|Reviews for Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality|
| L.E 6/5/13 . chapter 62
| Slowvehicle 5/2/13 . chapter 62
In this world, there are Things You Should Do because you are told to; there are Things You Should Not Do because you are told not to; there are Things You Should Not Do because you are told to; and there are Things You Should Do because you are told not to.
Reading this fanfic is all of those things.
Most readers will read this and find a ripping good yarn-Tom Stoppard writes a love sonnet to JK Rowling, as read by Neil Patrick Harris-and, for most readers, that is Something You Should Do.
For a few of the rest of you, it is time to listen. Read this fanfic, but do not read it unawares.
Yes. it is fiction. It is fantasy. It is fanic. it is a trope-heavy, rollicking roller-coaster-romp. It is indulgently self-indulgent, multiply recursive, finely crafted, and set to go off on a variable timer.
This is is where you listen: This will change your flag. Yes, you may fly the same colors when you are done, but they will be...different. A new device, a subtle repositioning, a matter of perspective,the image of a hand poised to snap its fingers. Perhaps new colors, perhaps more complex colors, perhaps even simpler colors.
Read it, enjoy, and be moved.
You have been warned; it WILL change your flag.
| BlueWolf1923 2/4/13 . chapter 62
So Dumbledore thinks Harry wasn't involved in the escape? But he's right about Voldemort being there. But he's wrong about Voldemort using rockets? But he's right about Voldemort needing Bellatrix and Harry... meh. I'm just going to read the story.
| Guest 1/25/13 . chapter 62
coolio Harry has a fire chicken... Awesome chapter btw.
| Amy Virtue 1/22/13 . chapter 62
| Shadowdrake Magi 11/13/12 . chapter 62
This chapter made me cry. Literally, with tears streaming down my face.
Dementors and phoenixes...
| Geo Nova 9/14/12 . chapter 62
Wow, didn't think I could ever hate Fawkes.
| Other 8/21/12 . chapter 62
I'm just curious why you did not add "TBGBQHZOYENSGRE" on the next line after the McGonagall message and possibly add a box around the original message to separate it from the additional info. Then, Harry would not have to wait 'til 9 to talk to him. I don't see how he had anything else to do that day, unless he was preparing for his encounter. Or, you think that Dumbledore would have detained Harry to see if he really did use the time-turner...
| voodooqueen126 8/2/12 . chapter 62
Yes. let's let the criminals out of the prisons.
If this is true of highly intelligent people, that they feel contempt for good people like Ron and empathy for criminals, then the human race is doomed.
| RickJS 4/30/12 . chapter 62
Wow, just wow.
As Harry descended the rotating stairwell and wept, I too openly wept.
If Eliezer doesn't get the Pulitzer Prize, there is something very wrong with the world.
For those of you of haven't figured it out, read this:
Eliezer Yudkowsky is the most important philosopher.
The lack of qualifiers in that sentence is deliberate. Read it again, just the way it is, adding nothing.
Then read the sequences at . And when your thinking is somewhat cleaned, read "Cognitive biases potentially affecting judgment of global risks" ( ).
"Can you bring out the Dementors to where I can get at them?" Harry's voice was begging, now. "Bring them out in groups of fifteen - I think I could destroy that many at a time without hurting myself -"
That would have been a stunner even if one weren't wondering who had recently been raiding Azkaban.
OK. Bayescraft time. Exercise for the reader (or for Albus).
The Evidence E: you were present to hear Harry say that.
1) form a specific hypothesis H1, a simple statement. (Hint: it might be in the general vicinity of "Harry has been in the presence of multiple Dementors, and destroyed them without harm to himself.")
2) form your specific null hypothesis H0, a simple statement. (It should be the negation of H1, but I do suggest actually writing it down explicitly, watching out for sloppiness in qualifiers such as time frame.)
3) declare prior odds O(H X), possibly by computing from your prior probabilities for H1 and H0: O(H X) P(H1 X) / P(H0 X) . X summarizes the universe as you knew it before encountering E. See E. T. Jaynes Probability Theory, the Logic of Science, p.90 if this is not familiar ground. You may want to use scientific notation.
4) declare / compute your likelihood ratio L P(E H1) / P(E H0) . Again, you may want to use scientific notation.
5) apply Bayes Theorem to compute the new odds for H: O(H E X) O(H X) * L
Incidentally, I never cease to be appalled at seeing self-proclaimed Bayesians resist doing the math. That happens WAY too often. We could all use some more practice. I did the math before posting this. I found my result surprising.
| Mech87 3/21/12 . chapter 62
Im abit disapointed that Harry havent realised the biggest problem to him wanting all the prisoners taking out of azkaban in a blaze of fury... But then again he is still very young and very conceited in he's thinking patterns...
| Fred 3/18/12 . chapter 62
This was the first chapter where, when I got to the end, I had a "Wait, what? That's not right..." moment.
ISTM Dumbledore should *know* it was Harry at Azkaban, and not have to resort to the Time Turner test. In addition to the clues that led him to suspect (like the Dementors not being able to sense Belatrix, pointing to the cloak), there is proof positive because the Auror saw Harry's patronus and noted it was human shaped. If we are to believe this information didn't come to Dumbledore, it should have been explained.
I haven't read far ahead yet, so I'm hoping to find that we'll later learn that Dumbledore did know, and chose not let Harry (or us) know he knew.
| AR 9/22/11 . chapter 62
This was a sad sad chapter...and it very nearly made me cry.
I would not have wanted to be Dumbledore as I watched the boy and my familiar walk out like that.
He will have to stay imprisoned...and I wonder just what THAT will do his personality..
But in the end you still showed him capable of compassion.
You have created a character that after all this time...I still do not understand and know how to feel about.
That is your true genius and I applaud you
| Fenrir666 8/26/11 . chapter 62
You got a true emotional reaction out of me. I can count on one hand the times a work of fiction, any work of fiction, as done that to me. Bravo.
| jasonjannajerryjohn 6/21/11 . chapter 62
This. You have outdone yourself again on this good sir. In this brilliant 12 part commentary on what I can only expect to be Guantanamo Bay, I laughed, I cried, I was entranced by the brilliance of the writting. It was a page turner, a truly gripping novel that is all to rare a find in a Books A Million or Borders these days.
But the most important thing is that Harry is right. We think Guantanamo is such a wonderful thing, yet we send people there to be tortured and die. Real people. It's not just some random inconsequential nobody. It's easy enough to write someone off as a "terrorist" and than submit them to torture. We are so disconnected from it, it is hidden from the rest of the United States. And nobody every thinks that they would be put into Guantanamo and so they don't think about it. But, ultimately, Harry is right. If I didn't think so before, this gripping epic convinced me, politics is dangerous. Putting that much power into the hands of people who neither know what to do with it nor deserve it is hardly a good thing.
I wonder if Fascism wouldn't be such a bad thing after all. Of course, putting that much power into the hands of one person is hardly comforting. Democracy is an extremely flawed way to run a country, but ultimately we don't end up being in to much trouble. Sure, social progress tends to be slow as molasses, politicians get payed off by corporations who steal all the money from the poor, but ultimately we all aren't getting killed off. Still, I can't help but think about if putting all the power into the hands of one particularly competent and strong willed and strong moraled person wouldn't be such a bad idea, like Plato's philosopher kings.
| Death by manga 6/8/11 . chapter 62
You know, personally, I think Azkabam is a good thing. There is a saying that I love to quote (I'm not entirely sure if I'm even quoting anything though), "Sometimes, to be a hero, one must play the role of the villian. Sometimes, being hated and never forgiven is a price one must make to protect your ideals."
Though a Dementor is a dumb way to make it. I would use a Buggart and prevent any form of magic on the user. Maybe a crossbreed would suffice, between fear and death. THAT way, every prisoner's punishment is made different each time.
| LifeSavers 5/18/11 . chapter 62
I get the feeling you're a libertarian...
| ARMH 2/27/11 . chapter 62
Poor Harry. I almost thought (the first time around) that Dumbledore would surmise from their conversation that Harry went in but I guess not. If they wanted to be sure why didnt he just read Harry's mind? Snape could do it and Harry would still trust Dumbledore. It just seems like a more sure method. Maybe not though. How good an occlumens is harry anyway?
| JohnSmith 2/23/11 . chapter 62
I really can't say enough good things about this fic.
| Markus Ramikin 2/1/11 . chapter 62
"Tell me something. What does a government have to do, what do the voters have to do with their democracy, what do the people of a country have to do, before I ought to decide that I'm not on their side any more?"
