MuggleCast 241 Transcript (continued)



Chapter-by-Chapter: "The Woes of Mrs. Weasley"


Andrew: And Rupert Grint is attending, I don't know if you mentioned that, but that was a late addition. Okay, so now let's move on to Chapter-by-Chapter. This week, we're looking at Order of the Phoenix, Chapters 9 and 10, two very interesting chapters. As I was reading them earlier, I was like, "Ooh, I want to talk about that. I want to talk about that." So...

Micah: So, go ahead, Andrew.

Andrew: Let's start talking about... [laughs]

[Micah laughs]

Andrew: No, you go ahead please, Micah.

Micah: Oh, okay.

Andrew: You lead the first chapter. I will...

Micah: I think I ended up with the longer chapter.

Eric: I don't know.

Andrew: That's your fault.

Eric: Mine's pretty long.

Micah: That's my fault for just selecting the chapter without knowing. All right. Well, Chapter 9, "The Woes of Mrs. Weasley" - and when we last left Harry, he was leaving the courtroom and had been cleared of all charges against him for the Patronus Charm that he had cast earlier in the summer. And we talked a little bit about this on the last episode about Harry being tried before a full court, but Mr. Weasley, as he's watching everybody pile out of the courtroom, is shocked that Harry was tried before a full court.

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: So, I don't know what more we can say about it, but you just get more of a feeling of how Harry probably should have just been reprimanded but instead, he's put essentially on a full criminal trial.

[Phone rings]

Eric: The thing that I always saw as suspect here is that if you are in a wizarding family - basically what JK wrote about the Trace was that if you're in a wizarding family, you don't even have the Trace. It's expected that you're raised correctly and I guess the Trace is how they found out that Harry was using - it's underage magic. Not only is it in front of a Muggle, but in general it's underage magic. Just the idea that they don't trace wizard-born kids at all so they can't ever really hold a trial for them versus this treatment that Harry has gotten makes it even worse, I think, because they're only watching Muggle-borns, essentially, or only watching people like Harry who - it's just a disadvantage.

Micah: And one of the people that comes out of the courtroom is Percy, so we get a little bit more insight into the relationship, or lack thereof, between Percy and his father, and they both basically ignore each other. Now as Harry and Arthur make their way out of the courtroom area, they run into Lucius and the Minister, and the two of them are talking very intently with each other, whispering. And Lucius asks Mr. Weasley what he's doing there, to which he replied, he works here, which I thought was a pretty good response.

Andrew: Yeah, it makes sense.

Micah: And then...

Eric: It's the truth.

Micah: Yeah, it's the truth. Lucius, though, then says to Mr. Weasley, "Not here, surely," and he kind of motions towards a door and that door has large implications later on in the series, but clearly you can tell that something is going on behind the scenes that we don't really know about. And the question that I have is, just what was Lucius doing down there as opposed to meeting the Minister outside of his office? It's the same question that Harry poses to Mr. Weasley.

Eric: Yeah, it just seems so dodgy, right? We know how hard it was for Harry to get down to this courtroom. The elevators don't even go down this far for crying out loud, so it seems very likely that Lucius is either scouting out the location - we know by this point, it's been mentioned that some of the Order is standing guard over something, essentially this door, it's revealed later. And either Lucius is looking around maybe scouting out weaknesses, or he and Fudge are down here because they're conducting less-than-legal business.

Micah: Mhm.

Andrew: Yeah, and maybe...

Micah: Yeah, they're...

Andrew: Maybe he just kind of takes pleasure in seeing Harry in this situation with Mr. Weasley.

Micah: Yeah. And to your point, Eric, there's that mention of - Harry almost hears something along the lines of a clinking sound, thinking that Lucius is playing with gold that he has in his pockets, so you get that feeling that perhaps he's paying the Minister off for some things that he may be doing that are less than legal, let's say.

Eric: Yeah. Definitely. Creepy guy, Mr. Malfoy. I'd hate to think what he would be like to have as a dad, for crying out loud.

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: Just like walking around paying people and coming home and...

Micah: Right.

