Transcript #626


MuggleCast 626 Transcript


Transcript for MuggleCast Episode #626, Snape’s Best Memory (POA Chapter 21, Hermione’s Secret)

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: This week, be sure to not be seen by anyone, especially yourself.

Eric: It’s against the law.

Andrew: We’re discussing Chapter 21 of Prisoner of Azkaban, the penultimate – I love that word…

Eric: It’s a good word.

Andrew: … chapter in Prisoner of Azkaban. Before we get to that, a couple of announcements. Don’t forget, there’s still time to pledge to our Patreon and join the MuggleCast Collector’s Club. Last year we introduced the MuggleCast Collector’s Club, in which each year between now and 2026 we’re sending five exclusive stickers that celebrate the show’s past and present. We’re also giving you the Collector’s Club card, on which you can place the stickers. It’s a beautiful backing card showing MuggleCast listeners heading into Hogwarts. Good time of year to talk about that, since we just celebrated back to Hogwarts season.

Micah: Choo-choo.

Laura: Year two’s stickers depict our old Chicken Soup for the MuggleCast Soul segment; A classic iPod with MuggleCast playing on it; Hogwarts on fire, which pays homage to our classic security nightmare correlations that we frequently draw on the show; we have a sticker that honors Jamie’s old British Joke of the Week segment; plus, we have tier-based exclusives, either a Dumbledore’s Army or Slug Club sticker. And I have to say, the Slug Club sticker is super cute because it has literal slugs clinking glasses, as slugs are known to do in a club.

Andrew: [laughs] Sure, yes. That’s canon now. So you can pledge at the $5 or $10 level by September 22, and you have to fill out the form on Patreon to receive this year’s stickers and the club card. This is just one of many benefits you receive, so do pledge now, and thanks everybody who supports us. Speaking of support, maybe you can’t support us financially. That’s okay. We would love a review on Apple Podcasts or Spotify because it helps introduce new listeners to the show. Here’s a recent review we received from Anika on Apple Podcasts in Australia.

Eric: It’s a five star review. They say, [reads in an Australian accent]

“I first discovered MuggleCast…”

[drops accent] I can’t do an Australia accent.

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Andrew: Oh my God. Well, you did live in Australia or New Zealand for a little time.

Eric: I did, I did, yeah. I think I got it. [reads in an Australian accent]

“I first discovered MuggleCast back in the long, long ago, before the Potter series was…”

[laughs] I can’t do it, I’m sorry. [drops accent]

“… before the Potter series was complete, and I was hungry for speculation, analysis, and community around my favorite series. I am now 31 and have rediscovered the show this year, and listening to each episode feels like coming home. Thanks for keeping the series going and for bringing new and insightful discussion to the table after all this time.”

Andrew: That’s really nice. Thank you so much.

Laura: Aww, that’s so sweet.

Andrew: Hopefully you don’t give us a negative review now if you didn’t like Eric’s accent…

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: … but I feel like it was good enough.

Eric: It was bursting through.

Micah: No, only one review is allowed.

Eric: Oh, that’s right.

Andrew: Oh, that’s true. Yeah, we’re safe.

Micah: I do like hearing listeners who are coming back to the show after so much time. It is very cool to hear that people listened to us back in the day and now that they’re a little bit older, they’re finding us again and it feels like coming home.

Andrew: Yeah, and I think part of it for people is they just kind of assume we don’t exist anymore, which would be understandable when you’ve been around for so long.

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Eric: 18 years!

Andrew: “No way that podcast is still around.” And thanks to everybody who leaves a review on Apple Podcasts or Spotify, and anywhere else, but mainly Apple Podcasts and Spotify have a review function. That’s why we focus on those two. But if your app has a review function, please do drop a review, we would appreciate it.

Chapter by Chapter: Seven-Word Summary

Andrew: And now it’s time for Chapter by Chapter. This week we’re discussing Chapter 21 of Prisoner of Azkaban, “Hermione’s Secret,” and we’ll start as always with our seven-word summary.

[Seven-Word Summary music plays]

Andrew: Hermione…

Laura: … saves…

Eric: … Buckbeak…

Micah: … with…

Andrew: … a…

Laura: … Time…

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Micah: Quick, don’t let it run out.

Eric: … Turner!

[Seven-Word Summary music ends]

Andrew: Turner! I was hoping it was going to go towards like, “with a shiny thing,” or I don’t know. [laughs]

Laura: “With a shiny thing.” Not me sitting here panicking in the moment thinking, “Is Time-Turner one word or two?”

[Andrew laughs]

Laura: For the purposes of this seven-word summary.

Eric: It’s hyphenated.

Micah: It’s hyphenated, isn’t it?

Laura: Yeah, because we’re Americans. We hyphenate these things, right?

Eric: Yay.

Laura: [laughs] So it counts.

Chapter by Chapter: Main Discussion

Micah: Yeah, so this is the chapter where I noted both a lot and not a lot happen at the same time. And if we’re to expand a little bit on the seven-word summary, basically what happens in this chapter is Hermione reveals she has a Time-Turner and she and Harry go back in time about three hours to “fix” everything that happened in the last several chapters. And that’s it.

Andrew: Well, thanks, everybody for listening. I’m Andrew.

[Andrew and Micah laugh]

Eric: We should do five-minute mini MuggleCasts. Like, mini mini MuggleCasts. Mini C-by-C.

Laura: That’d be funny.

Micah: But the way I wanted to take a look at this chapter is through two different lenses, right? The first is Snape and his behavior at the beginning of the chapter, and then the second is talking about something I think Laura will enjoy very much, the morality of Time-Turning magic.

Laura: Ooh, yes.

Micah: And how it played a role in this book but kind of disappeared afterwards, and was not a convenient plot device until Cursed Child came along. So first discussion, I titled “Somebody call the wambulance for Snivellus.”

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Eric: What is the “wambulance?”

Micah: It’s like the ambulance but for somebody who’s just complaining a lot.

Andrew: Yeah, it’s when you’re going “Wahhh.”

Eric: Oh my God, that’s amazing.

Micah: Snape is having a very productive therapy session with the Minister, but he’s embellishing a little bit in what he is telling him. And I thought we could start out… since we often give Dumbledore a hard time for all of the lies that he tells throughout the course of the Harry Potter series, why not talk about the lies that another character tells?

Andrew: The lies of Severus.

Micah: And Snape actually throws out quite a few in just a very short period of time. He’s telling Fudge that Black had bewitched them, talking about Harry, Ron and Hermione, “I saw it immediately. A Confundus Charm, to judge by their behavior.” We know that to not be true. And we would think, right, Snape is definitely smart enough to know when a Confundus Charm has been used. He’s covering here, is that fair to say?

Eric: Yes. It would not be advisable for him to say that his temper got the better of him and he was going to… basically, that Snape went in there and all he did was escalate, and that’s not going to be on his official report to Fudge.

Micah: The second lie, he says that “They seemed to think there was the possibility he -” Sirius ” – was innocent.” No, they 100% believed him to be innocent. The third lie, “They weren’t responsible for their actions.” No, they were definitely responsible for those actions.

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Eric: That’s a point where he is letting one thing slide in order to completely bury them under. Like, “Oh, they didn’t know what they were doing.” But he completely discredits everything that they all say as a result of that, so he’s getting something out of being able to say they weren’t responsible.

Micah: Yeah. And we could talk about this a little bit later on, but I think he’s covering for the fact that he was bested by three 13-year-olds.

Eric: There is that.

Micah: He doesn’t want to make it seem like Harry, Ron, and Hermione could have gotten the better of him. “Of course they were Confunded; there’s no way they could have known what they were doing, Minister.”

Eric: Right, and the way in which he says, “As a matter of fact, it was the children,” and Fudge is like, “No! What?”

