|Reviews for Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality|
| Gradus chapter 113 . 4h
I realize the discussion is now over, but for fun, without reading any other reviews or looking ahead, here's what I think a solution that works well with the story so far would look like:
Excruciating seconds tick by as Harry frantically thinks, struggling to find any solution. He realizes he must not vocalize anything or move, and yet must destroy the Death Eaters instantly, in a single blow. He realizes Transfiguration is the only magic that can let him cast with incantations, and wracks his brain to find something he can partially transfigure to gain an advantage.
In a desperate gamble- remembering with a flash of insight what he saw within the darkness of the cage one winter afternoon at Hogwarts - Harry uses partial transfiguration to reshape a tiny fragment of quantum space at the tip of his wand. He increases the point-mass of this space, and pulls at the fabric of the quantum foam until a tear appears in the fabric of space time.
This tear is a magical black hole, the embodiment of nothingness, inexorable death, given existence and consciousness by magic - a Dementor.
The Dementor, responding to the probability wave of its surroundings and directed by Harry’s expectations, immediately drains the magic and lives of the Death Eaters.
Voldemort leaps backward on his broomsticks and is able to fire off a killing curse, his own despair still potent in the face of Death. The Dementor instantly interposes itself between Voldemort and Harry, consuming the magic effortlessly. Voldemort struggles to control his mind and prepares to destroy Harry with another desperate curse, but Harry cries out in Parseltongue that if he dies the transfiguration will end and the Dementor’s rift will collapse, with unknown physical consequences. Harry suspects the results would be catastrophic, as the sudden collapse of a magical black hole could release untold energies.
Struggling to think through the pain caused by the dementor’s presence and horrified by the drain on his magic, Voldemort reluctantly agrees not to kill Harry for fear of the Prophecy of Destruction being fulfilled. Harry suggests the Philosopher’s Stone be used to make the Dementor permanent, then Harry can use his patronus to banish it safely.
Voldemort, rapidly being drained of his magic and in unbearable psychic pain, resists but finally agrees. Harry takes the stone, and attempts to apply it to the rift he created in space.
A crack, a seam in the very universe as two opposed forces collide. The Stone’s power is to give Permanence, to sustain existence - the Dementor’s very nature is Death, Endings, Non Existence. Time and Space themselves are rent as these two magics collide in a paradox that threatens to TEAR APART THE STARS AND END THE WORLD.
This is the very death of the universe - yet it was Foretold.
In an ancient city, where magic was first forged and shaped to match men’s minds, this moment was seen. In their final act, the Archmagi of Atlantis created a temporal paradox, a bubble in time that would coincide with this very moment. With a magic kin to that of the Mirror, invoked through a dark ritual that reshaped time and sacrificed not just themselves but their entire Continuum, their slice of Multiverse, the makers of Atlantis trapped the Rift in an alternate universe, where it spiralled into a Big Crunch that consumed all matter, space, and time. Thus was Atlantis destroyed from all Time.
In the Graveyard, the two wizards saw only a great flash of energies as both stone and Dementor were destroyed forever.
In that moment, both wizards meet eyes, and go for their wands… only to find they have no magic. It has been drained by the Dementor’s passing. In a moment of realization, they each dart forward, diving for the gun...
| DaMugger chapter 1 . 12h
To those readers who are confused by how Harry manages to do what he does in Chapter 114:
Re-read the Quidditch scene in 104. It's revealed there how he does it.
| KDTBpantherwulf chapter 5 . 16h
Oh god I laughed so hard I almost threw up, holy crap! That was terrific!
| AlexZhaw chapter 115 . 5/27
Incredibly clever (godlike intellect fo QQ), and 1 foolish mistake, ordinary REAL person wouldn't commit (leave WAND to wizard - it's like... no, there is no analogy fo muggles, it's just stupidity) and 1 absurd-assumption ( Rabbit-from-Hat or so -why didn't monomolecular thread just fell from wand to the ground? What force , except author's will, drove it? ).
Everything IMNSHO because of many authors try to picture Evil Genius really genius and put Main Hero to Really Bad situation, and have no sane way to save him. So just making wonder. In rational world H.P would be just killed by and so on, in a tiny bit rational. Except this smashed ending - the whole book is incredible and awesome!
| A Common Hero chapter 113 . 5/27
Well first of all, without having read these chapters, I did check how many chapters were posted alongside my check as to whether the story was completed or not before reading through it a third time. Thus I now know that you did not end your story before chapter 121, and therefore this challenge was solved. There are other possibilities still, but I assign them a very low probability. This grants me an advantage that those who read the challenge as it was posted did not have. I know for a fact there is a solution. Those participating at the time had to take it on faith that you were playing fair, and had I been in their position I might have doubted that you were. I so note this because it provides me with a psychological benefit that the challenge does not intend, and so my results are not as valid (though then again, they won't be tested either, and this benefit does come at the cost of a lack of urgency in my thinking).
