Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Ch. 13-14: That’s What She Said

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This week we discuss: Quidditch rules and why they suck; the apparent dearth of Hogwarts theft; Cedric Diggory, Nice Guy TM; Percy Weasley is a security risk; Draco’s Muggle jokes and whether or not that proves fanfic right; Harry discovers girls and is immediately cockblocked; THE WORST QUIDDITCH GAME FOR SEXUAL PUNS MY GOD; by process of elimination we FINALLY parse how a person can be expelled from Hogwarts; teenagers have terrible fucking priorities; Harry and the Four Scoldings In One Chapter; book vs. film outside the Shrieking Shack; why Harry Potter would suck as a criminal; Severus Snape is an asshole but also he’s not wrong; Moony does quick thinking; why Snape doesn’t call Lupin out for his blatant and obvious lies; consistent character flaws; and THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID!!!

S: Welcome back to Advanced Muggle Studies! After lo these many years we’re resuming with our longest ever read of Prisoner of Azkaban.

And! We’re going to we’re going to try and do chapter 13 and 14 together, something we have not done in a while, so I’m feeling very  — Oh, what’s the word special? I guess?

I don’t know. Professor Creed. How are you?

C: Who are you and what is this podcast?

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S: We are, in your words, the only NC-17 Harry Potter podcast on the internet.

C: That’s right, I’d forgotten!

S: Also, you are the Weasel of God, you have a devoted following

C: As it should be.

S: Those dumb cats that live at your house? They don’t live there. They’re just there to serve you. They just don’t know it.

C: I like the way you think.

S: And just as our Lord suffered many terrible things, so too Ron and Hermione are suffering (because we compare everything to Our Lord here, let’s be real). So we’re looking at:

Gryffindor vs. Ravenclaw

S: Which is chapter 13, and it looks like the end of Ron and Hermione’s friendship — and I’m sorry to say I don’t think Professor Creed is that fussed about it.

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C: No, I’m really not.

S: It’s just escalating. Ron is angry that Hermione has never taken Crookshanks’ attempts to eat Scabbers seriously, didn’t stop him, and was

still trying to pretend that Crookshanks was innocent by suggesting that they look for Scabbers.

Which is either pretending or just, you know, drawing a logical conclusion in a situation where there’s no body.

C: Yeah.

S: Of course, Hermione is like, “You’ve been prejudiced against my cat ever since it landed on your head.” Fair point. Now Harry’s pretty sure that Crookshanks did eat Scabbers.

C: But when is Harry ever correct?

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S: Harry is not correct until book six, at which point it is too late. No one believes it because he has been wrong every other time, which is very important. So of course he’s wrong. Hermione loses her temper with Harry, like, fine, side with Ron. Of course you do because you sided with him over the firebolt and Scabbers. Everything is my fault, and I have a million things to do, just go away.

This is where you know Hermione needs to storm off to the library or the girls dorm or the girls bathroom or something and just bitch about her dumb guy friends to the girlfriends that we know she must have somewhere in the background.

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C: Yeah, I mean, I agree completely.

S: You know, Fred and George are at least trying to smooth this over, like, “Look, Ron you know that Scabbers was the worst. He was literally wasting away!” I love this bit.

“He bit Goyle for us once,” Ron said miserably. “Remember?”

“His finest hour,” said Fred, unable to keep a straight face. “Let the scar on Goyle’s finger stand as a lasting tribute to his memory.”

Like, come on Ron. You’re being ridiculous, which we all know. But, you know, cheer up because we have phallic toys to play with! They actually get to ride the Firebolt now, now that McGonagall said it’s okay, and they go down to the Quidditch field to practice. Madam Hooch is there, and this again reminds me of this whole “brooms as cars” thing because Madam Hooch goes off on this whole tangent about her old broom, and it’s it sounds like someone describing their first car! “Oh, they just don’t make them like they used to!”

So they practice, and it’s amazing, and we also find out that Ravenclaw is playing Cho Chang as Seeker this year, which Wood is very displeased about because apparently Chang was injured and how dare she get better.

She’s also a good player. Now this is something I was thinking about as I was reading and I wanted to ask your opinion about it like okay, Quidditch is a school sport, right? And if you don’t have your own broom of course you can use one of the school brooms, but how is it okay or fair for one player to bring in an international standard racing broom and kick everybody’s butt because he’s special and has a rich godfather and can afford it? Where’s everybody else’s? It’s like having auto racing as a school sport and some kid with a douchey dad drives up in, like, a Lamborghini or something. Well of course he’s gonna beat everyone! You know what I mean?

C: Yeah but I mean nothing about anything at Hogwarts makes any kind of sense.

S: That’s true! I was just reading this and this is supposed to be the school sport that everyone loves. It’s wildly unfair at the school level. Like no one intervenes when the rules are broken, the kids can play at all sorts of different levels it doesn’t matter, why not? I mean.

C: I’m sure that there is — Oh god, now I’m jumping ahead. I’m already doing it. We’ve barely started, and I’m already getting us off track.

S: We’re going to try to exercise some restraint! So we get Harry practicing, and spoiler alert: It’s awesome. Apparently the Firebolt’s a good broom! Everything goes really well, Oliver doesn’t even have anything to complain about, which is a first, and Harry’s like, “Okay, I’ve sorted out my dementor problem sort of so it should be fine.”

So the boys stay out a little bit later to play with the Firebolt some more, so Ron could fly around, and then they go inside. And on their way inside Harry is startled by “a pair of eyes gleaming out of the darkness.” And it’s Crookshanks! Doing his best to be the creepy cat that’s just like, hanging around, freaking you out at night with his glowing lampent eyes.

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This is another reason why Crookshanks is awesome, really. I kind of enjoy the fact that he’s skulking in the dark.

C: Crookshanks, let’s be honest, is the best character in this entire series.

S: Now Ron throws a rock at him, which is stupid. And Crookshanks goes, “Screw you, I’m out.”

Whereas Harry can only think about his relief that this wasn’t the Grim, even though he’s sort of decided he doesn’t believe that that’s a thing, but it keeps popping up. So he’s eventually going to have to concede that it’s a thing somehow.

So the next morning, they go down, it’s the morning before the Quidditch match. Wood wants Harry to put his broom in the middle of the table with the brand showing, so everyone can come over and admire it.

C: Okay, I have a question.

S: Yeah.

C: When the brooms are not being used, is Harry’s Firebolt like in the Gryffindor dormitory with him?

S: If so, they are really trusting.

C: Yeah, but on the other hand, if they kept them locked up somewhere, you have to do is say Alohomora and you could get at all the brooms, and there would be jinxes and curses all over the place.

S: Because no one does anything that cannot be undone by Alohomora. Even Dumbledore didn’t think to lock up the giant three headed dog with anything that couldn’t be broken Alohomora, so, fair. I guess we’re just assuming that nobody steals things at Hogwarts?

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No such shenanigans amongst Gryffindors, nay!

C: I guess not.

S: But yeah, I guess it’s just in his trunk.

C: How big is that fucking trunk?

S: It’s huge, apparently!