I love, love, love how you have Harry arrive at situations where he gets to, and in fact has to, ask questions like that. It's just beautiful, and powerful. If this were the only such moment in the series, it'd be Harry's crowning moment of awesome. Hell, maybe it still is.
| kjyu 1/28/11 . chapter 62
Yoo R GRATE!
| iamnuff 1/22/11 . chapter 62
And some unbelievably tactless part of him thought, Yay, we completed a quest and got a minion -
Shut up. If you ever want to vote on anything ever again... shut up.
oh god, i would have cracked the fuck up at that... that would have made me sound so fucking evil...
yeah, i was expecting bella's boy as the first one, but it was nev instead
| Snowflake 1/22/11 . chapter 62
The truly good person is the one who looks at an evil institution and says, Tear it all down.
| Rags 1/18/11 . chapter 62
I don't think Harry would have used a Caesar cipher XD
I think he would think the vigenere was something your little brother would use... XD
| doconnor 1/8/11 . chapter 62
Azkaban reminded of when I played Final Fantasy XI doing difficult quests when you had to keep invisible and sneak spells active on yourself continuously.
Finally a mention of the Philosopher's Stone. Harry probably would want it even more then You-Know-Who.
Snape is going to be even more flustered now that Harry has got a phoenix. He might be one of the top ten most powerful wizards in Britain already.
| Dreamer In Silico 1/5/11 . chapter 62
iFire on the mountain shall find the harp of gold,
Played to wake the Sleepers, oldest of the old.
Power from the Greenwitch, lost beneath the sea -
All shall find the Light at last, silver on the tree./i
I learned that poem in its entirety when I was... actually, 11 or 12, because I loved those books and I liked to memorize things. Made me smile to see the reference in Ch 62. )
| Donteatacowman 12/13/10 . chapter 62
"And yet it is better that we live in peace, than in chaos; and for you and I to break Azkaban by force would be the beginning of chaos, can you not see it?"
...Since when has Harry been AGAINST chaos? XD
| Acilio 12/10/10 . chapter 62
"No," said the old wizard's voice. "I do not think so. The Death Eaters learned, toward the end of the war, not to attack the Order's families. And if Voldemort is now acting without his former companions, he still knows that it is I who make the decisions for now, and he knows that I would give him nothing for any threat to your family. I have taught him that I do not give in to blackmail, and so he will not try."
I love how this passage could mean that Dumbledore really killed Narcissa as a message to the Death Eaters for their attacks to families of the Order's members.?
| Juryu 12/10/10 . chapter 62
Even though I understand your point about the dementors being unspeakably terrible, and azkaban being more like torture in hell than a prison... all this talk about how it is so obvious that the Good Thing to do would be to get all the prisoners out of there makes me a little uncomfortable. Let us not forget that they are criminals. I know you probably mean punish them in a more reasonable way, or get these dangerous people out of society without going so far as to destroy their souls... but that's not what I'm reading. I'm reading "just set them free". I'm reading "poor criminals, we are so bad to them". Besides the fact that I'm not entirely sure torture by dementors is not a reasonable punishment for at least some of them (e.g. Voldemort's followers who used killing curses on innocent people just for not hating muggles)... there is also the issue that these criminals are powerful wizards. Maybe the only way to keep them from escaping is to put them in a state of mind where they can't use their magic anymore. It's also not unreasonable that Harry might think it's good to set them free... There are plenty of people in real life who think like that. But I think there should be at least someone in the story reminding him that the prisoners are prisoners for a reason.
| lukas 12/5/10 . chapter 62
I just want to tell a brief story that happened when this was first released on Sunday morning. I was at a party with a bunch of my boys. After everyone fell asleep or passed out drunk, I remembered that it was Sunday and that Less Wrong should have updated the fic. To my delight he had and I proceeded to read the new chapter.
Its here that I should mention that I had had a fifth of vodka and a few glasses of Bourbon and coke. SOOO... if you ever think that this fic is confusing to read normally, try reading on an Iphone while drunk off your ass.
| jdboss1 12/4/10 . chapter 62
"Voldemort used a Muggle artifact to escape Azkaban," the old wizard said. "He is watching you and learning from you, Harry Potter. Soon a man named Arthur Weasley at the Ministry will issue an edict that all use of Muggle artifacts must cease in the Defense Professor's battles. In the future, when you have a good idea, keep it closer about yourself."
never like Arthur Weasley So you have go go Nude then add all harry item he can say be got from ebays lol
Keep this up
I no this it being like a job i wood love to pay you to have this is your job but dont have any money to spar
| Zargon 12/3/10 . chapter 62
I'd also like to note that I really really like that the characters have vastly different strengths and weaknesses, and that it shows not just in what they do, but how they do it.
Most notably, I like McGonagall. She's probably the least cunning of the major players (as evidenced by her plan to verify Harry's time turner, although do I hope time-turners are keyed a specific person, otherwise it would have been ridiculously silly for her not to have used it herself), but I'm pretty sure that if anybody sees through Harry, it will be her, due to her emotional bond with Harry. (Lucius doesn't count, his conclusion is correct, but it's correct for the wrong reasons, and he certainly hasn't seen through Harry)
| jafl 11/30/10 . chapter 62
I'm guessing that the reason why Harry had such an easy time playing the part with Bellatrix is because his dark side really is Voldemort. He got imprinted on Harry's brain when the curse backfired. That's how a horcrux really works, right?
I'm either completely wrong, or the truth is more complicated. Either way, I keep reading...
| TD Master 11/30/10 . chapter 62
Jinxing action -reaction?
Even if such a fundamental nature of the universe could jinxed, nobody should ever do. Anyone who walks in a field that jinxes that are going to drop dead - or explode, I don't think anyone ever did the math on that one.
| Last Alchemist 11/30/10 . chapter 62
Dwelgatte, I know the author of MOR obscured things a litle when trying to explain the genetics, but the fact is that sqibbs could not be the same as muggles. Mrs. Figg could see dementors in OoP, and Muggles cannot see dementors. Also squibbs are treated differently, allowed to be a part of wizarding society. Mr. Filch is allowed to work at Hogwarts.
The rules of genetics are very clear in the case of Hermione Granger. Neither of her parents can do magic, and yet she can. This could only mean that the ability to do magic is a recessive genetic trait, that must be doubled in order to be expressed. Both of Hermione's parents have to have the gene on one side, but not both. Statistical odds are that Hermione's parents (out of four offspring on average) would have two offspring who are the same as them, with only the gene for magic on one side; and one offspring with none of the genes on either side; and one offspring with the necessary gene on both sides-like Hermione. What this means, further, is that "pureblood" wizards and witches are exactly the same genetically as "muggle-born" wizards and witches. Thus the pureblood fanatics are utterly stupid. Either people have the genetic traits necessary for doing magic on both sides, and can do magic, or they do not. There is no other possibility. Unless you throw in the possibility of some "off-switches" being set in the DNA sequences. I see this as the only way to explain squibbs, who cannot do magic, and yet are different from muggles in that they can see dementors and are a part of the wizarding community.
| annawheatlie 11/29/10 . chapter 62
Should have said this in my review for 63: Enjoy your well earned break!
| SteveO 11/29/10 . chapter 62
I guess after this chapter we know what happened to Draco's mother...
| E.A.V 11/29/10 . chapter 62
Holy Cow, what a chapter!
| Sarshi 11/29/10 . chapter 62
ooooh, so that's how he got around it. :D neat.
| Spidey-phd 11/28/10 . chapter 62
Fawkes is number one! King of the roost! Cock of the walk! Master of... flaming things?
Anyway, another great chapter. Please keep it up!
| Team503 11/28/10 . chapter 62
Gah, this fic just gets better and better and better and better! It is, without question, the single greatest fanfiction I have ever read, and runs near the top of anything I have ever read, ever.
Bravo, sir, and ENCORE!
| major wallace 11/28/10 . chapter 62
| Wind-of-Rekil 11/28/10 . chapter 62
Alright, so, I'm totally going to flunk my first semester of college because of you. Well, not because of you alone, my incredibly weak will has, regrettably, a great deal to do with it, but if you fic hadn't been so good and therefore impossible to put down, I wouldn't be three days late handing in that essay. Oh well... Such is life? At any rate, your probably going to ruin my college career, but at least the gap between now and your next update probably leaves me some time to beg forgiveness from my professors and make arrangements to deal with this terrible addiction I seem to have acquired without realizing.
I should probably be putting up more of a fight, shouldn't I?
Ah well. Ah well.
| Phoenix Flight 11/28/10 . chapter 62
JKR: "Join me, Harry! There's only power and those too weak to seek it!"