Eric: ...expecting dinner on the table. Anyway, I got sidetracked.

Micah: Now, Harry raises another question and he says, why is it that - or could it be possible that Fudge, in dealing with somebody like Mr. Malfoy, could be under the Imperius Curse? And Mr. Weasley responds by saying, "Don't think that we haven't thought about that, but right now Dumbledore believes Fudge is acting of his own accord, which is not comforting." And this just goes to a larger plot or character analysis, I guess, of Fudge saying that he's willing to talk to known or prior Death Eaters.

Eric: That's true. That's very true. I mean, money goes a long way, I guess, even in the wizarding world, because Lucius was very determined to not let his status in society crumble.

Micah: Right. And Dumbledore saying that - or Mr. Weasley relaying Dumbledore's concerns that Fudge, he's acting of his own accord right now and that's scarier than if he was under a curse.

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: Yeah, we're getting a look at what's going to become the downfall of Fudge.

Micah: Yeah. So, Harry ends up going back to Grimmauld Place, and everybody seems relieved, and they all knew that Harry was going to get off, but - I'm sorry, Harry says that everybody seems relieved, even though they all knew that he would get off in the end. Everybody was saying, "Oh, we knew that they didn't have a case against you," and, "Of course you would get off, blah, blah, blah," so Harry makes a little bit of a joke there. During dinner, Harry thinks it - they're talking about the trial and what happened, and Harry thought that it would have been dumb to say that he wished that when Dumbledore was standing right next to him that he would have spoken to him, or even looked at him. Do you guys think he should have brought this up? I mean, this is something that he kept to himself, he kind of thinks about during dinner. And might anybody else - Sirius, somebody else who was in the know as to why Dumbledore was not corresponding with Harry - might they have told him the truth? Might they have felt sorry for him?

Andrew: I'm sure they felt sorry for him, but I think - I don't think they like to intervene with what Dumbledore is doing, so in this case, they were just letting it fly even though they knew it pained Harry. And, I mean, I'm on Harry's side in this. He should know why Dumbledore is ignoring him. I mean, they're best friends, and for this sudden change to be going on and Harry has no idea why, it's just heartbreaking for Harry.

Eric: Yeah. And given what Sirius does in the next chapter, I wouldn't put anything past him. But everybody else, like Andrew said, too, is they're respecting Dumbledore's wishes on this. And maybe they don't know that this is paining Harry, because at this point Harry isn't telling anybody...

Micah: Right.

Eric: ...how he feels.

Micah: Well, do they know, also, as to why Dumbledore is not interacting with Harry? That would be the real question.

Eric: That's - yeah, that's interesting.

Andrew: Yeah. [laughs] Yeah.

Eric: Because surely somebody else must have noticed that he's not spending any time with him. So, that's interesting. I just compare it to Harry not telling Sirius when his scar hurts, a couple of years ago. There are these things that Harry keeps to himself and kind of chomps on throughout - for several months that he prefers to kind of deal with alone, I guess.

Micah: Yeah. Well, speaking of Sirius, he starts to become more detached as the start of term grows closer, and Hermione actually says that she thinks part of Sirius hoped Harry got expelled from Hogwarts so he could come live with him. Now, do you believe that?

Andrew: Well, I think she's on to something.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: We know Sirius is very lonely. We know he loves having Harry, as a godfather. And for him to now leave and go back to school where he's not going to see him, I can see why Hermione would be thinking that and Sirius would be feeling that.

Eric: Yeah, I think Sirius definitely viewed the trial as a potential new beginning for Harry.

Andrew: Mhm.

Eric: I mean, if Harry had - if the verdict had been negative, I really don't think Sirius - I mean, he would have been sorry that Harry's life was in shambles, but he would have been the first person to say there's light after this and we're going to have a lot of fun now.

Micah: Right.

Eric: We'll be outlaws together, Harry! Godfather and godson.

Andrew: Woohoo!

Micah: Yeah. But I think part of it is that the term is drawing closer and that means there's going to be less people in the house for Sirius to interact with. Yes, the Order of the Phoenix does come and go, but most of them work full-time and so when they are there, it's just sort of in passing or to have quick conversations. So really, Sirius goes back to being that loner again.

