Transcript #624


MuggleCast 624 Transcript


Transcript for MuggleCast Episode #624, Where’s the Moonscreen? (POA Chapter 20 The Dementor’s Kiss)

Show Intro

[Show music plays]

Andrew Sims: Welcome to MuggleCast, your weekly ride into the wizarding world fandom. I’m Andrew.

Eric Scull: I’m Eric.

Micah Tannenbaum: I’m Micah.

Laura Tee: And I’m Laura.

Andrew: And this week, be sure to put on your chapstick because the Dementors are finally going to get their chance to pucker up.

[Eric and Laura laugh]

Andrew: I almost made a kissy noise, but I don’t think some people like that. Some people don’t dig the ASMR.

Eric: Right.

Laura: Yeah, we’ve gotten feedback about that before.

[Andrew laughs]

Laura: I really appreciate how these episode intros seem to get more unhinged every week.

Andrew: [laughs] Well, who wrote this?

Laura: Oh, I did. I went all in on it this week because of last week…

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: Laura is patting herself on the back.

Laura: Yeah. I feel like we should just lean into it.

Andrew: Absolutely, yeah.

Eric: I agree.

Andrew: Well, before we get to this chapter – and we do have a fun little stat about this chapter, which is Chapter 20, “The Dementor’s Kiss” – just a couple of quick reminders. Last week we told everybody about year two of the MuggleCast Collector’s Club, and this is a five-year program in which each year between now and 2026, we will be sending you four to five exclusive new stickers that celebrate the show’s past and present. And we’re also giving you the Collector’s Club card, which is this beautiful backing card for your stickers. If you want to put them on there, you can; you don’t have to. But it’s really great; it’s beautiful artwork all around. Year two stickers celebrate various parts of MuggleCast past and present: We have our old Chicken Soup for the MuggleCast Soul sticker, we’ve got a sticker with a classic iPod with MuggleCast playing, we’ve got a sticker with Hogwarts on fire… so check out the MuggleCast Collector’s Club. You must pledge by September 22 and fill out the form to receive year two stickers. This is the only year you can receive these stickers. This is just one of the many benefits you receive, and actually, we have a new bonus MuggleCast coming soon. Eric, do you want to tease what that’s about this week?

Eric: Absolutely. Yeah, by the time this episode is out, so too will be the next bonus MuggleCast segment for this month, and it is video of the content creators roundtable that was done at LeakyCon this year. This was a really fun panel that we had, a panel discussion about creating content, how people got started… Micah did this with me, as well as Em Wallbank and Chanel Williams, who you may know from TikTok, and Trey Beachum, as well as Lauren Fairweather, who did a great job moderating. So it’s a 50-minute video that’s now fully available, and just go check it out, because this is what we do at these cons. There’s an air of unpredictability. For instance, I believe that one of the panelists is in character the whole time as some Elvis guy.

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: Oh, I’ve heard of that guy.

Eric: Yeah, he’s kind of a weird, dude…

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: … but his outfit is impeccable.

Andrew: [laughs] “Kind of a weird dude.” Eric, Eric…

Eric: Impeccable vibes. So that’s a gift for all people who support us on Patreon; we’re very grateful always, but special bonus content that’s only available if you subscribe.

Andrew: Yeah, we’re doing two bonus MuggleCast installments a month. Laura, you just actually did a great bonus MuggleCast installment for us, or led it, I should say.

Laura: Oh, thank you. Yeah, we talked about our favorite – or maybe some of the most convincing – headcanons for Harry Potter that we were able to source from Reddit, from Tumblr. These are basically fan imaginings of things that could have happened offscreen that we don’t necessarily get to see represented in the books. It was a really, really fun discussion, and I feel like we could honestly make that a series if we wanted to because the the well is unlimited there, I think. There’s a lot to dig into.

Micah: The people have spoken. I think they want another installment of that on a future bonus MuggleCast.

Laura: All right!

Micah: We’ve seen some feedback on social media; people really enjoyed it. I’m still trying to process Mrs. Norris is Filch’s wife.

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Micah: That’s been in the back of my head all week long.

Andrew: So check out to check out all the benefits that we have to offer.

Chapter by Chapter: Seven-Word Summary

Andrew: And now it’s time for Chapter by Chapter, and this week we’re discussing Chapter 20 of Prisoner of Azkaban, “The Dementor’s Kiss,” and we’ll start as always with our seven-word summary.

[Seven-Word Summary music plays]

Micah: Chaos…

Eric: … ensues…

Laura: … on…

Andrew: … Hogwarts…

Micah: … grounds…

Eric: … under…

[Andrew gasps]

Eric: [whispers] Moonlight. Moonlight.

Laura: … moonlight, thank you.

[Andrew laughs]

[Seven-Word Summary music ends]

Laura: I was like, “God, what’s the word I’m looking for?” I knew that’s where we were going.

Andrew: Oh, beautiful.

Laura: This is a good one, y’all.

Andrew: It is. So romantic.

Laura: Micah, that was such a great word to start our seven-word summary with.

Micah: Thank you. I didn’t even know I was starting it until I just looked seconds ago.

[Eric and Laura laugh]

Laura: Well, your girl may have realized 15 minutes before the episode started that she hadn’t put a seven-word summary order in, so… congratulations. That’s why you ended up in the first spot.

Micah: You’ve always got to be prepared.

Laura: We like to be chaotic here, especially when we have what I think is a unique chapter for these books, right, Andrew? There’s something that makes this chapter unique as a Harry Potter chapter. [laughs]

Andrew: Oh, yes. So we did actually mention this a couple of weeks ago: People don’t know this, but we actually have a research team behind the scenes at MuggleCast. We don’t talk about them much. They’re a crackpot group of researchers we employ; they’ve got decades of experience on the web. They’re sometimes known to Muggles as ChatGPT and Google.

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: And we consulted our crackpot research team, and we found that this is the shortest chapter in the Harry Potter series.

Eric: Wow.

Andrew: So let’s see how long this episode will be. [laughs]

Laura: Like, six pages, right? Six and a half?

Andrew: Yeah. Hey, but that’s okay.

Laura: Yeah, it’s fine. What’s so funny about it is it is such a quick chapter, but a lot happens here. And we’re going to try and really capture some some of the big moments from this chapter because I would say there are three big items, but you could probably make an argument for four or five depending on how you want to break them up. But this chapter really picks up where we left off last time: The trio, Remus and Sirius, unconscious Snape, Crookshanks, Pettigrew are all exiting the tunnel that originates underneath the Whomping Willow. And there’s this one shining moment. Harry gets these glimmers of hope throughout the series – they don’t tend to last very long – and this is one of them. He has it officially confirmed – although he already knew – Sirius reminds him, “Hey, I’m your godfather,” and there’s this touching exchange the two of them have where Sirius is almost bashful, almost maybe embarrassed, a little bit apprehensive, afraid of what Harry is going to say. I imagine him shuffling his feet. It doesn’t say this in the chapter, but I’m imagining him shuffling his feet, avoiding eye contact and saying, “Hey, you know, I’m your godfather, and if you wanted to come live with me you can, but I totally understand it if you didn’t want to, totally get it if you want to stay with your aunt and uncle,” even though Sirius knows Harry’s aunt and uncle suck. He knows this.