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: If we’ve seen Snape’s worse memory, this is Snape’s best memory with these children here.

[Andrew and Micah laugh]

Micah: And the way that he’s conveying…

Andrew: We’ve got a lot of good episode title potential options already.

Laura: I know.

Andrew: “Somebody call the wambulance.” What did Eric just say? Snape’s best memory?

Eric: Snape’s best memory.

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: Fudge is like, “Oh, Order of Merlin, second class – first class if I can wrangle it!” Like, come on, dude, this is all a cock and bull.

Micah: This next one is debatable but you could fit it into the lie category. He says, “On the other hand, their interference might have permitted Black to escape.” I think that was their intention. Maybe not to escape, but certainly for the truth to come out.

Andrew: And that’s literally what ends up happening. [laughs]

Micah: And the final lie, “They obviously thought they were going to catch Black single-handed.”

Eric: I hate that. That stinks of…

Micah: That’s not why they went after Black in the first place. It was because Ron was injured.

Laura: Right.

Andrew: So Snape has already been through so much with the trio, Harry in particular. Let’s even just set aside the whole Lily angle of it all. He keeps seeing Harry get away with things; he doesn’t like the preferential treatment he gets from Dumbledore. Part of me can see why Snape is frustrated. However, I don’t like all of the lying. And speaking of the preferential treatment, Fudge admits to Snape they’ve all got a “blind spot” when it comes to Harry. They give him a little more leniency because of his background. But I do wonder, what specifically earns that leniency? Because in Snape’s defense, and I still…

Micah: He’s Harry effin’ Potter.

Andrew: Another episode title.

Eric: If it weren’t for Harry, Voldemort would still be reigning and everyone would be subjugated and dead.

Andrew: But where is the line? Because he shouldn’t be able to get away with attacking a teacher. [laughs]

Eric: Well, yeah, that’s the thing. Well, he was Confunded. [laughs]

Laura: I mean, he’s also basically the Messiah character of this book, so of course everybody is treating him like he’s special until they decide that he’s actually a traitor. But that’s a couple books from now.

Eric: Well, now that you mention that, this definitely leads into that. This is the first time I think somebody has taken this tone with Fudge about Harry. Fudge doesn’t know how to handle these accusations that Harry is given special treatment by Dumbledore; that plays into Fudge’s own insecurities about Dumbledore. So I really think that this conversation between Snape and Fudge really sets the scene, not just thematically, but directly leads into Fudge’s thought patterns and influences, the way Fudge treats Harry and Dumbledore in the later books.

Laura: Yeah, I think so. Fudge is someone who blows with the prevailing wind, to be honest with you, so yeah, I think this definitely sets the stage. What were you going to say, Micah?

Micah: Could you say that Snape is taking umbrage with Harry’s actions?

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: All right, another episode title: “Snape takes umbrage.”

Andrew: [laughs] People are going to be like, “Wait, what? What book are you guys talking about?”

Micah: That could be a fan fic, too.

Laura: Yeah, I was about to say, I don’t know if we want to make that the episode title.

Eric: Welcome to Wednesday night.

Micah: Yep. No, but I think that’s a really great point that gets raised, though, because of the threads that you can connect to Order of the Phoenix. We see Fudge here being very protective of Harry, but actually, once we get to Order of the Phoenix, it’s very much the opposite of that.

Eric: And let’s be clear, I think Snape really has done well to gloss completely over his own culpability. I think on the one hand, he really did miss every mention of Peter Pettigrew. By the time he got down to the Shrieking Shack, the children were saying that Sirius was innocent or that he needed to be heard out. And Snape, due to his own bias, wasn’t hearing it. But he’s got to own that because Snape is actually calling for Sirius to be deprived of his soul, and so it doesn’t matter, the ignorance. It’s cool that Snape particularly didn’t hear that Peter was still alive at this point, but it doesn’t matter so much because he’s really calling for Black’s death – or worse than – with no real evidence and with a few people saying, “That’s not what happened.”

Micah: Yeah, I agree. He’s very much, as you say, glossing over his own responsibility in much of what has happened already this evening. But it doesn’t stop there; it is officially time… if that wasn’t enough, now you can hear the wambulance getting closer and closer to the infirmary inside of Hogwarts. And Snape goes on to say that “They’ve gotten away with a great deal before now. I’m afraid it’s given them rather high opinions of themselves… and of course, Potter has always been allowed an extraordinary amount of license by the headmaster.” And this is really one of the first times we see Dumbledore being called into question by one of the professors. I don’t know that we’ve seen it happen prior to this. Certainly there’s other characters that have called in his ability to be headmaster into question, but certainly not one of the professors.

Eric: And Snape would not do this if he wasn’t feeling 100% on top of the world right now, right? Because Snape owes Dumbledore a whole heckin’ lot for the life that he currently has. Snape was a Death Eater; Snape would be in Azkaban at the cell right next to Sirius if they knew about betraying the Potters and that kind of thing. So in general, anything less than Snape’s best time of his life right now, and Snape wouldn’t be playing this card. But Snape is driving a wedge between Fudge and Dumbledore for his own personal gain. And that’s the kind of guy he is.

Laura: It’s also interesting, too, thinking about the fact that we know Snape throughout the entire series is sworn to protect Harry, and I wonder how exactly he’s doing that in this scene. I think by giving Fudge the narrative that they were Confunded and they weren’t responsible for their actions, he’s preventing them from being expelled, I suppose. Harry being expelled from Hogwarts is basically like putting a target on his back. It would only be a matter of time, at that point, so maybe that’s what he’s angling for. But in doing all of this, he is again trying to shift the blame for the Potters’ death onto the person who he believes to have betrayed them, even though he played a pretty big role in betraying them himself.

Micah: He just didn’t know it.

Eric: Nobody hates Snape more than Snape himself.

Laura: Right.

Andrew: Aww.

Micah: Well, just while we’re on the topic of the Marauders, what do we think about him in this particular moment, drawing on his feelings towards James and Sirius? Because I think he sees, as we’ve read in the books, a lot of James in Harry, and I think there’s a lot of emotions that are coming up in this moment where he’s seeing the opportunity to take out a lot of what he wanted to take out on James on Harry.

Eric: Absolutely. This is top of mind. He even brings it up when Dumbledore enters. The event that happened so many years ago is still absolutely fresh and he is seething. He wants revenge for what has occurred. Snape is not one to forgive and forget; this man can hold a grudge.

Micah: He also goes on to say that he tries to treat Harry like any other student, which we know is just complete nonsense.

Eric: [laughs] This is a lie. This is Snape’s next lie. Are we still counting those?

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: Might as well. This would be number six. So he’s already closing in on Dumbledore, and this is only one chapter.

[Andrew and Micah laugh]

Eric: Oh man, that’s rough.

Andrew: See, and you thought Dumbledore is bad? Look how fast Snape lays them all down.

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Laura: That’s funny.

Micah: That’s why he must be so good with Voldemort.

Eric: That’s right.

Laura: Something that I will say in Dumbledore’s defense here is I don’t think Dumbledore would say something like this. I don’t think that he would claim to treat Harry like he treats any other student. I think Dumbledore absolutely knows and owns that he plays favorites with Harry and with Gryffindor, so it’s an interesting contrast between these two in their treatment of him.

Micah: Definitely. And he goes on to say, “Out of bounds at night, consorting with a werewolf and a murderer, and I have reason to believe he was visiting Hogsmeade illegally.” And to that I say, bro, you should have just stopped at consorting with a murderer. Yeah, you could throw in the werewolf, but by the time you get to Hogsmeade, it’s just like you’re trying to throw a little bit more salt on the wound. It’s like, [in a nasally voice] “Oh, and he was going to Hogsmeade.”