Eric: Hmm. Well, he's got Remus.

Micah: Well, Remus is off trying to...

Eric: Oh, that's right.

Micah: ...rally other werewolves to his cause.

Eric: Yeah. Well, you know what? You give up your house to be the headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix, and people come and go, and it's hard. It's hard to be Sirius.

Micah: So we move on, and letters finally come from Hogwarts with all the supplies that they're going to need for the upcoming term and we find out that, in addition to Hermione, Ron is made a prefect.

Eric: What?

Micah: And everybody is shocked by this. Fred and George, Hermione, Harry - and this was kind of a rough scene for Ron because...

Andrew: Because nobody can believe he actually accomplished something?

Micah: I don't even think he believed that he was made prefect.

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: But he defends himself, doesn't he?

Micah: Yeah, he does, and there's also a lot of humor from the twins that comes about in this scene, especially when Mrs. Weasley comes in and says, "Oh, that'll be everybody in the family that was made prefect," and Fred and George say, "And what are we, next-door neighbors?" But was he deserving? That's the question. And I know we find out later why this happened, but this could be seen as another reason, just kind of adding to the pile, to make Harry upset with Dumbledore.

Eric: Yeah, it's very true.

Micah: Do you think he was deserving, though? Both of you guys?

Eric: Like separately?

Micah: Yeah, let's throw aside the real reason we find out at the end of the book. Do you think he deserved to be made prefect?

Andrew: No.

Micah: Anybody else he could have chosen?

Andrew: No and I mean, he knows - well, slash thinks himself - he didn't deserve to be made prefect. I mean, I just - yeah, I don't know. No. My short answer is no, I don't think he deserved to be a prefect.

Micah: Well, who else would you have picked? Let's say Harry is out of the equation. You have Neville, Dean, Seamus.

Eric: Lee as well, and Fred and George, right? I mean, they're still - because you can be a prefect - are prefects only fifth-years? I mean, I'm sure not, right?

Andrew: No.

Eric: But there's a Head Boy and a Head Girl. I'm trying to think how this works, to wrap my brain around this.

Andrew: Well, I guess the question is, who else deserves it?

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: Who else would deserve it?

Eric: It's tough because you've got to get somebody who is close to Harry that isn't Harry.

Andrew: Mhm.

Eric: It's got to be Ron. I want to say, as an example of Quidditch in Half-Blood Prince, Ron is capable of good things, but he needs to be pushed, kind of. It's like, give him a prefect-ship and see if he rises to this occasion. And I think Ron, at least for pride's sake, is really rising to this occasion. But we see - I guess throughout the book, certainly in the next chapter - how Ron begins to deal with this extra authority, whether or not he is going to use it the right way or use it just to benefit his friends. So, maybe Dumbledore - and again, we find out later why. I don't really particularly remember, but I'm thinking that in giving Ron this opportunity, it is sort of a "Hey, go out, be your own person," sort of stick for him.

Micah: Well, I'm assuming everybody listening has read the books, so - [laughs] it's really because Dumbledore didn't want to give Harry any more responsibility, it's that he felt as if Harry had enough to deal with as it was. To make him prefect would only increase that.

Eric: Well, I remember that, but that doesn't explain why Ron is the prefect, right? Because now...

Micah: I do think it was to build him up, because he felt that if Ron could take on this responsibility, then he could do a lot more moving forward.

Eric: Yeah, but I mean, that goes back to what you're saying. Isn't that like throwing fuel to the fire for Harry, in not coming forward and explaining this to Harry? And you don't even need to say, "Oh, I thought you had too much on your plate," but just to explain why you would not even talk to Harry about making his best friend, who frankly doesn't really deserve it, a prefect, both of his best friends. Harry is essentially alone, and not only alone in the way that he can't talk to Dumbledore, but even in the next chapter, Ron and Hermione have to go off and do prefect things. Harry is alone and that's counter-intuitive.

