|Reviews for Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality|
| WhiteDragonWarrior chapter 22 . 9/21
I haven't read the chapter yet, but thank you for mentioning your fanfic website. The chapter 14 comic has me in hysterics! The reaction is perfectly beautiful! xD
I didn't catch the spoiler for ch. 20. But I'm impressed ole Voldy finally did something smart with his soul.
| myafroatemydog chapter 22 . 9/15
This was a good chapter
| herbeg chapter 22 . 8/10
There must be a 7th:
The amount of magical power in the world is constant, i.e. more wizards - less power available per wizard.
This could seem as H1 or H2 is true, but does not.
Magical power is 'drained' by the wizard from that pool, does its work and floats back.
Soo, Merlin was one of only few wizards, he could use a great amount of that power.
Nowadays, many wizards use magic at the same time, but the 'valves' are limited, as well as the pool itself.
| Eschbubb chapter 22 . 8/8
7. there is something like magic-conversation which means that the total amount of magic is always the same. The more wizards there are, the weaker is the individual one.
In a period where more wizards die than are born- muggleborns.
The other way around- squibs
| Guest chapter 22 . 6/3
I love this so far! It's completely different to anything I've ever read :)
Also an idea for this chapter (please don't feel insulted you don't have to use it, the chapter itself just got me thinking and I thought I'd add it myself)
Accidental magic provides fears far greater than magic that they learn in their first year of school, such as accidental apparition and is all done WITHOUT the use of a wand. Perhaps it is the schooling itself that is the problem. Everything is regimented, wand less magic is deemed to be too hard despite the fact that they could all do it to some extent when they were children. The introduction of wands gives you something to channel your magic through, and so you simply don't have to work your magic as hard as you used to, and less is expected of you.
Merlin used a staff.
The founders did not have hogwarts when they were children, they created it.
Perhaps mention the African magic school in this? They teach wand less magic early on in schooling.
| ack1308 chapter 22 . 4/6
| Mysts of Time chapter 22 . 3/9
...so. Hermione is a vengeful dick. Great to know.
| ivyriry chapter 22 . 1/2
Esto va a ser tan bueno
| Jatok chapter 22 . 11/14/2016
I'm very interested in the answers
| Rambling Drabble chapter 22 . 9/23/2016
Ah, the science chapters. Not too much major foreshadowing going on, but I think that's the best way to handle informative plot chapters. No use slowing your story down when you don't have to.
| blood-doll-aishiteru chapter 22 . 9/18/2016
Wait, if a spell cannot be used unless you know what it is supposed to do, how did Harry use Sectumsempra on Malfoy, in cannon? he didn't know what it would do. Plus, there is nonverbal as well as wandless magic.
I'm really curious about Draco and Harry's research, it's a very interesting subject. Couldn't it be that there is more than one factor at play?
| mh0 chapter 22 . 8/11/2016
This sentence seems to have an error:
"...for that he need to see blood purism really win..." 'need' seems to have the wrong tense.
| elgringo12 chapter 22 . 3/22/2016
How in this story has harry potter-evans-whatever, boy genius, adopted son of a Dr of biochemistry not even entertained the idea that purebloods are becoming less powerful because of all the inbreeding and limiting of the gene pool which has been proven to cause mutations, genetic abnormalities and general decline of said gene pool for many, many years now. Surely it would have been his absolute first response (even if he didn't voice it out loud). Any student of biological sciences would surely come to that hypothesis before any other.
| Ruokjean-neigh chapter 22 . 3/9/2016
Ok so I know you won't read this. It would be naive of me to think you would. But, I still want to express my opinion because on the slight chance you ever do read this, I want you to hear it.
I like the story. I'm saying that first. You are obviously intelligent and the entire thing is like nothing I've read before.
There is just one thing that I have a problem with. Your POV bias. You wrote the story, and therefore knew what was going to happen chapters later. While this is a completely normal in all stories, the way you implement it in this one is slightly aggravating. You have parts of the chapters where you use scientific theories and such, but then you almost go back on them in your writing. It's a pet peeve of mine and most of the fault lies on me. My main point is that it's inconsistent. Harry starts off in the story, helplessly watching his parents argue and he's used to being talked down to. But, once he arrives at the school you had him react like he was used to being the ruler. I realize he shows frustration even at the very beginning, but it doesn't fit. Not to a reader. The story is well crafted, I admit that. But, a lot of things don't work to an outsider. You know what happened and will happen. Everything fits to you because you know the details you don't put in.
Normally I can deal with that. Easily. It's normal, expected, and unavoidable. We'll never know as much about the Harry Potter world as J K Rowling. It's just that this story has science as one of its main bases. And while it almost works perfectly, there's still a small element of hypocracy that nags at me. It's a little part that is constantly pulling its hair out while I read. You introduce great ideas, but they don't have enough basis. There may be microscopic clues but not justifiably enough.
I'm saying this not to insult you. I don't want you to think that. I know that the story isn't going to change, and the fact I have to stop reading is my own fault. But I like your writing and you have so much potential, so I want to be able to read your work. It's selfish and you obviously don't need complaints with how well your story has done.
| Luvd007 chapter 22 . 3/1/2016
Wow, Draco doing muggle science. Kinda cool
| Montara chapter 22 . 1/21/2016
Magic is fading! Hope not! Or maybe it can be revived...if Muggles will believe in magic again.
| The Anguished One chapter 22 . 1/1/2016
Magic simply fading away, becoming weaker as time marches on... An interesting theory that will horrify every fanatical pureblood out there. Just look at Draco here; he's being fairly open-minded because he wants to win Harry over. Lucius Malfoy would probably lose it. Can't wait to see the results of their tests.
| Pom Rania chapter 22 . 12/23/2015
Science is AWESOME!
I'm now reconsidering a potential experiment I'd thought about (if learning the grammar of one's native language makes it easier to learn another language when taught with a focus on grammar), and I see that it isn't a very good experiment at all. No clearly-defined alternate hypotheses, no real failure condition; back to the mental drawing board.
I mean, I have anecdotal (personal) evidence that studying English grammar and linguistics has made it easier for me to understand German; but I was already a language geek, I love both subjects, and maybe it's just PARTICULAR things I happen to be learning instead of in general.
| Grissina chapter 22 . 12/13/2015
and harry has i troduced at last in draco's mind the idea that it might not be a purity of the blod problem. good job!
though only an hour to locate enough portraits to get the minimum of forty names... in any case thanks for sharing it! I'm enjoying it very much
| WatchingTheWatchman chapter 22 . 12/6/2015
Hermione ought to take a sociology class, her ideas of romance and morality and proper behavior are very heteronormative and sociologically influenced. She would probably find it fascinating.
