The Three Simple Words Stephen Fry Couldn’t Say While Recording the Harry Potter Audiobooks

Mike Marsland/Getty Images for SeriousFun
Mike Marsland/Getty Images for SeriousFun

Many fans would argue that the Harry Potter series is one of the best in children’s book history, without much to criticize. But Stephen Fry, the man who narrated all 11 audiobooks, does have one specific line he would change which has appeared throughout the books, and that’s because he couldn’t say it.

Speaking at HayFestival, Fry told a hilarious story about his time recording the Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban audiobook. He revealed that while he’s pretty skilled at reading aloud without mistakes, there were three words that tripped him up. The line “Harry pocketed it” just couldn’t be said without him stuttering. Even when recalling the instance, the comedian still couldn’t say the words correctly.

“You see I can say ‘Harry,’ and I can say ‘pocketed,’ and I can say ‘it.’ But I can’t say ‘Harry pocketed it,’” Fry explained.

After trying to say it many times for the recording, Fry asked if they could come back to the line later. This ended up resulting in a call to J.K. Rowling.

“So I called her up and said, ‘Look, do you mind, I can’t say ‘Harry pocketed-ed it.’ Would it be okay if I said ‘Harry put it in his pocket?’ There was a big pause at the end of the line, then she said, ‘No’ in her best witch’s voice. I could hear her smile as she said it,” Fry remembered.

Fry concluded by recalling that after the phone call, Rowling purposefully wrote the three words into the Harry Potter books to come.

With all of the other complex words and phrases throughout the books, such as “Animagus” and “Cruciatus,” it's hard to believe that Fry had a hard time saying something as minor as “Harry pocketed it.” But we’re happy Rowling got to have some fun, and now we’ll be listening for Fry’s pronunciation next time we’re in the mood to listen to some Harry Potter.

Target Has Launched a Harry Potter Line of Clothing, Accessories, and Home Goods

Target
Target

No more blending in with the mediocre Muggles—now wizards can decorate and accessorize like the magical creatures they are with Target's brand-new line of Harry Potter clothing and home goods.

Target shoppers will feel like they’ve stepped through Platform 9 ¾ at King’s Cross Station as they wander the Harry Potter-stuffed aisles. Popsugar reports that Target will carry more than 500 Harry Potter-themed items, including socks, lanterns, pillows, dolls and much more.

You’ll be able to wake up in your Hogwarts sheets, have your morning coffee in a Slytherin mug, and take a ride on a foam Nimbus 2000 replica while rocking a Potter t-shirt. Not sure what house you’re in? No sweat! Target is even carrying a real-life sorting hat.

Whether you need a gift for the kiddos, or just want to treat your inner witch, Target is sure to have the perfect find in its Wizarding World line.

House Boasting a ‘Harry Potter Room’ Under the Stairs Hits the Market in San Diego

Cupboard under the stairs featured on the Warner Bros. Studio Tour: The Making of Harry Potter in London.
Cupboard under the stairs featured on the Warner Bros. Studio Tour: The Making of Harry Potter in London.
Matt Robinson, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

When Harry Potter fans dream of living like the boy wizard, they may picture Harry's cozy quarters in the Gryffindor dormitory at Hogwarts. One home owner in San Diego, California is trying to spin one of Harry's much less idyllic living situations as a magical feature. As The San Diego Union-Tribune reports, a listing of a three-bedroom house for sale in the city's Logan Heights neighborhood boasts a "Harry Potter room"—a.k.a storage room under the stairs.

In the Harry Potter books, the cupboard under the stairs of the Dursley residence served as Harry's bedroom before he enrolled in Hogwarts. Harry was eager to escape the cramped, dusty space, but thanks to the series' massive success, a similar feature in a real-world home may be a selling point for Harry Potter fans.

Kristin Rye, the seller of the San Diego house, told The Union-Tribune she would read Harry Potter books to her son, though she wouldn't describe herself as a super fan. As for why she characterized her closet as a “large ‘Harry Potter’ storage room underneath stairs" in her real estate listing, she said it was the most accurate description she could think of. “It’s just this closet under the stairs that goes back and is pretty much like a Harry Potter room. I don’t know how else to describe it," she told the newspaper.

Beyond the cupboard under the stairs, Rye's listing doesn't bear much resemblance to the cookie-cutter, suburban home of 4 Privet Drive. Nearly a century old, the San Diego house has the same cobwebs and a musty smells you might expect from the Hogwarts dungeons, the newspaper reports. But there are some perks, including a parking spot and backyard space for a garden or pull-up bar. The 1322-square-foot home is listed at $425,000—cheaper than the median price of $620,000 for a resale single-family home in the area.

If you want to live like a wizard, you don't necessarily need to start by moving under a staircase. In North Yorkshire, England, a cottage modeled after Hagrid's Hut is available to rent on a nightly basis.

[h/t The San Diego Union-Tribune]

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