Andrew: Yeah, it feels like a first date sort of thing almost.

Laura: It does! It really does.

Eric: Aww.

Andrew: “Does he like me? Does he not?”

Laura: Well, think about what these two have been through.

Eric: In such a short amount of time, because 20 minutes ago Harry wanted to murder this guy. [laughs]

Laura: Yeah, I mean, Harry attacked him a couple chapters ago.

Eric: Yeah, but new circumstances. I feel like just the shock of Scabbers, who they’ve known for three years, being this man, this Peter Pettigrew, servant of Voldemort, and everything that’s happened, has shocked Harry into this position of “Anything is possible.” And the idea of Sirius being Harry’s godfather was so disgusting to Harry back when he thought he was a murderer, but now it’s this amazing out. It’s this amazing solution to all of Harry’s troubles at home. And I hate how hopeful it is because your heart, reading this, just soars for an instant. It’s so touching, and you’re like, “Harry is finally going to be with his people out of Hogwarts.”

Laura: Yeah. As a first time reader, you think that, right? But if you’ve read the whole series and you’re revisiting it like we are, what really makes this tragic is this could have never been because of the blood magic that provides protection to Harry.

Eric: Do you think Dumbledore wouldn’t have allowed it?

Laura: So, this was actually a question I wanted to kick off this discussion with. I have a “What if?”

[“What if?” sound effect plays]

Laura: What if Peter – or Scabbergrew – had not escaped and Sirius’s innocence had been provable? Would Dumbledore have been forced to explain Harry’s blood protection sooner?

Eric: [imitating Dumbledore] “Sorry, Harry. For reasons, you can’t go to Sirius.”

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: It’s interesting because currently… by Book 5, Grimmauld Place is set up with the Fidelius Charm, right? So that is as secure as the Potters were from Voldemort. So on the one hand, we’ve seen that fail and Voldemort got through it because they didn’t trust the right guy. But I feel like Grimmauld place is pretty secure. It might not be as good the magic as Dumbledore set up for Petunia and Vernon, but I feel like somebody could argue with Dumbledore that Grimmauld Place is the better place for Harry to be brought up, and he’ll just have to friggin’ cope.

Micah: Yeah, one thing that comes to mind is I don’t think that Harry needs to stay for long periods of time with the Dursleys, he just needs to return there.

Andrew: Yes.

Micah: We see that happen in other books, where… like the next one, he’s off to the Quidditch World Cup very early on in his stay at Privet Drive. So I think maybe he would have to take a little bit of a trip there, even if he didn’t want to, and I’m sure the Dursleys would be totally fine with that, too, by the way, Harry only staying for one night. And then he could go to live with Sirius.

Andrew: I don’t know if this ended up being canon or not, but I seem to remember that the deal was, like you’re saying, a check-in once a year to re-up your subscription, your commitment, and then that’s enough.

Laura: Yeah, they just had to welcome him into their home; “welcome” here being a very relative term.

Andrew: “Remember my last, Petunia.”

Laura; But this still means that Dumbledore has to explain something to Harry because otherwise, Harry is going to be like, “Why do I have to go back there ever?”

Eric: It does put Dumbledore in an uncomfortable position to explain more than I think he’d be willing to.

Laura: Well, it also exposes Harry to Kreacher in Book 3, as opposed to Book 5, and that could be a problem too.

Eric: Guess what? SPEW never happens because Hermione is introduced to Kreacher also.

[Eric and Laura laugh]

Laura: Oh my God. I also want to ask, in this hypothetical, would the Ministry have even allowed Harry to live with Sirius? I’ve seen a couple of comments in the Discord calling out that from a legal perspective, it wouldn’t matter; Sirius could override anyone telling him no because he is appointed Godfather. But justice under the law is not a thing in the wizarding world. [laughs] And I wonder how long it would have taken for the Ministry to truly expunge Sirius’s record and absolve him of any wrongdoing. I mean, look at how hesitant they are to even acknowledge the possibility that Voldemort could still be out there. I just don’t see Fudge tipping his bowler cap, and saying, “Oh, well, I guess we screwed that one up. Sorry, Sirius. Go live with your godson.”

Eric: Well, it’s funny because you do get a scene of that in the “Other Minister” chapter. [laughs] “Oh, it turns out he was not who we thought he was.” But it really is… the thing that’s most hopeful about this scene, right, with Sirius and Harry, is that Fudge is right up at the castle, and it’s a short walk, and Pettigrew is in chains. And you’re like, “They’re just going to introduce him and it’s going to be a pre-“He’s back” moment of “He’s alive.” Fudge will see Pettigrew and all will be well, and you want that to be the case. But to your point, Laura, the Ministry isn’t great at reparations. The Ministry isn’t great at acknowledging they’ve really had this witch hunt, they’ve put all these children through the Dementor bubble this whole year for basically the wrong man. And there’s arguments to be made of “They couldn’t have known the difference,” but it’s interesting to see how much freedom Sirius really would get back and how quickly that freedom would be forthcoming.

Micah: The one thing I think that’s working for Fudge is that he was not in power when Sirius was initially arrested and taken off to Azkaban, so he could easily place blame on who was Minister at the time for botching the whole thing. I think we would see a pretty big coverup of sorts on the part of the Ministry if in fact this whole scenario played itself out in this way. But I’ve got to imagine, too, just the exposure of Grimmauld Place to the larger wizarding world would be problematic, similar to what you were saying earlier about Kreacher. Grimmauld Place becomes such a place of refuge for the Order, for it to have such common knowledge in terms of being this place that Harry Potter lives every summer before he goes back to school, I think would cause some more problems for them too.

Eric: They might still be able to keep it secret where Harry is living, like he’s a pretty big celebrity living in the heart of London. He’s in St. John’s Wood, but it’s like, okay, you can’t really know where it is. I think Harry would understand that there’s still protections around telling people where he lives.

Micah: It is funny, though, Laura, that you have listed here “For one shining moment…” because in my mind, it conjures up the Luther Vandross song “One Shining Moment” that plays at the end of every NCAA tournament.

Laura: [laughs] Yeah.

Micah: I don’t know if anybody on here has ever heard it before.

Eric: Nope, never heard it.

Micah: But I almost imagine Harry and Sirius looking up at Hogwarts like they do in the movie, and that’s playing it off in the background.

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: I thought it was because like, moon-shining moment, because the moon shines and then all goes to hell.

Laura: Yeah. It’s a double entendre, right?

Andrew: It’s whenever you want it to mean.

Laura: It’s metaphorically a shining moment for Harry, but they’re literally about to have a shining moment and it’s not going to go very well for them.

[Micah laughs]

Eric: The thing about this, what makes it so sad, too, for me, is that Harry immediately leaps on it. “Do you have a place? When can I move in?” I mean, kind of a nod Grimmauld Place there.