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Also, nice little side note and character note for the next book. Cedric comes over to congratulate Harry on having acquired such a super replacement for his Nimbus.

Little did he know that what, upon being humiliated by Harry on said Firebolt, he would soon become a Death Eater.

C: Oh, God, the worst. Just the worst.

S: This is just such a nice thing where Cedric Nice Guy trademark comes over to be like, good for you, Harry. Excellent.

C: And his cheeks are nice and flushed with a healthy, ruddy glow.

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S: You know, when we get to that movie, you and I are gonna have to talk about that. Because there are a lot of people who have suggested that there’s way more chemistry going on between Robert Pattinson and Daniel Radcliffe than between any other pairing in that film,

C: What other pairings are there?

S: Well, there’s Ron and Hermione, there’s Hermione and what’s his name? Viktor Krum. There’s Harry flirting awfully with Cho Chang.

C: Well, I mean, I just thought of that part where Cho smiles at him or he smiles at her or whatever and the pumpkin juice falls out of his mouth.

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S: Yeah, yeah, it’s pretty bad. I think that’s the fourth movie.

C: Teenagers!

S: The movie where everything is awful. Now, apparently Percy doesn’t trust his girlfriend because Penelope Clearwater wants to hold Harry’s broom – AHEM — and Percy’s like, “Now, now, no sabotage!” Which, you know, he’s playing that off like he’s joking. But you know, he means it.

C: Well, here’s my deal about Percy. In this scene, he makes a bet with his girlfriend for 10 galleons, which seems like that’s a fair amount of money, for high schoolers, certainly. And then, he tells Harry that, of course, being a Weasley, he does not have 10 galleons. So now you have someone who’s going into the Ministry of Magic in the next book, has proven himself to have poor judgment, and is leaving himself open to blackmail because of possible gambling debts, depending on what happens. He’s a security risk. I would not hire him.

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S: To be fair, I feel like the last year has made us way more sensitive to the issue of potential security threats being compromised when it comes to people going into government. Shouldn’t be funny, but all we can do is laugh. I thought it was funny, where Draco Malfoy shows up with his terrible insults again, because he’s the worst insulter ever. “Sure you can manage that broom, Potter?” I’m sorry, that could go a lot of different ways.

C: Are you offering some hands-on help there, Draco? “Need some help ‘polishing’ that ‘broom,’ Potter?”

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S: I couldn’t help but notice that Malfoy makes a very Muggle insult here. He says, “Shame it doesn’t come with a parachute in case you get too near a dementor,” and it’s isn’t that a very Muggle thing for him to know about? Parachutes? Like, it’s the wizarding world. Who uses parachutes?

C: You know why he knows that?

S: Why?

C: Because this is actually a part of that famous fanfic that I don’t know the name of, that’s like a multi-story series.

S: Oh, god.

C: I think where, of course, it turns out well, Draco’s not that bad all along. And I want to say he ends up with Hermione. I could be wrong. I’ve never read it.

S: Not a Dramione fic!

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C: And that’s why he knows about parachutes is because she has Muggle parents, and they’ve been carrying on an affair this entire time because he’s really not evil after all.

S: They’re thirteen! UGH. Although to be fair, I mean Harry and Ron are being complete douches this entire book…if she didn’t have anybody else to hang out with, can you blame her for hanging out with Malfoy? But she’s not, because he’s the worst, and she’d rather be alone than do that.

Okay. So Quidditch, Quidditch, Quidditch. How is Harry allowed to take his wand and wear it under his uniform in a Quidditch matche? How is that not against the rules? How does he not get benched for that?  Because that just means anybody could do that. And as we know Quidditch brings out the absolute worst in people. So how do you allow people to have their wands on the Quidditch pitch?

C: Those are very excellent questions. And also my thought is where do you stick that that that’s not going to jab you and you’re not going to have the possibility of snapping it in half.

S: He stuck it inside the T-shirt he was going to wear under his Quidditch robes. It doesn’t say once he’s in his robes, where he sticks it.

C: A t-shirt is not a good place to stick anything other than your torso.

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S: So we get out on the pitch. Oh, hey, Cho Chang. She pretty. That’s useful. Way to go. Harry. Harry just discovered girls, everyone.

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So we get the game. And really the most entertaining thing about this game, like most of the games, is Lee Jordan’s commentary, and in this case, he’s just like rattling off facts about Firebolts and Professor McGonagall keeps chiming in and interrupting because he just keeps doing it, which is a beautiful thing.

C: I love Lee Jordan’s commentary in these books.

S: There’s just not enough of it, you know? I feel like I could let Lee Jordan commentate on pretty much everything that happens and it would be good.

Oh, you know, the game goes like most of them go: He sees the Snitch! He almost catches the Snitch! He doesn’t catch the Snitch! But wait! He sees the Snitch again!

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In this case it’s just complicated, because he’s like having flirty Quidditch moves on the field with Cho Chang, for some reason.

C: Okay, Miss Person-Who-Thinks-Brooms-Are-Metaphors-For-Penises, interpret Cho following Harry instead of looking for the Snitch, and then cutting him off.

S: Are you saying she’s cock blocking?

C: I don’t know what I’m saying! I’m asking you!

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S: Well you know I mean I did think it was interesting that she’s just like, ‘I’m just gonna follow him, like I don’t even have to try, just follow this dude, he’ll figure it out.’

C: It seems like a bad strategy because he can blow her away, no sexual pun intended there.

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It seems like if you’re on a slow-ass broom, you would want to go to the opposite end of the pitch and just hope really hard that the Snitch ends up much closer to you.

S: All I can say is, he clearly has no problem if he rams into her — again, no pun intended — because she keeps cutting him off mid-flight.

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C: Ha!

S: This is the worst! This entire discussion is awful because subtext! I feel like George Weasley, who has vented his feelings by hitting the second Bludger directly at the offending Beater! And I also love that eventually, McGonagall has to intervene and ask Jordan if he is being paid to advertise Firebolts! And to just get on with it!

Oh, let’s see. Snitch, Snitch, Snitch. Oh, my goodness! Cho blocked him!

“Harry, this is no time to be a gentleman! Knock her off your broom if you have to!”

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That’s so sweet, Oliver Wood.

C: Is that a metaphor for losing one’s virginity?

S: God, I hope not. I really hope not. I just love that Wood is not above resorting to violence no matter who it is, as long as it means they win the game.

So Harry figures it out, and it’s like, oh, well, she’s gonna follow me. I’m gonna make her work for it.

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So, God, this discussion is the worst.

Fortunately, we’re all saved from the loaded implications of this particular scenario with three dementors who appear on the Quidditch field. And Harry, not stopping to think, just whips out his wand.

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DEAR GOD, THIS IS THE WORST. It literally says he whipped out his wand. And fires a Patronus —oh god – why? Why did you do this?

C: Whips out his wand that shoots out a silvery white substance!

S: It literally says “something silver white — something enormous — erupted from the end of his wand!” I CAN’T DO THIS.

C: I mean, you know why it was so enormous? It was because show kept cutting in front of him the entire match, and he was edged the entire time, so when he finally gets his release it’s a big one!

