MuggleCast 193 Transcript (continued)



Muggle Mail: Miss Know-it-All


Andrew: And the final e-mail today comes from Steph, 19, of Melbourne, Australia. She writes:

"Hi, MuggleCasters. I've just got a comment/question about Chapter Five, 'Prisoner of Azkaban.' Just after the Dementor leaves and Lupin goes to see the driver, Harry asks Hermione what happened. She says, among other things, 'Lupin muttered something and a silvery thing shot out of his wand, and it turned around and sort of glided away.' Don't you think that Hermione would know what a Patronus is? Just something that has been bothering me. Keep up the great work."

Jamie: That is true, yeah. That is very true.

Andrew: Yeah, I mean Miss Know-it-All. But I think from a reader's perspective, Jo didn't want to give away what that was just yet. She wanted to keep people wondering for a little bit, maybe.

Ben: Or...

Eric: Well it's interesting too, because I've - when I read this, I read it as, "Doesn't she know what Lupin's Patronus is?" So I was like, "Oh well, you know, doesn't she - didn't she recognize the form that it took?"

Jamie: I guess it must have been later, though. It must have been.

Ben: I mean, just because Hermione's read a lot of books doesn't mean she knows everything.

Andrew: Well, obviously.

Eric: Yeah, and I mean, I found the opposite to be interesting. When people started asking Harry, "Oh, is it true you can produce a full Patronus?" I didn't think the other students would know about it, because Harry learned about it because Lupin took him aside and gave him special - it's not like they read about it...

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: ...in class or anything.

Andrew: I think - it also could be that they're in this tiny little compartment, and these Dementors are coming into the compartment, and crap's blowing around - it's getting really dark. It may have been hard to make out what Lupin was actually doing. I mean, sure, the Patronus may have been bright, but still, it may have been a little difficult to see.

Eric: Well, I mean, thirteen-year-olds aren't supposed to know what Patronuses are, I guess. To be honest. So...

Andrew: Yeah. So it's too above them.

Eric: Because they're not supposed to deal with Dementors, either. So...



Chapter-by-Chapter Intro Competition


Andrew: It's time now for a Chapter-by-Chapter, Chapter 7 through 9 of Prisoner of Azkaban. You guys may remember that last week I asked - I issued a Listener Challenge. That we need a segment intro. That we need a - actually Eric suggested that we need a segment intro for the show. So I asked listeners to come up with something. I'll come up with one eventually, but this first one - Kurt submitted this one. I have not played this yet, so this is going to be a surprise for all of us! Let's hear Kurt's intro for Chapter-by-Chapter!

[A robotic-like Chapter-by Chapter-intro plays]

Andrew: Ah!

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: Look at that. It's robotic!

Eric: That is awesome!

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: I feel like we have Kevin Steck in our midst! That's awesome, thank you Kurt!

Andrew: Thank you, Kurt, and send in your own Chapter-by-Chapter intro, to andrew at staff dot mugglenet dot com.

Eric: But you have to top that one...

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: ...and that one was pretty cool! The typewriter going!

Andrew: Yeah, send it as an attachment. It was like Jo's typing the book away. We're going Chapter-by-Chapter.

[Micah laughs]

Andrew: Okay, so Eric's going to take Chapter 7, I'm going to take Chapter 8 - in terms of leading the discussion, of course, it's going to be a wonderful group discussion. And Micah's got Chapter 9. So go ahead, Eric!



Chapter-by-Chapter: "The Boggart in the Wardrobe"


Eric: Alright! Well, Chapter 7 is titled "The Boggart in the Wardrobe," and it begins with - it begins at Potions class, the day following the attack - Malfoy getting attacked by Buckbeak. And he - Malfoy stumbles into the Potions dungeon, putting on a show, and swaggers over to his table, and Pansy Parkinson makes this show of proclaiming loudly, "Oh, Draco, are you okay?" And Draco is limping to the table, and it's a bit interesting, because I was thinking ahead, and I wanted to mention how Draco and Pansy kind of interact, and it seems like Pansy is always there when he's trying to cause Harry some grief. But to no avail, we know Draco ends up with someone else entirely who isn't Pansy Parkinson, and I just wanted to comment - what do you think Pansy's motives are throughout the series? Do you think she really wanted to be with Draco, and he just wasn't seeing it? Or...