Micah: Well, it’s a 13-year-old’s reaction. He finally feels like he can purge himself of the Dursleys, so he’s super excited about it.

Andrew: Right.

Micah: But if we put on our adult hat for a second, are we cool with Harry going to live with some strange dude he’s only known for 20 minutes?

Andrew: Well, yeah. So Harry’s not thinking that through, but everybody around him who supports him, the other adults are likely in favor, and I guess that’s really all that matters. I think we also have to remember how this book began, when we were talking about the earliest chapters 18-19 weeks ago with what happened with Aunt Marge. You look at that versus what Sirius is offering, you can see why Harry is so excited about it.

Eric: The bar is so low with the Dursleys. Literally anybody he lives with is better than the Dursleys. And for me, Lily and James already did that vetting when they asked Sirius to be Harry’s godfather; that was the vote of “You’re competent and can do this.” Harry doesn’t need to do additional scrutinizing about this. Sirius at that time would quickly… when Harry says, “When can I move in?” Sirius smiles and it’s this amazing moment in this chapter, where it says, “For the first time, Harry saw the man that had been in the wedding photo of his parents,” the best man shining through, the smile broke through and he was young again. Sirius really would have been that dude, he would have been the same dude that that Lily and James trusted to protect and raise Harry, he would have been a good godparent.

Micah: I’m going to play a little bit of devil’s advocate because I’m not so sure. And we see moments of this over the course of the next several books: Is he seeing Harry or is he seeing James? And what truly was the effect of him spending 12 years in Azkaban? Lily and James giving a vote of confidence to a Sirius that was still their friend and Order member is very different than a vote of confidence to somebody who is just coming off an extremely traumatic experience of having spent 12 years in prison. So I’m not sure Sirius is the best person to care for Harry.

Laura: I feel like he would need a lot of support, for sure. Almost like he would need to depend heavily on the Weasleys to help him reintegrate into society.

Micah: We see how that goes in Order of the Phoenix.

Laura: Yeah, I know, I know.

Eric: Well, Molly gets possessive.

Laura: He and Molly butt heads.

Andrew: And it is just during the summer. In theory, Harry is going to have friends over, he’ll go stay with his friends for a week or two… there will be stuff to keep him busy that isn’t just sitting around with Sirius waiting for Sirius to make him breakfast.

Eric: Think of all the stories that Sirius could tell Harry about stuff about his parents, how they met, how they got along. These are things that never get to happen because when Harry is living at Sirius’s house, they’re all bogged down by plot stuff in Book 5. It really could have been a nice several months both after this book and after the fourth book that I think would have been a really big time to heal. And the whole “Sirius only sees James” is slander, and it’s unfair for Molly to throw that at Sirius when she does, and I don’t think it represents the full picture of the man that Sirius would have been at this moment if all had gone well.

Laura: Yeah, I think that’s a fair statement. I mean, all of the problems… and I agree they are problems; Sirius is socially and emotionally stunted, and it’s not his fault. Something horrible and traumatic happened to him. He spent the prime years of his young adulthood wrongfully imprisoned, and that is going to mess you up; there’s no way that it doesn’t. But I think that he would have been set on a very different trajectory had the events of this night played out differently. So I think Sirius would still have some work to do. I think the benefit is that Harry, because of his upbringing with the Dursleys, has been forced from a very young age to care for himself and to have a level of independence. So I don’t know that Sirius would have to play a parent role with Harry in a traditional sense, because he is so self sufficient. We’ll never know what would have happened, unfortunately.

Eric: We’ll never know. It’s just, for me reading this the first time, I still remember how much of a game changer it felt like it might be, because at this point we’ve had three books that are very formulaic as they start out: Harry is at home on Privet Drive. And the idea of Harry starting a book somewhere else had never occurred to me, so it’s just like, “Oh my God, are we going to get June/July with Sirius and Harry hanging out?” It’ll basically be like Harry hanging out in Diagon Alley in this book, but before and after every year, just like he’s free to roam about. He has all the answers to all his past and all this stuff. That’s what I wanted out of this living situation. I just felt that I had never considered that the books would stray so far from Harry starting and ending at Privet Drive, and of course, they don’t, but it was a really titillating possibility.

Laura: Yeah, somebody should write a fan fiction. Eric, there’s an idea for you. [laughs]

Eric: I’ll do it. I’ll do it. Yeah, I’ve got to finish the other one, but this one will be next.

Laura: Well, we’re going to get back into the reality of what happens in this chapter, which is much sadder than the alternate universe that we just imagined. But first, I just have to call out a quick Lol moment: As they’re leaving the tunnel, of course Snape is unconscious and Sirius is levitating his unconscious body, and Snape keeps bumping his head against the low ceiling of the passageway, and the text notes that “Harry had the impression Sirius was making no effort to prevent this.” [laughs]

Andrew: It is really funny because it’s so easy to imagine, too, his body just floating and scraping the ceiling. Poor Snape. I feel bad for Snape.

Micah: I can’t imagine why Alan Rickman didn’t agree to this in the films.

Andrew: You think he didn’t? Do you think they were thinking of doing it?

Micah: Well, they changed the entire dynamic of how the situation plays out and that’s probably worth discussing at some point, too, because it is not Sirius; it’s Snape that jumps in front of the trio to protect them in the film. So I wonder if that foresight of Alan Rickman knowing the importance of Snape’s character and his love of Lily, did they change that scene accordingly?

Andrew: I see.

Eric: I wonder.

Andrew: Well, they should MAX this. This would be a light moment for the TV show for sure to see.

Laura: Yeah, I agree.

Eric: It does show the level of I guess immaturity, though, that Sirius and Snape… yeah, they’ve never seen eye to eye, but Sirius is still getting those jabs in. He’s still physically harming Snape whenever he can. And yeah, Snape sucks, but come on, man.

Laura: Yeah. And he’s doing it to him in the secret passage to the Shrieking Shack, the same place where he tried to play another very nasty trick on him when they were in school together.

Eric: Yeah, too soon.

Laura: Well, back to this really unique parade of people we have moving across the Hogwarts grounds. As a reminder, Lupin and Ron are chained to Peter to keep him from escaping. I know we have some questions about this particular arrangement and why there weren’t maybe some more secure measures put in place, but I wanted to call out this moment as they’re moving across the grounds. At this point, there’s still cloud cover. The full moon is not visible. The moonlight isn’t hitting Remus. And as they emerge, Lupin threatens Peter; he’s pointing his wand at him and he just says, “One wrong move, Peter,” and he’s got the wand pointed at Peter’s chest. And I’m wondering, in this moment, is Lupin not necessarily threatening Peter beyond what has already been threatened, but is he realizing as he emerges into the night, “Oh my God, I didn’t take my potion tonight”? Is that awareness starting to set in for him?

Andrew: [laughs] Yeah.

Laura: And does he have this realization of, “Oh, I can’t do anything right now, but if the cloud cover clears, we’re screwed”?

