eric: Like, that was just cool how they said about the – poetry influencing the emotion and like, art doing the other thing and I just thought it was really cool. Really well-analyzed. You get a cookie.

Kevin: Can they hold you to that?

Eric: And a gold star. And – well, at least a gold star.

Chapter by Chapter – Chapter 16

Andrew: All right, now it’s time for Chapter by Chapter. This week we are doing Chapter 16 of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone titled, “Through the Trapdoor.” One more chapter to go after this. Yeeaah! Yeah! All right!

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: That’s my new “Yeah, all right.”

Eric: Version two?

[Andrew and Kevin laugh]

Laura: Did you guys know that if we do – if we do one chapter per show, we will be done with Half-Blood Prince by show 188.

Kevin: Wow.

Andrew: Ah, sweet! [laughs]

Eric: [laughs] Never going to get…

Kevin: So depressing.

Eric: [laughs] See, that’s why – that’s why – no, that’s why it was such a good idea – because it keeps us going forever. We can stop when ever we want. Well, you know.

[Laura laughs]

Hagrid at Hog’s Head

Eric: So, Chapter 16 starts and they’re kind of taking exams, which I have to do on Friday and Monday, which really sucks so wish me luck. But anyway, they are taking exams and they just finished their last one – History of Magic – and they go sit by a tree by the lake, which is like, the tree by the lake – it’s like, the famous – the aforementioned or whatever tree. And a few people are playing with the giant squid and stuff like that, and then they’re talking about the stone and Harry seems to be the only one who still cares about the stone – at least as much – because his scar’s continuously hurting and he keeps having dreams. As we mentioned last week, his scar started hurting a lot after his event in the forest.

Suddenly, it occurs to Harry that – well, it’s a little bit strange for Hagrid to just all of a sudden come across a dragon. I mean, they got in trouble with Norbert and all that stuff but all of a sudden, Hagrid just had a dragon egg. So he – he rushes the trio to Hagrid’s hut and asks him about how he got Norbert and they ask him if he saw the stranger, and Hagrid says, “Well, no. He kept his hood up all the time. And there’s a lot of strange people in The Hog’s Head so it’s not uncommon.”

Now that’s just it. That’s what I was mentioning before the show. It’s the Hog’s Head that Hagrid got Norbert at, which means, if Aberforth Dumbledore is the bartender at the Hog’s Head, I would consider it – personally – very unlikely that Dumbledore wouldn’t have known about Hagrid receiving the dragon egg.

Laura: Hmm. I think it’s possible. I think it just depends a lot on how much contact Dumbledore and Aberforth had, because we haven’t really seen that they talk to each other all that much. I mean…

Kevin: It’s true, yeah.

Laura: …what if they didn’t like each other or what if they had a fight?

Eric: Well, the thing is, too, Hagrid is Hogwarts’ gamekeeper. I mean, if your gamekeeper is doing something in the Hog’s Head like an illegal trade with – or some shady guy in a cape is buying him drinks – I don’t know, I thought it would be very probable and assuming that Dumbledore knew, then surely he might have had a better hand in the detention. And everything – and the events that happened that whole night when they returned Norbert to the towers.

Laura: Mmm. But that would’ve meant that he would’ve been counting on Harry and Hermione leaving the invisibility cloak up there on accident. It’s kind of hard for them to get caught if they’ve got a cloak.

Andrew: We’ve talked a little bit about this before, too – concerning like, what kind of contact Aberforth does have with Dumbledore and I think we sort of concluded that it wasn’t much at all.

Eric: Really? Okay.

Andrew: I think.

Eric: Well…

Laura: Yeah.

Andrew: Anyone else remember that?

Eric: I – I don’t know. It’s interesting like, Dumbledore didn’t mention terribly much, but at the same time, we do know that the Hog’s Head has been the scene for probably the best prophecy in the entire world and stuff, and all sorts of shady people like Snape were in there before. So I just thought I’d throw it out there.

Laura: Well, it’s a good observation. I mean, it’s just something that we’re not going to know more about until Book 7, I don’t think.

Eric: I agree.

Andrew: Yeah.

The Location of Dumbledore’s Office

Eric: So, now Hagrid blurts out that he told the stranger, [imitating Hagrid] “All you do it play him a bit of music, and Fluffy falls straight asleep.” So, immediately, they run up into Hogwarts – they’re scared. They’re like, “Oh my God. Hagrid snitched and Snape or Voldemort know about how to get past Fluffy!” So, they’re running around the corridors and they’re looking for Dumbledore’s office but then something occurred to them: they didn’t know anybody who had ever been sent to Dumbledore’s office – they didn’t know where it was. Now, that’s interesting…

Kevin: That struck me.

Eric: Yeah. Didn’t it? Because they didn’t…

Kevin: Because why would they not know where the…

Laura: Mhm.

Kevin: …leader’s – leader of the school’s office is?

Eric: Exactly. Even if you…

Kevin: You know, like…

Andrew: Because…

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: …because they’re first-years. They’ve never been there before.

Kevin: I know but it – that’s kind of like common knowledge.

Eric: Yeah.

Kevin: That’s like, if you have a problem, he’s like – you know.

Andrew: Mm.

Eric: Yeah. Even if you never get sent to the office, you should know where it is. Like…

Andrew: But that’s not like the quote-unquote “Main Office” like there is in elementary sch – or middle schools or whatever.

Laura: Yeah. Exactly.

Kevin: Yeah, but you have to remember that Hogwarts seems to be like a fair school and it seems to me if you’re having a problem with your head of house, Dumbledore would be the one to go to.

Eric: Yeah. Not other teachers who would gossip and do other stuff. I mean…

Kevin: Exactly.

Eric: The whole fact – yeah – the whole fact that Dumbledore has a password-protected office is kind of like saying your teachers or heads of houses should be able to resolve this kind of stuff.

Laura: Yeah. But he lives there, doesn’t he? Isn’t his room right above it? I was always of the impression that the headmaster’s office was connected to a bedroom.

Kevin: I never – really? I never made that assumption. I mean, I thought it was possible, but…

Laura: But that would be like saying that we should know where all the other professors sleep and stuff. And I don’t think they want that being common knowledge. They’d get Dungbombs in the middle of the night.

Kevin: Yeah, but it’s different in the sense that you actually have – you actually have to communicate with Dumbledore, you know what I mean?

Eric: Yeah.

Kevin: I think the reason why Eric and I are confused is because the fact that Dumbledore is the head of the school. You would think that there would be some people who would want to get in contact with him…

Eric: Or office – yeah.

Kevin: …at will.

Eric: Or office hours or something like that. I mean, the thing is, we know that Snape has an office. Like, a private office – neither near the dungeons or near his classroom or something like that. Now, the thing with Dumbledore is, he actually does live up there. It’s said in the actual paragraph; it says on page 267, it says, “They had never been told,” or “They had never been told where Dumbledore lived, nor did they know anyone who had been sent to see him.” So that’s what it says. I mean, he does live up there, and that’s – I guess that’s common knowledge. I mean, I always figured it, but the whole point is still, if you need to see him, what do you do? Because he doesn’t have another office that you can go to that would – like, if you’re worried about security, someone going to where he lives, get somewhere else where you can be contacted. Because, I mean, here in this case, McGonagall came and stopped them and there was really no way she would let them see Dumbledore.

Kevin: Yeah, that’s another thing that I somewhat didn’t like. I think it was some – it was an oversight on McGonagall’s part.

Eric: What was?

Kevin: If – well, I think that you should trust the students to know what level of situation it is, and it’s telling a lot to the students to let them go see the headmaster if they believe it warrants it. You know what I’m saying?

Eric: I would agree with that, and I think that’s one of the things that McGonagall gives Dumbledore credit for – is understanding people a lot better than she does. Dumbledore probably would have certainly heard somebody like Harry out in that situation; whereas she wouldn’t have given him much credit. You know what I’m saying?

Kevin: Yeah. Definitely.

Laura: Hmm. I don’t know. I just always assumed that the reason they didn’t know where it was was that they’d really never had any reason to go to his office. Because anytime throughout the first book where Harry needed Dumbledore’s guidance or where Dumbledore had something he wanted to tell Harry…

Andrew: Exactly.

Eric: So it’s like…

Laura: …Dumbledore came to Harry.