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S: OH MAN. We’re living up to our tagline real quickly, aren’t we?

C: I blame you.

S: There’s just so much in this paragraph that is so bad. Literally after the line about it erupting from his wand, it says:

He knew it had shot directly at the dementors, but didn’t pause to watch. His mind still miraculously clear, he looked ahead. He was nearly there.

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I’m sorry. I can’t! Fortunately, Harry captures the friggin Snitch and the game is over, and then he gets to land, and all the girls on his team make out with him. Hooray! This is a weird book.

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They win, Percy wins his completely dishonest bet with his girlfriend, and Lupin who is both “shaken” but also “pleased” to see Harry’s awesome Patronus, meets up with Harry, who is like, “Dude, those dementors ain’t got nothing on me. It didn’t affect me at all.” Lupin is like, “Yeah, that’s because they weren’t, so slow your roll.” It was just criminal to me that this scene did not make it into the film because this is beautiful that Draco Malfoy was standing on Goyle’s shoulders in a cloak with Crabbe and Goyle, all pretending to be dementors to try to throw Harry off his game. When they fall, he can’t untangle himself, and so he just keeps falling over trying to get up while Professor McGonagall is standing over them, just shouting at them. That’s beautiful.

C: Okay, I have two things. One is, how short are Malfoy and Goyle if the two of them standing on top of each other is equal more or less to Crabbe and Marcus Flint, or just Marcus Flint, standing on their own?

That’s my first thing. And then my second thing is, is there a point in this book or this series where somebody at Hogwarts gets a punishment that is worse than 50 points from their house and a detention? Because it seems like that’s basically par for the course. No matter what you do.

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S: That is par for the course, because this is Hogwarts, where you cannot be expelled unless you are a ginger or half giant.

C: Mm hmm.

S: And even the ginger thing doesn’t hold up because it’s only ever happened once. Seriously, I don’t know.

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C: I feel like this would be worse than 50 points and detention, because you dressed up as horrible creatures that you know Dumbledore is pissed about. You’re lucky Dumbledore didn’t like Avada Kadavra you or something thinking you are a dementor. AND you purposely tried to injure another student in front of the entire school. I just feel like that warrants a severe punishment.

S: At the very least, like they should be banned from Quidditch for the rest of the season. You know, this is a pretty serious offense. But maybe that’s what Filch’s point is. Maybe that’s why he’s always so annoyed that he can’t take kids and hang them by their thumbs in the dungeon, because he knows what we all know, which is that no one ever gets punished at Hogwarts. You just get points taken away, and you get detention for a bit. That’s it.

Which is partly why I enjoy Moody so much. I mean, he’s not really Moody but he’s Moody, and when we get to book four, his version of discipline is to turn Malfoy into a pants ferret. That to me is teaching and real discipline. And it’s a shame that he doesn’t ever get to do it again.

But yeah, even Dumbledore apparently is getting it on this, although I’m sure nothing happens except they get stern talkings-to, maybe a note home, which we know Lucius Malfoy is going to immediately disregard, so big whoop.

But they’re gonna party! Fred and George sneak away for a couple of hours and come back from Hogsmeade with all the good stuff for the party: butterbeer and pumpkin fizz and candy.

C: How does Honeydukes stay in business with all of this theft?

S: Well, now we talked about this before and you said that you didn’t think Fred and George were stealing this. You said you thought they were buying it and sneaking back!

C: I have changed my mind.

S: Right?

C: Because with the amount of crap that they bring back there’s no way they have the money to buy all this.

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S: Yeah, I’d like to give them the benefit of the doubt but I’m not sure especially given that the the passage opens up literally in the storeroom, so. We could ask Hermione her thoughts on this, but she wouldn’t be able to share them because she is sitting in the corner reading an enormous book entitled Home Life and Social Habits of British Muggles.

C: I feel like she knows more on the subject than whoever wrote that textbook.

S: I feel like we need to remind her of the definition of irony since she is a British Muggle who has a home life. Harry tries to come talk to her. She says she did go to the match, but she needs to finish reading her 422 pages by Monday and she’s starting to sound slightly hysterical. And also, Ron is a dick, because right when she’s observing that Ron doesn’t want her over there, Ron just decides to lay on the ridiculous guilt trip of “Oh, if only Scabbers hadn’t been eaten so I could give him a Fudge Fly!”

C: You know what? Put your rat in a fucking cage.

S: Yeah. Whose fault is it that you don’t actually keep your rat anywhere safe? You just let him like, wander around and hang out in your pocket. That’s smart. I’ll tell you where you can stick your Fudge Fly, Ron Weasley.

C: UGH. Up your nostril.

S: He makes her cry! Hermione bursts into tears and runs away, which, I get this. She’s worn down, and I get that she’s exhausted and overwhelmed at this point. It’s not just Ron. It’s just on top of everything. She really needs her friends right now and her friend is being a jerk. Even Harry’s like, “Could you please give her a break?” And this — oh man.

“No,” said Ron flatly.

C: Harry, where are your balls? You have no balls.

“If she just acted like she was sorry — but she’ll never admit she’s wrong, Hermione. She’s still acting like Scabbers has gone on vacation or something.”

S: NOOO! That is literally a description of your behavior. And this is where you observed to me earlier that it really does take a lot for these two to grow in a relationship, because neither one of them is to inclined to admit that they’re wrong, and both of them get upset when the other one won’t admit that they’re wrong! So the fact that this ever goes anywhere is a miracle.

C: Yes.

S: Also Professor McGonagall wears a tartan dressing gown and a hairnet, and I want to see this.

C: That actually sounds kind of similar to how she dresses in the movie.

S: Yes, she has the little bonnet thing. Yeah, it’s so cute. So we get another one of Harry’s prophetic dreams or significant dreams. He falls asleep. And he’s dreaming about going to the forest with a Firebolt on his shoulder, following something silvery white that he can’t catch up with. And as he goes faster, it goes faster. And he’s hearing hoofs and galloping. And then he turns a corner and all of a sudden, there’s just shouting and screaming and disorientation happening in the room where he is, and he realizes that he’s woken up to find Ron sitting up in bed, looking terrified and shouting about Sirius Black, with a knife, who slashed the curtains and woke him up.

So now everyone’s running around like mad, shouting, trying to find an adult. Girls are coming back out of bed, so are boys, and I love that Fred’s first response upon all of this is to just come back into the common room and be like, “Excellent! All right, carrying on with the party!”

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How long did you lay in bed hoping that was going to happen, Fred? Come on.

Um. But Ron is sticking to his story. Everyone keeps telling him that he was dreaming or that it didn’t actually happen. He’s like, No, I know what I saw serious black with a knife and literally just ripped my curtains open and this is a problem.

So finally, McGonagall comes in, and Ron shouts loudly and often enough for her to listen to him. So then she goes and asks Sir Cadogan: “Did you just let a man into Gryffindor tower?”

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And he so cheerfully answers, “Certainly, good lady!”

You did what?! “But the password!” I feel like this is a moment where the adults in this school should recognize that maybe the password system isn’t foolproof. Because she’s like, “But the password!” Like that was going to stop him.

C: He just did his job.