Andrew: Yeah, which is also interesting that the moon has to be visible. If it’s a full moon, it’s a full moon; it shouldn’t be dependent on the weather.

Eric: No, you’re right there. That’s definitely a weird kind of janky thing.

Andrew: Yeah. Lupin should have been tracking this. He should be tracking it every month.

Eric: He needs an app, a moon cycles tracking app. Yeah. Let it go off.

Laura: You know, such things do exist for monthly tracking of other…

Eric: Cycles?

Andrew: Cycles.

Laura: … cycles, yes, exactly.

Andrew: Like, I bicycle, and I track that.

Laura: [laughs] But also, I mean, if we’re making that particular comparison – if you know, you know – you feel changes in your body when that time is coming up, and I have to imagine Lupin is going through a similar phase.

Eric: Well, absolutely. Absolutely.

Andrew: And also, you see the moon phases every night. It doesn’t pop out of nowhere. [laughs]

Eric: He could feel himself about to transform, he’s on edge… earlier in the year, he was looking more haggard as the moon approached. I get it that adrenaline has suppressed some of that awareness, but it wouldn’t really suppress it all, especially now that things have calmed down. Lupin should have had the awareness to not go out with them. Let him stay in the Shrieking Shack. He’s like, “You guys, I’m done. I should stay here.” Because unfortunately… obviously we have to blame Lupin here for it all getting derailed a little bit.

Laura: Yeah. I think, too, this just… I think it shows Lupin’s limitations in a way. When he’s presented with that degree of life-altering emotional upheaval, I think it’s very reasonable to say that anyone would lose sight of what’s going on around them. But again, he knew that he had to take his potion that day. He was waiting for his potion when he saw everything on the map.

Eric: And he’s been told twice that he didn’t… yeah.

Laura: It’s been brought up a couple of times, so it’s definitely a miss for him. But to Andrew’s question about it actually needing to be the light of the full moon to cause the transformation, I’m just wondering: If it has to be the light, if he were just covered head to toe with a cloak would he be okay?

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: How about with sunscreen? Moonscreen?

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: There’s the title.

Laura: Moonscreen, that’s the episode title.

Andrew: Where’s the moonscreen?

Eric: Oh my God.

Laura: No moon tan for Remus. [laughs]

Andrew: No, it is a good question. I guess we have to always set aside for the plot, for the story, but that is… I don’t know. It is hard to get past this whole… I guess just for dramatic effect, the moon needs to reveal itself and bathe you in moonlight.

Eric: It’s amazing. It’s very cinematically written how everything occurs. And it obviously… when it all goes to hell in the movie, it’s equally like, “Oh no.”

Micah: I don’t think a cloak would protect Lupin, particularly because we have to assume that if he was in the castle, there’s no moonlight shining through there, depending on what room he’s in. And so we could argue, then, if a cloak would protect him, that being in a dark dungeon somewhere would protect him as well.

Laura: Are we saying this is a plot hole?

Andrew: Yes.

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Eric: I think it’s a plot hole. Also, because is he fully transformed for the entire few days that the full moon is a full moon? Even during the daytime, is he transformed? Because the moon is still there and the moon is still full, even though the sun makes you not be able to see it. How does it all work? We don’t know.

Laura: I think so because he has to miss classes, and he also notes that when he takes the Wolfsbane Potion, it allows him to curl up as a normal wolf under his desk for a few days.

Eric: This is not new to Lupin. At this point, this habit is way in there.

Laura: I want to call out something that’s being mentioned in our Discord by Court about Lupin’s transformation and the the timing of it, and the needing to anticipate this transformation and the effects it’s going to have on his life. Court is saying, “On the real, this is such a relatable moment for chronic illness sufferers. There is this weird, almost subconscious resistance to taking or remembering meds sometimes that’s very common for us.” So I think that, Court, thank you for sharing that. It’s really great perspective, right? It makes sense that you would want to not have your entire life schedule defined by this thing, right? So it may be fair to point out that maybe we’re being too hard on Lupin here.

Andrew: Yeah, and I think taking the medicine on any sort of schedule is going to be an uncomfortable reminder of your reality.

Laura: Yeah, that’s a great callout. Thanks, Court.

Micah: It’s the heat of the moment, too, I think. Eric, you mentioned the adrenaline earlier; we have to remember what’s happening here. This is a major life-altering reveal for Lupin and everybody involved, and I think the last thing on his mind is that he might transform into a werewolf or that he should have taken his potion. No? For Lupin and for Sirius, this has to be top of the list in terms of major life moments up until this point.

Eric: Yeah, you’re absolutely right. And it is important to show that Lupin, our favorite teacher, and up to this point, can do no wrong… these are the types of weaknesses that he has talked about. Lupin has a soft spot when it comes to his friends breaking rules, and Lupin really can’t be everywhere at once and really can’t juggle truly everything that’s been put on him. And so it’s actually perfect that he fails so hard this time because he needed to have that flaw, I think. Otherwise, he would have been the perfect character – like, unrealistically perfect character.

Laura: I wanted to… before we move on here, Micah, I know you had a point. And maybe this is the big failure of the chapter more than anything about Pettigrew.

Micah: [laughs] You alluded to this a little bit earlier, but one of the things that jumped into mind for me was, why is Pettigrew not completely immobilized in some way? It’s taken so long to expose him, you would think that every measure possible would be taken by Lupin and Sirius to ensure that regardless of whatever may happen – and we know that something big is about to happen – that Pettigrew just can’t escape. Think of the condition Snape is in just a few feet away; something similar could be done here to Pettigrew.

Andrew: Or have him transform back into Scabbers so Ron can spend a little more time with his buddy before he never sees him again, and put him in a hamster wheel, a hamster ball, and that’s it. And have Ron hold him.

[Laura laughs]

Eric: Well, yeah, but there’s Immobulus, there’s Petrificus Totalus, there’s Imperius. Don’t allow Peter the autonomy to perp walk him all the way up to the castle because he’s going to be looking for any out, and Lupin gets it; he even says to Peter, “One wrong move…” But don’t give him that option. The irony of this is that Snape, if he were awoke right now, if Snape came back to consciousness, he would have remembered about the potion and not let Lupin endanger them all by leaving the Shrieking Shack. And he would have been face to face with Peter. And we’ve talked on I think the previous week what that would look like, whether Peter would be allowed to leave the shack alive. But Snape would have helped with this whole situation, had he been… instead Sirius wants to keep bobbing his head on the cave thing, but they should have actually resuscitated Snape in that moment to better help Peter, or made Peter the same amount of unconsciousness that Snape was.

Laura: Well, as we established, Harry doesn’t get to bask in the glow of having a godfather that he can escape the Dursleys to go live with because Lupin is now basking in the glow of the moonlight. So we’re going to talk about the transformation: He is described as having gone rigid, his limbs began to shake, his head was lengthening and so was his body, his shoulders were hunching, hair was sprouting visibly on his face and hands, which were curling into clawed paws. This is actually a very frightening scene.

Micah: Totally.