I really hope you explain the laws of magic at some point in this story, because Harry's results are fascinating. It looks like a computer program, where a missing semicolon screws things up, except way more subtle. Like a partial mispronunciation is injecting new code through a buffer overflow attack or something.
| egreham chapter 22 . 11/21/2015
Oh my Rowling.
| Mithlawhurr chapter 22 . 11/1/2015
Very interesting fan fic. Has blown my mind more often than not. Got to the end of chapter twenty two, and couldn't take it anymore. Nothing against the writing style, or the au, it's just so far out of my league that I'm steaming at the ears comprehending it. Good story, I can't deny that. Just not for me. Many thanks for a good read.
| ShadowLDrago chapter 22 . 10/15/2015
Well. This happened.
| httpkirby chapter 22 . 10/14/2015
(Typing half blind) The reality qiote about reality: I just saw itin a Markiplier video before this!
| Gleas chapter 22 . 10/14/2015
I have the feeling that Harry is like a kid in the playground... only he knows and thinks a lot... Poor Draco...
| P. P. P chapter 22 . 9/13/2015
Fuck, magic is probably starting to fade! At least they should be able to figure it out for sure, then figure out how to fix it or if it can be fixed.
| Zyxis chapter 22 . 8/13/2015
You, sir or madam, (don't know which because I have not seen you specify in author's notes or I just haven't been paying enough attention) HAVE GUTS. Seriously. Wow. Big ideas all around. I'm amazed. I must see where this goes.
| Guest chapter 22 . 7/27/2015
I hope you know that at this moment I am so confused it's not even funny.
| Concolor44 chapter 22 . 5/22/2015
Well. Now THAT'S a concept I hadn't entertained vis-a-vis the HP universe: magic simply fading away. I have, however, read a novel (The Dying Earth, Jack Vance) and a short story (What Good Is a Glass Dagger?, Larry Niven) that dealt with the subject. It's quite delicious to find HP worrying about such things. Tasty, indeed! And the level of angst you pumped into their conversation! Wow.
Also, the test that Harry and Hermione conducted had me laughing so hard in a place or two, I could barely see. Dave Barry and Terry Pratchett have done that. Kudos!
| PA chapter 22 . 5/19/2015
What a twist. Magic running out? Maybe ... let's see.
| jswalden86 chapter 22 . 4/25/2015
Finally reading HPMOR now that it's finished, enjoying it immensely. Just a note: chapter 22 includes the misspelling "exhiliarating" with an extra "i", and chapter 33 includes the misspelling "exhiliarated" with an extra "i". Hopefully this'll get through for correction at some point. Thanks for the entertainment, things to think about, and not-so-subtle lampshades of the original plot lines!
| Hippothestrowl chapter 22 . 3/22/2015
It occurs to me that it's likely (in the Potterverse) there were magical folk 10,000 years when Latin wasn't even spoken (let's assume.) What levitation spell did those ancients use? Or across the universe there might be millions of languages - how might alien witches levitate their feathers? If there are millions of incantations that do exactly the same as Wingardium Leviosa, then what is common to those spells apart from the result?
Well, I'm relieved to hear that first-year undergraduates are taught some sensible basic principles because it's not evident in the typical science handouts we read in the media where there is often no convincing evidence (or even none!) You might have read recently (Feb/March 2015), for example, that babies apparently grow up to be more intelligent if they are breastfed longer. Care was taken to sample a wide range of subjects including well and poorly-educated people. Yet no mention was made of the intelligence of the parents, the very thing they were testing for in the offspring! Surely it's possible that a greater number of more intelligent parents might consider it safer to breastfed longer, but pass on their higher intelligence even if they didn't? I hope it's only bad reporting and not bad science we read about so often in the news.
I'm not convinced there is any evidence that magic is fading over the centuries. If the Founders were mega-powerful that might be simply an individual quirk of fate, like the four Beatles coming together – how unlikely is that? (Maybe there's a story there, with John as Salazar, Paul as Godric, George is erm... Rowena, and Ringo is Helga.) Same with Merlin – he's an individual. How did Harry measure the decrease in overall magic? Does he even believe it? Or is he only using the belief to convert Draco to the side of Light?
| Village-Mystic chapter 22 . 3/22/2015
Well, getting names to trace into the muggle world (and then perhaps back into the magical world) is a good secondary, subversive goal. Very interesting dramatization of conversations related manipulation, politics ad science.
| 4everfictional chapter 22 . 3/13/2015
I love these guys. :D
| Jillian A.K chapter 22 . 3/8/2015
You know, "Blondlot and the N-Rays" made me think "Goldilocks and the 3 Bears" so I thought you were making up that story, or were changing the real names and data to be polite. So much for those hypotheses.
| ZapTheMutant chapter 22 . 2/7/2015
0o0 Oh. Mah. Gawd. OMGOMGOMGMAGICISFADINGAIAIAIAIAI! *runs around in circles screaming head off*
| TheButterflyComposer chapter 22 . 12/24/2014
It's very hard for old knowledge to be lost, especially for the Wizarding world, that has had a continued civilisation without interruption for centuries. Even if the way they record it is inefficient (which it is), the knowledge isn't gone. People would just be lazy.
So for option two. If wizards are getting weaker, it doesn't explain the massive wizard war (the only one we know wizard have had) happening within the last century. Also, the goblins would be getting more restless and magical creatures would be harder to control (since both these groups rely on martial and physical strength not spells). Since there are no goblin rebellions happening, and Muggles haven't seen loads of magical creatures, I'll say that wizards are not getting weaker.
And the first option, that magic itself is leaving?
Well, that a,together depends on what magic is. If it is a fundamental process of the universe, it cannot stop.
If it is a type of energy than what is it being converted into and why can't mages simply convert other types of energy into magic?