MOR: "Mr. Potter, men care for what they, themselves, expect to suffer or gain; and so long as they do not expect it to redound upon themselves, their cruelty and carelessness is without limit. All the other wizards of this country are no different within than he who sought to rule over them, You-Know-Who; they only lack his power and his... frankness."
| UncleFesterius 11/28/10 . chapter 62
Wonderful! You sir are a genius and the story gets better with every chapter. Please let us all know, or at least me, when you decide to write a book and I'll buy it!
| CrazyBusiness 11/28/10 . chapter 62
I can't picture what you're describing in this line, "a bright cheerful blaze crackled in a nook that Harry had not before realized was a fireplace, and there were the two umbrellas and three red slippers for left feet", concerning the umbrellas and slippers. Left feet of what? That line really tripped me up when I tried imagining the Head Master's office. Please clarify.
I really love the light ending!
| Ijoan 11/28/10 . chapter 62
Amazing chapter. Looking forward to more. The thing that I love about this story is that Harry is not super powerful and better thane everyone. he is still a kid, even though he is very, very intelligent in many ways.
| Ilscribe 11/28/10 . chapter 62
You've written a great story here, it really helped introduce me to a few new ideas i had'nt ever really seen in this kind of context before. That said, I kind of miss the hopeful experimental wonder your Harry seems to have lost.
| outofculture 11/28/10 . chapter 62
I was scared for Harry as of Ch. 61; he had no person to turn to with his pain and guilt, and I was convinced a loss of innocence that severe would have corrupted and broken apart even his mighty bastion of sanity. And it was true, he had no *person* with which to bring up the events of his day and receive sympathy without terrible repercussions. Fawkes' role in offering Harry a chance to start healing was unexpected, fitting, and incredibly uplifting.
Further, and more generally, this is the first fan fiction I have ever read (though since first starting MoR I have branched out into others). I am impressed and amazed at how engaging this alternative universe has been. I care so much about these characters; they're more tangible and, for their positive qualities, commendable than the denizens of many other stories - notably the canon world on which this draws. This work has responded admirably to the general complaints I often have regarding fiction of unrealistic behaviors and poorly considered worlds.
Yeah. I am very grateful this story exists. The effort that went into it shines through to where I feel rewarded even after multiple readings. I wish half the characters weren't 11, though, as their breadth of understanding, well-considered positions and nuanced feelings are far beyond what I recognize as being age-appropriate.
| Eric Schwenke 11/28/10 . chapter 62
Thank you for writing a Mentor/General that acts correctly in regards to the Destined Hero's struggle against the Evil.
| mynameisthedoctor 11/28/10 . chapter 62
The idea that Dumbledore makes perfect sense now. There would have been a time when Voldemort had attacked order members' families Dumbledore had to fight just as dirty to win. If an order member had a family member taken hostage or killed for revenge against them the member could not be trusted to be impartial. So Dumbledore would have had to kill death eaters families to send a message that you can not kill innocent bystanders on our side without the consequences of of losing yours...
That is a mind blowingly tragic and pragmatic way to fight a war. I find myself feeling a little bit of fear and a lot of real respect of you.
| oliverbeatson 11/28/10 . chapter 62
Hmm, very good chapter, looking forward to the next very much.
A random thought has just occurred; could one imbibe the Sword of Gryffindor with the power to destroy Dementors, if brought into contact with the Patronus 2.0? Of course, that feature of the sword is yet another canonical extravagance that might have prove to have less inconsistent or fantastical mechanics.
| TrisakAminawn 11/28/10 . chapter 62
That was actually pretty cool, despite the overuse generally of the 'Fawkes gets angry with Albus and sides with Harry' motif. Very cool. You do excellent things and your author tracts have been irritating me less lately. Got my vote.
| yamiishot 11/28/10 . chapter 62
So Harry has a phoenix now...I'm trying to resist a joke about always having access to phoenix down now but nevermind XD
| Ham Nox 11/28/10 . chapter 62
Oooh, the pheonix leaving Dumbledore for Harry... Classic fanfic move, usually done in response to ManipulativeBastard!Dumbledore, but I like yours better. Dumbledore has a point about not doing anything rash, but SOMETHING needs to be done, soon. That evil has been going on for far too long already.
One thing though-Harry knows that the message came back, and has known it all the time that he was messing around in Azkaban. There could be any number of reasons why they might NOT have received a message. (Succeeded with no one the wiser and had no reason too send one... Captured or Dead... No one thought to do the obvious test because wizards are incompetent...)
If he had received a message, then it would mean that they'd failed to completely escape suspicion and/or someone had it sent to avoid a paradox. (Not necessarily an enemy-perhaps they wouldn't have succeeded without being paranoid that they'd already lost) Shouldn't Harry or Quirrel have thought of that?
| Animekitty47 11/28/10 . chapter 62
Whoa, did Dumbledore just lose his phoneix? The way you worded, maybe not, like an angry person who just wants to get away from the source of their anger, but it doesn't necessarily mean they're cutting all ties with them. Fawkes is awesome either way. XP As is McGonagall. I almost think Harry might've taken it better if he heard the first part from her. Though its interesting your Dumbledore doesn't trust his blood wards when book Dumbledore was perfectly willing to let Harry go back to a home that he knew was not treating him well just for the sake of those wards and the Power of Love protection they continued. .
| Peregrinate 11/28/10 . chapter 62
Oooh, I like. And is there one more chapter before haitus, or is this? I hope there's another chapter, but I suppose I'll survive...
| sensoray 11/28/10 . chapter 62
ahhh! love the way how harry did the time turner action XD and poor dumbledore...his pheonix is gone...i wonder how the rest of the school will react to it?
| ByLanternLight 11/28/10 . chapter 62
Very moving. This is a sentiment I feel acutely.
| roshnir 11/28/10 . chapter 62
Poor Harry. McGonagall's repeated assurance of her trust would have been tough to handle.
I hope Harry does get back to all those questions about V's resurrection and Dumbledore's hints about why Bellatrix was broken out of Azkaban in the aftermath.
| NormalAnomaly 11/28/10 . chapter 62
This chapter made me cry. Nobody is perfectly good or perfectly evil, I'm not particularly evil, but I'm a lot less good than Harry or you. Thank you for writing this.
| Looney the coon 11/28/10 . chapter 62
Awww, it's so fluffy!
| FuzzyBoots 11/28/10 . chapter 62
Were it not for a fair amount of establishing text on phoenixes being intelligent in the world of Harry Potter, I might accuse Harry of projecting, anthropomorphizing Fawkes's cries so that he hears what he wants, much as people do with their cats today when they meow.
So, Harry has some of the clues that he needs to realize that Quirrell's plans are likely not to his own good. The question is whether he can admit that he has been so wrong for so long. The fact that he's still got some degree of shock over magic existing might work for or against in this case.
Good story. Looking forward to the rest of the parts over the next month. :)
| Eli Courtwright 11/28/10 . chapter 62
Oh man, I just realized that you forshadowed Margaret Bulstrode haveing a Time Turner and how she 'wasn't very strict about how she used it, e.g. sharing really good pieces of gossip "before" anyone else had heard' in Chapter 46.
When Tracy and Daphne rush into the Slytherin common room to tell everyone the news about Harry and Hermione, they find that "Miss Bulstrode" had already told everyone! That's some awesome foreshadowing!
However, in Chapter 46 she's referred to as "Millicent" rather than "Margaret" - is that a nickname or a mistake?
| Paganimagus 11/28/10 . chapter 62
The sourcing of the extra time-turner was both exasperatingly unfair, but satisfyingly credible. Well done.
I love Fawkes too. Hes sweet
And lessened my worries (only a touch) about Harry's dark side dominance.
Hermione may have been a little right...
| CaptainBooshi 11/28/10 . chapter 62
Enjoying the fic so far, just wanted to comment on some of the reviews I saw for this chapter:
-In retrospect, the author all but told us Millicent had a time-turner already. Back when Hermione kissed Harry, the two Slytherin girls rushed back to tell the story as quick as possible, and Millicent had already told everyone, they had already stopped talking about it, and had time to get comfortable again, something that should only have been possible with time-travel. I think there was even another similar case, but I can't bring it to mind, so I might be wrong about that.
-To the people defending Azkaban, there is a difference between agreeing with the need to imprison people and agreeing that anyone above a certain level of crime should be tortured every moment of their remaining lives until they die. It's not a very high level of crime, either. At least one person is in there for involuntary manslaughter, e.g. the woman who accidentally killed someone a few chapters back, and I think they mentioned that even being an Animagus illegally is a sentence that will get you into Azkaban. That's not even getting into the question of innocents being sent there to a fate that sounds even worse than just a straight death sentence.
| SurahAhriman 11/28/10 . chapter 62
First of all, I'd like to note that this is one of the most wonderful things I've ever read.
