Andrew [Show Intro with music in background]: This is MuggleCast - Episode 21 for December 25, 2005. Hello everyone and welcome to another edition of MuggleCast. I am Andrew Sims.
Ben: I am Ben Schoen.
Kevin: I am Kevin Steck.
Eric: I am Eric Scull.
Laura: I am Laura Thompson
Jamie: And I'm Jamie Lawrence.
Andrew: We have a filled room this week. Six people! That is a new record for this show, but only...
Ben: [in deep voice] And I'm Santa Claus.
[Andrew and Laura laugh]
Andrew: And I'm Harry...no, forget it! This is...
Andrew: We have a filled room this week...
Kevin: You're on a roll.
Andrew: ...because it is a special occasion. This is our Holiday edition. So...before we get started...let's go over to Micah for the past week's top news stories.
Micah: Thanks, Andrew. The strike almost made it impossible for me to get to the studios, but...anyway...
The location of where JK Rowling wrote chapters of Sorcerer's Stone and Chamber of Secrets is where a granite plaque will be placed to recognize the author. The idea was organized by Robert Watt, a retired teacher. Watt worked with JKR to provide a picture for the plaque as well. The Edinburgh Evening News reported:
Even though she fell short in the voting for Time's Person of the Year, JK Rowling did win the 2005 TIME For Kids Person of the Year Award, beating out Lance Armstrong and the Chicago White Sox.
In movie news, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire became the UK's most successful film of 2005 as it has made $75 million in just under five weeks. It has beaten out other movies such as Revenge of the Sith, the final installment of the Star Wars series and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Film critic Roger Ebert recently released a list of his Top 10 movies of 2005. Goblet of Fire didn't make the initial list, but Ebert listed it as one of the films receiving a "Jury Award," meaning that some critics (at film festivals) could easily vote it their favorite.
In two of Entertainment Weekly's end-of-year polls, Harry Potter has emerged victorious. It was voted "Best Novel" for Half-Blood Prince and "Best Movie" for Goblet of Fire. These results will be published in the magazine's final issue of 2005.
Furthermore, the fourth film was dubbed "Best Fantasy" and runner-up "Best Trailer" by IGN.
Ralph Fiennes will be back in Order of the Phoenix. The Lord Voldemort actor recently did an with USA Today where he said he will reprise the role of Harry's foe in the fifth film. Ralph also discussed what it was like to dress up as He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.
In other news, the Hebrew edition of Half-Blood Prince was released Thursday evening in Israel. Haaretz.com reports an initial print run of 120,000.
And each year, the world's most popular search engine reveals lots of interesting tidbits from search data they collect. This year, "Harry Potter" came in 10th under top Google News searches.
Finally, for all the latest video clips, screen grabs, and interviews including Emma Watson's interview with the Chicago Tribune log on to MuggleNet's Main Page. Also, be sure to look into the England/Scotland tour that has been designed just for MuggleNet fans.
That's all the news for this December 25, 2005 - Christmas edition of MuggleCast. Happy Holidays everyone! I'll see you in '06!
Andrew: Okay. Thank you, Micah. We did promise that Micah would be on this week, but he wanted to tell everyone that it was because of the transit strike that kept him out. Because, as you know, there's a big one going on up in New York City. Actually, it was resolved just a few hours ago, but... Yes, breaking news. First on MuggleCast.
Ben: You heard it here.
Andrew: I was...I found out an exclusive story. But anyway...
Andrew: So, this is our Christmas edition. So, we're going to bring to you lots and lots of Christmas-themed things. First off, Ben's Top 10 List that isn't exactly a Top 10 List. Ben?
Ben: Okay, this one is a doozy folks. This one is the Best Top 10 List we've ever heard on MuggleCast and...
Andrew: Holiday Edition. [laughs]
Ben: ...Holiday Edition. I came up with it. Well, I came up with...it's the collective creativity of everyone on MuggleCast. So...number... Okay, better tell you what the list is first: "The Top 10 Things Not To Get Harry For Christmas."
No. 10 - A pair of Uncle Vernon's socks.
No. 9 - A Christmas card from Azkaban.