So none of these theories are water tight and whilst all are possible, they have massive problems with each if any is true.
| jacob.chen.927 chapter 22 . 12/4/2014
I wonder how this would coincide with wordless spell casting
| Sailor Saturn fan chapter 22 . 11/19/2014
I love Harry's "experiments" ;)
| N. E. Person chapter 22 . 11/10/2014
Magic could be DISAPPEARING?! Yikes... That would be scary if that's true... :-
| Dreamsteel chapter 22 . 11/6/2014
The hypothesis in this chapter that magic could be fading immediately made me think of Dust, in Philip Pullman's 'His Dark Materials'...
| godlet chapter 22 . 9/11/2014
| kyle.hill.7965692 chapter 22 . 8/19/2014
Magic being suddenly gone sounds like what would happen if an EMP bomb goes off aka Operation StarFish Prime but stronger which would shut down both muggle technology and Wizard magic due to the intense gamma rays induced.
Though Harry's wand might survive if he has it protected in a Faraday Cage but if he is riding it when it happens he will crash and all the students/staff will find their wands are as useless as a stick.
The Wizard World Economy as fragile as it is will totally collapse into a panic.
| StackofStories chapter 22 . 8/15/2014
I wonder if Dumbledore and Voldemort are outliers to this hypothesis / experiment / theory? They are supposedly the most powerful wizards in the last couple of centuries and they were half-bloods. They mixed with muggles! Their hereditary magic didn't fade it increased! You know what, a lot of powerful wizards were half-bloods like Snape, Harry, Minerva. Also, would Hermione or Lily Potter be considered as outlier in this too because they were the smartest witches in the class both of them capable of magic and both were muggleborns.
Maybe they are like those that are gifted with extremely high intelligence. They make up the 5% of the population (or whatever the actual percentage is) and therefore their successes in certain fields cannot be accounted for when considering the whole population.
… i kinda wanna have a list of the most powerful wizards/witches and figure out which ones are pureblood, half-blood, and muggleborn. If Draco continues down this field I wonder if will discover that muggleborns may be descendents of squibs those born without magic for reasons unknown. Then, what argument can he raise against those descending from magic as he did.
I do wonder if that information will come up later. I shall read on.
Curse you for making me think like this at five in the morning. One more chapter then bed.
| thepkrmgc chapter 22 . 8/2/2014
yay for the scientific meathod and convincing draco to accept alternate viewpoints! why isnt hermione in on the baynesian conspiracy yet?
| Ashley McConnell chapter 22 . 7/6/2014
I think Harry has overlooked one possibility: That the observation itself is wrong. So what if there are spells they know which can't be cast-can every wizard cast every spell? Clearly not, or there wouldn't be wizards who are stronger and wizards who are weaker. Does the observation imply that in the past, all wizards were 1) equal or 2) stronger than at present? Harry's only looking at #2.
What if magic is not fading, but the amazing magical feats of the past were only ever within the ability of a few wizards-for example a Dumbledore or a Granger?
Harry should be looking at whether ordinary, everyday wizards are no longer able to do ordinary, everyday magic, not great amazing magical feats. He needs to test the hypothesis behind the observation.
| Fast Frank chapter 22 . 5/24/2014
Hypothesis 7: Some combination of 1,2,3 is correct. They are in no way mutually exclusive.
And 4b was insufficiently considered; what if Hogwarts (and the other wizarding schools) itself, is the long term detrimental environmental effect?
| silverrain-shiningsun chapter 22 . 5/17/2014
Ooh, poor Draco...
| Kefka chapter 22 . 5/17/2014
Here's my hypothesis for the reason words matter when casting, which admittedly I take from Eragon: What if magic wasn't always constrained by words, and someone made it so? If you take the hypothesis that magic is just fading over time and extrapolate it back to before Merlin, it stands to reason that there would have been someone more powerful than him- several someones, in fact. This magic would have been unrestrained by anything except the users thoughts, and therefore prone to accidents, very bad ones. Someone may have restrained magic to either random strings of words or it's own language so that random thoughts no longer turned people into, for example, werewolves.
There's already evidence supporting this theory, seeing as the magical spells seem designed by someone or other, but I honestly have no idea how one would test it.
| cat chapter 22 . 2/14/2014
Hello there! First, let me say that I'm having a wonderful time reading this fanfic, definitely in the top three of any I've ever read! That being said, I have some questions about this chapter. It seems to me that there are two other definite possibilities for wizard kind supposedly becoming weaker over time (that I could think of). Firstly, how do we actually know that Merlin and the Founders were ACTUALLY more powerful than modern wizards? They are legends, after all, and legends are generally overblown. Secondly, what's to say that magical education didn't operate on a kind of feudal system, where great stores of knowledge were available to only a select few, making it SEEM like these people were much more powerful than other wizards/witches who didn't have access to the same knowledge? Harry knows an awful lot about the hard sciences but very little about social sciences, which is a serious problem since it can lead to erroneous observations. Does this ever get addressed later in the series? Please tell me it is because Harry has an awful lot to learn about people. My email is catwyatt .edu.
| Grizzmon chapter 22 . 1/13/2014
Let's see what results they have...
| Guest chapter 22 . 1/9/2014
it could have been the population increase in the world, during those loong centuries, that stretched the magic out (the way those gifted with magic are being chosen, sounds to me like some of Charles Darwins theories).
| Naja chapter 22 . 12/9/2013
Okay so this chapter was one of the most confusing chapters that I have ever read, but okay, I can deal with that. I kind of understand what is going on. I still love this fic, but wow, it seems to be aimed at older people with a science qualification of some sort that is higher than GCSE, not me, ahaha. I love it anyway because of the way the characters are so well developed, but it is a bit complicated in the science department
| Amelia chapter 22 . 12/8/2013
I had to retread some parts but I loved it :)
| Lemmiwinks-NO chapter 22 . 11/27/2013
I love how science is such an adventure for these two 11-year olds.
| 567zoock67 chapter 22 . 11/16/2013
Wow, this is interesting. I love how Harry and Draco are really working together on this. I can sense friendship and characterization building between them, though it's obvious Harry is on top, and is dominant over Draco. I think Harry forcing Draco to believe that magic would possibly fade out is very...mind changing for Draco, seeing as he appears to be in denial of that in the original books, or didn't think about it clearly.