S: He really did like. Sir Cadogan is the only one who was brave enough to do the job. And he actually did the job he was supposed to do. He’s just a little bit mad and didn’t think about a random adult who had a list of passwords getting to their door, and because that’s how he got in. He had a list of the entire week’s passwords, and we get this amazing moment.

Professor McGonagall pulled herself back through the portrait hole to face the stunned crowd. She was white as chalk. “Which person,” she said, her voice shaking, “which abysmally foolish person wrote down this week’s password and left them lying around?”

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C: That would be me in real life because I can’t remember shit.

S: We say that so much. Isn’t this another instance where – Neville gets a lot of flack. But you gotta have guts to, in the middle of the common room when everyone is terrified and freaked out, and in the face of a shaking angry McGonagall, to admit that you were the one who did it.

C: He’s a Gryffindor. We know that he’s got guts.

S: Even though he’s wearing his fluffy slippers!

C: Aw, bless.

S: So we ended chapter 14 with everybody freaking out. Nobody sleeps, nobody knows what to do. The house is being searched, the castle’s being searched, but you know — Sirius gets away.

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Now we’re getting even tighter security I love this:

Professor Flitwick could be seen teaching the front doors to recognize a large picture of Sirius Black;

S: Kind of impressive, I’m not gonna lie! Flitwick just taught inanimate objects to recognize a person. Filch is everywhere. They fired Sir Cadogan.

C: Poor guy!

S: And the fat lady’s back, even though she’s super nervous. And again, how much harm can be done to you? You are a portrait. You are a painting.

C: Well, I guess, I guess when you’re into your entire existence has been narrowed down to a single portrait, you’re going to worry, you know?

S: Yeah I guess you’re right.

C: But my bigger issue would be they hired a bunch of trolls to protect her. Do they really think the trolls are going to protect her if Sirius comes back and really wants to take her out or get into that room?

S: Yeah, I’m pretty sure that’s not going to happen. Also, this book — I’m starting to notice, like this really is the sexual undertone book! Because the trolls pace around the corridor “talking and grunts and comparing the size of their clubs.”

You know, I used to take issue with some of the stuff that Cuaron did, the sight gags in the movie, but now I don’t know that I do! Like, there’s a lot of penis stuff in this book, is what I’m saying.

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But interestingly, the one-eyed witch passage is still unguarded, and no one seems to be paying any attention to it. So at least Harry’s getting the idea that Fred and George were right? Nobody else seems to know about that, which I guess is a good thing. But this is another moment where I want to smack Harry Potter in the face, because Ron’s take on it, when Harry asks, you know, should we tell someone about the secret passage that no one else seems to know about — Ron’s take is,

“Well, we know he’s not coming in through Honeydukes, because we have heard if the shop bad been broken into.”

And Harry is glad that Ron takes this view. Because if the passage was boarded up, he’d never be able to go to Hogsmeade again!

C: Oh, no, whatever would we do??

S: Yeah, this is this is where I realize I’m older now, reading this series, because I want to smack Harry Potter and be like, dude, get your priorities in order, man.

I mean, Ron’s enjoying his notoriety. At least he doesn’t, like, embellish it to where he fights off Sirius Black. At least that doesn’t change. He just talks about how he yelled and Sirius scampered. And that’s the thing that they can’t figure out. Why would Sirius leave? Why wouldn’t he just, you know, kill the kid that’s screaming his head off and proceed to, you know, murder Harry, which we all know is his goal.

C: That’s an excellent question. Excellent question that no one is asking.

S: Poor Neville is in total disgrace, McGonagall banned him from all Hogsmeade business, gave him detention, and forbade anyone to give him the password into the tower. And now he has to wait for people to let him in. While the security trolls are leering at him. Neville’s having the worst year.

C: He is!

S: And then he gets the Howler from his grandmother. And I can only imagine what that was like, given the descriptions that we get of her. That woman is fiery, to say the least.

C: I think she might be a little bit insane.

S: She’s like single handedly takes out Death Eaters in the seventh book.

C: Oh, she does?

S: She does! It’s like a side note! Neville just kind of like quietly slips it in. But yeah, this happens in Book 7, when the Death Eaters try to ambush his grandmother, who’s living alone. And the Death Eaters end up in the hospital, and his grandmother goes on the run.

C: Wow, this lady — you don’t want to mess with her.

S: So I really would not want to get a Howler from her. It would be terrible.

C: There is so much from the sixth and seventh books that I don’t remember at all.

S: That is so great. Because that means I get to gloat and be smug and know things, and then listen to you shout about them when they happen. So that makes me really happy.

Oh! Hedwig nips Harry on the wrist. Good Hedwig! someone needs to do that more often. So he gets invited with Ron. In all caps, Hagrid reminds them YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED OUTSIDE ON YOUR OWN. YOU BETTER WAIT FOR ME TO GO GET YOU.

And I love how quickly Hagrid takes control of this conversation. Because Ron’s like, “Oh, I suppose you want to hear about Saturday night when I was viciously attacked,” and Hagrid’s like, “Yeah, I’ve heard it. I don’t care about that. Shut it, Ron.”

Of course, they’re immediately guilty when they walk in because the first thing they see is Buckbeak. And then they see Hagrid’s awful suit that he’s hung up in preparation for Buckbeak’s hearing, which they were supposed to be helping him on. And they are not.

And they should feel guilty because they were so focused on the Firebolt. That’s all they could think about. Meanwhile, Hermione has been coming down to visit Hagrid since Christmas because her friends have abandoned her. They haven’t been talking to her.

C: Because they’re dicks.

S: Yes. Because her cat — as Hagrid says, her cat acted like all cats do.

C: Thank you, Hagrid!

S: And she’s still helped Hagrid! Harry and Ron, you are bad and you should feel bad, because Hermione is exhausted. And apparently even though it makes zero sense in this world, not sleeping very much, even though she has a Time Turner. The point is that she’s like on the verge of a nervous breakdown and she still has time to do all this.

C: She’s very efficient.

S: I appreciate that Hagrid’s the person to be like, “Look. It’s an animal. Animals are going to do stuff. We’re literally in the middle of a trial about Buckbeak kicking Malfoy’s ass because he’s a jerk, you know, you’re not upset about that. Because that’s what hippogriffs do — they get easily offended. He offended it. Look what happened. But you’re upset about a cat and mouse, like, that’s way more pedestrian, Ron.

C: A mouse that you didn’t even like! You don’t even bother to keep safe!

S: This chapter is a good one because it’s a couple of the more influential adults in their lives setting them down: first, Hagrid, who’s like:

“I’ve seen you practicing Quidditch every hour of the day. But I gotta tell you I thought you would value your friend more than broomsticks or rats, that’s all.”

Ouch! You feel that when you read it. So I appreciate that because we’ve been kind of as we’ve been reading this, you know, I mean, I remember reading this the first time and being annoyed at them. But I was so caught up and trying to figure out what was going on, I think with the plot and everything that I wasn’t as much. Now that I’m reading it, I’m like, dude, you’re jerks. So it is a little more enjoyable to see Hagrid step in and say, “You’re being jerks. Newsflash.”

