Transcript #636


MuggleCast 636 Transcript


Transcript for MuggleCast Episode #636, You Are Boot-iful (GOF Chapter 6, The Portkey)

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: Grab your dirtiest boots that you’re willing to part with, because this week we are diving into Goblet of Fire Chapter 6, “The Portkey.” This week’s episode is also being released Thanksgiving week here in America, so Happy Thanksgiving. We’re thankful for y’all.

Eric: Do you know what I’m thankful for, Andrew? I’m thankful for all of these fun intros we have here going on.

Laura: Same.

Micah: And welcome back, Andrew.

Andrew: Thanks. I’m thankful to not be sick tonight, so I’m thankful for that as well. Let’s pretend we were in the wizarding world and turkeys didn’t exist. What would be on the big platter in the center of the table instead of a turkey in the wizarding world?

Eric: I’ve got something.

Laura: I’ve got a dark thing.

Micah: Look, this might not be a popular opinion. And we’re on Thursday night recordings now, so this is slightly unhinged. But I’m going to go with owls.

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: There’s plenty of them.

Laura: Oh my God.

Andrew: A big ol’ owl for you.

Micah: Yeah.

Eric: It wasn’t so much the shock of you saying owls, Micah; it was you saying, “There’s plenty of them” as if to justify.

[Eric and Micah laugh]

Laura: Are there plenty of them? I don’t know if I would say that.

Eric: I do get where you’re coming from, though, right? Because there’s a turkey surplus, except for the one that gets a pardon every year. Isn’t that something they tell…? Because you can hunt animals that there’s a surplus of.

Andrew: There’s a good supply of turkeys this year. The price of turkeys is actually down this year. That’s a fact. That’s true.

Eric: Wow.

Andrew: Yeah, I would go with a baby hippogriff. Because obviously, a hippogriff is going to be way too big, so a newborn. [laughs] This sounds so bad.

Eric: Somebody has to kill it. [laughs]

Laura: Andrew, I just want you to know Evanna Lynch is never going to come on our show again.

[Andrew and Micah laugh]

Eric: Forget about the Protego Foundation. Forget about all of these allies that we’ve built up over these years. Asking this question is a no-no.

Micah: So Andrew, I’m curious: Do you bow to it before you slit its throat, or after?

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: Wow.

Laura: Oh my God.

Andrew: Okay, I would not be doing this myself. I would be… ugh.

Eric: You pay somebody to do it.

Andrew: This is so grim for a wholesome Thanksgiving episode.

Eric: I had a cute one, which was going to be… it’s still sad.

Andrew: [laughs] Yeah.

Eric: But you know those little birds that can appear and disappear, the Diricawl?

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: So they’re short and pudgy, but I imagine that maybe one if it got too big, it would be a little slow and couldn’t Disapparate in time, so they’d catch it. And that would be the equivalent of a Thanksgiving turkey. Plus, because it’s bigger, it would feed a family. So I can imagine it being a Diricawl.

Andrew: Oh, man. Okay, I like that. How about you, Laura?

Laura: So I feel like if we’re thinking about the wizarding world in 2023 terms, I would like to think that at this point, the wizarding world has caught up with the meatless protein phenomenon that we have here in the Muggle world.

Andrew: This part’s for Evanna and all of our vegetarian listeners.

Eric: Laura single-handedly saving our allies and our alliances.

[Andrew laughs]

Laura: I know, I’m over here trying to dig us out of this hole, because I was like, “Oh my God, she’s never going to want to come here again.” [laughs]

Eric: It’s a thankless job, but thank you.

Laura: Yeah, you’re welcome. But yeah, I mean, so I will say, initially, I was thinking dark on this one too. I was like, “What about the qilin?” [laughs]

Andrew: The qilin, yeah.

Laura: Yeah, because you could just say maybe that can kill two birds with one stone, you know?

Andrew: [laughs] I see what you did there. Yeah, I like that idea too. There could be a Beyond Meat version of hippogriff meat. I don’t know what hippogriff meat would taste like, or any of these would taste like, but there could be a rip-off, a fake alternative.

Eric: Maybe it’s made from dirigible plums. They do have a use, like plum base… you know how seitan…?

Micah: No, that’s like a side that I don’t want to taste.

[Laura laughs]

Eric: No, okay, okay. Well, you know what? I have another one, though. I think I have the best answer, besides Laura’s very obviously, superior meat-free. The Occamy. You know how it grows to fit the size of whatever it’s in? So you’d only need one, and it could feed the whole wizarding world. You just put it in a big cathedral or something, and then it fills the space, and then you’re like, “Okay, thank you. We give thanks.” And then that’d be it.

Andrew: That is a beautiful one.

Laura: Well, and then, Eric, you just made me think of Gamp’s Laws of Elemental Transfiguration, right? That’s what it’s called. And how you can’t create food from nothing, but you can duplicate food if you already have some. So maybe the most realistic answer here is to say yes, we do have that Diricawl, that hippogriff, whatever, but we only have one, and we just multiply it and give everyone one.

Eric: In fact, in the wizarding world, Thanksgiving is the most beast-honoring day because there’s just one beast…

[Laura laughs]

Eric: … and they’re like, “This year, we’ve picked the Occamy. This year, we’ve…” and they’re like, “Thank you,” and then they ship it around the world. I think we saved it.

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: Look, I’m just thinking that… look at Errol in the series. He’s on his way out.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: Are you about to say he’s useless, so…?

Eric: Micah is still like, “If we have to kill one bird, it’s got to be that pathetic one.”

Micah: But there is an interesting point that was brought up in the Discord by Erica, who said the conversation made her realize that I don’t think we ever see any wizards eating the meat of magical creatures in the books. It’s always your traditional pork, chicken, beef that we all are accustomed to.

Eric: That’s true. At Hogwarts they don’t serve magical animal products as food.

Andrew: So maybe there is an agreement that those beasts are not to be hunted and eaten.

Eric: Maybe the house-elves refuse to do it.

Andrew: Oh, that would make sense too. Interesting.

Eric: Like a magical creature cannot carve up another magical creature.

Micah: Let’s be real, they don’t have much choice in anything.

[Laura and Micah laugh]

Eric: No, they do not have any choice. This is all grim and sad and not at all… we opened with dirty boots; I thought that was awesome. I thought that was a peak. Now I’m just bummed out.

Andrew: And we’re thankful for you all. Let’s just delete this whole section. This is too sad and upsetting.

Eric: Okay, this is going away forever. No one will ever know this happened.

Andrew: I apologize. This was my idea. I should have been sick again this week, I think.

[Eric and Laura laugh]

Laura: No, no, no.

Micah: I think it was fine.

Eric: Aww, we never said that.

Andrew: [laughs] I’m just kidding.

Laura: No, no, no, I think it’s great.

Andrew: All right. Well, let’s move out of this subject. Hope everybody who is celebrating has a nice Thanksgiving. Because of Thanksgiving, it falls on a Thursday; that is our new recording day, so we will be off next week. However, we have plenty of bonus MuggleCast installments available over on our Patreon, and in fact, after today’s episode, we’re going to record a new one. Right, Micah? What’s on tap?