[Andrew laughs]

Andrew: Yeah, who cares?

Micah: Hogsmeade is the least of those offenses on the board.

Eric: Yeah, Fudge is going to be like, “Okay, the werewolf is one thing, but going to Hogsmeade illegally?”

Andrew: Well, I think that’s to the point of just like, look how much he’s scrambling. He’s at the bottom of the barrel here.

Micah: He wants to dump everything out on the table.

Andrew: “And one time he looked at me funny in the hallway!” [fake cries]

Micah: One thing I did want to call attention to, though, is even Fudge is astonished by Snape’s treatment of Hermione. He flat out tells her to shut up in this chapter when she’s trying to explain what happened in the Shrieking Shack, and this goes to our point earlier that I think that Snape is just butthurt that he got bested by three 13-year-olds. The other part of this scene that I thought was pretty cool was this mini Dumbledore/Snape standoff that we have and what it must have felt like for Snape to not be believed, and furthermore, to have Dumbledore send him to quiet time while he talks with Harry and Hermione.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: Especially if you think back to the pact that they’ve made. It almost feels like you’re losing the trust of Dumbledore after he says he supposedly trusts you, and you trust each other, and now for Dumbledore to treat you as lesser than the trio… I mean, obviously the other factor here is that the trio are right; Dumbledore does say later in this chapter that he does believe them, he just doesn’t have evidence that can help them. So I can understand where Snape’s frustrations are coming from here, given their history.

Micah: Well, and let’s not forget who the audience is here too. We have Fudge in front of everything that’s going on, and presumably Snape has just really talked poorly about Dumbledore in front of Fudge. So who knows what Dumbledore may or may not have overheard of that conversation?

Eric: Oh there’s that too. Yeah, I mean, Dumbledore still has the ultimate authority here. And that’s very similar to the other ends of other books where Dumbledore shows up and saves the day, and this is the most we get of that in setting in motion the events of telling Hermione to use the Time-Turner, etc., etc. But yeah, not believing Snape is step one… or just shutting Snape down because Snape is going way too far. Dumbledore can clearly see that he’s, at this point, really just motivated by his desire for revenge, and I think that may even help convince Dumbledore of Sirius’s innocence in seeing how much Snape is embellishing here.

Andrew: Oh, yeah, yeah. That’s a good point.

Laura: Oh, that’s a great point.

Andrew: And Snape is also being unfair when he reminds Dumbledore that Sirius tried to kill him as a kid. I mean, people grow up. Really? Do you still really want to hang that over his head?

Eric: And there’s reason to believe he’s been going into Hogsmeade!

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Andrew: Right. And he looked at me funny!

Eric: Wambulance.

Andrew: And his breath smells.

Eric: Oh, man.

Laura: Snape is one of those adults who still lives in their high school days, I feel. Not letting go of grudges from things that happened 15-20 years ago, still spending so much time ruminating over people that he hasn’t seen in ages… in this case, one person who’s been dead for 13 years. He won’t let it go.

Eric: It doesn’t help that he’s still at Hogwarts, right? So he’s having to… I think a change of scenery, if Snape had been allowed to leave, allowed to really branch out, see the world, be somewhere else… but he can’t because he owes Dumbledore everything.

Andrew: Yeah, how are you going to move on if you’re still in the room where it happened, so to speak? This is such a huge can of worms that we’re opening up right here, though, too.

Eric: I know.

Andrew: Oh my God. Because you do see that in life, to Eric’s point. People are just like, “You know what, I need to get out of this place or else…” Like, god forbid you lose a loved one. People are like, “I can’t live in the same house as where we spent our lives together.” You can’t move on if you’re still in that same space. Maybe people can, but a lot of people can’t and understandably so. And so that’s a great point.

Eric: Now I’m going to draw the comparison between Snape being stunted and Sirius being stunted by his many years in prison. Neither of them have had the opportunity to really emotionally process and move on from themselves as teenagers. And the whole Sirius Black bouncing Snape’s head on the cave wall shows that Sirius has absolutely not matured either.

Micah: No, definitely not.

Andrew: Do we think Snape actually believes Harry and Hermione in the slightest but he just wants to see Sirius suffer? Because that’s ultimately what he wants, right?

Eric: It’s possible, yeah, I think. He’s so close. He feels so close to justice, and he wanted to be the one to catch him. Actually, I think that’s a line strictly for… made for the movie, is “How I wanted to be the one to catch you.”

Laura: Yeah, that’s right.

Eric: That’s him. That’s him.

Laura: Snape gets tunnel vision. When he decides that he has unearthed the truth of something, he falls into a lot of confirmation bias, right? He sees something that he feels confirms what he believes to be true and then that to him is just further evidence. And to him, the evidence is “Well, Sirius tried to kill me when I was at school, he was terrible to me, he bullied me, so he must be a murderer. He must have killed all those Muggles. He must have been responsible for Lily and James dying.” So he’s seeing what he wants to see, which is funny because Harry does the same damn thing sometimes. When he decides that Snape is the perpetrator of something, when he decides that Draco is the perpetrator of something, Harry falls into the same trap.

Eric: Snape is Harry’s father, confirmed.

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Laura: Oh no.

Eric: People are pointing out in the Discord that Snape does in the later books really showcase his powers of mental mind-reading, basically. He’s the guy who teaches Harry Occlumency. He’s an accomplished Legilimens. Not to mention nonverbal spells. Snape, the entire time he’s arguing here, could really be searching their minds to figure out if what he’s saying is true or not if he had any interest at all, but that’s using the later books to inform the scene. I don’t even know if the Unforgivable Curses were invented yet at the time this book was written, because if you think about it, saying Harry and Hermione were Confunded? Yeah, that’s one thing, but if they were Imperiused, then that would add to a list of Sirius’s charges because they’re Unforgivable Curses, so that would be an even better lie. Why aren’t you lying more, Snape? But maybe that didn’t exist.

Micah: I think he’s probably also trying to think on his feet a little bit here as well. But I will say, I do think that Snape is almost minimized in the situation with Dumbledore because the way that he says what he does about what happened when they were 16 years old is almost like a child trying to get an adult to believe in what it is that they’re saying. So going back to what you were talking about earlier, with being so stunted, emotionally not having matured, this really shines through in this moment between the two of them.

Eric: Yeah. There’s a saying I heard at one point that I find is relevant, which is “Shouting demonstrates a complete loss of control. Once you’re shouting, you’ve already lost.”

Micah: He does a bit of that. That’s for sure.

Andrew: [laughs] “Hold your tongue,” or whatever he says in all caps.

Eric: Goodness. Poor Hermione. That puts a kink in what Fudge thinks of Snape, too, watching him treat Hermione like that.

Andrew: Yeah, yeah, that’s a good point. Not a great look. Not a great look in front of the Minister for Magic.

Eric: He does himself a disservice by going for the gold, or shooting for the moon.

Micah: He’s going to get dropped down to that next tier of Order of Merlin as a result.

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Eric: Order of Merlin, pissant class.

[Laura and Micah laugh]

Micah: Another potential episode title.

Eric: There you go.

Laura: Oh my God.

Micah: Well, just to wrap up this section, Dumbledore talks with Harry and Hermione, and this is when they’re trying… they don’t really have to convince Dumbledore. Dumbledore believes them. But in terms of the ability to convince others of this story, he says, “I have no power to make other men see truth or to overrule the Minister for Magic.” To which I say, except there’s this thing that’s called Veritaserum that you could use in this moment to get the truth out of any number of people that are present. And Eric, you also had a point as well, another device that could be used.

