Transcript #43

MuggleCast 43 Transcript

Show Intro

Ben: Because Andrew Sims is finally gone this week, this is MuggleCast – Episode 43 for June 11th, 2006.

This week’s show is sponsored in part by Get your own piece of the Internet today and save money along the way. For a limited time is offering a new domain name, transfer or renewal for just $1.99 with every new non-domain product you buy. Choose from hosting, website builders, e-mail accounts and much more. Plus, take an addition 10% off any order simply by entering the word “Muggle” in your cart at checkout. So visit and save big.

[Show intro with music in background] Hello, everyone. Welcome back to MuggleCast, the show where we bring you everything from Harry Potter news, discussion, theories and a little bit of Spy on Spartz. I am Ben Schoen.

Laura: I’m Laura Thompson.

Rachel: I’m Rachel Godoy.

Ben: And joining us this week is John Noe from The Leaky Cauldron, PotterCast Executive Producer.

John: Hello, hello.

Ben: And the Harry Potter Automatic News Aggregator (HPANA), joining us is Jeff Guillaume.

Jeff: Hi!

Ben: Say hi, Jeff!

[Ben and Laura laugh]

Jeff: Hi Jeff!

John: It’s an acronym.

[Laura and Jeff laugh]

Ben: Without further ado let’s go to Micah Schoen for this past week’s news.


Ben [impersonating Micah]: Thanks, Ben.

Now is your chance to get your hands on a rare signed photograph of Daniel Radcliffe. Students from Cambridge are putting it up on eBay for auction with the money going to various charities. If you would like to bid for this item, please visit

Earlier this week the British Broadcasting Coporation top-gear show conducted an interview with Michael Gambon, who portrays Professor Dumbledore in Harry Potter Movies Three, Four, and Five. You can catch a snippet of the interview over at

Later on this week, JK Rowling was voted the greatest living British writer. In March, she was nominated by the Book Magazine‘s Greatest Living Writer Poll. And she won first place.

Turning to film news now, we saw some Order of the Phoenix set pictures this week, things from the River of Thames and the never-ending pictures of Hagrid’s Hut.

At the Queen’s 80th Birthday Party, Potter stars Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint will be participating in a Kids’ Playground Play to be performed at the Queen’s 80th Birthday Party. According to CBBC Newsround, other famous stars who will be part of the play include Kelly Osbourne, Jonathan Ross, Winnie The Pooh, Mary Poppins, and Postman Pat. The Queen’s Birthday Party is on June 25th.

In other film news, we recently learned that Warner Bros. was looking to film scenes in Italy. You can catch a picture of that at

Finally this week signalled the release of MuggleNet’s Harry Potter Image Galleries. The galleries consist of over 39,000 images. You can check those out over at

So, that’s all for the June 11th, 2006 edition of MuggleCast. Back to the show.

Jeff and HPANA

Ben: Thanks for that, Micah. So Jeff, tell us a little bit about HPANA. What did you do over there?

Jeff: [coughs] What do I do? I aggregate – we aggregate Harry Potter news automatically. It’s about as simple as that. No, that’s how it started. I actually, years and years ago, got online and started visiting Harry Potter sites like The Leaky Cauldron and MuggleNet. And I wanted to have all the news come to me, so I didn’t have to go visit these sites. And, I’m not saying I didn’t want to visit the sites, but I wanted to be alerted when news happened and I didn’t want to go search for it.

Ben: So, you’re saying you’re lazy, right?

Jeff: Oh, pretty – definitely! That was the primary reason, really.

[Ben laughs]

Jeff: And it’s just evolved to what it is now with posting news from all around the Web.

Ben: Awesome! We all know John Noe. He’s been on the show again. Welcome back, John!

John: Hey, it’s been some time, hasn’t it? When was the last time I was on?

Ben: Episode 25! Geez!

John: Oh my god!

Ben: It feels good to have you back. Well, before we go to our Listener Rebuttals, let’s go to some announcements that we had this week.


Ben: Last Friday was National Wear Your MuggleCast T-Shirt Day. Some of the pictures are on the site. You can see those by visiting However, keep in mind that even though National Wear Your MuggleCast T-Shirt Day is over, you can still support the show by purchasing your MuggleCast t-shirt today. There are two different logos and they are avialbel in five different sizes. So everyone, go out and buy a MuggleCast t-shirt. Sounds good to me.

John: Sounds like a good idea. I’m going to go ahead and buy one.

Ben: [laughs] John, do you have a MuggleCast t-shirt?

John: I think I got an honorary one last time we were in New York.

Ben: Oh really?

John: But they were not the new, cool “rainbow squares” t-shirts.

Ben: Okay, and the final announcement – send something, anything, anything you want to the MuggleCast PO Box. That’s:

PO Box 223
Moundridge, Kansas 67107

I am still waiting on those Subway giftcards people.

[John laughs]

Laura: Yeah Ben, and I am still waiting on my packages.

Ben: Right, and so if you guys send me Subway giftcards, I might send Laura her stuff. So…

[Jeff laughs]

John: Have you been withholding Laura’s packages?

Laura: Yes, he has!

Ben: Oh okay.

John: What?

Ben: They are in the back – they’re in the trunk of my car and I’m just too lazy to…

Jeff: So, what you’re saying is they melted?

John: [laughs] That’s funny.

Ben: Yeah, they’ve melted pretty much.

[Rachel laughs]

John: That is exactly where Melissa keeps all of my packages that come to the PO Box – in the trunk of her car.

[Rachel laughs]


Ben: So, you all may notice something different this week. After 42 long and grueling weeks of MuggleCast, Andrew Sims is finally taking a break.

John: Oh my god!

Ben: So, this is the first Andrew-free show ever!

John: That’s crazy!

Ben: I know.

Laura: I don’t know how we’re going to make it.

Ben: I know. I’m surprised we made it this far already.

[Laura laughs]

Jeff: Andrew-less.

John: I’m kind of nervous.

Ben: Me too, dude. Yeah, I’m worried he’s going to listen to this with a watchful ear, you know what I’m saying? He’s going to be critiquing our every move.

John: He will.

[Laura laughs]

Ben: Well, he deserves it. He’s off editing some video and getting ready for finals week.

Jeff: Oh boo!

John: Awww!

Ben: So, best of luck Andrew! [impersonating Andrew] Yeah! Yeah! All right! [laughs]

John: Don’t fail everything, Andrew.

Listener Rebuttal – Secret-Keepers

Ben: Okay, it’s time for this weeks Listener Rebuttals. The first one comes from Susannah and she’s from Texas.

“Hi, everyone. I noticed on Episode 41 that you all seemed to think that Aberforth, assuming he is the barman at the Hog’s Head, and Dumbledore were not friendly. I feel that this is incorrect. However, for Chapter 27 of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix on pg. 613, Dumbledore mentions that he is “merely friendly with the local barman.” Dumbledore obviously is in touch and I think you’ll remember that he seems to know all that went on that night, not only from what Mundungus informed him. I also think that since Aberforth is obviously a member of the Order, it implies that he is friendly with his brother. Thanks! I love the show!

Ben: Well, since Laura and I were the only ones on Episode 41, I think it is appropriate that we field this.

[Jeff laughs]

Laura: Yeah.

Ben: What do you think, Laura?

Laura: Well, I don’t think that because Dumbledore said he was friendly with a local barman that necessarily indicates a friendship or any kind of rivalry either way because we know Dumbledore can be very delicate with his descriptions of people and his relationships with them. Just because Aberforth is a member of the Order does not mean that they have to get along.

Ben: Right.

Laura: But, on the same hand they could. So, I mean we don’t know.

Ben: Thank you, Laura.