Eric: …don’t go to the man, the man will come to you.

Laura: That’s kind of what I thought.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: Yeah. Well, it’s interesting though, because I mean – according to, I guess, their knowledge, it’s like that they never knew anybody who had been sent to see him. So either there weren’t really big pranksters – you know, if Fred and George Weasley, if we can infer this to mean that they’ve never been sent to see Dumbledore, he at least could have came to them in Filch’s office. But the point is, throughout the rest of the book series, Harry is in Dumbledore’s office quite often. And sure, it’s Harry Potter, but at the same time, the whole first year at least, there’s like this distance between Harry and Dumbledore. And I guess it grows closer and we can make all sorts of inferences, but like I said, even if you’re never sent to the principal’s office, you should kind of know where it is, just in case. I mean…

Why Does Dumbledore Have a Password?

Kevin: Yeah, but that also – I guess it also warrants the question, why would you put a password on your door?

Andrew: Yeah.

Kevin: You know, like…

Eric: Yeah.

Laura: I don’t know. If I were a headmaster of a school, I’d probably want a password on my door too. [laughs] I mean, you get a group of students mad at you, what are they going to do? I don’t – I wouldn’t want them…

Eric: Oh come on. If you’re Dumbledore, you don’t need to be worried…

Andrew: Well…

Eric: …about what students are going to do. I mean, they were nearly…

Laura: I know, but I just think that it’s – I mean, the headmaster’s office has always been there, and I always assumed that that was just part of it – that there’s a password on the headmaster’s office. Because there were probably Headmasters before Dumbledore that weren’t greatly liked.

Kevin: Yeah. Either that…

Andrew: Yeah.

Kevin: …and also, if it is his room, if it’s his bedroom, you – you know…

Andrew: I think it’s there to sort of signify how important the room is. You can’t just, like, stroll in and be like, “Hey! Dumbly!”

Laura: “What’s up?” [laughs]

Andrew: “Dumbly! Dumbly-dor!” [laughs] Yeah.

Eric: Nobody would, though.

Andrew: Well…

Kevin: But it – that’s a point. If you – if you actually emphasize the importance of actually approaching Dumbledore, I’m sure most of the kids will…

Eric: Will not do it! And…

Kevin: …heed that warning. Exactly, yeah.

Eric: And if they do, he’s going to do something about it, like punish you. I mean if you just go in there for no reason, he’s going to scold – you know, say it politely the first time. But the point is, also, every time in the future when Harry does have to see Dumbledore’s office, most of the time – with the exception of I think one time in Chamber of Secrets when he has to guess the password and it’s like ‘lemon drop’ or something, and he gets it – most of the time, he’s accompanied by McGonagall or another teacher who has the password. So, like, all the teachers are kind of guarding the keys to Dumbledore, so it’s kind of in the mind of the teachers if what the kid wants to say is important enough. And that kind of prevents – I mean, my next point is very important, because what…

Andrew: Yeah, let’s move on.

Eric: Yeah, okay. So what – when McGonagall asks what they want to see Dumbledore for, he says, “It’s a secret,” instinctually. Now remember in Book 6, Dumbledore tells Harry not to trust anybody but Hermione and Ron, and he doesn’t tell McGonagall then about the Horcruxes. Well, just similarly, he instinctually, without any forewarning from Dumbledore who to tell or not to tell, he tells McGonagall right away, “It’s a secret.”

Ben: [whispers in an imitation of Harry] “Snape is trying to steal the Sorcerer’s Stone!”

Eric: No! He tells her it’s a secret, and why would he do that? She’s the head of his house. Why can’t he trust her? But instinctually, he just says, “Oh, it’s a secret. We really need to go straight to Dumbledore about this, and we can’t tell you.” And she gets offended by that, just like she does in Book 6. Like, isn’t that cool?

Laura: Well, yeah. It’s a big parallel.

Eric: But that goes with what we’re saying. The teachers hold all the keys to Dumbledore’s office.

Kevin: True.

Eric: [laughs] You know? And that’s kind of not right.

Andrew: Yeah. [laughs]

Hermione’s Personality

Eric: Continuing on with the stuff we actually have to discuss. They get past Fluffy, which is kind of skipping ahead but that’s okay. It’s a little different in the movie, but either way, they play music and he falls straight asleep. Now they fall into the Devil’s Snare – which, again, it’s a little different in the movie: they have to either not struggle or they have to show the sunlight or whatever. And there’s this brilliant moment which I think we all remember when they’re all struggling and Hermione’s all like, “Oh! This is Devil’s Snare! I wish I knew how to defeat it!” and all that stuff. And then she says, “Oh yeah! Fire!” And so Ron’s like, “Good! Use fire!” And she’s like, “But there’s no wood!”

Laura: Mhm. [laughs]

Eric: And he’s like, “Are you crazy? Are you a witch or not?” I thought that was one of the best lines. It’s always funny, it’s always fun to read. But it’s very realistic, I think, to Hermione’s persona, her personality, this whole realist thing, because she is a Muggle-born at heart. And in times of crisis, you’re obviously not really thinking. And even though she’s been at school for a year, the general impression of how to make fire is still in her mind, and she just blurts out, “There’s no wood!” and it makes this funny. But I think it’s a really realistic thing. It’s like one of those clever, clever funny moments…

Laura: Mhm.

The Tasks

Eric: …that Jo put into the series. So [sighs] they go on, and they get past the whole Devil’s Snare, and then they’re in this room of keys – flying keys. They think they’re birds at first, they see keys. So they look around, and they’re thinking, ‘Okay. So we need something – we need a key that’s rusty and old as this door that’s in front of us that’s locked.’ And they look around and they see one with a broken wing, and they realize, ‘Well, that’s probably been used before, so that must be the one,’ and Harry gets on his broom. Now the thing you’ve got to realize, and the thing – and it’s true with all of the rest of the following, upcoming tasks, is that Voldy-Quirrell had to get past all of that stuff.

[Kevin laughs]

Ben: [laughs] Voldy-Quirrell.

Eric: And – that’s what Galadriel Waters calls him. But anyway, so this whole Voldy-Quirrell thing had to get past the keys, and the chess, and the troll – and moving ahead, the logic problem and all of that stuff – once. So assuming that the right key is the only key with the broken wing – I mean, it seems that that’s the only one that was tried, and it was the right one. I hesitate to think that either Voldemort or Quirrell made a good Seeker or would be good on a broomstick like Harry is.

Kevin: Yeah, but you also have to remember that Quirrell is a professor, and being a professor, he’s given – he has the opportunity to overhear certain things about these protections that gives him an advantage over everyone else. So it’s possible he…

Eric: So you’re saying he might have…

Kevin: …knew exactly what key it was using some method, and all he had to do was summon it.

Eric: Okay.

Laura: Mhm.

Eric: I suppose that makes – yeah.

Kevin: I mean, that’s a possibility. I’m not sure if it’s the case, but…

Eric: But yeah, you’re saying basically, he might not have needed to get on the broom and find the exact one as he might have had.

Kevin: That, or what about the fact that maybe they made the wing broken to begin with? Because they have to distinguish it themselves as well.

Eric: But why would they do that? That would be… huh. But there might be other ways to distinguish it.

Ben: Well yeah, but whoever set up that part of the task would – I mean that little part of the maze, or puzzle, or whatever you want to call it – whoever set up that particular part would have to already know which key it was. So they wouldn’t have to set it apart themselves, because isn’t it the old, rusty one?

Eric: Well, I’m sure there’s probably semi-rusty ones. I mean…

Kevin: Yeah, I see…

Eric: If it were the only rusty one, it would be a little too easy. I mean…

Kevin: Either way, there has to be a way for the people who protected the stone to distinguish a key from the others. Whether or not it was the broken wing to begin with or otherwise, I’m sure that Quirrell had that knowledge and was able to…

Andrew: Well, it could have been a completely different key. It still would have been hard to notice in the whole mix of them all.

Eric: Yeah, even if you have the right – I mean, that’s why I think maybe – like, if he wasn’t good on a broom, if he couldn’t figure it out on the spot and follow the rusty key that fit or matched the Victorian setting or whatever it was. It’s kind of like the question you have to ask – if a first year could really get past all of these defenses and stuff? And you have to take a look at all the things that aided them on their way and through all the stuff. And I guess it’s – it seems reasonable to me that Quirrell had another way of distinguishing, because thinking about it second-wise, I don’t think it’s likely that they would have broken the wing of the key.

