Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Ch. 15-16: Balls.

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This week, we discuss: we’re still making Quidditch happen; #rightsforflobberworms; nascent political feels; the emotional labors of Hermione Granger; Hermione channels her inner Jessica Jones; also, shippers really want her to dye her hair; potential implications of Cheering Charms and wizard fetishes; Fred and George, smut purveyors; the fascinating and fraudulent history of crystal balls; dirty Quidditch games and more balls; Hogwarts is inefficient; Fudge’s symbolic name; psychosexual ax fingering; the boner and prophecy book; Scabbers, you son of a bitch; and wizards could really use zippers.

S: Welcome back to Advanced Muggle Studies! We are on chapter 15 and 16 of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. We are being super ambitious. Today we are going to take down two chapters in one go. Are you with me? Professor?

C: I am with you.

S: Excellent.

Chapter 15: The Quidditch Final

Fortunately for us, Chapter 15 is a lot of Quidditch, and the Quidditch chapters tend to fly by pretty quickly, so that’s nice. And we’re so close to the books where JK Rowling just kind of throws up her hands and is like, “Okay, no more Quidditch ever again.” Like, we get to book five, and she makes up excuses not to have to write Quidditch games. She does the same thing in book six — Harry’s not even in half the Quidditch games so we don’t have to see them, which is really smart as an author, but at this point, we’re still making Quidditch happen. So, Quidditch.

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C: Huzzah.

S: Well, we open chapter 15 in a sad place because it’s right after we closed with Hagrid getting the news that Buckbeak’s going to be put to death, and Hermione came and told the boys, who were being douches last time we saw them, predictably. So, when we open, we see Hagrid’s letter that Hermione has brought. It is damp, and it has been smudged with enormous teardrops, and I just want to hug Hagrid.

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C: It is the saddest letter.

S: It really is, and it’s all these short declarative sentences and every one of them makes you so sad.

Dear Hermione, 

We lost. I’m allowed to bring him back to Hogwarts. 

Execution date to be fixed.

Beaky has enjoyed London. 

I won’t forget all the help you gave us. 

Hagrid.

C: And something tells me that Buckbeak did not really enjoy London. I mean, you’re a wild, fantastic beast. You’re not going to enjoy being in the city.

S: Yeah. Either that is true, or Hagrid somehow like — I don’t know.

C: I think he convinces himself a little bit too much.

S: Yeah, I think Newt Scamander has a much stronger grasp on whether his creatures are actually happy in any given situation or not. Hagrid, I think because he’s happy to be with them all the time, he’s assuming that they’re happy to be doing what he’s doing all the time. And we know the flobberworms weren’t enjoying themselves. They just gave up and died.

C: Oh, the poor flobberworms. It makes me so sad. I mean, like, your life isn’t sad and pathetic enough as it is if you’re born a flobberworm, but then you have to go through that crap being part of a Care of Magical Creatures class for a bunch of 13-year-olds who don’t care.

S: The indignity of being constantly fed lettuce?

C: #RightsForFlobberworms!

S: Hermione needs to put that into her platform for S.P.E.W. in book four. I like this though, because, you know, this book starts leaning into the politics of the wizarding world a little bit more. We’ve seen hints of them in books one and two, but we’re about to get into book four, which is going to get political in a big way, and I like that at this point the kids are starting to recognize that sometimes it’s more about politics than it is about anything else.

I mean, Harry’s over here naively thinking they can’t do this! Buckbeak isn’t dangerous! And Hermione’s like — but they can, though, because Malfoy’s dad controls the committee, and that’s why this is going to happen, whether it should or not.

C: Hermione Granger: smarter than you since always.

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S: Then we get this moment where Ron sort of apologizes, but also conveniently doesn’t, and they make up anyway. Ron basically steps up and decides he’s going to put his douchiness aside for a bit and be like, “You won’t have to do all the work alone this time, Hermione! Not THIS time! THIS time, I’ll help!”

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C: I’ll help work on the thing that has already been decided!

S: And Hermione hugs him and is crying, and Ron’s patting her, and then Hermione apologizes about Scabbers. And then Ron doesn’t. He just says, “Oh well, he was old and he was a bit useless.” And I know that we’re supposed to take that as Ron apologizing without apologizing, but… it’s not an apology.

C: It’s not an apology. After all he did? And he tried to kick her cat.

S: You know, we’ve talked about it before — about Hermione doing all the emotional labor in this relationship. And she really is doing all the emotional labor in this relationship! She’s the one actually apologizing, whereas Ron skates by with a non-apology. I know that we’re supposed to like Ron for stepping up and realizing he’s been an ass and trying to do better. But, you know, at the same time, I do feel like this is also a small example of the way that, you know, we forgive our male protagonists so easily. And I love Ron, I really do. And this is his typical character flaw, where he screws up big time and then realizes that he sucks and then steps up to make it right. That’s kind of Ron’s thing. And I’m fine with that.

C: That’s what makes it frustrating, though. It’s like it happens — it feels like — in every book.

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S: It does feel like it! Because his insecurities always get in the way! And it climaxes with him doing this to the nth degree in Book Seven. He basically takes this pattern as far as he can take it. Then he realizes and finally takes it far enough that it seems to have changed him fundamentally. And that’s going to be fun to talk about in Seven, but we’re not there yet. We’re still in our 13 year.

So meanwhile, there’s all this security going in, so they have to slip away to see Hagrid. And poor Hagrid,  it’s heartbreaking listening to him talk about how he tried, you know, he had his notes, but he kept forgetting dates… But he was trying! And then Lucius Malfoy just smarmed all up in there and tossed his hair back, and everybody just fell in line.

C: Smarmed up in there?

S:  You know he did! You’ve seen him do it, you know that’s how that went.

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SMAAAAAAAAAAARM

So now Ron wants to work on the appeal. But even Hagrid’s like, “Look, that’s not really going to go anywhere, because that committee is in Lucius Malfoy’s pocket. I’m just going to try and make Buckbeak happy.”

And then we get the moment that cemented Hermione Granger into the hearts, minds, and souls of young ladies the world around. Because Draco Malfoy, Crabbe and Goyle have been standing around listening, and Malfoy is just giddy over this. He is loving this. And he says:

Have you ever seen anything quite as pathetic? And he’s supposed to be our teacher!

Hermione reaches deep down, and channels her inner Jessica Jones, and hauls off — and I know it says that she slaps Draco in the book —  but in this case, I am going to cede to the movie version where she hauls off and punches his ass. You agree?

C: Yes. And I love that apparently she actually did punch him. You told me that once.