Micah: Okay. The other question I wanted to ask really quickly about this was, why was this storyline particularly dropped from the movie? Because it would have actually, I thought, built a little bit more towards Ron's character.

Andrew: Yeah. I mean, this would have been great. It's kind of like in Half-Blood Prince where you see him join the Quidditch team. I thought that was a great example of showing Ron's personality and getting some nice Ron moments in there. But he just - I can also see why they cut it.

Eric: Yeah, maybe they didn't want to repeat themselves, too, because Harry is angry with Ron in Movie 4. It's kind of like they had to take a movie break before Movie 6 when Hermione is angry with Ron. They kind of - the movies are very narrow, I guess, and so maybe they didn't want to confuse people in the movie.

Andrew: Mhm.

Eric: Or repeat some of the same emotions that they had shown in the previous film.

Micah: Yeah, so now we get to the point where Harry is alone in his room. Hermione asks to borrow Hedwig to send a note off to her parents, and he has sort of this debate in his mind as to whether or not he was more deserving than Hermione, if he was more deserving than Ron. And he really comes to the conclusion that with the exception of the things that he was able to do in all the prior books that had to deal with Voldemort, he's really not a better student than Ron, and I don't really think he makes much justification for deserving it more than Hermione, because obviously Hermione is very intelligent, the perfect student, and so on and so forth. But he kind of comes to the conclusion himself that, "You know what? At the end of the day, I can't really make the case for me deserving it more than Ron." But later, at dinner, Harry learns that Lupin was prefect during his father's time at Hogwarts and his father wasn't a prefect, so that made him feel a lot better about the whole situation.

Eric: Hmm. Surprising they made Lupin a prefect with his condition.

Andrew: [laughs] Yeah, that's true.

Eric: Wouldn't he have too much on his plate?

Micah: Now, there's this side conversation going on during dinner between Fred and George, and Mundungus. And Harry eventually is called over, but he begins to worry afterwards what Mr. and Mrs. Weasley would think of him if they knew that he was the one responsible for backing Fred and George, and their joke shop. Would they still think of him as being one of their own children?

Eric: So interesting. But it's kind of one of those things, right? Wait. Wait a year. Because you know their reactions after they first go in Half-Blood Prince, and see Fred and George's joke shop. I think Ginny says it in the book. "But this is really incredible magic," is what she says and I think Mrs. Weasley is beaming, and seeing the twins have their business - it's really one of the best things that happens to any of the characters in the books, and so I think in a year's time, if they knew that Harry had given them the money, they would have thought, "Well, it's still too generous, it's just like Harry," but they would have appreciated him a little bit more. Now where Mrs. Weasley is really cross about it, who knows, right? I don't think they'll disown Harry because they're not like Dumbledore to leave Harry alone in this sort of time of darkness. But I think it would have caused maybe a little bit more of an issue, but she would have demanded that the twins give Harry's money back, I'm sure, rather than letting them use it for mischief.

Micah: Once Harry leaves that conversation, he is called over by Mad-Eye Moody, and Moody shows Harry this picture of the old Order of the Phoenix. And I believe it's Sirius who does it in the movie at the train station, so they changed that up a little bit. And Harry eventually is shown his parents, but he looks at Moody a little bit oddly, and I think Moody was trying to do something nice here, but it just didn't come across the right way. I don't think Moody has a good understanding, probably, of emotion and things like that.

Eric: Well, why don't you think it works?

Micah: Because Harry doesn't have, I think, the reaction that Moody was intending.

Andrew: Yeah, he didn't want to make him upset.

Eric: Well, no.

Micah: I think - yeah, exactly. The result was Harry kind of got a little bit upset, whereas I think the intended result was to make him see his parents and be happy, "Oh, there are my parents."

Eric: [laughs] Yeah. I get what you're saying. Still, it's good to know - I mean, this artifact - that part of the movie for instance, when it is a little retooled with Sirius giving it, Harry does have that different reaction where it's like, "Oh, okay. It's my parents. They were part of a group," and that photo later becomes inspiration for the DA or whatever. But...