Laura: You’re welcome, Ben.

Ben: And thanks to Susannah for sending that listener rebuttal in. Now, let’s move on to our next listener rebuttal. This comes form Jessie, age 14, and she’s from New Jersey – Andrew’s home state.

Hey, guys! I love the show! I just wanted to make a comment about the last episode when you were talking about the Fidelius Charm and who it was broke it when the Potters died. I was just wondering why you would believe it was broken when they died, seeing as they were not their Secret-Keeper? Do you think it may have something to do with the destruction of the house? I’d love to hear your opinions. Much love, Jessie!

Ben: What I think she’s trying to say here is that how were – we talked about how people were able to find their bodies. And I think it was the charm was broken once Lily and James were actually dead. Does that make sense?

[Some noises are made]

Ben: Laura, help me out here. You were on the show.

Laura: I can’t specifically remember what Jo said regarding Secret-Keepers. Didn’t she say something along the lines of “the secret would only be revealed to the people the Secret-Keeper exposed to it”?

Ben: Right, but…

Laura: Because I don’t think she said anything…

Ben: Don’t your remember in Half… But don’t you remember in Half Blood Prince, when Dumbledore freezes Harry?

Laura: Mhm.

Ben: Okay, and then once Dumbledore dies, Harry’s unfrozen. Okay, so I’m wondering…

Laura: Yeah, that’s true.

Ben: …does the charm still apply once the people have died? Jeff? What do you think?

Jeff: I don’t know, if the person that casts the charm dies, is that the issue?

Ben: Or, do you think – okay. Do you think that since Lily and James had the spell put on them – since they died – does that mean that anybody can see them? Because, you know, they were underneath the Fidelius Charm. So, Peter Pettigrew was the only one that could disclose their location. Do you think that since they died, that’s why Hagrid, I mean, and anybody – Sirius, could come and see their bodies?

Jeff: Yeah…

Ben: Find their bodies?

Jeff: …I think that’s probably valid.

John: Ooo…

Jeff: Looking at the Lexicon here, when a Secret-Keeper dies, their secret dies with them. So, you could apply that to or you could infer that the Fidelius Charm is the same way.

Laura: Yeah.

Ben: Good point, Jeff, good point.

Well, that wraps up this week’s listener rebuttals. We don’t have any voice rebuttals for you this week, because Mister Kevin Steck is off at a wedding and is unable…

[John laughs]

Ben: …to gather the voice clips. He’s the only one with access to the account. Don’t worry, it’s not his wedding. Ladies, he’s still single.

[John and Laura laugh]

John: Aw, I thought Kev finally got her break.

Ben: Yeah. [laughs] Yeah, so we’ll make sure to have those voice rebuttals back for you next week, and if you have a listener rebuttal, a comment about something that went on in the show, something you want to argue with us about, anything like that, feel free to send it to mugglecast at staff dot mugglenet dot com, subject line, “Listener Rebuttal,” and it could be put into the show.

Main Discussion – Horace Slughorn

Ben: Now, it’s time to move on to our first part of our main discussion this week. As we mentioned in the past, we’re going to start rotating the character discussions, and this week is indeed a character discussion week, with Mister Horace Slughorn.

John: Oh.

Ben: A little bit of information about Slughorn. This comes from the MuggleNet Encyclopedia. His age is unknown, but we know that he is younger than Dumbledore, but old enough to consider himself a “broken-down old buffer.” His distinguishing characteristics are that he is very short, and enormously fat; he has a shiny bald head, prominent eyes, and a huge, silver, walrus-like moustache. He has a preference for wearing waistcoats, and maroon, velvet smoking jackets. The first mention of Slughorn comes in Chapter 4 of Half Blood Prince. So, when we are first introduced to Slughorn, what are your guys’ initial impressions of him?

Jeff: Yeah, we’re introduced to him in Book 6, which actually I just started rereading, and I just finished the chapter on him, so I should be more authoritative on this, but I think later in the book we learn more about him. But, I don’t know. My first impression is that he’s a power-hungry politico type. I mean, the Slug Club and all that. He’s interested in being popular.

Ben: Right.

Jeff: And being associated with people who are popular, and that’s sort of how he keeps his foot in the door, so to speak.

Ben: Well, what I like about Slughorn is that – I don’t know – he seems like more of a light-hearted guy, because especially since he was the former Head of House of Slytherin, and he’s nothing like Snape whatsoever.

John: Yeah.

Ben: And so, it goes to show that there are indeed good Slytherins. I just think that, you know, he’s enormously fat – that’s how he’s described – and it sort of makes sense that he’s more of a jolly guy, as opposed to, you know, [growls].

John: What makes you think he’s a good Slytherin? He may have a different kind of personality from Snape…

Ben: Okay, I’m talking about his outward appearance, is what I am saying.

John: Oh.

Ben: And I know that can be deceiving.

Laura: Well, I kind of – touching on what you just said, John – I don’t think that he’s necessarily a good or a bad person, because he’d been in hiding for a year, I believe it was. Hiding from various other Slytherins he knew might come looking for him, to try to get him to join Voldemort’s cause. And I just think that he’s more of a person who doesn’t want to side with anyone either way, and he would just rather live his life on his own, and not have to be involved in any of it.

Jeff: And a lot of the first impression we get from him is that he’s very self-interested, and he’s motivated to do things that are going to help himself. So, in that respect it sort of gives you, sort of, “Oh, he’s sly, Slytherin” – stuff like that. So, yeah.

Ben: A little bit arrogant, too.

John: Well…

Laura: Yeah, but I think where the Slytherin attributes come from, is strictly from the fact that he likes nice things. He’s very eccentric. He likes the finer side of life. I don’t think it’s anything to do with a lot of the characteristics we see in Slytherins like Draco or Lucius, for instance.

Ben: And he seems to be very selective. For example, Jeff brought up the Slug Club. It seems that he’s very discriminatory about who he wants to be in that group and who he doesn’t want to be in that group.

Laura: Mhm.

Ben: Which leads you to believe that it’s sort of like at school. If you’re on a teacher’s good side, they can be your best friend in the world, and can basically let you get away with anything. But if you’re on their bad side, it’s probably not someone you want to mess with, and that’s the impression that I get from Slughorn, that it’s awesome if he likes you, but if…

Jeff: You’re shut out.

Ben: …he doesn’t then it’s not so good.

Laura: Then you’re just not even a blip on his radar.

Jeff: Exactly.

John: Yeah.

Ben: So, I assume in things like classroom – the classroom setting – he’d probably focus more on the people that he likes. For example, since the book is written mostly – is written from Harry’s perspective – since he’s the Boy-Who-Lived, Slughorn automatically takes a liking to him, and it is for this reason that Harry views him in such a positive light for the early parts of Book Six.

Laura: Mhm.

John: Mhm.

The Horcri

Ben: And then, something that Slughorn did is what basically lead to the whole Horcri thing, right, John?

John: Oh, of course.

Ben: Yeah, the Horcruxes.

John: Yeah.

Ben: What year was it, Voldemort’s fifth year or sixth year?

Jeff: Oh, gosh.

John: Ummm…

Laura: Oh, I want to say fifth, but I’m not sure.

Ben: I think it was fifth.

John: Yeah.

Ben: Someone correct us. Slughorn has been struggling with the guilt of having explained what a Horcrux was to Tom Riddle for many years, due to the fact that Harry’s mother, one of Slughorn’s favorite students, was murdered by Lord Voldemort some years later. His Hogwarts house is Slytherin. Despite this fact, he does not wish to have anything to do with Voldemort’s cause, and had in fact spent a year in hiding to avoid involvement. This just goes to show that Slughorn, when there’s conflict going on like that, he just sort of wants to get away. And, in a way he feels really guilty, because he sort of gave Voldemort the keys to the kingdom. He’s the reason that Voldemort didn’t die the night that he tried to attack – that he tried to kill Harry.

