Transcript #662

Transcript for MuggleCast Episode #662, Potter or Pizza? (GOF Chapter 29, The Dream)

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: Get ready to be undoubtedly stimulated by the extraordinary clairvoyant vibrations of this podcast because this week we’re discussing Goblet of Fire Chapter 29, “The Dream.” And to help us with this week’s discussion is one of our Slug Club patrons, Feryal! Welcome, Feryal, to MuggleCast.

Feryal: Thank you. I’m happy to be here.

Andrew: It’s a pleasure to have you. Thank you so much for your support over the years; we really appreciate it. And to kick things off, why don’t we get your fandom ID?

Feryal: Sure. So my Hogwarts house is Ravenclaw. My Ilvermorny House is Horned Serpent. My Patronus is a fox. My favorite book is Half-Blood Prince. My favorite movie is the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 and 2 combined. And my favorite character is Dumbledore because I also worship chaos, just like he does.

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: I love it.

Eric: Oh, you’re that kind of Ravenclaw. Okay.

Feryal: I am that kind of Ravenclaw. [laughs]

Andrew: This is why Feryal is on this week. I was like, “I can’t take it anymore. I need an assistant to help me, to help me back up Dumbledore.”

[Feryal laughs]

Laura: Hey, we’ve got a majority Ravenclaw panel today, so I’m excited for that.

Feryal: Nice.

Andrew: Couple of announcements before we jump into Chapter by Chapter: First of all, as we announced at the very beginning of last week’s episode, we have a brand new pop culture podcast that’s available right here in this feed; it’s called What the Hype?! We’re exploring different areas of pop culture each week. The feedback has been really great so far, so thank you to everybody who has listened, and if you haven’t listened yet, please do check it out. We think you will really enjoy it.

Eric: It’s so great to be doing a fresh, new, exciting podcast about even more topics about which we are passionate, so definitely worth the time. So far, we’ve heard nothing but wonderful things from our listeners who’ve given it a shot, including some lovely comments on social from people we weren’t expecting, so that’s very nice.

Laura: Yeah. We’re also on YouTube, so you can actually see the video versions of these shows on YouTube. We’re also going to have some extra content that we put up in the form of reaction videos to shows that are coming out right now and in the months ahead. So if you’re clamoring to see somebody talk about the show that you just watched that you need to talk to somebody about, but you don’t have a friend who’s super into Bridgerton, for example, we will be your Bridgerton friends. Come check us out on YouTube.

Feryal: Just finished watching Season 3 today, so I will listen to the Bridgerton one, yes.

Andrew: Awesome!

Laura: Yep, you’ve got to check them out. They’re so fun.

Micah: The show is so good that I was outed by one of my colleagues in the midst of a work meeting. We told this story on Millennial this past week, but I have many a colleague that have now signed up to subscribe to What the Hype?!, and they’re very intrigued by it. They really like the concept, and they’re going to be listening to future episodes.

Andrew: Awesome, good. And we’re tooting our own horns here…

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: … but I will say, it is a new show. We’re very receptive to feedback, so if you have any, please do let us know. It will be a journey for all of us, but we came up with a format that we’re very excited about, and we hope you enjoy it, too, and we’ll continue to improve as time goes on.

Eric: Honestly, here’s a bet with the audience: Give me 60 seconds of your time. Click on any episode of What the Hype?!; you’re going to hear the theme song…

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: … and if you can put the show down after you hear our best theme song that we’ve ever done, better than the, I mean, even… I don’t want to say, but it’s up there with the MuggleCast theme song for one of the coolest podcast theme songs.

Andrew: Yeah, this What the Hype?! one, we actually paid for.

[Laura laughs]

Eric: I mean, I don’t remember how we got “Arry” by Advanced Potion-Making, and they were cool with letting us use that for MuggleCast. I don’t remember or know that story, but…

Andrew: [laughs] I think we just said, “Can we have that song? That’s cool.” They were like, “Yeah.” We were like, “Okay, cool.” And that was it. [laughs]

Eric: So thanks to Advanced Potion-Making, and also thanks to the guy we paid to do the What the Hype?! song.

Andrew: All right, check out for more details about the show. Also, actually, honestly, MuggleCast has been cooking over the last couple of months, because not only have we been working on that, but we have been working on this year’s annual gift for MuggleCast patrons, and we are very excited to reveal it this week. This year’s physical gift for Slug Club patrons is the MuggleCast 19 Years Later T-shirt!

Eric: Yay!

Andrew: Da-da-da-da-da!

Laura: It looks so cool.

Andrew: So longtime listeners of the show might know that back in 2005 we created what we later ended up calling the MuggleCast Squares T-shirt design, and it’s got silhouettes of the original MuggleCast co-hosts. Well, now we’ve recreated that design, but with the four MuggleCast co-hosts that join you every week; we’ve updated the design. We’ve popped in some very nice new colors, and it says “19 Years Later” at the bottom. It’s got, of course, the iconic mic bolt on the front too. It’s a really awesome T-shirt. It’s going to be the same T-shirt brand and style that we used for the MuggleCast 15th anniversary T-shirt that Eric is modeling off right now. It’s very comfortable, right, Eric? It’s a nice shirt.

Eric: Very comfortable. Indeed.

Andrew: And it’s held up for the last four or five years, so we were like, “Let’s use the same shirt, because we know we can depend on it.” [laughs]

Eric: If it ain’t broke.

Andrew: If it ain’t broke, we’ll get you another one, but with a different thing on the front of it.

[Eric and Laura laugh]

Andrew: That’s our tagline this year.

Eric: I’m so glad we’re not doing mugs this year.

Andrew: Yes, those are breakable.

Eric: I say that every year.

Andrew: [laughs] Check it out; it’s a very cool design. You’ll see it on social media. If you are not a patron right now, you can sign up at Join at the Slug Club level, and you will become eligible to receive the T-shirt in a couple of months. We need you to be a patron for a couple of months before we send you the T-shirt. Existing patrons are already able to fill out the form, and we will get a shirt to you hopefully late July, early August. Probably, actually, sometime in August, just in time for our 19th birthday. So yeah, we thought we had to do a 19 Years Later T-shirt, because this is the epilogue year. This is MuggleCast’s epilogue year.

Eric: Not to say that we’re ending. We plan to keep going.

Andrew: Of course, of course.

Eric: But this is the year where we embrace being middle-aged.

Andrew: Yes.

[Micah laughs]

Laura: And when we create spinoffs, they won’t suck.

Andrew: Oh, okay. Can we do a stage show?

[Feryal and Laura laugh]

Eric: In two parts.

Laura: Can you imagine?

Micah: Well, isn’t What the Hype?! our spinoff?

Laura: Yeah, exactly.

Eric: It’s great. Check it out now.

Andrew: Of course, by pledging on Patreon, you don’t just get a T-shirt; you also get access to our livestreams, ad-free MuggleCast, early access to MuggleCast episodes, a Zoom hangout with the four of us, the MuggleCast Collector’s Club… there’s lots of benefits, so check it all out at We couldn’t do it without you. And you also get bonus MuggleCast episodes, and we’re recording a new one this week after we finish recording Episode 662. We’ve got some video game news to talk about. There’s updates to Hogwarts Legacy, and finally, the Quidditch game has a release date, so we’ll talk about all that in bonus MuggleCast this week.

Micah: And just one news item I wanted to bring up: It’s not often that worlds collide for me – even though I just mentioned one of my colleagues outing me about What the Hype?! during a work meeting – but this was a little bit of news over the last week or so. As some listeners may know, the Boston Celtics are in the NBA Finals, and they swept the Indiana Pacers prior to getting there, so they actually had a lot of time in between the end of the Eastern Conference Finals and the start of the NBA Finals. And a reporter asked one of their guards, Jaylen Brown, a question, and that question was, “What are you doing with your spare time?” And he said, “Well, I’m not like the other guys; I’m single, I don’t have a family, so I’ve been binge-watching Harry Potter.”

Andrew and Laura: Aww.

Laura: That’s so sweet.

Micah: And yeah, favorite character is Dumbledore, and he actually really likes Hermione. And more to come there, I think. But it was very cool.

Andrew: [laughs] More to come?

Eric: So the next step is you’re going to get his phone number.

Andrew: Yeah, get him on MuggleCast. We all fell into Harry Potter the same way. We were all single and bored, and we were like, “Oh, this Harry Potter book looks good. Let me give it a try.”

[Eric and Feryal laughs]

Eric: We were single because we were 14.

Micah: But it’s very cool because you still see – we mentioned Kierra earlier – but Harry Potter still being new and fresh to people and getting to enjoy it for the first time. And everybody seems to enjoy the series; it’s not just limited to one particular group of people.

Andrew: Yeah. That’s a good reminder.

Feryal: That’s true.

Chapter by Chapter: Seven-Word Summary

Andrew: Okay, it’s time for Chapter by Chapter, and this week we’re discussing Goblet of Fire Chapter 29, “The Dream.” And we’ll start with our seven-word summary.