No. 8 - A yearly subscription to Witch Weekly.
No. 7 - A dragon.
No. 6 - A gift card to Borgin and Burkes.
No. 5 - A date with Umbridge (that's a good one).
Andrew: Whoever thought that one up was pure genius.
Ben: No. 4 - A box of chocolates from Fred and George.
No. 3 - (This has to be my favorite) Eric.
No. 2 - A CD of me singing. (Oooh, who thought that up? Actually, that might have been me.)
Ben: And the No. 1 reason, the No. 1 thing not to give Harry Potter for Christmas - this is my favorite one of all time: A CD of PotterCast. Oooh!
Andrew: [singing]Da da da da da.
Ben: I thought that was great.
Andrew: I'd just like to say it first right now. John, that wasn't my decision.
Laura: Yeah, we tried to talk him out of it, but...
Eric: And we've just reached the 700th...
Kevin: We did.
Eric: Guys, we've reached the 700th tally for how many times we've bashed PotterCast on this show. I've been tallying it off.
Andrew: No, but all joking aside, PotterCast is a good show.
Ben: Yeah, we're just messing.
Jamie: Very good, yes.
Andrew: And we do love the Leaky people.
Eric: We all...
Ben: And by the way people, if you like my Top 10 List send me an e-mail saying, "keep it going."
Eric: Hate mail.
Ben: If you don't like it, send me an e-mail saying, "I hate it Ben. Please stop. It ruins my week." So...
Laura: [laughs] Okay, I've got to e-mail Ben now.
Eric: That's a little harsh, Ben. That's a little harsh.
Ben: If I get enough of those e-mails, I'll just quit doing it.
Kevin: Yeah, let's e-mail him right now.
[Laura and Eric laugh]
Andrew: Ah, just one quick announcement. We are the winners of the 2005 Weblog Awards for "Best Podcast," so thanks everyone who voted for us. A special thanks to Jeanie, who actually nominated us. Otherwise we wouldn't have been in it at all. So, thanks to her.
And, a quick reminder - PO Box and phone number - we just started. It's an easy, the phone number is an easy way for you to call us and leave a voicemail, comment, question, suggestion; whatever you want to be aired on the show. That number is 1-218-20-MAGIC. Local calling rates will apply.
Ben: And also, we got our first letter today folks.
Ben: I'd like to make shout-out to...let me get your name here real quick... I'd like to give a personal shout-out to Tracey Dye from Oklahoma. She sent us a letter about how much she likes the show, and about how much she likes us individually. She even sent in a Top 10 List. It didn't make it on this week's show, but we'll see about in the future. So, keep sending in your letters to:
MuggleCast PO Box 223 Moundridge, Kansas 67107
Andrew: [fake crying] Our first letter. I'm so happy.
Ben: So, thank you Ben.
Eric: Ben, post it on your refrigerator.
Andrew: Now, moving along, moving along, moving along. Like I said, it is our Holiday Edition, so... We're going... Our main discussion for this week will be mainly Christmas at Hogwarts. Laura?
Laura: Andrew. [laughs]
Andrew: Laura, you brought up several ideas for us this week.
Andrew: So, why don't you start us off.
Laura: Well, I was thinking that, like in the Halloween episode how we discussed Halloween's significance at Hogwarts, we should discuss Christmas' significance. So, we'll start off doing a little bit of a recap of what has happened in the books at Christmas in Sorcerer's or Philosopher's Stone, depending on which edition you own. Harry got his Invisibility Cloak from Dumbledore and found the Mirror of Erised, which turned out being instrumental in the climax of the book.
In Chamber of Secrets Harry, Ron, and Hermione use the Polyjuice Potion to turn into various Slytherins to try and spy on Draco Malfoy, which resulted in Hermione becoming a cat (sort of).
In Prisoner of Azkaban Harry got the Firebolt from Sirius Black, which Hermione ratted him out on and got it taken away.
In Goblet of Fire there was the Yule Ball, which wasn't terribly significant plot-wise unless you count the romance and such.