I think Harry is correct about the evil of Azkaban. The use of Dementors as prison guards is appalling, particularly when one remembers that the cannon story shows an enormously powerful Dark Wizard (Grindewald) imprisoned without the use of Dementors for over five decades! Simply removing a wizard's wand neuters them to a massive degree in the Potterverse. It does not stretch the imagination to think other precautions could not be easily taken to increase security, such as, off the top of my head:
"No magic from any wand not specifically keyed to daily passwords provided by both the Minister of Magic and the Head of the Aurors" permanant area charm.
Shadowrun-style "mage masks": Tube down the throat (no incantations), goggles flashing strobe lights (can't concentrate/can't see), headphones blaring white noise (can't concentrate, now deprived of the two most useful senses). Still torture, but not "Holy crap, animated magical Death is feeding on the remnants of my happiness" torture.
Medically/magically induced coma. Charm up some bad dreams if you favor a retributive theory of punishment.
Yes, you might need to up the amount of guards, but frankly that would probably be a lot easier if guard duty didn't consist of 8 hours of high octane, eldritch nightmare fuel.
Also, I loved Fawkes. Very nicely done. It took a second reading to tease out the nuance of what exactly was happening, but you masterfully sidestepped a big opportunity to break my suspension of disbelief.
| Luiz4200 11/28/10 . chapter 62
"In particular," said Dumbledore, "there is a certain very foolish thing that Gandalf does in the first book. He makes many mistakes, does Tolkien's wizard; but this one error is the most unforgivable. That mistake is this: When Gandalf first suspected, even for a moment, that Frodo held the One Ring, he should have moved Frodo to Rivendell at once. He might have been embarrassed, that old wizard, if his suspicions had proven false. He might have found it awkward to so command Frodo, and Frodo would have been greatly inconvenienced, needing to set aside many other plans and pastimes. But a little embarrassment, and awkwardness, and inconvenience, is as nothing compared to the loss of your whole war, when the nine Nazgul swoop down on the Shire while you are reading old scrolls in Minas Tirith, and take the Ring at once. And it is not Frodo alone who would have been hurt; all Middle-Earth would have fallen into slavery. If it had not been only a story, Harry, they would have lost their war. Do you understand what I am saying?"
Is this your own opinion on the topic or just what you think Dumbledore would believe?
| mikhail-ling 11/28/10 . chapter 62
Good writing, as always. Just a few downers after the emotions settled. One is, and I'm sorry if I didn't pick this up earlier, the Bulstrode time turner. Kinda a deus ex machina if it wasn't foreshadowed earlier - I mean, it's rather convenient for there to be another student with another time turner running around, when it's supposed to be some secret dangerous item given only to students with great need (like to Harry, to regulate his sleeping patterns) or great trustworthiness (like to Hermione in canon). Kinda convenient too that she'd be just so willing to play the part of a plot device to putt the story along. Just saying.
The second is related to comparison with Quirrell in the previous chapter. Don't get me wrong - I like how you set up Dumbledore/Quirrell matchups in back-to-back chapters, to play on the tension of Harry's mind. What I didn't like was the use of Fawkes to play up the "Azkaban is evil, and Dumbledore's just sitting at the side not doing anything about it" shtick. I mean, seriously now - is it likely that this is Fawkes' first time in Azkaban? If not (the first time), is it likely that it has never felt the torture that goes on while it was there? Fawkes has met Dementors before, so surely it has felt/observed the effects of dementation. Further, are creatures of pure good unable to comprehend the notion that it is not Azkaban that is evil, but the people who place innocents in it that are? (Perhaps this is due to my own personal beliefs regarding prisons, criminal laws, and the death penalty, but I do strongly believe that notwithstanding abuse of the system, places like Azkaban serve their purpose, and cannot be broadbrushed as "evil"; least of all by a bird who just happens to be a symbol of light - but that's a philosophical debate on crime and punishment to be left for another day, I guess). One might expect Fawkes to demand Dumbledore to rush into the Ministry and root out all aspects of corruption like a blunt hammer goes to a broken computer, if one were to follow the same "animal logic". Yet these things don't happen. So... Yeah.
| kitiem3000 11/28/10 . chapter 62
This is the first time I really see the child in Harry. He wants something so he throws a tantrum and then threatens to get what he wants.
He had no right what so ever to demand, even ask such a thing from Dumbledore. Even when the headmasters PET began wailing for it.
| Arkh Cthuul 11/28/10 . chapter 62
| Gogolu 11/28/10 . chapter 62
| Kutta 11/28/10 . chapter 62
| X 11/28/10 . chapter 62
I noticed what I believe is a typo in this line: "Harry took a piece of parchment (not paper) out of his parch". I think the last word should have been "pouch".
Also, I would like to note that the Slytherin dungeon entrance does not have a portrait like the Gryffindor one does. It just has a blank wall that you say a password to. Maybe this is just a departure from canon, though.
Otherwise, I thought it was a good chapter.
| WeatherWatch 11/28/10 . chapter 62
This continues to astound me. Gosh :D Fawkes' decision at the end there was interesting!
Congratulations on your absolutely unique, fabulous and thought-provoking fanfiction. It's a beauty.
| phoebe turner 11/28/10 . chapter 62
i loved it!
| Dragon Man 180 11/27/10 . chapter 62
I can just imagine the stares Harry will be getting as he walks along with Fawkes on his shoulder, especially if they're having a conversation. Now, just to make a perfectly awesome scene wierder, how about if Harry was leading a blindfolded Basilisk through the school with Fawkes on his shoulder at the end of second year? In third year, add Buckbeack to Harry's group of pets. In Fourth, uh... that little model dragon that seems to be alive and miniature. Fifth year... a young Thestral that doubles as a mount. Sixth year... not sure.
| PrincessVamp 11/27/10 . chapter 62
Amazing. You had me holding my breath. And I'm kind of confused, but in a good way. I can't wait to read the rest!
| WB 11/27/10 . chapter 62
Despite his skills as a rationalist, Harry is still an eleven year old boy who has just been fairly traumatized. Too much has been asked of him this day (Minerva doesn't know the half of it). It's entirely human that emotions would get the better of him, that his internal inner observer would not operate at peak performance. A "normal" child would be a right mess.
No constructive criticism from me as yet, but the month-long hiatus will probably compel me to go back and reread (and review) the story.
| Peanuckle 11/27/10 . chapter 62
I think your use of the Patronus as a kind of Ultimate Good is a fantastic literary device. The wizarding world is a gray place at best, and entities of pure goodness should rightfully be angry at it.
Whenever you plan to do it, I eagerly await the chapter where Harry destroys Azkaban and the dementors. With or without the government's sanction.
| Work Designer 11/27/10 . chapter 62
Beautiful, beautiful chapter.
Nice resolution to Harry's dilemma, Bulstrode is a girl clearly in love with sickels more than her sleep schedule.
Harry, Poor boy, holed up in hogwarts until the age of 17. I do wonder what Michael would do in or near hogwarts, he can't even see magic stuff. Wonder if there were some kind of magic sunglasses he could wear that would show him around.
Dumbledore might have burnt Narcissa. The chances have increased since this conversation. This leaves Harry very little choice.
I honestly wonder what is left to wind up before your break. But knowing your writing for the last 61 chapters, there will be something. Please have Hermione or Draco do something in the last chapter.
| Rosa Mundi 11/27/10 . chapter 62
Wow. Just... wow. That was intense. And there's still a chapter to go? I am a very happy reader.
| Lady of the Hunt 11/27/10 . chapter 62
Wow. Powerful chapter.
| guardian00X 11/27/10 . chapter 62
At this point it's probably pointless to repeat that I like the story.
I wonder what it was that changed Dumbledore from the original story to the MoR version? The O-Dumbledore seemed to think that to hecome a hero one would need to test himself, go on a journey, a quest, and grow stronger from it (O-D let Harry get into all kinds of situations and gave the final quest of finding the hollows - damn, now i have a mental image of Dumbledore with a golden exclamation mark over his head (questgiver)). MoR-Dumbledore seems to think that the journey to become a hero is not needed and Harry is a hero because a prophecy has said he is and all he needs is to learn more magic (hmm, would Frodo have had the strenght to get as far as he did without the journey to Rivendell?).
Btw, Fawkes is awesome.
| chibiaries 11/27/10 . chapter 62
This chapter just hurt, like a punch to the gut. But in a good way. My mind is utterly stunned by all the emotional and ethical ramifications from this chapter, so it was really really really well done.
| fontgoddess 11/27/10 . chapter 62
"'And it is possible to oppose the will of your fellows openly or in secret, without hating them, without declaring them evil and enemy!'"
This might be one of the most important things you've said in the whole story.