S: Yeah, she did. She didn’t mean to. But apparently Emma Watson had had a bit of a very obvious crush on Tom Felton for a little bit up to this point. And everyone knew it; he knew it. And she said after the fact that he was always really nice to her, and he never made her feel uncomfortable. But you know, when you’re a kid, and you kind of start growing out of having a crush on someone, and you’re still having to go to school with them, or in her case, having to work with that person, it can get a little awkward, I imagine. She said she just kind of accidentally let loose a little bit and actually really smacked him. That’s his head smacking into the rock.

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C: Well, they seem to be great friends now, which is lovely.

S: They do, don’t they? You know, judging by their Instagram and whatnot, they seem to really get along, which is super cute.

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AWWWWWWWW

But here? No, she just nailed him – and then she pulls out her wand! And unlike Harry, who thinks he could kill someone with his wand, but we all know he absolutely could not, I think we’re pretty sure Hermione could if she wanted to.

C: Well, I mean, she could, if she ever really, like felt the killing urge. But that aside, she could Hex him into oblivion or do whatever, because Hermione knows how to do everything. That’s what her character is.

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Although, judging by Wattpad, Hermione’s evil/good potential lies in her hair

S: Exactly. So it’s an actual real threat, and it’s a fantastic one, and I love that it actually makes them panic to the point that Malfoy backs down and they scurry away. And Hermione’s response is:

“Harry, you’d better beat him in the Quidditch final!” Hermione said shrilly. “You just better had, because I can’t stand it if Slytherin wins!”

C: But what I like about it, too, is that he backs down without even attempting to get the last word! They just scuttle away.

S: Yeah, they really do. scuttle is a great word for this or for how they handle it. They scurry and hide because they’re ridiculous. Then they go to Charms and Professor Flitwick tells them they’re working on Cheering Charms, which is, you know, something that Hermione could probably use at this point. But, alas, alack! They turn around. And once again, she is gone.

Harry. You are so dense.

“That’s weird,” said Harry, staring at Ron. “Maybe — maybe she went to the bathroom or something?”

 

C: I actually have a comment about Cheering Charms.

S: Please do.

C: Well, I thought initially, wow, wouldn’t it be great if we had Cheering Charms in real life? And then I thought, no, that would probably be like marijuana or meth. So that’s my thought. Like temporarily it would make you feel great. And then you come down from it afterwards, and you feel even worse than you did before.

S: That does have some potential for really negative side effects, and also for abuse, right? Like what if somebody was casting Cheering Charms on you to make you, you know, try to manipulate you emotionally, make you feel like you’re happier about something than you actually are? Because that would suck.

C: Or even if you’re doing it to yourself, just like, “Oh, I hate my job here at Flourish and Blotts where these Monster books keep biting me. But I’m just going to keep casting this Cheering Charm on myself over and over and everything’s gonna be fine!” And then before you know it, you’ve sunk into a deep, deep clinical depression. And it’s awful.

S: Dude, that is such a fascinating thought. And I love the idea. You really have to think that in the wizarding world, there’s gotta be some weird addictions. REALLY weird. I feel like we talked about this before, but like, if you actually did have magic and you actually did have these abilities, there would be some really weird shit going on.

C: “I want the Monster Book of Monsters to slam on my dick!” Stuff like that. I mean, some people like pain.

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Craig Ferguson, you naughty Muggle

S: I know, okay! Oh, that whole Hand of Glory suddenly becomes waaaaay more interesting, doesn’t it?

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C: Can you name some of the some of the types of candies from that shop in whatever the name of that town is? Because you could do some weird shit with some of that.

S: Right? Fizzing Whizbees, which make you levitate…

C: Oh, you know how many people would put those up their butt?

S: Yeah they would. There would be an epidemic of people at St. Mungo’s with Fizzing Whizbees up their butt.

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Oh, man. Now, now, I’m thinking about Book Six, where Fred and George had that little section in the back of their store where they actually have like, kind of Dark Arts stuff. Not stuff that is Dark, but stuff to use as like Defense Against the Dark Arts, like the Peruvian blackness powder and the Decoy Detonators and stuff like that. And that kind of feels to me, now I’m thinking about it, kind of a similar vibe as a movie rental place that had the little part in the back with the curtain, you know, where only the adults could go?

C: Mmm-hmm. Our movie store growing up had something like that, do you remember?

S: Absolutely, yeah!

C: I always wanted to go in that room. I didn’t know what was in that room, but I always wanted to be in there, and then one day I saw what was in there and changed my mind.

S: I never actually saw what was in there. At a certain point I realized what was in there and was like, huh. And I then I remember seeing a couple guys go in there, and I was like, I’m good.

C: Listeners, our childhood was in the days before this was super readily available everywhere on the internet. Plus, everybody just had dial-up.

S: Yeah, you had to go to the local video store to rent your porn, which meant that the people who worked at the local video store totally knew what you were into, and probably talked about it.

So, okay – what are the odds that when George takes over the family business of Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes that eventually they do have a little Adults-Only section? I mean, what are the odds that they don’t? As inventive as they were? Come on! There’s a whole untapped market out there for wizard sex toys!

C: Fred and George are big pervs. You know it, I know it.

S: Yeah, they were getting action really early on.

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C: Not that there’s anything wrong with that, listeners! You do you. We don’t pervert or kink shame here on this here podcast. This is the NC-17 Harry Potter podcast.

S: Yes, we just make fun of broom humping and weird homophobic feels about centaurs, apparently.

C: But we embrace it all!

S: Absolutely, we do. We so do, and there’s gonna be some of that today. So hang on to your hat!

C: YES!

S: Not a lot, but just a little bit. So they go back up to the common room with the password –flibbertigibbet, which is fantastic — and they find Hermione asleep on her Arithmancy book in the common room. She fell asleep; she forgot what’s the lesson she was going to. And then we hit the line that shippers everywhere have clung to for years as evidence of their badly formed theories! Hermione says:

“Oh, it was Malfoy. I was thinking about him and I lost track of things.”

C: Oh, ugh!

S: Oh, you know they try to use it as evidence to support the terrible Dramione ships. Oh, don’t you see? She’s thinking about him!

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God, the shippers REALLY want her to be blond, huh?

C: Yeah, I’m pretty thinking about punching him, and not in the kinky way.

S: I’m pretty sure she was thinking about ways to destroy his ugly weasel face, is what she was thinking about. Again, not in a kinky way.

Ron is like, “You know what, Hermione? I reckon you’re cracking up. You’re trying to do too much.” “No, I’m not!” Okay. You’re not.

