|Reviews for Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality|
| LoreWren chapter 76 . 9/5/2011
I have officially been reading this fic so long that it is absurd I have not yet commented.
First, the story as a whole is inspiring. I'm not quite using that term in the colloquial fashion, but I don't know a better one. It sets my mind spinning in new directions; it's been a source for many a start of a story; it is literally inspiring.
On the current chapter: I'm gonna say whoever-it-is is repeatedly memory charming Ms. Granger, just because that seems like the simplest explanation. Not sure who it is, though s/he doesn't really feel like any Quirrell-facet we've seen yet.
| Zaptor chapter 76 . 9/5/2011
This is a phenomenal chapter. Many of yours are, but I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate the work and thought you've put into your writing. Thank you.
| Ham Nox chapter 76 . 9/5/2011
I was only fooled for about 20 seconds. I was beyond pissed for those 20 seconds, internally ranting that I thought you were better than that, before I realized that you ARE better than that. I've read some of your other fiction; You're far too original to pull a straight "Main Character is the long lost descendant of [insert super-powerful legendary wizard here]". Plus it would feel very contrary the current magical inheritance theory. It wouldn't actually invalidate the theory, but it would certainly leave me feeling a small note of confusion... Like the idea of half-bloods leaves me with now. Sure it's POSSIBLE that wizards are just marrying squibs... The fact that Petunia can look at the trunk suggests that squibs would be better able to function in highly magical areas and would therefore be more likely to run into wizards than muggles, and wizards that marry a muggle and have no magical children are unlikely to be very loud about it, but that's a very precarious explanation so it still BUGS me...
I'll admit until I read the author's note that I was a little worried that you'd anticipate your readers dismissing the claim on default and have it turn out to be true just to Mess with Us :-/
Didn't notice the hat upon first read, though that would have made it even more terribly obvious.
| braindoll3 chapter 76 . 9/5/2011
linda: I don't think that male characters are ruled out. It only says that the stairway is witches-only, not the hallway leading to/from the stairway. EY/LW, if you read this and did intend it to be women-only, I think you should fix the wording... but not until after we get the reveal on who hat-and-cloak is. I'll remind you if it comes to that, which of course you can ignore if you disagree.
| janefanatic chapter 76 . 9/5/2011
Oh, wow. Hm.. the Grey Lady, perhaps? I am excited about what this means for Hermione. I loved Draco's intervention in the Slytherin common rooms; his sadness at lying to his friend (and that he acknowledged Gregory as a friend) was so very bittersweet. I like this transition of sorts you've made into a more omniscient third-person narrator. There've been hints of it in the past, with little insights into what Draco is thinking, or so on, when Harry says or does something ridiculous, but you've gone further into it this chapter, with Dumbledore's feelings and thoughts. Thanks for sharing!
| Benjamin chapter 76 . 9/5/2011
Very nice chapter - good ending to the SA arc.
| Linda chapter 76 . 9/5/2011
Hmm.. My first thought was that the Hat/Cloak person was Quirrell, but then I reread it and it's meant to be in a hall way that only females can access... but he could be clever enough to find away around this... but then again, if it is a female, I doubt it would be any of the teachers... unless you're aiming to blow our minds by making it McGonagall just to make it turn out to be some kind of impressive plot set up by Dumbledore... but then why would they say she couldn't trust anyone, and badmouth the headmaster?.. This is a hard one...
Anyway, loved it! I'd like to see an Aftermath: Lucius Malfoy at some point to see exactly what he's thinking of his sons actions and of Harry Potters character as a whole.
| Meat wearing a mask chapter 76 . 9/5/2011
spiderLoving: re-read that paragraph; I interpret that paragraph to mean that Hermione *doesn't* recognise the face of the 'shining lady' but *did* recognise the face beneath the black mist - and then was immediately Obliviated, and the 'shining lady' form replaced the 'black mist' form as something Hermione would be more receptive to (eg. Herminone's "momentary sense of disorientation", her noticing that "without any thought or any conscious decision her wand had leaped into her hand" [*leapt*, surely?], and her wondering why her "heart was already hammering, and why she felt so scared" when confronted with such a "gentle sight".)
| Coby chapter 76 . 9/5/2011
I think Dumbledors begining to realise that he's not Harrys wise old wizard after all.