In Order of the Phoenix, this is what I think is the most significant thing that has happened in the series thus far at Christmas - Mr. Weasley was attacked by Voldemort's snake. Mr. Weasley was attacked by Nagini while doing his job for Order of the Phoenix at the Department of Mysteries.
And in Half-Blood Prince there wasn't anything terribly significant apart from Harry's little spiff with Scrimgeour.
Eric: Oh hey, that reminds me. In Book 6, no, we got the... No, Book 6 was very significant because we found out... Wasn't that when Mr. Weasley called Mrs. Weasley, "Mollywobbles"?
Laura: No, that was at the beginning of the book.
Jamie: Why is that significant?
Eric: Because that's so cute.
Jamie: Oh, right. Yeah, it is, but I wouldn't call it pivotal in the series as a whole.
Laura: That was at the beginning of the book.
Kevin: Yeah. That's a major plot element right there. You know?
Jamie: You're so right. It reveals so much about everything.
Andrew: Although on Christmas in Half-Blood Prince, that is when Percy showed up with...
Eric: Scrimgeour. For the first time in a book-and-a-half.
Laura: That is when it all began with "Dumbledore's man through-and-through."
Jamie: Right. Yeah.
Andrew: So, you know...
Eric: For a book-and-a-half.
Andrew: And that chapter was called "A Very Frosty Christmas."
Jamie: I've got a theory. Well, it's actually not a theory at all.
Eric: Oh okay, Jamie. Go.
Jamie: Okay, well, I was going to say that I don't think that Christmas actually has that much significance. It really isn't a wizarding holiday, you know? It's like, I mean, Halloween is, and it just seems like it's just one more day and things can happen. And I mean important things do happen on Christmas Day, but it just sounds like these things were going to happen whether it was Christmas Day or not. And also, I mean, things seem to get worse as we get further in the books. So, in Philosopher's Stone, I can't remember what you said happened on Christmas Day... What happened on Christmas Day?
Laura: He got his Invisibility Cloak.
Jamie: Okay, yeah. He got his Invisibility Cloak, which is good, which is good. He got that. Whereas, you know, in Order of the Phoenix Mr. Weasley got attacked. So, things are just going downhill. And also I think it's to show that even though Christmas is supposed to be a good time and everyone is supposed to be happy, it's really, really dark times in the wizarding world. And even when it is Christmas, bad things can still happen. So, it just emphasized that they are in a war and all that.
Kevin: The end.
Laura: I think that's just part of Jo just being so realistic with her work and the fact that just because it's a wonderful, joyous time of year, a war doesn't stop.
Jamie: Yeah. Exactly.
Eric: I like what you said about it not being that big of a wizarding holiday, and I agree with that because presents come for them out of nowhere almost daily at Hogwarts. You know?
Eric: Gifts and parcels and things like that. So the elves, which they know exist, delivering presents by the fire on Christmas is practically expected.
Jamie: Yeah. Exactly.
Eric: And it's not that new.
Laura: It also depends on your background. If you're Muggleborn it might be more prominent.
Laura: And really, we don't know. Without bringing any type of religious discussion into this, we don't know if wizards have a specific religion that they take part in, or if it's just... You know what I mean?
Jamie: Yeah, but...
Eric: You know, "Wizard of the Month" on JK Rowling should be St. Nicholas, should be Nicholas Claus or whatever his name is. Should be "Wizard of the Month" just to play with us.
[Laura and Jamie laugh]
Eric: I think that would be funny.
Jamie: Nick Claus.
Eric: Could he make a presence. I think that would be really cute. If the series didn't have to be as dark as it is...
Jamie: Is Christmas even celebrated in the wizarding world or is it just at Hogwarts because the children go there and...?
Kevin: Well, I mean they put trees up and stuff. No?
Jamie: Yeah, but is that because it's a school? If you walk past...
Laura: Yeah, but we've seen it celebrated at the Weasleys.
Kevin: That's true.
Jamie: Yeah, I suppose that's true.
Eric: Yeah, it's a time for family. Actually, it reminded me of...
Kevin: Well, that's why I'm saying.
Eric: Family dinner with the Weasleys reminded me of A Christmas Carol with the Cratchits and the whole, and the underprivileged family, and they still, they value love.