Micah: Yeah, so one of the things that I thought would be fun to talk about as we’re reading Goblet of Fire is that back in the day, we were all just youngins working for MuggleNet. One of the most exciting things was always learning what the new title was going to be for the upcoming book. However, there’s a number of different options that were on the table for every book. Let’s face it; “Goblet of Fire” was not the first choice for this book. So we’re going to have a little bit of fun talking about what was the initial choice and some of the other options that were on the table for the fourth book, so it’ll be a good time. Good discussion. We’ll reminisce a bit about our times working for MuggleNet too.

Andrew: So you can check that out at And you can get this bonus audio content within your favorite podcast app, including Spotify; that’s a relatively recent addition. We can’t do this show without your support. So thank you to everybody who supports us on Patreon or Apple Podcasts. By the way, one of our listeners who’s listening live on Patreon tonight, Liza, says the Thanksgiving conversation was genuinely hilarious and she’s vegan. So we’ve got the approval of at least one vegan.

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: Safe, I think.

Eric: Phew, okay.

Laura: I hope you know I was half joking.

[Eric and Laura laugh]

Andrew: Oh, and Liza also points out that Evanna said she’s dating a non-vegan on the last episode of The ChickPeeps, so I think we’re in the clear, y’all. We can rest easy this holiday season.

Eric: Yeah, it’s not make or break with the relationship. Well, let’s be sure to send her a card anyway.

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: Yes, a card with AI art that shows a baby hippogriff on a Thanksgiving dinner table.

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: That’s the fastest way to get cancelled, actually.

Andrew: So a little reminder, too: We announced this last week, the MuggleCast overstock store is now open. If you’ve ever wanted one of our cool physical gifts that we send to patrons, but maybe you don’t support us on Patreon, we are selling leftover physical gifts from years past, including the MuggleCast beanie – that’s our newest one – the sweet 16 wood car, album art signed by the four of us, T-shirts, socks, and more. This is the MuggleCast and Millennial overstock store; that’s the podcast that Laura and I do. Visit, or you can click the link in the show notes to see the store and purchase your favorites. And once these are gone, these are gone. We are not making these again, so please check them out. Great holiday gift idea, by the way. Maybe you would like one of these on your holiday list. Here you go; send people a link to the store.

Eric: If I didn’t have 50 of them burning a hole in my back porch, the MuggleCast wood car.

[Laura and Micah laugh]

Eric: It’s still one of the most creative gifts we’ve ever given, and it’s fun to assemble. I had fun doing the instructions and a little video where you can watch it happen. Also, they’re infinitely customizable; you can paint these things!

Micah: I was actually going to say the beanie. I think that just given the time of year, most folks are facing a little bit of colder weather. And even if you’re not, if you live in a warm place, the AC gets turned up too high…

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: … throw your beanie on. Wear it at night when you go to bed.

Andrew: It’s started getting colder here, and I’m actually using the beanie now. And darn, that thing is comfortable. That is a cozy beanie.

Laura: It really is.

Andrew: Don’t miss out on that beanie. Now Eric is wearing it himself.

Eric: It sure is.

Micah: Eric is modeling it.

Eric: Here we go. Keep warm.

Andrew: It’s really nice. Don’t miss out. That’s perfect for Christmas.

Micah: I’ve actually gotten a lot of compliments on it, too, from colleagues who’ve seen it.

Andrew: Oh, cool!

Laura: I was going to recommend the socks, personally. The knit on them is so nice. And they also have our classic iPod shadow design on them from the very first T-shirt we ever came out with, so those are really nice and well made too.

Andrew: Don’t miss out on these lovely gifts. So before we start, we are doing Goblet of Fire Chapter 6, “The Portkey” today, and we would be remiss if we did not mention that the Goblet of Fire movie was released 18 years ago this week.

Eric and Laura: Wow.

Laura: Oh my God.

Eric: You know what that means? It’s the 18th anniversary of “Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Come on!”

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Andrew: Yes. This is the 18th anniversary of our first live podcast in New York City.

Eric: Very cool. Very cool.

Chapter by Chapter: Seven-Word Summary

Andrew: So as always, we will start this installment of Chapter by Chapter with our seven-word summary.

[Seven-Word Summary music plays]

Andrew: The…

Laura: … Quidditch…

Micah: … World…

Eric: … is…

Andrew: … excited…

Laura: … regarding…

Micah: … Voldemort.

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: Oh, okay. Wow.

Eric: Okay.

Andrew: All right. Happy Thanksgiving, once again, everybody.

[Micah laughs]

[Seven-Word Summary music ends]

Eric: And which one of these are we going to review at the end of the book?

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Laura: This one.

Micah: Hey, there are a lot of chapters still to go.

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: That’s true. This is only Chapter 6.

Eric: All right.

Chapter by Chapter: Main Discussion

Laura: Let’s get into our chapter. Specifically, I want to start out this week’s discussion by talking about wizarding modes of transport. We hear quite a bit about this from Arthur Weasley, as he’s explaining how people are getting to the Quidditch World Cup. And I think we learn a little bit more about the ways that wizards travel, right? We’re familiar with brooms and the Hogwarts Express and the Floo Network at this point, but in this chapter, we’re learning a couple of other ways that magical folk get around. First of all, it is noted that 100,000 people come from around the world to the Quidditch World Cup. And I’ll confess, when I read this, when I reread it, I was surprised, because when you think about international World Cup events and the crowds those draw, it’s millions of people who turn up for those things. But then I had to remind myself, “Well, this is a significantly smaller portion of the global population.” But it just made me wonder exactly how many magical people are there in the world?

Eric: We don’t know.

[Laura laughs]

Eric: But I think that, given that there were said to be about 1,000 people at Hogwarts 25 years ago when the author was asked – and that’s even less people than were just at my high school, which is four years – if you want to, there might be some math we could do there, but it’s considerably less. And not only that, but the 100,000 people that are coming are still a huge threat to breaking the Statute of Secrecy, and so I think on days like this, the Ministry is glad there’s only 100,000 people turning up. I did do some math, and it’s only twice the size of Dodger Stadium. Dodger Stadium holds about 56,000.

Andrew: “Only” twice the size.

Micah: You raise a really good point, though, Eric, because all of this needs to be done in secrecy. It’s not like your traditional Olympics, let’s say, where people are able just to fly in from all over the world and not have to worry worry about whether or not they’re seen by other people. So that’s a major factor in all of this.

Andrew: Yeah. And I mean, I think when we were reading Goblet of Fire for the first time, it may have been harder to fathom 100,000 wizards from around the world coming in, because those are… you wouldn’t think there were that many wizards, I don’t think. But now that we’re in this post-Book 7 world where we’ve learned so much more about the wizarding world, the schools around the world, this number is easier for me to believe.

Laura: Yeah. I think as a kid, when you’re reading this, that feels like a huge number. And I mean, it is a big number. But relative to this kind of event, it seems pretty small, from our standpoint.