Three Broomsticks

Laura: Speaking of – speaking of aid, didn’t you guys find it a bit interesting that there were conveniently three broomsticks in that room?

Ben: Yeah, that’s…

Andrew: Oh, was there?

Eric: No, I think that’s…

Laura: Yeah.

Eric: I think that’s one of the cases where, like the chess, which is coming up, I think the room resets itself to what you need. Kind of like the Room of Requirement. But I think if it sensed the three people coming…

Laura: Oh, yeah.

Andrew: Really?

Eric: …I think that three brooms would appear. Like, do you think…

Laura: That’s possible. I just sort of thought that maybe if Dumbledore wanted Harry to face Voldemort, he would assume that Ron and Hermione would come with him too. It would, I guess, support the theory that Dumbledore wanted to give Harry the chance.

Eric: But that’s also what I wanted to talk about. You’ve got to understand. First of all, if there were three brooms in the room, that would be kind of like all the other teachers who saw the three brooms will be like, “Okay, what the heck are you doing?” And second of all, it would kind of add to the mystery of the thing if Quirrell walked in there alone and saw three brooms. But tertiary, which is – I got a thousand emails when I first started saying that.

Kevin: Yeah, no kidding.

Ben: Three after the second episode.

[Laura laughs]

Eric: Tertiarily, if that’s…

Andrew: Thanks to everyone.

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Eric: Thanks to everyone from like forty episodes ago.

Andrew: Literally.

Eric: Okay.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: The fact is, Dumbledore – remember this – Dumbledore was actually apparently genuinely confused and misguided by the letter from the Ministry. Like, I don’t – I don’t think it’s likely that he put the three brooms in the chamber because that would mean he knew Harry was going to go through the trapdoor and all the stuff. And maybe he did, but at the same time, you’ve got to understand that Dumbledore actually was apparently mistaken about the – and fooled by the the letter from the Ministry. And immediately after he’d left, yeah, he did know he’d done something wrong, but he did leave Hogwarts, and he was thrown off guard. So…

Kevin: Yeah, but that – I think she put that in just for – to show that Dumbledore isn’t invincible. He…

Eric: Invincible, right. But it’s one thing to be confused and one thing to leave Hogwarts and actually let things happen. I don’t think he was like, “Okay, I’m going to put these three broomsticks in here for” – [laughs] – “The Three Broomsticks.”

Laura: Well, no, no, no, no. That’s not what I’m saying. What I’m saying is he could’ve put those broomsticks in there ages ago. He could’ve put them in there when he moved the Mirror of Erised down there.

Eric: Well right, but again…

Laura: It doesn’t mean that he knew that day the trio were going to go down to the chamber and stuff.

Kevin: And remember we’re under the – we really don’t know enough about the rooms to actually make…

Eric: Any kind of…

Kevin: …any kind of – because for all we know, that room was enchanted so that brooms appeared based on the number of people in the room.

Eric: Well that’s how I think it would go…

Andrew: That’s what Eric just said…

Laura: It’s possible.

Eric: And that’s how I think it will go, because otherwise I think if everybody – if all the teachers who put enchantments on each of those rooms just happened to cross through the room and saw three broomsticks there, they’re like, “Okay, what’s going on? Not even one person should be able to come and get the Stone.” That’s how well protected they are.

Andrew: Yeah.

Kevin: Yeah.

Eric: So, you know…

Andrew: That’s a good point.

Laura: That makes sense.

Ron’s Strategy Skills

Eric: Chess. Chess, chess, chess, chess…it’s wizard’s chess. So anyway…

Kevin: I liked this the best. This was my favorite…

Eric: Yeah, this is genuinely awesome. It was just – it was cool. So, Ron obviously takes the lead in this chess game because he says, “No offense, but you guys kind of suck at chess.” [laughs] And they’re like, “We’re not offended.” So anyway, [laughs] Ron has this gift for strategy, but that’s what I want to question here, because he’s really good in this match and it turns out really well and we all know that. But where does Ron use this gift for strategy later in the books? Do you guys – because he’s too busy, I think, getting really offended and really worked up about a lot of stuff in the future. Does he ever really use this strategy side of him in later books? Or was it…

Kevin: I’ve always had the that feeling that we’ll see it, yeah.

Ben: I think Book 7 is going to – yeah…

Laura: Mhm.

Ben: …Book 7 is going to set that up.

Kevin: I think that the reason we haven’t seen it to this day is the reason you presented, which is that he was too caught on himself and things going on in the teenager schooling thing to actually use some of his skills.

Eric: I think that makes sense.

Andrew: I think this is good too because it led a lot of people to believe – I was too young to probably think about this – but it probably led a lot of people to believe that Ron was going to be like Harry’s right-hand man with all this lifesaving and everything…

Eric: You know, that makes sense.

Andrew: …possibly, in future books. And then, it didn’t really happen.

Eric: Because – yeah, you’re right. Because this whole thing where Ron takes charge of Harry in the chess thing and then Hermione takes charge of things in the next room, I think that’s kind of cool and it shows, yeah, that they will be together as a trio.

The Logic Puzzle

Andrew: Yeah. So then, they move along to this logic puzzle.

Eric: [laughs] This logic puzzle is really awesome. It’s cool that it kind of has two possible things, but at the same time, Hermione figures it out in no time, which is really awesome because she’s all logical and stuff. And [sighs] it’s – there’s this heartwarming moment where Hermione says, “Oh, you’re better than me. You’re a better wizard than I am a witch.”

Ben: Who’s better than me?

Eric: And stuff. So she takes the potion to go back and he takes the potion to go forward and that is the end of the chapter when he realizes that the person in front of them is not Snape or Voldemort.

Andrew: What? It’s not?

Laura: Who will it be? Find out next time.

Eric: [laughs] Tune in next week!

Kevin: Yeah. [laughs]

Eric: Or just like, flip the page and read the first three words.

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: “It was ‘beep.'”

[Laura laughs]

Editorial Discussion – Robbie Fischer

Andrew: Well, well, well – this week for you we have another editorial discussion. I believe this is our third one?

Laura: Third one, yep.

Andrew: Laura?

Laura: And welcome back to the editorial segment of MuggleCast, everyone. This is the part of the show where Micah and I sit down and have a little chat with some one MuggleNet’s top staff from our “World Famous Editorials” section. First off, we’d like to apologize for the infrequency of this segment. Unfortunately, the lovely people who work with our editorials have lives, unlike us. But, it’s always a pleasure when we can schedule someone to give us a few minutes of their time. And this week we’re joined by Robbie Fisher. So, Robbie, why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do around the site, and just some general background info.

Robbie: Hi. I don’t actually do very much in the backstage part of the site. I, more or less, just write e-mails and send them to my editor – my lovely editor, Sara. And there were a couple of editors before her who eventually lost their patience with me. I think one of them may have jumped off a bridge or something. She just disappeared.

Laura: Oh no! [laughs]

Robbie: But, with infinite patience, they get e-mails from me with my editorials and columns and then they do all the work of making them pretty for MuggleNet so you can actually read what I wrote.

Laura: So, you run “The Book Trolley” and “The Magic Quill,” correct?

Robbie: Yes.

Laura: So, why don’t you tell us a little bit about those?

Robbie: Well, I believe I started “The Book Trolley” first and it actually kind of dates back to before I even discovered Harry Potter. I have a dear friend named Heather who is a teacher in Alaska, north of the Arctic Circle. She spends nine months of the year in the frozen tundra where she can’t get out to watch movies and all she has to read are what’s in the school library at the school she teaches at. So, I had been sending her movie reviews and book reviews for several years. And then, I got interested in Harry Potter and I was surfing around the Internet and I found MuggleNet, and I really respected what Emerson and the crew were doing and I wanted to contribute. So, I started writing editorials. I’m very proud of “The Book Trolley.”

Laura: I was curious about how much time, would you say, you put into “The Magic Quill” and “The Book Trolley”? How much time does it take to write an editorial or a book review? How much time weekly? Monthly?