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Ron’s complaining that Hermione still sticking up for the cat, and Hagrid says the most wise thing I think he ever says:

“Ah, well, people can be a bit stupid about their pets.”

Now, this moment in the chapter made me angry, so I can only imagine how you felt about it. When they go back they go back to the common room and they see a notification about a Hogsmeade weekend coming up — and Ron and Harry are immediately like, “Well, they haven’t blocked off the passage so we should totally go!”

Hermione immediately points out that that is the stupidest decision that she’s ever heard. “We literally just had an incursion from Sirius Black into the castle. If you go through a dangerous secret passage into Hogsmeade, no one else knows you’re there. I will tell on you.”

C: See, I wouldn’t even have told. I mean, I wouldn’t have threatened, I wouldn’t have told them about it. I just would have told.

S: But she already did that once, right? She did that with the Firebolt. And she knows how badly that went. So she’s still trying to be a friend here and say look, you can’t do that. And if you do, even knowing that they’re going to treat her even worse, she’s like, I’m still gonna do it. Because I am the bigger person here.

But yeah, just Ron’s reaction and how upset she gets about it. I was like, oh, man, this this was upsetting. And I as I was reading it, I was thinking about how angry you must be reading it.

C: I don’t even know if I can talk about it. We don’t want to be here all night. Well you know, in this book they’re thirteen. I remember what I was like at 13 and 14 — I was not my best self so you know I understand that, but still, what a couple of dumbasses. Not only did Sirius break into the castle, he was literally in their bedroom. They believe that he betrayed and caused to be murdered Harry’s parents, and yet they’re completely unfazed by this in the face of candy.

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S: You know, one of the things I like about this series is that they are behaving exactly like stupid, short sighted, irritable, moody, mean, dumb, easily distracted 13-year-olds. And it’s frustrating for us and we’re reading them because we want them to have more common sense and you know, think about this, but at the same time, that would be out of character. They’re 13 and they’re stupid, like we all are when we’re 13. And I enjoy that, just like I enjoy that in the very first book Harry seriously considers that he wound up on a roof because the wind might have caught him mid-jump! Because that is 11-year-old logic, and it makes total sense, whereas a couple books from now he never would have thought that. For all her faults, JK Rowling does have a really good handle on what it’s like at each age, and does really well writing it. I mean, when we get to CAPS LOCK HARRY in book five? I remember being that way at fifteen.

C: I don’t remember you being that way at fifteen!

S: To be fair, I didn’t really shout a lot, but I do remember being angry and irritable and just fed up with everyone and everything. I just didn’t say much about it. But I do remember feeling that way, so for what it’s worth.

So after all of this, they make the best decision they could possibly make and say yeah, we’re totally going to go, we’re just going to take the invisibility cloak. Harry goes on the day of, gets the Marauders Map, he’s on his way out – and Neville shows up. He tries to get into the passage but Neville shows up too quickly. So he just goes along with a series of terrible excuses.

And then Snape comes up! Because that’s even better! It’s really does have to be annoying that Snape cottons on to everything so quickly.

I mean, he says two sentences here:

“And what are you two doing here? An odd place to meet.”

And then he immediately starts looking over all the doorways and everything in the hallway, because he’s trying to figure out why are they here right now?

C: And I think that that’s so funny because I don’t know that coming across someone in a hallway actually qualifies as really suspicious.

S: And I don’t know if that means he’s really smart, or that he’s just always suspicious whenever Harry’s around!

C: I think both, and also because he saw firsthand all the shit that James Potter and the rest of them got up to, so he knows how this works.

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S: And Harry isn’t doing much to bolster confidence, because his reply is, “We’re not meeting here. We just … met here.”

C: So suave, Harry. So smooth.

S: They turn the corner, and Harry looks back and sees Snape running one of his hands over the one-eyed witch sculpture, looking at it — and you have to wonder! Maybe he doesn’t know that there’s a passage, but you have to wonder if he’s putting this together with other memories that he has. Maybe he always expected there was something there, but he didn’t know what it was. That has to be a little disquieting.

But thanks to the map, after a while Harry ditches Neville and then sees that Snape is back in his office, and heads straight for the passage to Honeydukes. He spies Ron, they go to the post office and check out the owls, and I WANT A TINY SCOPS OWL. It says they’re so small they could fit in the palm of your hand!

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C: But what use are they, besides sitting in the palm of your hand and pooping?

S: They don’t need to do anything besides sit in my hand! I know it would be useless. But they’re so cute.

Let’s see. They go to Zonko’s and buy a bunch of stuff that they’re definitely not supposed to have. And then they go check out the Shrieking Shack, which I think is hilarious because Ron says:

“Even the Hogwarts ghosts avoid it. I asked Nearly Headless Nick. He says he’s heard a very rough crowd lives here.”

I think Nick is just kind of a wimp personally, but whatever. And Fred and George have tried, but all the entrances are sealed shut, which says a lot about the security of this particular place. If Fred and George try it and couldn’t get in, that does tell you that there really is only one way to access this particular building.

C: I’m just amazed, actually, that they came across somewhere you can’t get into with Alohomora!

S: You know why? Because it was actually the Marauders this sealed that off and they were smart enough to do something other than a charm that could be broken by Alohomora.

C: The only wizards in existence who were smart enough, apparently. But was it? Or did Dumbledore do it?

S: It was Dumbledore, you’re right. I spoke too soon. It’s always Dumbledore!

C: Point for me!

S: And for Dumbledore, because he screwed it up in book one, but it got it right on this one.

Okay, this next scene. The movie was much kinder to them in with this scene than the book is, because in the movie when Malfoy, Crabbe and Goyle show up, Harry’s conveniently under the invisibility cloak. And so he uses that opportunity to pants them. Throw a few snowballs, freak them out, drag them towards the Shrieking Shack, and generally scare them enough so that they run away.

This time, because Malfoy shows up and he’s talking trash, Harry starts throwing mud whilst hidden under the invisibility cloak, which I wonder how he does it? How do you throw it without your hand showing?

C: I wonder the exact same thing, and especially when he picks up the stick. I’m like, dude, do you know that you have to stick your hand outside of the cloak to stick your arm out and trip someone with a stick? You’re kind of giving away your secret there, buddy.

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S: In the movie, it’s funny how it goes down, and you get the pratfalling and freaking out. But here, Crabbe steps on Harry’s freaking cloak hem, and it slides off his face.

C: I feel like if that happened in real life it would slide all the way off him, not just off your head, because it’s over you like a ghost costume if you were a kid for Halloween, right? You step on the hem and pull away, and it comes over your head.

S: Yeah, it would just fall completely off. Maybe the cloak in the book goes on differently than the one in the movie. In the movie, you just kind of drape it over yourself like a great big blanket. Is this actually a kind of clothing that you can kind of pull over your face?. It doesn’t make any sense.

But either way, that part aside, that was the stupidest thing, dude! They freaking saw you! I don’t see how Malfoy got scared by this, because you know he recognized Harry. I guess he just didn’t think in the moment — but oh my goodness, how dumb do you have to be?

C: I mean Ron and Harry are pretty dumb. We have established that before, and will establish it many more times.