Andrew: That’s a good point too. Because as a child, when you’re reading this, you’ve never been to something with 100,000 people, maybe not even something with 1,000 people.

Eric and Laura: Right.

Laura: Well, to Eric’s point about the Statute of Secrecy, one of the things that the Ministry does to protect itself from the risk of exposure by all of these wizarding weirdos navigating the Muggle world to get to the Quidditch World Cup is by mandating staggered arrivals, so depending on the ticket you bought, how good your ticket was, how expensive it was, some people had to get there really early. So if you bought cheap seats, you had to get there up to two weeks before the match even started.

Eric: Is it just me or does this feel like San Diego Comic Con all over again?

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: Getting in line for the big Twilight panel?

Eric: Do you want to see, yeah, the Pixar panel, whatever the big panel is going to be?

Andrew: I would hate being there two weeks early. I guess you could see it as a nice peaceful camping opportunity, but other than that, this sounds like hell.

[Micah laughs]

Andrew: And it’s really crappy that the lower income people would have to get there two weeks early in order to attend the Cup. That is not right or fair. I see why they need to slowly have people trickle in, but still, that’s pretty poor.

Micah: That was my main point with this, is that it seems somewhat counterintuitive. To the point that Andrew is raising, you’d assume the people with cheaper tickets don’t – not in every case – but most of them wouldn’t have the means to put themselves up for two weeks somewhere.

Eric: That’s a good point.

Micah: So forcing them to come in early is not fair.

Eric: Yeah, I think it must come down to how a lot of things in the wizarding world come free or cheaply. We were talking earlier about duplicating food, but living situations are… I’ve never heard of wizarding world real estate being an issue. I mean, if they are on a hill camping, and as long as they can conceal themselves from any Muggles that would walk by, one would think that they would be at least permitted as wizards to stay there indefinitely.

Andrew: Who has two weeks to basically camp out for the event to start? You’ve got to work, you’ve got school…

Micah: Take off work.

Laura and Micah: Yeah.

Laura: That was my thing. I was like, “What about these people’s jobs? How are they supposed to go to work?”

Eric: I would argue we don’t know enough about wizarding professions. The Ministry people are probably working it, but…

Andrew: But they probably get a lot of vacation time because things are just better in the wizarding world. Here in America, it’s like, you get four days a year. In the wizarding world, it’s probably like, you get three months.

Laura: Well, I have bad news for you, Andrew; there are countries around the world where the reality that you’re describing – or excuse me, the fantasy you’re describing – is a reality.

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Andrew: Yeah, I know, I see a lot of Europeans doing a lot of vacationing and I’m like, “How do I get that life?” [laughs]

Eric: Yeah. I was going to say, Andrew, didn’t you see the most recent email from HR? Our four days a year is actually going down to three because of costs.

Andrew: Oh, wonderful. Excellent.

Eric: Yeah, but a big thing for me… so we talked about… I completely agree it’s a class issue. Although, I do think a lot of people who had to be here for two weeks probably aren’t suffering, especially if they can Apparate in and out. It’s unclear exactly what they’re doing two weeks in advance there. It’s just a matter of, again, the Statute of Secrecy. But I want to hear right now, is this better or worse than Ticketmaster’s verified fan whole shenanigans?

Andrew: [laughs] This is actually better. This is better.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: Because A, nothing is worse than verified fan, because you have no control of it. At least with getting there two weeks early, you’re like, “I’m in control. I am deciding. I’ll get there two weeks early and I’m guaranteed to get in.” Verified fan, I keep trying to get tickets to Adele in Vegas; I keep getting rejected. Keep getting waitlisted. It’s not my fault. I’m a real fan! But I can’t get the tickets. If I could camp out for two weeks, maybe I would, and then I am in control. [sings] Hello, it’s me… camping out for two weeks to guarantee myself some tickets.

Eric: It’s so low-tech, too, and it just reminds me of… God, kids these days probably wouldn’t know it. Oh, great, we’re officially old; I said “Kids these days.” [laughs] But Black Friday, where you used to see people camping out outside Best Buy the day before or overnight to be there at 7 a.m. when they open to get one of the first 500 HD TVs when they first came out. That to me must have been the inspiration for what this became in the book. It was published in 2000, so it must have been something akin to how do people deal with… or maybe the Olympics were like that too; maybe people were camping out. I really don’t know.

Andrew: My mom camped out for a Nintendo Wii.

Eric: Ooh.

Micah: I was just thinking more so along sporting lines, right? When you have these major events, usually… like in the case of the Quidditch World Cup, it would be the main event, but there’s other things that are happening around the main event, right? So if you’re there for two weeks, hopefully, there’s other things that you can take advantage of that you can go and do as a fan of Quidditch that you otherwise would never have the opportunity to do because this is an event that only happens… what is it, once every however many years? I don’t remember off the top of my head. But I would just hope there’s more fan stuff for these people to take advantage of.

Laura: Well, when we think about how people are actually getting to the World Cup, though, we’re introduced to a couple of concepts by Arthur. First thing he does is tell us that there are 200 of these things called Portkeys placed around Britain, right? These are inanimate objects that are unobtrusive, kind of unassuming looking, but they can actually transport you to a particular destination at a specific time. What I thought was so interesting about this was the I think British point of view we see here, where it’s like, “Yeah, we have 200 of these placed around Britain,” but we also know Arthur says people are coming from all around the world to do this. So it’s not just British people that are going to be traveling by Portkey. And it makes me wonder, does the British Ministry have to collaborate with other countries’ Ministries to get Portkeys set up there and link them to the Portkeys in Britain to get people where they’re going? Just seems like a logistical nightmare.

Eric: I think that the other countries, especially those that are involved in sending their teams to the Quidditch World Cup, Ireland and Bulgaria, they probably have also huge swaths of the people that are coming to represent. So given that we also see a smattering of other international people on the ground later when Harry is roaming, and there’s that guy with the magic carpets and all of this, it really does seem like the other governments would have to be helping the British Ministry just to get their own citizens to the Cup and back.

Laura: That’s also a mutual benefit, right? None of them want the International Statute of Secrecy to be breached. [laughs] Not good for anyone, no matter where you hail from. But Andrew, you had an interesting point about the Portkey’s transportation timer.

Andrew: Yeah, this chapter is our introduction to Portkeys and Apparition, and so we’re learning little details about each mode of magical transportation. And we learn in this chapter that the Portkey has a sort of transportation timer where you have to be holding it at a particular time in order for it to transport you. I do wonder if this is the best option, for it to be based around a time, because it seems like – speaking of nightmares – a safety nightmare for anyone who might accidentally pick it up. And in this chapter, I guess it’s maybe Arthur, he says, “Oh, it’s just an old boot. Nobody’s going to bother touching it.” I feel terrible for that boot. That is insulting to that boot, or any other Portkey, that it’s too ugly for somebody to even pick up to properly dispose of it in the trash can. “You are so ugly, nobody will even help clean up earth by touching you.”

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Laura: I really love how you personified the boot. I did not think that’s where we were going with this conversation. [laughs]

Andrew: I’ve seen Toy Story too many times. I personify…

Eric: “I don’t wanna play with you anymore.”