Eric: Yeah, a Pensieve and Veritaserum; these are things that come in Book 4. I was just talking about this, how the Unforgivable Curses, too, may not have been written yet. But these are all… they could have their place in this interrogation. They could have their their place in this sort of execution or what Fudge is… I mean, it could be standard practice to use a Pensieve before…

Micah: And the reason why this all comes to mind is we’re just one book away from this actually playing itself out. It’s literally the same situation but with a different character, where they’re given Veritaserum to spill their beans and then they get the Dementor’s kiss as a result of it. So clearly the author went through with what she wanted to from this book in Goblet of Fire.

Andrew: These are invasive ways to get the truth out, though. I think these are things you should only be using in extreme circumstances. I guess you could argue there’s an important reason to be using one of these here, but it is extreme. Who exactly are we giving Veritaserum to?

Micah: Sirius.

Laura: I mean, it is life and death, effectively, right? How much more serious can you get?

Andrew: Yeah, I know, but he was just in Azkaban and now you’re going to force the truth out of him? I guess he’d be up for it just to make his point, but I don’t know. It’s still… because then if you go down this rabbit hole, what if Snape is standing right there too and throws a question at him as well? It’s very risky. I’m playing devil’s advocate just for fun, but…

Eric: Well, you’re doing a good job. I would say, like Dumbledore sums it up by saying “There’s no evidence. I believe Sirius, but there’s no evidence.” And it’s like, what are you going to do?

Andrew: Right. And Dumbledore actually does bring up a point right before this line about “I have no power to make other men see truth.” Dumbledore said that Sirius had not acted like an innocent man. Some of the cards are stacked against him; he attacked the Fat Lady and he entered Gryffindor tower with a knife. Not a good look when you’re trying to make your case. I know he’s been in Azkaban, so I’m sure that’s a factor. We’ve talked about that throughout the course of this Chapter by Chapter series thus far; that probably did a number on him. But still.

Micah: One thing that also came to mind, too, when Dumbledore had that line, is now that we’ve gotten a chance to at least get a peek inside to the world of Fantastic Beasts and meet Grindelwald, it gave me very much Grindelwald vibes when he says “I have no power to make other men see truth.” I’m wondering if he’s drawing on his past experiences here.

Eric: Ohh. Like, “I regret that I can’t fix everything.”

Laura: That’s an interesting reading.

Micah: So the next discussion is on the morality of Time-Turning magic. Time-Turners clearly play a huge role in this chapter, and then disappear forever minus the Hall of Prophecy in Order of the Phoenix. And I thought it could be fun just to read a little bit from about Time-Turners and I thought we could take turns. I’m happy to go first. Got a nice short paragraph. “According to Professor Saul Croaker, who has spent his entire career in the Department of Mysteries studying Time-Turning magic, this is what he has to say about Time-Turners.

Andrew: “As our investigations currently stand, the longest period that may be relived without the possibility of serious harm to the traveler or to time itself is around five hours. We have been able to encase single Hour-Reversal Charms, which are unstable and benefit from containment in small enchanted hour glasses that may be worn around a witch or wizard’s neck and revolved according to the number of hours the user wishes to relive.”

Eric: “All attempts to travel back further than a few hours have resulted in catastrophic harm to the witch or wizard involved. It was not realized for many years why time travelers over great distances never survived their journeys. All such experiments have been abandoned since 1899, when Eloise Mintumble became trapped for a period of five days in the year 1402.”

Laura: “Now we understand that her body had aged five centuries in its return to the present, and irreparably damaged, she died in St. Mungo’s Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries shortly after we managed to retrieve her. What is more, her five days in the distant past caused great disturbance to the life paths of all those she met, changing the course of their lives so dramatically that no fewer than 25 of their descendants vanished in the present, having been unborn.”

Andrew: [laughs] Great.

Micah: And it gets even worse from from here. I couldn’t… you know. This is a family show. So to include what else was on is just…

Eric: Oh, yikes.

Andrew: What?

Eric: All right, nobody go to

Micah: But basically, what this all says is that time travel is extremely, extremely dangerous, and it can cause irreparable harm to present day and the future. Is that fair to say?

Laura: Yeah.

Andrew: Yes, to say the least.

Eric: If used as directed, I’m not convinced that it can. So if you just go back five hours, right, you can’t unborn someone. You don’t know about anyone that you unborn if you’re only going back five hours.

Laura: I don’t know. I mean, can you account for every possible scenario in which someone within a certain radius of where you are is conceiving a child at that moment?

Eric: Eh, they’ll go for another one.

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Laura: But it would be a different child!

Eric: They don’t know any different! They don’t know because they’re not from the future.

Micah: This could be a whole other episode. We could dive deep…

Eric: Yeah. Okay, okay. Is time travel moral? Well, look at what it does. Look at how it’s used in this book. Sirius Black is going to be wrongfully terminated, Buckbeak is going to be wrongfully terminated, and in this chapter they are both set free. Because they tried to be nice, they tried to do it legally, they tried to convince everybody Buckbeak shouldn’t be dead, and he’s still sentenced to death. And they try to convince everyone of Sirius’s innocence, and it doesn’t work. So they provided justice where there was tremendous injustice. I can’t think of anything more moral than using the Time-Turner.

Andrew: And Dumbledore did give them permission to do so. In fact, he…

[Eric laughs]

Laura: Yeah. It is Dumbledore fault.

Andrew: Yeah. Does that make you feel better if you just blame Dumbledore?

Eric: Yeah.

Micah: You mean God?

[Andrew laughs]

Laura: So here’s the thing, though: I feel like in the grand scheme of the universe, the circumstances in this particular time loop were pretty small on the cosmic scale, right? This was very much told in a self-contained way. I feel like that, combined with this description we just read, really substantiates what we’ve been talking about for I think 100 episodes now, which is that there is only one timeline. In the wizarding world, you don’t have branching timelines. So the fact that you have people who are just unborn, who never exist, and it doesn’t just create a new timeline where they don’t exist… it’s just in the singular timeline. They are no more. That’s really messy, as we’ve talked about in prior episodes, because the logic becomes really difficult to keep up with if you are to use this as a plot device moving forward, which is why I think the author chose not to until she and some playwrights decided to use it again.

[Andrew and Micah laugh]

Eric: Right.

Micah: What’s interesting there is I do think there’s a distinction between the Time-Turner that Hermione uses and the Time-Turners that are used in Curse Child, because they allow for much more time time travel to happen.

Andrew: But weren’t we wondering back in 2016? Like, “Wait, I thought Time-Turners only go back a few hours? It’s not canon for them to go back years.”

Eric: Well, I’m pretty sure that Albus Severus and Scorpius suffer some trauma. Don’t they collapse after traveling back 20 years both times? Or after coming back to the future?

Micah: Yeah, I mean, let’s not forget they go all the way back to the night that Voldemort killed the Potters.

Eric: Oh, that’s right. Yeah.

Micah: That’s pretty far back.

Eric: Well, you know, it would sell tickets. That’s why they did it.

Micah: Yeah, I mean, it’s great on stage.

Andrew: Exactly. I mean, but you do have to wonder, whose idea was that? Was that actually Rowling’s, or…? I can’t remember the behind-the-scenes info at this point. But didn’t the producers, the writers, come to her first with the pitch and…?

Eric: I think that’s right.

Andrew: I can’t see J.K. Rowling being like, “You know what? It’s time to bring Time-Turners back. It’s been a while; let’s do it.” It was probably their idea, in her defense.