Laura: Mhm.

Memory Alteration

Ben: And we all know that in Tom Riddle’s fifth year, he approached Slughorn, and he asked him about Horcruxes, and Slughorn reluctantly explains this to him. And, what do you think that – when Harry has to try to get the memory from Slughorn, the memory of that event actually happening, the fact that Slughorn modifies the memory shows a lot about his personality in the way that he feels really guilty about it, and that he’s going to try to cover it up.

Laura: Yeah, and at the same time he doesn’t want to be incriminated.

Ben: He’s a man who basically…

Laura: Well, it just all goes back to the fact that he doesn’t want to have any involvement with this. The reason he didn’t want to tell Harry anything was because he didn’t want to be involved with the good side and take the risk of known Death Eaters or even Voldemort realizing this and coming after him. And on the same hand, he doesn’t want any involvement with Voldemort because he doesn’t want the exact opposite happening.

Ben: Right.

John: Mhm.

Why Tell Tom?

Ben: Why do you guys think that he would go ahead and tell young Tom Riddle about the Horcruxes?

John: Why do you think he knows about them to begin with, I think, is an interesting question, too.

Ben: So, do you think that he basically told Tom Riddle what a Horcrux is, and then he used that information to his advantage to create the Horcruxes? Or was it that he explained some of it to him? What do you guys think?

Jeff: Could have been that he wanted to either impress Tom with his knowledge. Or – it’s very evident that he’s self-important, and likes to think of himself highly, and so that’s one aspect. Or, he was hoping that Tom could use it to his advantage and then thank Slughorn later – hold him in high esteem for showing him this or teaching him that. So…

John: Yeah, and why do you think – I mean let’s not forget Tom Riddle, Voldemort – they’re still pretty much the same person. What happened in between Slughorn being this guy that helped Riddle figure out about the Horcruxes, to turning into a person that Slughorn is afraid to even – afraid of Voldemort, afraid of his followers, afraid of being involved in anybody’s cause? Why… I don’t understand how, why he feels the need to distance himself.

Ben: Because I think that it’s that he feels partially responsible for what happened because… Okay, I think that Voldemort probably would’ve found out about the Horcruxes some other way…

Jeff: Yeah.

Laura: Yeah. I agree.

Jeff: Mhm.

Ben: …but Slughorn is the one that, like I said, sort of gave him the keys to the kingdom, so to speak. And Jeff brought up an interesting point saying that he was probably trying to impress him with his knowledge or whatever because, as we mentioned, he has this club of the elite – the Slug Club – and Tom Riddle was given an award for the school. He was a Slytherin, and all this stuff. And so it makes sense for Slughorn to say, “Well, Tom, I guess I can tell you because you’re all high and mighty, Slug Club President” or whatever.

[Jeff and Laura laugh]

Jeff: Yeah.

Slughorn’s Future Role

Ben: What future role do you think Slughorn is going to play? Do you think the end of Book Six sort of closed up his fate?

Jeff: I don’t know.

Laura: I’m not sure. I don’t think that Jo would’ve made him Head of Slytherin for no reason.

Jeff: Yeah.

John: Yeah. I don’t think – why would he have to leave? He wasn’t, he wasn’t the defense teacher, so there’s no jinx on him.

Ben: Right, but what role do you think that he is going to play in Book Seven? Do you think that he is going to distance himself again like he did in the First War? Or is he going to become more involved with the Order of the Phoenix? Or – or is he just going to remain neutral?

Jeff: Well…

John: It depends on where the war goes. Because if the war gets so big that people have to decide what side they’re on or they’re just going to get killed in the whole – in the whole mess of things, you have to figure out what side you’re going to be on. And these books are a lot about choices and maybe he’ll come around and make a choice for the better, or even – maybe he’ll go and fight the Death Eaters. Who knows? But, I think it’d be interesting either way to see which side he picks. I don’t think he’ll stay neutral throughout the whole book.

Laura: Yeah.

Ben: Well, I’m pretty sure that he’s – if he’s going to choose any side, it would probably… Well, then again, as we mentioned before, he’s kind of self-concerned and he’s a very selfish “pershon” – selfish person. And in a way, he’s sort of like a strong version of Peter Pettigrew. You understand what I’m saying?

[John coughs]

Laura: Yeah.

Ben: You see the parallel there?

Jeff: Mhm.

Ben: You think that it would make sense for him to choose the side that’s offering more and choose the side that’s more powerful to join?

Jeff: Mhm.

Laura: Not necessarily, because you remember what we saw come out of him when Harry said, “Don’t you want to stop the person who killed Lily Evans?” And you saw just how much he really cared about her and how awful he felt about her death, and I really think that Jo had him become Head of Slytherin for a reason. I think that Micah had a very valid point in stating a few weeks ago that the Sorting Hat did point out that for Hogwarts to not crumble from within, the Houses would have to unite, and I think that Slughorn could have some kind of large role in helping that happen.

John: Yeah.

Ben: Right.

John: Mhm.

Ben: And because before, when Snape was the head of house, you know, since you sort of have the Death Eaters’ kids within that house – not all of them, like I said – but some of them are within there. If Snape begins to show allegiance towards the good side – well, I guess it’s supposed to be part of his gig – but he never really has treated everyone fairly, and hasn’t really been about the unity of the school. And I think Slughorn is more – he’s more charismatic. And even though he may be a little bit arrogant and conceited, it makes sense for him to be a lot better at bringing them together.

Jeff: Yeah. And I don’t…

Laura: Yeah.

Ben: And “united we stand.”

Laura: I agree.

Ben: That concept.

Jeff: I don’t know if it was part of the narrative, or if he told Harry this, but apparently he was an old friend and colleague of Dumbledore and he was pretty upset when Dumbledore was killed. And he – I’m quoting again from – I’m looking at the Lexicon entry on Slughorn, and it says he’s one of the first Slytherins that Harry met who has no prejudices against Muggle-born or half-blood wizards. So, something to consider.

Laura: I think that, going back to what Ben said about having students of Death Eaters in Slytherin. I think something that’s really important to remember about that is that it’s actually a very small group of students in there that are children of Death Eaters. I want to say maybe five or six of them. And really the rest of the Slytherins are kind of faceless. We haven’t seen all that much out of them. I don’t think that the Slytherins – apart from Draco and his crowd – are any more evil, snotty, obnoxious than any other teenager.

[Jeff laughs]

Laura: And I think that we’re definitely going to get to see more of their role brought out in Book Seven in uniting with the rest of the school.

Ben: In a way, Horace Slughorn sort of reminds me of Professor Moody – or I guess Imposter Moody. In just that, you know, it feels like when he’s going to say he’s going to do something, he’s going to lay down the law and that there won’t be any messing around. And I think that we can probably expect that from him in Book Seven.

Will Hogwarts Be Open?

Ben: That’s assuming that Hogwarts is going to be open. I think it will be. I mean, that’s – that just makes sense.

Jeff: Yeah.

John: At least for a little while.

Laura: Yeah. I think it will be, too.

Ben: Yeah, at least for a little while.

Rachel: I don’t think so.

Jeff: You don’t think so? Whoa.

John: What? What?

Laura: Why not, Rachel?

Ben: Whoa. Why not, Rachel?

[Laura laughs]

Rachel: I don’t, because there’s so much going on that I doubt that it’s going to get focused upon. Maybe it will, but I doubt that everything’s going to be taking place there. Or it’ll be partly mentioned, but I really doubt that the school’s going to be open.