Unfortunately though, I didn't really get the information about the tests to distinguish the difference between the hypothesis. Which is sad, because if I did I bet I would've enjoyed this chapter more...
| Eden chapter 22 . 9/18/2013
Yes! Yes! That quote! Someone else likes it!
| Lunacom chapter 22 . 8/15/2013
Oh my goodness! They are so cute! Friendship!DM/HP is the best.
| BarbaraKaterina chapter 22 . 8/7/2013
Have you considered that there might actually be less intermarriage between wizards and Muggles, and that might lead to the weakening of magic? I mean, the statute of secrecy is relatively new, before that, witches and wizards used to live among the Muggles, so it stands to reason they would intermarry more, producing more variability in the offspring, which is always a good thing...and we know for a fact that Muggleborns were common even in the Founders era, see the Slytherin-Gryffindor conflict. But I'm getting ahead of myself, perhaps this is the point of this storyline. I'm just a bit surprised it wouldn't occur to Harry and he'd just accept what Draco says, that there is more intermarriage now. He knows about the separation of the worlds being relatively recent, at least...
Another thing: I find it interesting (not unbelievable, mind you, not even your Harry can be the perfect embodiment of the Enlightenment ideal of a perfectly rational scientist) that he thinks the way to words are pronounced shouldn't matter. Because the point is, he doesn't know crap about it. He has no idea how magic works, so saying that words shouldn't matter is nonsensical, they can matter, the color of his robes can matter, anything can matter! He has no data to go upon, only the experimental ones, which, as Hermione so nicely pointed out, point to the words mattering even without Harry's little experiment. In other words, his own prejudice was quite strong and irrational in this way. The idea that words matter certainly sounds less crazy than, say, the idea that photons react to whether someone's watching them or not and act accordingly. Just saying.
Also, since Harry doesn't know about non-Verbals yet he could actually form a relatively plausible hypothesis which would work with sound vibrations influencing whatever was "magic" - it would sound scientific enough. It would be false, yes, but he wouldn't know that before he came across non-Verbals.
Plus I find it cute how he thinks about the Universe as one single reacting kind-of person...how charmingly unscientific.
| Netchka chapter 22 . 8/1/2013
| Guest chapter 22 . 7/15/2013
Really great so far, and I love Harry's use of science to figure out problems...but surely he's read about statistical significance? I am only on ch. 22, so maybe it dawns on him later...
| Anon chapter 22 . 7/3/2013
| Alissie chapter 22 . 6/30/2013
1. I love Hermione Granger. Moreover, I love the experiment that you had Harry put forth! It's a different theory than I'm working with in my fic, but it's equally interesting and very well done. (My belief is that it's more about intent and mental limitations, which dictate specifics of results; if Hermione had known the bat was supposed to glow, it would have, but if she thought the spell ONLY produced a bat, that's what it would have done- the intent matched the basis of the spell, but some variable specifics changed due to her knowledge or ignorance.)
2. Woah, just an hour for that? Excellent! I want my life to be this exciting... xD Interesting theories they have. Hmm... Not sure which one I'd believe in (with no scientific evidence, obviously!). I think I'd go for the one where knowledge itself is fading. That seems to line up well with the first part of the chapter. We'll see!
| He's watching chapter 22 . 6/28/2013
I love it, every moment of it!
| lastcrazyhorn chapter 22 . 4/5/2013
DEPUTY HEADMISTRESS MINERVA MCGONAGALL needs to go off somewhere private and scream for a while.
In that moment Draco had realized that there was something deeply wrong with Harry Potter's brain, and anyone who tried Legilimency on it would probably never come back out again.
I kind of want Dumbles to legilimize him now.
| dragoon109 chapter 22 . 3/26/2013
Seriously? You seriously have to say Oogely boogely with the duration of the oo, eh, and ee sounds having a ratio of 3 to 1 to 2, or the bat won't glow? Why? Why? For the love of all that is sacred, why?"
i thought it was obvious. any language isnt really real. the actual name of things if there even is one could be different in a infinite number of ways. because of that when the spell was made, it was made from the feeling and meaning from its maker and the person felt it was rigt when said in one way because it generated the nessecary amount of feeling. alot like the death curse has to be fueled by hate.
| hervissa chapter 22 . 3/4/2013
Woah. Magic fading from the world? Quite terryfying thought... *shudders*
But I have to admit, the hypotesis Harry and Draco made is quite impressive... ;)
And asking portraits is great too xD
...with every chapter I wanna have a pouch like Harry has more and more... :D
| Enei Emmu chapter 22 . 2/3/2013
this is so awesome...
| petalene chapter 22 . 1/27/2013
Magic might be fading? No! But I like the tests they are comming up with to test it. Harry's mind is fasicinating.
| Guest chapter 22 . 1/27/2013
I'm really enjoying this story, especially the way that the concepts are brought back and forth between the domains of science and magic.
Please keep the chapters coming.
Ch22 spoiler - That said, I believe there is a flaw in the construction of the 2nd "hypothesis" of Harry's proposed experimental trial here, that "2. Wizards are interbreeding with Muggles and Squibs." Rather than a testable hypothesis, this seems a statement of fact. A more interesting hypothesis is whether "2'. The rate of declining magical power is related to the the rate of interbreeding with muggles and squibs." ( Think of it this way: Did interbreeding increase or decrease suddenly following the isolation of the magical world and the establishment of the Statute of Secrecy and, if so, did the rate of magical decline change as well? If so are there any records of intermarriages that could be used to determine rates through the years and, with which, to determine how well the rates of intermarriage and power decline are correlated? ) For that matter, the list should probably include similar hypotheses, one each, relating specifically and separately to interbreeding with muggles and interbreeding with squibs. There's no point omitting the obvious. :-)
| I'MNOTCRAZY1 chapter 22 . 1/7/2013
Didn't they just assume that wizards were actually becoming less powerful/that there were fewer powerful wizards than previously? That's a pretty large assumption to make, and is, if my suspicions are correct, an incorrect one.
| BiblioMatsuri chapter 22 . 1/3/2013
When one pretends to be someone else, they might say things they would never even consider otherwise. Draco is a very good actor. Cue "Oh, Cr*p."