I honestly never considered the idea that Snape and Quirelle could become allies, good plot twist.
I love Draco in this story, I love that he can't lie to himself for long, he knows his fathers wrong and instead of turning against him or trying to change his mind he respects his fathers beliefs and expects his father to respect his. I have to say that I think the Goyle scene said alot about Dracos character, aswell as Goyles. I don't think I've ever read a story that involves Draco reasuring Golye before so congrats on individuality!
Hermiones starting to become more like Harry in the way that her life is becoming more and more caotic but yet she still remains in character. She's not turning into a female version of Harry and still has her own way of thinking. Weldone on that note, I find it annoying when writers make the main characters nearly identical in their way of thinking, it's just not realistic, everyone has a different opinion.
And, overall, I love this story. Good job, so update soon!
| skeptical scientist chapter 1 . 9/5/2011
Okay, this is just ridiculous. I've already read this fanfiction through once, I'm now on my second read-through, and I'm still up at 2 am reading the cursed thing, despite having to work tomorrow. If you'd rather not find yourself losing sleep because you just have to read one more chapter, DO NOT start reading this fan-fiction.
| Ephemeral-Nightboy chapter 3 . 9/5/2011
This is meant for ch2, namely the Animagus transformation.
I've actually been thinking about this for a while because it is an interesting question.
I think a critical piece of evidence here is WHAT DOES THE ANIMAGUS TRANSFORMATION FEEL LIKE?
Have you ever woken from a dream in which, at the point of waking, your dream-body is in a very different position than your actual body? It's a very interesting experience, there's no sensation of movement or recalibration of your motor functions or sensory imput; indeed it doesn't feel like anything and your brain doesn't update on the any real sensory information until you actually try to move and get new feedback that overwrites that from your dream.
Would an animagus transformation feel the same way? I think it would, because the only way I can conceive of mass-variable shapeshifting is if all the matter of both states exists simultaneously as a single unchanging structure in 4 spacial dimensions.
Imagine for a moment that our universe expressed only 2 spacial dimensions instead of three. Now imagine that, living in this universe we encounter a three-dimensional object, such as a sphere, intersecting our 2-dimensional universe. If the sphere moved in the 3rd dimension, from out perspective in the 2-dimensional universe what we would perceive as an ordinary circle would appear to change size in violation of Conservation.
(Note: The theoretical 4th dimension I'm referring to here is NOT Time any more than the 3rd dimension is Time in the above 2-dimensional universe; I'm conceptualizing purely in the idea-realm of spacial dimensions, here.)
This rather neatly explains the animagus transformation: a 4-dimensional object is merely MOVING so a different CROSS-SECTION happens to intersect our 3-dimensional universe; it's not changing shape or mass at all, and the animagus can go on thinking like a human because the human brain is still there, no less a part of the 4-dimensional physical structure than it is when the human-shaped part of the animagus is intersecting our universe.
This doesn't explain TRANSFIGURATION, in this specific case of the creation of the 4-dimensional object in the first place, or in general, but it may explain mass-changing shapeshifting like animagi (or the Wolves in Luminosity for that matter).
| LongLiveInsanity1 chapter 76 . 9/5/2011
I really enjoy reading this story. It's funny, smart and has good direction, which is rare for fanfiction these days. I also really enjoy the updates of each character and of the underlying theory of magic as a whole; it's very consistent, and very logical.
However, I fear that your personal biases are bleeding into the story and making it less enjoyable to read. Clearly, your favourite characters are Harry and Professor Quirrel, and you believe that only they have true intelligence and, in Harry's case, truly do the right thing. However, you also have no respect whatsoever for the character JK Rowling created in Dumbledore, who was formerly the smartest in the series, but in your story has been demoted to a foolish old man. Mostly, the problem lies with Dumbledore, especially in this chapter in which Harry questions his methods and denounces him as leader of the light. Because, personally, I don't think Harry should be fighting down the feeling that he has no right to question Dumbledore on anything. Harry may know everything there is to know about some areas of knowledge, but he is startlingly ignorant on strategy and morality in this war. It would have greatly improved the story, and been much less grating, if you had allowed Dumbledore to teach Harry something, and allowed Harry to grow as a character. Instead, you believe that Harry's intelligence surpasses Dumbledore's and that Harry should therefore have no mentor-type figure that is always required for a hero, because he already knows everything.