Ben: Okay, well, what I’m saying is that Hogwarts will be open, but Harry probably won’t…

Jeff: Right. Or…

Ben: …be there the entire time.

Laura: Yeah, that’s what I think.

Rachel: Oh.

John: Mmm.

Ben: Yeah.

Rachel: Well, that could be a possibility but, yeah. But, the chances of Hogwarts being open – for me, they’re probably slim to nothing, I think, because there’s just so much going on. [laughs]

John: I don’t know where – where a safer, larger place to keep people would be other than Hogwarts.

Ben: That’s true, Jeff. Not Jeff, John.

John: There’s chaos happening outside.

Jeff: Yeah. Didn’t Dumbledore say that they…

[Laura laughs]

Ben: Sorry, James.

Jeff: You know, again, I just started rereading Book Six, but I swear that Dumbledore told Harry at the beginning that they had enhanced the protection of Hogwarts a little bit that year. So, I don’t know if that, you know?

Ben: Mhm.

Laura: Well, I think regardless of whether or not it’ll be open, I’m not sure that we’re going to see much of it.

Jeff: Yeah. I would agree with that.

Rachel: Yeah. We’re probably not going to see that much of it. Yeah.

Jeff: Although, it would be the first time, though.

[Rachel laughs]

Slughorn and Lily

John: Well, back on Slughorn for a second, though. We kind of brought it up real quick, casually, but you talk so much about how he’s so upset about Lily Evans and on and on about it. What was his deal with Lily Evans? Especially knowing the kind of people that he has in his Slug Club? Granted she was Head Girl and all, but I mean, what – I mean, it’s like a big kind of clue to the character of Lily Evans that we’re supposed to find out so much about in the next book. Like…

Jeff: It sounds like a lot of people had a crush on Lily Evans. [laughs]

Laura: Yeah, yeah. [laughs]

John: I know.

Rachel: Yeah, she was popular, I guess.

[Jeff laughs[

Ben: She must’ve been hot. [laughs]

[John laughs]

[Laura gives an exasperated sigh]

[Rachel laughs]

Ben: I’m just. But honestly, though…

John: Do you think that he was attracted to the student?

[Jeff laughs]

Ben: I – I – no, I doubt it’s that.

Laura: Yeah.

John: Physically?

Ben: I’m pretty sure it’s just – there obviously has to be something that she offered and she was Head Girl, and maybe she was just an exceptional student. As Laura intelligently pointed out, is that Harry noticed about Slughorn that he was the first Slytherin that he’s known that hasn’t really shown any prejudice towards those who are Muggle-born. And so it wouldn’t matter to him that she’s a Muggle-born.

John: Right.

Laura: Well, I think that he would react that way to any student that was in his Slug Club because he obviously chooses the most talented and I guess the most rich or the best looking – whichever way you want to look at it – in his eyes, kids who join his Slug Club. And I think that if he felt like he was the direct cause of one of them getting killed, he’d feel guilty about it no matter what.

Ben: Right. And I don’t think it’s any way – the people he selects for the Slug Club – I don’t think it’s any way contingent on…

Jeff: Bloodline?

Ben: …your wizard ancestry. Yeah, your bloodline. I think it’s more of how accomplished you are. And like Dumbledore said, it’s our choices who make us who we are – basically, that’s to paraphrase it. And maybe that’s the same way Slughorn thinks. That if you choose to be this way, it doesn’t matter whether you’re Muggle-born, half-blood, or a pureblood wizard. What matters is your ability…

Jeff: Yeah, or promise.

Ben: …in his eyes.

Rachel: You know what I’ve always thought was strange? Is that, since back when he was favoring Lily because she was so exceptional and she wasn’t in Slytherin, don’t you think that the other students probably would have been jealous of Lily, knowing that the teacher was – especially that he was Head of House of Slytherin? You’d think his favorite would have been Slytherin.

Jeff: Yeah.

Laura: Mhm.

Rachel: You get what I mean? I always thought that was kind of strange – I don’t know – that his student wasn’t from his own house.

Laura: Yeah.

Ben: Well, I don’t know if he shows the same house bias that Snape does.

Rachel: Yeah. Well, that’s pretty much what I’m basing it on, but yeah. [laughs]

Laura: Well, I have a feeling that Lily probably got some of the same taunting that Harry has.

Rachel: Yeah, that’s what I think, too. Because of that.

Laura: Just because he favored her.

Rachel: Because of that.

Laura: Yeah, I’m sure that happened.

Rachel: Pretty much got picked on or made fun of because of that. Or she just wasn’t liked by some of the students, especially the Slytherins, I think.

Laura: Mhm.

Ben: Well, that wraps up this week’s Character Discussion, unless you guys have anything else to add.

Jeff: Nope.

John: No.

Jeff: Well done all.

Ben: Yeah. I hope everyone enjoyed this week’s Character Discussion.

Main Discussion – Prophecies

Ben: However, the main discussion is not over yet because we’re going on to our second portion, which has to deal with prophecies.

John: Oh my.

Ben: Throughout the series we’ve seen prophecies pretty much – they shape, basically, Harry’s destiny and what has made him, quote-on-quote, “The Chosen One.” But we have to beg the question, what exactly is a prophecy? Well, thanks to Jamie Lawrence from – most of you know Jamie. He made MuggleNet’s section Level Nine. You can view that at, and has a lot of information about prophecies and what they are. A prophecy is defined by as an inspired utterance as a prophet, viewed as a revelation of divine will, or a prediction. What it seems like in the Harry Potter series is that it’s becomes more that just a mere prediction. Would you guys agree with that? That rather than it just being Trelawney spouting off these things, that Harry was born as the seventh month dies and that the power that the Dark Lord knows not, do you think that it’s more than just a prediction? That it’s actually going to happen, or do you think since she made this prophecy, that they choose to make it happen? Which is sort of what Dumbledore hinted at.

Laura: I think I’d have to…

Jeff: Yep.

Laura: …agree with what Dumbledore said. It’s the choices – choices are what make us who we are, and I think that Dumbledore was very correct in saying that if Harry or Voldemort had decided they didn’t want to have anything to do with the prophecy, then it wouldn’t have come true.

Jeff: That’s a very good point.

Ben: That’s definitely true.

Jeff: The beginning of the prophecy was a choice. It was either Harry or Neville. You know? And Voldemort chose – made a choice.

Ben: Right, so the choices sort of shape the prophecy. People sort of – not the prophecy, but the outcome of the prophecy. People have always wondered – and it’s been in the series a few times, too – why couldn’t Voldemort and why couldn’t Harry just say, “This is stupid.”

[Everyone laughs]

Ben: “Why are we fighting?”

Jeff: That wouldn’t make a very interesting story.

[Everyone laughs]

Ben: “Why don’t we just sit the wands down and be done with it?” Well, they can’t do that. Why do you think – of course, that wouldn’t make a very interesting story – but why do you think that can’t happen within the series? Do you think that Harry needs to get vengeance for his parents’ death? And Voldemort’s motive is because he’s trying to take over the world?

Laura: No, I think the reason that it can’t happen is because Voldemort is trying to take over and he doesn’t think he can do that unless Harry’s dead.

Rachel: Right.

Ben: That’s true. I think it’s more that Voldemort is after Harry than Harry being after Voldemort.

Laura: Mhm.

Ben: Which is really evident throughout the series pretty well, too.

John: Well, it’s…

Ben: Well – what John?

John: Well, you’ve got Voldemort, who as much as he has his ambition to take over things is – obviously, he’s got the ego and the pride to want to be the most powerful being on Earth. And if he knows there’s some kind of prophecy out there that says someone can beat him, a priority is going to be to knock that person or anybody else out, who is prophesied that…

Ben: Gets in the way.