Laura: Aww.

Andrew: [laughs] Right. “I don’t wanna touch you.” No, but really, let’s say the boot wasn’t worthless and untouchable in the eyes of Arthur Weasley. This is not a safe system because some Muggle could be holding it and could be transported.

Laura: Yeah. And to that point, Andrew, this is another example of Muggles being characterized as not paying enough attention to pick up on anything magical. So I was thinking the same thing. I was like, “What if some environmental group was out cleaning up rubbish out of the countryside and just happened to pick up this boot at the precise time that it travels?”

Andrew: Right. Of course, they all had a lengthy debate over who was going to dare to touch the boot, and then somebody lost the bet, and then, yeah, that poor person is transported against their will.

[Laura laughs]

Eric: Trying to seek out what the real world thing to be touched on this might be. Because I do that anytime a new magical concept is introduced, like boggarts, for instance, being the monster under your bed you always feared as a kid. I think of Portkeys being… just this idea that they’re out in the middle of the countryside where no one else is, that if you ever had somebody going to the middle of nowhere where nobody else is, it feels weird. And you’re more likely, if you have a friend that went to the middle of nowhere, to come back and hear just a wild story about how they ended up somewhere unexpected and barely got back. It just seems like the wildest things happen at random and derelict buildings and things, so it seems to be maybe a mention to how some of the things Muggles might have encountered are actually Portkeys, or a wizard was supposed to be using them or forgot it was left there.

Laura: Oh, I kind of love that.

Micah: Right. It’s reminiscent of “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”

[Eric laughs]

Micah: At least the lens through which this is all being written in that, of course, a Muggle would just brush past a dirty old boot sitting out in the middle of the field. But I wonder if we peeled it back a little bit – and this might be a bit of a stretch – but do you think the Portkey is at all reflective of the class status of Arthur and his family?

Laura: Ooh.

Micah: Dirty old boot, not a lot of money. I can’t see the Malfoys using a dirty old boot to make their way to the Quidditch World Cup.

Eric: They would transfigure it into a stiletto or a nicer shoe first, and then they would use it.

Laura: Yeah. I mean, they’re probably not traveling by Portkey, knowing them.

Andrew: Right.

Micah: True.

Andrew: Not to mention having to travel to the Portkey to begin with. That would be a hassle for a rich family.

Eric: That was the hard part. Yeah, getting up early, I think, also is an indication of their class, to your point, Micah. Even if there are other Portkeys that other families are taking, the 7:45 a.m. one is definitely for the poorer people.

Andrew: The Malfoys would be taking the private jet equivalent.

Eric: They would be taking their peacocks. Remember how Malfoy Manor has peacocks strutting?

[Everyone laughs]

Laura: Oh, yeah.

Eric: Which, now we need AI art of Lucius and Draco and Narcissa flying on peacocks to the Quidditch World Cup. Please don’t disappoint me, Micah.

Laura: You know, Micah, now that you bring that up, it makes me think of the moment where they meet Amos and Cedric Diggory, and Amos just assumes that Harry and Hermione are also Arthur’s children. And we already know, we’ve heard several times throughout the series, that the Weasleys are just known for having a gaggle of children and people can’t really keep track of how many. So I think this speaks to your point, too, Micah, that somebody like Amos Diggory would look at Arthur and be like, “Oh, yes, there’s another couple of kids; must be his. That’s what they do.”

Eric: I also want to draw attention to the thing we’ve talked about before, about how rushed the author felt in writing this book. And so what if Amos’s line about “And these are all yours, too, I suspect, Arthur?” might be a reference to that Weasley cousin that was going to be introduced in this book and was cut. Maybe he’d be like, “No, these aren’t mine, but we have a cousin we’re meeting” originally, or something like that.

Laura: Interesting.

Andrew: That was a really funny line, too, the “No, just the redheads are mine.”

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Eric: I wonder if as a Weasley, you’re forbidden to change the color of your hair. Like if Bill, he has long hair, but if he had changed it from red, Molly would have flipped on him.

Andrew: And in a situation like the Quidditch World Cup where there’s tons of people, I bet Arthur and Molly really like that their kids have red hair because it’s easy to spot them. It’s like when you go to Disneyworld and you see a family wearing neon green T-shirts, all the same one, so they can easily be spotted. That’s what’s happening here maybe.

Eric: We went to Yellowstone and my mom wore bright pink. It was very easy to spot her. [laughs]

Laura: Yeah, I’m sure.

Micah: This is good for the next time we all go to Universal together.

Laura: Oh, that’s right. We have to pick a group color. Let’s think about it.

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Micah: Before we move off of Portkeys, one of the things I just wanted to call attention to is that this is clearly to set up the Portkey that we see used at the end of Goblet of Fire. And we all know that J.K. Rowling is very good at including things in a passing mention, and that’s pretty much what this is for this particular Portkey. And who knows? I don’t think it was ever in my mind as Harry was participating in the third task that the Triwizard cup was going to be a Portkey that took him to the Riddle graveyard, right? So it just goes to show you that we should always be paying attention to what’s on the page, much like the last chapter, that dinner conversation.

Eric: Right. Well, and in this chapter as well, the Summoning Charm is introduced. Harry ends up using that in the first task and it comes in clutch, and Molly Weasley is using it to get candies out of Fred and George’s pockets. So there’s just a ton of that, stuff that’s going to come later in this book, things being hidden or introduced or shown for the first time here, and we don’t really know what it’s going to amount to. I will say, though, Micah, to your point, the Portkeys work differently in the beginning of the book versus at the end of the book. Not only is the Triwizard cup one presumably not timed, right, Harry is not there at a specific minute. Barty Crouch, Jr. is not checking back and forth to see Harry’s progress and, as far as we know, setting the timer to go off in the next 60 seconds. And the element of it being a return cup as well; the fact that Harry is able to touch the cup with Cedric’s body and take it back is very much also not something that’s introduced here. So even though we’re only a book apart, within the same book, it’s actually pretty inconsistent. So as a full introduction to Portkeys and how they work and all that stuff for use later, I think it actually falls short a little bit because these things don’t add up.

Micah: It’s inconsistent.

Eric and Laura: Yeah.

Micah: And that can also be to the point that you were talking about earlier about the author feeling rushed in her writing for this book.

Laura: Right. Well, we also learn… because we hear that some people obviously would prefer to Apparate to the Quidditch World Cup. But we also learn that there are some trade-offs when it comes to Apparition. It can be dangerous, but you also have to have a license in order to Apparate. And we learn a couple of people that Arthur is aware of who actually got fined for Apparating without a license, and to literally add insult to injury, they splinched themselves, meaning that they did not Apparate successfully and they left part of themselves behind.

Andrew: Do you think they made the noise that Voldemort makes in Deathly Hallows – Part 2? [imitates Voldemort’s grunts of pain]

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: Those are so fun to make, by the way. I had a ball doing that with you a few weeks ago, Laura.

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Eric: You’re really good at them.

Andrew: So anyone can Apparate, even if you don’t have a license. That’s what we’re gathering from here, right?