Well, in 20 minutes they have another lesson. And of all the lessons to miss! She missed Charms and didn’t miss Divination. I mean, really, wouldn’t you wish it had been the other way around?

C: It is tragic.

S: And they come in and they find out that they’re going to be doing crystal balls now, which they weren’t supposed to do till next term, but apparently, the fates have informed Professor Trelawney that “the examination in June will concern the orb” and she is “anxious to give them sufficient practice.”

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C: I would like to know what is the real world reason why Trelawney decided to move up crystal balls, and push back whatever was supposed to come before crystal balls.

S: I’m going to hazard that Trelawney thought she had something planned before crystal balls, realized there was a lot more time left in the term than she had planned for and that she had a whole lot of space to fill, and decided to bump crystal balls up because she was covering her ass. As a teacher, that is my guess. I could be wrong. I would have no experience in such things whatsoever, but just putting it out there.

You know, this is really an amazing chapter for Hermione because now she has gone from angry, vengeful superhero to smartass kid sitting in the front row (because we know she doesn’t sit in the back). I’m picturing her with her feet up on the table and her arms behind her head. She’s so done with this crap! You know she’s done with Trelawney.

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“The fates informed her! Who sets the exam? She does. What an amazing prediction!”

She’s not even trying to whisper anymore.

C: Oh, god, it’s so wonderful. I love it so much.

S: You know, I’ve said that Sassy Harry is the best Harry? Give No Fucks Hermione is the best Hermione.

C: Yes, I agree with you completely.

S: Trelawney says that crystal gazing is” a particularly refined art” and she does “not expect anyone to see when they first peer.” They “must start by relaxing the conscious mind and external eyes.”

C: I mean, relax your external eyes for me. Come on.

S: It’s like those Magic Eye posters you have to relax to see. Harry’s just staring at the ball trying to keep his mind empty

But it was hard when thought such as ‘This is stupid’ kept drifting across it.

That is every terrible class I’ve ever had. How many times did we mutter to each other “This is stupid?”

C: A lot. In high school, so much, sadly.

S: So many notes we passed with “this is stupid!”

C: Or “BORED” written in all caps.

S: Your favorite go-to, yes. Harry asks, “Seen anything yet?” and Ron’s like, “Yeah, there’s a burn on this table.”

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C: Oh man and then Trelawney offers to help them interpret the shadowy portents of their orbs and Ron’s like, “Yeah, I know what it means to be foggy.”

S: But apparently he’s disturbing the clairvoyant vibrations! And then Trelawney pushes it. She tries to look into Harry’s crystal ball. And Harry’s like, “Here she goes, here she goes. I know where this is going.” And of course! “It is stalking towards you, growing ever closer…” Then Hermione cuts off her dramatic moment, and she’s like, “Oh for goodness sake. Not that ridiculous Grim again!”

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C: My hero, my hero.

S: And I think it’s so funny that in the movie Emma Thompson plays this as Trelawney being completely unaware that the thing that she says is super rude, because she’s so out of it. She’s just telling Hermione that she thinks she’s awful and useless, but doesn’t realize that it’s coming across that way. But in the book, Trelawney is not nearly so misty. In fact she “surveys Hermione with unmistakable anger” and even calls her ‘My dear’ sarcastically.

“I don’t remember ever meeting a student whose mind was so hopelessly mundane.”

You know in Trelawney’s world that was a serious burn.

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C: I’m just picturing Trelawney as the kids that we went to school with who were in drama, but like, ratcheted up to like their final Pokemon form. That would be Professor Trelawney.

S: She IS a theater kid’s final Pokemon form, oh my god it’s so true. Meanwhile, Hermione has not reached her final Pokemon form, but she has certainly leveled up, because she is like, “Screw this, I’m out.” She knocks Ron off his chair, swinging her bag, and then she kicks over the trap door and just heads on out of there and I love it!

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Drop the ball, bitch

C: Amazing, Hermione. Round of applause. That woman knows how to make an exit.

S: We are not worthy. Of course, Lavender Brown suddenly is like, “You foresaw it, Professor! Around Easter, one of our number will leave us forever!” And Trelawney says “Yes, I did know, the Inner Eye can be a burden, you know.” Oh come on!

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Harry has a moment where he looks at the crystal ball again and he’s like, Did she really see the Grim? I’m a little concerned. I mean, is that a thing? Now he’s kind of starting to worry if maybe this is actually a thing or not? He doesn’t know, but he really doesn’t want to worry about it, because Quidditch is coming.

Before we go on to Quidditch. I thought you might want to know a little bit about the history of crystal balls.

C: Of course, anything that has to do with balls!

S: Well, crystal balls aren’t as interesting as the other stuff that we have looked at, but it’s interesting to know, first of all, that is also known as an orbuculum, just so you know.

C: Can you say that again?

S: Orbuculum.

C: Wow.

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S: Cystal or glass balls are generally associated with scrying, and you know as I was looking at this stuff it struck me — and this is a small, small pattern, and probably not that important, but it does speak to the kind of ring theory that we’ve talked about in the way these books are structured. Books 1, 3, 5 and 7 all involve Harry trying to really engage in scrying of some kind by trying to get some kind of message or information out of glass and/or a ball. You’ve got the mirror in the first book, you’ve got the crystal ball in this one, you’ve got the glass prophecy in Five, and then in Seven you’ve got a number of things. You’ve got him trying to basically parse out the memories which is also in Six, with the Pensieve, and you’ve also got him trying to get a message out of a ball, which is the Snitch.

And it’s just kind of interesting. You’ve got this pattern of Harry trying to get information from balls. Hmm. That came out sounding weirder that I meant it to.

C: Are you sure? It felt pretty on brand for us. Let’s be honest.

S: So apparently, we actually know who was the first to use crystal balls, apparently — the Druids. We know that because of Pliny the Elder who in the first century –

C: Aw, he’s my favorite Pliny!

S: He is, he’s the best Pliny. He describes the use of crystal balls by soothsayers. And by like the fifth century AD, it was pretty widespread within the Roman Empire. And, of course, shortly thereafter, the early medieval Christian church condemned it as heretical and the devil, because reasons.

C: Christian church! Why do you have to be so boring? Come on.

S: They really weren’t into it, which is kinda of a bummer to the people who were doing it because apparently was really popular. So the earliest, the druids, were using beryl, the stone, for crystal gazing. It’s a mineral, green in color, and they would polish it into a sphere to enhance its reflected properties. And it’s also thought to be more magnetically charged than other minerals. So that’s what they used.