Micah: Yeah, exactly and I think that's why in the movie it worked better with Sirius giving it to him, but again, here it becomes a little bit of an awkward situation and Harry wants to get away as quickly as he possibly can. And so Sirius asks what they're looking at and he uses that to kind of slip away, and then he comes across Mrs. Weasley who is crying in the drawing room floor - or on the drawing room floor. And we see - one of the things I left out earlier was when just before dinner takes place, Mrs. Weasley asks Mad-Eye Moody to take a look at something that's in one of the cabinets in the drawing room, and he uses his eye and he sees that it's a Boggart. And that's what Mrs. Weasley went up there to take care of and now Harry has come across her sobbing on the floor, and the Boggart is taking the form of all of her family members, as well as Harry, dead. And I guess this is kind of the first insight you get into how serious things are, and how somebody who is normally such a strong character has these weaknesses, I would say, and how she's concerned just like any other mother would be that this war is essentially going to take away people that she cares very deeply about.

Eric: Just like the last one took away her brothers.

Micah: Right. And they are mentioned actually, in that photo, although they don't explicitly say that they are her brothers.

Eric: Yeah. There's two interesting things there. One is that nobody - well, allegedly, nobody knows what a Boggart looks like when it's in a cupboard, because it doesn't take form until it comes out, and when it does, it takes the form of your greatest fear. So it's interesting that Mad-Eye can whirl his eye around, I'm pretty sure Jo is playing with this, and he says it's a Boggart, so he clearly knows what a Boggart looks like before it takes a form which would be great to know. But the other interesting thing is that Mrs. Weasley's Boggart is all of her children dead, equally almost, which is why the Boggart is taking these multiple forms, isn't it? Because she fears the death of a loved one and so it's just cycling through all of her loved ones.

[Prolonged silence]

Eric: Yeah, which is - Molly Weasley is almost the perfect mother character because she doesn't fear one loved one's death over another. She doesn't play favorites. She doesn't - she fears...

Andrew: But would any mother?

Eric: Well, arguably. But at the same time...

Andrew: Yeah, I guess.

Eric: ...even Harry is among them. Molly just doesn't want to lose people to the spoils of war, which is what Micah said. It's really about how serious things are and have gotten. But I just never saw a Boggart do that before, where it takes more than one form without being Riddikulus'd.

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: So, Molly is just a pure character. You're supposed to be very, very moved by this.

Micah: Yeah, and that's why the question arises from her, who will take care of all of her children if Arthur and herself were killed? I mean, you're starting to get a very real taste of what's going on here. And Lupin makes the point that he feels that they're better prepared this time around than the last time that Voldemort rose to power. But really, are they? And - because Harry has this moment where he wonders if the people that he just saw in the photograph, that he just learned all these horrible things happen to, did they think the same thing, that they were prepared the first time around?

Eric: Yeah. Tough questions. Some questions just don't have answers.

Micah: Mhm. So this whole thing kind of put things into perspective, and the chapter ends with Harry saying that it was amazing that barely an hour ago he had been concerned about a joke shop and who had earned a prefect's badge.

Andrew: And now there's a whole new set of drama for him to enjoy. All right, now onto Chapter 10 with Eric and Luna. Awww, touching!



Chapter-by-Chapter: "Luna Lovegood"


Eric: Luna Lovegood! Chapter 10 of Order of the Phoenix. This is really a character - this chapter differs very much from the previous chapter in that it's really all about setting up the characters that are going to play a large role in this book. The book is still beginning, practically. They're not even at Hogwarts yet. Obviously so much has happened, but so much more is yet to. So, Harry wakes up, it's back-to-school day for the students. Harry wakes up, Ron is already fully dressed and talking to him, telling him to get moving. Apparently Ginny was knocked down two flights of stairs this morning by Fred and George's trunks which they had bewitched to fly so that they didn't have to carry them. Basically just a bunch of other stuff happens. Mrs. Weasley is rushing everybody around. Mad-Eye is waiting for Sturgis Podmore before they can go to King's Cross. And when they finally do get out the door - Harry is leaving Grimmauld Place, and Sirius bounds out as a dog and tries to come with them. I guess Molly - Sirius is almost taking advantage of Molly here because she's had a heck of a morning, not to mention the night before, but she's just so stressed that she says, "Fine, you can come with us." She objects at first, but what she says is, "Fine, you can come along, but on your own head be it!" So she kind of threatens Sirius. She's like, "You are - you need to be responsible for your own actions here. You can come along." Because she's exhausted, she doesn't want to fight this issue. But - so what results is Sirius basically getting to tag along with Harry. Clearly this is...