S: I know! The movie really is much kinder to them and their decisions, because in the movie what happens next happens because Harry is wandering around the castle at night for what to the audience is a pretty legit reason.

But NOTHING that happens with Snape next happens for any kind of a legit reason. It happens because Harry was being stupid.

C: I was just wondering last night what would have happened if Hermione had been sorted into Ravenclaw instead of Gryffindor.

S: The boys never would have made it past first year.

C: They wouldn’t have become friends at all, or she wouldn’t have been in the tower with them all the time and able to help with stuff, and when you think about it, the fate of the wizarding world rested, not so much on Harry, but on Hermione being there to keep them from dying every year.

S: We should make that case, at some point — just make a full case that Hermione is the true Chosen One in this series because without her Harry Potter drops dead in his first year.

C: She is our Queen.

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S: Okay. Harry makes it back to the school. He leaves the cloak in the passage, because he can’t have it with him in case Malfoy tips off a teacher.

Aaaaaaand guess what Harry? Malfoy tipped off a teacher. Which teacher did you think he was going to tip off? Did you even think that far? Because who else was he going to tell?

C: Check the map! See where people are so Snape doesn’t essentially catch you coming straight out of the statue.

S: He’s exactly where Snape was already suspicious of him being! All of a sudden, Snape comes back and there’s Harry, standing in that same spot again after he’s heard this story from Malfoy about what Harry’s been up to.

His hands are muddy!

“He tried to look innocent, all too aware of his sweaty face and his muddy hands, which he quickly hid in his pockets.”

It’s a good thing that Harry Potter never took up a life of crime. He would never succeed.

C: Well, in real life we are lucky that most criminals are stupid.

S: He’s dragged to Snape’s office,  and Snape has some of the most amazing lines in this moment. Aside from Snape’s eyes boring into Harry’s, which takes on a whole new implication when you get to book five, I love this:

“Malfoy saw an extraordinary apparition. Do you know what it might have been? It was your head floating in mid air. What would your head have been doing in Hogsmeade, Potter? Your head is not allowed in Hogsmeade. No part of your body has permission to be in Hogsmeade.”

I would have loved to see Alan Rickman do those.

C: Yeah, it’s pretty great. And I mean, we all hate Snape because he’s awful. But, um, you know, I kind of enjoy him nailing Harry to the wall.

S:  Snape’s one of the few competent teachers. He’s one of the few people that Harry cannot get past very easily. He’s too smart for that, and it’s kind of enjoyable to see someone who doesn’t just let them, you know, cast jinxes on each other on the Quidditch match in the middle of the game. Um.

“Sounds like Malfoy having hallucinations.”

Yeah, that’s a good response. That’ll convince him.

C: What would your response have been?

S: I probably would have just sat there and not said anything, knowing me. I mean, what could you have said? It was my evil doppelganger!

C: “Well, that’s impossible!” We can’t say he got splinched.

S: Yeah, not far enough in the series. Now of course Snape reminds us why we don’t enjoy him so much, because he takes this opportunity to gloat about how famous Harry Potter is the worst.

C: Except, he’s not wrong!

S: That’s the worst part — he’s not wrong.

“Everyone from the Minister of Magic downward has been trying to keep famous Harry Potter safe from Sirius Black but famous Harry Potter is a law unto himself let the ordinary people worry about his safety famous Harry Potter goes where he wants to with no thoughts of the consequences

Yeah, though! We’ve said this before – Harry is extraordinarily fortunate that Sirius Black is not actually who everyone thinks he is, because if he was, dude.

C: He’d already be dead. He would have killed everybody in their dormitory.

S: So now Snape takes this opportunity to take potshots at Harry’s dead father, which is really classy. This is where Snape’s personal issues really get in the way.

He starts talking about James:

“A small amount of talent on the Quidditch field made him think he was a cut above the rest of us, strolling around the place with his friends and admirers.”

C: And yet I feel that’s probably fairly accurate.

S: That’s the thing about Snape’s assessment of James. Unfortunately, most of it is probably true. It may be colored a little bit by his perspective, but for the most part, it’s probably not wrong. I mean, he says,

“Your father didn’t set much store by rules, either. Rules were for lesser mortals.”

Oh, and the next thing we know Harry’s on his feet shouting, telling Snape to shut up.

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And he brings up this thing that Dumbledore told him, which Dumbledore mentions in the first book because Harry asked —

C: Bad idea jeans, Harry. Bad idea jeans. You never heard that before?

S: Like you put on your bad idea jeans today?

C: Yeah, that’s a thing.I actually don’t know where it comes from. I just know that it is a good one.

S: Because now he’s trying to throw something in Snape’s face which he knows absolutely nothing about.

“I know the truth. He saved your life. Dumbledore told me you wouldn’t even be here if it wasn’t for my dad.”

And Snape’s like yeah, but did he tell you how?

“Let me correct you. Your saintly father and his friends played a highly amusing joke on me that would have resulted in my death if your father hadn’t got cold feet at the last moment. There was nothing brave about what he did. He was saving his own skin as much as mine. Had their jokes succeeded, he would have been expelled from Hogwarts.”

THAT’S how you get expelled from Hogwarts! You murder someone!

C: Well let’s be fair, this would have been like – oh, anywhere between negligent homicide and manslaughter at best.

S: Still – if we find out that a student died in Newt Scamander’s backstory somewhere, whether or not it was his fault, I think we may finally have our answer.

C: You’re not wrong.

S: Right? If Snape had died, James would have been expelled. Myrtle died, and Hagrid was expelled. If someone died while Newt Scamander was at Hogwarts, then we have our answer! You must literally end someone’s life to get kicked out of this school. That’s not a great precedent.

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And now, Snape tells him to turn out his pockets. Do you enjoy this scene? Because I do.

C: With Lupin, you mean? Oh yeah. I’m not I’m not crazy about Lupin covering for them, but I do love the smack down he gives them, and that after essentially Hagrid laying a smack down, Hermione threatening them, Snape telling Harry exactly how the cow ate the cabbage — fourth time’s a charm! It takes Lupin saying something, and it finally gets through.

S: That’s right, they get told off four times in one chapter. That’s kind of impressive.

Okay. So Harry, as we know, has the bag of tricks, and he has the Marauders Map. Harry is trying very hard not to betray what this is. It just looks like a spare bit of parchment — and Snape immediately calls his bluff. “Spare bit of parchment? Let’s toss it in the fire!”

Harry immediately tries to stop him, so no. Snape tries to make the parchment say what it is and nothing happens for a bit, until Snape calls himself master of the school and commands the parchment to reveal the information — at which point, Messers Mooney, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs arise from the dead to insult Severus Snape.

Mr. Moony presents his compliments to Professor Snape and begs him to keep his abnormally large nose out of other people’s business.

Mr. Prongs agrees with Mr. Moony, and would like to add that Professor Snape is an ugly git.

Mr. Padfoot would like to register his astonishment that an idiot like that ever became a professor.

Mr. Wormtail bids Professor Snape good day and advised him to wash his hair, the slimeball.