Robbie: That’s a good question. I think “The Magic Quill” doesn’t take quite as long. I try to write one every weekend and I think if I just set aside a couple three hours on a Saturday morning or Sunday afternoon, I can easily do a “Magic Quill,” especially if I’m inspired by a really neat concept.

Nowadays, instead of asking for 150 word idea, we’re kind of experimenting with this “Double Challenge” thing where people can respond to a specific question, like, “Give me a spell” or “Give me a magical creature.” And that’s – I think that’s really sort of revitalized “The Magic Quill.” It was kind of dying for a while and I think it’s kind of come back to life, because having a more specific goal to go for inspires people to think of something really imaginative and really cool and it feeds off, kind of, not just my own creativity, but the creative input of so many different people; that energy just keeps it going.

As for “The Book Trolley” I think I spend probably most of my MuggleNet-related time reading books. And it’s something I would have done with or without “The Book Trolley,” with or without MuggleNet. But it kind of makes me feel – I guess you could feel guilty about spending a lot of time reading because it’s time you’re just kind of spending on yourself, and reading isn’t a real collaborative thing. It’s not a group activity, really. You can’t – unless you belong to a book club and you get together and talk about the same book. I think a lot of people sit at home and watch TV together because it’s something you really can do together, more so than reading. But, being able to take the book that I’m reading and review it and share it with other people kind of takes an edge off the guilt. I can say this wasn’t just for my own pleasure, but I’m sharing it with someone else and it’s helping someone else find the next thing to read after Harry Potter.

Micah: I guess, sort of turning away from “The Book Trolley” and “The Magic Quill,” what other editorials do you find most interesting? Is there a section on MuggleNet that you enjoy?

Robbie: Oh, yes. My favorite column on MuggleNet – and you can quote me on this – is “The U-Bend.”

Laura: I love that one, too!

Robbie: I love “The U-Bend.” I’m just sorry that they don’t publish a new chapter more often because it just cracks me up. Those guys have a great sense of humor and I feel a kinship with them. I think you can sense that from the fact they let me write a couple of their columns for them. [laughs] In one case, they asked me to do it and the other case I just sent it to them and said, “Use this sometime when you run out of ideas.” But, I’m really thrilled to have them on there, too, sharing the spirit of fun.

It’s like, when I was a teenager, I was kind of in to Star Trek and it was something I didn’t like to admit too often because a lot of Star Trek fans took it so seriously, it was embarrassing. And it was painful too because you could see the seriousness with which they took the show, kind of taking the fun out of it for them.

I think I’ll keep enjoying Harry Potter and MuggleNet as long as they continue to be fun – and that’s one of the things “The U-Bend” contributes. I don’t want anyone to say that “The U-Bend” is bad or a bad influence or that it’s making fun of things that people should take seriously, because humor and fun should be a major part of the reason people share Harry Potter.

Laura: Mhm. I’d like to agree with that. And, do you have any last things you want to say? Any special theories you might have? Any shout-outs to anyone?

Robbie: Oh, no. You see I’ve tried the – every time a new book has been coming out, I’ve submitted a column about what I think is going to happen, and I’ve been wrong every single time.

[Laura and Micah laugh]

Robbie: And you know, they’re not my best columns, either. I think most have them haven’t even been printed because they were – they really didn’t stand out from what anyone else was doing. There are so many smarter people with better ideas, and who have paid more attention to the details than I have. If I – I think the one time that I had a theory that I thought was pretty cool, it was one of the – I think it was part of The Burrow, where the topic was, why didn’t Voldemort die when he tried to kill Harry? And I wrote this column called, “I know I know,” which was a quote from Harry himself in the fifth book where I had this far out ridiculous theory that – this was before Book 6 came out – that the reason Voldemort lived was that he had somehow transformed his heart into some inanimate object like a bed post or a FabergĂ© egg or something, and as long as that object remained intact, you could do anything to Voldemort and he wouldn’t die.

Laura: Ah, that’s interesting.

Micah: You weren’t too far off.

Robbie: I wasn’t too far off when…

[Laura laughs]

Robbie: …When Book 6 came out, I felt uncomfortably close to the truth then, but it wasn’t exactly – It wasn’t the truth maybe that, what do you call it, the changeling hypothesis, might have been closer than that. I try to stay away from serious theories about what’s going to happen, because I’d rather find out the way the rest of the world finds out: Wait until the next book comes out and see what wonderful surprise JK Rowling gives to us.

Micah: Okay.

Laura: All right.

Micah: We did this with Sara and Katie last time?

Robbie: Mhm.

Micah: This lightning round. Laura, do you want to start it off?

Laura: Sure, all right.

Micah: Cue the music.

[Laura and Micah laugh]

Laura: Dun, dun, dun, dun, dun! Alright, Robbie. Dumbledore: Dead or alive?

Robbie: Dead.

Laura: Yes!

Micah: Snape: Good or evil?

Robbie: Evil.

Laura: Favorite Harry Potter book?

Robbie: Oh, I think it would have to be Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

Micah: Favorite Harry Potter movie?

Robbie: Harry Potter and – now that’s a tough one. I think it might be Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

Laura: And what’s your favorite Harry Potter character?

Robbie: Hagrid. Definitely Hagrid.

[Laura laughs]

Robbie: I see him in the mirror every morning.

[Micah laughs]

Laura: Oh really?

Robbie: I look like Hagrid.

Laura: Oh, that’s awesome. That’s so cool! [laughs] Sadly, that’s all we have time for this week. Robbie, thanks for joining us. It was great having you on.

Robbie: Thank you.

Laura: And again, Robbie runs “The Book Trolley” and “The Magic Quill,” so be sure to check those out, and as we’ve stated before, we’re having a hard time getting people who have time to make it onto the segment, so if you have a favorite editorial on MuggleNet, or even if you’ve written one on MuggleNet, write to us. Laura at staff dot MuggleNet dot com, or Micah at staff dot MuggleNet dot com, and let us know and we’ll be happy to get in touch with you. And…

Micah: And one more thing.

Laura: Hmm?

Micah: If you want to make a submission for “The Magic Quill,” they can get in touch with you through the feedback form, right?

Robbie: Or they can go to the Chamber of Secrets forum on the latest “Magic Quill” chapter, which, either way works.

Micah: Okay.

Laura: Awesome. Well, until next time. Bye, everyone.

Robbie: Bye bye!

Micah: Bye.

Give Me a Butterbeer

Andrew: Okay, well we have a great Give me a Butterbeer segment for you this week. Benjamin Schoen, take it away.

Ben: Of course.

Andrew: Yeeah.

Ben: Gimme a Butterbeer is back again this week, folks. Thanks for the feedback on last week’s segment. Due to its sheer popularity, Harry Potter has taken a lot of flack for things it couldn’t possibly have caused. Which leads us to this week’s segment.

Blame it all on Harry.

I hope you heard our discussion on Christianity and Harry Potter. Beyond religious objections, Harry has been blamed for everything from headaches and depression to back problems from lugging around large copies of Order of the Phoenix. This past week we saw the HP books get the blame for something completely absurd: Promotion of violence. A prominent US psychologist says popular fictional characters such as Hermione Granger could be contributing to an increase in violence among girls. As the series progresses, Hermione has begun to develop more and more courage to stand up for herself. Finally, she gets fed up with the pompous Draco Malfoy and with the appropriately named, “slap heard round the world,” sends a message to Draco that she isn’t going to put up with his harassment any longer. Three years worth of hatred and emotions led to her exploding and slapping Draco in that one instant. If the situation WERE real life it could be perfectly understood, if not condoned.

But, oh yeah, guys, let’s not forget that Harry Potter is a FICTIONAL series. Especially for those of you who are listening to the show, that can be easily overlooked. We spend week after week talking about this stuff like it’s actually happening somewhere in the world. Newsflash for all the Harry-haters out there: It’s not. The expert who has accused Hermione’s character of promoting violence said, “It used to be very rare to find women to participate in armed robbery. It used to be very rare to see female gang members behaving in a violent way and that is more common now.” I know that fictional stories may have an impact on people, but making the connection between females reading Harry Potter and armed robbery seems just a little bit out there.

Once again, the underlying moral and POSITIVE lessons of Harry Potter go completely ignored. Forget friendship, love and caring – let’s focus on trying to make illogical connections between Harry Potter and violence, depression, and discrimination: Ironically, many of the messages that Jo is attempting to condemn.