Laura: I had forgotten the way this was described in the books.

Micah: And I would say mostly because it’s a total loss of control on the part of Lupin. You can tell now that he is nowhere close to the professor that we all know and love.

Laura: I thought we could speak for a moment about the movie. I did make a point of going back and watching the climax of Prisoner of Azkaban as we prepared to discuss these final chapters. How would we rate the werewolf transformation in the movie?

Andrew: Okay, first of all, I just want to say I would rate it 2003. It’s a different time, folks. Let’s be a little easier – or 2004 it came out, I guess. It was a different time. [laughs]

Micah: So what does that mean? Where are you going with that?

Andrew: I’m just saying go easy on it. The special effect abilities were at a different point.

Micah: Fair. I don’t know that I’m thinking as much along the lines of special effects. Maybe it’s just what he transformed into was not necessarily what I was expecting to see.

Andrew: Okay.

Micah: He almost looks a bit like a wet dog; that’s the image that sticks out in my mind. But again, also take into consideration the director in Alfonso Cuarón, kind of that Guillermo del Toro type of mindset that things… I don’t know. They’re not as sterile, not as clean.

Eric: Yeah, they’re not going to look like what you expect them to look like. He can still be a threatening werewolf, man-killing threat without looking like the most vicious beast you’ve ever seen. Like, the Grim in the movie looks as terrifying as the werewolf should look, and the werewolf looks almost defanged.

Andrew: When I look at stills from it right now of werewolf Lupin, I guess maybe – and I could be totally wrong – but maybe part of why they ended up where they did is just because they were trying to think about human elements that may have carried over too.

Micah: I think that’s right.

Eric: Yeah, I will say the design for Lupin in the movie does, I think, completely fit the personality of Lupin as somebody that’s been wounded and somebody that’s suffered their whole life. That wolf looks like it’s suffered its whole life. [laughs] So there is that element of it, but it’s not scary. And what’s weirder is that Hermione is able to do… this is what doesn’t work for me, is the whole meeting call. Or like, she howls like a female wolf and it works to distract Lupin because he’s what, he’s horny?

[Laura laughs]

Eric: Like, really? What are we supposed to get out of that? How it works in the movie that Lupin is distracted and runs off… there’s just so many questions that I have. That’s why the movie adaptation I think falls short for me. But the actual design of Lupin… even though I think it ultimately falls flat, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the concept of making him look more wounded or look more like an emaciated kind of wolf.

Micah: Yeah. And I would just add that I think we’ve all grown up probably seeing other depictions of werewolves through our childhood, whether it’s in stories that we read or on TV or in the movies. And so maybe we were coming in with a preconceived notion of what a werewolf should look like, and Alfonso says, “No, hold on. Actually, I’m going to show you what a werewolf is really supposed to look like.”

Eric: There’s still a spectrum. People in the Discord are bringing up American Werewolf in London, and that’s kind of the quintessential transformation scene where you see things that are described in this chapter of the book: hair length, fingers lengthening… actually, it’s mostly silhouette and done in a clever way. But that’s where the body horror aspect comes from it. And that’s not necessarily leaned into, but there’s definitely similarities in the two designs there.

Laura: Well, and I think, too, y’all are raising some good points about there being a spectrum, but also the preconceived notions… I think if we’re going into this story imagining the Universal Studios werewolf aesthetic, you’re going to be disappointed because that’s not what you get here. But if you look at literature, if you look at traditional depictions of werewolves, they do vary wildly. And I was actually surprised when I revisited the climax of Prisoner of Azkaban because in my memory – it had been so long since I saw it – I remembered feeling disappointed in not the transformation but the ultimate werewolf design, and then when I revisited it… sorry, I’m having mad acid reflux right now while we’re recording. [laughs] This is not good timing for it.

Micah: Are you transforming?

[Andrew gasps]

Laura: I hope not. Oh my God, is it a full moon?

Andrew: [laughs] Just stay in the shade and you’ll be fine.

Micah: Quick, grab your moon lotion. Your moonscreen.

Laura: So anyway, I think that what we get in Prisoner of Azkaban is actually not bad. I was surprised when I went back and saw it and realized actually, I think this aesthetic works for the movie. I think the thing that I don’t like is when he initially transforms and he seems like a weak, wounded puppy. Hermione tries to approach. Book Hermione would never.

[Eric laughs]

Laura: Book Hermione knows. She knows all too well not to do that.

Eric: Hermione, a smart character, would never have…

[Eric and Laura laugh]

Eric: She spent the whole year fearing, keeping the secret…

Laura: Right!

Eric: Yeah, she knows not… but that’s the thing, is making him more and more emaciated removes the threat that he’s supposed to pose. So it’s a balancing act that they have to be doing, and if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work.

Laura: I wanted to ask another question here about the transformation. It’s established in the last chapter that Lupin can be controlled by his friends in their Animagus forms, but Sirius does not have much luck here. Is it because Sirius is out of practice? Is it because Lupin hasn’t been exposed to his Animagus friends in quite some time?

Micah: I think that’s it. I think Lupin the 30-year-old is much harder to control than Lupin the 15-year-old. And to your point, Sirius is probably a bit out of practice; he’s been locked away for 12 years and he hasn’t had to contend in his Animagus form with what’s now a fully grown adult werewolf. I’ve got to imagine that it’s like getting back on a bike after not riding for ten years; you’re probably going to wobble a little bit at the start. And I think that’s what’s happening here.

Andrew: Yeah, it’s an intense and somewhat unpredictable moment. And maybe to some extent, Sirius is also thinking about, “Oh, this is my friend and I have to go after him again, I have to get him under control again.” I mean, I feel like I wouldn’t be all too focused in this moment, especially after all the time that’s passed, and you’re thinking about protecting the kids as well. So there’s just many factors at play in this moment.

Micah: And speaking of being emaciated, Sirius is not in peak physical condition here either, right? We know he’s stronger it seems in dog form, but he’s also not been probably eating well, he hasn’t been taking care of himself… he’s been locked away as we said, so his abilities here are not up to the level that they were when he was back in the school with Lupin.

Eric: And Zeanne in the Discord says, too, there was also Prongs. When Lupin is telling the story two chapters ago about how the big Animagus friends of his were able to keep him in line or keep him in check, that’s Sirius, who’s a big dog, but it’s also James the stag, also another big animal. So I don’t think Sirius alone would have been able to keep Lupin in check, even in peak form. But I think it was the lucky combination of Sirius and James, that I imagine flanked him on either side, that allowed them to safely go about on the Hogwarts grounds in close proximity to humans. They needed both of them, and probably to some extent Peter, to really just snap Lupin out of whatever the werewolf mindset is.

Micah: Yeah, but we do see Sirius immediately jump into action – and we talked a little bit about how the movie differs from this with Snape – but Sirius’s immediate reaction is to protect Harry and Hermione. And this is not all that dissimilar from his protection of others if we’re to go back to his time at Hogwarts when Lupin is transformed in the past. Now, Snape was an exception, in terms of him not choosing to protect him and play a trick on him, but to what was just discussed, Sirius and James very much protected others from Lupin in the past so maybe something in the back of Sirius’s mind kind of clicked when this happened, and he said, “Oh, I really have to stand in here and protect Harry and Hermione.”