Okay, I need your thoughts. I need your thoughts on this. At this point, do you think Snape recognizes these nicknames? Do you think he knows — I mean, maybe doesn’t know exactly what he has, but has an idea of what he has right now?

C: I feel like he does, because he asked Lupin if he got this from the manufacturer.

S: Right? So the first thing he does is called Lupin. Immediately, he summons Lupin into his office, he shows him the parchment, and we get this wonderful line:

An odd, closed expression appeared on Lupin’s face. Lupin continued to stare at the map. Harry had the impression that Lupin was doing some very quick thinking.

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And part of me feels like the way this thing plays out is entirely enslaved to what has to happen with the plot development, because there’s enough here to suggest that Snape knows. Like you said, Lupin tries to play it off. He says it looks like it’s just a piece of parchment that insult anyone who tries to read it, and I think he probably got it from a joke shop. And we have this great line from Snape:

“Indeed?” His jaw had gone rigid with anger. “You think a joke shop could supply him with such a thing? You don’t think it more likely that he got it directly from the manufacturers?”

What else could have tipped him off to that but the nicknames?

C: It had to have been.

S: So he had to know at some level that he has something of theirs and I guess the only reason I can think that Snape doesn’t make that clear — because I feel like if you know that, why do you let Lupin leave with this, and Harry? Why do you buy this story? I mean obviously Snape doesn’t buy it, but on the surface he buys it enough to let them go, like they’ve outmaneuvered him and they leave the office.

And I was thinking, if you know, why do you not be like, “Lupin? I perfectly aware that you’re lying and I can prove it. Let’s do something about this.” You know what I mean?

C: How would he prove it though?

S: Well, he knows and Dumbledore knows who Lupin is. I don’t think it would be a stretch for Dumbledore to make the connection between Lupin the werewolf and Mooney on the map, what with Snape’s background history with them. I think those connections can be made very easily.

So part of me thought there’s no way you let this go. If you’re Snape, =you know he’s lying to you. You know Harry’s lying, you know Lupin is lying, and you know Lupin is covering for Harry. Why do you let that go? and the only thing I could think is that Snape decided he didn’t want anyone to handle this situation but himself. This just feeds his desire to pay Lupin back and to catch him at this somehow, because he’s convinced that Lupin is helping Sirius, right?

C: He seems to be, yeah. And he, he knows that Dumbledore does not feel the same way. And also that Dumbledore has a soft spot for Harry. And I’m sure at this point Snape feels like he’s the only one who’s got his head on straight when it comes to Lupin and Harry and Sirius and all that. Because what’s going to happen if he calls Dumbledore to the office and is like, I’m pretty sure Harry was in Hogsmeade, but I don’t know how and I can’t prove it. I’m pretty sure this parchment is something that it’s not but I can’t prove it. I’m pretty sure it’s connected to Lupin, but I can’t prove it. I mean, we know Dumbledore’s gonna do something where eyes twinkle and he just escorts them out of the room.

S:  I guess it could go either way. It’s a pretty heavy piece of circumstantial evidence that could very quickly tie Lupin to Sirius if Dumbledore was in the right frame of mind to see it. And if Snape could make his case well enough, but I guess that’s too much of a risk. And I don’t think Snape wants Dumbledore to handle this. I think he wants to handle it because it’s so personal. So maybe that’s it too, he doesn’t want to give this off to anybody yet. He’s still trying to figure out how he’s going to handle it. And to be fair, at this point, he’s so furious. I’m sure he’s not thinking all of this out. But I used to just wonder why, when it was so blatantly obvious that everyone in this scene is lying, except for Snape, that Snape lets them go.

And yes, Lupin 100% covers for him, and then Ron shows up right on cue saying that he gave Harry all that stuff. So Lupin says, “Oh well, that clears that up, I’ll take this and Harry and Ron you need to come to me to talk about homework.” So they leave.

C: Can I just interrupt you for a second?

S: Please do!

C: In no world is Ron smart enough to remember that Harry was carrying a bunch of Zonko’s shit in his pants, and that he needed to burst into the room and not, like, gauge the situation or see what’s going on, and just blurt out, “I gave it to him! Ages ago!”

S: Yeah, who told him Harry was in Snape’s office? But fortunately for all of us, we get the fourth set-down, where finally someone that Harry’s willing to listen to – Lupin — rakes him over the coals. Please talk about how satisfying this is for you.

C: It is! It is, because it’s just so succinct and spot on, and it’s wonderful. It’s really probably my favorite thing in this entire book.

S: It’s powerful! And it shows the fact that at this point in his life Harry really does need someone to act like a parent to him and that really becomes a problem when we get to Book Five when Sirius is trying to act more like a buddy and does not know how to be a father figure.

At the very least, at moments like this, Lupin is able to step up and be like, “That was the stupidest thing you could have done. I am astounded that you did not turn that in! YES I know what it is, NO I’m not going to tell you how I know, and the last time someone just left information lying around Sirius Black showed up with a knife. But you were totally fine going la-de-da off to Hogsmeade!”

When I read this, the way it’s written as dialogue in the scene, it feels much calmer. To me it feels very short, and Lupin’s very controlled, but David Thewlis in the scene in the film, when he sets Harry down, is SO GOOD.

C: I have no memory of it.

S: Oh, I’m going to enjoy when we watch this. He puts a lot more force and just strong disappointment into that scene. It’s beautifully done. You can see Harry becoming crestfallen, as he realizes exactly how dumb he’s been and how much he’s disappointed the person that has been the best mentor to him that he’s had. It’s beautifully done. Now in this, because there’s a few clues that she wants in this scene, it doesn’t just it doesn’t play out as a straightforward as Lupin telling Harry off, kicking his butt, taking the map, go back to your room — that’s how it plays out in the film. This breaks that up a little bit because he tells him off a bit, and then Harry asks a question about why Snape thought he get it from the manufacturers — and that makes Lupin has to pause because he has to think about how to answer that.

“Because these mapmakers would have wanted to lure you out of school. They would think it extremely entertaining.”

“Do you know them?” Harry asked, impressed.

“We’ve met.”

At least he tells him that he will not cover up for him again. I know you weren’t impressed that he covered up for him in the first place.

C: No.

S: What do you feel like he should have done?

C:  I wouldn’t say that he should reveal what the map is. But I mean, I don’t know why — why would he cover up for Harry? Because he knows that Harry has been sneaking out to Hogsmeade using the map, and he knows how dangerous and unsmart and essentially just disrespectful to everyone who has spent so, so much effort trying to keep him safe. I don’t know why he would cover for him.

S: The only reasons I can think of are a little bit unfortunate, because the only thing I can think is that if Lupin says how he knows what he knows, he has to explain the map. And at this point, it seems like he is really trying to keep his past history with Sirius under wraps. And he would have to explain the map, how he knows what it is, how he knew that Harry was sneaking out — it would be a whole can of worms about his own situation that he does not want to open.

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C: But why would he have to do any of that? All he could say is, “I don’t know what this is Snape, but I’ll leave you to it with ol’ Harry here.”