Laura: Right.

Eric: Well, I think it’s technically you can be capable of doing the magic, but…

Andrew: You really shouldn’t unless you have the license.

Eric: Yeah, as evidenced by the fact that these guys splinched themselves. If you aren’t going through the licensing process, then you’re not getting the most up-to-date helpful education on it, and so if you try and teach yourself how to, like, “I’m self taught,” and then you go and splinch yourself, it’s like, “Well, you should have just done the licensing course.”

Andrew and Micah: Yeah.

Laura: I mean, it’s just like how somebody can know how to drive but not have a driver’s license.

Eric: It is exciting to see the wizarding world put a lot of systems in place – or just one system in place – for something that they’re doing that’s unsafe. [laughs] That’s new. That’s exciting. You have to license for Apparition. That’s cool.

Andrew: Yeah.

Laura: So we do have this connecting the threads moment here when Arthur is talking about these two gentlemen getting splinched, because we actually know that later on in Deathly Hallows, Ron goes on to get splinched when he, Harry, and Hermione are Disapparating to get to the Forest of Dean.

Eric: Again, it works a little differently. So Ron needs dittany so he doesn’t bleed to death. In this case, Arthur seems to be talking about the people being not at risk of bleeding to death necessarily. He says half of them was somewhere else, but it seems to be that maybe they’re magically protected, like if you just open a portal and half of you goes through, that the other half is… it seemed like they were still intact; they just weren’t physically in the same… I don’t know. It seems less grim when Arthur is talking about it here than what happened with Ron, which was very serious business.

Laura: Yeah, and it could be that he was trying to spare the kids the gruesome details. Also, I just always think about how nonchalant wizards are when they’re talking about pretty horrific stuff happening, like Dudley’s tongue swelling up inside of his mouth, for example. And Fred and George are just like, “Eh, he’ll be fine. It’s easy enough to fix.” And you hear Arthur talking about this, making light of the fact that these two people got splinched, and you’re like, “Oh, I see where the twins get it from, to be honest.” But there are a lot of people – we just talked about Portkeys – who take Portkeys because they either can’t or don’t want to Apparate because of the risks that come with it. But it made me wonder why, because presumably, Arthur can Apparate. We see him Apparate at other times, right? So why couldn’t he have just used side-along Apparition and made a few trips so that everybody could sleep in? These kids wake up before the sun’s even up and they start walking. [laughs]

Eric: It’s so unfair.

Laura: It’s awful.

Andrew: They’re kids, though, going to a very special event; they’ve got to earn it. I think it’s okay. That part doesn’t bother me. I do like your question, though: Why wouldn’t Arthur even consider side-along Apparition?

Eric: I think it wasn’t invented yet.

Andrew and Micah: Yeah.

Eric: Because the other thing, and we’re going to talk about this in a minute, but the other thing that leads me to believe it wasn’t invented yet is the sheer inconsistency. If you read this chapter of the book and ask yourself “In what year of the wizarding world does a Hogwarts student learn to Apparate?” It’s wildly different, because Percy only just passed, but Percy is out of Hogwarts. He passed year seven, last year. Fred and George are going for their tests next year, but they’re in the fifth year this year. So why should it be next year that they wait for the…? Unless it’s like the year it turns thing. So I just think between all of the people we hear about learning about Apparating, it’s not their fifth year in which they’re doing it. And so the fact that we know that Harry has the instructor at the end of… isn’t it Book 5? Or is it Book 6?

Laura: I think it’s Book 6. And I think the twins are actually sixth years in this, not fifth years.

Eric: So they’re two years ahead of Harry.

Laura: Yeah, because they were third years when Harry started.

Eric: But so for Percy to have just passed two weeks ago, though, he has already graduated Hogwarts though, right?

Laura: Yeah.

Eric: So he learned after his seventh year.

Micah: Yeah, but it’s also…

Laura: Maybe he failed the first time he took it.

Eric: Yeah.

Micah: And what is Cedric? He is a seventh year now, correct?

Eric: Cedric is described as just turning 17 or being about 17, so we assume seventh year?

Laura and Micah: Yeah.

Micah: Because it’s mentioned by Amos.

Laura: And we know you have to be of age.

Micah: Right. Amos mentions that he hasn’t passed his Apparition test yet either, so seventh year seems right.

Andrew: Yes.

Eric: And so then Cedric would have passed it at the end of his previous year. So yeah, I just think that everything to do with Apparition is still very new at the time this was written. It’s fun to actually pick out these little elements and be like, “Oh, that actually doesn’t line up with what happens to Harry later.”

Andrew: Anyone who had turned 17 by the day of the exam could take the exam, and if they pass, they received a license.

Laura: Yeah, so that’s why Hermione gets her license before… well, I don’t even know if we ever… we don’t see Harry and Ron get theirs.

Andrew: They don’t. Only Hermione. Look, man, it’s all about the journey. It’s not about the destination, it’s the journey.

[Laura and Micah laugh]

Andrew: Arthur wanted to give them a memorable experience, a nice hike to the boot. [laughs] So they’d never forget the way they entered the Quidditch World Cup. Honestly, though, it’s a good educational experience.

Micah: Also very reminiscent… I’m sure we’ve all been in the situation where maybe we’re taking a big trip, and we had to get up super early.

Andrew: Oh, yeah.

Micah: And it could even be… Thanksgiving is coming up. It could even be, “Oh, we’ve got to get up, we’ve got to get in the car and drive for hours to get to whomever’s house that we’re going to celebrate at…”

Andrew: Right.

Micah: It’s kind of like that.

Andrew: Amos got up really early. 2 a.m., he said, I believe, right?

Laura: Yeah, that’s right. And they walked too; that’s the crazy thing to me.

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Laura: Cedric and his dad walked since two in the morning, and we know that it is at least late enough that Harry is starting to see a faint tinge of green light on the horizon where the sun is rising, so Cedric and Amos walked for like, five hours to get here.

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Eric: They’re real outdoorsy types. They’re hard workers.

Andrew: Apparently.

Laura: True.

Micah: Right, and this is a once every four year event, presumably, but their country is hosting it, so it’s exciting. They don’t have a team that’s really in it that they’re cheering for, but there’s an excitement about it.

Laura: Agreed. Well, we were just talking about people failing their Apparition tests, people not having their license as soon as we might expect, based on their age, or based on their year at Hogwarts, but it seems like failing your Apparition test the first time might be fairly common. We learn that Charlie failed his test the first time. We know that Ron is going to fail his in a couple books’ time. Of course, we just chatted about Percy, but we get this great description of him Apparating from his bedroom downstairs every single morning just because he can.

Andrew: Obnoxious.

Laura: Okay, so here’s the thing; I’m actually going to defend it. And y’all know that I’m not really a big Percy fan. But this to me feels like classic teenage behavior; it reminds me of getting your driver’s license, and how you would make excuses or even just go out to do the smallest thing just so that you can get behind the wheel of the car and drive just because you could.

Eric: 100%. 100%.