Jamie: I think it could just be the power thing, she sees him as powerful, and she just likes him. I don't know. I think it's genuine. She seems to always like being around him, but then there is that thing, I think it's Half-Blood Prince just before Draco stamps on Harry's face when he says something like - I don't know, and she smirks like she's pleased that he likes her or something and she's stroking his hair. I can't remember exactly what, but I think she does like him.

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: I always saw it just as a little crush thing. Possibly friends with benefits. It may be one of those things that it would be cool to hear Jo reveal later on. Oh yes! Draco and Pansy, they were very smitten with each other. They shared a lot of time privately...

Ben: And called each other "bottom."

[Andrew laughs]

Andrew: In the Slytherin Common Room.

Eric: Yeah, it seems like by the time Book 6 comes around, Draco's got this mission from Voldemort to do, so...

Andrew: Yeah, he's sort of - he's sort of over girls at that point. Which is weird! It would have been great to see Draco into some girls!

Eric: Well, he does run around with Crabbe and Goyle as 11-year-old girls.

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: You're saying they're 11-year-old girls?

Eric: That's canon. That is canon, ladies and gentlemen.

Andrew: That's an interesting speculation.

Ben: I mean, I couldn't really see - I mean, the books are written through Harry's perspective, so, it would be kind of weird if all of a sudden there was a chapter in the middle that was - let's just go to the Common Room, the Slytherin Common Room.

[Andrew laughs]

Jamie: See whats going on down there.

Ben: And things would get hot and heavy between Draco and Pansy.

Andrew: [laughs] Yeah, maybe Harry could catch them snogging in the hallway. But anyway, go ahead.

Eric: Yeah. Okay. So next point, they're in Potions class and of course Malfoy gets Snape to get Ron and Harry to help him with his potions because his arm is all messed up, and so Snape gets Ron and Harry to help Malfoy, and during all this Neville is ruining his own potion. They're making Shrinking Solution. And what I thought was awesome is that knowing that Snape is the Half-Blood Prince, he's able to tell Neville exactly where he went wrong, basically, and this comes from I guess being a Potions Master long enough, and he's making Ron re-cut the roots he mashed and all this stuff, and I can't just help but thinking - I mean Snape is being really cruel to Gryffindor, and this is early on in the series. So we don't yet see Snape as a dramatic character. We really just see him as this big jerk. And that's really interesting to see Snape be a villain to the Gryffindors.

Micah: Yeah. I mean, he's absolutely terrible in these chapters. I mean, to the point of just being evil. And there's really no need for it, and he does that a lot - where he'll pair Ron and Harry up with Draco or have him - or have those two help Draco out, and there's really no need for it. I mean it's just - he makes it unbearable at points. His character, anyway.

Eric: Yeah. I mean he also in this chapter threatens, I mean - when Neville messes up his Shrinking Solution - well, we'll feed it to your toad. We'll feed it to Trevor and see if - see how it happens, and he even says at one point that if it fails, it will be poison to the toad. And luckily Hermione could covertly help Neville.

Ben: But is he really being that cruel, or is he just trying to challenge his students to get it right?

Eric: When he picks on Neville, he's being cruel.

Ben: Then maybe Neville needs to be picked on.

Andrew: He needs to toughen up.

Ben: Yeah, he needs to step his game up. He's probably producing all these subpar potions, and...

Jamie: Grow some balls.

Eric: Do you think Neville is the really cool, dangerous go-getter that he is in Book 7 - that we see because Snape and - and all these teachers said that he didn't have what it takes as he...

Jamie: Probably partly, but it's more just his life and stuff. He's been depressed since his parents were in the thing, and he was kind of a break-out character. He had to do something pretty cool.

Eric: So anyways still during Potions class while Harry and Ron are working on Malfoy's potion, Draco says, "If it were me, I'd want revenge." He's talking about Sirius Black because they've - he's been sighted somewhere. And this really confused me for a minute, because the whole wizarding world at this point in the series believes that Sirius Black led to the Potters' downfall - that he was actually on Voldemort's side, but Draco is the son of Lucius who's a - who's a Death Eater, and my question is would the Death Eaters have known if Sirius wasn't actually on their side, or if things had gone differently, would Sirius have been able to later on infiltrate the Death Eaters, because he's got this reputation for being such a Voldemort supporter.