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So like I said, the earliest recorded use of crystals as divination tools goes back to the Celtic Druids of Gaul, Britain and Ireland, but we’re pretty sure that this is something that other cultures did as well. Pretty much around the world you’ve got Native Americans, Incas, Egyptians, Persians, Chinese, South Americans, with similar things going on and basically it’s, it’s exactly what you think, you know, you stare into the stone and try to fall into some kind of meditative trance that allows your subconscious to open and reveal the secrets of the past or the future or whatever. And it’s basically scrying. It’s the same like we’ve talked about — scrying using mirrors to try to tell the future — but scrying can really be pretty much any reflective surface, including, according to this, even oily fingernails, which I find very odd.

C: Why do you have oily fingernails? Who is staring into their oily fingernails trying to determine the future?

S: The only thing I could see in the future with oily fingernails is that very shortly I will be washing my hands.

C: I’m just trying to think why you would have oily fingernails. Like, too much pomade? You’ve been slicking your hair back like you’re the Fonz, or something?

S: Maybe! So supposedly these beryl crystal balls are pretty popular for all in the Middle Ages. And then where it really starts to catch on is during Queen Elizabeth’s reign. And this is where it gets fun.

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John William Waterhouse, “The Crystal Ball”

So give me one second. I’m scrolling down here. Uh huh. Here we go.

All right, so it was popular in the Middle Ages. And the Christian church said no, and rained on everyone’s parade. But then in the 16th century, there was this guy named John Dee. He was a royal advisor to Queen Elizabeth the First and he was interested in the occult, but he was really bad as a medium. He tried, and he failed.

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C: Like everyone fails, because it’s not real!

S: Yeah, it’s funny how that works. But apparently he even sucked at convincing people that his fake medium-ness was working for real. So then he meets this guy named Edward Kelly, who is a traveling scryer, and who teaches him about scrying, and they start conducting scrying sessions, during which “they would claim to visualize and communicate with angels and sometimes demons through a dark obsidian crystal ball. Dee kept fastidious notes on these ball-bound conversations.” I didn’t make that up. That’s a line in the article I just read. “Believing that angels were a direct line to God and evangelizing, leading him to create the Enochian or angelic language.”

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Dee & Kelly, Bro-scryers

So, I mean, this guy creates a whole other language out of his zoning out, staring into a crystal ball.

C: Mr. Tolkien, is that you?

S: This is the best part, though! “His partner in crime, however, Mr. Edward Kelly, claimed that he had received a message from an angel that the two men must share everything, including their wives.” Oh, yeah.

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“No, I’m pretty sure that’s what it said. The Lord requires me to bang your wife.”

C: So what you’re telling me is that, basically, Mormonism was actually invented in England several hundred years prior.

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S: I’m telling you that, apparently, con men have never run short of opportunities to gaze into mystical objects and claim suddenly that it gave them the right to screw as many women as they wanted.

C: It’s always the same! I love how they never change.

S: That’s the highest purpose you can put this to. “I have mystical abilities. They’re telling me — wait, they’re telling me that I can nail your wife!” Yes, that is the important thing here.

So shortly after that particular message got through, their relationship dissolved for good. ALTHOUGH! There is one diary entry that remains from Mr. Dee’s notes that apparently somewhat confirms that the wife swapping did happen.

C: So he fell for it.

S: I kind of want this movie! I want this movie of John Dee, who is this hapless, idiotic, gullible guy who sucks at being a medium, and totally gets conned by Edward Kelly, who he thinks is his partner.

C: I want to know who it was, who gave it to Kelly. That message. Was that from the angel or the demon?

S: Angel. Which, if I were passing that message on, is probably what I would have said, too.

C: I mean, supposedly back in the day angels and human ladies, you know, so I can see it coming from an angel.

S: Um, so apparently Nancy Reagan had a coterie of trusted astrologers. Then there was this one lady who use crystal balls named Jeane Dixon.

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And she predicted–

C: She was on an episode of the Golden Girls!

S: She predicted in 1956 that a democratic president would be elected and then assassinated, and JFK was, so then everybody was like, Oh my god, you know things!

I mean, not really, because she predicted a lot of things, including that in 1958 World War Three would start, so. But apparently she just brought her ball to parties, reading for whoever was interested. She acted as an advisor to Nixon, and to Nancy Reagan. And I’m just disgusted at both of those sentences.

Also it talks a little bit here about the history of Gypsy Americans. We know that Gypsy is a word that’s really a slur. But it was commonly the word that was used to describe Roma people who basically adopted this whole crystal ball thing because it was convenient, and it was something that they could use to make money as they traveled around, and people went for it. Um, which has led to some not great things.

C: It’s also a really good Fleetwood Mac song. I would sing it for you, but, I mean.

S: And I think I closed the article this came from, but I can just tell you, I don’t remember the name of this person, but she killed her husband with a crystal ball. Like she bashed his head in. And when she was arrested, she told them that she had foreseen in her crystal ball that he would die, and that is why she killed him.

And then at her trial, she informed the jury that she had seen in the crystal ball that she would be acquitted.

C: Please tell me she was acquitted, that would be hilarious.

S: She wasn’t, she wasn’t, they didn’t go for it. Um. But I kind of feel like if Trelawney accidentally stumbled into the Muggle world and got stuck there, that would be her.

C: Ah, damn it. Pretty sure that’s a thing that would happen.

S: So I mean, other than that, it’s mostly that people feel connected to the power of crystals or whatever, sand it’s basically just scrying with a particularly round and shiny crystal. And that’s pretty much it. Although apparently in 2016, there was a hidden game in the Google Assistant app called the crystal ball, which uses a soft speaking voice for the voiceover. And if you get closer to the device it tells you to ask a yes or no question and then the game will randomize an answer for you. So if you ever want to play with that with your Google Assistant, have fun.

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C: I neither have a Google Assistant, nor am I too sure what a Google Assistant is, so I think I’ll pass.

S: So moving forward from the concerns of the crystal balls to the concerns of Quidditch! My god. More balls! This really is a ball-rific chapter.

C: More balls! Balls everywhere.

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S: Ron is actually studying like mad. He’s so absorbed he forgets to be horrible to Crookshanks, shock and awe. And then there’s the Gryffindor-Slytherin match which is supposed to happen the first Saturday after the Easter holidays, and it’s a very tight match, and Wood is constantly harassing Harry about this —  but literally everyone is obsessed with this! Everyone wants this match to go a certain way, and of course Harry and Draco have their will-they-won’t-they going on, so there’s that too.