S: That’s a good point. He doesn’t want Snape to have the map He doesn’t want Harry to have the map. He probably figures the safest place it can be is in his hands where, at the very least, he knows how to use it, and I guess maybe he figures if Sirius tries anything Lupin will see him coming a mile away. I guess he figures he’s the best person in this scenario to keep an eye on what Harry’s doing, what Sirius is doing. It’s like it’s like the only play he can make without endangering himself and without giving Snape access to things he doesn’t want him to have access to. And there’s a little bit of, you know, protecting Harry because he likes him, because he’s his friend’s son.

And to be fair, if he hadn’t done that, then he wouldn’t have the opportunity to give him this stellar telling-off the way he does, about how “You better be damn grateful that I covered for your butt because you are moron and you just like insulted everything your parents stood for by playing with your life so lightly.”

So I guess he makes the call and figures that the safest hands are his own, and we have to hope that’s true.

C: Or, you know, it’s just plot reasons.

S: Oh, bah to you and your plot reasons! Because the plot says that’s how it happened. That’s why.

C: Exactly!

S:  Okay, so at the very least, when Lupin walks away Harry is feeling worse

“by far than he had at any point in Snape’s office.”

GOOD.

He leaves the invisibility cloak — there’s no way he can go down there and get it. He and Ron go back up and they find Hermione’s headed towards him and Ron. Of course being a douche, Ron assumes that she’s coming to gloat or to tell on them, and she’s like, no, neither of those things. Hagrid just lost his case and Buckbeak’s going to be executed. What a way to end that chapter!

C: I know that we’ve been talking shit about Ron essentially for every chapter of this book so far, and especially for this episode, but for real — is he not the most self-centered person?

S: That’s one of his consistent character flaws. And that that’s not just this book. It shows up over and over and over again. And it takes him a long time to get past that it. Honestly, it takes up to book seven and him ditching his friends and then realizing what a terrible mistake he’s made to get past that. That’s really what changes Ron. But it takes him up to that point to really deal with that flaw in his own personality.

All that aside, is not to say that I don’t still think Ron is awesome. I do.

C: I mean, he is, and he’s brave, and hilarious, and all that.

S: That’s these characters — all of them are awesome. But they’re all terrible at the same time, depending on the situation.

I mean, as we’ve said, Harry’s entire arc can be summed up by “He then did something very brave and very stupid.” That’s him.

C: Yeah.

S: But this is a heavy chapter! And ending it with Buckbeak going to be executed? I remember sitting in the theater and seeing the scene where they have Hagrid saying Buckbeak’s been sentenced to death, and everything goes quiet and he’s crying, and there’s this silent moment in the film. I remember sitting there and thinking, wow, this is getting dark! I mean they had already been getting dark we’re talking about a movie with dementors,  but at this point the film I was like, “They’re doing this for real!”

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C: I remember reading this book for the first time and being like, there’s no way Buckbeak’s going to get executed, and then, you know, he did, and then he was un-executed thanks to the Time-Turner. So Buckbeak is like Shrodinger’s Buckbeak. Is he executed, or is he not executed? Schrodinger’s Hippogriff, I guess would be more accurate.

S: Remind me when we get to that chapter to name it “Schrodinger’s Buckbeak!” I really got hooked on this series with the second book. It drew me in and got me. But the this book I remember just being consumed by, because it was so different. It was a completely different type of story. And the concerns were so different, and all of a sudden we’re learning all this stuff about his past and all the stuff with Hagrid. I was just like, “AAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!”  I don’t if I figured out what was going to happen. I know I was surprised by most of the plot twists. I honestly don’t remember if I thought Buckbeak was actually going to die or not. I don’t even know if I had enough emotional space to give to that! I was still trying to figure out what the heck was going on with Lupin, because you know I was dumb and didn’t know.

C: Yeah, I did not pick up on the werewolf stuff with Lupin at all.

S: I’m going to be honest — for the generation that got the books as they were coming out and we’re reading them as they were coming out — if you’re trying to convince me that you had figured out before you got to the end? You lyin’. I don’t believe that for a second.

I mean it’s possible if you if you know what the word ‘lupine’ means, maybe you figured it out. There’s lots of clues, in retrospect.

C: Oh yes, the tons of teenagers and children who happen to know the Latin root word etymology.

S: Well, I do enjoy word origins, but obviously I didn’t enjoy it enough at the time to make the connection. So I don’t know why I’m defending this.

C: The thing that I remember the most from my first time reading this book, and I think I may have talked about this before in one of the earlier chapters that we’ve done, but I remember realizing at some point during this whole time when Ron and Hermione are fighting with each other that those were the two that were going to wind up together, not Harry and Hermione, which is what I had just assumed, and I was pissed. I put the book down and didn’t read it for a while, because I was so annoyed and it wasn’t that I was shipping Harry and Hermione, because I don’t think I was. But it became so obvious to me in this book, how it was going to go.

S: I remember you being angry! I remember us sitting in a science class. I remember that much. We were sitting in a science class talking about it. I remember you being mad. And I remember being confused, because I had never thought that Harry and Hermione we’re going to end up together and I remember being legit like, “Oh wow. Like that’s really what you thought? I never thought that!” and you were like, “Oh, well, you’re stupid.” I think I just made you madder.

C: What I think is funny is that you can remember specific instances where we were sitting somewhere and I was mad — because I feel like that describes all of junior high and high school.

S: Well, next time we will hopefully do a couple more chapters. We did pretty well! We’re doing two chapters in one this time, so maybe we can do it next time. Who knows? I don’t know, there’s not as many Quidditch games left for us to breeze through, so.

C: Did you say grease through?

S: Breeze.

C: I was trying to make a dirty joke and you were not picking up on it!

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S: We have to end on a high note?

C: We are who we are! this is the podcast that it is, and we have to lean into it!

S: And that is why you listen to us, you awesome people! That’s it for this time! You can find us on Twitter at @admugglestudies, or email us at mugglestudiesblog@gmail.com. Hopefully we will have another episode up one day soon! So until next time, I am the Scandalized Professor Seraphine–

C: I’m Professor Creed, who is always unfazed –

S: So true! And we’ll see you next time on Advanced Muggle Studies!

Show Notes

Intro music: “Danse Macabre” by Camille Saint-Saens, performed by Kevin McLeod

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. J.K. Rowling.

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. Özge says:

    Hello and thank you for the podcasts:) I wanted to listen to them on my mobile while commuting but couldn’t find you in the podcasts app. Do you offer any other option of downloading the audio and/or listening on mobile via an app?

    Like

    1. Hi, and thanks so much for listening to us!! We are not in a podcast app yet, although that is a goal we have. I stream them on my phone through the site myself — just pull up the website and listen to them there — but I know that if connection is an issue, it can be a problem. I will work on getting us on an app soon! Any preference of app you’d like to see us on?

      Thanks again for listening!!
      -Professor Seraphine

      Like

      1. ÖZGE says:

        Thrilled to hear that it is on the agenda! I found your podcast while googling a literary criticism focused HP podcast and, though this may not be a goal you have, I believe being in an app will make your podcast more accessible, so more will benefit from the work you put in here. The Apple Podcasts app would work just fine for me👍🏻

        Like

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