Belief: Dudley Demented (Book 5, Chapter 1)

We’re on Book 5!

In this episode, Vanessa and Casper read the chapter through the theme of “Belief.” Casper shares a story related to the theme about a horrible experience he had in a haunted house at nine years old. He discusses that all too familiar feeling of logically knowing something isn’t real, but believing it is.

The conversation moves to focus on the differences between knowing and believing, and the complexities that belief presents. Belief is based on facts, Vanessa points out, but also is sustained in the absence of facts. Part of belief is a kind of faith and trust. They point out an instance in the chapter where two characters come to opposite conclusions faced with the same evidence.


The pair analyzes a moment where Dudley and Harry’s relationship starts to change for the first time. They discuss the differences in Dudley and Harry that lead them to react differently faced with a dementor.

Both Vanessa and Casper bring their A-game to the 30-second recap and they try out a spiritual practice that is new to the podcast: Marginalia. They each hand each other their books, having written notes in the margins and treat each other’s notes as sacred.

Vanessa and a listener offer blessings for Mrs. Figg. They point out that the people society dismisses can end up being bad-ass spies. Very true.