This may be one of the most important things to say in any story nowadays.
This is exactly the counterpoint we needed to Quirrel's cynicism regarding human/wizard cruelty, and exactly the character we needed to hear it from.
This chapter did a really good job of dealing with some of the sorrow and tension created in this sequence without resolving so much that the story loses momentum. Thank you so much for giving us some lighter moments inside McGonagall's head, Snape's snark, and a more human face on Dumbledore. Thank you also for making Dumbledore a good tactician (better than cannon!Dumbledore and Gandalf!). I am now wondering about the rationalist!LotR…
And hells yeah to The Dark is Rising reference.
| shamerella 11/27/10 . chapter 62
When I first discovered your fan-fiction you were up to chapter 50, I downloaded the 800 page pdf and read it in a day. From the beginning it was good, all the rationality business was beautiful and so unfortunately absent in practically anything I've read before! I feel enlightened after every chapter, but also intensely curious! Your chapters leave me contemplating the implications for hours. There is so much mystery to the story too, I love how it hasn't been revealed for sure that whether Quirrell is You-Know-Who. You have a command of writing that keeps my attention similarly to Orson Scott Card. There is so much more to this story than the base that J.K. Rowling provides. Your Harry is very well crafted, you create a powerful protagonist who the reader can still empathize with! In contrast to the Wastelands of Time fanfic you recommended whose characters made me feel frantic and frenzied by the time I finished it, your characters are balanced and pleasant the entire time. All I can say is, I love it! You have a real talent for character development! You should absolutely write your own fiction! Never Stop!
| Math and Chaos 11/27/10 . chapter 62
So... is Professor Quirrell going to finish the sentence he started at the end of chapter 60 anytime soon?
I tried to come up with elaborate Chaos-style plots by which Harry could single-handedly get the message back in time. Trust Quirrell for the much simpler Sunshine-style solution : pay attention to what other people can do, and get them to help you. Although it sounded less coldly Machiavellian when Hermione was doing it.
I'll point out that, had McGonagall called Harry in at 10PM rather than 9PM, Harry's wait in the classroom from 3-3:30 would have been wasted. But I suppose 9PM's the more natural time; Harry at 10PM could claim he'd already used his time-turner for the night.
Actually... so could Harry at 9PM. Depending on how closely his actions prior to then are known.
In any case, passing the test through clever trickery is more effective than trying to convince someone that you can't take the test, but you're innocent anyway.
| Jonathan Schattke 11/27/10 . chapter 62
A wondrous finale to a sequence of chapters with great drama.
Wheels within wheels, and Harry gets to be noble.
| Momonster 11/27/10 . chapter 62
*mind is so blown it reselmbles the remains of a man shot in thehead with a shot gun*
...this...is what i get...for reading /62/ chapters...in less than twelve to fourteen hours...and be tired while doing it...*rubs forehead* you get a break so do i. :3
| badkidoh 11/27/10 . chapter 62
Another great chapter.
| Jonathan 11/27/10 . chapter 62
This chapter is a bit strange. I've gotten so used to Harry being really, deeply rational. But he doesn't ask the large number of questions I would have expected from a rationalist in his position. (1) Why doesn't he ask for details about why the break from Azkaban had Voldemort's signature all over it? (2) Why doesn't he ask for details about the magic that is supposed to be able to resurrect Voldemort? (3) Why doesn't he ask Dumbledore how he knows that Bellatrix is needed for the resurrection magic? (4) Why doesn't he ask what it means for Voldemort to be resurrected in the first place? (5) Why doesn't he ask for details about Bellatrix and her imprisonment - was it just, how could Dumbledore know (on what evidence), etc.?
I'm sure there are more things here, but mostly, Harry felt like he was straying from his rationalist principles here - especially the fundamental idea that if things don't make sense, then something is wrong.
| sixpacksirius 11/27/10 . chapter 62
I love Fawkes. Such a great character to work with! :) This chapter was so emotional, I utterly adored it! I really want to read chapter 63, but I know that it will mean that there's going to be a rather large gap before the next section, which I won't look forward to. :( I do want more though, so I'll just have to put up with the time in between! I love this, and I think it's completely fantastic. Thank you SO. MUCH. for writing this. Sincerely.
| holy crap 11/27/10 . chapter 62
i don't htink i've read a more primal and emotional dumbledore/harry confrontation. that was simply amazing.
| Hobbes 11/27/10 . chapter 62
I'm not sure about this but it almost sounds like Dumbledore is for utilitarianism in this chapter or maybe a social contract based on is apparently alright to lose a battle and ignore an evil(or maybe commit one)to avoid chaos.
Harry has also changed his perspective on the preference utilitarianism he had in chapter 20. He then defined it as being "...the ethical theory that the good is what satisfies the preferences of the most people—”
Maybe i am reading too much into this
| Zebra Scale 11/27/10 . chapter 62
So... In the books we learned that there were powerful, unbreakable, enchantments on Harry Potter's house protecting his family and himself so long as he called it home.
Is this a point of divergence that they do not exist here?
| Violet Shadows 11/27/10 . chapter 62
Great, but I almost thought Fawkes was just going to port him so he could tac-nuke the lot of em for a moment.
That said, I'm suprised you didn't bring up Gandalf's second great failure, since its one Harry would almost certainly know: why didn't the fellowship just use the giant birds to fly to Mordor.
| skeptic7 11/27/10 . chapter 62
What does it take for evil to win but for good men to look aside? Harry has a point and can make a decision in black and white just like a Tolkein hero. Or perhaps Harry Evans Potter Verres, child of the new world,will remember the great heroes who stood against the slave trade, against slavery, for abolition in Britian and whose spiritual heirs still fight against this evil to this day. There were people in those days who said that slavery was an evil that had to be tolerated because it was legal. There were people who said that abolishing slavery would disrupt the economy. There were people who said that abolishing slavery would destroy society. Perhaps Harry Evans Potter Verres read about the great war America fought with itself because some evils were intolerable even if the cost was the destruction of the nation as it was.
If Dumbledore thinks Azkaban is tolerable, if the ministry thinks torture is useful, if the wizarding world treasures and protects Dementors, can a hero stand with them? Sometimes evil must be destroyed regardless of the cost.
I wonder where Minerva will stand when the battle lines are drawn, and the choice is to defend the Dementors and torture people, or to destroy the Dementors and end suffering.
| Hogwarts Resident 11/27/10 . chapter 62
Oooh - Dumbledore doesn't have a pheonix anymore - Harry is gonna get it good -
| arkleseizure 11/27/10 . chapter 62
I'm...puzzled by the time-travel laws. (My background is in complexity theory, and I was already aware before reading this story that PSPACEP in the presence of this sort of time travel, so I feel moderately qualified.)
I was expecting McGonagall's test to be decisive, in light of what Dumbledore has said. I conjecture that the reason Harry's trick succeeded was because McGonagall's message did not include any information from Harry's timestream.
I might claim that if McGonagall had asked Harry some random question, listened to his response, and given a response of her own, and had Harry send her response back in time, then it wouldn't have worked, because the message would be a function of the state of Harry's brain while not being predictable by Harry himself.
Rephrased: Suppose McGonagall generates a private key, and asks Harry for a hash of his current brain state. McGonagall encrypts the hash with her private key and has Harry go back in time to send that ciphertext back to Flitwick. Then information would be sent back more than six hours - since Harry's brain's state has already been stretched out several additional hours today, and Flitwick would gain information about Harry's brain's state six hours before that point.
AHHHH TIMETRAVEL AHHHHHH
| Remoara 11/27/10 . chapter 62
So when is it going to occur to Harry, "You know, if this was a story, Professor Quirrell would end up being Voldemort"?
I mean, points of evidence staring him in the eyes:
-The mysterious magical doom resonance between him and Quirrell
-His recent epiphany of doubt opening his mind to the possibility that Quirrell is 'no longer to be trusted'
-He's just learned that the rescue of Bellatrix is a key item for one method of Voldemort's return. He just helped Quirrell do something that is a MASSIVE help to Voldemort!
Sure, he's distracted by the moral horror issue of Azkaban. And sure, when I try to imagine myself as Harry I can't escape hindsight bias...
But it's questionable whether this idea can fail to occur to Harry for much longer without such a huge lapse becoming unexplainable with anything but pure plotonium.
On the OTHER hand, I am STILL kept on the edge of my seat wondering *what the heck the big bad's actual motivations and intentions are*! I can't think of a single other story that uses this as a point of suspense, and it's AWESOME.
