Betrayal: Veritaserum (Book 4, Chapter 35)

We open the episode with a story that brings us back to 7th grade and the dreaded PSATs. Vanessa recalls being the target of a Means Girls–style 3-way call and the feelings of betrayal that accompanied it. She points out that betrayal by another person can also reveal a betrayal of self. How do we feel when we don’t trust our friends or our own selves?

Vanessa and Casper aptly recap this climactic moment in the book and point out that betrayal permeates every part of this chapter. They note that Barty Crouch Jr. betrays Voldemort through a kind of ecstasy, “drunk on his own egotism.” Vanessa relates this to the deeply human experience of being betrayed by our own joy, like when we drink too much at a party and start dancing embarrassingly. “When you have a fear of betrayal,” she points out, “you can never have real intimacy.”

This point relates to the question posed during this week’s spiritual practice, Havruta. The answer reveals something distasteful about Harry and leads Casper and Vanessa to argue for the importance of not doubting the wisdom and importance of the people who surround us.

Like betrayal is so present in this part of the book (the word is even used in this chapter), it can also feel very present in our lives. It’s based entirely in relationality, so it can be easier to isolate ourselves. We want to take the risk of opening ourselves up to each other and hope you will join us in doing so.

If you’re going to be at Leaky Con, come see Vanessa and Ariana! More info here:

Listen to this week's episode here