Eric: She was probably like, “No,” and they were probably like, “But people love Time-Turners!” And she was like, “All right.” That’s how I imagine that conversation having gone. Yeah, I don’t know. With the Time-Turner, the whole situation even despite its flaws, I’m so glad it exists because this chapter is one of my favorite chapters of the entire series. It’s a wild ride. Harry is like, “This is the craziest thing we’ve done,” and then you see it. And the thing that I find most important about this chapter is there are still rules, right? So you can’t interact with yourself. And partly because it’s been abused before, there are these rules that Hermione is just casually doling out as the chapter goes on. Harry wants to take the cloak from Snape so that Snape can’t use it to sneak down into the Shrieking Shack, and Hermione is like, “No, you can’t do that.” And so it hurts because at the end of the day, even though they are able to save Buckbeak and Sirius, they aren’t able to right all of the wrongs, right? Pettigrew still gets away, Snape still gets his moment of glory, and it becomes very precarious. So I think this question about the Time-Turners being moral or not, I think it’s even more moral or made more moral by the fact that it’s not a solve-all. There are still consequences. There are still areas in which two people using this will fall short in getting everything they ever wanted. There are unexpected consequences, and so I would argue that the the Time-Turner is value neutral almost.

Micah: But why not use that opportunity to stop Pettigrew? Why is freeing Sirius the moment that they’re allowed to actually alter? Why is that okay?

Eric: That’s a good question.

Micah: But not intervening in what happens when Pettigrew inevitably escapes?

Eric: Because Voldemort needs to come back and because Harry needs him to pay off his life debt.

[Micah laughs]

Andrew: Yeah, it’s probably just as simple as that. [Andrew laughs]

Eric: Yeah, not even from a plot standpoint, but the overall… the stars indicated that Voldemort would come back, so let’s blame it on the centaurs’ way of divining the future.

Micah: Yeah, I mean, I think there are a million different questions that can come out of this particular type of discussion, and maybe we do another episode focused on Time-Turning specifically. But I did want to ask, why entrust a 13-year-old with something as, I’m going to say, dangerous as a Time-Turner? We see that Hermione gets exhausted at one point in this book; I’m sure it happens a lot throughout the course of her third year with all the classes that she’s taking. But what if she accidentally fell asleep when she went back in time? Then she would be probably just as well off as Eloise Mintumble or anybody else who screws with time.

Andrew: So giving it to any child at Hogwarts is a bad decision. I’ll just say that upfront. But if you’re going to give it to any child at Hogwarts, it might as well be Hermione.

Micah: Yeah, I guess.

Andrew: She’s trustworthy. She’s well read. She knows what she’s doing. She can navigate difficult situations, as Dumbledore and McGonagall have already seen in her time at Hogwarts so far. Maybe they’ve got other reasons. Maybe there’s another Time-Turner story about a student at Hogwarts. Do we know for sure she’s the first student to have one at Hogwarts, come to think of it? I mean, maybe there have been experiences before where another student has had a Time-Turner. There must have been other Hermiones at Hogwarts prior to Hermione, and by that I mean students who just want to educate themselves in as many courses as possible.

Laura: I don’t know. I mean, we know it was hard to get, right? McGonagall had to write a whole bunch of letters to the Ministry to get this for Hermione, and presumably that all got started in Chamber of Secrets when Hermione signed up for everything. We do get that in Chamber of Secrets when she notes that she had signed up for all of the classes. So presumably, this was something that took some doing on McGonagall’s part, and she probably had to kind of lead a months long persuasion campaign to make it happen.

Micah: I did want to ask that question: What do we think McGonagall had to do? Did she have to lay her career on the line here?

Eric: I mean, this is one of those things where it immediately falls apart under scrutiny. Because, you know, 13, and for all the points we’re making. Maybe she just thinks it’s really important that Hermione gets a Runes education.

Andrew: But it can’t be that, right? [laughs]

Eric: No, Runes are really important!

Andrew: No, no, but I just… okay, Runes, fine. But does she really need every class that she can possibly take with the assistance of a Time-Turner? No, she’s got seven years at Hogwarts.

Eric: Maybe this was a trial run, like Hermione would have been the first and then if it worked, more students could have been able to learn more.

Andrew: [laughs] Can you imagine?

Eric: Oh God. Yeah, multiple versions of every kid in the Great Hall.

Andrew: More Time-Turners.

Eric: But no, Hallow Wolf in the Discord has a good point, which is going back to Hermione’s full class schedule that she was exhausted from. Hallow Wolf says, “Percy had more OWLs than Hermione,” so it seems like he wouldn’t be able to do that without a Time-Turner. So yeah, again, it goes back to scheduling.

Micah: This raises the question, though, are there other means by which Hermione could have taken these classes? Could she have spent the evenings or the weekends in private tutorial sessions with professors? I’m sure there’s other options that could have been put on the table…

Andrew: Summer school.

Micah: … where they don’t need to risk giving her a Time-Turner in order for her to meet her class obligations. It seems like a huge risk on the part of Dumbledore and McGonagall.

Eric: I agree.

Micah: Because what if it ended up in the wrong hands?

Eric: Yeah, I mean, you could easily see Draco being like, “What’s that necklace, Granger?” and messing with it.

Andrew: [laughs] “Nice necklace, Granger.”

Laura: Right? Because there’s no magic preventing the Time-Turner from being used by someone else; Harry gets to use it in this chapter. So if in one of her stupors, where she’s passed out somewhere…

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Eric: Hermione is always in a stupor.

Laura: … somebody had come up to her and taken the Time-Turner… I mean, they take the Time-Turner, she wakes up, and she suddenly has no way to move around in time. She’s stuck, and then somebody else is off playing with the Time-Turner. It makes me wonder if this Time-Turner was like, baby’s first Time-Turner. You know what I mean?

[Andrew laughs]

Laura: Like a Fisher Price-ified Time-Turner, not as intense as the real thing.

Micah: Not like, Noble Collection Time-Turner?

[Laura laughs]

Eric: Well, based on the writeup, Time-Turners really only are Hour Reversal Charms encased in an hourglass sort of thing.

Micah: Unless you’re in Cursed Child.

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: Right. So presumably, you could get a wand, and you could perform an Hour Reversal Charm and go back in time using just your wand, but only an hour.

Laura: And those are apparently really unstable spells, which is why they encase them in the Time-Turners. So it’s probably even more dangerous to do it that way.

Eric: Right, so it’s not that Hermione’s is like a Fisher Price, or less than, that there’s more powerful ones out there. It’s just a very imprecise and dangerous magic period.

Micah: I think that’s fair to say. Now, Dumbledore is playing a bit of God in this situation, as he does through most of the Harry Potter series, let’s be real. But the reason why I say that is he is essentially rewriting history in this moment, and I want to know, what gives him the authority to do that? And how fair is it that he’s entrusting the success of this mission to 13-year-old kids? Why not go back in time with them?

Eric: Oh, that would be fun.

Andrew: [laughs] That would be fun. [imitates Dumbledore] “Ooh, let’s do this thing. This will be fun.”

Laura: I wonder if in this scenario, Dumbledore kind of is God…

Andrew: You’re darn right he is. [laughs]

Laura: … because he already knows what happened, right? Because he was down at Hagrid’s hut during the execution, which we now know never happened. So is he just setting the wheels in motion for what he knows is already going to happen?

Eric: Right.

Andrew: Won’t be the last time he uses that strategy.

Eric: Maybe he’s not playing God at all. Maybe he was genuinely surprised to see Buckbeak escape, and then he realized some trickery was afoot. So he’s just following the script he has been given.

Laura: What came first, the chicken or the egg?

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: Hard to say.

Micah: All of this stems from the fact that Dumbledore thinks that the Ministry is not going to believe the word of two 13-year-olds. And Lupin also gets thrown into the conversation as well, but Dumbledore mentions that he’s off running around the forest, doing werewolf things, and that generally, the werewolf community is not looked favorably upon by the wizarding community as a whole, not just the Ministry. So what do we make of this? Especially as we start to think maybe a little bit about Order of the Phoenix and some of the other members of the wizarding community that are mistreated. Fair to say the Ministry is a bit shortsighted here; much like it didn’t do the investigation of Sirius back whenever that was, they’re not investigating it appropriately here either.