[Seven-Word Summary music plays]

Andrew: Oh, it’s me to start. Crap. I should’ve thought of this in advance. [laughs]

[Everyone laughs]

Micah: “Crap.”

Andrew: No, no. Sirius…

Laura: … grounds…

Feryal: … Harry…

Micah: … because…

Eric: … he…

Andrew: … is…

Laura: [laughs] What do I do here?

[Everyone laughs]

Micah: Naughty.

Andrew: Gutsy.

Micah: Stupid.

Laura: Naughty, okay.

Micah: Reckless.

Eric: Naughty. There we go.

Laura: I like naughty. I like naughty. At first, I was like, “Wait, are we going to say because he is Daddy? Because Sirius is stepping in as the father figure?” But honestly, saying he is Daddy has a different connotation.

[Andrew and Micah laugh]

Laura: He is “naughty” is much better.

Andrew: And “naughty Daddy” would be even worse.

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: Yeah, I like this seven-word summary. It’s kind of like the pot calling the kettle Sirius Black a little…

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: … but we’ll get into that when Harry gets his letter.

Chapter by Chapter: Main Discussion

Eric: So yes, the chapter opens with some plot stuff. We’re just kind of going to skip it out, skip over it for time, because it’s the trio discussing Crouch and the disappearance of the previous chapter. But what I find really enjoyable is that in this chapter, as our seven-word summary alludes to, Harry is grounded, but not just by Sirius. It’s by Moody – or Fakey – as well, but for different reasons. So one of the first things the trio does is go and find Mad-Eye Moody; they want to know if he successfully found Crouch Senior, but he says, “Nope, I didn’t.” And it’s kind of a shame, because it seems like that mystery was coming toward closure, that we were going to have some resolution there, or some exciting answers, but we don’t.

Micah: No, we don’t. But in talking about Moody, I did want to bring something up because I was listening to last week’s episode, and sometimes you have those moments, when you’re re-listening to episodes, about, “Wait, how did we not bring this up? How did we not talk about this?” And I do recognize that we see Fudge a little bit later in this chapter, and we do get a bit of a touch point with the Ministry, but where in the world is the Ministry the night that this takes place? Why didn’t Dumbledore sound the alarm literally the minute he found Krum Stunned and Barty Crouch, Sr. missing? I think there should have been a massive forest search party, no bone unturned.

[Everyone laughs]

Feryal: Oh, boy.

Andrew: Serious question: Would the search party in the forest involve the kids? Or are we talking adults only, Ministry…?

Micah: No, I’m talking about a full-blown Ministry search. Thinking back to what happened at the Quidditch World Cup, get the Aurors in here. I understand Mad-Eye is here, but I’m talking about like when you call the police and the police show up to investigate something. [laughs] I know it’s Hogwarts, but come on.

Laura: [laughs] And that’s your answer, honestly. I was going to say, are you surprised that Dumbledore didn’t stop to think “Maybe we should call in some kind of law enforcement or Aurors, investigators, somebody”?

[“It’s starting to sound like a security nightmare!” sound effect plays with sirens]

[Feryal and Laura laugh]

Eric: Oh, the sound effect is back.

Laura: Thank you for that. Yeah, it’s typical. Typical Dumbledore.

Eric: Yeah, it makes… it’s funny because people keep just being like, “Oh, Dumbledore is the safest person,” or Crouch, for instance, when he was next to death was still like, “Dumbledore! Got to see Dumbledore!” Everyone knows Dumbledore is so good, it’s probably gotten to Dumbledore’s head where he’s like, “Why would I call the Ministry? They’ll only get in my awesome way.”

[Everyone laughs]

Micah: And Crouch wanted to specifically see Dumbledore, right?

Andrew and Eric: Right.

Micah: He was seeking him out in particular. But Dumbledore is all good with tasking Moody with the responsibility and going back up to the castle, so it just… it was something that came to mind when I was listening last week.

Laura: I guess it does say something that Crouch wanted to go to Dumbledore and not Fudge.

Eric: Right, he could have really tried to make it to the Ministry, where he would have been maybe even more protected.

Andrew: But also, think about… I guess time is of the essence here, and sure, they could send a message to the Ministry. You would think Dumbledore’s got a bat phone in his office where he can quickly reach them…

[Laura laughs]

Eric: I love that.

Andrew: … but Dumbledore might be thinking “It’s faster if we take matters into our own hands rather than getting the Ministry out here.” Feryal, it looks like you may have wanted to make a comment here, and I want to give you the floor since you’re a Dumbledore super fan.

Feryal: I just wonder how much of it plays into… I mean, this comes up in the later books when we see when Dumbledore found the Horcruxes, and he seems to have a little bit of morbid curiosity when it comes as well. Even before he tells anyone about the Horcruxes, he gets affected. But he had the ring and then the ring curses him, and then he gets Snape involved and Snape is like, “Dude, why didn’t you come to me first?”

[Eric laughs]

Feryal: And Dumbledore is like, “Oh, I thought I could handle this on my own, because I’m Dumbledore.” So I wonder if a lot of… I love Dumbledore, but he’s a little bit of a megalomaniac sometimes as well, so maybe he thought he was the most qualified person to handle it because that is…

Andrew: On his own school grounds.

Feryal: On his own school grounds, yeah. He comes across very humble, but as you find out later, I don’t think humility is one of his defining characteristics, so maybe he wanted to handle it on his own first.

Laura: Yeah. Well, and to be fair, he probably wants to keep the Ministry out of Hogwarts as much as possible because we see what happens in the next book when the Ministry does get their fingers in the mix and what things at the school look like at that point, so…

Eric: Well, and pulling that thread a little further, couldn’t Crouch have gone out of his way to try and get to the Ministry? I’m thinking he’d be more protected there because of colleagues, coworkers, right? If he’s out in the open. But then it occurred to me that, oh, Dumbledore is probably the only person – the only adult wizard – who would take the threat of Voldemort seriously enough for what Crouch needs to convey. The fact that… Crouch Senior knows Voldemort is back in some form, having been placed under his curse or been trapped by him all these months, and so it does make sense that he would identify Dumbledore as being the person he could tell about that, because even if there’s more people at the Ministry, none of them are officially going to believe him, necessarily.

Feryal: Near the end of the chapter, too, when Fudge is talking to Dumbledore, doesn’t Fudge bring up the fact that he doesn’t think there’s any connection between Crouch disappearing and Bertha’s disappearance?

Eric: He’s unwilling to link the two.

Feryal: Yeah, I think whatever correspondence has been happening between Fudge and Dumbledore, Fudge is already really skeptical about whatever conclusions Dumbledore is drawing, so that probably played into it too.

Laura: Yeah, I agree. And I think that for all the negative things that we can say about Crouch Senior – and we’ve certainly shared some of them in the last couple of episodes – he is first and foremost concerned about Dark wizards and their activities, and I find it really hard to believe that he would have no idea that there are former Death Eaters among the ranks at the Ministry. He knows a lot of the ones who got let off, and a lot of the names who kind of skirted by because they never got officially caught, so he also knows that there are people working at the Ministry who are sympathetic to Voldemort’s cause, and if they were presented with even a small sign that he might be coming back, might not be advantageous for him to share.

Eric: Well, and that makes me wonder, does he not know where his own son is? It’s getting to be like, 9:00 p.m. Doesn’t he know where Barty Crouch, Jr. is?

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: The fact that he’s employed by Dumbledore at the moment… it strikes me that Crouch Senior may actually not know that by going to Hogwarts, he’s putting himself directly in front of his son who wants to end him. It seems like a crazy oversight if he doesn’t realize that his son… because he knows his son escaped, because at the Quidditch World Cup, that’s obvious that Winky is not with him. So he has to assume that his son is out there somewhere. Maybe he thinks he’s safest with Dumbledore. Again, it goes back to being safest as Dumbledore, but nobody, I guess, suspects that Barty Crouch, Jr. is right there.

Laura: Yeah. But Senior is also under the Imperius Curse at this point.

Eric: Well, he’s escaped it.

Laura: Well, he’s fighting it.

Eric: But the fighting it part, not the succumbing to it part, is what drove him to Hogwarts.

Laura: Right. But I don’t know that he would necessarily make the connection that that’s where Barty Crouch, Jr. was. I mean, for all we know, he might have thought that he was just on the lam. He was just running away, hiding out.

Micah: It’s not like the movie. [laughs]

Laura: Who knows if he knows the extent of the plans, right?

Eric: It’s definitely not like the movie. Yeah, that’s for sure.