Ben: Do you think that all of the Death Eaters are aware of who's - who exactly is on their side or do you think...

Jamie: No, of course they're not.

Ben: So, then in that case, Lucius may not have known - he may have just figured, "Oh it turns out Black was working for us all along - kind of thing.

Jamie: I don't think anyone knew apart from those two - the fact that they switched last minute - hardly anyone knew first of all. And when there was such a who-ha about who Snape was working for I doubt anyone really knew who was working for, and in these situations where there is a dictator or whatever and there's fear and stuff, you really don't know who's working for who - anyone doesn't, so I doubt that's a big, big thing.

Micah: Yeah, I think the bigger issue in all this is that Harry doesn't know and he's one of the few who don't - doesn't know that Black killed his parents or at least that's - gave the information away that led to the death of his parents. He has no idea and even somebody like Draco who's his own age knows the story and yet Harry doesn't and I think that's kind of messed up in a way.

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: And it's such a - and I guess I was questioning, too because I guess Peter Pettigrew - you know, many people, you're right, Jamie, they don't know about this specific Shield Charm that he was the Secret-Keeper because Fudge says as much later, but at the same time Sirius Black is synonymous with the Potters' demise almost, so it's very interesting to see Draco saying this when in fact it's - I wondered how much that could actually benefit Sirius if he had needed to infiltrate the Ministry before the events of Book Three. I don't know, I was a little confused but anyway, moving on. Snape, when all this - they leave Potions class, basically Hermione was able to help Neville with his potion and Snape takes five points from Gryffindor. I don't think we've ever brought this up on the show before, but when a teacher just says "Five points from Gryffindor," we are to assume that that actually happens, that Gryffindor House loses five points. In Book 4 there - it's said that there is actually hourglasses that have jewels in them that show how many points each House has at any point...

Andrew: Right.

Eric: ...during the year.

Andrew: We see them in the movies, too, in the Great Hall.

Eric: Really?

Andrew: Yeah. Go back and...

Eric: Are you sure those weren't just...?

Andrew: No, I'm positive.

Eric: Are they in every movie or...?

Andrew: Yeah, every movie, Great Hall. If you're looking at the teachers' - you know, their little riser up there, if you look to the right, it's back there in that corner. It's pretty big.

Eric: I thought it was in the Entrance Hall and not the Great Hall. Maybe that's a...

Andrew: Well, in the movie it's in the Great Hall.

Eric: Oh, cool. Well...

Andrew: Maybe it's different in the book.

Eric: Yeah. So when a teacher just says "Five points from Gryffindor," is that like a nonverbal spell? Do you guys - how do you guys think that works?

Ben: Well, they say it, it would be verbal.

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: Well, I mean like a wandless magic.

Andrew: Yeah, it's some sort of - I would think like the castle's enchanted and whenever it hears it...

Ben: Or maybe - this whole point system is a bit ridiculous because there's no, like it's really arbitrary, you know.

Andrew: No, but you know what, I was thinking about it and it's the only way you can enforce students at the school.

Ben: What are you talking about?

Andrew: Because for example...

Ben: The only way? Come on!

Andrew: Because when - what else? Okay, detention - that's another way. But when Harry does something wrong, when Snape detracts - takes away points it really gets to them because it affects their House as a whole. So they want to stay in line or else they're going to affect their entire class.

Ben: Right, but it's stupid. I could be like, "Oh, one hundred points to Gryffindor..."

Andrew: But...

Ben: "Good answer, fifty points."

Andrew: They keep it within reason. There seems to be some sort of guidelines that they follow.

Eric: It's true, though. But then Lupin later on in the chapter does give five points to everyone who tackled the boggart. So that's like all of Gryffindor just gains sixty points. So it is subjective, but at the same time it's not, you know. So that was my question with that. So we get to meet Professor Lupin finally. It's Defense Against the Dark Arts in the afternoon. Hermione's done some time traveling and stuff in the chapter. Lupin enters and greets his first class, and it's remarked that he looks like he's had a few square meals since the event of the train which makes me laugh because knowing he's a werewolf, what did he eat? [laughs sarcastically] But they head off to...