Is Voldemort really a person with beliefs and values at least somewhat like those he expresses as Quirrell, and the psychopathic dark lord persona is a tool of that person? Or is the person he plays as Quirrell merely a tool of the psychopath? Or what? AHHHH!
| James Firecat 11/27/10 . chapter 62
At the risk of making everyone reading this go cross eyed... if Harry had access to someone else with their own time turner... would he have been able to tell them to go back in time the 6 hours to tell the 3:00 PM version of him the information as well, or is that exactly what he did and the person in the painting had a time turner?
My head hurts just thinking about this...
Anyway, should be interesting to see what happens when Hermione has to walk Harry through the care and feeding of Fawk's, hopefully he'll turn out better than that pet rock...
| Zerovirus 11/27/10 . chapter 62
Hm. It's a ROT13 cypher, but what's with the SY at the very beginning? Sy becomes Fl in ROT13, so either FL or SY have some codeword meaning known only to Harry... Or maybe I'm just dull.
Nice chapter, as usual.
| The French Dark Lord 11/27/10 . chapter 62
| lipasnape 11/27/10 . chapter 62
Right. Quite right. Except for ANY goodness in Albus.
And Fawkes is all Harry needs to be safe and free.
| N 11/27/10 . chapter 62
I have no freaking clue what to say. This story is just so fucking awesome! The depths of thought and morality in this story are the most interesting thing I have ever read, even outside fanfiction.
Normally when reading a story on this site I can see the path ahead or the possible paths but right now I haven't got the slightest of what will happen!
| yellulhchicken 11/27/10 . chapter 62
I am not good at constructive criticism so I won't place that in this review. I will however, say what I can. This fic was good on the first chapter, it was good on the second. It is now the 62nd chapter and I say it is still good if not then even better. I liked the story when the feel of it was just for laughs. I still like this fic even when the tone has become serious(I know, wrong Black, heh). Keep up the good work
| aaronmicalowe 11/27/10 . chapter 62
as always when I read MOR time seems to stop, yet hours pass by like seconds. it's easy to get caught up in this, I just hope it's going in a good direction. every story I've ever read has a point when you recognise it has fallen down. is this the first one where it doesn't? or have you masterfully left it late so we can enjoy the ride longer? either way, it's rare to read something that opens new avenues that I'm happy to walk through. happy Christmas, enjoy your long hiatus and I look forward to the next chapter as always.
| Jeffrey Y 11/27/10 . chapter 62
That exchange with Fawkes at the end is a perfect Lassie moment. :)
| uo-chou 11/27/10 . chapter 62
What a thing Harry has done! Keep up the good work, I hope to read more in the near future!
| w 11/27/10 . chapter 62
This feels weaker than the Azkaban sequence .Perhaps because of repetitivity - we already had Harry's outrage of Azkaban and with consequences. The sentence about reckoning was very good though. His relationship with M was somehow absent. And it's difficult to sympathize with Dumbledore. Though his arguments are of course correct.
Nice getting out the Time Turner challenge.
Absolutely excellent criticism of Tolkien. This works on 3 levels - first, you're critising HP's world implicitly by the story, second, the stupidity of Tolkien's character by the HPMOR's characters and, finally, stupidity of canon:HP's characters by the same HPMOR's characters. Beautiful.
"e makes many mistakes, does Tolkien's wizard" - is this grammatical?
And this part was beautiful too " Did I turn evil today, Fawkes? I didn't think I was evil... Do you hate me now? If I've become something a phoenix hates, maybe I should just give it up now, give up everything now and confess" .
Do take as much time as you need during the hiatus. What quality requires, the quality should obtain.
And thank you.
| Frozen Wolf13 11/27/10 . chapter 62
Wait, what? Confusion. Or at least only the latter part. Good chapter.
| Captain Death 11/27/10 . chapter 62
That was truly a very clever set of events, and well written.
As a modest aside, I am one of your readers who has written novels (three, at the moment) and published professionally other things - though less often than I would have preferred - so all told I have written and published well over two million words.
One of the things that has been apparent is that your writing style has improved enormously from start to finish. The most dramatic change has been in the transitions, where we change from one scene to the next. By this segment there are clear starts that set each scene, and clear stops that fine-tune the scene's import. If you go back to the first few segments of your writing, the moves from scene to scene were sometimes a bit abrupt. Indeed, rather than telling people that they should read the first five parts or ten chapters, having them read something more recent, or redoing the first couple of parts of your tale and have them read that, might be in your favor.
A few other thoughts: Magicians live a long time. They are mostly in magical Britain, but they are in touch with real Britain, and therefore gain to some extent the real-British attitudes and turns of phrase. Most people gain those patterns when young, as young as many readers here, and do not change them much. Even after two centuries or whatever. Barbara Hambley explores this in her vampire novels. The significance here is that a really old magician will have Victorian English patterns of speech "This signifies" not "This is significant" and 'someday you will hopefully all *be* graduated *from* your school'. How do you find those? Read a Victorian author. Upper-class Victorians, people who were like magicians in social class, mostly all agreed on who was the greatest of all Victorian novelists.
He is not at present well-received, because he does not sound like a modern writer of English. Nonetheless, he was known in-period as the greatest of Victorian novelists, not at all like that supreme master of pathos or perhaps bathos Dickens. He sounds like a refined Victorian. He also sometimes wrote using the authorial-omniscient Point of View, which is worth knowing though you might hesitate to use it.
A visit by Potter's parents might indeed be different from canon. One could, for example, imagine transmutation being discussed, and an explanation being given from the nonmagical side of muggle weapons based on transmutation, notably the hydrogen bomb.
Curiously, when the escape is discussed, the obvious alternative is overlooked. Alternative? We are not seeing magicians using rockets. We are seeing non-magicians who have gotten their hands on a magician and made him talk. If the gene is adequately well dispersed, there are muggle-born people with the talent who only need the lesson. Obliviate is very clever, but it is not obviously adequate against a military intelligence agency that has video recordings, remote-recorded, of identifiable people on the street doing impossible things, and then notices that their secret agents are getting inexplicable amnesia treatments.
If I were to offer a suggestion it would be to keep working on descriptions of scenery, as you clearly have already been doing to good effect. If you have never read The Forgotten Beasts of Eld by Patricia McKillip, you might find it a good and helpful read. (For no points, why is the magical lion *green*?)
| Anon 11/27/10 . chapter 62
I must confess, I think Harry should be listening to the advice of Dumbledore, and not the advice of the magical chicken.
"Fawkes didn't understand the conversation."
When a being doesn't understand something, assuming this something is not nonsense, the being no longer has any special authority to give advice. It is a shame that Harry cannot acknowledge that political systems are complex and policy debates should not be one-sided.
| Johnly 11/27/10 . chapter 62
Mikko: Your hypothesis is practically as troubling as Utisz's. Harry is able to talk to Fawkes because he's SPECIAL and BELIEVES IN LIFE when NONE OF THE OTHER WIZARDS DO. The only connection Harry and Fawkes have is their firm opposition to Azkaban, which is hardly an inherently life-ist view.
Glad to see the issue of summer has been addressed; IMO the story needs temporal progression ASAP and if summer is being thought about that's one step closer to it.
Really don't mind the powers Harry demonstrates. If I could swallow his special Patronus a dozen chapters back I can swallow anything here. Especially since these are more natural outgrowths of his destiny as master of the deathly hallows. For all his unique and super special abilities he's still mediocre in raw power.
| Anonymous 11/27/10 . chapter 62
I'm enjoying this story as fanfiction; I like the juxtaposition against Rowling's rich but simple world and characters. MoR!Harry & co reveal the cracks and flaws of Rowling!Harry & co and the ridiculous inconsistencies and absurdities of Rowling's Wizarding World, while at the same time showing the promise of Rowling's premises. I've found this all very amusing. But I've been disappointed to see the last arc veering so far off the original HP path; as this story diverges from Rowlingverse, it becomes less an amusing comparison and more a lectury original story with a grating cast of characters.
| Gdunge 11/27/10 . chapter 62
Dear Less Wrong,
I've been reading for quite a while now, and have finally gotten 'round to reviewing.
This is some WONDERFUL writing! It sent me forth looking for more of your writing, starting at your Less Wrong blog and continuing to Overcoming Bias and the Singularity Institute.
I think you must have an ulterior motive pushing you to work so hard on this project - getting more people to become rational. Well, speaking for myself, it's working. I have been going through the Sequences on Less Wrong, have learned what Bayes' Theorem is and why we should all learn it, and appreciate the purpose, scope, and audacity, of the Friendly AI project.
So, keep it up. It's working. For both of us, because I really enjoy the new knowledge. (And the story!)
Now I'll let the next reviewer speak up. I'm off to read your essays about Global Catastrophic Risks.