Laura: Mhm. Definitely.
Jamie: Yeah, that's true.
Kevin: But, do you think there is going to be any significance to Christmas in Book 7?
Jamie: I do.
Kevin: And when I say significance, I mean do you think she is even going to mention it? Because...
Laura: I think it is going to be mentioned. It's a marking point so we kind of know where we are - corresponding the seasons to the story. Usually Christmas is the half-way point in the books.
Jamie: Yeah, but couldn't you say that Christmas has sort of become much less important.
Laura: Oh, definitely.
Laura: I think it will be rushed. It will be kind of a hurried thing.
Jamie: Yeah. But...
Laura: It won't be heavily emphasized.
Jamie: But, in Book 6 it was like... In Book 6, as you said, Christmas was hardly mentioned at all and Scrimgeour came around and Percy came around, but then it just kind of shows they don't have time for Christmas anymore since everything is so hectic and the war is going on. So, there's a chance in Book 7 she's going to totally exclude it, just to sort of remind everyone how serious everything is.
Laura: I definitely don't think Harry is going to have time to pop around at the Weasley's for Christmas Eve.
Andrew: Well, on the other hand you could look at it as what they call "comic relief." Where it is a good opportunity to lighten the mood of the story. So...
Jamie: She can't do that though because that...
Jamie: It isn't supposed to be lightened.
Laura: I'm not sure how much comic relief we're going to have in Book 7.
Jamie: No. You can't just say, you can just say, "Oh, Harry's just been killed, let's go and celebrate Christmas." That wouldn't be nice.
Andrew: Well who said he was going to die before Christmas?
Laura: Jamie says.
[Andrew and Laura laughs]
Jamie: Well even if he dies after Christmas... Yeah. Even if he dies after Christmas they'll be celebrating it and they'll find out he dies. It would be awful.
Andrew: I guess you're right.
Jamie: So just don't... I don't know. I don't know.
Eric: Christmas has become a kind of...well, it always was...just another excuse for the Dursleys torture Harry. I mean, you know, with all their crappy gifts and you know, he's kind of...I mean that's not even important to him anymore. He sees, you know, they send him dirty socks and he gives them to Dobby. I mean he just doesn't really care. He puts his Sneakoscope in them. It's really not... I mean, I don't even know why they send him Christmas presents just to be nasty. I mean...
Jamie: No, no actually that's interesting. Because, they can't do it just to be nasty.
Eric: You know what?
Jamie: They need to send them. Perhaps...perhaps when Dumbledore said they had to take him into the house, there are like certain things that they have to do.
Eric: [laughs] You must send him a Christmas present or you will grow five heads!
Jamie: No, no, no, no, but... It's all about feeling welcome. Didn't, I don't know if this is true, but didn't he say that Dumbledore...sorry, Harry always has to feel welcome at the Dursleys? And perhaps, and perhaps it would be the case that if they didn't send him a Christmas present that would finally tip him over the edge, and he wouldn't feel welcome at the house.
Eric: You know what Jamie? I think that's really intelligent.
Ben: No, no, here's what I'm thinking.
Ben: I don't think that's true. What I think is that it's a situation like, you know, you go to eat at a restaurant and you sit there, and afterwards you're supposed to leave a tip, and they say it's more insulting if you leave a penny then if you leave nothing at all.
Jamie: Yeah, that's true.
Ben: And the way that's analogous is that well Harry can't say, "Well, they probably just forgot." It's more of thing where, "We sent you a dime." And it makes you feel shafted. It makes you feel bad about yourself.
Kevin: I think so too.
Ben: Thatís what I think at least.
Laura: Not to mention, it might look kind of suspicious if Harry isn't getting any Christmas presents, and that might make some people wonder. So, they might be doing it to avoid any suspicion.
Laura: As well.
Jamie: I think that's right. That could be right.
Kevin: I don't think they would care, whether or not, you know, people wondered about his family or not.
Laura: Yeah, but then it draws attention to Harry's abnormality, as they would call it. And they don't want to draw attention to that.
Kevin: Yeah, that's true.