Laura: No. [laughs]

Eric: Speaking more of the Ministry here, when the trio do get to Moody’s office and they do get to talk to him, Moody is the one that says, “The Ministry actually has it handled from here, Potter. Nice work. You should be focusing, Harry, on the third task,” and Fakey actually deputizes Ron and Hermione. He’s like, “You two, help him with the curses. Help him figure it out. And don’t worry, Potter, the adults are taking it,” and he literally convinces Harry that everything’s fine; it’s going to be handed over to the Ministry. And so by telling him not to try and explore further, Fakey himself is taking the heat off of himself, because it was such a close call in the last chapter between Harry discovering what Fakey was doing, and now this is a really clever way, I think, of diffusing all of that heat, is by telling Harry, “Hey, I’m an ex-Auror. The Ministry is going to take it here, Potter. You don’t need to worry about it.”

Andrew: Yeah, and he does take the heat off himself, but I’m also wondering if Fakey is a little spooked, because he is impressed by Harry and Hermione’s investigative work; he even says that they should be Aurors. I’m wondering if he was actually a little scared. But yes, you’re right, and I think being kids, they’re inclined to believe what the trusted authority figure is saying about the government. They’re just not going to think about it any further. This is Moody; he’s a respectable figure who Dumbledore loves or respects.

Feryal: I think this is the first time that the kids have any reason to… after we find out everything about Moody, it’s the first time they actually have a reason to distrust authority explicitly, especially finding out that there’s nefarious things going on within the Ministry. Because if I remember before this, the only antagonistic relationship Harry had with any teacher is Snape, but that’s just because Snape singled him out all the time. And Lockhart wasn’t much of a threat; he was just a doofus, and no one was taking him seriously.

[Eric and Laura laugh]

Feryal: But after this book, in the next book, I think they’re already really primed to have that really hostile relationship that they end up having with Umbridge because they’re already… their antenna are probably really up after the betrayal with Moody comes out.

Laura: Yeah, for sure. Sets up Order of the Phoenix.

Micah: I really like, though, Andrew, your point about Moody being spooked, and the reason why I say that, too, is it’s noted in the text how he doesn’t appear to be his normal self. He’s tired, he’s disheveled, almost worn down to a point. And there’s a chapter in this book that’s titled “The Unexpected Task,” and I think this was definitely not on his radar in terms of things that he was going to have to handle during his time at Hogwarts.

[Eric laughs]

Micah: And regardless of what his relationship has been to his father, this could not have been an easy thing for him to do. Happy Father’s Day, everybody, for those celebrating here in the US this weekend.

[Everyone laughs]

Micah: I think it is weighing on him, and it’s noticeable in his appearance. And he frequently sips his hip flask in this chapter. And shame on Hermione, by the way; can she not smell Polyjuice Potion? Is it odorless?

[Andrew and Feryal laugh]

Micah: I don’t think it is odorless. I think it stinks. And anyway, that’s for another time.

Andrew: That’s a good point, yeah. Fakey almost had his own Scooby-Doo “I would have gotten away with it if it weren’t for you meddling kids” moment. [laughs]

Eric: Right. You’re right. All of that is a good point, Micah, and I’m just loving how in this moment, Moody/Fakey gets to be the good guy. He’s the one who’s telling them that it’s good, that it got close, and he even reminds Ron and Hermione of their past laurels. He brings up that Hermione, too, should be an Auror. Secretly, inside he’s probably like, “Oh God, oh God, these kids are too good for their own good.” But he ultimately is able to remind them of their triumph figuring out how to get to the Sorcerer’s Stone. Ron is begging to be included in Moody’s praise here, and sort of gets in. But it’s through reminding the trio of their past successes that he’s able to misdirect or guide them instead to focusing on the third task, which is exactly what he wants. He wants them to… these people are a threat to him. He needs them focused somewhere else, and the third task is as good as any of a direction for them to be looking.

Laura: And what I love about this is he says, “Oh yeah, Dumbledore told me about everything you did to get to the Sorcerer’s Stone in your first year.” And knowing what we know, I think we can assume it was actually Voldemort who gave Barty Crouch, Jr. that information. [laughs]

Eric: Possibly, yeah.

Laura: I just don’t see Dumbledore being the type to bring Moody into the school, sit him down, and be like, “So let me tell you about some crazy stuff these kids did four years ago.”

Andrew: [imitating Dumbledore] “Get a load of this.”

Laura: I mean, they freed Sirius Black last year. They solved the Chamber of Secrets the year before that. It just seems odd that Dumbledore would just bring that up, so it feels like background context that Voldemort gave to Crouch Junior to get closer.

Eric: More discussion in a moment on this awesome chapter, but let’s hear a word from our sponsors.

[Ad break]

Andrew: One thing that Harry mentions is it seemed very clear to him that Barty, he had lost his mind. Something was very wrong with him. But when he was talking about the need to see Dumbledore, that’s when he seemed sanest. And I was wondering what y’all made of that. Is it because it happened most recently in everything that he’s talking about? Is it because it’s of the utmost importance to see Dumbledore? Why does he speak about Dumbledore with such clarity, and does this even matter? I just… that struck me, that he was coherent when it came to Dumbledore, about the need to see Dumbledore, but everything else was…

Micah: Yeah. This is just me… the way I’m looking at this is we’re looking… well, we’re all looking at this through Harry’s perspective, so what’s important to Harry becomes important to us, and I think maybe the only thing familiar to Harry that really made any sense was this Dumbledore moment. It may not… I don’t know. Maybe… do you know what I’m trying to say? It’s the familiarity of hearing Dumbledore’s name that likely led him to feel like this was when Crouch was the most sane, as opposed to other moments where perhaps he was sane, but Harry just doesn’t have the same level of familiarity with it.

Laura: Yeah. I’m actually looking at that part of the chapter, and I think part of it might be that for a lot of this interaction or experience Harry has with Crouch Senior, he’s not in the present tense. He’s talking about things that happened sometimes 15 years ago, sometimes eight months ago, but now all of a sudden he’s talking about needing to see Dumbledore now, and that’s a present-day touchstone that Harry can understand. It’s pretty clear that Crouch does not know where he is in terms of timelines throughout this. [laughs]

Eric: Yeah, but the way it’s written is exactly the way Harry then says it is, that when his eyes stop rolling – or when he stops meandering, when he’s focused – he’s telling Harry that he needs to see Dumbledore. And so in the writing it’s a very clear distinction. Also, I think Harry has a sixth sense about this kind of thing. Harry has been waiting for the other shoe to drop. He’s been waiting to figure out what’s going on with You-Know-Who, and so the idea that Crouch would show up out of the blue, as surprising as that is, but then also be asking for Dumbledore, feels right. He’s not there to see anybody else. He’s not like, “Take me to see Madam Sprout.” Dumbledore just… it just feels like the most pressing matter, so I think Harry is more likely to treat that as with heavier weight, that it’s the more pressing and sane thing to be asking for.

Andrew: He can also just relate to the need to see Dumbledore. [laughs]

Eric: Can’t we all?

Andrew: It’s his own excuse.

Eric: Dumbledore needs to come out of his locked tower and spend more time with the children.

Andrew: Oh, we have ideas on that, but we’ll get to that later.

Eric: Yeah. So moving to the other person, the second adult that grounds Harry besides Moody, who says, “Focus on the task.” Sirius, the trio send him a letter. They bump into Fred and George when they do, and the letter comes back. And surprise, surprise, Sirius is starting to sound like Hagrid here a minute. He says, “It was a stupid idea for you to go walking in the woods with Krum.” But I don’t think he’s being racist; I actually think what he means is that “You are unguarded, unprotected, etc.” Sirius has very real concern for Harry’s safety, so his advice to Harry is, “Promise me that you won’t go out of Gryffindor tower at night. Send me a letter back telling me that you won’t go out at night.”

Andrew: “Confirm in writing,” yeah.

Eric: “And here are some charms to practice while you don’t do that other thing,” which is great.

Andrew: It must be painful for Sirius to have to take a back seat here in a way. He can’t just physically visit Harry on the grounds of Hogwarts and pull him away; he’s at the mercy of whatever Harry feels like doing one evening. So I can see why Sirius is so stressed about this, and as we know, he’s been very worried about something being afoot this entire book, pretty much.

Laura: I just think it’s funny that he thinks telling Harry “Write back and confirm that you won’t sneak out at night” is going to do anything.

[Andrew and Feryal laugh]

Eric: It kind of works. It does, though.

Micah: It should’ve been an Unbreakable Vow.

Eric: Oh, wow.

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: It should have been a pen that etches what you’re writing in blood on the back of your head.

Eric: Yeah, “I will not go out at night.”

Laura: Either that or your face erupts in pimples.

Feryal: This is getting really dark.

Micah: This is an interesting moment for Harry, though, because he hasn’t had a parental figure like this before…

Eric: Aw.

Micah: … and so defiance is an easy response when you haven’t had somebody to really tell you what you should be doing in the way that a parent does, so that is probably why he is a little bit frustrated here. And also, let’s remember who we’re talking about here: Sirius Black, one of the Marauders, one of the people who would just get out and do whatever he wanted around the grounds of the school late at night with his three best friends. So it’s a little bit tongue in cheek for Sirius to be telling Harry what to do, but…

Eric: It’s a little rich.