Secondly, I wish to note that your rule about time turners contradicts evidence already presented in the story. Harry has already saved himself from a precarious situation at one point by going back in time and sending himself help. He did this when Draco Malfoy cursed him after their first real discovery as scientists. But I will allow that he at least had access to the time turner at the time, so if he had to he could have used this to go back in time and scream for help in pain all the while, rather than going back and getting help after the curse was mostly neutralized. Furthermore, these rules of time travel are not information harry Potter has, he never observed that these rules are true in story and so naturally his first thought should be his time turner, especially since this has been in character for him in the past right up until the situation that caused this mess he is in. Therefore without knowing that this rule about time following some weird path of least resistance exists, Harry Potter should precommit to the plan of going back in time to fetch help the moment he has his Time turner in hand, and precommit to it so strongly in his mind that no matter what happens next he will go back that last hour he has remaining, then use the time to arrange a rescue. At which point Harry Potter should then die due to ignorance of how the world works.
Therefore that does not count as my one proposed solution, because it is not a solution (especially since it does not keep with the rule that Harry is allowed to be a perfect thinker who does whatever the hell I want him to that is physically/magically possible, and does not actually have to act in character).
Unfortunately my best attempt is not very good. I know it isn’t good because I can imagine myself in Voldemort’s place, and simply put I would not allow Harry Potter to move on single centimeter beyond the movement of his lips to speak to me (as I have asked him to). Yet I do not remember any magic Harry may have learned that does not require him to move from this position. Furthermore, this solution is absolute rubbish because I have only solved the problem in technical terms. The Challenge is, “Harry Potter needs to survive ‘IMMEDIATELY,’ he can do so, how?” Technically the solution I propose below will allow that, but it leaves no room for Harry to escape afterwards and he would very likely die in short order. I have failed to become the Super Rationalist.
My proposed solution was this:
Harry Potter offers, in Parseltongue, to explain the secrets behind his ability to kill Dementors. He sits down on the ground as he does so, saying in Parseltongue ‘I do not intend to escape by this action,’ expanding on the truthful deceit as needed to be allowed this action. The words are true, he does not escape by sitting down. He does, however, get the chance to place his wand upon the ground. At this time he assures Voldemort that the reason he cannot explain the True Patronus is that to understand you have to understand the entire process by which he came to that magic. This is also true, but the words are a tactic by which he can buy time. The plan is to take as much time as reasonable being detailed in hi story telling in hopes that Voldemort’s respect for the idea that one must be ‘ready for knowledge’ before they may use it (the wizarding culture’s principle behind who should be told magical secrets) will cause him to not instantly jump to the conclusions he might need in order to cast the True Patronus. Or rather, that when he does jump to that conclusion on his own, he will still wait and listen to be sure.
During this time Harry is creating a hole in the ground, using his wand which he has been able to place to the ground when he sat down. Voldemort should not find the placement of the wand to be threatening (though I acknowledge the solution is doomed anyway because ANY movements by Harry should be disallowed by a smart Voldemort) because Voldemort does not know Partial Transfiguration, and would thus have to believe Harry can transform essentially the entire planet in order to do any transfiguration at all (the only magic Harry should reasonably be expected to be able to do without saying a verbal spell, which he either can’t do in Parseltongue or wouldn’t know he can do anyhow, thus breaking the rules of our Challenge). Even if Harry somehow could do that in magical terms, Voldemort knows he can’t because that would pretty damn well destroy the world, thus breaking his Vow.
Harry uses the skill of controlled transfiguration, which he learned in one of his final on-screen transfiguration classes, to cause the effect to form from the bottom up (all changes happen underground at the bottom of the soon to be hole first, then ascend). The hole is created in three stages. First a circle of ten feet in diameter, 3 feet deep, the Earth of which is transformed into a net which can safely catch us without breaking our bones from the kinetic energy (I never ran the math on this, I don’t even know if the fall is dangerous or if the net could save us). Secondly, a hole above this one, square with an internal volume of five by five by five feet, but an opening at the bottom (into the previous hole) of only 4X5 feet, the Earth being transformed into a diamond plate that is square with a width of 5 feet and a length of 5 feet, angled such that we will not hit it as we fall into the hole. Finally, the ground we are sitting on will be left untransformed to fall apart naturally so that we may fall.