It’s getting bad! People are fighting in the corridors.

“A Gryffindor fourth year and a Slytherin sixth year end up in the hospital wing with leeks sprouting out of their ears.”

Harry can’t walk to class without Slytherins trying to trip him, or ganging up on him.

“Wood had given instructions that Harry be accompanied everywhere in case the Slytherins tried to put him out of action.”

And if you’re Oliver Wood, I mean, I’m not sure if he means they might injure Harry, or just make Harry disappear if you know what I mean! Not turn up, his body is discovered in the Forbidden Forest? I don’t know.

C: He’s going to show up in the middle of Africa like that one referee, six months later.

S: Although in true 13-year-old fashion, Harry is more concerned with this Firebolt. I’m astonished that no one has stolen it.

C: I mean I don’t blame him, considering the shit that goes on at this school and that people get away with. I would be concerned as well.

S: We’ve seen already that getting into Gryffindor Tower is not foolproof.

C: Do any other students from other houses make it into Gryffindor Tower?

S: I know adults do, but I don’t think any other students do, now that I think about it. Seems like an oversight. Harry makes it into every other tower except for Hufflepuff.

C: We don’t even know where Hufflepuffs common room is, do we?

S: And neither does Harry Potter. Even he’s not that good.

C: Suck it, Harry! We have a multitude of balls for you to choose from.

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S: Yes, and you know now that I brought this pattern with the balls like we’re going to keep seeing it now!

C: NC-17 !Harry Potter podcast, everyone!

S: And it does not go unnoticed that in Book Seven, the solution to Harry getting the answer he wants from the ball is — to put it in his mouth. So that’s gonna be a Freudian discussion.

C: I can’t wait until we get there in ten years.

S: If we survive that long! There will be climate change, the world will be flooding, and we will still be trying to record our episodes.

C: Oh, God.

S: Let’s see, Harry’s having another one of his vivid dreams: they ended up using Neville in the game instead of him, and then Malfoy shows up riding dragons, which is a nice nod to Book Four coming up, and then he realizes he forgot his Firebolt, and in Road Runner and Coyote fashion falls through the air when he realizes it.

Wow. And he goes on to get some water because he woke up really thirsty and see something kind of odd. It’s still quiet. And I I don’t recall if it’s dark out, because I don’t think it really says. But he sees something. He sees an animal on the lawn. And his first thought is the Grim. But after getting his glasses and looking, he realizes it’s Crookshanks. But it’s weird. Crookshanks is behaving very oddly. And then he sees that Crookshanks is with a dog — a gigantic, shaggy, black dog, and they’re just running along side by side – which, you know, everything considered, is really weird.

C: Crookshanks! I love you!

S: Shout out to Crookshanks, who knows what’s up. Harry goes to get Ron out of bed, but they’re gone and Ron has no time for this nonsense because he has sleeping in to do, so whatever.

Let’s see. They go down to breakfast,t they’re getting ready for the match, Cho tells Harry good luck and Harry’s useless around girls. They get down to the pitch — I mean, Snape’s wearing green, which feels a little bit heretical! I can’t picture him wearing anything but black all the time. It is very strange.

C: It’s a very green black.

S: Lee starts commentating with his pro-Gryffindor commentary and his very anti-Slytherin comments: “seems to be going for size rather than skill” while Harry’s like, yeah, that’s not wrong.

C: Nobody realized it at the time, but Lee Jordan is where fake news originated.

S: The captains shake hands and try to break each others’ fingers, because boys, and then they take off into the air, and man, this commentary is fantastic. It’s just so much fun to read. And this game is nasty.

Marcus Flint smashes into Angelina after she scores. Then Fred Weasley chucks the beaters club into the back of Flint’s head because we know Fred likes Angelina. And again all Madam Hooch can do is award penalty shots. Why don’t they pull some of these people from the game? At what point do you bench someone in Quidditch?

C: Well, it’s funny that you mentioned that because apparently there are no reserve players on either team.

S: Oh, that’s true! And that’s not smart! The game goes on for several pages, and the longer it goes, the worse it gets. The fighting on the Quidditch pitch is getting really dirty, and meanwhile, Harry’s playing keep-away with Malfoy trying to see the Snitch, and Malfoy’s hanging around him, and he fakes him out, and it just it’s ridiculous.  And he’s doing awesome with the Firebolt, but also how is that fair for him to have the Firebolt when everybody else has these low level brooms?

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C: Cleansweep Two Thousands?

S: Yeah, it’s like you have a Racing Club or something in school and he’s got a Ferrari when everyone else has Corollas. How is that fair? How do you allow that in a competition? It does not make any sense.

C: None of this makes any sense.

S: I feel like we’re back to an installment in a series we haven’t really referenced in a while, which is “What the Fuck, Hogwarts?” That’s pretty much the entire second half of this chapter.

“It was turning into the dirtiest game Harry had ever seen.”

Gryffindor takes the lead and the Slytherins are basically resorting to any means to take the Quaffle. Bole hits Alicia with a club, and tries to say he thought she was a Bludger, and then George Weasley elbows Bole in the face, and it’s just getting ridiculous. At a certain point they attack Oliver Wood when the Quaffle isn’t even near the scoring area, which is ridiculous, and then Harry sees the Snitch, and then Malfoy throws himself forward and grabs Harry’s broom to stop him, which is like the equivalent of like tackling someone in soccer. Not something you’re really supposed to do.

C: Yeah, you’d get a Red Card. And a penalty.

And again, it’s just penalty! “I’ve never seen such tactics!” You they really need to start benching these morons. McGonagall is just shaking her finger in Malfoy’s direction, her hat is falling off, and she’s shouting, and she’s not even telling Jordan off for cursing because she’s so mad.

It’s just gotten so ridiculous, to the point where all the Slytherin players are trying to block Angelina as she’s headed for the the goal, so Harry just like gets on the Firebolt, aims for everyone and just decides to go bowling for Slytherins.

He finally manages it. He catches the Snitch. And so much about this particular game is Harry versus Malfoy, Harry versus Malfoy, Harry versus Malfoy, over and over and over again. They’re really building up the rivalry in this particular game. But it doesn’t matter because Harry Potter always wins. Whut.

Everybody’s happy, Hagrid’s happy, McGonagall’s sobbing, they get the Quidditch cup. Oh, the days when we thought the Quidditch cup mattered. That’s so cute.

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And that’s the end of chapter 15! Woohoo! Now we move on to stuff that matters.