John: …can possibly be more powerful than him or beat him. But with the prophecies that had me always thinking, are the rules of the prophecy as whether or not it means that only Harry can kill Voldemort and only Voldemort can kill Harry. If that’s supposed to be meant that people can try to kill them, but they won’t succeed because they’re more stronger than them, or is it an actual impossibility, where if someone were to try to just take an axe to one of those guys…

Ben: They couldn’t.

John: …would it bounce right off because they weren’t prophesied to be the one to kill the people? That’s what I don’t know.

Interpretation of The Prophecy

Ben: Well, that all comes down to the interpretation of the prophecy, which is what we need to get to next. Okay, I’ll read the prophecy. This is from Order of the Phoenix. There is also one in Prisoner of Azkaban, but it doesn’t really matter because the outcome already actually happened. So, okay, here we go.

“The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches. Born to those who have thrice defied him. Born as the seventh month dies and the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not. And either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives. The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord will be born as the seventh month dies.”

Okay, so we need to break down this prophecy a bit. Okay, the parents of the person who can defeat Voldemort will be born to parents who have escaped Voldemort three times.

Laura: Mhm.

Ben: Okay, they’re being born at the end of July, Voldemort will mark them as their equal in some way, and they will have the power that Voldemort will not know about, and either they will kill Voldemort or Voldemort will kill them in the end, because they cannot both exist. There is no coexistence going on here.

Jeff: Right.

Ben: But the real question about the prophecy is, couldn’t it be talking about three people?

[John coughs]

Ben: And let me read this sentence here: “And either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives.”

Jeff: Right.

Laura: Ummm.

Ben: Don’t you see how it can be talking about three people? Or am I crazy?

Laura: I didn’t interpret it that way. I was thinking it was saying neither can live – neither referring to the two of them – while the other survives, referring to the opposite, which would be: Harry’s opposite being Voldemort or Voldemort’s opposite being Harry. I hadn’t interpreted that as being a third person.

Ben: Well, I’m just saying that Jo’s kind of tricky. So, you know?

Laura: Well…

Ben: But the prophecy is probably pretty straight up.

Laura: Mhm.

Ben: It’ll set up the final showdown, I think, that we’re all looking forward to.

Jeff: Well, we’re living – well, Harry Potter and Voldemort are living in paradox right now because the prophecy says, “Neither can survive while the other lives,” or whatever the other thing is paraphrased. But, yeah, they’re in a paradox right now so until it’s equaled out, they’re going to be in this constant flux, constant crisis, and constant battle.

Ben: Mhm.

John: I think the biggest disservice you can do, in regarding the carrying out of this prophecy, is paraphrasing it because of how long Jo says…

Jeff: Sorry. [laughs]

John: No, no, everybody does it, Jeff. Even I did it. I still do it. But Jo says how long she spent on that prophecy. Hours and hours on the words of it alone, and one of the things I’ve been thinking about recently is the whole line about, :neither can live while the other survives.” What exactly is she meaning by “live?” Does it mean live – Harry cannot live a full life while Voldemort is around because he’s always going to be a burden on his mind, and he’s always going to be connected to him through the scar connection, and all that crap?

Ben: That’s a really good point, John, because…

Laura: Yeah, and Voldemort can’t live the way he wants to with Harry around.

Ben: Yeah, I never really looked at it that way.

Laura: Yeah, I hadn’t, either. Thank you. [laughs]

Ben: When you define the word “live,” it really brings it into a whole new light because we don’t know if “live” actually means the real sense of live or you’re dead.

Jeff: Physical life.

Ben: Yeah, physical life, or if it’s talking about like John says, living a full life.

John: Yeah, your lifestyle, your well-being – all those things.

Ben: Well, we’ll find out…

Laura: Yeah.

Ben: …in a little over a year from now.

[Everyone laughs]

Prophecy UnFulfilled

Ben: Also, do you guys think it’s actually possible for a prophecy not to be fulfilled?

John: Well, yeah.

Rachel: Yeah, I think so.

John: Because the people involved have to choose to go through with this prophecy, don’t they?

Jeff: Yeah, but isn’t that the – isn’t that what makes a prophecy different from a prediction: is that, if you believe that prophecies are what they say they are, which is things to come, even the choices that are involved still create, they’ll still fulfill the prophecy. It’s just a matter of how.

Ben: Mhm.

Jeff: That he he choices – but it’s still the prophecy.

Ben: Right. It’s like when you’re trying – when you try to alter history. I’m going to use the example of the new episode of The Twilight Zone that I recently saw…

[Rachel laughs]

Ben: …was when this lady traveled back in time to try to kill baby Hitler. And the mother comes outside while this nanny is trying to kill the baby, and the nanny throws the baby into the water, and the mother starts freaking out because she thinks that she is going to get blamed. So, she steals a baby from a homeless woman who’s sitting outside, and that baby becomes Hitler.

John: Hmmm.

Ben: So, you see what I’m saying? That no matter how much you try to stop it, it seems that it’s always going to end up that way.

John: Yeah.

Laura: Mhm.

Jeff: Yeah.

Ben: I don’t know if the Hitler story was necessary, but…

[Everyone laughs]

John: I haven’t heard about Hitler in a while.

Jeff: Nice interlude, yeah.

[Laura laughs]

John: Yeah

Ben: Hope you get the point.

Jeff: Yeah, that’s a good point.

Other Prophecies in Phoenix

Ben: Okay. And it’s also important to bring up that in Order of the Phoenix, there are other prophecies that – there are other prophecies that actually happen. There’s one other prophecies – there’s one other prophecy, and it’s very interesting. When I read the book – when I was rereading Order of the Phoenix for the second time, I started freaking out. Okay, here’s what it says. In Order of the Phoenix, there are two prophecies broken, and you hear snippets of their content, and you hear, “‘At the solstice will come anew,’ said the figure of an old, bearded man; ‘And none will come after,’ said the figure of an old woman.” Okay. After I read Order of the Phoenix, I looked up the definition of solstice, and I saw that it was June 21st.

Laura: Mhm. [laughs]

[Jeff laughs]

Ben: And that happened to be the same day that Order of the Phoenix was released.

Jeff: Yep.

Ben: So automatically, I started freaking out. The solstice will come anew, a new Harry Potter book…

[Jeff and Laura laugh]

Ben: …and none will come after!

[Everyone laughs]

Laura: Well, what I…

John: That’s funny.

Laura: I just found it kind of interesting…

Ben: And so I just about died.

Laura: I found it interesting because I think that that night so many prophecies were broken when they Reducto‘d all the shelves to escape from the Death Eaters, and I think that Jo kind of made a point of having us hear those two little clips.

Ben: Mhm.

Laura: And the way that…

Ben: They’re in italics in the book, actually, so…

Laura: Yeah.

Ben: …that points to the fact that…

Jeff: Oh yeah, she always has a point if she brings something up. [laughs]

Laura: Exactly. So…

John: Yeah.

Laura: I think there are multiple ways to interpret that, but when I was kind of reading it, the first thought that came to my mind was that maybe the war with Voldemort would end at the solstice, and that after that, no other evil wizard, or no other wizard that could live up to either Harry or Voldemort’s status as being able to take over or being able to kind of dominate the entire wizarding world, would come.

Rachel: Yeah.

Ben: Right, but don’t you think it’s more of a war of – okay, there’s the physical war going on, but isn’t it also the war of ideologies? People continue…

Laura: Mhm.

Ben: I got, like, two e-mails of people getting mad about me comparing it to the war on terrorism. But it’s sort of the same concept when you say, “Okay. Can you really win the war on terrorism?” Can you really win the war? I mean, if you defeat Voldemort, is it really going to stop – like, defeat the ideal?