Eric: It’s one of those systemic issues that you’re never going to 100% solve because people are so flawed.

Andrew: [chants] Fudge needs to go. Fudge is fudging. Fudge needs to go.

Eric: Yeah, I do like to think the world was more just with Kingsley as Minister and later Hermione.

Andrew: I guess if I were to try and defend the Ministry, I would say, “Time is of the essence here. They’ve got to make a move.”

Laura: Yeah, “Let’s commit an execution in a children’s school.”

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: Absolutely.

Andrew: “There’s no time! We’ve gotta throw the axe down now!”

Micah: Well, they do it in the next book.

Laura: It’s funny because we actually have nothing but time because there’s a freaking Time-Turner here. But yeah, you’re right, Micah, in the next book, they do exactly what they intended to do in this book. And I understand time was of the essence there as well, but do you need to commit something worse than murder on school grounds?

Eric: Yeah, what happened to due process?

Laura: Right. [laughs]

Micah: Well, one other “What if?” I wanted to get in before we wrap up the discussion is, what if it all went wrong?

[“What if?” sound effect plays]

Micah: We’ve touched on this a little bit so far, but who gets blamed and what are the ramifications for misuse of a Time-Turner? We know Hermione has been given permission to use it for classes, but clearly in this situation she’s using it to free a presumed mass murder.

Andrew: I would just say, to defend Hermione and her getting the Time-Turner further, we do see Hermione multiple times strongly tell Harry “We cannot be seen.” And there’s the example that happens, basically as she’s telling Harry this, where Harry wants to grab the Invisibility Cloak so Snape won’t grab it, but then Hermione stops him. And it pays off; it was a good choice by Hermione because Hagrid walks in view of the cloak a moment later. So I see your points. I take your points. It’s a fun scenario to play out. But I also think it’s important just to remember Rowling did try to make the argument for why Hermione could have it and why we wouldn’t even have to worry that it could all go wrong. If it all went wrong, though, I don’t know.

Eric: Yeah, I mean, I hope that there’s some time guardian or something that’s able to go back and set the timeline right, that nobody can really die. But it’s more exciting to hear Hermione be like, “Witches and wizards…”

Micah: Wow, that reminds me of another Zelda game. What was that? Was it Skyward Sword with the time guardians?

Eric: Oh, is there? Well, that’s a common thing, somebody like Dumbledore, who’s all-seeing or can see into other timelines, is preserving the timeline. Oh, Loki. It’s in Loki.

Andrew: Oh yeah. Season 2 coming soon.

Laura: Except Loki has branching timelines, which are a lot more fun and easier, I think, to world-build off of.

Eric: Yay.

Laura: It’s one of the things that frustrates me about time travel in these books. Although I will say, viewing this chapter as self-contained is very fun. It’s a super fun chapter to read, even though if you start pulling the threads a little bit, it all comes apart pretty fast.

Eric: This is a house of cards, but it’s disguised like a Harley Davidson motorbike.

[Laura laughs]

Micah: Yeah, I think it’s fair to say that time travel is messy, right? There’s nothing clean about it because so much can go wrong.

Eric: We haven’t even talked about how when Hermione turns the Time-Turner she shows up in the middle of the Entrance Hall. Like, what is that?

Micah: Yeah, that’s something that I wanted to talk about, too, is in the movie, at least, they get it right. They go back in time to the infirmary. But yeah, why did they go there?

Eric: That’s inherently dangerous for her to just be appearing in the middle of the Entrance Hall, considering how many times…

Micah: Is that always where she goes, I wonder?

Eric: Right, because considering how many times she’s done that this year, it’s absurd. There would definitely have been a student or somebody that would see her. Imagine having to explain that. [laughs] Maybe McGonagall has been going around behind corners and Confunding students that have seen Hermione just appear here.

Laura: Would have been a lot less work to just give Hermione independent study for a few off these classes.

Eric: Yeah, anyway.

Laura: [laughs] But for the plot…

Andrew: For the plot!

Micah: This might be a bit of a hot take question…

Andrew: [laughs] I’ve been waiting for this for days.

Micah: And the reason why I ask it maybe is not, Andrew, why you think I’m asking it.

Andrew: Oh.

Micah: But I will ask it. Could J.K. Rowling not come up with a more creative way for Sirius to have escaped? And the reason why I framed it this way was because she’s opening up a huge door, and we’ll get to her comments about Time-Turners, but presumably then anything in the future could be solved with the use of a Time-Turner. And that’s why I said “a more creative way” for Sirius to escape.

Andrew: Okay, I take your point. It was creative for the series at the time because it was new. [laughs]

Eric: We’re talking about, basically, because of how many plot holes it potentially creates, would there have been…?

Andrew: It’s more trouble than it’s worth?

Micah: The solution is just every time, “Oh, get a Time-Turner.”

Eric: Well, that’s why they all get destroyed. It’s great.

Andrew: Allegedly. [laughs]

Eric: Although we still don’t have the answer of how Fred and George Weasley predicted the end of the match of the Quidditch World Cup. That they won the… yeah. I thought that was a Time-Turner kind of a thing, but yeah, it’s definitely a plot hole. But I can’t imagine anything being more creative, though, Micah, to your question. I think it’s the coolest thing ever.

Andrew: I mean, it’s on the cover, too, we have to call out. It’s worth mentioning, since Micah is throwing shade add it, it’s on the US cover.

Laura: Like I said before, I really regard this chapter as being somewhat a self-contained story. Obviously, it’s not; it has implications for the rest of the series. But the way that I choose to take it in is to just enjoy the series of events as they’re laid out based on the breadcrumbs that we’ve been left all year. It’s definitely problematic from a plot perspective; there’s no getting around it. It is still a great chapter, though, and I do have a hard time thinking of something more creative. I’m sure we could. Again, that’s a whole other episode. So if you’ve started taking a shot every time we say that, you’re welcome.

Andrew: [laughs] And we need to update our brainstorming doc with these ideas.

Micah: Well, maybe the question should have been, could JKR have come up with a less plot-holey way for Sirius to escape?

Laura: Probably.

Andrew: Let’s just say this, though: Let’s look at that iconic moment from the cover, right? Buckbeak escapes… well, it’s not on the cover really. Well, I guess it’s sort of…

Eric: Harry and Hermione. The British cover actually has it.

Andrew: Oh, yeah, yeah. So just think of the cinematic moment of Sirius flying on Buckbeak to escape. You needed the Time-Turner to get to that because they had to free Buckbeak as well. So I guess, sure, maybe without Time-Turners they could have broken Buckbeak free themselves or something and still had that cinematic ending, but I think the Time-Turner assisted with leading us to that cinematic climactic ending in which Sirius flies free, if you will, after being imprisoned.

Micah: Well, and so does Buckbeak, right? It’s the two of them together.

Andrew: Right. Well, yeah.

Eric: It’s really the ups and downs that this whole book has been doing. You get completely turned around thinking Sirius Black is the bad guy, then he’s the good guy, then you think Harry is going to live with him, then you think, “Oh my God, Pettigrew is escaping, all is lost.” And even though it’s not the happiest ending for this book, this chapter really shows you that it is going to be a happy ending book. It is going to be a slightly less happy ending, but the guy that you wanted to go free does get to go free. And that feels right. That feels like justice. But anything less than the Time-Turner confusion, going back, being constantly caught off-guard, would be ultimately, I think, less satisfying than what was in the book.

Micah: All right, you convinced me.

Eric: Hey, cool. I win the debate.

Micah: And I really didn’t think about it in the way of just the symbolism of the two unjustly accused escaping with each other at the end of the book.