Thanks for taking so much time to write this story, and keep fighting the good fight.
| DigiEmissary 11/27/10 . chapter 62
I do hope that the original author of Professor McGonagall's message was Susan Cooper.
| DualX 11/27/10 . chapter 62
well this was incredible strange, as harry is not known to be this emotional, but considering what he felt, that would be understandable. And your style of writing annoys me... I just began reading... And already the chapter is over... and i did not notice any time passing...
I do hope you will continue with these frequent updates. You manage to cut a chapter just where its perfect, where it just ends that chapter, big or small cliffhanger...
I hope you will continue to update this frequently... Because so many good authors stops updating after a while... Hitting a metaphorical wall... So i bid you good luck in your endavours, and hope you to continue this great story till the end.
| winternym 11/27/10 . chapter 62
Every chapter I think "This can't get any better" and then, dammit, it does. Amazing chapter, I can't wait for the next one. Will we see Hermione?
| Majin Hentai X 11/27/10 . chapter 62
Now this is how we can tell you are a professional writer.
| Me 11/27/10 . chapter 62
The entire Harry/Dumbledore/Fawkes scene there at the end was beautiful. You show Harry's emotions perfectly and brilliantly. Someday I'm going to print this story and Dinosaurusgarde's fanart and put it in three-ring binders so I'll be able to read it anytime. When you get that rationality book published, let us know, I will buy it.
| Niqi 11/27/10 . chapter 62
Wow that was powerful. o_o
| Play4ever 11/27/10 . chapter 62
Great chapter. I loved the confrontation with Dumbledore.
| Dur'id the Druid 11/27/10 . chapter 62
Wow, that was a short hiatus. I knew it was going to be less than a month, but... :) Take the rest you need already. This is a good stopping point.
Great chapter, and at some point I fully expect Harry to destory all those Dementors. Heck, with Fawkes he could go and do it right when the chapter ends and damm the consenquences.
And something else, is the Phoenix yet another example of people's expecations taking a physical form?
Hmmm, banning muggle devices from the contest between Harry, Draco, and Hermoine. Or is it all of Hogwarts? That could be bad. Oh, and I just thought of what an encounter between Harry and Arthur may be like... NEED MENTAL FLOSS! It's either going to be life changeing for Arthur, or a compleate disaster for all involved.
| Heidinanookie 11/27/10 . chapter 62
I loved the extended reference to LotR. It is my favourite book and that's why I have to point something out: You do realize, that Gandalf is not a wizard in the sense that Harry and Dumbledore are wizards. He's one of the Istari, a lower deity, one of the gods! His human form was just named a "wizard" by the inhabitants of Middleearth for lack of a better term.
Anyway, Fawkes might not be intelligent in this story but since he's purely good he has to be able to feel the evil in Harry. Why is he on his side? I do hope Harry is found out soon - for his own good!
| firedraygon 11/27/10 . chapter 62
It's absolutely fantastic how you can intersperse incredibly intense chapters in between more lighthearted ones and make the story flow so smoothly. The transitions between each scene are great.
I really enjoyed inner and outer Harry's reactions to the conversation with Dumbledore. There was so much conflict there, and you portrayed that well.
Haha, the bit about LotR and how Gandalf was a fool was awesome. The argument about how these things would only succeed in books is so...what's the word, ironic? Anyway, fabulous work. Please write more soon!
| Robinson 11/27/10 . chapter 62
I was pointed to MoR about a week ago.
I read it in three days from chapter 1 to 60.
And I am amazed.
I am amazed by the story you created.
I am amazed by the way you insert science and ethics into it.
I am amazed by the way you changed the world of Harry Potter to make it so much more consistent, more interesting, better.
Finally, I am amazed by the span of time in which you achieved this.
Thank you for this all.
If MoR ever came out as a hardcover (I know that in all likeness it won't), I would order it instantly.
| Curly 11/27/10 . chapter 62
In light of the Rationalist Fanfiction Principle, I'm eagerly awaiting the chapter which explains the Professor Quirrell Method of Hypothesis Location. Because his ability to predict that they'd test Harry's time turner *and* predict the method they'd use sure as heck looks like opaque voodoo sorcery to me.
| Morbious20 11/27/10 . chapter 62
| Stygian Styx 11/27/10 . chapter 62
| Chelonie 11/27/10 . chapter 62
Blargh. I hate days when I feel stupid. I've read it three times and I can't wrap my brain around how Harry passed the time turner test. .
| SomeGuyFawkes 11/27/10 . chapter 62
Did not like the retcon'd bits, but the Harry/Dumbledore/Fawkes scene was especially good.
Too bad Harry is not wise enough to ask about political, "war time", and untried prisoners - which could provide a lever to break Azkaban.
Thanks for the update.
| Yuen 11/27/10 . chapter 62
Bellatrix in Leather Pants. Author Appeal. Harry is a blatant Author Avatar, with the author's sense of morality. Not being rational or practical at all.
Other reviewers have critiqued Harry/the author's stance on Azkaban, and I agree completely with them.
You're great with the rational stuff, but your portrayal of emotions lacks finesse. This latest arc veered into melodramatic wangstland with the appearance of Bellatrix and has stayed there with no sign of leaving anytime soon. It's a shame. This story used to be so promising when you were just sticking to your premise, which was a great premise at that. Now this fic is just one of many other mediocre Harry Potter fix fics.
You should have just stuck to your strengths; this turn in the plot is like a malignant tumour slowly corrupting this entire body of work. I sincerely hope that you'll be able to pull it off, but at this point, I don't feel like that is going to happen.
| Mikko Rauhala 11/27/10 . chapter 62
Utisz; you seem to jump to conclusions for reasons no other than to construct and ridicule a strawman. Nobody has said that Harry can commune with Fawkes "because he's rational" or "because of science" except you.
I can't speak authoritatively, but it seems clear enough to me that MoR!Harry and MoR!Fawkes are simply connected through championing life - much more so than the death-embracing Dumbledore. Dumble's astonishment is also handily explained by his deathism being in the way of truly understanding Fawkes.
| ejhawman 11/27/10 . chapter 62
Sloppy again! Not telling us in so many words that there are OTHER students using Time Turners. (Well, I don't remember any instances where you told us.) Doesn't matter that we can GUESS it, I think the Checkov's Gun rule requires it be made explicit.
A treat - you examine LOTR with the same sensibility as everyone else examines the Harry Potter books. Somehow, once a certain amount of time has passed, a book seems to become immune to such second-guessing. There really needs to be more criticism of this sort done. I understand the Wheel of Time series, for instance, has been torn apart by its fans...
As to exactly how a wizarding war would go, it depends on the magic system operating within the universe in question. A Potterverse war will be very different from what Rowling wrote, and from a Warcraft battle, and from a D&D fight, etc.
The Death Eaters learned not to attack families - a convenience, I assume. Many stories assume no such lesson was learned. Lots of drama to be derived.
Not entirely sure about the end - will be interesting if Fawkes decides to stay with Harry for a while.
| wisecurledqueen 11/27/10 . chapter 62
Brilliant chapter. I loved Fawkes and Dumbledore and the way Harry utterly took charge and didn't. I'm so happy!
| Baughn 11/27/10 . chapter 62
..yes. I am reminded of the sword of good.
It's not an easy scream to forget, once you've once heard it.
| Catnipsandwich 11/27/10 . chapter 62
Well... I feel like an utter fail :P
I finally cracked the code, with some help (rot13, allegedly), but I still fail to see how anything was... well, I'm not seeing what was obvious to Quirrel. Maybe I'm not devious enough :( But it's an excellent plot arc, and I shall be sad when it ends...
| Alexandra 11/27/10 . chapter 62
I love the premise of your fic, and the writing is excellent as well. One thing bugs me, though. You make the point that Hermione is being condescended to by her parents, which Harry doesn't like. So why is she being condescended to by Harry, and Quirrel, and the rest of the cast as well? They are described as being pretty rational, after all... She has to be helped out as a general, and once there, Zabini makes her plans. Harry tells her nothing, even though she's the only one at Hogwarts that could understand the concept. As a female engineer, this definitely makes me like the fic less.
| Ami3vaYah3Dyn 11/27/10 . chapter 62
I'm sorry. I don't even know how to form my thoughts on this chapter...
(I'm not saying it's bad, I'm saying it's so good I can't even say how good it is)
Please. Please tell me that Dumbledore will never ever be able to cast a True Patronus, not even if he admits that he's wrong about some things because I don't think he'd completely believe that.
| White Ivy 11/27/10 . chapter 62
Can't say I expected that. I rarely make guesses as to what's going to happen in this story (because it has more twists than a labyrinth) but still some things stick out as even more unexpected and today, Fawkes was one of them.
| Anonymous 11/27/10 . chapter 62
So Harry can talk to a) an animal, b) that is magical, c) that no one else can talk to, d) in such a way that High Wizard Wisdompants is surprised.