Laura: No.

Ben: Not really.

Jeff: Is it going to stop racism or whatever…

Ben: Yeah.

Jeff: …you want to parallel it to, with the bloodlines and…

Laura: No.

Jeff: No. That’s always going to be there.

Rachel: Mhm.

Laura: It will always be there, but my question is, do we think that anyone like Voldemort is ever going to come along again?

Ben: Well, that’s hard to tell, of course.

Jeff: Yeah.

Laura: Mhm.

Ben: Of course, in the future there could be somebody who is equally as evil, but…

Jeff: Ever is a long time.

Ben: I don’t know.

Laura: Mhm.

Ben: Yeah.

[Rachel laughs]

Jeff: And even just today’s news about al-Zarqawi being blown up, they’re saying, “You know, and the war on terror, the ideal won’t die. Someone else will come along that has the same ideals.”

Laura: Mhm. Well, yeah.

Jeff: Whether or not he’ll be as successful at promulgating these ideas, it’s up to history to decide.

Laura: Yeah.

Ben: And so, does anyone else have any interpretations of the prophecy that we heard after one was broken off the shelf? Because there’s a reason Jo put it in there, and I couldn’t think past there being any more Harry Potter books. I just started freaking out!

[Laura and Rachel laugh]

Jeff: Read it again, Ben. Read it again.

Ben: Okay. “‘At the solstice will come anew,’ said the figure of an old bearded man; ‘And none will come after,’ said the figure of a young woman.” But see, another thing I have to bring up is if it’s talking about the winter solstice or the summer solstice?

[Jeff and Laura laugh]

Ben: That’s another thing.

John: Eh.

Ben: Seriously! Because there’s December 21st and then June 21st.

Jeff: Yeah.

Ben: So maybe – I don’t know. In Book – maybe in Book Six, something happens in or… Hmmm…

Jeff: I don’t know!

Laura: I don’t know.

Rachel: It’s a question…

Laura: [laughs] I guess we’ll just have to find out.

Ben: It’s so confusing!

[Rachel laughs]

Ben: It’s so confusing. I don’t know, it’s a…

Jeff: Well, wait, hold on. Another definition of solstice I just looked up is, “the highest point or culmination.” That’s the entire definition.

Ben: So, we don’t know if it’s actually talking about a date, like at the solstice, the actual solstice.

Jeff: Right, just the kind of culmination of the battle or the war.

Ben: Mhm. But what “will come anew” – will come anew what, though, Jeff?

Laura: A new world!

Jeff: A new…

Laura: A new life.

Jeff: Yeah.

Ben: And none will come after.

Laura: Maybe no other wars. Maybe no other huge battles like that.

Ben: Okay. If Harry Potter ends in…

[Everyone laughs]

Ben: …world peace for all, I’m not…

Laura: I’m not saying world peace! I’m not saying world peace. I’m saying none will come after in such a large scale.

Ben: Mhm.

Rachel: Yeah.

Laura: Or something along those lines.

Jeff: Maybe in regards to Harry in particular – none – he’ll be all set, he’s home free.

Laura: Yeah.

Rachel: Yeah.

Laura: Maybe it’s about him.

Jeff: Just him, yeah.

Ben: Yeah, I guess so.

[Jeff, Laura, and Rachel laugh]

The Origin of True Seers

Ben: Okay. And the last part of this discussion – Professor Trelawney. Most of the time her predictions and stuff are really off the wall. How do you guys think that true Seers come about, and how often do they come about? Because we’ve seen Trelawney make two predictions that appear to be accurate now, and in the meantime between those predictions, she’s spouting off about [in a Trelawney voice] “The Grim! You see the Grim!” and stuff like that. And so, how often do you guys think that true Seers come about?

Jeff: Well, let me get this straight. You’re saying Trelawney’s not a real Seer? [laughs]

[Laura and Rachel laugh]

Ben: No! No, no, no.

Laura: Well, I guess it just – I guess it kind of comes down to the question of: can you be born sort of partially a Seer, or can you be born a full Seer? How many – see, we haven’t really seen any Seers outside of other Seers.

Rachel: I mean, Trelawney – yeah. That’s what I was going to mention.

Laura: And we don’t know how many correct prophecies they’ve made in their lifetime.

Ben: Yeah.

Laura: And we’ve seen that there’s a good number of them at the Department of Mysteries, so either there’s a very small number of people who produce a lot of them or there’s a large number of people who don’t produce that many.

Ben: Right, and are all Seers the same way as Trelawney?

Rachel: Yeah.

Ben: As Laura mentioned, is it that every once in a blue moon they predict a true prophecy, or a real prophecy, is what I’m saying?

Rachel: Mhm.

Laura: Mhm.

Ben: Or is it that some people it comes to them all the time? Jeff?

John: Well, I want to know about the whole Divination thing. Is – is there anything to the reading tea leaves and reading crystal balls and all that junk?

[Rachel laughs]

John: Or are true Seers able to just – the prophecy, things just come to them. I mean, I don’t think every good Seer speaks their prophecies in the weird, deep, crazy voice like Trelawney does.

Ben: Right. [laughs]

[Jeff laughs]

John: I think that’s sort of just getting…

Ben: Getting into it?

John: Basically just – no!

[Ben laughs]

John: I think that’s her – was it her grandma who was the famous Seer that Dumbledore talked about?

Ben: Yeah.

Laura: Mhm.

John: I think maybe she was channeling this woman and her family, or she was using Sybil as a vessel for this, such an important prophecy, that somehow it was transcending death or whatever. I don’t know if we know that what’s-her-face is dead or not – Trelawney’s grandma.

Laura: Wow, I’ve never thought about it that way before. That’s pretty interesting. [laughs]

Ben: John Noe, you’re completely underrated.

[Laura and Rachel laugh]

Ben: I’m serious.

John: No.

Ben: You’re great.

John: Stop!

Ben: Okay, well that wraps up the final portion of our main discussion this week. If you have any listener rebuttals considering – I mean, concerning – these discussions, remember to e-mail us at mugglecast at staff dot mugglenet dot com.

Gimme A Butterbeer – Harry Is Not Just For Children

Ben: Now it’s time for this week’s – for everybody’s favorite segment…

John: Oh, oh.

Ben: This week’s, Gimme A Butterbeer.

[Everyone laughs and cheers]

Laura: Yay!

Rachel: Yay!

John: I want to do one next!

Ben: Gimme A Butterbeer is back again this week. This week’s topic is very timely considering we have two older HP fans on the show. Catch that, Jeff? I said “older”.

Jeff: Who’s this? Oh, okay.

[Laura laughs]

Ben: Harry Potter has received many accolades as an adult book. And many critics claim that the series is meant solely for children, which begs the question (and this week’s topic…):

Is Harry Potter for kids or adults?

I didn’t jump on the Harry Potter bandwagon until I was in eighth grade. One day I needed a book for “silent reading time” and so I grabbed Harry Potter off of the shelf. As an eighth grader, I started getting made fun of by the other kids for reading something as “childish” as Harry Potter.

Anyone listening to this show knows that Harry Potter isn’t just for people ages 8-12; it’s for everyone. Look at the way that Jo has written the series. It’s far too complex for someone as young as ten to be capable of understanding. As I’ve re-read the series as I’ve gotten older, I’ve begun to pick up more and more on the subtle nuances of the series and it all becomes clearer in my mind.

The beauty of the Harry Potter books is that it can be looked at from so many different perspectives. You have the casual ten-year-old who wants to read the series for the story line of a boy wizard fighting evil. Then you have people like the people on this show who read the series analytically and try to discover what’s coming next. Of course, you’ll have the older fans who will read the series out of curiosity to see what all the craze it about. So, it’s obvious that Harry isn’t just for kids – it’s for everyone of all ages.