Andrew and Eric: What did he eat?

Micah and Eric: Small children.

Andrew: Oh, oh my.

Eric: Get it?

Jamie: The tears of small children, more specifically.

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Eric: So they head off to the staff room, and on the way they meet Peeves the Poltergeist. And Harry makes this note here that Peeves usually respects teachers. But then at first - when it comes to Lupin, Lupin greets him and says, "I wouldn't do that if I were you," sticking gum in a hole or something, in a keyhole. And Peeves at first ignores him and then begins singing a song about him, "Loony, loony Lupin".

Jamie: Yeah.

Eric: And it's interesting because I wanted to guess since Lupin had been at Hogwarts as a kid, I wonder if Lupin and Peeves know each other, have a back story?

Andrew: They got to know each other. I mean, certainly they know of each other.

Eric: But specifically, I mean, because Lupin was a pretty special case back in Hogwarts, you know.

Andrew: Yeah, yeah.

Eric: And that song he sings, you know, saying "Loony Lupin". Loony is from the moon, so it's like...

Andrew: Right, right. Yeah, I bet he knows what's up.

Eric: Yeah, so that was...

Andrew: In regards to the whole werewolf thing.

Eric: Oh, we never really got - did we get Peeves resolved at all in Book Seven? I can't remember.

Andrew: There's a lot of open-ended questions....

Micah: I'm sure he was part of the battle.

Andrew: ...that still remain.

Eric: Okay.

Micah: I don't remember to be honest, but...

Andrew: Yeah, I think he was mentioned. I think I remember hearing him mentioned.

Micah: Did the directors or the producers ever mention why they didn't put him in the movies?

Eric: I think expenses.

Jamie: No, it wasn't. It was Rik Mayall, or however you say his name, was going to do it, but then he had a contractual disagreement, I think...

Andrew: Really?

Jamie: ...so they didn't put him in in the end. Yeah, pretty sure it was that.

Andrew: Well, they could have replaced the actor, couldn't they?

Jamie: Well, true. Yeah, yeah, that's true.

Eric: Huh, maybe it was one of those coin tosses.

Andrew: I think it's another stupid time thing. I mean, they have some ghosts in there. How many ghosts do they need?

Eric: Yeah.

Jamie: Yeah that's true.

Andrew: Go ahead.

Eric: Yeah. Anyway, so they get into the staff room. Well, first Lupin shows off and hits Peeves with gum. And then they get into the staff room, Snape is in there. [laughs] Seems like after he tortures Gryffindors, he likes to have a long cup of tea in the staff room. And we meet - Lupin introduces them to a boggart, which is - according to Lupin, boggarts like wardrobes, the gap under beds, and the cupboards under sinks. And I wanted to mention that with this introduction of a fantastic creature like boggarts, Jo Rowling has provided a magical answer to a sink that would make noise, the monster in the closet, and monster-under-the-bed Muggle experiences. So if Muggles have, "Oh, I have a monster under my bed," it could be a boggart.

Andrew: I think they're kind of perverted. They're always hiding in places where they can see you naked.

[Eric laughs]

Jamie: Yeah, that's true. Yeah.

Eric: Well, there's no boggart in the shower. [laughs]

Andrew: No, the cupboard under the sink, that could be by a shower.

[Eric laughs]

Jamie: Yeah, that's true.

Eric: But boggarts, [laughs] boggarts are really cool creatures. And I really like that tie-in to the real world, you know, because who hasn't thought there was a monster under their bed or in the closet.

Andrew: Right, right.

Eric: Yeah. So anyway, they face off. They get the boggarts and it's pretty much verbatim in the movie as well. But Lupin doesn't choose Harry and Harry feels guilty. You know, Harry is like - when Lupin is first describing the boggart, Harry is like, "Oh great! What's going to happen? I'm going to have to think about Voldemort and Voldemort's going to show up," or then he gets the image of the Dementor. Well, anyway it comes time for Harry - Harry is like next in line to face the boggart and Lupin stops - the whole class shouts at the boggart, "Here!" and confuses the boggart. Boggart changes into a moon, or a silvery orb in the books, and Lupin defuses it and that's the end of class. So Hermione and Harry don't get a chance at the boggart, and this is addressed later - Harry asks Lupin why and he says why. But Hermione doesn't get chosen. What do you guys think Hermione's boggart would have been?