Andrew: But didn’t Harry have the same feeling in this chapter? He’s like, “Who’s he to talk?” and Hermione is like, “He cares!”

Eric: He’s mildly surprised, but Sirius does care. I think the fact that Sirius spent so much time out of the bounds and is telling Harry to stay put in the tower matters more. It has more meaning that Sirius is like, “No, you’ve got to stay safe,” because Sirius points out that rightly so, there is somebody very dangerous who is still running around Hogwarts completely unchecked.

Micah: Just like the last book. [laughs]

Eric: Yeah, well… [laughs] But this time, that person actively put Harry’s name in the Goblet, and so presumably, is using that to get him in danger.

Micah: I will say I agree with you, Eric, about Sirius’s intentions here and the fact that someone is out to get Harry, and Krum’s headmaster just happens to be a former Death Eater, which Sirius informed Harry about. Why wouldn’t you be concerned? You don’t know what Krum’s intentions are. We all know he’s a good guy, right? We fleshed that out on last week’s episode. But it’s really reckless on Harry’s part, and he deserves to be reprimanded for it.

Laura: Yeah, like we said, Harry clearly doesn’t listen to true crime podcasts, and it shows.

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: So Harry begrudgingly does write that letter back. But what I love most about Sirius getting the opportunity to do some godfathering is that Sirius actually has a list of very real applicable things for Harry to study. So he’s grounding Harry, but he’s also like, “Here’s what you should work on.” And this is good, because if we remember way back to the fireplace conversation that Harry had with Sirius before the first task, Sirius was about to recommend how to overcome the dragon but then he couldn’t; he got cut off because Ron came into the room. This time, Sirius is able to finish his thought and actually give some advice to Harry about practical spells, things to practice specifically. And I just love it, because it’s a completed darn sentence that Sirius actually gets to do some godfathering here.

Andrew: There’s so many different directions he could go to prepare for the third task. To your point, it’s nice to be told, “Okay, here’s what you should really focus on. Just focus on these things.”

Eric: Yeah, he could get really into the weeds about what beasts might be there or whatever and then be looking up these beasts in books and things, but what Sirius gives him advice on is things like Disarming and Stunning, which can be used on a wide variety of stuff. They’re endlessly applicable. It’s just good defensive magic.

Feryal: I think it also makes a nice contrast to… Harry only has three people in the world that he’s actually listening to at this point, right? Ron, Hermione, and Sirius, and Sirius giving advice on practical hexes is a nice counterpoint to Hermione, whose advice tends to always be more practical. She goes out and goes into the books and does all the research, so it’s a nice balance. I mean, we have Ron, and bless his heart, but he’s not always offering particularly useful advice. [laughs] He does offer himself up for Stunning, so you have to give him that.

Eric: Yeah, that’s a good point, Feryal. I think that apart from chess, everything that Ron knows is learned by the same time, or at the same time, by Harry. Ron doesn’t offer, in terms of practical spells or training or teaching, anything that – and he can’t – anything that Harry doesn’t already know.

Feryal: Someone made a nice point in the Discord: “What if Sirius decided to guilt trip Harry by telling him about how his dad died?”

Andrew: “Here’s what happens when you get in trouble, when you don’t listen to rules.”

Feryal: “When you don’t listen to rules, your parents die, Harry.”

[Andrew laughs]

Laura: And doesn’t Lupin do that to him in Prisoner of Azkaban? Or is that a movie-ism? I can’t remember.

Feryal: That’s in the book.

Laura: So he’s already gotten it from one Marauder. Can you imagine if he got that from Sirius too?

Eric: Eh, Sirius wouldn’t be that uncool. I know he’s still in his prison garb over there, but he’s…

[Eric and Laura laugh]

Eric: He commits other faux pas. Anyway, so we get to this brief scene where the trio are practicing their Stuns, and Ron is target practice, which is great. That’s fine. It’s good to make himself useful.

[Eric and Feryal laugh]

Eric: It hurts; apparently you can’t control where or how you fall, and Ron is getting sick of it, but he suggests Hermione try, and then she’s just like, “I think Harry’s got it.”

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Eric: It’s just a hilarious moment between these kids. It’s so fun.

Andrew: I mean, that’s a nice thing to do for a friend, to be willing to take Stuns for them so they can prepare for the task. I’m not sure I would give myself up that way. I think I’d suggest you go and maybe try the spells on a tree, the tree that Barty was talking to.

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: Would any of us do this for a friend?

Laura: No.

[Micah laughs]

Andrew: If I came to any of you and said, “Hey, I’m in the Triwizard Tournament; I got thrown into it unwillingly. Dumbledore is making me go through.”

Feryal: For my best friend, yes, but no one else.

Micah: What’s in it for me?

Andrew: Eternal glory? [laughs]

Micah: That’s in it for you.

Andrew: By way of me, yeah.

Eric: By way of… [laughs]

Andrew: I’ll let you display the Triwizard Tournament cup in your room.

Eric: Just residual…

Micah: Oh, okay.

Eric: Oh, God. Oh, it’s like the Stanley Cup; it travels. The 30 friends that helped me win this cup get to have it.

Andrew: I’ll thank you in my victory speech before God. I want to thank Micah, God… [laughs]

Feryal: Wait, so none of you would do this just to be a nice friend?

Laura: No.

Eric: I would! Only because we’re at a school where they can grow bones back. What could go wrong?

Feryal: Exactly.

Andrew: Doesn’t mean it’s okay.

Feryal: All your friends who are listening to this podcast right now are going to be like, “Okay, so we know who not to rely on.” [laughs]

Eric: Yeah, “We’re never going to ask them.” But you know what? That’s just as well, because how often do you need to practice something that really, really is harmful? I will say, this reminds me a lot of stage combat, because you have to learn how to fall. There is a right way to fall, and you can make it look good, but it’s ultimately all in how you do it. There’s a safe way to do it. And so I think the thing with Stunning, and what Ron is getting at, is they’re not practicing any of that. [laughs]

Micah: Right. He even suggests Mrs. Norris or Dobby as a possible substitute for himself, and notes that “Wouldn’t Dobby do anything for you?” [laughs]

Laura: That’s so horrible.

Feryal: Oh, geez.

Micah: It is horrible. It speaks to Ron’s character.

Laura: But at the same time, Ron is doing the same thing that he is implying Dobby would do, so what’s he saying about himself?

Eric: That he’s less good a friend?

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: Well, Dobby is crazy loyal. I think the implication there is that Dobby is sort of Colin Creevey, a little obsessed with Harry, and that Ron is capable of making a self-preservational kind of denial.

Laura: Yeah, he doesn’t, though.

Micah: I think Ron just needs a bathroom break and a little bit of snack and he’d be fine.

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: Well, you could give him one right now.

Laura: We know they have test dummies anyway. Yeah, bathroom break.

Eric: Bathroom break. It’s time to hear more from more of our sponsors.

[Ad break]

Eric: And it’s time to go to Divination class. Hooray. Who’s excited?

Andrew: Oh, let me put on my Trelawney glasses for this…

[Eric and Feryal laugh]

Andrew: And I can’t see anything. Yep, can’t see anything. All right, let’s do it.

Eric: Okay, okay. Well, we get up to Divination tower, and goodness, it’s hot. The lights are turned real low, the fire is there, and it’s time to talk about Mars and Neptune. Harry actually manages, I guess prior to class, starting to crack the window a little bit, and this only serves to make him, let’s say, tranquil. Do you guys remember ever going into a not well air-conditioned classroom on a hot summer day close to June, and just being like, “Man, I wish I were outside or not awake for this”?

Micah: Totally.

Laura: Yup.

Andrew: My high school didn’t have air conditioning, and then they built another high school in the same district, and they said, “We’re not putting air conditioning in this new high school either, because then that would be unfair.” [laughs] And I was like, “You’re darn right. Make them suffer just like we do at Shawnee.”

[Laura and Micah laugh]

Eric: I don’t know how that’s okay that they did that, but also, was your school at the top of a hill? And did you have to walk up that hill both ways when you were leaving and…?

Andrew: No, luckily, I had a bus. They had big fans inside each classroom, so at least there was that.

Micah: Did the bus have air conditioning?

Andrew: Yeah, I guess so.

Micah: Or did you have to pull…? Do you remember the windows you used to have to, like, push together and pull down?

Eric: Oh, it was horrible!

Andrew and Laura: Yeah.

[Micah laughs]

Eric: Yeah, I do.

Laura: The worst.

Micah: But I had a class just like this, actually, my middle school French class. I had a teacher who also used to wear overwhelming amounts of perfume, so it would be not just warm, but very similar, actually, to Trelawney and the fragrances, so it just kind of overwhelms you. I remember getting dizzy, actually, after one class.

Andrew: Aw.