Jo’s work deserves all of the awards it has received. We all agree that the Harry Potter books are like no other. JK has invested a incredible amount of time into tangling a web for her readers to try and follow; she deserves credit for that, whether it’s in the form of a Harry Potter fan site or in the form of an adult book award.

I felt uncomfortable when I first began to read the Harry Potter series. I felt out of place, like a social misfit. As my love for Harry grew, I began to see that there were millions of other people out there like me. We’re not freaks – we’re just Harry Potter fans.

I’m Ben Schoen and I say, Gimme A Butterbeer!

[Everyone laughs]

Laura: Wow.

John: That’s good, Ben. You know – I actually, can I answer your Butterbeer just briefly?

Ben: Yeah, go ahead and talk. There’s a discussion following this.

John: Oh, I didn’t know if that was allowed.

[Jeff laughs]

Ben: Yeah.

[Laura laughs]

John: I’ve always thought that the reason so many people are so quick to call it a children’s book is look at what would happen if you call it the alternative – you call it an adult book. It’s very easy for those critics, or for the people who defend the series from the people who say that it’s all about witchcraft and occult and all of that crap, to just say, “Oh you know, they’re just for kids.” And it’s easy to just brush it under the table like that. But, it takes much more effort for people to try to categorize a book that is about things like imaginary witches and wizards and magics and co-existing magical societies, and call that an adult book; because that really goes against the frame of mind for many adults, and a society today, imagination is just something that has gone into neglect. And there’s such a serious world out there and not many people of adult age – especially the ones that don’t have children – often use their imaginations anymore. So, to call it an adult book – to have that be accepted by the society, is also to have society accept their own imaginations. And I don’t think…

Laura: Mhm.

Ben: Right. But John, by having the same line of thinking, do you think the same people that consider Harry Potter a children’s book would consider Lord of the Rings a children’s book? I think it has a lot to do with the way that the series is written. Like I said that it’s like no other. A ten-year-old couldn’t – would have a lot harder time reading Lord of the Rings and making any sense of it whatsoever. Like I said, we try to read the books and analyze them and find out what’s coming next, and we can read more in-depth into the storyline than a ten-year-old could. But at the same time, a ten-year-old can’t understand what is going – can understand what is going on in Harry Potter to a certain extent.

John: No. The only big difference there is that as small as those little hobbits are, I think we don’t understand that they’re 40-years old in hobbit years, and everybody – the main characters of Harry Potter are children. So, for adults to identify with these children takes another disconnection, which is very seldom made. And Lord of the Rings are all pretty much adults – like an action-fantasy novel.

Laura: I think that that’s one of the things that I just love so much about Harry, is that it’s just such a hard book to categorize. I’ve been reading these books since I was 11, and I can definitely say that the way I’ve – the reasons that I’ve been reading them have definitely changed. When I first started reading them, it was these are fun books, they’re really good, I love the plots, and I love the characters, and I love to go outside and pretend like my tree is a Whomping Willow, and all this other silly stuff.

[John and Rachel laugh]

Laura: And now, it’s for the fact that, “Wow, I can actually sit here and analyze this, and I can feel really intelligent when I think I’ve picked up on something.” And it’s just one of the most awesome things ever, and it’s why I love Harry. And I think that another important thing to say about the series is the fact that while it is not easily categorized as a book for a specific age group, I don’t think that it’s necessarily a fantasy book either. I think that it has fantasy elements; it has witches and wizards and magic and wands, but I think that a lot the storyline and plot line, in essence, is more of a mystery or suspense. And, it’s just another thing that I respect Jo for, because she’s able to make this such a dynamic story, and you can look at it from so many different angles and directions.

Rachel: Yes. Amen, Laura.

[Everyone laughs]

Jeff: I agree with that. Everyone has a story of how they got into Harry Potter, and I can’t believe now, it’s been six years. I picked up Book Four – actually Book One in 2000, and that’s the first time I got into it. Right after I read the first book, or maybe it was the second or the third or fourth, I got all the way through in that summer, and I went online immediately and tried to find other adult fans who liked Harry Potter. That was my first goal coming online. I was like, “You know, I wonder. There must be some small group of people – adults – that like to talk about Harry Potter online and discuss what could be coming.” And lo and behold, there’s an entire world online of adults – and for kids. And it’s just such a breath of fresh air. I mean, Ben, you said in your commentary that maybe some kids were not capable of understanding it. I think it’s more that different age levels have a different understanding of it. I think you did touch on that, too, in your commentary, which is that the kids see the magic and the sorcery and all that, and the adults see this very mature social storytelling about the plight of social injustice and racism, and that really was what got me in and thinking this isn’t just a kid’s book; it’s for everybody, and it has layers for everybody.

Ben: Definitely. Well, if you have any comments for me or for anyone else’s opinions, please e-mail ben at staff dot mugglenet dot com about this segment. I’m really starting to like this segment. I think the fans are, too.

Rachel: Mhm.

Laura: I’ve loved this segment since the very first one.

[Ben and Rachel laugh]

Spy On Spartz

Ben: Well, folks, it’s time to lighten things up a bit. We’ve been analyzing everything for the past hour or so, so it’s time for a little bit of Spy on Spartz; Laura’s really excited.

John: Oh, no!

Laura: Oh, yay! I’m so excited! Not!

Rachel: Oh, god.

[Laura and Rachel laugh]

Jeff: I haven’t talked to Emerson in so long. What is he up to, Ben?

Ben: I don’t know.

John: Not much, now. He is on summer vacation.

Jeff: Oh, yeah.

Ben: Mhm.

[Phone rings]

[Rachel laughs]

Jeff: Oh, we actually get to call him?

Ben: Yeah, we’re calling him.

Jeff: Oh.

John: Magical.

Jeff: It is magical.

Emerson’s Dr. Evil Voicemail: Do not make me angry…

John: [groans] Oh.

Jeff: Oh, no!

Emerson’s Dr. Evil Voicemail: When Dr. Evil does not get…

Ben: Hold on, hold on. Well, we’re still going to find a way to Spy on Spartz.

John: We ought to just call this the Dr. Evil segment.

Laura: Aren’t you supposed to give out a digit of his number?

Ben: Hold on, hold on. We’ll call, we’ll call La Casa de Spartz.

Jeff: I wouldn’t.

Ben: Hold on, guys.

Jeff: Yeah, when Mr. Bigglesworth gets upset, you know what happens.

[John and Laura laugh]

John: Really scary.

Jeff: People die!

Ben: Oh, here we go.

Papa Spartz: Hello. This is Tom.

Ben: Is Emerson home?

Papa Spartz: Hold on.

[Laura laughs]

Jeff: Oooh. Hold on.

John: Is that Papa?

Ben: Yeah.

John: Aww! I want to talk to Papa!

Ben: Sssh!

Jeff: Be quiet!

Ben: Sssh!

[John and Laura laugh]

Jeff: Get Dylan on the phone.

Ben: [whispers] Oh! Sssh! Sssh! All of you!

Emerson: This is Emerson.

Ben: Hey, Emerson. What are you doing?

Emerson: What?

Ben: [laughs] Hey, Emerson. What are you doing?

Emerson: Oh. Um, we’re kind of hitting a wiffle ball.

[Jeff and John laugh]

Ben: Well, that’s awesome! Did you win?

Emerson: Ummm, yeah. Except Dylan walked out in the middle of the game.

Ben: Ooh! You smashed him, didn’t you?

Emerson: Oh, you know Dylan.