As we fall, we cast Stuporfy at Voldemort, taking the gamble that our magic can in fact do him far more harm than it does to us. We also are gambling that he knows he can’t use a shield, so will dodge, and that he doesn’t know about the spell somehow (I don’t see how he should, but he might because Voldemort has often seemed to have knowledge he really, really shouldn’t have), thus being caught off guard and getting hit by it when it redirects at him. We are also gambling that his Death Eaters will be too surprised to hit us with Avada Kedavra (or other harmful spell) before we are within the cover of our hole in the dirt. Frankly none of this should work, which is why I deem this plan a failure. The Death eaters are too ready for us (although they were shown to be pretty distractible during this chapter). Voldemort is too good a fighter to be caught off guard by the need to dodge twice. And we have no idea what our magic and his magic mixing will do to us. But we have to do something to take Voldemort out or having cover from Death Eater fire will be a transient phenomenon. And this was the best I could come up with.
Once we fall into our hole we use Wingardium Leviosa to tip the diamond plate over the hole, thus covering the smaller gap at the bottom of the second hole and preventing death Eaters from firing down on us immediately without first casting Finite on our transfiguration.
At that point we basically just have to hope Voldemort is actually dead or incapacitated over the long term and we aren’t. If so we may be able to negotiate with the remaining Death Eaters for our freedom and continued safety. If not Voldemort either personally finites our transfiguration on the Diamond or rallies his troops to do so, and we die in short order.
Technically our immediate survival is sort of made possible under this plan, but not by much. I consider it a failure, but then it’s the best I have.
| Angelfirenze chapter 12 . 5/26
This is getting a bit hard to follow - Harry's thoughts-wise. And I began rambling, so I'm going to take a break here and get some much-needed sleep. I'll be back tomorrow, though!
| Angelfirenze chapter 11 . 5/26
Dude, you're nuts. Seriously.
| Angelfirenze chapter 10 . 5/26
Okay, I don't like Harry right now. But, really, I don't know what I would do if I were - oh, wait, I've been Sorted in several RPGs and I get Gryffindor every fricking time even though I can't stand how horrible they are to others...damned integrity. I've been told about that one, too, so maybe several virtual Sortings can actually be on the mark...also, damn you for leading us off the same cliff as everyone in the Great Hall in this chapter.
| Angelfirenze chapter 9 . 5/26
Okay, this is my favorite part:
'And Harry would protect them again.'
I just love how non-judgmental that is, even in flux with everything else Harry's feeling at the moment, being deluged with other people's expectations and beliefs about him.
| Angelfirenze chapter 8 . 5/26
Okay, Harry's a bit difficult to digest in this chapter, but - as usual - it evens out in the end.
| Angelfirenze chapter 7 . 5/26
I can't believe after cooling MY blood with the discussion of how science has altered humankind, you would end with THAT hammer - especially given that if Severus Snape heard that comparison at this point in canon...what am I saying, you know how dismissive he would have been about it, right from the get-go.
I wonder how your version of Severus will react to your version of Harry. Ever so curious.
| percyjacksonfan28 chapter 24 . 5/26
The tragedy of light is based off of death note isn't it?
| Angelfirenze chapter 6 . 5/26
Since it occurs to me that Harry, himself, experiences a latent suppressed memory right in 'The Keeper of the Keys' in Book One, there's absolutely no reason at all to bring up dissociative fugue states, much less my own experiences with a particularly deeply-shoved traumatic memory.
Right, because in chapter one, Harry plainly states, 'Everything I have believed is false'.
I just have to remember that and watch how it all plays out in-story. One thing this plot is keeping me is on-edge with anticipation. Again, and I'm sure you'll tire of hearing - reading this, BRAVO!
| Angelfirenze chapter 5 . 5/26
Dude, you should write for American television - wit it up a bit. Honestly, every time we get something interesting, it gets canceled after 'not having found its audience'. Alas.
| LadyBadass chapter 2 . 5/26
The sass in this chapter, oh god, I am seriously dying! xD
Although I think you've developed Harry very well (so far anyways) I am not entirely sure how I feel about his new persona, just yet. However the story is interesting and different from any other fanfiction I have ever read before. I definitely enjoy reading something well written and fascinating (?) and I already love this quite a lot.
Looking forward to reading the rest! :D