This will end up either very good or very bad. Or more likely both, but in different ways at different times.
| Fullmetal11791 chapter 22 . 12/31/2012
First off I'd like to say I am really enjoying this story. Second, while I am not a huge fan of science, I AM a psychology student and bringing up Ashe's conformity effect has allowed me to impart some knowledge to you you might find interesting. This is, unremarkably enough, that Ashe's experiment was quite unfairly biased itself, enough that it really kind of ruined the experiment. You see, while it is not common knowledge, Ashe's experiment was focused on conformity, BUT NOT the reasons for the conformity. Let me explain why this is relevant. Ashe tested people with a set amount of questions, if they conformed to the group in even just ONE of the many questions, they 'failed' his test. The results were, if I remember correctly, that 25% conformed to about half of the questions, 50% conformed to one or two, and 25% conformed to none. The reason this is relevant is because Ashe assumed that those who conformed in the 50% group did so because they generally believed that they were wrong and the group was correct, when it is entirely plausible that they conformed so that the group (who the one being tested did not know were not being tested) did not feel like morons when the results were released, among other reasons they decided to agree with the group. This assumption Ashe makes basically brings his results of 75% of people conform to the groups ideas's because they did not trust their own answer to 25% has a good chance of conforming while the rest probably knew the answer was incorrect when they chose to conform with the group. I hope I have explained this somewhat effectively, and if I have not i encourage you to look it up if it interests you. It is just kind of a pet peeve of mine when people reference the Ashe conformity effect when the experiment itself was flawed with overly strict rules that did not cater to the way people generally think. Anyway, can't wait to keep reading!
| philip.rosen.91 chapter 22 . 12/21/2012
Of course Harry missed the obvious hypothesis: magic and witches and wizards are just as powerful and knowledgeable as ever and the deeds of past witches have been blown completely out of proportion in the retelling. In other words, he hasn't questioned that the initial observation, which seems to be based mostly on word-of-mouth from Malfoy could be wrong. He may figure out his mistake later if the experimental results come back and there aren't any lost spells, changes in power, changes in teaching, or interesting inheritance patterns, but it's really an amazing oversight considering how spot-on he's been so far. Oh well.
| Susan M. M chapter 22 . 12/20/2012
Your Harry reminds me of Heinlein's Waldo Farthingwaite-Jones. ** "Anyone in Slytherin who can't understand the concept of acting nice toward people you don't actually like should be ground up and fed to pet snakes." Nice line.
| StrangeoneXD chapter 22 . 12/18/2012
...that theory is very scary...but intriguing
| BiJane chapter 22 . 11/16/2012
I love everything you're doing with this story. Harry's dark side is somewhere between interesting and fascinating, and the scientific studies being carried out on wizardry as a whole should frankly become canon. Utterly breathtaking.
| Krow Blood chapter 22 . 11/13/2012
"Draco's hand went into his robes and clutched at his wand."
Uhhhh...That sounds WRONG. In so many levels.
| NemesisNecrosis chapter 22 . 9/8/2012
This fanfiction is absolutely brilliant. So amazing, in fact, that I am at loss for words, and that is a rare thing.
| voodooqueen126 chapter 22 . 8/1/2012
Use of the scientific method to refute the equivalent to racism is brilliant.
I must ask, have you not heard of the Protestant work ethic? It used to be a thing...
| Poetheather1 chapter 22 . 7/28/2012
Wow this chapter was crazy. The possibilities for the less magic are pretty good. Well done. it was a fun game and they did come up with some decent ideas. This is going some freaky places.
| nihilsupernum chapter 22 . 7/20/2012
Hypothesis 7: There is a limited amount of magic on earth / in the universe, and as more of it gets used up, a spell causes less and less magic to be used, like if you had a glass full of water, and you tilted it a away from vertical, more water would spill out than if it is only 3/4 full and you tilt to the same angle.
| Satirica chapter 22 . 7/16/2012
So...they're trying to save magic, to preserve it? So if it turned out that Muggle blood was interfering with wizard's blood, wouldn't there be a policy to stop Muggle-wizard breeding? Hmm...it makes the whole concept of blood seem far more important than it did in the books. It would be a shame, though, to put that kind of boundary between Muggles and wizards.
| Fudgecicles chapter 22 . 7/14/2012
holy cow, now that's something to really worry about, i wonder what draco would do if they found out it wasn't about the blood. even better, what others would do if they found out magic was fading altogether...
this is going to be interesting.
| Kirinin chapter 22 . 7/10/2012
I LOVE that Draco Malfoy, through his reasoning ability and Harry's goading discovered an alternative hypothesis as to why magic seems to be disappearing.
Still... maybe I'm about to reveal myself as an idiot because you're usually so careful with logic... but I noticed a number of logical inconsistencies or things Harry really should've thought of in this chapter. For example: is it really TRUE that knowledge/magic/power is being lost, or is this simply the party line LV is using to spur his movement?
Every generation in every culture seems to believe that there was some time of enlightenment, power, or glory that has faded - for instance, people have been saying "youngsters of this generation are nothing compared to our generation" for a *very* long time. It's the Appeal to Tradition fallacy (the way we raised our kids was better, back then we knew how to cast REAL magical spells, etc.) Harry should definitely be considering this. In fact, if I were Harry, it's the first thing I'd think of, the simplest answer usually being the right one. Which isn't to say I'd rule out other answers, or avoid experiment, but... the fact he doesn't even consider that magic ISN'T waning for ANY reason, but takes Draco's word for it, is odd for an empiricist.
Further - again, this could be my own bias - but Harry's hypotheses seem skewed towards what you want him to study. Reading #4 sounds like a half-hearted summary of literally thousands of workable hypothesis, but Harry dismisses the entirety of them out of hand, and for a supremely illogical reason: because if people changed their diet, they would notice right away that this was what was causing their problems, since it was so 'sudden' - but changes in a diet, especially culturally, are NOT sudden. It seems a hasty way to rule out a possibility that didn't appeal. I think diet IS a silly example, but it is NOT silly to consider that something else 'environmental' could be causing a magical decline, which seems to be summarized in #4.
Well, long story short, I would start by challenging Harry's initial premise: that students are less capable than they were in the past at all, for *whatever* reason. If that proved to be the case, then I would investigate further. It seems like Harry is repeating the mistake he made before with Hermione, and planning out this big research mission without first examining square one.
I lovelovelove your story and am really enjoying it! Do not take this as anything more than conversation. :)
| secretvault chapter 22 . 6/24/2012
I'm enjoying this story quite a bit, its intelligent, and well written. I would like to point something out though. Hogwarts was founded "over" a thousand years ago. and Pottermore says that Merlin... was in Slytherin. So Hogwarts came before Merlin did. And it seems Hogwarts was founded before the 5th century. Of course its upto you how you use that info in your fanfic.
| kingsharkman chapter 22 . 6/21/2012
It boggles the mind how someone could call themselves a scientist but then say "nothing interesting" happened eight centuries ago, and then say that muggles were not doing anything.
It is clear that Harry (and the author himself, since it is clear that Harry is modeled after him) does not much of history at all.