Eric: So nevertheless, the environment… and we’ll talk about whether or not it’s conducive to what happens. But Harry quickly hallucinates. [laughs] No sooner does class start than Harry finds himself having the dream that’s in the name of the title, so the eponymous event occurs. Harry is flying on the back of a large eagle owl; it delivers the news to Voldemort, Wormtail, and Nagini that Barty Crouch, Sr. is dead, although it’s not said that it’s Barty Crouch, Sr. They are in Crouch’s house, it turns out, and that was the base of operations for most of the year, and Voldemort… it’s very, very interesting, because all of a sudden we’re here present in a conversation just like the first chapter in this book. We are eavesdropping on a conversation between Voldemort and Wormtail, and really, for me, this brings back the moment of the first chapter of this book that it’s like no time has passed at all. You’re those same characters, Wormtail, Voldemort, and Nagini, and they’re talking about current events, including that Wormtail almost just got fed to Nagini, and instead they plan to feed Harry to her.

Andrew: Yeah, and Harry and the reader, they don’t know at this time that it’s Crouch Senior that Voldemort is speaking about.

Eric: Right.

Andrew: But I wonder if Harry should have immediately jumped to the conclusion that it was Senior because of what just happened in the last chapter. I mean, it seems like he should be able to put the pieces together here at this point.

Laura: Right. And just wanted to point out something about Nagini eating people for dinner: So Voldemort doesn’t feed anyone to Nagini in this book, at least that we know of, but we definitely do get to see Nagini chow down on a certain Hogwarts professor in the first chapter of Deathly Hallows, so…

Micah: And I don’t know if it’s a symbolism, but snakes do eat rats. They eat mice, so…

Eric: Everybody eats mice, it turns out!

[Andrew and Micah laugh]

Eric: In this book there’s so much. The owls are eating mice. Snuffles is eating mice.

Micah: Well, Wormtail is my point, but…

Eric: Oh, okay, I see what you’re doing. That’s funny. That’s really funny. Okay, so about this, the eagle owl in question is one that Harry actually witnesses traveling to Hogwarts a few chapters ago, so clever writing there. The biggest thing I want to point out from this whole dream sequence is that the point of view is kind of all over the place. Harry is actually riding on the back of the owl, which presumably he’s small, not the owl is gigantic. Then he’s kind of across the room from the bad guys. Voldemort is only ever really seen, like the back of his chair and an arm is sticking out with the wand. And then Harry is so directly in the middle of Voldemort’s casting of the Crucio Curse and Wormtail’s receiving of the Crucio Curse. So my question is, what’s going on with the point of view here? What’s happening?

Andrew: It is an interesting question, because we are getting the connection to Voldemort. I mean, because my gut says, “Well, this is what happens in dreams. Your perspective can change. It’s whatever your brain decides to do.” But since this is a connection of Voldemort, maybe there’s something else going on here.

Micah: It is strange. I also thought that maybe J.K. Rowling hadn’t fully fleshed out how the Horcrux connection was going to work, and so that’s why it’s a little bit all over the place.

Eric: It’s a good option. I also think that because maybe the fact that Harry’s point of view is across the room and then in Voldemort’s head is also because Voldemort is not fully himself yet; he’s still kind of more an aura. He has a body, but not the body that’s going to go around in the future. So maybe that sort of etherealness that’s still clinging to Voldy is why Harry is on the owl and across the room.

Micah: Right. I mean, we do see his ability to tap into other Horcruxes because this comes into play in Order of the Phoenix when he tells Dumbledore, “No, I was the snake,” and that doesn’t really jive with what’s going on here. Because as you pointed out, Eric, first he’s on the owl, then he’s in the room, then he’s also actually experiencing the pain that Wormtail is feeling. So that’s a little bit strange to me, too, that he would… why? He doesn’t have a connection to Wormtail, not yet. Or I guess he does; he has the…

Eric: Oh, yeah, the blood…

Micah: The pact, or whatever you want to call.

Andrew: Could that pain be Voldemort’s joy or excitement?

Eric: Yes, that’s a good thing. And maybe when you cast the Cruciatus Curse correctly, you feel, in some ways, the pain that you’re inflicting. So Harry is only connected to Voldemort, but he’s connected directly to Voldemort, and so if Voldemort is feeling… he’s feeling Voldemort’s joy, and he might be… maybe Voldemort is actively using… Occlumency? Legilimency? Legilimency, to also feel Pettigrew’s pain at the same time that he’s torturing him, which is sick, but explains it perfectly, I think.

Andrew: In terms of the owl, I mean, the owl could have just been him dozing off in class because of the heat and the incense. Maybe it’s not necessarily tied to Voldemort.

Eric: Yeah. So I’m also wondering if this is the moment when Voldemort might first really learn about the scar connection with Harry, unless there’s a spot in Order of the Phoenix where it’s specifically said that this is the moment when Voldemort figured it out. Harry leaves the dream in a panic; he leaves the dream in a panic because he feels that the scream that emanated from him that made all the kids in Divination freak out might be heard by Voldemort, and it’s a weird thing to put in the book if that’s not in fact what happens, that maybe, in the midst of torturing Pettigrew, Voldemort at this exact moment hears Harry screaming, and then is like, “Whoa, what? What was that?” a minute later.

Laura: Yeah, and I think we can probably draw some comparisons to Chapter 1 of this book. Harry also shoots awake at the end of his dream about what happens to Frank Bryce. And I think we’ve all had the experience of having an extremely vivid dream that the first couple seconds after you’re coming out of it, it takes a moment for your brain to calibrate and realize that’s not real, that wasn’t happening, or at the very least, it’s not happening right here in front of me.

Eric: Yeah, absolutely. And Harry even says, I think, like, “Maybe Voldemort is in the drapes!” It’s kind of like astral projection or something that Harry is doing, but it’s because it’s the first time that this is really happening, besides the beginning of the year when he was already unconscious. The fact that Harry lapsed into unconsciousness or whatever just feels new and terrifying and scary for him. You know who’s thrilled, though? Trelawney. [laughs] Trelawney is thrilled.

Laura: ‘Course.

Eric: Something interesting finally happened!

Andrew: [imitating Trelawney] “What a show!”

[Laura laughs]

Eric: Yes, she’s grabbing her popcorn. She’s like, “Oh, I had the kettle on just for this.” And Harry bursts out there. But does somebody want to read the quote from the book of Trelawney getting excited? Because it’s very funny.

Andrew: I’m not going to do the Trelawney voice because it’s too much, but, “‘What was it, Potter? A premonition? An apparition? What did you see? […] You were clutching your scar!’ said Trelawney. ‘You were rolling on the floor, clutching your scar! Come now, Potter, I have experience in these matters!'”

[Laura and Micah laugh]

Andrew: “My dear, you were undoubtedly stimulated by the extraordinary clairvoyant vibrations of my room!”

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: “If you leave now, you may lose the opportunity to see further than you have ever…” and Harry is just like, “No, I just have a headache. I need to get out of here. Bye.”

[Feryal laughs]

Eric: I love his sass so much. Harry gets a lot of love for his sass, but he’s like, “The only thing I want to see right now is a headache cure.” [laughs] And he bursts out. At this juncture I want to ask, what caused the dream?

Feryal: I have a theory I wanted to share. I wonder… and I think in this book, I know we’re assuming J.K. Rowling is still playing around with the scar connection. But do you think that at times when Harry is experiencing high levels of stress, this connection becomes a little more clear between them? Because right now he’s close to the third task, and he’s obviously extremely strung out because of getting getting to that point, and especially because in Book 5 when Voldemort actually has a physical body, that’s when the connection becomes really strong, but I wonder if that was also abetted by the fact that, in that book, he is processing Cedric’s death as well.

Andrew: Yeah, that makes sense. The high stress could be bringing your guard down a bit. And we were talking about earlier, the heat can be a factor, too; that could really wear you down. So I could see various elements. And just simply the stress of being in Trelawney’s class, anticipating hearing, “Oh, I’m going to die tomorrow.”

[Feryal and Laura laugh]

Andrew: “Thanks, Trelawney.” Stuff like that.

Eric: It’s the perfect place to dissociate.

Laura: Yeah. Feryal, I think it’s a really great point that you make that stress makes Harry more vulnerable, especially when we pair it with the fact that we keep hearing throughout this book that Voldemort is getting stronger, so I think there is an association that can be made with that. And something smaller than I noted between Chapter 1’s dream and this dream is that Voldemort mentions Harry by his full name. He calls him Harry Potter.

Micah: Harry James? Oh.

Laura: [laughs] No, but talks about killing him, ultimately, in both of these dreams, and I wonder if it’s some combination of the stress factor that Feryal brought up, but also Harry and Voldemort’s connection growing stronger because Voldemort is getting stronger and Harry is getting more vulnerable due to the stress. Then Voldemort says his name, and it’s like something clicks. Is that a stretch?

Feryal: No.

Eric: Well, we get it when somebody says our ears are burning. It’s like there is a… we all have kind of a sixth sense when we feel like we might be being talked about, and then we walk across the room to that person, and they’re like, “Oh, we were just talking about you.”