Ben: No, no, how would anyone know? How would anyone they care about know? How would their...
Laura: I don't know. If Dumbledore showed up on their doorstep in the middle of the night, I think people would notice that.
Ben: Right, but is he going to show up at the doorstep and say, "You didn't send Harry a coat hanger this year!"?
Laura: [laughs] No, what I'm saying...
Ben: [in weird voice] Avada Kedavra!
Laura: What I'm saying Ben, is that Dumbledore cannot constantly monitor Harry's treatment at the Dursleys, therefore he probably doesn't know half the things that happen to Harry. And if he sees Harry not getting Christmas presents that could tip him off. And we know the Dursleys aren't exactly brave towards Dumbledore.
Ben: Oh, who are you kidding? You know that Dumbledore realizes that Harry gets treated like crap.
Kevin: He does. Yeah.
Eric: Yeah, he does. No...
Laura: Oh, I'm sure he realizes that, but I don't think he knows half of the things exactly as they happened.
Jamie: Do you think he really cares though? Obviously he cares about Harry, so he doesn't want him to get hurt. But his main concern while Harry is at the Dursleys is that he's protected from Voldemort. So, I don't think he's going to go out of his way to make sure that they are getting him proper Christmas presents, and that they are treating him right when if they just turn around and say, "No we're not going to keep him here," he's like 10,000 times more vulnerable.
Eric: Well guys, you just have to realize, even by mailing Harry anything, you know whether it be gifts or crappy gifts or whatever...just by mailing him something, they're giving in to, as Laura said, "his abnormality." I mean, they're giving in... They have to find an owl and get it to send Harry a gift. For the Dursleys, who hate everything that's unDursleyish and wizarding-kind, they have to give in every Christmas just to give him stuff. Maybe that's why they send him crap, because they hate doing it. But I like what Jamie was saying - maybe they have to.
Ben: No, they wouldn't have to. Maybe they are sending him crap because they don't like him. I think that makes a lot more sense than.
Eric: But they still have to give in.
Jamie: Why would they send to him? Why would they bother then? Why do they bother?
Eric: They have to give in to the fact that they're...I mean why would they acknowledge it?
Ben: Okay, I think there has only been once reference to it in the entire series, hasn't there? Maybe one or two.
Laura: No, there have been more than one.
Eric: No, Harry...
Laura: Harry has gotten socks and tissues...
Eric: And hangers.
Laura: And coat hangers.
Jamie: A toothpick.
Eric: A used toothpick.
Laura: Yeah, he got a toothpick.
Ben: Okay. Big whoop! I don't think it has to do with any hidden...
Laura: Well, it could also be like Snape feeling like he had that obligation to help Harry during Sorcerer's Stone because of the debt he owed Harry's father. It could be even though Petunia is not overly fond of Harry, she feels that obligation because at the end of it she is his aunt.
Ben: Right, but what's he going to use a toothpick for?
Laura: Well, at least...
Ben: To poke Voldemort's eyes out?
Laura: Of course not, Ben.
Jamie: Ben, Ben...
Laura: You're missing the point.
Jamie: The thought...
Ben: No, no, I think you guys are missing the point. I don't see the point in talking about this when it's just a side note that JK Rowling threw in there.
Jamie: It's not a side note.
Ben: It's not like it's a big deal that I'm sure Aunt Petunia and Dumbledore didn't sit there fore 364 days...
Jamie: You can say this about the entire thing though.
Ben: ...thinking, "Oh my gosh! What am I going to send Harry this year."
Laura: We never said they thought that.
Jamie: Ben's being really, really negative in this episode everyone.
Kevin: Yeah, he is. He's a scrooge.
Ben: Okay, but why does it matter what he gets sent over Christmas?
Kevin: Because it matters whether they are trying to do it maliciously or trying to do it out of necessity?
Eric: Because that determines whether or not they're nice people, which determines...
Laura: Because it could have a lot to do with the ancient magic that protects Harry from Voldemort.
Ben: I disagree.
Laura: It's seemingly minor, but it could have a connection. She likes to do stuff like that.