Andrew: Well, why doesn't she get chosen? Is it just the line order and Lupin wanted to stop it before - you know, anyone after Harry is screwed? I mean, I thought that was a bit ridiculous.

Eric: Yeah, because you added this question in there, Andrew, you were like...

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: You know, why doesn't Hermione get, you know, chosen?

Ben: Doesn't Hermione encounter a boggart in Book Five and it's McGonagall telling her that she failed every class?

Eric: That was - no, that was the end of Book Three. That's the final exam, isn't it? That's just the final exam of Book Three...

Jamie: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Eric: ...when they're running through the tires, yeah. You're right, though.

Jamie: But I think that just kind of signposts how serious the book gets, because that's such a - sorry Hermione, but a crap boggart, you know, like...

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: Yeah, it is.

Jamie: And then I'm sure she wouldn't see that in Book Four, Five, Six and Seven. I'm sure she would see something a bit more serious.

Andrew: Although, it kind of bothered me, because some of the other boggarts were a bit ridiculous, too. I mean - I can't remember them off-hand right now, but I was just reading them and thinking, like what is this? Like this is really their - the thing that they're scared of most?

Jamie: Yeah.

Eric: Well, Seamus is scared of banshees. I mean, that's pretty creepy.

Jamie: That's pretty specific, like...

Andrew: Yeah, I guess.

Eric: Yeah.

Jamie: ...way too specific, a banshee.

Andrew: Yeah. Somebody was scared of a rat. Like is that really their biggest fear, rats?

Jamie: But I think you need to avoid the whole "family dying and bad stuff happening." Because you can't really have that in a boggart. I mean, you can, because Mrs. Weasley sees it, but that's such a cop-out, because if you ask anyone, "What is your boggart?" then they're going to be like, "Oh, it's seeing everything going wrong and my family dying and people dear to me." You know, I...

Andrew: Mhm.

Jamie: I guess you have to go over that and say what you're actually most scared of - mystical beings and stuff like that, because...

Ben: Right, and when you think of something like rats, does it necessarily have to mean like literally rats, or could it be like, the symbolic...

Jamie: Yeah. And also, don't forget...

Ben: ...you know, what a rat is?

Jamie: ...1984 as well. Rats are very significant in that, if you've read that.

Andrew: Yeah, and I guess that Jo also maybe wanted to keep it comical.

Eric: And Lupin explains it as - Harry says "but I didn't do anything," and then he says that "you and Hermione answered my questions at the beginning of class." So they did get something - they still, both of them, did get five points, even though both of them have not participated with the boggart just yet. Second to last note of the chapter, Lupin's boggart is described in the book as a "silvery orb" which Parvati Patil wonders loudly why it is a crystal ball that Lupin is afraid of. This is one of those things which I wish they had done better in the movie, which leads to my next point, really. That it's described as a silvery orb, it's kind of very ambiguous at this point, obviously, in the book that Lupin is a werewolf. But in the movie when it comes time for Lupin to jump in front of Harry and change his boggart into the moon, it's very clearly the moon, with parting clouds and stars in the sky.

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: You guys remember this?

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: This was ridiculous. There's no mistaking that it's the moon in the movie.

Andrew: Right. Well, obviously I think they wanted to make it clear in the movie, to start giving people some very clear hints of what Lupin actually is.

Micah: They do that a lot, though. If you look at what happens in Goblet of Fire with Mad-Eye Moody or impostor Moody, he's swigging from that flask every five minutes.

Eric: Yeah. And the lightning - remember when he comes in the Great Hall for the first time and the lightning strikes?

Andrew: Yeah.

[Eric laughs]



What Would Your Boggart Be?


Andrew: Okay, so before we get into the next chapter, I have a question for all of you. Actually this question comes from Josh Boulton of the U.K. He says:

"Hey guys, if each of the hosts had to face a boggart what would it have turned into?"