[Micah laughs]

Eric: It’s like, “Oh, that’s crazy.” Yeah, I wonder if this is more of an enhanced version of that.

Micah: And also, let’s not forget, I know Harry is very much concerned with the third task, but he also went through a fairly traumatic experience with Barty Crouch, Sr. That’s got to be in the back of his mind as well.

Eric and Laura: Yeah.

Eric: I don’t know, Micah, if you can’t see a Thestral because of it, is it really a traumatic experience?

[Everyone laughs]

Micah: Or just an inconvenience, right?

Eric: Does it pass the Thestral test or is it just Thursday? Come on, let’s go.

Micah: I do think it’s relevant that this is all taking place in Trelawney’s classroom, because let’s just go back one book prior; think about the prophecy that she gives only to Harry, so now he’s having a really meaningful and impactful dream in her classroom.

Andrew: But you can see why she’s so excited. He’s almost putting on a show for everybody.

[Micah laughs]

Eric: Well, this is her career for the next 20 years. This will make her career. “Harry Potter came and had this prophetic vision.” She wants him to talk about the… it’s clearly a premonition; it’s clearly Harry has seen something, and I think that she’s so starved for any ounce of credibility catch, that she’s not at all upset that this was a disruption in class. She’s almost praying every day for something like this to happen.

Andrew: That’s why she keeps the heat up, for somebody to lose it.

Eric: That’s exactly it. And furthermore, I think part of her is right to say, “I created these circumstances,” or “The vibes of my class are what caused this.”

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: Because incense work that way; you’re kind of taken to a different place, and I think it’s part of the reason why the classroom is set up this way is to [imitating Trelawney] “enhance the inner eye.” If you won’t do it, I will, Andrew.

[Andrew and Micah laugh]

Andrew: [imitating Trelawney] “Enhance the inner eye.”

Eric: There you go. Now do it with the glasses on.

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Andrew: They don’t fit. [imitating Trelawney] “Enhance the inner eye!”

Eric: All right.

Laura: [laughs] It’s almost like the glasses bring it out.

Andrew: Oh, yeah. Brings out the Voldemort in Trelawney.

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: So despite making excuses and saying that he needs to go to the hospital wing, when Harry gets out of the class, he does not go to the hospital wing. Instead, he takes god-daddy Sirius’s advice.

[Laura laughs]

Eric: “And if one more thing happens, go see Dumbledore”? He goes and sees Dumbledore. Everyone’s favorite character, some of us favorite character. One problem: Just like a few chapters ago, he can’t get in. And here’s where we start just guessing; he knows that Dumbledore at one point had a password that was sweet-themed, so Harry proceeds to roll through the Rolodex of all the Honeydukes sweets he can think of, finally landing on Cockroach Cluster, which gets the gargoyle to move. Pleading with the gargoyle does not do it. Saying it’s an emergency does not do anything. The only thing is trying to hack the password. Here’s a point that I wanted to bring up the last time we get stuck outside: Why does Dumbledore’s office even have a password? Why is it locked? Why isn’t it something where you can interface and be like, “I need to see the Headmaster”?

Andrew: [laughs] A little intercom.

Eric: Doesn’t Dumbledore serve at the pleasure of the students? Don’t they…? Isn’t it within their rights to seek him out?

Feryal: Dumbledore only serves at the pleasure of Dumbledore.

[Andrew and Feryal laugh]

Eric: Well, there’s that.

Laura: I think that’s fair.

Andrew: Bzzt. [imitating Dumbledore] “Oh, is this Pizza Hut? Is the pizza here?” [normal voice] “No, Headmaster. This is Harry.” [imitating Dumbledore] “Oh, okay, come on up, come on up. I’ll buzz you in.”

Eric: Yeah, we’ll buzz you in.

Andrew: “Damn, I was hoping it was the pizza.”

[Laura laughs]

Eric: But why is there…? Look, you can still go up and knock, but to password protect this doesn’t make any sense whatsoever.

Andrew: Well, because he’s so busy, I can see why he needs some guardrails. I think the solution here is very simple: He needs a secretary. And we were wondering earlier in this book, what can the Goblet of Fire and the Sorting Hat do off season? The Sorting Hat could be Dumbledore’s secretary. Come on, that’s perfect.

Eric: I actually love that. I love that 100%. The Sorting Hat could see why somebody is going to see Dumbledore, and he could judge whether it’s important enough. [laughs]

Andrew: If it’s truthful… exactly, exactly.

Eric: The Sorting Hat could be there and be like, “Single riders only, here.”

[Laura laughs]

Eric: Really important, prioritizing lines to see the Head. There shouldn’t be a locked door to the Headmaster’s office period. There just shouldn’t be; it doesn’t make any sense. And furthermore, if you can guess his password, it’s not secure! So like, hello?

Laura: Right. I love the imagery that I’m imagining now of the Sorting Hat making the call on whether somebody gets to be admitted or if they’re being declined, but I think it would have to give that answer in song form. It would need to be a limerick of some sort that’s very creative, so it’s not just a yes/no type answer. [laughs] Got to keep the songwriting skills sharp throughout the year so that when the new Sorting comes around, it’s ready.

Eric: I’m trying to imagine what that would be like. It’d be like, [imitating the Sorting Hat] “When you first came up here, you were horrified, but now you’re denied” or something like that.

Laura: [laughs] Something like that.

Micah: I’m just imagining Barty Crouch, Sr. actually working his way up to Hogwarts and then just having a one-on-one conversation with the gargoyle because he can’t get through either.

Laura: [laughs] And he’s like, “Weatherby, let me through.”

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Eric: I mean, Fudge is up there. Did Fudge have to be told his password? No, Dumbledore probably expected the appointment and came down, or set his gargoyle to admit…

Micah: Hagrid probably picked him up by his throat and carried him up to Dumbledore’s office.

Eric: [laughs] That’s exactly it. Very Hagrid-like. Yeah, it just… I’m glad we could finally talk through why this is the thing because it shouldn’t be a thing.

Laura: I always thought that Dumbledore’s residence was attached to his office for some reason, so with that in mind, I could see why he needs a password. But I mean, it should still be easier to reach the headmaster, and you shouldn’t have to be as special as Harry Potter to get there.

Eric: Right, because if Harry is failing to get in, what about everyone else? [laughs]

Laura: Right.

Andrew: Well, just like any school, you can’t just walk up to the principal’s door and just mosey on in. You’ve got to see a secretary or some other… there’s some barrier in place. And yeah, this could be handled differently.

Eric: Yeah. So Harry does get up; we mentioned it’s currently “Cockroach Cluster.” But the door itself, there’s another door you can’t get through, and so again, there was no point in the password gargoyle. [laughs] But anyway, on the other side of the door, Harry is able to listen in. He hears that Fudge is suggesting that maybe Madame Maxime might be up to no good, because “Isn’t she kind of like Hagrid there, Dumbledore?” And it’s just the book where everyone’s racist.

Micah: Well, we begin to see Fudge’s character truly shine through. He’s ignorant – this got brought up a little bit earlier towards Bertha’s situation – and could seemingly care less about Barty Crouch, Sr. He’s very much the “Nothing to see here” guy, and we will see much more of that as we get into Order of the Phoenix. And the other thing I just wanted to bring up about this particular scene: It’s such a great example of Barty Crouch, Jr. playing with his food because he directly asks Fudge what he supposed happened to Barty Crouch, Sr. Literally the killer is right in the room, and he is amongst what’s supposed to be the best of the best of the wizarding world, the Minister for Magic, the Headmaster of Hogwarts, and he’s got ’em all fooled. Not one person is even suspecting that Moody is not who he appears to be.

Andrew: And he gets to play with his food because Dumbledore ordered Pizza Hut!

[Eric and Feryal laugh]

Andrew: Sorry.

Micah: Extra what? Pepperoni? Sausage?

Andrew: Extra sausage. [laughs]

Laura: Cheese crust, right? [laughs]

Andrew: Ah, I love stuffed cheesy crust pizza.

Eric: Oh my God.

Laura: Yeah. No, and I would just say here, to echo some of the points that have already been brought up, we’re going to continue to see Fudge really only care about optics and what optics are most favorable for him as Minister of Magic. He doesn’t want to deal with the fall-out or the negative perceptions that might come as a result of the truth getting out there, so in his mind, it couldn’t possibly be the truth, because if it were, then he would have to deal with it, and he would probably lose his job, which, that becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. [laughs]

Micah: Definitely. And we touched on this a little bit last week’s episode with both Molly and Hagrid, and I’m not saying that Fudge has always been “good,” but we do really get to see a different side to him here that… the characters are becoming more layered, I think, than the one-dimensional aspect that we’ve seen of them up until this point.

Eric: Yeah, yeah. I agree completely. And it’s an increasingly complex set of obstacles that we see these characters have to navigate, and so they’re getting more complex because we see them being faced with more complex stuff.