Eric: And Sirius has something to live for now, and he’s going to fiercely try and… I mean, everyone is just shook this whole time and that’s why it all fails and goes to hell as nobody was expecting this. But Sirius really wants to fight for the… he’s quickly becoming his old self, to your point about he’s protected people before. Sirius, a heroic character, is going to jump in and really take the brunt of… you feel bad when the author describes his cuts and bruises on his dog body and he’s very weak, and then Harry calls and says, “Pettigrew’s getting away,” and then he immediately springs back to life. It’s very well written.

Laura: And we’ll get into Pettigrew’s escape here in a moment. Thank you all for vamping on that while I chugged a bunch of water to deal with my acid reflux. Kids, I gotta say, mid 30s plus coffee on an empty stomach, not a good combination if you have acid reflux. I’ve got to remind myself I’m not 20 anymore; I can’t do that.

Andrew: See, we educate in all kinds of ways here on this podcast.

Laura: I know, we really do. Very human. [laughs] Kyle in the Discord is like, “Getting old sucks.”

Eric: You could say that again.

Laura: It does. Yes, Court, the 30s hit hard. And then Jen, “Acid reflux is no joke.” I appreciate the the empathy here. But let’s talk about werewolves in literature quickly. Just for a little bit of background, some scholars believe the werewolf made its debut in the Epic of Gilgamesh, the oldest known Western prose, when Gilgamesh jilted a potential lover because she had turned her previous mate into a wolf. Werewolves made another early appearance in Greek mythology with the legend of Lycaon. I’m not sure the right pronunciation on that; someone check me. According to the legend, Lycaon, the son of Pelasgus, angered the god Zeus when he served him a meal made from the remains of a sacrificed boy. As punishment, the enraged Zeus turned Lycaon and his sons into wolves. Ouch.

Eric: Well, that explains, I think, where the author is coming from in trying to make werewolves, in this universe, a threat specifically to humans. Because that cannibalizing aspect lends itself to the threat that Lupin says, “I was definitely a threat to humans.” It means they’re hungry for them, hungry like the wolf [laughs] for human flesh, and that is a lot more terrifying than ever gets realistically depicted.

Laura: Yeah, it’s an interesting, I think, maybe comparison we can make to Fenrir Greyback, too, right? Because we know that he has an affinity for trying to turn kids when they’re young, and here we have this mythological connection to a character trying to serve a god the remains of a sacrificed child. Really messed up. And then just another quick connection here that I think we can all probably recognize, but it’s maybe not immediately apparent. We all grew up, I think, with the Disney version of Beauty and the Beast, but if you read the original text of Beauty and the Beast, the narrative does explicitly refer to the beast as a wolf multiple times. Let’s move into Peter and his escape. So Peter uses the chaos of Lupin’s transformation to retake his Animagus form and scurry away, so bye for now, Scabbergrew. Scabbergrew out until Chapter 1 of Goblet of Fire.

Andrew: We knew we couldn’t trust you.

Laura: He was their friend!

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Andrew: Yeah, he was.

Laura: Harry doesn’t have long to worry about this, though. He immediately notices that Scabbers has taken off, but he also hears Sirius’s cries down at the lake, and Harry runs down there and finds that Sirius has collapsed. He’s with Hermione, by the way, at the edge of the lake, and is being surrounded by a hundred Dementors.

Micah: Only a hundred.

[Andrew laughs]

Laura: Just a hundred. No big deal, right?

Andrew: No.

Micah: This made me think, though, and I know we didn’t talk about how Peter attacks Ron, but Harry and Hermione are totally cool leaving Ron and Snape both helpless with a werewolf running around while they go and tend to Sirius.

Andrew: Yeah, I don’t know how I feel about this. And I was rereading it again this morning; they are getting him back towards the school, and I guess they might figure, “Well, we are close enough at this point – and it is a full moon out – for somebody to notice Ron laying here on the castle grounds.” [laughs] “Maybe somebody will notice while we go off.” And I’m not sure their priorities are right here, but Harry has just found out that his dear godfather is going to invite him to stay with him. He feels freshly connected to Sirius, they had this nice bonding moment, and now he could be in serious – pun not intended – danger. I don’t know. I think I see Harry’s reasoning here.

Micah: Yeah, I don’t disagree.

Andrew: And he’s like, “Oh, Ron has been in trouble before, he’s been fine. He survived.”

Micah: He’s with Snape. Snape will protect him.

Andrew: Yeah, he’s with Snape. He’s with passed out Snape.

Laura: Well, there’s also no good answer here, right?

Andrew: Right, that’s ultimately the thing.

Micah: I was going to connect the threads here a little bit maybe because this is another example of Harry carelessly running off to try and save Sirius, which we see in Order of the Phoenix.

Eric: Oh, that’s a good connection.

Laura: It’s a great connection.

Eric: But Harry, too, needs to protect at all costs his potential future. He wants out of the Dursleys, and Sirius is his ticket. And now that…

Andrew: “Sorry, Ron. I want a free summer. I want a better summer. I don’t care what happens to you.”

Laura: Harry wants his hot girl summer, okay?

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: Hot girl summer.

Eric: More like grim boy summer. [laughs]

Laura: Oh, yeah. It’s unfortunate. Well, as Harry enters the fray with all these Dementors, Hermione by his side, he’s trying to evoke a Patronus using the happy thought that he’s going to go live with Sirius, Sirius is innocent, he’s not going to have to go back to the Dursleys, but Harry’s happy thought isn’t working. He’s barely able to conjure even a wispy Patronus. I was surprised. I’d forgotten about this, but at one point the lead Dementor – which is funny that there’s a lead Dementor…

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Andrew: That’s so funny.

Eric: That’s a good point, yeah.

Laura: … literally waves it aside, casts it aside with its scaly hand.

Eric: That’s so threatening. That’s so intimidating.

Laura: Isn’t it?

Andrew: The lead Dementor is just fan-girling over seeing the Chosen One and wants the first kiss.

[Laura laughs]

Eric: The more human that these non human entities behave like, the more terrifying it is. It’s the uncanny valley of like, “Really? You don’t have eyes, but you just saw that and waved it away like it was nothing?”

Laura: Well, why isn’t it working, though? Why isn’t Harry’s happy thought working here?

Micah: So my theory was just that it’s not a memory. Harry can’t use this particular thought inside of his head because it hasn’t actually happened, and there isn’t true happiness that he can draw from it.

Eric: That’s a great possibility for sure.

Andrew: I do like that, and it makes sense to me. But I was also thinking, if I were Harry watching what’s happening to Sirius, I would be trying to think about this happy thought, but in the back of my head, I’m like, “Oh my God, can you believe what’s happening right now? If his soul is sucked out, will I really be living with him?” It’s just such a stressful situation. And we know Harry can conquer these when he needs to, but I don’t know. In the back of my head, I would just be too distracted.