Ben: Yeah, I know Dylan. Hey, we’re Spying on Spartz, so say, “Hi,” to everybody.

Emerson: Hi, everybody!

Ben: Yes! We’ve got Jeff from – Jeff Guillaume and John. So… Emerson, why weren’t you on this week? I invited you to be on this week, why didn’t you join us?

Emerson: Oh, I had a serious wiffle ball game.

Ben: Oh, geez [laughs]. That’s just too bad.

[Laura laughs]

Emerson: [Unintelligible]

Ben: You’re lucky, you’re lucky you answered, because I was about to give out…

[Jeff laughs]

Ben: …a digit of your phone number, and we’re – one of these times, we’re going to get all the way through them, and next thing you know, your cell phone is going to be bombarded with phone calls.

Emerson: Yeah. How many digits are out now?

John: You know how many…

Ben: Uh, three.

John: …combinations there are of seven numbers?

Jeff: Yeah.

Emerson: So, you’re going to give out seven more digits?

Ben: Yeah, so you better start answering your cell phone. You lucked out today. I said I’d call your house and let that count. So…

Emerson: Lucky me, because my cell phone doesn’t work.

Ben: Oh, that’s true! Oh, geez, how many phones have you gone through now?

Emerson: Uh, I think I’m on number eight, but this one is a bit worn out.

Ben: Ouch. Listen to this poor kid!

Emerson: This one is worn out.

John: You suck!

[Everyone laughs]

Ben: Okay, Emerson. Well, that – we’re done spying on you. I wanted to see what was up.

[Laura laughs]

Emerson: Bye!

Ben: Hey. See you.

Emerson: Have fun castin’.

Ben: What’s that?

Emerson: Have fun castin’.

Ben: Oh, we will.

[Jeff laughs]

Ben: You have fun playing wiffle ball. See you, dude!

Emerson: Bye.

Ben: So, that was this week’s Spy on Spartz. I hope you all enjoyed that.

[Everyone laughs]

Ben: I sure did. It was a nice…

Laura: It was so exciting! Yay!

John: It was a nice little break from all this – I didn’t know you guys did that.

Ben: Oh, yeah. We started this thing where we give out a digit of his phone number…

[Jeff laughs]

Ben: …if he doesn’t answer the phone.

John: I realized that there are 5,040 different combinations of seven numbers.

Ben: There are more than that, aren’t there?

John: Oops.

Ben: Seven factorial…

John: And that’s not including an area code. Well, I guess if you know where he lives, you could get the area codes.

Jeff: [laughs] And who doesn’t! I mean – oh, what?

John: Yeah.

[Jeff, John and Laura laugh]

John: I thought he lives in Kansas, doesn’t he?

Jeff: Yeah, yeah.

Ben: Yeah.

John: That’s where all the…

Ben: Dude, they know the P.O. Box. They know that’s where I live.

John: That’s where all the cool kids live.

Ben: Okay. We’re going to wrap up this week’s show. I think it’s been a good show. I’ve enjoyed Casting with all of you guys.

John: Oh, thanks! You’re a good – good group.

Laura: Awww!

John: I like calling it…

Jeff: Yeah. That was cute.

[Jeff, Laura, and Rachel laugh]

Jeff: Castin’ with an apostrophe.

John: What are you…? Cast? Oh.

Jeff: Castin’.

John: Oh, with no ‘g’?

Jeff: Oh, Castin’ [laughs]. No “g”.

John: That is how the cool kids say it these days.

Jeff: Oh, well, we are older. So….

John: We have to get in with the lingo…

Jeff: Yeah.

John: …with the kids.

[Laura laughs]

Jeff: Thanks. Thanks for that, Ben.

Favorite Weasley

Ben: [laughs] Okay. So, this is our Harry Potter Favorites segment. I say something, you tell me what your favorite is: your favorite Weasley? Go, Jeff.

Jeff: Oh, Ron.

Ben: Why?

Jeff: Oh, I have to say why?

Ben: Yeah.

Jeff: Because he’s cool? I don’t know. No [laughs] He’s a loyal friend, and he’s funny, and he’s just average. He’s like your buddy. That’s about it.

John: Mhm.

Ben: Laura?

Laura: Oh, Ron. Absolutely Ron. Probably mostly because he reminds me of one of my best friends. So, it kind of cracks me up to read them, because I read it and I think, “Oh!” [laughs] So…

Ben: What about you, Rachel?

Rachel: Percy.

[Laura and Rachel laugh]

Ben: Percy? Oh geez.

[Everyone laughs]

Rachel: That would be my favorite. Yes.

Ben: Rachel is what we call an outlier, okay?

John: Oh, Rachel!

Ben: She’s crazy. She’s radical.

John: You’re an oddball.

Rachel: Really! Percy, because he’s fun to hate on.

[Laura and Rachel laugh]

Rachel: He’s the only Weasley that I can’t stand, so it’s fun to hate him. So, I don’t like him.

Ben: [laughs] Okay. What about you, John?

John: Oh, my. I think it would have to be Ginny Weasley.

Ben: Ginny Weasley?

Rachel: Ewww. Ugh!

Laura: Eww!

John: But you’re not allowed to ask me why.

[Everyone laughs]

Rachel: Oh, god.

Laura: Ben?

Ben: Okay. My favorite Weasley – yeah, probably Ginny.

John: Yeah.

Rachel: Oh, please!

Ben: She’s a sweetheart.

[Laura laughs]

Ben: You know, just those love scenes, you know?

[John laughs]

Ben: The kissing scenes in Half-Blood Prince just warmed my heart.

[Jeff, John, and Laura laugh]

Ben: Made me insanely jealous of Harry.

Jeff: Oh, god.

John: Without all of that warmed there, Ben?

Ben: Yeah. That’s all – John!

[Laura groans]

John: What?

Jeff: Oh, man.

John: Your mind and your soul.

Show Close

Ben: So, I think that wraps up MuggleCast Episode 43. I’ve had a good time doing the show with all you guys.

John: Wooo!

Ben: This goes…

Jeff: That was fun.

Ben: You know what this proves right here? This proves that the show will go on without Andrew Sims.

[Everyone laughs]

Ben: High-fives all around.

Laura: Don’t tell him that.

Ben and


High fives.

Jeff: You have to slap hands! [slaps]

Ben: Slap hands! Slap hands!

Jeff: Slap hands! Slap hands! [laughs]

John: And it’s also good for inter-house relations, I believe.

Ben: Nah.

Jeff: Yeah!

John: From the MuggleNet house, the Leaky house, and the HPANA house.

Laura: Yeah. True that.

Jeff: Yeah, this was a…

John: The house.

[Ben, Jeff, and Laura laugh]

Ben: This was quite a diverse show.

John: Yes.

Laura: Yeah.

Ben: Okay. Well, I’m Ben Schoen.

Jeff: It was a pleasure.

Ben: Yeah, it was a pleasure.

Laura: Yeah.

Ben: I’m Ben Schoen.

Laura: I’m Laura Thompson.

Rachel: I’m Rachel Godoy. Bye!

Ben: And, you two are?

[Jeff laughs]

John: Oh, I’m John [laughs] Noe.

[Jeff laughs]

John: My name is hilarious.

Ben: Yeah.

Jeff: And I’m Jeff…

Ben: Guillaume!

Jeff: …from H – Guillaume…

John: [in high-pitched voice] It’s an acronym! [laughs]

Jeff: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Ben: Good show, guys. Good show, guys.


[Background laughter]

Ben: Oh my god, it’s Jeff Guillaume from HPANA!

[Background laughter]


Written by: Micah, Amanda, Ally, David, Jessica, Margaret, Rhiannon, Roni, and Sarah