I sincerely hope that, later in the story, Harry gets his comeuppance somewhat. So far, as long as he remains unchallenged, he is incredibly annoying to read, and his every mental flourish is just begging to be unravelled and exposed for being unreasonable.
| spiderLoving chapter 76 . 9/5/2011
Read this chap (last few) so many times now and NEXT IS COMING OUT TOMORROW! dying to find out who mr/miss scary-cloak-man-lady is, and don't think its any of the teachers. Where does hermione recognise it from? AHH. Hoping HP gears up with some awesome power soon, or smartens up and allies with lucius so he can protect his friends come summer holidays. So good, thankyou!
| weeksauce chapter 76 . 9/5/2011
That last scene was incredibly scary, beyond terrifying in fact.
And my respect for your version of Hermione just went up another notch. She's in many ways the odd one out in your collection of characters. I'm thinking back on the part were you lay out the concept of multi-layered players; a the reference back to game of stone, scissors and paper in The Princess Bride I think. I think you think I think you're playing strategy A, so you think I will be playing strategy B which will win against A, and thus you'll play strategy C winning against B. Thus I'll play strategy D. While in jankenpon there're only three strategies for any prediction methodology and only one goal, this whole mess get's a lot more complicated here. (If you find stuff like that interesting, google 'roshambo iocaine'.)
I think this makes Hermione's role interesting since from the people around Harry that actually seem to matter, she's the only one that refuses to play (possibly with the exception of McGonogal) - Surprisingly this doesn't make her a designated pawn, but instead offers another choice. The reason Quirrel awarded those points, whereas Dumbledore stayed quiet, were due to their respective strategies and complex goals.
However a non-player such as Hermione would have awarded those points simply due to the fact that it would be the right thing to do. This kind of predictable, simplistic behavior has the possibility to change the nature of the game. Most backroom deals, multi-layered, political games have the tendency fall apart once pulled into the open.
And this makes her dangerous to people such as Quirrel, Snape and Dumbledore, should her influence due to her friendship with Harry and her own merits increase.
... I'm really curious whether Mr. ISP will succeed in his memory charm aided try to subvert her. Even her prolonged resistance is, in my book, a crowning moment of character integrity. But I fear Mr. ISP will gain the influence he or her seeks over her ...
| Dvelle chapter 76 . 9/4/2011
I see a lot of fellow readers debating the identity of Mr. Incredibly Suspicious Person, but I thought he pretty much admitted he was Quirrell when he said:
"I am perhaps the only true friend you have in all Hogwarts, Hermione. For you have now seen how the others stayed silent when you were in need -"
And right after saying that, he told Hermione to solve that riddle. Quirrell was the only one who did not stay silent when Snape was verbally abusing her.
Also, chances are nobody else would happen to do the same "Hat & Cloak" routine, and Coordinations Problems 3 also seemed to be Quirrell:
"And the Defense Professor inclined his head with some irony, and then strode off in the same direction Zabini had fled, while Harry was still standing in open-mouthed shock."
This happens before Zabini's meeting with the Hat & Cloak. And Zabini assumes that it couldn't be Quirrell because he's asked to go lie to Quirrell, except he didn't know the actual audience was HP who was under the invisibility cloak.
Anyway, I loved this chapter. The conversation between Snape and Quirrell was most ominous. I wonder if Quirrell concluded that Snape still was hiding his true allegiance to the death eaters, since he told Hermione shortly after that "Snape is a hidden death eater"
But what I'm not understanding is what Snape (and Dumbledore) know about Quirrell. I mean, they surely noticed there's an incredibly powerful wizard who plots and has possibly enourmous goals and is obviously having a pretty strong influence on Harry Potter. I get that he's the defence professor, but wouldn't they be wondering "where was this guy during the war", "what are his goals", "why have I never heard about Quirinus Quirrell before this year", etc. Or what do they really know and believe about him?