Ben? Your boggart?

Ben: What would it have been?

Jamie: And Ben, let's go away from the whole family dying, bad stuff happening thing.

Andrew: Yeah, keep it light, but be serious, though.

Jamie: Go for nightmare stuff, you know...

Ben: That there would never - that I'd refresh my iTunes feed and there would never be a new episode of MuggleCast.

Andrew: Awww!

[Jamie and Eric laugh]

Andrew: I don't know how that turns into a boggart.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: I guess you could get a free iMac out of it. [laughs] Jamie, how about you?

Jamie: Well, have you guys ever seen The Neverending Story?

Ben: Oh, yeah.

Micah: That dog-like thing?

Jamie: Yeah, Gmork. Do you remember Gmork, the werewolfy vampire type thing?

Andrew: Yeah.

Jamie: I had about four million bad dreams about him when I was a child. My girlfriend did as well - that must be a match made in heaven.

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Ben: [in British accent] "Two bottoms."

Jamie: Yes, exactly Ben. But yeah, it would be that, just coming at me from all angles, and - oh yeah...

Andrew: I have a similar one to that actually. My dad had a miniature, not mini - I guess it was like two feet tall Groucho Marx statue in the basement. I would never go in the basement alone because I was scared crapless of that thing. So I think if one of those things - that's probably still my greatest fear deep down, like it coming to life [laughs] because I used to be so scared of it. Eric?

Eric: I think you guys can back me up on this, having been there. I think my boggart would probably be Ben using my razor to shave.

[Andrew laughs]

Ben: Yes. I convinced...

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: Just Ben with that grin on his face.

Ben: I had this...

Eric: Halfway through shaving his beard, some shaving cream on the mirror, just looking at me and grinning.

Ben: Because I had this scab on my face and I told Eric that I shaved the scab with his razor.

Andrew: Ew!

Ben: And yeah. He started crying.

Andrew: And Micah, lastly.

Micah: I think it's along the same lines and you and Jamie with - the guy who always creeped me out was - and actually we had him on the show - who plays the Leprechaun. That character, though used to creep the hell out of me.

Ben: Warwick Davis!

Eric: You know what? You're right.

Jamie: Yeah, Ben. I agree that was terrifying when he jumped up and down on that guy's barn...

[Micah laughs]

Jamie: ...and sung that song. Yeah, that was horrible, the Leprechaun.



Chapter-by-Chapter: "Flight of the Fat Lady"


Andrew: All right, well thanks, Josh for that e-mail. Let's get in now to Chapter 8, "Flight of the Fat Lady." The students take a liking to Lupin because of his great class lessons, but on the other hand, Hagrid's classes get lame because he lost confidence after the hippogriff incident. So Harry enters the start of the Quidditch season with a pep talk by Oliver Wood to the team and they all tell each other how amazing they are. And Oliver is particularly...

Ben: That's kind of like an episode of MuggleCast.

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: Ben, you were great today!

Eric: No, I made you! No, you made...

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: Yeah, you made me! Yeah.

Andrew: And Oliver is particularly motivated to win this year because it's his final year at Hogwarts and he hasn't won the House Cup yet, so he really wants to win it...

Ben: Quidditch Cup, Andrew.

Andrew: Quidditch Cup. Quidditch, House, whatever. Quidditch Cup.

Ben: House Cup's different.

Andrew: You're right. Sorry. You're absolutely right. So Harry comes back from practice one day and learns that the first Hogsmeade trip is on Halloween, and Harry gets upset and decides he'll ask McGonagall if he can go. But before that, we have another round of Scabbers vs. Crookshanks. I think we sort of kicked off this little running joke last week. So what is this, round three or four?

Micah: Three.

Andrew: [laughs] So round three, it starts off with Ron. He doesn't approve of Crookshanks bringing a large, dead spider into the common room to eat in front of him. So out of nowhere, Crookshanks pounces on Ron's bag where Scabbers is sleeping inside. Ron says to Hermione, "There's something funny about that animal," referring to Crookshanks. But I found that kind of ironic in that there's actually something wrong with Scabbers. But does Crookshanks sense that Scabbers is not a real rat? Like why does he keep going after him?