Andrew: Wait...

Eric: I mean, if Sirius is - go on.

Andrew: It's kind of funny just the recent news story about the dog.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: In the news and now we're talking about it. It's just kind of funny. Anyway, go ahead.

Eric: Yeah. So, I mean, I guess this is - Sirius has been distancing himself from Harry previously, dreading this day, but of course on the day of he really appears to be in really high spirits. He basically starts chasing pigeons and cats to entertain Harry which is funny. And so Harry is with Mrs. Weasley and Tonks. Today, Tonks looks like an old lady, and they walk about twenty minutes, I think it says, to King's Cross station. It's always good to see the Hogwarts Express again. Harry kind of reflects on the trial and the fact that he's able to actually be going back to Hogwarts. But when he's getting on the train, again this time Sirius, still as a dog, bounds up - or jumps up on his hind legs and places his front paws on Harry's shoulder. And Mrs. Weasley quickly shoos him down again, but she says, "Sirius, be more like a dog!" And Harry is kind of taken aback and when the train is leaving the platform, Sirius is like running along the platform chasing the train, actually drawing attention to himself, drawing heavy attention from everybody else. He's this funny dog, but really the intention - and it's important because later on Harry realizes - but immediately Hermione realizes that bringing Sirius or letting Sirius come along was probably a really bad idea.

Andrew: Yeah, and you're seeing Sirius really - he's out there for the first time in a long time where he's able to enjoy himself and not really worry about being seen. So it's like you're seeing the old boyish Sirius in dog form, but you're also seeing just a typical dog as well. Really interesting to watch his character in dog form enjoy this time out.

Micah: And bad move on the part of Molly to let him out, because of course Wormtail knows that Sirius can transform into a dog.

Eric: And as a result, the Death Eaters know that. And just like I said here, his behavior - like you're talking about, Andrew, couldn't he - he really did take advantage of Molly, because she was rushing and stressing about them all getting to school on time. I mean, what happens when you miss the 9 AM sharp - or 11 AM sharp train to Hogwarts? What happens? But Sirius basically abused that and took that to his advantage. Look, I'm saying, couldn't Sirius really have spent a little bit more time with Harry, especially because he was feeling so alone from Dumbledore and Sirius was feeling so alone? Instead of behaving like a child these past few months and kind of staying away from - past few weeks, sorry - staying away from Harry. Shouldn't they have just had a little more talk? Shouldn't it have been Sirius to give Harry the photograph of his parents and say, I don't know, maybe more encouraging words? This is really - he's in Sirius's house, for crying out loud. And if Sirius is not getting enough time with Harry, that's nobody else's fault.

Micah: Yeah. I mean, it goes back to what we were talking about before, with him just distancing himself from everybody else as the start of the term drew near, because - and this ties into what Andrew was saying earlier, with him just acting as if he is as young as Harry or even younger when he gets out to the train station and - he's just immature. He hasn't grown up at all in certain respects as we see later on in the book when he calls Harry "James." It's just - for him, he can't get past the fact that he's never been able to enjoy his young adulthood.

Eric: Twilight years, yeah.

Micah: Yeah.