Micah: And it’s “Welcome to adult conversation,” right? Harry is overhearing an adult conversation here.

Eric: Yeah, right. Yeah, no kids are there. I want to have an adult conversation with you all right now…

Laura: Uh-oh, are we in trouble?

Eric: Now that we know this is the chapter where Voldemort finds out that Barty Crouch, Sr. has been killed – Junior did his job – this is a “What if?” segment. We haven’t done this in a while, and I think there’s a sound effect!

[“What if?” sound effect plays]

Micah: It’s just like Trelawney’s classroom.

[Andrew and Feryal laugh]

Eric: Smell the incense. What if Barty Crouch, Sr. had not fired Winky after the events of the Quidditch World Cup? So Barty Crouch, Sr. has had a rough time since the Quidditch World Cup, and the only person who’s had a rougher time is Winky, who he fired. We got to see her in the last chapter, and she’s not doing well. But my question is, knowing what’s happened now with Crouch Senior being imprisoned in his own home, placed under the Imperius Curse, and Wormtail was directed by Voldemort to keep an eye on him. He’s only just now in May escaped, so he’s been prisoner for like, seven months. If Winky were at all able to go back and check on her old master, whether the magic prevents her or if she had just done it, would Winky have actually been able to save Barty Crouch, Sr. from his fate?

Andrew: I think given her loyalty to him she would have done everything in her power to do so.

Eric: Good point.

Andrew: And I would say there’s a good chance that that would have happened, and that’s kind of the tragedy of of all this: He lost Winky, and then he loses his life.

Eric and Laura: Yeah.

Laura: I feel like Winky would have tried to get help.

Andrew: Yeah, done something to move the ball.

Laura: Yeah, I mean, she wouldn’t have really been a match for Crouch Junior and Voldemort, possibly even Wormtail…

Andrew: Wow.

Laura: I mean, I’m not crapping on Winky; we just don’t really… we also don’t really get to see her magical abilities too much. And at any rate, she’d be outnumbered, right?

Eric: Well, we constantly see wizards underestimate the type of magic that other creatures have, though, that other beings and creatures…

Andrew: What if it was a butterbeer-drinking competition, though? Would she win that?

Laura: Oh, she’d win, hands down.

Eric: She would win, yeah. No, Voldemort would be drowned.

[Andrew and Feryal laugh]

Eric: His little body just…

Andrew: [imitating Voldemort] “I can’t compete with this house-elf!”

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: “This girl can put ’em down!”

Eric: Yeah, yeah. But I think you’re right; I think Winky would get help. And this is the crazy thing, is because Dumbledore has taken in Winky, and by taking in, he just permits her to be at Hogwarts because… there’s no evidence that he ever really had a heart-to-heart with Winky, but if he had ever encouraged her to, I don’t know, go and see her master, or if Dobby was a good friend and he’s not so gung-ho on freedom for Winky, I think Winky would have stumbled onto what’s really happening, because they’re doing it at Barty’s house. It’s their base of operations, and so Winky only need peek in to see who’s there, and she could have sounded the alarm this whole time, I think.

Feryal: I thought it set up an interesting point of view for a future book because in Deathly Hallows, there’s a very explicit character arc with Kreacher and everything, how he was treated by certain people in the Black family, and the larger implications of of that. And Hermione mentions that – I can’t quote her exactly – but she says something like, “I always knew wizards would one day pay for how they treated lesser creatures, how they underestimated them.” But I think this is almost foreshadowing how major that plot point becomes later with Kreacher is really fundamental, the relationship between him and Regulus and how all of that leads out.

Laura: We really are setting up so many of these larger themes for the rest of the series in this book.

Micah: One point that was made in the Discord – and it’s a question that I was actually wondering myself in this “What if?” scenario – it was brought up by PotionsPotentiator: Where would the loyalty be? To Barty Crouch, Jr. or Barty Crouch, Sr.?

Eric: That’s crazy. [laughs] That actually… I’m so glad Winky doesn’t have to figure that out.

Andrew: I’m going to say Senior…

Eric and Feryal: Yeah.

Feryal: Me too.

Andrew: … just because seniority. I think it would be just that simple.

Eric: Well, and if we’re… property ownership, which is a horrible way to look at it, but if you think of the way that house-elves are handed through property, the owner of the house – which is more likely to be Senior than Junior – would be able to control.

Andrew: Right. Let’s say Lucius and Draco have a disagreement about what Dobby should be doing next. Who’s Dobby ultimately going to be listening to? Lucius.

Feryal: Right.

Eric: I mean, he’s also more scared of Lucius, I’m sure. But still, yeah, it makes perfect sense to me.

Laura: Fair enough, yeah. And I mean, also, we see in the very last chapter she was speaking about how she handled much more for Crouch Senior than just typical housekeeping duties, that she held on to his most dangerous secrets or something like that. So I think even if you took seniority out of the equation, it really seems like her alliance is really more with Crouch Senior. I think Crouch Junior gets it by extension; we see that a little bit later, but that’s after Senior has died, so I think at that point there’s a transference, right? Of who her loyalty lives with.

Eric: The only thing that gives me pause when asking the question could Winky have figured this out, warned Hogwarts, at the very least, and/or saved her master in time, is that Voldemort does actually have a track record of getting the W over house-elves. I’m thinking of Hepzibah Smith’s… was it Pokey the house-elf? Is framed for Hepzibah’s murder. I don’t know what sort of interaction would have happened specifically between young Tom Riddle and the house-elf, but knowing that Tom Riddle and now Voldemort are at least aware of them puts them above other wizards in terms of being able to predict what sort of danger they might be in from them. But yeah, I think for the most part, had Winky been able to go back to Crouch Manor, she would have probably been able to interfere in a positive way.

Laura: I mean, that’s just the tragedy behind it, like you were saying at the top.

Andrew: Exactly.

Eric: And that is our “What if?” segment for the episode.

Odds & Ends

Eric: And now it’s time to do some odds and ends. So here’s a little joke that’s kind of funny and foreshadowy: In the owlery, when they’re about to send the letter to Sirius, they bump into Fred and George sending their own letter, and Ron wants to know what it’s about, George and Fred are not telling him, and George tells Ron that if he keeps acting like their older brother, Percy, he will be made a prefect. And Ron is like, “No, I won’t!” But actually, we know that that’s just what happens. The beginning of the next book Ron is made a prefect. [laughs]

Andrew: And what stood out to me about this is that Ron is taking it as a bad thing to be a prefect; that’s how Fred and George have conditioned him at this point, and it’s sad.

Eric: You’re right.

Feryal: Do Fred and George have a specific issue with just overachievement or academic overachievement? Because they end up being overachievers with the success of the joke shop.

Eric: That’s a great point.

Andrew: Yeah, so academic.

Eric: I think their problem is oversight. They don’t want oversight. They don’t want anyone looking over their shoulder.

Feryal: [laughs] That’s right.

Andrew: And definitely not one of their brothers.

Eric: Yeah, yeah. Like, “We’re better than you.”

Micah: Yeah, I mean, I think it comes down to… it’s really about Percy, right? Percy is the thing that’s being thrown at Ron here, not really the prefect, because Bill and Charlie were both prefects as well, and presumably Fred and George get along with them just fine. Maybe it’s a being left out thing, not that they would ever want to be prefects, but can you imagine? But yeah, I think it’s the tie to Percy that probably gets Ron in this moment more than anything.

Eric: That’s a good point. Good point. So also in this chapter, Trelawney has the Divination students examining the placement of Mars. This really harkens back for me to “Mars is bright tonight.” Books 1, 4, and 7 – so the first, the last, and the one right in the middle – all have Harry facing down present-day Voldemort, and Mars being the God of War, and particularly what the centaurs see Mars for is, it’s sort of foreshadowing of the wizarding war that’s coming up. Just really love the placement and positioning of Mars right now in this book.

Andrew: Yeah, cool shout-out.

Eric: And Micah, you had one?

Micah: Yeah, this was actually a fun one that gets mentioned at the start of the chapter because the trio are trying to figure out whodunnit, and they bring up Snape because, of course, Snape got in Harry’s way. And Harry makes the point that unless Snape has the ability to turn into a bat, there’s no way he would have been able to get from where he ran into him inside of Hogwarts to the forest in time to have taken out Barty Crouch, Sr., and then Ron responds something along the lines of, “Wouldn’t put it past him.” So this is fun, of course, because Snape does turn into a bat in Deathly Hallows

Eric: Still one of the most perplexing moments.

Andrew: Well, he doesn’t… does he turn into a bat, or he just looks like a bat? I thought he just looks like a bat.

Eric: It’s like a bat-shaped hole, but he doesn’t quite… yeah, or a Snape-shaped hole? I forget what the phrase is.

Andrew: But yeah, the bat does come back.

Micah: We’ll look it up. I’m sure the Discord will…

Eric: But no, there’s tons of “Snape is a vampire” theories.

Andrew: Right, right.