Ben: Yes. Yes, because he's been talking to Sirius. Crookshanks has been talking to Sirius in his dog form, and he has told - Sirius has communicated to Crookshanks that Scabbers is not really a rat and is Peter Pettigrew.

Andrew: Oh! Is this in the books?

Ben: Yes, it is.

Andrew: Wow, I feel - go ahead, Eric.

Eric: Jo has confirmed that Crookshanks is also a Kneazle and so Crookshanks can tell the difference between if something's an animal or an Animagi like a person inside.

Andrew: Oooh!

Eric: So that's why I thought, not even Sirius talking to Crookshanks - but you're right. That obviously has happened and it is in that book. Crookshanks knows that there's something off about Scabbers even in the pet shop when he jumps on Ron's head because Ron's standing there trying to get Scabbers some tonic or something and Crookshanks jumps on his head and that's because - I think that Crookshanks being a Kneazle, being a cat with some magical powers...

Andrew: Right.

Eric: ...it's able to know that Scabbers is actually not all he seems to be, so I think there is just this innate ability for Crookshanks to say that Scabbers is not normal and to hate him and chase him because of that.

Andrew: And it sort of draws into my parallel that I was drawing last week about the Hermione and Ron relationship sort of paralleling Crookshanks and Scabbers in that they both sort of [laughs] fight with each other.

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: So moving on, before Transfiguration we see Lavender Brown crying outside a classroom. Lavender has learned that a rabbit, Binky, has died. She received an owl from her family about it that morning and today's the sixteenth of October and as Lavender points out, Trelawney had made a prediction for Lavender which said, "That thing you're dreading, it will happen on the sixteenth of October." Now Hermione, being a very smart student, is skeptical of this, of Trelawney and her predictions, and points out that a) Binky didn't actually die today, she only received the owl today and b) Lavender could not have been dreading Binky's death as Binky is only a baby. So do you guys think this was an accurate prediction - like was it legitimate or did she just get really lucky, Trelawney?

Ben: It wasn't legitimate. I mean, I think anything could of happened that day and I think that whole point of that happening was to further affirm Hermione's skepticism of that whole branch of magic.

Andrew: Mhm.

Ben: ..that whole branch of magic.

Andrew: And in this area Ron is also still P.O.'ed about the latest Crookshanks attack. So he tells Lavender not to listen to Hermione because Hermione doesn't care about other people's pets. [laughs]

Eric: [laughs] See, I'm going to write a complaint letter to Hogwarts, though. Who separates the young Gryffindor girl from her pet baby bunny? Honestly! Why couldn't Lavender have taken Binky to Hogwarts? Is it only an...

Andrew: Because they smell!

Eric: ...owl, or a cat, or a toad?

[Micah laughs]

Eric: Come on, a toad? Really, they're old-fashioned. They need to let rabbits into Hogwarts. I think that...

Andrew: I don't know...

Eric: I think that needs to happen.

Andrew: So after Transfiguration, Harry attempts to get Professor McGonagall's permission to go to Hogsmeade but she says no, as a parent or guardian must sign it for him. And this is one of those plot points in the series that makes the readers feel bad for Harry because he's being left out of a group event because he has crappy guardians, and that must suck. So at this point, I think first-time readers realize that Harry will definitely find another way.

Ben: I don't get why - why wouldn't Harry just forge the signature? I mean...

Eric: Well...

Ben: ...that's what I used to do.

Eric: ...doesn't somebody offer for Harry and then he already - he says he already told professor McGonagall that he...

Andrew: That's exactly right.

Jamie: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Eric: Yeah, okay. But at the same time, yeah. Harry is just being honest that his uncle and his aunt - I thought that this response was a cop-out. I mean, obviously, they don't want Harry leaving the castle because Hogsmeade is less protected than Hogwarts and it's very dangerous with Sirius Black on the run. So, I thought that - honestly, this whole "needs to be a parent or a guardian" thing was kind of crap.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: The Head of his house, you know, should - I mean, how did Voldemort do it? Voldemort was an orphan. Did he ever go to Hogsmeade?

Andrew: McGonagall should have just said straight up "No, you can't go because it's not safe at Hogsmeade." Simple as that.

Eric: And then draw suspicion.