Seriously, do you think science and "interesting things" just started 800 years ago? What the hell? Open a history book, open a science book, learn your history, because frankly, this is insulting to the intelligence of anyone who reads it.
| Abor Sapienti chapter 22 . 6/10/2012
Quite simply, the best way I could possibly summarize the brilliance of Harry-Potter-Evans Verres and his exploits is this: Using the Orion’s Arm universe’s concept of Bayesjuts : / / w w w . e g - / 1
| Anon chapter 22 . 5/4/2012
How exactly are you distinguishing "Squib" from "Muggle" in terms of children whose parents are both Squibs? A Squib is a essentially a non-magical person who has at least one magical parent, and who is acquainted with the magical world. A Muggle is a non-magical person born to two non-magical parents who is not acquainted with the magical world. What is the genetic difference of this/how are you defining these two terms?
| GSYH chapter 22 . 5/1/2012
What if we can blame the Elder Wand? Killing off some many powerful wizards.
| More Right chapter 22 . 4/25/2012
This is a very well written story (if, at times, complicated), and is certainly worth the effort of reading it. I hope you continue to write it so accurately and with continued acknowledgement of science.
Finally, your quote at the start: "The key to strategy is not to choose a path to J. K. Rowling, but to choose so that all paths lead to a J. K. Rowling." Sounds like any good stalkers motto :P
| marauder17245 chapter 22 . 4/16/2012
The paper after that was rejected because it was Tuesday.
It was, in fact, Saturday.
It was the sneer on Dr. Potter's face that did it.
"Oh yeah?" snapped Dr. Malfoy. "How do you know that magic itself isn't fading away?"
Draco and Harry Potter exchanged looks of appalled horror.
Aaaand the OH SHIT! moment.
| yitiantulong chapter 22 . 4/9/2012
Love this fanfic- I'm reading it in great, giant gulps! :)
As a fellow-scientist, this is Harry Potter if it had been written for a more... hmmm.. say we say "Serious Sci-Fi/Fantasy" crowd vs. a more populist crowd?
Tiny nit-pick from a silly-old academic:-
Re: hypotheses about "Magic is Fading"- perhaps it's the geneticists in me, but I think Harry ought to be skeptical about the evidence for the 'observation' that Magic is Fading.
E.g. "No one is as powerful as the founding fathers of Hogwarts" -
First define powerful. And then, don't even go too deep, and think about how exaggeration can work over time on stories. Need harder evidence than, "Eye witnesses reported that so-and-so could move the sun with his wand"... since all of Hogwarts might tell you Harry can do amazing things by snapping his fingers.
And then consider the fact that you're really talking about small numbers: The story cites 5 "great" wizards over the last 800 years- 6 if you count Voldemort? And they seriously panicking over the 'trend' that 4 of them were clustered at the beginning?
Not to mention, the chance that data points were lost: They are talking about the great wizards who fulfilled their potential. One can have great 'genetic' potential and never fulfill it... e.g., perhaps a few latter-day Wizards were killed as babies, as Potter himself nearly was, or one turned religious and decided magic was not consistent with his/her world view, or one went crazy, or Voldemort had a systematic way of identifying and then killing off potential Great Wizards to eliminate competition (or Dumbledore himself does)
Any of the above is at least possible and would weight the probability that what they're seeing is just historical changes/chance, not magic fading in any way.
I guess for 11 year olds they're good, but this seemed such an obvious thing!
Not to knock him, Harry's reacted more awesomely than I ever could, but I guess some things it takes training as a scientist beyond what he had to seem obvious?
| RickJs chapter 22 . 3/31/2012
Thank you! Wonderful!
That reference to The Magic Goes Away ( wiki/The_Magic_Goes_Away) may have got by some readers. Those who haven't read it may wonder why Harry is chagrined at not having thought of it.
With regard to "my books on scientific methodology aren't worth crap", I'm curious as to what books advise carefully working out, in advance, a course of experimentation for them that would have lasted until December. My EXPERIENCE in science has been that coming up with a new hypothesis is hard, and when I was so blessed as to get one, I did not have the patience to build a course of experimentation. I wanted one experiment, then do the experimental design, then get into the lab.
Harry is young, and does not know that the history of science emphasizes the breakthroughs and hides the fact that most of scientists spend their lives tediously teasing TINY facts out of nature. Science mostly progresses in micro steps.
| RickJS chapter 22 . 3/31/2012
That had the most laughs per page of any text I have ever read (as far as I can remember). Maybe even (different medium, so not directly comparable)
And I can certainly relate to Harry's frustration at the detailed requirements for a spell to work.
How did the ancient wizards ever discover such things? It takes a LOT of time and lab notebooks to discover a new fact. Harry was blessed with starting from a recipe that works if you say just the right thing AND have the right intent. Then he could tinker with the recipe.
Now imagine that you knew you wanted to create a glowing bat, but had no idea what syllables were needed, how many guesses would it take to stumble into oogely boogely (instead of Creatium batium, or Fosferus Fledermaus! or other more likely guesses)? Now suppose when you tried oogledy boogledy you happened to use a vowel ratio that produced nothing, would you just go on to another “word” pair? With a universe of “word” pairs to try, how much time can you spend on each one? Would you EVER discover that the answer is Oogely boogely, not oogledy boogledy?
Answer: they didn't use the scientific method. They used the scholarly method. They asked an expert (a demon?) or they looked it up (in Holy Scriptures?).
OR, somebody DID make it up, as Harry first guessed, but maybe it takes some infrastructure to make up new spells, which Harry doesn't have yet. Perhaps the kids should ask the charms professor about the creation of new charms.
| not my real name chapter 22 . 3/20/2012
Dont think you read this anyway, but...
"It seemed the universe actually did want you to say 'Wingardium Leviosa' and it wanted you to say it in a certain exact way and it didn't care what you thought the pronunciation should be any more than it cared how you felt about gravity."
Please, please, please read "The magicians" by Lev Grossman. Please.
| not my real name chapter 22 . 3/20/2012
"That was where, future historians would one day record - if the whole project ever actually amounted to anything - the scientific study of magic had begun, with two young first-year Hogwarts students.
Harry James Potter-Evans-Verres, theorist.
And Hermione Jean Granger, experimenter and test subject."