I’m Ben Schoen and I say, give me a Butterbeer!

[Laura laughs]

Eric: This is crap. Not the Give me a Butterbeer, this article.

Laura: [laughs] It is.

Eric: This article [laughs]. No, Ben, you did a fantastic job but I think Hermione was the worst person to blame or use as an example for promoting senseless violence, considering Ben said himself it took three years to get this kind of a reaction out of her. To me, Hermione has always been the more logical, more caring, more fair person of the trio. She’s the one who holds Harry and Ron back from beating up Draco – as many times as they want to. Even in Book 2, I use this as the example even in book 2, when he calls her a Mudblood, when Malfoy is going around calling her Mudblood and all this other stuff and insulting her very being and existence, she’s the one who suggests that he’s not actually the heir of Slytherin. She gives him all the credit, and more than he deserves, and when she does finally hit him, it’s like the culmination of huge events, and it’s not like this senseless violence thing that means girls everywhere are going to learn that it’s okay to hit boys no matter what. You know what I’m saying?

Laura: No, Eric. I don’t know what you’re saying, because I know that Hermione made me violent. I’m so mean to you guys every week. No – [laughs]

Eric: Just because…

[Ben and Eric laugh]

Eric: Just because you have a tattoo of Hermione and you wear this shirt that shows it every time you beat kids up…

Laura: That’s right, Eric. No – In all honesty I…

Eric: You were beating on Mark Evans again, weren’t you? Weren’t you beating Mark Evans again? Out by the…

Laura: Sure, sure. Sure, I was.

Andrew: Mark Evans? MARK EVANS?

[Eric and Laura laugh]

Andrew: WHO? WHO?

Laura: Whenever I read this article, I just couldn’t help but feel like, “What a load of crap!” It was just – Yes, women’s roles have progressed in society, and it’s not due to literature or TV or video games, it’s due to the fact that women have taken on a more equal role within society. So, yes, you are going to have more crimes committed by women. Last time I checked, a children’s fictional novel does not promote for – what did they say in the article? Teenage girls to go out and kill taxi drivers?

Eric: Yeah! There’s these two fourteen-year-olds that killed taxi drivers.

Laura: That is so ridiculous!

Andrew: I mean, not only that, Laura, but it could also be attributed to the family that you grow up in, and bullying…

Laura: Yeah, exactly!

Andrew: …and yeah! All of that. There’s so many different factors, but blaming it on one thing, such as Harry Potter. You know, this guy could have been more professional and said the girls must have had a bad family…

Eric: Yeah!

Andrew: …and they lived out on the streets or something. Yeah, okay it could be attributed to that. Who knows if these two girls even saw the Harry Potter movie? I mean, they probably did [laughs] but, you know.

Ben: Right. [laughs]

Eric: He’s just saying, you know, that – I mean the article says that girls have [says mockingly] traditionally learned to suppress violent tendencies. That means they’ve been oppressed!

Laura: Right.

Eric: Forever!

Laura: Right, right. Okay. [laughs]

Eric: They’ve been oppressed and it’s like this whole thing about equality and…

Ben: Well, what’s absurd is – Okay, for example, remember when the Columbine shootings happened? The thing that people automatically looked towards was not the fact that these were two kids that were picked on incessantly while they were in school, but it was the fact that they played the videogame Doom.

Eric: Oh, come on.

Laura: I play Doom!

Eric: [sings] Doo doo doo doo doo…

Ben: They played Doom, so they must have went and shot up the entire school. That’s not how that works, and we all know that’s not how it works. People try to place the blame on something instead of looking to the actual reason that people have for their actions. It’s not because they listen to heavy metal music, and it’s not because they [laughs] read Harry Potter, it’s because their environment that they grow up in, and that’s the thing that should be first and foremost considered beyond what books they read.

Eric: It’s true!

Laura: Well, people just have such a hard time accepting the fact that maybe a parent did something wrong. Maybe their kid did something wrong. No one wants to admit that, “My kid might have bullied someone to the point where they were just insane!” They want to say, “Oh, well, they sat there and they played Doom or they listened to rock music, and that made them violent.” And it’s just not true.

Andrew: Not just that. Doom’s a good example, but what makes a lot of news stories these days is Grand Theft Auto, because you’re killing cops, and you’re hijacking cars, and hookers… I don’t think this even needs to be – yeah! It’s just – I mean I can see where they are coming from because Grand Theft Auto is very realistic. It’s people, it’s a city. As graphics and video game systems become more improved – But that’s just not an excuse.

Eric: I think it alleviates any need to – I think it’s a lot easier. It’s one thing to push the circle button and blow somebody’s head off and actually do it in real life, and I think it’s a gross underestimation to think that the same things could be possible, and people could just go out – But I agree, maybe video games have some effect, but I agree with what Laura was saying, which is that it’s a lot – I mean, family issues, as Ben said, should be first and foremost called into action, but again as Laura said, usually they’re the first things to be disregarded. Nobody wants to say, “Maybe I’m a bad parent.” Nobody does! Because that is like saying that it is contradicting everything that you believe, and it’s admitting a flaw in yourself, and that’s the one thing people just can’t do. I mean, look at your parents. They have flaws, but you wonder if your parents grew up fearing for their lives in bomb shelters when the Vietnam and the Cold War went on. You know, they had these air raids sirens, and testing grounds, and you know your parents grew up fearing several years throughout their lives. And I know they crumbled up in corners, but as a society the American people – all these things affected our parents, and our parents’ parents weren’t that great people, either, and nobody is perfect. So this whole chain of events that comes down, and nobody’s parents are perfect! So there’s all these different abuses and all these different problems that we face, and nobody looks at that. Nobody looks at it at all. Do you think JKR will mention this violence things? Because she has this whole recoil…

Laura: Yes.

Eric: …thing from about the fat article, but do you really think she would go at it and actually – would she dismiss this kind of an article?

Ben: Actually, she’s going to mention me.

Andrew: Yeah [laughs].

Ben: “Ben from MuggleCast already handled this story.”

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: She would choose it to be like, “By the way I’ve already listened to MuggleCast AND Ben was like the coolest thing ever, k-thx-bye.”

Andrew: [laughs] He helped me write a whole other chapter of the book.

Ben: Yeah [laughs]

Andrew: Why don’t we brag about that more on MuggleNet? Seriously. We’re like – We like saved Book 7.

Eric: Yeah, we saved Book 7. Andy did.

Laura: We should add that to the little slogans…

Andrew: [laughs] We saved Book 7!

Laura: …that change at the top of the screen.

Andrew: We saved Book 7.

Laura: We saved Book 7.

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: We saved Book … [laughs]

Andrew: HP 7 is coming out a week earlier because of us. You can thank us with donations.


Andrew: Is Jo serious, though? Or is that just sort of like…

Laura: I think she was kidding.

Ben: That’s not serious.

Andrew: Well, I’m sure if Andy happened to run into her, I’m sure she would spend a moment talking to him about the article and all that.

Laura: Sign a book.

Andrew: It’s not like Andy is granted three wishes. [laughs]

Ben: Yeah, from Jo.

[Everyone laughing]

Ben: Three wishes from Jo.

Kevin: Yeah.

Eric: But within a reason I think if he were to somehow – we don’t know if he’s contacted her. We don’t know if she’s contacted him. They might have exchanged [indecipherable] and addresses.

Andrew: I doubt it.

Eric: You doubt it. You doubt it.

Kevin: I highly doubt that one, though.

Eric: Okay, okay.

Laura: This is how well we know what our staff does. We have no clue what Andy has done. [laughs]

Andrew: I think I’m going to have to break Damon’s e-mail policy again.

[Everyone laughs]

Voicemail – “Rejoined”

Andrew: So, anyway. Now let’s move on to this week’s general voicemail questions. First voicemail today asks us to analyze something said by Dumbledore in Order of the Phoenix.

[Audio]: Hi, this is Anna from Miami. I want your opinion. In Order of the Phoenix when Dumbledore defends Snape against Karkaroff, he says, “Severus Snape was indeed a Death Eater. However, he rejoined our side before Lord Voldemort’s downfall.” I find it interesting that Dumbledore used the word “rejoined” instead of joined. Do you think Jo was giving us a clue? Thanks.