Andrew: But what he’s doing is going downstairs in the same house.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: If we follow your line of thinking here, it’s like if I just got my driver’s license and I pulled my car out of the garage just to drive to the house next door ten feet away. That’s what’s happening with Percy. So I still think it’s obnoxious.

Eric: Oh, no. The carbon footprint alone is devastating.

[Andrew laughs]

Laura: But I think this is their closest equivalent to the experience of being newly licensed to drive a car.

Eric: And excited about it. Yeah, your independence, your freedom.

Andrew: It’s too small of a distance, in my opinion.

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: If he was going to a neighbor’s or something, or maybe down the street, okay, but… mm-mm.

Micah: I’ll defend Percy slightly as well…

Andrew: Augh!

Micah: … because I do recall the twins do much of the same in the next book.

Eric: Yep.

Micah: And there’s not as much… I mean, I think it annoys Molly, from what I remember, but it’s not cast in necessarily the same light as Percy doing it. So it just goes to show you that there is favoritism shown towards the twins versus being shown to Percy, and in this case, they’re doing the exact same thing.

Eric: I will also add, based on last week, I talked about Percy’s home life being a complete mess that he resides at the Ministry because he’s escaping home. He’s probably Apparating downstairs to grab his toast for breakfast from his bedroom, and then Apparating back up to his bedroom. Because if he doesn’t, if he tries to take the stairs – you all know what I’m saying, I see it in all of your faces – his siblings are going to trip him, or taunt him, or prevent him, or block his path, or there’s going to be another toffee in the way, or something. Everyone’s turned the crosshairs onto Percy, and so maybe he’s just trying to leave as little of a footprint as possible.

Laura: Yeah, or just trying to avoid people in general, right? We can tell that he’s not really his family’s number one fan at this phase in the series. [laughs]

Micah: True. Though, as much as I defended him, I will say I’m sure there’s a part of him that thoroughly enjoys being able to do this in front of Fred and George.

Laura: Oh yeah, for sure. 100%. Well, Andrew, you had a transportation question.

Andrew: Which would we prefer if we had to pick one? Portkey or Apparition?

Micah: Who’d you rather? Portkey or Apparition?

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: No, I think…

Micah: Going back to last week.

Andrew: I like the Portkey from the idea of like, it’s kind of exciting to center your transportation plans around a particular object in time, I think. Actually, I was joking about “the journey” earlier, but I think that is part of the experience, especially when it comes to the Quidditch World Cup. Apparition, there’s some risk to it, whether or not you have your license. I’d rather take the safer route, I think, so long as I don’t have to get up at 2 a.m. to get to my Portkey, five hours away.

Eric: Yeah, Apparition seems to have way too many random variables that could go wrong, so I’m not choosing that anytime soon.

Andrew: So that’s two for the Portkey.

Laura: I’m going to say Apparition, personally. I get motion sickness, and the way the Portkey is described sounds awful to me. So I would just practice and make sure I’m really, really good…

[Eric laughs]

Laura: … before I try to Apparate any kind of significant distance. [laughs]

Micah: Yeah, I’m wondering if this is a Ravenclaw trait on some level, because I feel like ultimately, I’d go with Apparition as well. I just think it’s something, to your point, Laura, you’d have to make sure that you practice enough that you’re doing it safely. Though, that said, we see Newt and Jacob use a Portkey in Fantastic Beasts, and they’re obviously fully grown. And certainly Newt could take Jacob through side-along Apparition. We see him… actually, don’t they do that? Or does he go with Dumbledore? I forget.

Eric: Well, they have to cross the English Channel. And that’s the other aspect of this, because even if you’re an accomplished wizard, the distance makes it worse. It’s harder to do. That’s why Newt takes a ferry liner to get to New York at the beginning of the first movie; he can’t… your risk goes up exponentially based on distance.

Laura: Yeah, that’s why Leta is on the Titanic in the second movie.

[Everyone laughs]

Laura: Well, speaking of steamliners, we know that some wizards just take loads of Muggle transport. The Ministry somehow has to stagger this and put a cap on how many are doing it so they don’t draw too much attention to themselves. But I have to say, it’s hard for me to imagine this being completely discreet. Think of all the times we’ve seen wizards trying to dress like Muggles, and utterly failing. I’m also thinking of how rowdy sports fans get when there are large sporting events like this going on. No hate towards them; they’re just really, really excited.

Micah: And drunk.

Laura: You can tell when there’s a train full of people coming or going to a game, so I just wonder how much of a mess the Ministry gets to clean up after an event like this. And we know they’re obviously going to have a really big mess to clean up after this one, but in general, I just wonder how much damage control they have to do after a large event.

Eric: Yeah, for sure. I think, too, the event may be over, but their job is just beginning for sanitation crew, cleanup crew, all that kind of a thing. Although, it is funny to actually… I know we led with sort of this “Statute of Secrecy must be preserved,” but I wonder these days, in 2023, how much with conventions being a thing, that we’re all familiar with cosplay… I basically learn about half the conventions that are in Chicago because I see people dressed up wildly on public transit. So I wonder if it’s as severe now in these days and culture, whether the Cup is in a major metropolitan area and people would be like, “Oh, there’s clearly something weird going on,” and they mind their own…

Andrew: “Comic Con London is happening.”

Eric: Yeah, yeah. And then even going back in time, probably to early 2000s when this was written, just wild stuff, again, happens in the middle of nowhere, so maybe a Muggle that lives in the middle of woods on their private property with their 50 acres, they see something weird happening, but that’s just Wednesday afternoon for them. So maybe it isn’t as dire as we think.

Andrew: I really like this point, actually, about conventions. I was going to say, maybe the Ministry gives their constituents very clear guidelines about what to and what not to wear, crystal clear, so there’s no doubt, because yeah, Laura, I don’t trust wizards making up their own mind in terms of what it’s like to dress like a Muggle. But now I’m being swayed by Eric because I do think, to his point, you start seeing people dressed differently than you, you’re like, “Oh, there must be a convention nearby.”

Micah: But yeah, I mean, I would say this is par for the course in New York City. You’d see somebody and you won’t even think twice; they could easily be a witch or a wizard [laughs] and you wouldn’t even bat an eyelash because of all the crazy things that we see here. But when you were talking earlier, Laura, though, about the whole Muggle dress code, even Arthur, who works in the field of Muggles, still doesn’t seem to be able to dress himself to be able to pass as your average person. It drew up the moment that’s in the Order of the Phoenix movie with Mark Williams where he’s doing the moonwalk through the turnstile for the underground because he’s not really sure how it works.

[Eric and Laura laugh]

Micah: I think you’d probably get a lot of that going on.

Eric: For sure.

Laura: Yeah. I feel like Arthur knows just enough about Muggles to be dangerous.

[Eric and Micah laugh]

Laura: For somebody who has the job he has, he is shockingly out of touch with how Muggles work. [laughs]

Eric: Listen, he’s got the… I don’t know how you… where’s this unfounded accusation coming from? He has a shirt, pants, and a belt. He is succeeding, as far as I’m concerned. He’s the only wizard we ever see who’s an adult that actually succeeds in dressing like a Muggle convincingly.