Chapter 16: Professor Trelawney’s Prediction

So life’s good! Everybody’s hanging out but they know June’s coming up, and also exams. We learn about the exams: the O.W.L.S., or Ordinary Wizarding Levels, and the N.E.W.T.S., or Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Tests. Percy is apparently being very very edgy to everyone about this because he’s stressed.

Meanwhile, Harry and Ron have stopped asking Hermione about her schedule, but they really can’t restrain themselves when they see her exam schedule, which has her taking on Monday: Arithmancy and Transfiguration, both at nine o’clock, and then Charms and Ancient Runes, both at one o’clock.

I really appreciate that at this point Hermione has just given up trying to come up with any plausible explanation, whatever.

C: I have a “What the Fuck, Hogwarts.”

S: Please.

C:  Because from the little bit we see further on in this chapter, your entire class has your your exams at a certain period. And so it looks like from this schedule that your exams are from nine to noon, and then from one to four, whatever. You know if you could just have students do everything at once. Like, how would we standardized tests in school? Like every kid got the testing the same time and you all just did it. You can do more than two tests today.

S: That is absolutely right.

C: It just seems so inefficient, it bothers me.

S: Yeah, it is inefficient because Hogwarts is inefficient. But yeah, Hermione’s just given up even trying. And I love that Harry’s like, “Is there any point asking how you’re going to take two exams at once?” And she’s like, “No, there’s no point why would you ask?”

She has no time for them. It’s amazing. And just then Hedwig brings a note from Hagrid about the appeal: it is set for the sixth, the day they finish their exams. But the thing is the Minister of Magic and the executioner are coming up to the school for the appeal. To which Hermione is like, “It sounds like maybe they’ve already made up their minds! Perchance?”

C: Why, that sounds like that appeal might be rigged, good sir!

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S: Harry suspects “the committee had its mind made up for it by Mr. Malfoy.” No shit, Harry. He’s learning so fast.

C: So insightful.

S: And they want to go see Hagrid, but they can’t really because there is so much security, and the invisibility cloak is still in the One-Eyed Witch tunnel, so, so much for that.

C: Way to go, Harry.

S: And then it’s exam week! Transfiguration on Monday, they had to turn a teapot into a tortoise, which sounds like fun, but Hermione is stressed that her tortoise looks more like a turtle. Which, oh my god. Hermione. Seriously? I kind of even want to slap you for that. And I love you.

“Mine still had a spout for a tail.”

“Are tortoises supposed to breathe steam?”

“Do you think a willow-patterned shell will count against me?”

C: I’m going to go with, no.

S: I wonder who gets to keep the mistakes? Do they turn them back or do they just let a bunch of little odd looking tortoises run around the grounds?

C: Didn’t we have a large discussion about this one time? About the ethics of turning things into other things?

S: Oh god. Yes. Clearly the issue of animal testing has not even occurred to the wizarding world. Because this is beyond testing, it’s ‘let me turn you into an inanimate object.’ And what happens when you are an inanimate object and suddenly you’re alive? That’s weird. How do you be a tortoise when you’re used to being a teapot?

Then we have the Charms exam.

“Harry slightly overdid his out of nerves and Ron, who was partnering him, ended up in fits of hysterical laughter and had to be led away to a quiet room for an hour before he was ready to perform the charm himself.”

That’s just funny. Care of Magical Creatures Exam: clearly, Hagrid has stopped caring because—

C: “He had provided a large tub of fresh flobberworms!”

As flobberworms flourished best if left to their own devices, it was the easiest exam any of them had ever taken.

S: So again, your exam is, here are the flobberworms. Don’t touch them, leave them be and you’ll be fine. That’s some real Care of Magical Creatures right there.

And then Potions, where Snape gives them a Confusing Concoction for their exam because it’s Snape. He’s vindictive like that. And we’re pretty sure Harry completely flunks his Potions exam.

Then astronomy at midnight, which, what the hell? I don’t want to give an exam at midnight. Why can’t we just use the enchanted ceiling over the Great Hall? It’s three o’clock in the afternoon. Now you have the midnight sky. Good luck! I don’t want to give teenagers an exam at midnight, I’m sorry. That’s just me. I want to be in bed.

C: And also, those teenagers have to get up and take another exam at nine the next morning!

S: Again, What the Fuck, Hogwarts? Herbology on Wednesday, and then second to last exam on Thursday morning is Defense Against the Dark Arts, which is super cool because it’s a frickin obstacle course that Lupin fills with Grindylows, red caps, hinkypunks, and boggarts – which, you know, after all of our interesting research into these creatures, we could totally ace that obstacle course.

C: Damn straight we could!

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S: But also this is the first time we’ve ever seen Hermione have to face off of with a boggart. And we see that it turned it into Professor McGonagall telling Hermione that she had failed everything, and that is just the last straw for Hermione, who kind of snaps.

C: I love her so much.

Ron was still slightly inclined to laugh at Hermione’s boggart, but an argument was averted by the sight that met them on the top of the steps.

Cornelius Fudge.

S: There for the appeal. Very happy to just chat up Harry, ugh. Have we ever talked about about Cornelius Fudge’s name?

C: If we did, I don’t remember it. So we might as well talk about it.

S: I don’t think we I don’t think we have. I was thinking about this the other day, and I don’t have a lot to say about it, except that it’s an odd choice for a name. It either evokes the sense of something that is like sickly sweet candy, that’s really rich and fattening and delicious, but you can really only have a little bit of it, or it also makes you think of like, fudging things. You know, like I’m going to fudge these numbers to make it work. And either way I feel like it’s a startlingly on-point association for this particular character.

C: Or it is a way to refer to poop.

S: He could be that too. And again, I feel like all of this kind of works, you know? Fudge is flash but no substance. When it comes down to it, he doesn’t have a lot of backbone. He tries to avoid everything that’s unpleasant and tries to just move everything else over. And when that doesn’t work, he gets his ass sacked. Ever since the character was introduced, I always thought Fudge as a last name was such a funny choice. But the more I think about it, the more appropriate it seems.

C: Right up there with Darth Maul and General Grievous. Very on the nose.

S:  Yeah. Or what was Darth Maul his brother’s name?

C: Sauvage Oppress.

S: And speaking of appropriate names, it’s the Committee for the Disposal of Dangerous Creatures. Well! I guess there’s not a lot of discussion on that committee given what it’s named!

C: I love that there is apparently a committee for everything in the Ministry of Magic.

S: There is! They’re super bureaucratic. But seriously, a committee for — not even the management of dangerous creatures? Just disposal?

C: But you know why they have to have a committee for fucking everything is because 90% of everyone who graduates goes into the Ministry so they’ve got to make up jobs for people.