Eric: But I think that just implies that everybody regarded him as good and only – if you’re a Death Eater, you aren’t born a Death Eater, I don’t think. You join them.

Laura: Yeah, that’s what I thought.

Andrew: You’re going to start out good.

Eric: So, just like – yeah – by rejoining I think it just means that he came back to the side that everybody thought he was on before he was…

Andrew: That’s exactly what I think.

Kevin: Yeah, same here.

Eric: The question is, guys, what do you think – we mentioned Book 5, but we know now that it was – not only was it Snape who heard the prophecy in the Hog’s Head, which we find out in Book 6, but there was a year to go or something. If the prophecy says, “The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord will be born as the seventh month dies.” That’s assuming that it’s not yet July, and additionally, not only was Harry born but he was one year old and it was October. It was Halloween night, so he was a year and two months old exactly by the time Voldemort came around knocking on their door. So, that was a lot of time during which Snape could have confessed the prophecy and Voldemort really prepared for this whole thing. You’d think that he’d been more prepared for the attack or at least – it’s a strange absence of time. A whole freaking year passed before Voldemort really acted on his prophecy. Yet, it seems like – it seems like it happened all so fast. It seemed like, oh Snape turned traitor and told the prophecy or if Dumbledore knew that it was Snape, why didn’t he turn him before or – Snape had a lot of interaction with the Dark Lord between the time when he told him the prophecy and the time Voldemort actually had the downfall. What do you guys think?

Laura: Yeah.

Kevin: Yeah, but you also have to count in the time that they were hiding the Potters. It may have taken Pettigrew that long to convert. You know what I’m saying? Because remember, Pettigrew always went on who was winning the war.

Eric: Oh, so you’re saying he…

Kevin: If he saw that…at least, I think that.

Eric: Yeah.

Kevin: If he saw that the good side was winning, he’s going to side with them. Once he sees that shift in power, it’s possible that’s when he decided to approach Voldemort.

Eric: So, Voldemort kind of needed to move all his pieces once that had…

Kevin: Exactly, exactly.

Eric: Okay, so it was kind of like…yeah.

Laura: But didn’t it say – didn’t it say in Prisoner of Azkaban that someone close to the Potters had been feeding information to Voldemort for over a year before they died?

Eric: Oh wait, then that’s really interesting.

Kevin: Yeah, then that is interesting.

Eric: Could that not be Snape, though? If you think about it…

Ben: Yeah.

Kevin: Did they confirm it was…

Laura: He wasn’t close, though.

Eric: Pettigrew, but…

Kevin: Pettigrew? I think that…

Laura: I thought that they alluded to the fact that it was Pettigrew because they said it was someone close to the Potters and Sirius thought that Remus was the traitor.

Eric: That’s interesting because you guys are pointing out – I like what Kevin said about the whole shift in power and how Pettigrew’s always playing the field. I think that works and I think it would make sense. Kind of like the Bertha Jorkins account, they just had to wait for the right time for everything to unravel and Voldemort was very patient in his revival. No matter how desperate he was, he was always patient to figure out what was going on and wait for the World Cup to plan this. So now, it doesn’t make any sense if now Voldemort – if Pettigrew plays the field, then he must have really been biased into believing that Voldemort was winning from the beginning if he was passing information a year before, since the prophecy hadn’t been cast.

Laura: You also have to remember that Voldemort had to decide whether it was going to be Harry or Neville, and we don’t really know what kind of process went into that…how he came to that decision.

Eric: That’s true, and it’s interesting to say – as it was pointed out by Dumbledore that he chose the half-blood as opposed to the pureblood. But that brings in also Barty Crouch and the entire Bellatrix Lestrange and her brother, and her husband and his brother or whatever – and why they went to the Pettigrew’s house and tortured the Longbottoms. Why were the Longbottoms tortured? Not just killed or done with – they were actually tortured and Neville was hit by curses and stuff like that. We don’t know what that whole thing was about, but that’s not really the voicemail question, either. There’s a lot of timeframe between all of that and I wonder what Snape could have done or Pettigrew could have done in that time.

Voicemail – “No Comment”?

Andrew: Our second caller today asks about a reaction from Jo during her interview with MuggleNet and The Leaky Cauldron.

[Audio]: Hi, my name’s Alyssa from New Jersey. In the MuggleNet-Leaky Cauldron interview with J.K. Rowling after the release of Book 6, Melissa asked if there was anyone else present in Godric’s Hollow the night Harry’s parents were killed, and Jo said, “no comment.” I was wondering what your thoughts were on that. Thanks, bye.

Andrew: Jersey represent. [laughs]

Ben: That’s a terrible state…

[Everyone laughs]

Ben: …Terrible state. Terrible state.

Eric: “No comment” generally means, yes, every single character in the background of the entire world was there…

[Laura laughs]

Eric: …and that – I think it makes sense that there’s other people there. It’s a possibility that the bodies of Lily and James could have been recovered enough to bury them.

Andrew: Right. No, what the question is, what does “no comment” mean? And I think it means we’ll be seeing more of it in Book 7. Or we’ll find out in Book 7.

Eric: Oh, well of course. We’re not going…

Laura: Of course.

Eric: …to go to Godric’s Hollow and not find out what happened there. That would suck.

Andrew: Yeah, but I mean – she does it a couple times in the interview and what I’m saying is, it’s pretty significant, I think. Might be more significant then her just dropping some dumb hint that no one’s going to figure out.

Eric: What interests me is – is funny because we don’t know – as said before, I don’t really need to reiterate, we don’t know a lot about Godric’s Hollow, but at the same time we always get these things. Like these interviews where the news articles – these kids have a personal connection with JKR and they write these letters telling her what they think will happen in Book 7 and she says, “Oh, I get these letters from fans or I skim the boards and I’m really surprised at what they come up with.” So, she basically says that a lot of us have general ideas that kind of scare her with how close they are, but then at the same time, there’s this whole bit that we don’t know. It’s very vaguely intriguing about – we must be dead on without knowing what we’re doing at the same time. I don’t know. Who else do you think could have been present that night? If you think about it, a lot of them would probably know, if they were there long enough, that Sirius wasn’t actually the traitor. Or would they? Or would that disprove? How much would they have seen if they…

Ben: No, they wouldn’t. Well, did Pettigrew go with Voldemort to the house?

Laura: I always wondered that. I’ve seen a lot of fan fictions where people have Pettigrew at the killing…Mhm.

Kevin: I don’t think – I don’t think that he would be at the killing, though.

Laura: The thing – see, on one hand…

Kevin: It would totally compromise his position and Voldemort still…

Laura: How could it compromise his position, though? They were going to kill the Potters; it’s not like they were going to tell.

Kevin: Oh, that’s true, and the people who know that he’s a Secret-Keeper would know that he betrayed them upon the Potters’ death.

Eric: Yeah, I think it would kind of be like Peter to show up at James and Lily and say “ha, ha” type thing. Where he would be there present, you know what I’m saying?

Laura: I don’t know if he’d actually be able to face them. If Peter were there, I could almost see him being there as a result of Voldemort forcing him.

Ben: Yeah, that’s the only way he would have been there because he’s not very brave.

Eric: Well, a reoccurrence. There’s two questions. One is, if the Potters were under the Fidelius Charm, which they were, even if there was anybody else in Godric’s Hollow, would they be able to find the Potters? Even to bury them? Even to take them out of the house? Would they be able to find the Potters? That’s the question. But Hagrid could find Harry.

Ben: I think it’s a misunderstanding to think that their bodies were completely destroyed.

Laura: Well, it is because Sirius said that he saw their bodies.

Ben: Look at Dumbledore.

Laura: Yeah, he did.

Ben: Dumbledore, he was a rare occurrence when he shot up into the air but they still had a funeral for him. It wasn’t a case where they were completely obliterated. Harry just saw a flash of green light which means it was just Avada Kedavra. So likely enough, they just collapsed.

Eric: Yet, somehow the house fell down, but yeah. I agree with you, though. That…

Ben: He could have destroyed the house.