What about the "Bayesian Conspiracy"?
| Olaf Roysson chapter 22 . 3/14/2012
I think it was your authors notes where I read that Rowling had said magic is dominating. This could be true even with squibs and muggleborn if there were at least two genes needed. Muggles would be: AA bb, aa bb, Aa bb, aa BB and aa Bb. Wizards & witches would be everything else. The "magic blood still wouldn't get "diluted".
| Mavarax chapter 22 . 3/14/2012
What's the difference between a Squib and a Muggle? They both have no magic.
| The Blind one chapter 22 . 2/25/2012
"Something, somewhere, somewhen, must have happened differently." And therein lies the great mystery. "You ain't guessin' where this one's going." Quite true, at least as regards the particulars. I may guess where it's *been,* though, if that makes sense.
"A certain tiny ethnic group that won 25% of the Nobel Prizes." Indeed a heritage to be proud of, eh, *Eliezer Yudkowsky*?
"AAAAAAAAARRRRRRGHHHH! Thud. Thud. Thud." Magic isn't the most logical thing ever, is it? As far as the incantations go, I'd always assumed they got invented over the years, and older iterations dropped away. This would explain why Quirrell's Sumerian Simple Strike Hex sounds much more Sumerian than the canonical spells, and why said canonical spells are all drawn from the same muddy pool of Western-European-esque nonsense. Or possibly Atlantis has got something to do with it.
Ha, smug Hermione is cool! And also a neat way to show up Harry's non-omnipotence.
I actually do use "carp" as a euphemism in mixed company. It's great fun.
He got Hermione a mokeskin pouch (presumably the same item as his)? I didn't recall that, and am mainly putting it in the review so as to easily find it if/when it comes in handy in the future.
Ooh, politics! This kind of thing is fun.
"There was something deeply /wrong/ with Harry Potter's brain." Paranoia is a lovely thing.
Dr. Malfoy's rejections crack me up. "Because it was Tuesday. It was, in fact, Saturday." I'm going to remember that one in case I ever need a stupid reason.
Apparently you already got a lot of reviews pointing out that the Founders' power may be exaggeration, but that's actually the first thing that occurred to me the first time I read this passage.
"There would be no more wizards, no more magic, ever. Just Muggles who had a few legends about what their ancestors had been able to do. Some of the Muggles would be called Malfoy, and that would be all that was left of the name." I actually teared up reading that.
Science is awesome. It really is.
Why's Harry in such a hurry? To get a head start on his work, I assume.
| AnthroGirl chapter 22 . 2/9/2012
I can't help but feel that Harry could've-and should've-been a little bit more up on how stories get magnified through the ages. The Founders could've just as easily been wingardium leviosa-ing it up and the reports 800 years later suddenly describing earth moving and the terrain of a land changing in a single, roaring night. I rather wish he had-I sort of think his hypotheses would've been much more interesting.
| Hedgehog chapter 22 . 2/7/2012
Hi, it's me again. I've decided to reread chapters 22 to 24 for better understanding.
In this chapter, I particularly like the juxtaposition of the practical experiment with Hermione (though I can't stand the girl herself *whine*) and the more theoretical exercise with Draco. Both sessions involve fundamental research in magical science, and neither knows of the other. I can't wait to find out how the two threads will eventually interweave.
As for the theory on magic's decline, I find it confusing that Harry doesn't even stop to consider that Draco's claim might be _wrong_, that wizards might not actually be getting less powerful. He has absolutely no proof that that is the case. After all, any such notion could be a simply result of "Everything used to be better", i.e. the legends about famous wizards and witches like Merlin or the founders of Hogwarts have been embelished so much that they appear to have been _much_ more powerful than might actually have been the case. What's more, it's entirely possible that before the Statute of Secrecy, flaunting magical power was more common and socially accepted than is the case nowadays.
| Hedgehog chapter 22 . 2/6/2012
That's ... I'm at a loss of words. Here I'm sitting rushing through the chapter, and find myself biting my fingernails in suspense (something I most assuredly don't habitually do), and I am shaking, I mean actually shaking. This is a fantasy story and I've got no reason whatsoever to worry about either of these hypotheses, or even the question itself. So why am I shaking in my non-existent boots?
Ah, but I know the answer: Because you are a really skilled writer who's got a story to tell that makes me care about these issues. Thank you, and would you please accept my firstborn as a humble gift to your greatness?
In other news, decided to scare me further by placing an ad that didn't work and instead claims, "Method not implemented" in very large letters. Yeah, that probably doesn't make sense. Guess I'm easily spooked then.
| lapapillonne chapter 22 . 1/3/2012
I think that the problem will be that their observation is false. Nostalgia, myth, and legend make everything in the past seem magnified. So are they going to go through a bunch of testing, only to find out that a) today's wizards (and witches!) can do things as impressive as 800 years ago, or perhaps b) today's witches and wizards can do more impressive things than 800 years ago?
I could of course be completely off, but that's my guess.
Still enjoying the story, keep it up! May the muses grace you,
| ShineTheTribute chapter 22 . 12/30/2011
this is a great story, although the scientific part is hard to follow at points
| Steven Lytle chapter 22 . 12/1/2011
| Mary91 chapter 22 . 10/30/2011
I am not sure if I like this story yet or not. Now that has very little to do with the writing style itself and more with the story in general. Parts of it are very realistic (considering we are in Hogwarts) other parts, not so much. Partly Harry has a brilliant mind, often he is just plain stupid, even more often arrogant. He talks about how to keep an open mind and yet, he himself more often than not doesn't. In this chapter he touches upon another hyptheses on why wizards become less powerful, thinking about genetics and such, yet in the hypotheses there is only wizards interbreeding with Muggles and Squibs as an option, not wizards interbreeding with each other, period. I find it curious as to why Harry does not think of this, since he mentioned genetics earlier and it is very well known and proven that a limited gen-pool indeed leads to all kinds of limitations in the offspring.
| AR chapter 22 . 9/21/2011
Asch's Conformity Experiment...hahaha
Interesting isn't it? How far people will go as to avoid being ostracized?
I enjoyed this chapter...have I mentioned I can't concentrate on your story without turning off all music? First time that has ever happened.