Because he's rational.
Harry can't talk to phoenixes. Phoenixes can communicate their emotions to people, just like in canon and Harry, having been to Azkaban knows what those emotions refer to. It seems to Dumbledore that he can communicate with Fawkes better than most, but we have no indication that that's true.
| Dragonist 11/27/10 . chapter 62
So... I'm confused right now. Which is good, cause if I didn't want to be confused, I wouldn't read this. Now... with Harry's little episode right now, doesn't that mean Dumbledore is more suspicious or whatever, that he went to Azkaban?
| AspergianStoryteller 11/27/10 . chapter 62
Again, I think I can see where they're both coming from, but there's little point in getting overly worked up by a fiction. I wonder if Harry's dark side is the horcrux? He's getting along with it and changing it.
| Furcas 11/27/10 . chapter 62
62 just bored me. Harry's worrying about insignificant points of morality is annoying. Fawkes is annoying too.
| skinnyiain 11/27/10 . chapter 62
Love Prof. McGonagall's message. Are there any YA sff series you haven't read? Great chapter in a great story.
| DrBlue2K 11/27/10 . chapter 62
"The Death Eaters learned, toward the end of the war, not to attack the Order's families."
I am fascinated. Is this Dumbledore hinting that he killed Narcissa in retaliation for the death of a family member of one of the Order's?
| dougal74 11/27/10 . chapter 62
This story has moved from something that had potential 45 chapters ago, to being utterly ridiculas.
I remember when you first started this story and I read your rules about fanfication, which you wanted to make compulsory; which in the process of this story you have completely ignored, with a plot is thinner than watery soup and is now three times longer than the Philosophers Stone. Is it going to be chapter 750 before get to the end of book seven.
Your Harry seems to be more powerful, itnelligent, wiser and all around better than the strongest wizards of the time and yet he is a first year - but strangely enough he is gulliable enough to follow someone who is a planely corrupt as Quirrel.
Please say book one is coming to an end in the next few chapter - restore some order to this once promising story.
A story has begining, middle and an end...yours just seems to be at the begining and then got lost in the fog.
| Kay 11/27/10 . chapter 62
I 3 FAWKES. great chapter!
| emanon 11/27/10 . chapter 62
"Did I turn evil today, Fawkes? I didn't think I was evil..." Well, no. Harry did not turn evil, but he did commit an evil act by freeing Bellatrix. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. As much as I like strong Harry stories, I can't wait for the other shoe to drop to teach him some humility. He's feeling a little queasy that he has betrayed McGonagall's trust, but that's just the beginning. There is a price that must be paid for Harry's actions this day.
| Eclipse1234 11/27/10 . chapter 62
Woah. Why does Bulstrode have a time turner again?
| Kylani 11/27/10 . chapter 62
I don't really have much to say other than the usual "brilliant", but I felt like being reviewer 9501.
| ImUpToNoGood 11/27/10 . chapter 62
Really good chapter.
Loved the bit with Fawkes and Harry and Dumbledore. I really want to see Sirius freed... please say we don't have to wait too much longer, now that Azkaban is in the picture!
It is obvious that Quirrelmort is manipulating Harry, and Harry admires him enough not to see it, or perhaps not to want to. As mature as his mind is, he is still eleven, and still has the need for an adult to respect. Not sure where you are going... it seems you could have Harry likewise influence Quirrel, or Harry realize at some point that Quirrel does not necessarily have his best interests at heart, unless you consider becoming a Dark Lord in Harry's best interest.
One thing... I thought Voldemort turned snakelike because his spirit lived in creatures while he was disembodied, which means he would still have been the charismatic human during the first wizarding war. It is possible that the making of horcruxes slowly damaged the body as will as the soul, and could well have given him the red eyes, but the snake features were a vestige of time living as a snake.
What are your thoughts?
| Mikko Rauhala 11/27/10 . chapter 62
Nice stuff with the Harry/Fawkes gang-up on Albus - nice play with what Albus deserves not, I did for a moment wonder if Fawkes had actually left him, and that did seem overly sad.
Incidentally, might the Death Eaters learning to not attack the Order's families have something to do with, say, Draco's mum burning to death...
| AngelForm 11/27/10 . chapter 62
In Dungeons and Dragons the paladin class must maintain a Lawful Good moral alignment. Many, many debates have taken place as to what should happen when what is Good and what is Lawful clash directly. Whether a paragon of what is Right and Just should stand by what the Law dictates or what morality demands.
Nice to know where Harry stand on that point at least.
Inventive way of getting around the Do Not Mess With Time problem.
| RIgal 11/27/10 . chapter 62
AWESOME! GREAT! HArry the trouble hes in now, I wonder if hell finally realize Quirrells Voldy! oh woow COngrats on the best fanfic on this site.
| Whitewings 11/27/10 . chapter 62
The problem with Azkaban is simply this: How do you jail a wizard? Imagine how hard it would be to hold a normal person who could call on friends to bring heavy construction equipment to bear on the walls of his prison, and now consider that a single wizard, even without his wand, effectively is heavy construction equipment. Mere walls won't even slow a wizard, and wards will only provide a modest improvement. Muggle guards can't really keep the population of a muggle prison under control if they decide not to be controlled, and there is no reason to think this would be different for wizard guards in a wizard prison. What's needed is something to keep them from working magic, and so far as we've seen in canon, the only thing - I emphasise only - that can stop the working of magic is a Dementor. Condemn Azaban, it certainly merits condemnation, but before you have it destroyed, come up with a better solution.
| Utisz 11/27/10 . chapter 62
So Harry can talk to a) an animal, b) that is magical, c) that no one else can talk to, d) in such a way that High Wizard Wisdompants is surprised.
Because he's rational.
I am laughing so hard right now.
On the one hand, this is a point towards Sueishness. It's a whole bunch of points towards it, really, but whatever. If this were a mundane setting, it would be horrible. Even though this is a highish fantasy setting, if he did it through straight up maaaagic it would be pretty awful.
But he's not.
Harry James Potter-Evan-Verres can talk to phoenixes.
| voider 11/27/10 . chapter 62
"Caw?" said the phoenix.
Fawkes didn't understand the conversation.
Heh... phoenixes are almost always depicted as really smart and wise. I've had this concept too... that maybe their ability to sense emotions might make great ...pets/companions ... but not good advisers.
Isn't it about time for Harry to have some heavy suspicions that Quirrell is Quirrellmort... or at least that he might be one of Voldemort's servants?
| ilikebluepineapples 11/27/10 . chapter 62
Surely McGonagall and Dumbledore would remember how many other kids have Time Turners? If not both, at least one of them. Readers can be forgiven for forgetting this, but McGonagall and Dumbledore are the ones handing out the Time Turners.
| Speechwriter 11/27/10 . chapter 62
This is brilliant. Best chapter since the dementor-destruction. I could picture Dumbledore's every word and action crystal-clear in my mind - thank you for brightening my day.
I love when Harry gets all super-compassionate. It makes me want to sob with his childish not-quite-naivete.
| Gatalicious 11/27/10 . chapter 62
What I don't understand is why Harry is so vehemently against Azkaban. He identifies Dementors as ultimate evil, but has he never even considered the fact that maybe dementors are creatures of their own sort. A species of carnivores that are above humans in the food pyramid and need to feed on them in their own unique way in order to sustain themselves.
Although I do understand what he means by letting prisoners out of inhumane torture. But I feel the manner in which you portrayed Harry's vies on this matter, he rather there were no prison altogether. That prisoners roam free. I think you should make that distinction clear that some people deserve prison, but no one deserves torture.
| CPAnthoni 11/27/10 . chapter 62
Wow. Good work.
| 109 11/27/10 . chapter 62
I wish Professor McGonagall wouldn't just write herself out of all the time-travel paradoxical stuff. She's as rational as anyone, and she could probably understand it as well as anyone, were it not for that strange notion that it was somehow improper or taboo or something.
| Askuriel 11/27/10 . chapter 62
Not a constructive review: Incredible work.
| agouraki 11/27/10 . chapter 62
Defiantly one of the best harry/dumbledore moments.
| Tom Reagan 11/27/10 . chapter 62
Interesting update, I very much enjoyed Dumbledore's critique of LotR, and I liked how Harry got out of his little problem at the beginning.
Looking forward to the Aftermaths, and looking forward less and less to the one month wait.
| Loonynamelass 11/27/10 . chapter 62
| Angel Is A Centerfold 11/27/10 . chapter 62
I wish you would add more stories to your favorites list.