Eric: My question was the Fidelius Charm: Could people actually be able to find the Potters after they died and…

Ben: Oh, that’s a good point. How could they find the Potters – well, technically since the Potters were dead, the charm would no longer be lingering. So…

Eric: Or it would no longer be exactly pertinent that it work. So, anyway, a reoccurrence that I wanted to point out here, since I remember this, is silly girl. It’s just those two words. Silly girl. Now, Harry seems to recall more and more about the night of his parents’ murder throughout the books and, in Book 3, he actually heard a high-pitched cackling voice say, “Stand aside, you silly girl,” and then high-pitched laughing. Now, Snape – Severus Snape calls Hermione a silly girl several times throughout the book, as well, as Rita Skeeter actually calls Hermione, I believe it is, a silly girl. Just the term silly girl…

Kevin: Oh, that’s interesting.

Eric: …always, always stuck out to me…

Laura: Mhm, that is interesting.

Eric: …as the thing Voldemort said, but most of the time it’s actually said, it’s not by Voldemort. So…

Laura: Have we actually ever heard Voldemort say that? I don’t think we have.

Eric: No, it’s just according to Harry’s memory…

Kevin: Yeah, but at the same time, you have to remember, how much have we seen of Voldemort?

Laura: That’s true.

Eric: But all Harry remembers is, “Stand aside, you silly girl.” But I think it’s three people; Umbridge might have. I think Rita Skeeter definitely did and I know Snape has called either Hermione or another person a silly girl. And the term itself, silly girl, is very – even sexist, but it’s just very offensive, you know. Silly girl. It’s such a unique term to use, yet several characters have used it and it really makes me wonder who else was there that night if Voldemort wasn’t the one saying silly girl, because a lot of other people use it. I think it’s a good clue.

Voicemail – Unbreakable Vow on Death Eaters

Andrew: The next caller asks about Voldemort and his trust in the Death Eaters.

[Audio:] Hey! This is Anna from Missouri. I was just wondering why Voldemort didn’t employ an Unbreakable Vow to keep all his Death Eaters faithful to him. I’d love to hear you talk about this. Thanks. Bye!

Ben: You know, it’s kind of like one of those questions: Why don’t you just use a Time-Turner to go back in time and kill Voldemort while he’s on the crapper?

Kevin: [Laughs] Yeah!

Ben: You know?

Eric: I think it’s different…

Laura: I think that Voldemort might value loyalty to a point, because in Goblet of Fire, didn’t he tell Peter that he returned out of fear, not out of loyalty?

Eric: Yeah.

Kevin: I also think that Voldemort wouldn’t want his people dying every time they broke a vow to him…

Laura: [Laughs] Yeah!

Kevin: …I think he is quite confident in his way to manipulate them.

Eric: Yeah, that’s exactly – well…

Kevin: Yeah.

Eric: Not only is he confident that he instills fear in them, but I think he would want the satisfaction of killing them himself.

Kevin: That’s true, yes.

Eric: If they disobey him, yeah, if they disobey him, he is not going to say, “Oh, you have to disobey me.” He thinks he’s hot crap. He thinks he’s – and so, this whole thing. If anybody – I’m going to be this ruler, I’m going to command all these people around, and they are going to fear me and want my power, so they are going to follow me, and if they don’t, I’m gonna kill them.

[Ben, Kevin, and Laura laugh]

Eric: It’s not necessarily like, oh, we have to shake on it. No way! Because he’s way too overconfident in himself and his own power to, like we said, instill fear and kill anybody who opposes him.

Andrew: But I think expanding on what Laura just said, he wants it to be authentic loyalty, rather than…

Ben: Right. Uh-huh.

Eric: Yeah.

Laura: Yeah, I think so, too…

Andrew: …rules are rules loyalty.

Laura: …because that would kind of make him feel invalid as the most evil sorcerer of all time, or whatever he thinks he is.

Ben: Why would he want to – why couldn’t he just put them under the Imperius Curse? It’s the same thing, you know? Why couldn’t you just force them that way?

Eric: Yeah. Why couldn’t he actually – yeah. So, it’s kind of like we’re agreeing that Voldemort favors free will, which is interesting.

Laura: Well, he favors – he favors free will if you agree with him [laughs], and if you don’t, he’ll kill you.

Kevin: Yeah, that’s true.

The Protean Charm

Eric: Oh, well. [laughs] Well, just imagine the things we were saying about the rules, and how Hermione and the DA – and this is what I’m bringing up – Hermione and the DA have all those coins and stuff, which Draco then manipulates to mean bad things, but the fact is that Voldemort – look at Voldemort’s preferred method of communication. He tattoos all of his followers, and runs a finger across their arms so that they burn – the tattoo on their arm burns, and they know then to come meet him. I mean, everything about Voldemort…

Kevin: What’s the name of that charm? Is that a Protean [pronounces as protein] Charm? Right?

Laura: Protean, yeah.

Kevin: Protean [mispronounces again], yeah. Protean Charm.

Eric: Protein!

Andrew: Protean Charm.

[Andrew, Eric, and Laura laugh]

Ben: Protein Charm! Yeah, for your weightlifting.

Andrew: Yeah, for football players. He’s got weightlifting on the mind. Give him a break!

Ben: Give him a butterbeer!

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: Dude! So, there you go, Anna!

Voicemail – Colin Creevey’s Camera

Andrew: And our final voicemail for today wants to know more about technology at Hogwarts, this time concerning Colin Creevey’s camera. Is it technology?

Kevin: I – well, I actually chose this because I get this a lot.

[Audio:] Hi! My name is Spencer Lawson from Stansbury Park, Utah. I was wondering, throughout [Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets], Colin Creevey uses his camera. Then, in later books, Hermione is always saying electronics don’t work on Hogwarts grounds. Don’t you think a camera is electronic? Just wanted to see what you thought. Thanks! Love the show. Bye!

Kevin: No.

Laura: No, cameras are not electronic.

Kevin: You have to go back – although today, there is actually a very popular Pentax that is completely manual, but if you want true manual cameras, you go back ten, twenty years and, voila!

Laura: Mhm.

Kevin: No motors, you wind by yourself, the shutter is completely not electronically based.

Andrew: Again, but this isn’t a normal camera, though. These are moving photographs, so this is an enchanted…

Eric: No, they aren’t. They aren’t. They aren’t moving photographs. They are regular photographs…

Laura: Yeah.

Eric: …and Colin has to cast a spell on them.

Laura: Well, he said there was a special form of development…

Kevin: Shot down, Andrew! Shot down!

Laura: …for the pictures to make them move.

Andrew: Okay! My B! My B!

Eric: Well, yeah, because he’s like, “Harry, I hear there’s a special way you can develop them…

Laura: Mhm.

Eric: …so that they move,” is it true and all that stuff. Yeah, I think – that’s what Kevin and I were talking about with the record player…

Kevin: Yep.

Eric: It was just mechanical and stuff.

Laura: Yeah.

Eric: I don’t know – whatever he used, tech term, Steck term, Steck tech.

Andrew: Hmmm – Well! I think that wraps up the rebuttals.

Laura: Voicemails? [laughs]

Eric: You mean the voicemails?

[Eric and Laura laugh]

Andrew: I mean the [laughs] – yeah.

Eric: Everything is a rebuttal, everything.

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: I know. Everything is a complaint with these people these days!

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Chicken Soup for the MuggleCast Soul

Andrew: It is time now for Chicken Soup for the MuggleCast Soul. This one comes from – this actually came in to my e-mail address as we were recording. Not to my e-mail address, to [MuggleCast at staff]. This one comes from Marianne, 24, of San Diego, California. Subject: YOU MADE ME SMILE – THANK YOU! In all caps.

Dear MuggleCast: I wanted to give a sincere thank you to all of you for cheering me up and making me laugh. I recently was hired for a job at my college campus library and then told because I wasn’t enrolled in classes this past semester that I wasn’t allowed to be hired for the summer. You see, I became ill earlier this year with a kidney infection and forced to stop going to school for the time being. This was a major blow since it was to be my last semester before graduating. But I took in stride and focused on getting well and healthier, and am happy to say that I am now. However, when I found out last week that leaving school for that semester would be the reason I wouldn’t get to work, needless to say, I was extremely sad and disappointed. This was when I found your show. The past few days I’ve been listening to many of the episodes and they brought a smile to my face. So, thank you so much. It’s wonderful and refreshing to listen to people who are funny and intelligent [inserts] minus Ben…

Ben: Oh, I’m sure she said that! [laughs]

[Everyone groans]

Andrew: …not to mention such unabashed Harry Potter fans. I’ll [laughs] keep on listening. Sincerely, Marianne. So, thank you, Marianne!