Eric: It is that. It’s really like when Harry didn’t have the fortitude to stop wanting to hear his parents’ voice, he couldn’t do the Patronus because part of him wanted or was distracted by the prospect of hearing his mom again. And so it’s this, but he’s distracted by worrying about Sirius and all that he’s about to lose. So yeah, he can’t have the fortitude that is needed to conjure it.

Micah: Is it similar, then, could we say to Order of the Phoenix when Voldemort tells Harry that you have to mean the Cruciatus Curse when he’s trying to use it on Bellatrix? It’s just, he’s so caught up in everything that’s happening right now that I don’t know that it’s not that he doesn’t mean Expecto Patronum, but he just doesn’t have the… there’s just too much that’s happening around him that he cannot focus on what he needs to do.

Eric: It’s not a strong enough pull, is what it comes down to.

Laura: Yeah. He doesn’t have it in him, I think, is the comparison you’re making, Micah. What is Harry’s most recent truly happy memory in this book? Winning Quidditch?

Andrew: Snape’s face scraping against the top of the tunnel?

[Eric and Laura laugh]

Eric: I mean, if Harry chosen that, yeah.

Andrew: That would have worked.

Laura: Oh, Micah, you also had an important point about Hermione’s role in this moment, too, because she’s trying to cast a Patronus and she’s also not successful.

Micah: Right. And I think it’s really important that they show her passing out as well, because this has been such a Harry thing throughout the entire book that “Harry is the only one that’s impacted by the Dementors in this way.” But clearly, Hermione is affected in this moment as well.

Laura: Yeah, that’s a good call-out for sure. So now we’ve got Sirius and Hermione both passed out; they have both succumbed. Harry is the lone party acting as defense between them and these hundred Dementors. And in this moment, we finally get to see what’s under a Dementor’s hood, and it is horrifying. “Where there should have been eyes, there was only thin, gray scabbed skin, stretched blankly over empty sockets. But there was a mouth… a gaping, shapeless hole, sucking the air with the sound of a death rattle.”

Eric: So like The Grudge meets… what’s the one with…? Oculus. [laughs]

Laura: Right. Oh man, Oculus was such a good movie, by the way. Sidebar.

Eric: The thing is, yeah, it’s very tame almost by current horror standards. But in 2004, I think this was… and to all children everywhere, this is perfectly terrifying.

Laura: Yeah, it really… I mean, imagine seeing something like this in person.

Eric: Well, and knowing what it means. Knowing what it means that the only people who see this are about to lose everything that matters.

Laura: Yeah. And to that point, the lead Dementor, the chief Dementor, sheriff Dementor, whatever we want to call him…

Andrew: [laughs] Sheriff.

Laura: … is going after Harry first. He’s going to perform the Kiss on Harry. So first of all, clearly the Dementors do not discern, that much is clear, so why they were allowed to be at a school the entire year is an ongoing question I don’t think we’re ever going to have the answer to.

Andrew: It speaks to just how bad of a decision it was.

Micah: DumbleDip.

[Laura laughs]

Micah: That was an old episode too, I think. DumbleDip.

Andrew: Yeah, it rings a bell.

Micah: Is it Hagrid a little bit later on in this book that talks about how the Dementors just don’t, to your point, discern at all? They just feast, essentially.

Andrew: [in a spooky voice] Feast. Feat on my lips.

Eric: Well, and they’ve been kept starved, basically, which is a real issue of contention for them. But what I like about this… I’ve never thought about this before, but Sirius talking about how he was less affected by the Dementors when he was in dog form, shows how Pettigrew is able to get through a hundred Dementors. Because in animal form, they wouldn’t have the same effect on him either. So it’s not a plot hole. It’s the opposite of a plot hole; it’s reasonable that Pettigrew is long gone by now.

Laura: And I want to just connect a thread here quickly. Harry has had close contact with a Dementor prior to the events of Order of the Phoenix, only difference is in Order of the Phoenix, that encounter happens early in the book. In Prisoner of Azkaban, this one happens towards the end. But when all seems to be lost, a brightly lit animal gallops onto the scene and disperses the Dementors, saving Harry, Sirius, and Hermione, and in the distance he thinks he sees someone but he can’t quite believe it.

Andrew: [gasps] What?

Eric: It’s Dumbledore to the rescue!

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: Dumbledore and his DumbleDip, which I’m now thinking about.

Micah: No, I mean, it’s hard to reflect back when we first read the book, but Dumbledore would be a good possibility here.

Andrew: Yeah, because where has he been? Oh, now he comes and… always there when you do need him at the last moment.

Laura: But why would Harry be like, “No, it can’t be” if it was just Dumbledore?

Eric: We just don’t know. There’s not enough information.

Laura: Yeah. I just want to call out here how disappointing this must have been for the Dementor.

[Eric laughs]

Laura: It’s like, chapter title “Dementor’s Kiss,” finally thinks it’s going to happen…

Eric: “I’m going to get kissed!” Never Been Kissed but it’s a Dementor.

Laura: [laughs] Somebody please use AI to recreate that movie poster but with a Dementor.

Eric: Instead of Drew Barrymore, yeah. And Freddie Prinze, Jr. is in the background.

Micah: What happens to them if they don’t get enough kisses?

[Eric and Laura laugh]

Micah: Do they just wither away to nothing?

Eric: Listen, they have a quota that they need to meet in order to survive.

Laura: Yeah, especially when they get to the end of the month and they haven’t hit those quotas. Sheriff Dementor is like, “You’ve got to go out and give more kisses.”

Eric: Warden Dementor is like, “You guys, the budget.” Yeah.

Laura: So yeah, no Dementor’s Kiss in this chapter.

Micah: Aww, bummer.

Laura: And that’s where we leave off. So I think now we can get into MVP of the week.

MVP of the Week

[MVP of the Week music plays]

Andrew: I’m going to give it to the top of the tunnel for scraping up Snape…

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: … and Sirius being cool with it. Just all of that because it was funny.

Eric: I’m going to give it to Sirius not for his immaturity, but for taking the brunt of Lupin’s attack. Good for him.

Micah: I’ve got to give it to Crookshanks for being smart enough to peace out when [censored] gets real. Kitty knew. Kitty was like, “I see werewolf, I’m out of here.”

Andrew: Kitty knew. [laughs]

Laura: And I’m going to give it to Peter for the second time this book.

Eric: Ugh.

Laura: Listen, listen, he sucks, but he made another Trelawney prediction come true, so give it to him for that.

Eric: [laughs] Oh my God, Peter and Trelawney are linked cosmically.

[MVP of the Week music ends]

Laura: Do you think she slid him a few Galleons under the table?

Eric: [imitating Trelawney] “Can you make this happen?”

Laura: [laughs] At the Christmas feast, she was paying him off.