Andrew: Freedom!

Micah: And plus they have each other now. Sirius isn’t alone. But just to wrap things up, we’ve been talking about this a little bit in that, was it going to be a possibility that J.K. Rowling was planning to use Time-Turners later on in the series but just ended up thinking better of it? And she did say that she went far too lightheartedly into the subject of time travel in Prisoner of Azkaban. “While I do not regret it, (Prisoner of Azkaban is one of my favorite books in the series), it opened up a vast number of problems for me, because after all, if wizards could go back and undo problems, where were my future plots? I solved the problem to my own satisfaction in stages. Firstly, I had Dumbledore and Hermione emphasize how dangerous it would be to be seen in the past, to remind the reader that there might be unforeseen and dangerous consequences as well as solutions in time travel. Secondly, I had Hermione give back the only Time-Turner ever to enter Hogwarts.” So that answers your question from earlier, Andrew, if there was anybody who used it previously. “Thirdly, I smashed all remaining Time-Turners during the battle in the Department of Mysteries, removing the possibility of reliving even short periods in the future.” I guess she didn’t know about Cursed Child at that time. “This is just one example of the ways in which, when writing fantasy novels, one must be careful what one invents. For every benefit, there’s usually a drawback.”

Andrew: Well, it’s very convenient to say “the only Time-Turner, by the way, ever to enter Hogwarts.” Was that ever in the books? Because otherwise, you have to be cautious with taking that at face value. She could have conveniently made that canon when writing this [laughs] just to cover her bases further.

Eric: Oh, that’s funny. The work continues to…

Andrew: Right, exactly. She’s continuing to cover over the plot holes. [laughs]

Eric: Listen, even in 1999 or whatever she didn’t believe that people will be reading this so closely 25 years later.

Andrew: Yeah, that’s a valid point.

Micah: Fair point.

Andrew: Can you imagine our own work being torn to pieces like Harry Potter or any other popular book is?

Laura: True.

Eric: I can; it’s getting close to that. But yeah, you’re right. It shouldn’t be.

Andrew: It’s like, we get emails from people, and of course we love the emails, but people point out when we make mistakes. I mean, that’s basically what happens when you’re the author as well on a much, much larger scale.

Micah: We never make mistakes.

Laura: Yeah, we criticize because we love.

Andrew: [laughs] I feel like we’ve gotten better for sure. But I feel like we used to get a lot more emails about mistakes.

Micah: Look, we’re human. We make mistakes. It happens.

Andrew: Yes. Yep, you’re right. We’re not perfect. Nobody’s perfect, in the words of Miley Cyrus. Hannah Montana, sorry.

Micah: Anything else on this chapter before we go to odds and ends? I know we didn’t go through the plot step by step. But anything we might’ve…?

Andrew: We already did. Ha, ha, ha! The backing up in time… okay, never mind.

[Laura laughs]

Micah: That’s funny.

Eric: It’s just really nice that Harry has the touching moment with the stag Patronus, and coming to the realization that it was him that sent the Patronus. And it’s funny that the reason he can do it is because he did it before, but really, that’s the coming-of-age part that everyone talks about that then became, in the movie adaptation, Harry fiddling with himself under the sheets when the movie opens. The reason this is a coming-of age-book is because of that moment with him and his dad, that wholesome moment where he realizes his father is gone, even though he’s been reintroduced to all of these friends that ran around. Again, it’s not that perfect happy ending. It’s a less than perfect happy ending. And the version of James that Harry has is the Patronus part that lives inside him, so that really is just the crucial, I think, moment where Harry comes of age and realizes that although he can be surprised by the past, the future is equally, I guess, hopeful as it is the opposite.

Micah: And I think it was nice to see the final Marauder included in the story as well. We’ve spent so much time with Remus throughout this book, then we get Sirius, then we get Pettigrew, but we don’t really get James. And there’s that hope – and I think there were fan theories for a long time – that perhaps if all these Marauders are alive, especially Pettigrew, perhaps James is alive as well in some way, shape, or form. And the other really touching moment of this chapter is the fact that Harry is willing to confide that to Hermione when they’re having that conversation. He’s letting his guard down a bit and saying, “Yeah, I actually thought it was my dad.” And I think you only do that with somebody who you consider to be a real true friend.

Odds & Ends

Micah: Time for some odds and ends. First one, when Harry looks over at Hermione in the hospital wing, it’s noted that she looked “petrified,” which I thought was a nice Chamber of Secrets throwback because she was Petrified in the same spot just one book earlier.

Eric: I like that Harry looks over and she’s just like, “Shh, we’re both listening in, this is crazy.”

Micah: It’s noted that Sirius is in the 13th window from the right of the west tower, seventh floor. So if you are the first to escape out of the 13th window, you are the first to die. That’s the other not as well-known Trelawney-ism.

Eric: [laughs] I love that. That’s great.

Micah: And best of all, drunk Hagrid is back.

Eric: Yeah! That should be the episode title.

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: Well, and one of my favorite lines, definitely in this chapter – I think they brought it over to the movie as well.

Micah: It’s in the movie.

Andrew: Yeah, okay. I love how Dumbledore quickly gives up on trying to find Buckbeak and instead asks Hagrid for tea or brandy.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: I just think that’s so great. And now he’s just in don’t-give-a-bleep mode. He’s just like, “Well, that was that! That was fun.”

Eric: “What can you do?”

Laura: I do love it. And I loved Michael Gambon’s portrayal in these moments.

Andrew: I do too.

Laura: I felt like he really captured Dumbledore at this point in the series.

Andrew: Yes. And also in this movie when he says, “Three or four turns should do it. Good luck,” and then he goes behind the doors, I thought that was a great moment by Michael Gambon as well.

Micah: And when they come back, they’re like, “We did it,” and he’s like, “Did what?” And he just walks away.

[Andrew laughs]

Laura: That was great.

Andrew: And all this Time-Turner talk, it’s got me thinking about a date I went on about 11 years ago now. I may have told this on the show or maybe on Millennial at one point. I was going on this date with this guy in Los Angeles. And he knew I was doing… I have my Harry Potter background, and he shows up to the date wearing a Time-Turner because of my Harry

Laura: Aww, that’s very sweet.

Micah: Just the Time-Turner?

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: You guys, stop it.

Micah: Yeah, the little Noble Collection necklace and that was it?

Andrew: No, Micah, I’ve only seen you wearing nothing but a Time-Turner.

Micah: It’s true.

Andrew: So anyway, we go on the date. I’m very touched by this little touch, his little accessory. It didn’t work out because I started learning a little more about him; let’s just say I was a little concerned for my safety if things didn’t work out. [laughs]

Eric: Yikes! All right.

Micah: I’m just letting you know, for reference, you did say that you were “touched by his little accessory.”

Andrew: Trust me, that went through my head when I said that too, okay? I’m talking about the Time-Turner.

Laura: I wasn’t going to say anything.

Andrew: I really need the music this week to bail out of certain scenarios.

[Laura and Micah laugh]

Micah: Are you sure you want to do weeknight recordings?

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: Not anymore.

Andrew: I think this is fun.

Micah: This is fun.

Laura: It’s going to be unhinged.

Andrew: All right, it’s time for MVP of the week. [laughs]

MVP of the Week

[MVP of the Week music plays]

Andrew: Maybe I should call an audible and say I’m going to give it to Hermione’s little accessory.

[Everyone laughs]

Micah: There you go. We’ll let you do that.

Andrew: Okay, I’m giving it to Hermione’s Time-Turner. I love that little accessory.

Eric: I’m going to give it to Dumbledore for the way he handles Snape. He’s playing with some serious fire here, and it works.

Micah: I like that play on words.