Eric: They’re there for a reason; it’s because that’s always been sort of the descriptor for Snape, so it’s pretty fun that Harry throws it out here.

Laura: And multiple times he’s described as looking like an oversized bat, so yeah, this is fun. Something related to the passwords that Harry was trying to get into Dumbledore’s office: The one that was ultimately successful, “Cockroach Cluster,” is a Monty Python reference. Monty Python, for anyone who doesn’t know, very famous British comedy troupe that J.K. Rowling is a fan of, and this comes from one of their sketches. It’s called the “Crunchy Frog” sketch. And I actually went back and rewatched this because it had been a while for me, and the way that some of the flavors of these disgusting chocolates are described in this sketch made me realize, “Oh my God, was this the inspiration for Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans?” Because there are some disgusting flavors in those as well. And I think something else to also call out here is that John Cleese is a member of Monty Python when they were active; John Cleese played Nearly Headless Nick in the Potter films. Also, Terry Gilliam, a member of Monty Python, was J.K. Rowling’s first choice to direct Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. I think WB thought he’d be too weird, so they said no.

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Laura: So that is your installment of make the Monty Python connection.

Eric: Nice!

Andrew: Excellent.

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: Full marks.

Eric: Oh, Laura, we value that so much. You know what else we love? A Rita Spy Count being upped, and in fact, Harry, when he’s about to sleep, to be asleep after he’s opened the window, hears an insect humming by the curtain.

[Buzzing sound effect plays]

Andrew: That sounded like another noise for a second…

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: … but it’s titled “Housefly, close buzzing.”

Micah: Sounds like Dumbledore eating his pizza.

[Andrew and Feryal laugh]

Eric: Hoovering or what? [laughs]

Andrew: Yeah, what? Vacuuming?

MVP of the Week

Andrew: All right, time for MVP of the week.

[MVP of the Week music plays]

Andrew: And I’m going to give it to Advil, the medicine.

[Laura and Micah laugh]

Andrew: Advil, for when the Dark Lord has activated the connection to you, and the pain is excruciating.

Eric: I’m going to give mine to Harry, speaking of, for “I don’t want to see anything except a headache cure.” Ah, love that sass.

Micah: I’m going to give it to Mad-Eye Moody, just because. I mean, the start of the chapter with putting the trio off his scent, and then as I mentioned earlier, just him playing with his food in Dumbledore’s office and enjoying every minute of it.

Andrew: So really, you’re giving it to Fakey. You’re giving it to BCJ, okay.

Micah: Yeah, yeah. Barty Crouch, Jr.

Laura: I’m going to give mine to Fred for reminding all of us, but especially Ron, why it’s important to mind. Your. Business.

[Andrew and Feryal laugh]

Feryal: And I will give mine to Ron for letting Harry Stun him. He’s been taking one for the team since the chess game, and I don’t think he gets appreciated enough for what he contributes to the friendship.

Eric: Aww.

Laura: I agree.

Micah: That’s a great point.

Laura: That’s a very good and smart character. [laughs]

Andrew: Yes!

Eric: I love that.

Micah: Went out of his way…

Andrew: I think Lexi attacked him last week, but we’re righting that ship.

Micah: Second task. He showed up.

Andrew: Yeah, he showed up. He showed under.

Laura: Yeah, he was unconscious, but he was there.

Andrew: In light of Micah giving Fakey an MVP, I feel like we should hear this sound effect again.

[Barty Crouch, Jr. appreciation sound effect plays: “You know what this means, don’t you? I’ll be welcomed back like a hero.”]

Eric: Yes! Love that.

Andrew: If you have any feedback about today’s discussion, you can contact us by emailing or sending a voice memo that’s recorded on your phone to, or you can use our phone number, which is 1-920-3-MUGGLE; that’s 1-920-368-4453. If you’re going to send us a voice message – and we do prefer a voice memo over a phone call because it’ll sound better – try to keep your message around a minute long, please, so we can fit in as many as possible. And next week, we’ll read Goblet of Fire Chapter 30, “The Pensieve.”


Andrew: Now it’s time for Quizzitch.

[Quizzitch music plays]

Eric: Last week’s question: Who is the second person that Fakey says should try for a career as an Auror? The correct answer is Hermione. Yes, it’s funny; he’s now passing that out like candy, a compliment. Okay, so correct answers were submitted by Bagels for Buckbeak; Lazuli Christatis; Ginny is Dean’s beard…

[Laura laughs]

Eric: … The Unused Courtroom; Headmasters of the Galaxy, Volumes 2 and 3; Malfoy is better as a ferret; LC; Elizabeth K.; Barty Crouched so that Viktor could Krum…

[Laura and Feryal laugh]

Eric: … Olive Hornby’s magical talking bidet; Uh, Cedric came back, and now he’s sparkly; Leaving Snape standing next to the gargoyle and looking twice as ugly; Ron Weasley is so desperate for words of affirmation, he will even ask a Death Eater to give him a compliment; 99 problems, but a babbling, bumbling band of baboons isn’t one of them…

[Laura laughs]

Eric: … and Sirius’s Sound Advice. So wow, that was special.

Laura: Some good ones this week.

[Feryal laughs]

Eric: Thank you all for submitting and playing Quizzitch; it’s our weekly fun thing. Here is next week’s question: After Ludo Bagman’s trial, what Quidditch match does a jury member congratulate him on? You have to be very eagle-eyed or have a very sharp memory to remember this. I’m sure most people will just look it up, but that’s okay! Submit your answers to us on the Quizzitch form,, or if you’re on the website, maybe checking out other sections, like Wall of Fame or transcripts, click on “Quizzitch” from the main nav.

Andrew: This show is brought to you by Muggles like you and Feryal. Feryal, thanks so much for joining us today. It was great having you on.

Feryal: It was great being on here. Thank you for having me.

Andrew: Yeah, our pleasure. And we thankfully don’t have a Ministry of Magic running the show; we are just everyday Muggles conjuring an independent podcast, and we’re so happy to do it. But we do need support from listeners like you and Feryal, so you can help us out by tapping into the show on Apple Podcasts and subscribing to MuggleCast Gold, which gets you ad-free, early access to MuggleCast, plus two bonus MuggleCast installments every month, including a video game one we’re going to record today. And we know that Micah always says, “That’s a great offer.” It’s $4.99 a month; that’s a great deal. But between now and July 19, there’s an even better offer, and it’s over at You’ll get all the benefits of MuggleCast Gold, plus, if you pledge at the Slug Club level – that’s $10 a month – you will get the exclusive MuggleCast 19 Years Later T-shirt. Please pledge by July 19 and fill out the form. That’s very important too; existing patrons, we need you to fill out the form that’s available now, and then we will send you the MuggleCast 19 Years Later T-shirt. Please, this is your only chance to get this T-shirt, so don’t miss out. It’s a really good one. We’re going to be getting samples soon. We’re going to show them off on social media, and when you see them, you’re going to get jealous, so just get it out of the way now. Become a patron now. Also…

Eric: I’m going to predict that this 19 Years Later T-shirt is going to be so cool and so hip and so enshrined in pop culture that we’re going to have to do an episode of What the Hype?! about it.

Andrew: Oh, yeah.

Feryal: Nice.

Andrew: I think you’re right.

Eric: It’s a full circle moment.

Andrew: You also get access to our livestreams, our planning docs, the chance to co-host the show one day, just like Feryal did today. You get access to the MuggleCast Collector’s Club, and you get a video message from one of the four of us, a personalized video thank you message from one of the four of us. So thank you for supporting us on Patreon or Apple Podcasts; we couldn’t do this without you.

Micah: And just a reminder that Eric, ChloĆ©, and I will be at LeakyCon coming up in just a few weeks, July 5-7 at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, Oregon. We now have dates and times for our main panel, so our MuggleCast meetup will be happening first on Friday, July 5 at 11:15 a.m. We have a podcaster mega panel Saturday, July 6 at 10:00 a.m., a live MuggleCast later on that day, at 5:00 p.m., and then to close out the con, a very fun LeakyMug with our friends over at Pottercast happening on Sunday at 5:00. So we are super excited, looking forward to seeing so many of you out at LeakyCon. It’s always a blast. And we’ve been spending so much time talking about the one and only Viktor Krum; he’s going to be there, recently announced, so we’ll be sure to check in with him and get his perspective on how things went down in the forest with Harry and Barty Crouch, Sr.

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: You should do that.

Eric: Yeah, no, Stan is great. We love seeing him there. He’s been very kind to us in the past.

Micah: Best dressed, easily.

Eric: Oh, yeah.

Andrew: Visit for transcripts, social media links, our full episode archive, our favorite episodes that you should definitely be listening to, and more. Thanks, everybody, for listening. I’m Andrew.

Eric: I’m Eric.

Micah: I’m Micah.

Laura: I’m Laura.

Feryal: And I’m Feryal.

Andrew: Bye, everyone.

Laura: Bye, y’all.

Eric and Feryal: Bye.