Eric: Yeah, definitely. So anyway, on the train, Harry, Ron, and Hermione are together and Harry says, "Okay, let's go find a compartment." Ron and Hermione actually have to go and spend some time with the prefects in the prefects cabin. Ron says, "It's not something I want to do, I'm not Percy," and Harry kind of grins there, but still, Harry is alone because Ron and Hermione, his best friends, have to go and be prefects. So there's obviously that little bit of regret, I guess, in Harry, and he's walking along the corridor, he sees all these people gaze and gawk at him, and - let's face it, he's Harry Potter. He's used to that by now, but what it makes him wonder is if people have really believed the Daily Prophet, because ever since Cedric Diggory's death, as we found out in previous chapters of this book, the Daily Prophet is really saying mean things against Harry and his character, and against Dumbledore. So he's starting to wonder how many of these students are going to be on his side, in a way, which plays in obviously soon enough. But he ends up - Harry goes to the last compartment, he sees Neville waiting outside the last compartment, and he says, "Neville, let's go in here," and Neville just kind of murmurs something. And then Ginny comes up behind them and she says, "Oh, it's okay. We can have this compartment, it's just Loony Lovegood." So, they go in and we meet Luna Lovegood. She's described as having "straggly, waist-length dirty blonde hair, very pale eyebrows, and protuberant eyes that gave her a permanently surprised look." Luna "had stuck her wand behind her ear for safekeeping, had chosen to wear a necklace of Butterbeer caps," and was "reading a magazine upside down." [laughs] Also, she "did not seem to blink as much as normal humans." These are all the descriptors that come to introduce one of, I think, our collective favorite characters, Luna Lovegood. Now, Luna is first introduced by Ginny, when Ginny said, "Oh, it's just Loony Lovegood in here." But then when Ginny opens the compartment door, she's like, "Oh, hi Luna! Can we have these seats?" And also, "How was your summer?" So apparently Luna - Loony - has this nickname that Ginny has - but she's being polite. So Ginny is not somebody who bullies Luna, but very clearly, Luna's reputation precedes her. So, what do you guys think of this scene and what happens with Luna in this chapter?

Andrew: Well, is she reading the book upside down in the book? Is she reading The Quibbler upside down in the book?

Eric: Yes.

Andrew: That introduction just like in the movie and in the book was just so wonderful. It was like a perfect way to introduce the character. [laughs] I mean, immediately you get that she's out there. Not just with the dialogue, but the visuals. Yeah, so - I mean, Luna - this was a great introduction.

Eric: Yeah. So, two things happen in this cabin. First is like a gradual - I guess through the rest of this chapter, Harry begins to notice how Luna is maybe not as crazy as she seems, because he ends up getting a look at The Quibbler and he sees in fact that what Luna was looking at were the rune charts. There is a notation somewhere that if you hold them upside down, it reveals a special incantation. Something big that happens is that Neville [laughs] reveals that he has a birthday present, actually, recently which is kind of a hint - I said it's foreshadowing to the end of the book when we learn that Neville and Harry share more or less the same birthday. But Neville reveals that for his birthday he received a Mimbulus mimbletonia. Harry is kind of like, "Okay, Neville, I know Herbology is your forte, but does this thing actually do anything?" And Neville says, "Oh yeah, it does loads of stuff! Hold Trevor for me." So Neville takes out something to prod the Mimbulus mimbletonia with, pokes it, and this dark green puss erupts from all of the boils. It's described as smelling like manure, and it sprays everybody in the compartment. Just right then, Cho Chang knocks on the compartment door and wants to say hello to Harry. Obviously Harry is covered in this green crap, goo. So there's just this moment here where Harry is not very happy. He obviously - I mean, Cho takes it nice enough. She turns red and says, "Is this not a bad time?" and Harry says no, and so she leaves. But there's this moment where Harry is really resentful in the book. The book says, "He would have liked Cho to discover him sitting with a very cool group of people laughing their heads off at a joke he had just told. He would not have chosen to be sitting with Neville and Loony Lovegood, clutching a toad, and dripping in Stinksap." So Harry is kind of - again, it's a little bit of a preface for what's going to happen later with him and Cho, in terms of - he wants to really grow, he wants to nurture that relationship, and he's finding that certain events or certain things are holding it back.

Micah: Well, I think it's a combination of things, though. It's the tie between him and Voldemort becoming stronger, but it's also just him maturing and going through this adolescent period where he's showing these emotions.

Eric: So you're saying he's more aware in general of how he appears to other people?