Ben: No, I think it has something to do... I think it's just, I think it's just... JK Rowling trying to remind Harry what he has outside the magical world, how much better he has it at Hogwarts. Because at Hogwarts he's sitting there alone and then he gets a package from the Dursleys. Maybe it's sort of, "Oh well. Better than being with them." That's what I think, because I don't think it has much to do with: [in weird voice] "If they don't send him a toothpick each year, he's going to lose the enchantment of Privet Drive." I think that's ridiculous.
Jamie: No, but we aren't saying that. We're just saying that he has to feel welcome. Every single summer he has to feel welcome, however badly they treat him. He has to still think that they want him there.
Ben: I know, but do you think that them sending him a tissue and a toothpick is going to make him feel welcome? That would make me feel unwelcome.
Jamie: No, but that isn't the point, what they send them on Christmas. I think it was what Kevin said, they are using what they hate the most. They're finding an owl, they're sending him something. Would you really go to all that trouble just to spite him. You know, if you hated somebody so much that you actually acquiesced to it, and find an owl and sent it to him just to annoy him... I think, I think there's more to it than that.
Ben: I think that's a good question to ask JK Rowling - how do they send it to him? Or do they...
Jamie: Owl, it has to be an owl. Doesn't it?
Ben: Okay, but how do they get an owl? Is there a way for Muggle parents to send their kids something without...
Eric: Without acknowledging the...
Ben: ...requesting an owl to come to their house. Could they send it some Ministry of Magic and they send an owl to a school or something like that?
Laura: Hey, here's a thought. Maybe Hedwig goes. And we know Hedwig has pecked the crap out of people before.
Eric: Yeah. [laughs] Maybe she pecks them until they...
Eric: That would be cool.
Jamie: Maybe, maybe. I like that.
Ben: Yeah. That's a good point.
Eric: PS...The bird bites!
Kevin: [laughs] Well, I actually have a voicemail relating to this. From Emma from California. [Audio]: Hi! This is Emma from California and I was wondering what you guys thought about how Harry got his glasses? I mean the Dursleys don't care about Harry, so I don't think they would have taken him to the eye doctor and spent money to buy him glasses. So how did Harry get his glasses? I love MuggleCast and I support Bemma.
Ben: Rock on! Rock on!
Jamie: I think it has to do with school, you know? If you go to school...
Jamie: If you go to school and you can't see anything and you're sort of squinting at the board in the front, the school will make inquiries about it. And here on the NHS, you know, if you don't have any money, you can basically get glasses free in the end. So, I don't think it is a case of money or the Dursleys not making him do it. I mean I can imagine it being the school.
Kevin: I think it was out of necessity to prevent them from attracting attention to themselves.
Jamie: That could be it as well. Yeah.
Andrew: Okay, I think that pretty much wraps it up for that part of the discussion. But the Christmas theme doesn't end here. We're going to cover a lot of voicemails right now because we're in a voicemail-answering mood. So Kevin, why don't you role the first one. [Audio]: Hey MuggleCast! This is Jade from London, England, and I was wondering, what do you think Neville's role will be in Book 7? I think that he will help Harry out in some way to get him moving forward to defeating Voldemort or helping him defeating Voldemort or saving him or something. So, you're thoughts on this idea? Thanks, and Happy Christmas!
Ben: Well, I think Neville is turning into a stud y'all. I think he's starting to come into his own, so to speak.
Eric: Ben thinks that Neville is a stud.
Ben: Neville's a stud.
Ben: I think that he's come into his own and that he's becoming a real wizard instead of this pseudo-Squib we've seen in the first few books...
Jamie: Yeah, definitely.
Ben: ...because of his... He didn't even have his own wand. He had the wand of his Dad. And even though he felt bad about losing it, it's probably good that he has his own wand now, and he could probably perform magic better. And see, we talked about this last week I think, and we said that there's a reason Neville is in Gryffindor, and we haven't really seen that yet. Well, we saw the courage he displayed in the Ministry of Magic, but I think there's going to be something bigger for Neville that we'll see in the future.
Eric: Hey guys, is it possible we won't see anything. Is it possible that maybe the fact that Neville is in Gryffindor is just to emphasize the similarity he has to Harry.