S: So true!

C: If only more people had taken Arithmancy! Instead of Divination.

S: Ron steps to Fudge, all “Does that mean the appeal has already happened? Because then you might not have to witness an execution at all! The Hippogriff might get off!” Well, he might… That’s a nice thought, Ron. I’m pretty sure the Minister’s pretty sure he’s not going to, but we appreciate the thought all the same. Oh, these idealistic children.

Then we’ve got this little old man who’s with them, and then this really ominous black mustached man “fingering the ax in his belt.” What the hell?

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In the movie, he’s kind of sitting there caressing it, which is….not better

C: I mean, what can you do with “fingering his ax?”

S: So many things, and none of them are good! Then it’s Divination, and she’s meeting with everyone separately. Poor Neville! Every time we talk about Neville, we say ‘Poor Neville,’ but seriously, poor Neville!

“Have any of you ever seen anything in a crystal ball?” he asked them unhappily. “Nope,” said Ron.

Of course, Trelawney is the worst because no one will say what happens in the exam. Neville says she says the crystal balls told her that if I tell you all have horrible accident. She is the worst. As Ron says, that’s convenient.

“You know, I’m starting to think Hermione was right about her. She’s a right old fraud.”

Duh, Ron.

C: She is.

S: Believe Hermione over Trelawney. So let’s see Ron goes does his thing, and Harry asked him:

“How did it go?” Harry asked him, standing up. “Rubbish,” said Ron. “Couldn’t see a thing so I made some stuff up.”

Best strategy you could possibly come up with.

C: I mean literally what else could you do?

S: Nothing. Also, I had thought about this before, and I know that he describes her tower room as really hot with this fire, and there’s just a sickly sweet scent of incense — and I know it’s supposed to be incense, but given the way she behaves I’m starting to think Trelawney’s just high on weed all the time.

C: It’s very possible.

S: That’s how she gets through the day. day. We know she drinks a lot. In book five, we discover her drinking problem.

C: Okay. So if you were taking a divination exam and had to look into a crystal ball, what would you see in the crystal ball? Or what would you say that you saw in the crystal ball? “I saw a man fingering an ax!”

S: I could say that! I actually was thinking more along the lines of, ‘I see myself driving along and a giant eagle swoops down from the sky, and it carries me away or, you know, something stupid, really, really stupid and bizarre that she would have to “interpret” and you couldn’t really get that wrong! Or else I would just go uber-bleak and really annoying, so maybe, ‘I see Cornelius loses the next election!’

C: “Oh no, a pack of Grims!”

S: Something that would piss her off though. I mean, it’s so hard to know. What would you say?

C: I see bacon and waffles.

S: Or you could be a total ass! “I see ministry officials storming into your classroom and confiscating all these bottles. What do you think that means?”

So Harry just decides to make crap up. He’s like, look at the dark shape. Okay, it’s a hippogriff.

Trelawney is like, oh, you may be seeing the future! Does the hippogriff have its head?

He’s like, no, it’s flying away. It’s fine, which is awesome. And also just totally in line with what Rowling does so often, which is she makes fun of Divination constantly and points out how completely stupid it is. And the only stuff that ever comes true in Divination is completely by accident.

So in this case, Harry makes up this crap. Just because he wants to spite Trelawney. And, and that’s the thing that turns out to be true.

She’s so morbid! “No blood? No weeping Hagrid? You don’t see it writhing on the ground and a shadowy figure raising an ax behind it? Fingering it, perhaps?”

C: Why would it be writhing on the ground?

S: Let’s see, it’s right after she says that it doesn’t have its head, which is awful. And then we get — the prophecy.

C: Yes.

S: “It will happen tonight.” Trelawney starts having what looks like kind of a seizure, and speaking in a voice that’s like even harsher and really not hers.

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And so we get the prophecy that becomes so important for the rest of the series: “The Dark Lord lies alone and friendless, abandoned by his followers.” Well, he deserved it. “His servant has been chained these 12 years,” nice misdirection, because he hasn’t really been chained per se, but they still want us to think that it’s Sirius. “Tonight before midnight, the servant will break free and set out to rejoin his master. The Dark Lord will rise again with his servant’s aid, greater and more terrible than ever before. Tonight, before midnight, the servant will set out to rejoin his master!”

C: Amazing. Well done.

S: Thank you, thank you. I appreciate it. Although I feel like this whole thing has a little bit of an S&M tone to it, what with the servant, master, and chains and whatnot. I don’t know what Trelawney likes to do in her downtime.

C: This is a very sexy episode.

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It bears repeating

S: This whole book, I’m telling you, what did we say? Like, this is a really psychosexual book, what with all these undertones in it. And then it’s, you know, and it’s the book where everybody turns 13. And so yeah, that’s what happens.

C: This is the book where we discover boners.

S: And then, of course, Trelawney comes back to herself, and Harry’s  like, you just said all these things! She’s like, “Oh,I think you must have doze off. I certainly would not presume to predict anything quite as far-fetched as that!” Oh, sure. You just predict that I’m going to die all the time. Hey, that’s not far fetched!

C: Okay, I have another question.

S: Sure, go for it.

C: We know that Trelawney comes back a little later on in the series, and Dumbledore basically, we figure out or find out, keeps her around because she has given true predictions like, twice. Does she know that she has given true predictions? So she thinks she’s faking everything? Or do you think she’s talked herself into thinking, “Oh yes, of course I’m a Seer!”

S: Yeah, I think it’s more that she’s faking everything, but the gift she actually has is completely beyond her control. And she doesn’t even know that she has it. And so when she does do it, it’s not really a credit to her per se, or her abilities. It just happens and then she’s back to herself. So yes, Dumbledore has not told her that she’s the one who made the prophecy that really set this whole thing off and that’s part of the reason why he’s kept her employed at Hogwarts all these years because he didn’t want that information to get out he didn’t want her to be in danger and he didn’t feel like it would be safe for her to know that so that’s partly why he’s given her a job and also because she is an actual Seer! Um, just only .01% of the time. Which I guess, in Dumbledore’s mind, justifies letting her teach a class that’s a bunch of claptrap.

C: Which to be honest, I mean, given the type of prophecies, we’re glad that she was not very active.

S: Fair! Now when Harry and Ron leave, they run into Hermione, who says they’ve just found out that Buckbeak lost his “appeal.” It was really touch and go there for a second you know, but it just happened!

Hagrid sent another note — no tears this time but

his hands seem to have shaken so much as he wrote it that it was hardly legible.