Andrew: Or, "I'll sign it if I can be with you the whole time, or Dumbledore can." I don't know.

Eric: Exactly. What about chaperones, huh?

Andrew: Yeah. Yeah, there you go.

Eric: Hagrid would do that.

Andrew: Hagrid would. Moving along...

Ben: [imitating Harry] "He was their friend!"

Andrew: Jamie, did you want to make a point now?

Jamie: Oh no, I was just going to say about the previous one, about the rabbit. You said they can't be allowed in Hogwarts because they smell. Well, in seven books you don't ever see any student wash once. So...

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: You see Harry.

Jamie: ...I don't think a rabbit is going to be a problem.

Eric: Harry does take a bath.

Jamie: Oh yeah, you see him in the - yeah, only because he has to open an egg.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: Well - right.

Jamie: That's the only reason he's in the bath.

Andrew: [laughs] They only wash if they have to figure out what's next in the Triwizard Tournament.

Ben: Do you remember that article that came out a long time ago, that was like, "Take a Shower, Harry"?

Eric: We've mentioned this before.

Andrew: Yeah. [laughs] All right, so moving along, Halloween arrives and the students go to Hogsmeade. And while Harry mopes around the castle, he ends up running into Lupin who takes him to his office for tea...

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: Harry asks Lupin why he didn't let Harry go up against the Boggart. And Lupin explains he thought it would turn in to Voldemort. Harry says it would have become a Dementor. And there's a good line from Lupin here, "That suggests that what you fear most of all, is fear. Very wise, Harry."

Ben: He totally ripped that off from FDR.

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Andrew: So Snape enters while Harry and Lupin are talking to deliver a potion for Lupin. And after Snape, who is looking very worried at the situation, leaves, Lupin tells Harry that he's been feeling a bit off-color, so that's why Snape brewed him a potion. And I assume by feeling off-color, he means he's feeling like he wants to howl!

Eric: Or imprint.

Andrew: Or imprint! The kids return from Hogsmeade, and Ron delivers some brilliantly colored sweets into Harry's lap. Ron and Hermione...

Ben: They're not just sweets, they're "brilliantly colored."

Andrew: Yes. Great English writing - British writing. Ron and Hermione tell him about their trip and reading the description of Hogsmeade from Ron and Hermione got me really excited for the theme park. Because that whole two paragraphs is exactly what they're putting in the theme park. I mean Dervish and Banges, the Owlery, Zonko's. They're putting all that stuff in the park it's going to be incredible.

Ben: [whispers] Awww...

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: What about Madame Puddifoot's?

Andrew: Maybe not that. That's for the next one. So they head to the feast and have a great time. But after the feast ends they head back up to the dormitory, where they find that the area outside of the portrait is packed with students...

[Ben gasps]

Andrew: ...who want to get into the Gryffindor common room.

Eric: [imitating Percy] "I am a prefect. Move along."

Andrew: Percy heads to the front of the line and sees the portrait is torn up without the Fat Lady inside of it so he summons Dumbledore. And Dumbledore and Peeves show up at the same time. Peeves reveals that she ran away, having been so ashamed that Sirius Black tore up her portrait after being refused entrance to the common room! So, time for some theorizing. Why is Sirius trying to get in? Can't he tell that everyone is down in the Great Hall? And what would be his purpose of gaining entrance, other than waiting for Harry?

Jamie: To kill Pettigrew.

Ben: To kill the rat.

Jamie: No no, to kill Pettigrew.

Andrew: But still, why is he - do you think he knew that the rat was there, or maybe Ron had him down in the Great Hall?

Ben: Yeah.

Jamie: I think he was just pretty desperate by then. He just wanted to get to him as soon as possible.

Ben: Yeah, he was malnourished, a little bit wacky.

Andrew: Yeah.

Jamie: Yeah, exactly, yeah.

Andrew: Ron had speculated - or he does speculate in the next chapter, that Sirius lost track of time and didn't realize it was Halloween, so therefore thinking Harry would be in the tower. That's it for Chapter 8. Now, Chapter 9, Micah Tannenbaum will wrap it up.

Micah: All right, Chapter 9.

Ben: All right, Micah, bring it home.

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