Jamie: That's interesting actually.
Eric: I mean he stood up for his friends or stood up to his friends in Book 1 and stuff. And I really think that he will play a bigger role, but do you think it could also kind of foreshadow the closeness and the similarity? You know, both Harry and Neville have parents who defied Voldemort three times. All that other crap. All the similarities. Like Neville could have been "The Chosen One," so it makes sense that they are in the same house even though Harry chose to be in Gryffindor.
Jamie: Can I just check something? Does he know about the prophecy yet? I can't remember.
Jamie: Do you think if he finds out, it's going to change what he's going to do in Book 7?
Kevin: I think it would give him more confidence.
Kevin: I think that...
Jamie: Well, it would scare him.
Kevin: Because I think that Neville is actually a more powerful wizard than JK Rowling makes him out to be.
Jamie: Yeah, I agree.
Kevin: And that he just needs the confidence to push him.
Ben: Confidence is everything.
Jamie: It is.
Kevin: So, I think that it is possible that he will find out about his...
Kevin: ...his involvement with the prophecy and that will give him the confidence to show what he's really made of.
Jamie: I think he will play a big part though. Yeah.
Laura: I think he will too. I like what Eric said and I think that, that is probably 100% true, but I also think we are going to see something big out of Neville in Book 7.
Eric: Well, I agree.
Laura: Just because we haven't seen him with his new wand yet. What he can do.
[Jamie and Laura laugh]
Eric: We haven't seen his new wand.
Jamie: We haven't seen his new wand.
Eric: Neville! Back with a vengeance and a new wand!
Kevin: Okay...Okay...let's go on to the next voicemail.
Eric: Oh, come on. Neither of them is Barty Crouch Jr. Okay...
Laura: [laughs] Oh my god!
Eric: Anyway, anyway, the first part of the thing - Sinistra - I think that, that was a complete JKR moment where she chose to not tell us anything about Astronomy until something important happened, such as...
Jamie: The Lightening-Struck Tower.
Eric: ...such as Dumbledore getting blown off of it. I mean, you know, the whole JK Rowling process is to tell us nothing and then have something big happen there.
Eric: You know? Kind of like the Department of Mysteries. It was kind of like this mysterious thing and then all of a sudden we got all of it revealed to us. Now, as I did mention before in another episode, important stuff did happen on the Astronomy Tower.
Eric: That's where they got rid of Norbert and you know, things like that. But as for the actual class of Astronomy, I thin it's just a red herring. I think we were supposed to wonder, "Well gee, what's up with Astronomy." And then Dumbledore gets blown off the tower. And then we're like, "Oh, that's what's up with Astronomy."
Jamie: Yeah. [Ben laughs]
Eric: And the other thing, they had their... What I was interesting was that the first Astronomy class we did see was the O.W.L.
Jamie: It was.
Eric: The O.W.L. for Astronomy when they were using the telescopes to spy on Hagrid's hut or whatever.
Ben: And then McGonagall got nailed by the stunning spells.
Eric: Yeah. So that was strange. What was the second part of the question?
Kevin: Oh...what...do you think that Wormtail went to Voldemort or Voldemort went to Wormtail? I think Voldemort...or Wormtail went to Voldemort.
Jamie: I agree. Yeah.
Laura: Me too.
Kevin: Because he's a front-runner.
Kevin: He's goes to the person who in his opinion is leading the race. So...
Jamie: Yeah, Voldemort couldn't have known that he was the Secret-Keeper.
Eric: Voldemort certainly wouldn't have suspected Wormtail.
Ben: Because that's the reason they chose Wormtail for Secret-Keeper.
Ben: And the reason Wormtail is so adamant about...is he loves to be with people in power.
Ben: He's kind of like Slughorn in the way that he likes to be around those who are famous and since he can't basically build an empire of his own, he has to mooch off of others.
Eric: I agree with that Ben.
Laura: I agree with you too.
Eric: In fact I think that's brilliant.
Kevin: So, next voicemail.
Jamie: On that...
Laura: We agree on something. Oh my god!
Kevin: We do?
Eric: On Christmas. Merry Christmas!
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