Laura: Yeah, so he has this one down, I think, for this particular event…

Eric: I’m so proud of him.

Laura: But we see all… yeah, I guess I am proud of him. But I mean, we think about Ron not knowing how to use the telephone, for example.

[Laura and Micah laugh]

Eric: That’s true.

Micah: And I want to know why Arthur doesn’t have more pull, working for the Ministry. Why can’t he get there later?

Eric: Because everybody works for the Ministry.

Micah: Everybody, though?

Eric: Yeah. I mean, basically, his department is… yeah.

Micah: So this is like the holiday party. Is that what you’re saying? [laughs]

Eric: This is basically your yearly… yes, I think. Because…

Andrew: Haven’t we also touched on how his job is probably not respected within the Ministry? Haven’t we? So that’s probably another reason why he doesn’t have much pull.

Eric and Laura: Yeah.

Laura: For sure. Well, keeping it moving, we’re going to move on to the next part of this discussion, which I’ve titled “Sorry, parents, you’re completely cringe to your teenage children.” And we already touched on a couple of these points about why are you forcing these kids on this march to the Portkey? Why couldn’t anybody have used side-along Apparition to make this just an easier experience all around? But I want to focus on Fred and George for a moment, because before everyone leaves the Burrow to go to the boot, Fred and George are caught trying to sneak more of their deadly toffees to the World Cup. But their attempt is ultimately squashed by Mrs. Weasley, and she Accios every last toffee away from them. And I’m wondering, who were the twins planning on passing these out to?

Eric: Can you imagine how disruptive this would have been?

Andrew: Yeah, I also just love that Molly was going “Accio, Accio, Accio!” like she had to do each one individually. It’s too bad there’s not a wider Accio. I guess if they were all in a bag, that would have helped. But to answer your question, maybe they were going to take a strategy similar to what they did with Dudley; just toss them on the ground and see who picks one up and tries to put it in their mouth.

Eric: The only benefit with them trying this again is that people who are suffering from this horrible affliction would be surrounded by wizards. There might actually be an abundance of people trying to help that all have different ideas for how to do it, and that would be potentially awful. But yeah, a crowded space, a public space. The only thing that excuses this, for my mind, is that I think Fred and George really just needed to get them out of the house, because they were afraid that exactly what happened was going to happen, that Molly was going to confiscate them. Maybe they really weren’t planning on actually having people use them. But maybe Lee Jordan or somebody could be able to hold onto them safely until they get to Hogwarts.

Laura: Maybe. I feel like this reminds me of the concept of teenagers, or young people in general, smuggling certain substances, certain contraband that they’re not supposed to have, to an event like a concert or a conference or a dance or something.

Andrew: Yeah. I guess we don’t really know the guidelines here. But presumably, there is a long list of things that are banned from the Quidditch World Cup. Or maybe not, because as I’ve brought up before, anything goes all over the wizarding world. Nothing matters.

Laura: Right, if you think Hogwarts is a security nightmare, then… [laughs]

Andrew: Step outside of Dumbledore and you’ll see just how much crazier it can get. [imitates Dumbledore] “You think I’m bad? Just go to the Cup.”

[Eric and Laura laugh]

Micah: He was probably wearing a Death Eater mask.

[Andrew laughs]

Laura: Well, speaking of cringy parents, let’s talk about Amos Diggory. I had forgotten how insufferable this man is. And I will say, it hurts to read it because you can tell this man is living vicariously through his son who in nine months’ time he’s going to lose. And that really does hurt. But you think about some of the things that Amos says to Harry, where he’s like, “You’re Harry Potter? Oh man, Cedric is going to be able to tell his grandchildren that he beat you at Quidditch.”

[Andrew laughs]

Laura: “He’s the better flyer because he didn’t fall off his broom.” I felt so much secondhand embarrassment for Cedric reading this.

Eric: That’s the greatest thing about this, though, is that Cedric is actually embarrassed. Fred and George are fuming; they hate being reminded of Hufflepuff’s victory in that one game. But it’s clear that Amos just doesn’t know the full story. Or if he does know it, because I think Cedric might have corrected him at one point, he doesn’t care.

Andrew: He tries to tell him, yeah.

Laura: He did.

Eric and Laura: Yeah.

Andrew: I take your point, but Amos is a proud father. He beat the chosen one. There’s nothing better than that; that is something to brag about. Is it right to brag in front of Harry? No, I guess that’s cringe. But Amos is probably, is obviously starstruck, so he’s not thinking clearly right now, so I’ll stick up for my boy.

[Laura and Micah laugh]

Andrew: “My boy!”

Micah: Nice play on words there, Andrew.

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: I’m with you, though, Laura. And it’s just, I think, a product of watching the movies too much. And Jeff Rawle, who played Amos Diggory, he’s very much a friendly character to Harry. He’s never this version of Amos towards Harry. And so to see him behave this way, I completely forgot that this was the type of person that he is.

Eric: It’s so reminiscent of actual parents, though, that are very cringe, to your point, Laura. Just the idea of like, they go into it, then he goes into, “Oh, well, I’m sure even Harry would admit if one man falls off his broom and the other one doesn’t, then the other one is the better athlete!” and it’s like, “Oh my God, stop.”

[Andrew and Micah laugh]

Micah: We all know somebody like that, though.

Laura: Yeah, we do. And I just want to point out here, we can’t forget that during that Quidditch match in Prisoner of Azkaban, Cedric actually wanted to replay the match. He wanted a rematch because he didn’t think that it was fair, because Harry had fallen off his broom and it wasn’t Harry’s fault. So Cedric is actually, at least in this regard when it comes to his humility and his self-awareness, he is the polar opposite of his father. Amos is giving, like, stage mother in this.

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: Yes, very good.

Eric: Or what is it with Toddlers and Tiaras where they’re…?

Laura: Yeah, beauty pageant mom. [laughs]

Eric: Beauty, yeah, pageant moms. He is. I will say that unique to Cedric, too, unlike Viktor Krum and Fleur Delacour, we actually, I think, see enough evidence in previous books in the whole series to understand why the Triwizard cup picks Cedric as the champion for Hogwarts. I think that we… or at least we see his Hufflepuff side, his unwillingness to accept the glory for himself. And he’s not the one gloating. Imagine what a different character he would be if he came up to Harry and said, “Hey, Harry, remember when I beat you at Quidditch?” That would be a way different character, but he would never.

Laura: And I had this note here – we’re getting really dark on this episode between the beginning and the end of the chapter here – but reflecting on Amos telling Cedric, “This will be something you tell your grandchildren,” and I was just thinking, as I planned this episode, the narrator coming on and being like, “Cedric would have no grandchildren.”

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Laura: Poor Cedric.

Andrew: Maybe they can do that in the TV show. Cut to a narrator and it can be you, Laura.

Laura: Oh, maybe they can get Helen Mirren to be the narrator of the Harry Potter TV show.

Andrew: Ooh, that’d be fun. Max that!

