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There's a Stephen Fry vs. JK Rowling story that periodically memes up:

Just after the first Harry Potter book had been released, [Fry] was offered the role of narrating it for audiobooks. He hadn’t read it, and was simply told it was a children’s book, so figured it would be an easy afternoon's work. When he met JK Rowling, she mentioned that she was writing a sequel. Stephen replied very condescendingly “good for you”.

A few years down the line, the books are selling well, and he is doing the recording for the Prisoner of Azkaban, when he runs into the phrase “Harry pocketed it”. Stephen could not say this line. It always came out as “Harry pocketeded it”, unless he said it ridiculously slowly. They tried time and time again to get it right, but to no avail. Eventually, he called up JK and asked if he could say “Harry put it in his pocket” instead. She thought for a moment, then said “no”, and hung up.

The phrase “Harry pocketed it” appeared in the next four books.

If I recall correctly, there's a video where Fry confirms the main part of this. Is the final sentence true?

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    The phrase "harry pocketed it" only appears in one book, Goblet of Fire where it appears twice. The words "pocketed it" appear in books 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6 but not in books 2 & 7. – Valorum Feb 21 '16 at 1:28
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    youtube.com/watch?v=phiMuhhIjAM – Valorum Feb 21 '16 at 1:33
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    As far as I can tell, there's no video of it. The story seems to have come from a couple of audience members at a stage show he did in December where he recounted the tale. As with most of these showbiz luvvie stories, I expect it needs to be taken with a huge shaker of salt. – Valorum Feb 21 '16 at 1:35
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    @Richard Worth noting that the first of those two Reddit comments (by waywardwoodwork) is from 22 November and has the show as being “a couple of nights ago”, while the second (by Wolfpony) is from 12 December and has it as being “last week”. Unless Wolfpony is seriously bad at remembering time, they can’t have gone to the same shows. Wolfpony is clearly (from her comments) from New Zealand, which fits with the Fry show in Auckland on 2 Dec; can’t tell from his comments where waywardwoodwork is from, but the show would have to be Perth on 17 Dec or Sydney on 21 Dec. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Feb 21 '16 at 1:56
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UPDATE: Rowling has apparently just addressed this on Twitter.

Good story, but it isn't true! @stephenfry wasn't condescending, he was completely lovely, and that phrase isn't in 4 books! #factsmatter

Twitter

Original answer below.


Almost, but not quite

Book 4: "Harry pocketed it"

He pulled Sirius’s reply off Pigwidgeon’s leg, Harry pocketed it, and they hurried back to Gryffindor Tower to read it. (Chapter 23)

Book 5: "pocketed"

Each wore an expression of utmost contempt, yet the unexpected entrance of so many witnesses seemed to have brought them to their senses. Snape pocketed his wand(, turned on his heel)1 and swept back across the kitchen, passing the Weasleys without comment. At the door he looked back. (Chapter 24)

Book 6: "pocketed it"

Not long after this, Hagrid became tearful again and pressed the whole unicorn tail upon Slughorn, who pocketed it with cries of, “To friendship! To generosity! To ten Galleons a hair!” (chapter 22)

Book 7: No pocketing :-(

Note: While the question was only asking about the accuracy of the finale part, it should be noted that the phrase Harry pocket it is not found anywhere in The Prisoner of Azkaban, nor for that matter is the word pocketed.

Bonus: At the OP's request, I am adding a list of all of the places that the word pocketed can be found in Harry Potter Canon.

Harry pocketed it - 4 times

"Better get the cloak," Ron muttered, as Lee Jordan finally left, stretching and yawning. Harry ran upstairs to their dark dormitory. He putted out the cloak and then his eyes fell on the flute Hagrid had given him for Christmas. He pocketed it to use on Fluffy -- he didn't feel much like singing. (PS16)

"Well, it's not much use to you," said Ron. He dropped his voice. "Fifty points if you can get it through Myrtle's nose."
Harry, however, pocketed it. (CS13)

Mr. Diggory handed Harry his wand and Harry pocketed it. (GF9)

He pulled Sirius’s reply off Pigwidgeon’s leg, Harry pocketed it, and they hurried back to Gryffindor Tower to read it. (GF23)

Pocketed it - 1 time

Not long after this, Hagrid became tearful again and pressed the whole unicorn tail upon Slughorn, who pocketed it with cries of, “To friendship! To generosity! To ten Galleons a hair!” (HBP22)

Pocketed - 4 times

"We're going to talk now," said Riddle, still smiling broadly, and he pocketed Harry's wand. (CS17)

'Right-o,' Fred said brightly, spraying the Doxy quickly in the face so that it fainted, but the moment Mrs. Weasley's back was turned he pocketed it with a wink. (OP6)

Each wore an expression of utmost contempt, yet the unexpected entrance of so many witnesses seemed to have brought them to their senses. Snape pocketed his wand(, turned on his heel)1 and swept back across the kitchen, passing the Weasleys without comment. At the door he looked back. (OP24)

He looked at Ron. "You saved everything because you felt lucky. You did it all yourself."
He pocketed the potion again. (HBP14)

Then he returned to the Gaunt hovel, performed the complex bit of magic that would implant a false memory in his uncle's mind, laid Morfin's wand beside its unconscious owner, pocketed the ancient ring he wore, and departed." (HBP17)

By book:
Philosopher's Stone - 1 occurrence, He [harry] pocketed it
Chamber of Secrets - 2 occurrences, including Harry(, however,) pocketed it.
Prisoner of Azkaban - No occurrences
Goblet of Fire - 2 occurrences, both of which are Harry pocketed it.
Order of the Phoenix - 2 occurrences, including He [Harry] pocketed it.
Half-Blood Prince - 3 occurrences, including pocketed it
Deathly Hallows - no occurrences
Supplementary works - no occurrences
Interviews - no occurrences
Pottermore - no occurrences


1 ", turned on his heel" was removed in later editions.

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    This might help. i.stack.imgur.com/Ctg8c.png – Valorum Feb 21 '16 at 1:40
  • @ibid, for what it's worth, I was most curious about the accuracy which would mean books 3-7 or 4-7 indeed. But I think that information about use of the phrase (or even just the word "pocketing") across the series would make for a more interesting answer in general. – Tony Meyer Feb 21 '16 at 4:00
  • "Interviews - no occurrences; Pottermore - no occurrences" These seem less relevant, as presumably Stephen Fry didn't do audiobook versions of Pottermore or JKR interviews :-) – Rand al'Thor Feb 22 '16 at 0:34
  • @randal'thor - My answer was originally very concise, but the OP asked me to expand it with random information. – ibid Feb 22 '16 at 0:37

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