Micah: No, I just think the way that he's just acting is the way any teenager would be acting.

Andrew: Mhm.

Micah: You know, if you like a girl, you don't - he has the reaction that a guy would normally have, and that's - I want to be sitting with the cool crowd, you know? [laughs] What is Cho going to think of me if she walks in and she sees me sitting with the people the way that you just described? She's not going to think very highly of me. And I think that's a normal thought to have for somebody who is fifteen years old.

Andrew: Oh yeah. Again, we always forget this. They're so young. [laughs]

Eric: That's a good...

Micah: It's not like that he's matured and he's in his twenties now. I doubt he would have the same sort of thought process.

Eric: Yeah. No, that's a really good point. So, as I mentioned before, Ron and Hermione do come back from their prefect cabin. They mention that Draco Malfoy is a prefect. We talked about Ron deserving a prefect position. Do you think Draco deserves a prefect position?

Micah: Well see, this would get into who really makes the decision. Is it the head of the house, or is it Dumbledore?

Andrew: And would Malfoy want it? Would Draco want it? He doesn't strike me as somebody who would really...

Micah: Well, he wants to pick on people.

Andrew: Yeah...

Micah: Give them detention... [laughs]

Andrew: Yeah...

Micah: ...for no reason.

Andrew: ...he likes to be bossy, but I just picture him as someone who would kind of maybe enjoy it for a few days and then kind of get over it.

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: He just wants to boss Crabbe and Goyle around. That's all.

Eric: Yeah, that's true. And I mean, this isn't the Movie or Book 6 Malfoy where he's kind of burdened with the world. But at the same time, I think - doesn't it say that Malfoy is actually a pretty good student if he is made a prefect? The other Slytherin prefect is Pansy Parkinson. But doesn't it say that he is at least academically competent? And now that I think about that, didn't Lucius make fun of Malfoy, make of Draco in Year 2, and say that, "Your grades should be better than that Mudblood Hermione Granger's?" So, do you think that Malfoy has been trying to keep up with Hermione academically? Do you think he's actually trying hard at school at this point?

Micah: It could be. I mean, you never really get an insight into how good of a student Draco is, other than that comment. I mean, you assume that he's good at Potions, but who knows what else he is good at.

Eric: Right. But when Malfoy shows up at the cabin, he's bullying. He basically - Ron has this moment where he talks about Malfoy being a prefect with Harry, and Ron is of the assumption that Malfoy is going to abuse that power so Ron says that he's going to - first opportunity he gets, he's going to punish Crabbe and Goyle, and try and get them first. I think the term is, "Get his mate before he gets mine." So Ron is looking out for Harry here. When they get to Hogsmeade station, Harry is immediately looking around for Hagrid. Harry just needs some love, I think. He's looking around for Hagrid, fresh, familiar face. What's synonymous with Hogwarts start of term other than Hagrid? Well, Hagrid's not there. Apparently this severely hair-cutted Professor Grubbly-Plank is in his position, and Harry doesn't know why that is. So, it's a little disconcerting. Harry does not get the - yet again, he doesn't get the kind of attention or love he's looking for. And finally, when they get to the school carriages, which up until very recently have pulled themselves, Harry notices that there's a large horse creature, and he pulls Ron aside and he says, "What's the deal with these things? Why would they need these horse things to pull the carriages that were perfectly capable of pulling themselves?" Well, Ron doesn't see these horse things and Harry basically physically moves Ron, puts him face to face with a horse thing - which we know they're called Thestrals - and Ron doesn't see it. In fact, he asks if Harry is feeling all right. He gets on the carriage and Harry is flipping out, actually, because he has this genuine moment when he realizes that Ron actually doesn't see this thing that he sees, and it sets the tone. Harry beings to really worry if he's losing his mind. But of course, just as he steps on the school carriage to go to Hogwarts, Luna assures him that she can see them, too, and that Harry is "just as sane as I am."

Andrew: Uh oh.

Eric: Oh no. New, crazy things....

Andrew: New thing to stress about...

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: ...for Harry.

Eric: And that concludes Chapter 10.

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