Show Close

Andrew: Well, I think that does wrap up MuggleCast 42. Yeah, I cannot believe we are only eight episodes away…

Eric: Scary, isn’t it?

Andrew: …until we are chillin’ in Vegas.

Laura: Yay! [laughs]

Kevin: All the little…

Andrew: We planned a little Indian circle.

Eric: That kind of works out. Yeah, it kind of works out.

Andrew: Yeah, it works out perfectly.

Eric: Yeah. It does.

Andrew: And we’re going to have to record a show in New York City because…

Kevin: Yep, you’re right [laughs].

Andrew: …because we gotta have a podcast the week after that.

Laura: Yeah.

Andrew: No breaks! No breaks!

Eric: No, we’re totally not going to do a show.

[Laura laughs]

Eric: No, we can’t do any breaks between now and 50 if we want 50 to line up.

Andrew: Yeah, yeah. No, but you don’t want to do one in New York?

Eric: No, I think it would be funny if we go there and don’t do one. [laughs]

Andrew: No! I think that would be terrible.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: If you have a listener rebuttal, question, comment, or suggestion for this show, please e-mail it to MuggleCast at staff dot mugglenet dot com, and you can also send us your voice listener rebuttals or general voice mail questions by calling 1-218-20-MAGIC. We’re still working on the foreign numbers in England and all of that. Australia we can’t get! But that’s our most – our second…

Kevin: Yeah! That stinks!

Andrew: That really annoys me.

Kevin: We’ll have to figure something out.

Andrew: We’ll have to call up Steve Irwin…

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: …and see if we can borrow his number.

Kevin: Yeah.

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Eric: Hey, dude! Can we borrow your LAN? Yeah!

Andrew: [Show closing with music in background] And if you missed any of that, don’t bother rewinding. Just go to Complete contact information is right there. Well…

Eric: Including Andrew’s phone number and home address.

Andrew: [Goofy voice] And thuper thpecial pictureth!

[Eric, Kevin, and Laura laugh]

Eric: Yeah. At, it says what I’m wearing [laughs].

Andrew: Yeah, let’s plug our sites again.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: I love plugging our websites.

Laura: Okay.

Kevin: Oh, jeez.

Andrew: I’m at AndrewSimz with a Z dot com.

Kevin: I don’t have my own website for a good reason.

Andrew: Eric’s at Kevin Steck is at

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: Laura is at with a fabulous layout.

Laura: Yay!

Andrew: And, oh!

Kevin: Ben’s at…

Andrew: Ben’s at

[Kevin laughs]

Andrew: With a beautiful banner added at the top.

[Laura laughs]

Eric: You know, Ben Schoen, if you say it fast enough, sounds like benching?

Laura: Ha ha.

Eric: And if he’s benching, he’s losing weight. He’s getting into shape.

Andrew: Oh, my gosh!

Eric: Ben Schoen benching.

Andrew: I never realized that.

Laura: That’s kind of scary.

Eric: That’s got to be the coolest picture ever. Ben Schoen Benching. That’s the campaign.

Laura: Eric, I think you just discovered the key to Book 7…

Eric: And you should totally…

Laura: …right there.

Andrew: You should go into marketing. Everybody, say, “Bye.”

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: Bye, guys!

Laura: Bye!


[Audio:] Hi, this is Elizabeth from Iowa, and I just wanted to say that I think you guys do a great job, and your show is hilarious, and you have some very good insights on the books. So, thanks so much for having a great show. Bye!

[Audio:] Hi, it’s Leslie, I’m from Maryland. Tomorrow I have exams, and instead of studying, I’m listening to MuggleCast 41, and I’m glad, guys. I’d rather study Harry Potter with you guys than Pride and Prejudice and The Odyssey (I hate that book), and I don’t even know what the other one was we read. Lord of the Flies? Thanks, guys! You are the best people to be distracted by, and I love your show! Bye!

[Audio:] Hey, guys. This is Mike from Lancaster, England. Just wanted to warn you guys about your driving: Screw staying off the road, stay off the sidewalk. See you guys later. Love the show.

Bloopers – Nerd Talk

Eric: They don’t care enough to Google me.

[Laura laughs]

Eric: They just know I’m some kind of Harry Potter nerd. And I’m on the announcements in the morning, and I do funny stuff…

Andrew: Doing what?

Eric: I do funny stuff there. Well, I…

Andrew: Wait! You’re on the announcements?

Eric: By the way, did you know that?

Kevin: Did you wanna…

Andrew: You do the announcements?

Eric: Yeah, I do.

Andrew: Oh, wow.

Eric: Actually, I got a prom date through the announcements.

Andrew: Ooh!

Eric: I…

Andrew: Woo!

Eric: I actually went on and invited every single girl in the senior class to prom with me.

Andrew: Oh, wow.

Eric: Well, it was funny, because all day, everybody was like, “Oh, that’s so clever! Oh, that’s so great!” They asked me two things. They said, “Were you serious?” and, “Did you get any offers?”

Kevin: Yeah.

Eric: None of them offered. Not one senior girl was like, “Yeah. I’ll go with you.” They just asked me, “Were you serious?” and, “Did you get any offers?”

Ben: Hey, by the way, what about Crown School?

Andrew: Uh, what’s Crown School?

Eric: No, because I…

Andrew: What the heck is Crown School?

Eric: Oh, god. This whole thing.

Andrew: No, never mind. You can explain this later.

Eric: Okay, yeah.

Andrew: So, what did you do?

Eric: I can explain later.

Andrew: Comedy – Comedy Minute with Eric Scull?

Eric: Kind of, but it’s not stupid. I understand where the limit is, and I’m not…

Andrew: Do you host this morning news thing?

Eric: No, no, no. Well, kind of.

Andrew: Oh.

Eric: It’s several co-people. I do meal time, but it’s just like…

Andrew: Oh.

Eric: …our school’s broadcast show every week, which is cool.

Andrew: That’s adorable!

Eric: See, it’s all fun stuff, but…

Andrew: What, is it a video and audio, or just…

Eric: It’s video and audio, but it goes…

Andrew: You have a TV studio?

Kevin: I’m really impressed with this.

Eric: It goes out. Yeah.

Andrew: [Laughs] Can I come?

Eric: No, it goes out…

Andrew: Can I come?! The school won’t even see it!

[Laura laughs]

Eric: Dude! When you’re at your school…

Kevin: You can’t break in!

[Andrew sighs]

Eric: The point is, it goes out over a local broadcast cable station [laughs], and that’s it. There are other co-people, and there’s people who…

Andrew: Wait – it goes out to your town?

Eric: There’s people who think they’re funnier than me, and there’s people who think I’m stupid, and they all discredit me when I’m not there on the announcements in the morning, but it’s okay…

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: …because I have fun!

[Andrew laughs again]

Eric: And I totally PWN the world when I’m on the announcements, so it’s all cool.

Andrew: Eric, I never knew.

Kevin: It’s pwn [pronouncing].

Andrew: Are you a TV tech nerd?

Eric: No, I’m not, actually. I’m not in AV.

Kevin: [Sings] “I never knew…”

Andrew: That’s right. Just show up. Are the AV people nerds in your school?

Eric: No, but they are in every other school. We went to a Comcast award ceremony…

Andrew: Yeah, they always seem like they are.

Eric: [Laughs] Anyway!

Andrew: Comcast awards ceremony? Where was that?

Eric: The Sheraton, which was where we had our prom two days later. But, anyway.

Andrew: Where? In Philly?

Eric: We’re off – no, in Reading. We’re off topic.

Andrew: Okay, so anyway. And this concludes this week’s nerd talk with…

Eric: [Laughs] Nerd talk!

[Laura laughs]

Eric: Oh, I thought of something.

Kevin: That’s true.

Andrew: Next week, Kevin won’t be distracted…

Kevin: Yes.

Andrew: …so he will partake. All right?

[Kevin and Laura laugh]


Written by: Rhiannon, Roni, Sarah, Marti, Jessica, Ally, and Amanda