Andrew: If you have any feedback about today’s episode or any other episodes, you can send an owl to or use the contact form on You can also send a voice message; just record it using the Voice Memo app on your phone and then email us that file, or you can use our phone number, which is 1-920-3-MUGGLE. That’s 1-920-368-4453. Speaking of feedback, we have this email we’ve been wanting to get to for a couple of weeks. It’s from Luke the 11-year-old, and he said,

“Hey, y’all, this is extremely late, but I seem to be turning into a ‘When in doubt, email MuggleCast‘ type of person. So I reread Chamber of Secrets last night, and I was tripped up by something Tom said. The quote is, ‘Hagrid, trying to raise werewolf pups under his bed.’ So werewolves are only werewolves once a month, so is Hagrid raising children under his bed? Your big fan, Luke.”

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: Luke, thank you for bringing this to our attention.

Micah: This is great.

Laura: Yeah, this is another kind of plot hole with the way werewolves are written in these books.

Eric: It raises a million questions.

Laura: It really does.

Eric: This could be another example of werewolves not being fleshed out in the right way at the time that that line was originally written.

Laura: I think so.

Micah: It just sounds like something Hagrid would do also.

Eric: Yeah. And then again, maybe Tom was exaggerating a little bit. Maybe it was a little bit of hyperbole. Maybe the first thing that came to mind was werewolf cubs, and his baby Acromantulas are not the same thing as… I think that it could have been a little exaggeration on Tom Riddle’s part because he was recalling back 50 years ago at that point.

Micah: Oh, he’s trying to paint the picture of Hagrid into being this degenerate of sorts.

Eric: Yeah, or just reckless with dangerous creatures.

Laura: Yeah, but I feel like we also know Tom/Voldemort to be really knowledgeable. Usually when he’s speaking about things in the wizarding world, it’s through a really messed-up lens, but he’s not infactual. [laughs] So it’s interesting and it raises a question about is lycanthropy genetic? Is it hereditary? I don’t think it can be, because Teddy Lupin isn’t a werewolf or part werewolf, right? So if these are cubs, that implies they’re babies. So were they born werewolves? I don’t know how that works.

Eric: Well, maybe if a witch was transformed into a werewolf and gave birth while she was transformed, you could get cubs. But again, are they children most of the month? Luke has really cracked into something here.

Micah: I’m also wondering, how long has Luke been an 11 year old? Because I feel like we’ve heard from him a couple of times now at this point.

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: Well, I think some people catch onto y’all, pick up the thread that you guys see “11” or “12 years old” and the emails move up the priority list. [laughs] Maybe Luke caught on.

Eric: Whoa, whoa. Nobody said anything about that. Don’t give people a MuggleCast hack here. It’s true, we’ve heard from 13- and 14-year-olds more often in the last three months.

Andrew: Oh, yeah. We love all the feedback.

Laura: No, I love it.

Andrew: Well, thank you, Luke, for that. Next week we won’t do the Time-Turner chapter because we will actually be off – it’s a holiday here in America – but we will be releasing an episode. We’re going to release the live MuggleCast from LeakyCon that Micah, Eric, and Chloé did. somebody else was on the panel. Was it Melissa? Who was…?

Eric: Melissa joined us.

Micah: Melissa was for a bit.

Eric: But also, listeners in the audience. We did a lot of audience participation games; we brought back Make the Connection and Dueling Club, as well as playing a game called “Is MuggleCast older than…?” which was a lot of fun.

Andrew: Oh, fun. Because it was our birthday weekend when you guys recorded that.

Micah: It was. We gave away some prizes.

Andrew: So stay tuned for that next week, and then we’ll resume Chapter by Chapter most likely the week after that. And now it’s time for Quizzitch.


[Quizzitch music plays]

Eric: Last week’s question, who leads the group first out of the Shrieking Shack? The correct answer is Crookshanks, of course.

Micah: My MVP.

Eric: Yeah, your MVP. Somebody going by Lupin’s abandoned Wolfsbane Potion, insert wizard facepalm emoji, has answered, “His Royal Highness King Crookshanks, the first, the last, and the only.”

Laura: [laughs] First of his name.

Andrew: Beautiful.

Eric: Yeah, a little bit of eccentricity on both ends of that form. [laughs] But here were the additional winners: Nuggets for Norbert; Otto the Hall of Fame orange; Pillsbury Dumbledore-dough; Potter’s plotters; Remus more like dumbass…

[Laura laughs]

Eric: … Take your vitamins, Wolfy McWolfson; Elizabeth K.; Grant Chapman; Hollow Wolf; Defend Dumbledore; Buff daddy; Am I the Swedish version of Eric’s cat, Marta? Oh, yeah, probably. [laughs] And others. Also, somebody asked, “Do Lupin and Madam Pomfrey give out milk chocolate or dark chocolate? I need to know this.” I don’t know. We don’t know. Maybe that’ll be another Quizzitch question. But here is next week’s real Quizzitch question: How old was Sirius Black when he played the trick on Snape with Lupin? The answer to this question can be found in the next chapter, which, as Andrew said, we will be getting to not next week.

Micah: So you’ve got two weeks to get this one right.

Eric: That’s exactly it. Submit your answer to us on the Quizzitch form,, or go to and click on “Quizzitch” from the main nav.

Andrew: If you’re an Apple Podcasts user and you haven’t supported us on Patreon, why not right within Apple Podcasts? For just $2.99 a month, you can receive ad-free and early access to MuggleCast right within the Apple Podcasts app. Patreon does offer more benefits, including bonus MuggleCast, but maybe you just prefer to use your Apple account; that’s fine. And just like on Patreon, we’ve got a free trial and an annual subscription, which can actually help you save a little bit of money. And of course, I mentioned Patreon: Your support, no matter where you support us, it really does help us run the show, so thank you, everybody. And if you’re a Spotify user, tap into the show and you’ll see a Patreon banner right there now, and you can actually connect your Patreon account to Spotify and then get all of our exclusive Patreon benefits right within Spotify, which is really great. So definitely check that out too. If you enjoy MuggleCast and think other Muggles would too, tell a friend about the show. And we would also appreciate if you left a review in your favorite podcast app. And last but not least, don’t forget to follow us on social media. Our username is @MuggleCast everywhere: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Threads, which we’re still sticking with for now.

Micah: And one final announcement because I know that this Friday is September 1, so I just want to wish everybody a happy Back to Hogwarts. Choo-choo.

Andrew: Choo-choo, yes!

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: Happy Back to Hogwarts. [emotionally] Another year about to start. Another summer gone. [laughs]

Laura: What are we all about to be? We’re going to be 20th years or something like that if we were going back to Hogwarts. [laughs]

Andrew: 19 or 20, yep. All right, well, thanks, everybody for listening. Have a great year at Hogwarts. Your Harry Potter friends will still be here talking about the books in the year ahead. I’m acting like we’re actually going to school. [laughs] Thanks, everybody for listening. I’m Andrew.

Eric: I’m Eric.

Micah: I’m Micah.

Laura: And I’m Laura.

Andrew: Bye, everyone.

Laura: Bye, y’all.

Micah: Choo-choo.