Laura: I do like it. Speaking of, I’m going to give mine to Sirius. Let’s think about the events of this chapter from his point of view, particularly at the end. They’re all unconscious. They get brought up to Hogwarts on stretchers. Presumably, he wakes up in this classroom, up on the seventh floor, doesn’t know why he’s been brought there, doesn’t know where everyone else is. And all of a sudden, he sees his godson and one of his best friends on a hippogriff outside the window, and he doesn’t pause. He’s like, “All right.”

[Eric laughs]

Laura: So I’m going to give it to him for recognizing, “This might be a little shifty, but I know what’s waiting for me on the other side of that door…”

Eric: Time to get out of Dodge.

Laura: “… I’m going to jump out the window.”

Micah: I gotta give it to Buckbeak. He was very well-behaved in this chapter. If he ran off, the whole plan would have been just completely screwed.

Andrew: All right.

Micah: There are moments where he wants to run up to Hagrid, and he saves the day at the end. I mean, to Laura, your point, Sirius can get away now. They can become really good friends somewhere off in the… where do they go? The mountains? The forest? Hogsmeade?

Eric: They’re around.

Laura: Yeah, they’re in a cave for a while, right?

[MVP of the Week music ends]

Andrew: Oh yeah, that sounds right. All right, well, next week will be the final chapter in our Prisoner of Azkaban Chapter by Chapter series, Chapter 22, “Owl Post Again.” Did you three know that’s it’s only been a year since we started Chapter by Chapter?

Eric: What?

Andrew: I saw it come up in my iPhone memories this week. Our first… and I’m talking Book 1. We started Book 1 September 13, 2022. It feels like so much longer.

Eric: It really does. Wow.

Andrew: [laughs] We move too fast with that first book. That’s my takeaway.

Laura: Yeah, moving back to one chapter a week was the move.

Andrew: And of course, Book 4 is very large, so it might take us a year to get through it, especially if we’re doing other episodes.

Eric: I’m really excited for Book 4.

Andrew: Well, speaking of Book 4, we have some exciting news, I think, for everybody. Before we start Goblet of Fire Chapter by Chapter, we will be doing – drumroll please – for the first time ever, a Goblet of Fire movie commentary. Woop woop!

Laura: I’m so excited for this. I haven’t seen this movie in a long time.

Andrew: Me neither. I’ve been growing my hair in anticipation for watching this movie with all the long-haired kids in that motion picture.

Eric: It’s time to announce that that’s why my hair has been growing long as well.

Andrew: It’s all making sense now. So yeah, we actually did do a Prisoner of Azkaban movie commentary, and we thought about doing it again, but it was just back in May 2021 that we did that. It’s only about two years ago.

Eric: It’s all current. Same people, same opinions. It has not changed at all.

Andrew: Exactly, exactly. So after we do Goblet of Fire, we will have still Chamber of Secrets to do and Order of the Phoenix and Deathly Hallows – Part 1. So we still have some to work through, and we will get there because just like we’re enjoying doing this complete Chapter by Chapter series, we would love to do all the movie commentaries. We have to.

Eric: Absolutely.

Andrew: How have the MuggleCasters not done every movie at this point?

Eric: We’re completionists multiple times over.

Micah: This movie quite possibly has the worst scene in all of the Harry Potter films.

Eric: [intensely and angrily] “Did you put your name in the Goblet of Fire? Did you ask another student to do it for you?”

Andrew: Everybody automatically knows what you’re talking about when you say that.

Micah: It rivals the “He was their friend.” I don’t do that very well.

Eric: No, it’s worse because it’s coming from an adult.

Laura: Yeah, no, you gotta shout that.

Andrew: Well, I think in light of that being such a huge meme and huge part of the Harry Potter fandom, maybe we should all have a shot ready for that scene and we take the shot when…

Laura: Yeah, I’m down.

Andrew: Okay. I didn’t have to convince them. I couldn’t even get through that sentence.

Laura: No! Are you kidding me? I’m always ready.

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: We need to take a shot from a goblet.

Andrew: Ooh, now you’re talking. I used to have a goblet from the Noble Collection.

Eric: That’s a waste of… because then you got to wash the goblet, if you just put a little bit of something in it. [laughs]

Micah: I’m sure Target has some we can get before we do our commentary.

Andrew: It’s worth it for the pod.

Micah: It is.

Andrew: But we thought it would be a great idea to refresh ourselves on this movie because of course, when we’re doing Chapter by Chapter, we talk about the movie from time to time. So this will be a great introduction.

Eric: Yeah, I love the idea of watching the movie first as a primer because we’ll reference it. Obviously, the book is much more complicated. And not to spoil the next week interim between Books 3 and 4, but Book 3, I’ve said it forever, is my favorite book in the series. Book 4, when I first read it, I asked myself at the end of it, “Is this book, my new favorite? Do I like it more than 3?” And my answer was yes. So there’s a possibility that Book 4, as we go through it, might usurp Book 3 for me because I’m trying to stay true to the original 14-year-old that read this.

Andrew: Aww. Well, I hope it lives up to…

Eric: That’s sort of a personal life update. [laughs] I don’t know if that was actually interesting at all.

Andrew: No, it was, but we can we can definitely talk about that more, too, at the beginning of Chapter by Chapter. The first time we read it. I definitely have fond memories getting Goblet of Fire because that was the first midnight release I attended.

Eric: Oh yeah, that’ll be a whole thing.

Andrew: If you have any feedback about today’s episode or the chapters ahead, you can send an owl to, or you can 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 1-920-3MUGGLE, that’s 1-920-368-4453. And now it’s time for Quizzitch.


[Quizzitch music plays]

Eric: Last week’s Quizzitch question, how old was Sirius Black when he played the trick on Snape with Lupin? The correct answer was 16. Correct answers were submitted by 10-year-old Laura, the Master of the Universe; Accio 12 bagels; Beaky for life; Chocolate chip Dumbledough; Defend Dumbledore; Dock hooper; Elizabeth K.; Fantastic Beasts is amazing but isn’t happening; For 10 minutes Snape has a very magical object in his grubby mitts and doesn’t quite seem to realize it; Something smart and witty that I cannot think of; Sour grapes Snape; Luke the 11-year-old… let’s see… Ally the 25-year-old; love people are giving us their names. Lost sugar quill abrew; Towels enough effing towels; Wolfstar, Dadfoot, and Moomie? And Wolf Starbucks for the win; and many more, including, somebody sent the very first Quizzitch snswer song lyric filk. They sent an entire song as their Quizzitch answer, and maybe I’ll read it after that episode ends. Or sing it. But shout-out to Hippogriff rider 2000. Next week’s Quizzitch question: At the end of term, who arrives to see Lupin after Harry does? Submit your answer to us on the MuggleCast website,, or click on “Quizzitch” from the main nav if you’re already on our website. We know how many of you have it bookmarked.

[Quizzitch music ends]

Andrew: If you’re an Apple Podcasts user, 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, but if you’d prefer to support us right within the Apple Podcasts app, we know it’s nice and easy because you already have your credit card there. The offer is there, and you can just tap into the show and you’ll see the subscribe button, Plus a free trial is available and annual subscription is available as well. We also have a free trial and annual subscription on our Patreon, and you get a lot more benefits there. Don’t forget now is the time to pledge to gain access to the MuggleCast collector’s club. You will also need to fill out a form to let us know you want to receive the stickers and the backing card. And speaking of Patreon, those of you who use Spotify, you can now tap into the show and you can easily access our Patreon. And then you can actually get our bonus audio content. we do two bonus MuggleCast installments a month we also post ad free MuggleCast and early access to MuggleCast within Patreon, you can get all those audio benefits right within Spotify now. nice and easy. We’re very excited that they added that. and don’t forget to follow us on social media. We are @MuggleCast on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, and Threads. 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.