Laura: That would be so good. That connection is there. [laughs]

[“Max That” sound effect plays]

Odds & Ends

Laura: All right, we’re going to get into a couple of odds and ends here. The Lovegoods are named dropped at the beginning-ish of this chapter, as having already arrived at the World Cup a couple of weeks ago. Arthur mentions this. And this is where we get the first connection to Luna living so close to the Weasleys, even though we don’t know her character yet. But it makes me wonder, did Luna and Xenophilius end up having to get the cheap tickets Arthur was talking about?

Andrew: Yes, the newspaper world is a tough business. There’s no money in it.

Eric: Print does not sell.

[Andrew and Micah laugh]

Micah: They’re dancing around the forest, so they’re fine.

Andrew: [laughs] They’re holding their own Woodstock.

Eric: I was going to say, to them, I bet they would have chosen to come early for all the people watching and that kind of thing. I just imagine Luna’s summers being filled with nonstop enjoyment, no matter what form that takes.

Laura: Agreed. I also just wanted to mention that Mrs. Weasley calls the twins out for not getting more OWLs again. She just did this around their first incident with the cursed toffees, and here she says it to them again, because they mention “Hey, it took us six months to make those, and you just trashed them.” And she said, “Well, it’s no wonder you didn’t do better on your exams,” when the reality is, in a lot of ways, you could say they demonstrated a much higher level of intellect by being able to develop these than is necessarily reflected by doing well on an exam.

Eric: I think the interesting thing about this for me is that Molly brings it up almost to defend Charlie, because I think it’s the twins that are like, “Charlie failed his Apparition test twice.” She’s defending who could be her favorite child.

MVP of the Week

Laura: All right, and we will go ahead then and get into MVP of the week.

[MVP of the Week music plays]

Andrew: And I’m going to give it to the boot Portkey, and listen, boot: You are boot-iful, and worthy of being touched by a Muggle. You are more than untouchable trash to a Muggle like me.

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: I would pick you up and put you where you belong. You are my MVB of the week.

Eric: Oh, MVB. I’m going to give mine to Amos for reasons we’ve already said. He gets to gloat about his boy, and it won’t last long, but good for him.

Laura: Well, I’m going to give it to his boy.

[Andrew laughs]

Laura: I’m going to give it to Cedric for his self-awareness and his humility in the face of his father kind of bullying a 14-year-old boy low-key. [laughs]

Micah: I’m going to give it to Eric, or [laughs] I’m going to agree with Eric and give it to Amos, because in the spirit of Thanksgiving, he served up some humble pie to Harry.

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

[MVP of the Week music ends]

Andrew: If you have any feedback about today’s discussion, you can contact us by emailing or sending a voice memo recorded on your phone to, or you can use our old school phone number, which is 1-920-3-MUGGLE. That’s 1-920-368-4453.


Andrew: And now it’s time for some of our Harry Potter trivia game, Quizzitch.

[Quizzitch music plays]

Eric: Last week’s question: According to Amos Diggory, what family couldn’t get tickets to the Quidditch World Cup? And the correct answer was the Fawcetts. Whoever they are, I feel bad for them.

[Quizzitch music ends]

Eric: Micah, please do us the honor of reading last week’s winners who got the correct answer.

Micah: Thanks, Eric. So correct answers were submitted by All hail Andrew, the King of Panera Bread…

Andrew: Interesting. I do love Panera. I don’t know who knows that about me, but thank you.

[Laura laughs]

Micah: … Amos, more like LAMEos; Cedric and his idiot father for jeering at Harry the Almighty; Crystal blue; Daniel Radcliffe’s Abandoned Green Contact Lenses; DavidHeymanYouSexyFantasticBeast…

Laura: True.

Micah: … DF versus Omega Mart read triple trio part 27… [coughs] Sorry, I’m losing my voice now. Elizabeth K.; Famous Amos, Don’t Eat His Cookies; German trains make me dream of Hogwarts Express; Hagrid’s soggy pillow; HallowWolf; I Answered a Harry Potter Trivia Question Correctly and then Proceeded to Get a Lot of Other Trivia Questions Wrong; Justice for Winky; Keep your Galleons in the bag, men; LC; Luna’s Quidditch Week-long Pregame Show featuring her Nargles…

Eric: Yes!

[Laura laughs]

Micah: … Mollywobbles; Muggle, Muggle, toil and trouble, toffees go and cautions don’t bubble; My favorite beast is a shiny shiny Niffler; Ron’s emotional range; and The reason Crookshanks has a squashed face is because… [laughs]

Eric: There’s so much animal cruelty in this episode.

Laura: [laughs] I know.

Micah: The reason Crookshanks has a squashed face is because Ron hit it with a frying pan.

Andrew: Wow.

Eric: Cannot confirm.

Micah: Now, here’s the question, Eric.

Eric: Yeah.

Micah: Which one is my submission?

Eric: Were you Keep your Galleons in the bag, men?

[Micah makes a buzzing sound]

Laura: I’m going to give it to DavidHeymanYouSexyFantasticBeast.

Andrew: I would vote that one too.

[Micah makes a buzzing sound]

Andrew: What was it, Micah? What was it?

Micah: Well, no, I don’t have to give it away if it’s not properly…

Andrew: All right, he sneaks by again.

Eric: [laughs] He sneaks by again. That reminds me of that old…

Micah: Famous Amos, Don’t Eat His Cookies.

Eric: Oh, okay, okay. That old Onion headline, which is “Ninja parade goes through town unnoticed again.”

[Laura laughs]

Eric: Here is the next Quizzitch question: According to Percy, about how many languages does Mr. Crouch speak? Submit your answer to us on the Quizzitch form located on the website. Go to, click on “Quizzitch,” or go to in your search bar.

Andrew: Also on that site, you’ll find our transcripts, our social media links, our full episode archive, our favorite episodes, and our contact form. Don’t forget, too, that the MuggleCast and Millennial overstock store is now open, so visit to get one-of-a-kind MuggleCast gifts while supplies last. These are great for the holidays, so if you need something for your wishlist or you need something for the MuggleCast fan in your life, check it out. If you enjoy the show and think other Muggles would too, tell that Muggle about the show. We would also appreciate if you left us a review in your favorite podcast app. And last but definitely not least, visit if you want to support the show and receive early access to the show, ad-free episodes, bonus episodes, yearly physical gifts, and much more. If you’re an Apple Podcasts subscriber, you can tap into the show and receive early and ad-free access to each episode for $2.99 a month. We’re going to have some updates there in the New Year, by the way, concerning the Apple Podcasts subscription. More to come. Whether pledging through Patreon or Apple Podcasts, free trials and annual subscriptions are available. So that does it for this week’s Thanksgiving-themed episode, I guess, of MuggleCast. Good luck roasting your baby hippogriff, and hope it goes well. And I apologize.

Micah: Stuffing your owls.

Andrew: Forever sorry, I’m Andrew.

Eric: Eternally also sorry, I’m Eric.

Micah: Forever thankful, I’m Micah.

Andrew: Aww, that’s cute.

Laura: Sorry not sorry, I’m Laura.

[Micah laughs]

Andrew: Bye, everyone.

Eric, Laura, and Micah: Bye.