Lost appeal. They’re going to execute at sunset. Nothing you can do. Don’t come down. I don’t want you to see it. Hagrid.

And in true Harry Potter fashion: “We’ve got to go,” said Harry at once. “We’ve got to go down! We must see it!” Okay. But that’s okay. Because again, we get another episode of Zero Fucks Hermione, because they’re like, crap, we can’t get down there. The security, it’s going to be too late. If only we had the Invisibility Cloak. But it’s in the passageway and if Snape sees me anywhere near it we’re screwed. Hermione: Psssh, yeah, if she if he sees you. Be right back.

C: I love her so much.

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S: She’s amazing! Like, no time. Not even a thought. Takes her 15 minutes. She goes, gets it comes back.

Ron: Hermione, I don’t know what’s gotten into you lately. First you hit Malfoy. Then you walk out on Professor Trelawney.

C: “Hermione looked rather flattered.”

S: Yeah, she’s badass. Get your shit together, Ron Weasley! So they sneak out under the cloak, make it to Hagrid’s cabin, and Hagrid is like what the fuck, why are you here? But they’re there anyway, and you know he’s not going to tell him to go. Oh, it’s such a sad description!

Hagrid was not crying, nor did he throw himself upon their next he looks like a man who did not know where he was or what to do this helplessness was worse to watch in tears,

S: Aw, love, you Hagrid!

C: We’ve all seen that.

S: I know! And you understand immediately what that looks like and feels like, and it’s awful. And for Hagrid, he just wants Buckbeak to be outside in the fresh air before they– It’s so depressing!

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C: It is!

S: And Hagrid’s so wonderful. And apparently Dumbledore tried to help but as Hagrid said, he’s got no power to overrule the committee. It is depressing, seems like he did offer some testimony on Buckbeak’s behalf, but of course, like Lucius Malfoy is going to let that fly, especially after the events of last year. In fact, I imagine after what happened last year, Malfoy was even more determined once Dumbledore stepped up to try to help to make sure that it went through.

And the executioner MacNair — he’s an old pal of Malfoy. Quick name drop there, won’t be important until the next book, but it’s a nice touch for her to drop it in now, especially that that mentioned that he’s an old pal of Malfoy. In context in the next book, that makes so much more sense

C: I love that I remember nothing.

S: I do too! That makes everything so much more fun. Let’s see, Dumbledore said he’s gonna come down, and they’re like, we’ll stay too! And Hagrid is like screw that, you will not, you’re going back up to the castle. This is not where you need to be. Hermione’s trying to make Hagrid feel better and then, as she picks up the milk bottle, she shrieks and discovers Scabbers.

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C: That son of a bitch.

S: I couldn’t have said it better myself, Professor. I really couldn’t have. I feel like that line should have been in this book, right there. But at least if it makes us feel any better, Scabbers looks dreadful. He’s thinner than ever, large tufts of hair have fallen out, and he seems desperate to free himself, which tells me that he made it as far as out of the castle, right? We know in the next bit, and in the next episode we do talk about this at length, and I know that because we’ve recorded it already —

C: We used the Time-Turner, listeners.

S: And we got some sleep in the process, so it can be done. We talked about how Scabbers wanted to get away because he knew that too many things were closing in. But it seems that he got out of the castle, but very quickly realized he couldn’t get much farther safely because, as we’ve seen, Crookshanks and the Grim — the dog — are patrolling the grounds together, which means that they know where he is and they’re probably watching him. So any move he makes – like, he managed to make it to Hagrid’s hut, but I imagine he’s been hiding there for a while because if he tries to get out of there they’ve got their eye on him. So I would imagine he is a little bit stressed out at this point because he knows that the walls are closing it and that damn Crookshanks knows far too much.

C: I love you, Crookshanks!

S: Crookshanks makes so much of this plot happen and does not get enough credit for it, seriously.

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C: And he does not have enough to do in the rest of the books!

S: Right? We need more Crookshanks in this series now.

C: I am starting CA, the Crookshanks Army.

S: Well, they see everybody coming down, and Hagrid tells them they gotta go so they sneak out the back, and they see Buckbeak who seems nervous, and they just don’t know what to do. I love this in the movie. I don’t think it’s in the book. But in the movie, one of the things that I love is that Harry just kind of useless. He doesn’t know what to do at this point when Hagrid is shooing them out, and he stops for a second, and he just says the most futile thing possible. He goes, “Hagrid, it — it’ll be okay. It’ll be okay somehow.” And Hagrid’s like, yeah, yeah go. And I love that moment because it feels like it fits so well with his character. And the fact is that Harry has nothing else to offer at this point. But then, of course, everything that happens going forward is awesome. And I love it.

Now, they’re just fighting a losing battle. “They can’t really kill him! We’ll tell them what happened!” No, none of that is going to work. So they make it out the back just as somebody is knocking at the front. They sneak up the lawn toward the castle, and then they stop, because Scabbers will not stay put. He is trying to bite Ron. He’s trying to get out of Ron’s hands. He’s trying to keep him in his pocket, which has worked so well in the past. But that’s not working.

C: Has anyone ever heard of zippers?

S: They don’t exist in this world. Zippers are Muggle inventions, heretical things. He can’t hold Scabbers, they’re trying to hear what’s going on. There’s voices; they’re silent. And then without warning,

the unmistakable swish and thud of an axe. Hermione swayed on the spot. “They did it!” she whispered to Harry. “I don’t believe it — they did it!”

But as we know, that is not the end of the story. And so going forward we get into some of the best chapters in this book: “Cat, Rat, and Dog.”  And I can tell you since we already recorded it that our discussion is just on point. I’m so excited to share it with you when we get it ready to go.

C: Guys, if you thought we were good before, you were right.

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S: That was nothing! We continue to get better. We delve into some stuff in these next couple episodes, so hopefully you will enjoy them. Who knows? We may one day progress to twenties of fans, and wouldn’t that be amazing.

C: Let us know, as our fans, do you want more or less about balls?

S: I mean I would think if you are fans, you always want more, but I can only assume. So next time we’ll you’ll hear us discussing our next Prisoner of Azkaban episode, chapter 17 and 18.

You can find us on Twitter also– we are @admugglestudies, and you can send us an email at mugglestudiesblog@gmail.com. Should you care to rant and rave at us, we are always happy to get feedback. So until next time, I think that’s it for me! For you, Professor Creed?

C: Indeed.

S: Well, until next time, I’m Professor Seraphine —

C: And I’m Professor Creed –

S: And we will see you next time on Advanced Muggle Studies!

C: Balls.

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