Also, two 11 year old's trying to "save" the magical world. Their reaction to Draco's rebuttal while in character; is a little juvenile to expect from Harry at this point. Or maybe its just the scientist in his 11 year old self..
but definitely interesting..
| andrewTHATSME chapter 22 . 9/13/2011
i paused after reading 22 chapters of this story in 2 days, and said to myself: this story was written by a real author. does your nose grow?
| Antigone Q chapter 22 . 9/12/2011
"What do YOU care what other people think" Hey! An in-joke for people who have read "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman"! Well done! Are there in-jokes for people who read "Q.E.D." as well? I'll have to start reading more carefully!
| Triangular Reasoning chapter 22 . 8/29/2011
Wait, I just realized, if the enunciation and pronunciation of words is so important, then wouldn't wizards with strong accents (e.g. cockney, especially those that don't pronounce H's (think Hagrid always going: "'ello, 'arry, 'ow are you?") Mean that some spells are simply mispronounced and thus they shouldn't be able to do them as effectively? E.g. if you are from one of the regions of Britain that implies the H and you try to cast Alohomora, and you go alo'omora.
Ugh, curse the methods of rationality for making me think so hard about this...
| Megan McAlistair chapter 22 . 8/27/2011
well if magic was fading then enchanted/charmed/jinxed/whatever objects from way back then (a few centuries ago) would be weaker now
but what if the whole "The universe wants you to say Wingardium Leviosa" is because magic can "imprint" rules onto reality?
so whoever made up the spell defined it forever...?
| Fenrir666 chapter 22 . 8/25/2011
That was an "OH CRAP!" conclusion if I ever heard one.
| theInsaneArtist chapter 22 . 8/5/2011
I have a few to add to the list:
7. Magic among purebloods is losing strength due to prolonged inbreeding among pureblood families. (Just look at their family trees, for crying out loud! D: )
8. Strong wizards are not sharing or passing on their secrets. (i.e. The magic is not being lost, it's the powerful spells and techniques that are being lost.)((Simmilar to 3, but focuses on the fact that techniques are not being shared. Muggle technology has advanced only because the inventors were willing to share their discoveries, with each generation building on the next. The secretive nature of wizards could be preventing or stunting the advancement of stronger magic.))
9. Belief in magic is fading, thus magic is losing power. (i.e. If the belief in magic is what fuels magic, then the lack of muggles believing in magic is what is causing the fading of magic, leaving only the wizards and certain cultures fueling the magic with their belief.)
| BeakersRUs chapter 22 . 7/31/2011
I have you say, you stumbled across something that's been an annoyance of mine for a while now.
Periodic Table Element 13 is Aluminium, NOT Aluminum.
I know the IUPAC caved and added a foot note to the table, but that's really no excuse. Neither is "I'm American" because so am I. ;)
Doubly bad when you mention the CRC as a guiding book of Harry's at one point.
| Dev Null chapter 22 . 7/19/2011
Enjoying these enormously.
Not to nit-pick, because obviously you have to simplify some of the scientific process for the purposes of storytelling, but I had an enormous amount of difficulty in this chapter believing that the first question Harry asks is "Why is magic less powerful?" instead of "Is magic less powerful?" He doesn't get to match his hypotheses to the facts, because he doesn't _have_ any facts.
| Isa Knightwalker chapter 22 . 7/11/2011
This chapter and Harry's personality in general kind of make me think he really doesn't like Hermione as a friend and instead is only using her, which is really really sad and I mostly just dislike Harry more. Although the later part was more interesting. But I don't get how Harry really can investigate that since they couldn't truly do tests with ancient wizards (or not enough for a good representative sample) or get real empirical evidence on the strength of magic themselves from the ancient times.
Plus I can't really understand why Harry would even consider what Draco says about how wizards were stronger in the old days since he is basing that statement on famous wizards when the famous wizards are the ones who would get remembered, plus he is only using 5 extraordinary individuals to represent all of wizardkind during those time periods? Kind of ridiculous.
| cubie chapter 22 . 6/14/2011
Merci pour cette merveilleuse fic :)
I love it (even if I don't understand everything, I learn lot of English word thanks to you haha )
Thanks to you
| Andromedanaea chapter 22 . 6/6/2011
I read this before, and this is around the point that I got bored and stopped reading. . . . .
But everyone is reading this instead of writing their own fics, so i'm giving it another chance.
| Itachi's apprentice chapter 22 . 6/1/2011
| HiBob chapter 22 . 5/15/2011
I tried to read your reviews for this chapter to make sure I didn't repeat anything. After reading them I feel I should apoligize for not belonging to MENSA and promise to keep quiet.
| Spiny Norman chapter 22 . 4/12/2011
Alternative hypothesis: magic is not in decline. People idealize the past because of romantic notions that have no basis in fact. Chapter 6: "(...) people invent new Charms and Potions every year."
People ALWAYS think things were better in the past (the past being not so much a foreign country as grass on the neighbour's side of the fence). Sixty years ago, the vile rock n roll music from the grammophone records was supposed to corrupt the youngsters and bring about the end of civilization. No doubt, 200 years ago, there was some other reason why the past was bright and the future grim (although I am not sure what it was at that time). All the way back to the Roman Empire, when it was said that the Golden, Silver and Bronze Age had already passed, and people were living in the Iron Age. (Archaeologically speaking, they were, of course, but that is coincidence.)
On the other hand, muggle social historians HAVE written books about the Entzauberung, the decline of magic in the world, how things became more rational (no pun intended) from the 17th century onwards. But being muggles they couldn't know. Hypothesis: these muggle theories about magic vanishing illustrate the separation of mankind into muggle and wizard societies.
I'm a historian, so I am entitled to tell everyone in a condescending way that they simply don't appreciate the unique individual circumstances of whatever they are talking about, and that everything we say is an intersubjective interpretation at best.
| Kuro-Ookami4 chapter 22 . 4/6/2011
Something like magic being a recessive gene?
| Wait Like a Punnet Square chapter 22 . 3/28/2011
...Well, my spelling may be off, but it's pretty much 'wait, like a punnet square...?' dealing with the chances of S M or W (squib, muggle, or witch/wizard)?
| ammonalkaios chapter 22 . 3/26/2011
Journal of Irreproducible Results
omg laughed so hard when I read this
| Adele365 chapter 22 . 3/12/2011
So far, this is incredible: Harry Potter for the reader with brain cells! I have the rest so far copied to read on an airplane tomorrow, and I cannot wait to read more. I can see already why your fic is so popular, and my friend who referred this to me assures me it only gets better. I will review again once I get caught up, but I had to pass on my kudos now.
| ARMH chapter 22 . 2/21/2011
Poor poor Harry. It's really hard to decide what to think of Draco. I really like how a lot of the chapters involving Hermione or Draco are told from their perspectives.
| Markus Ramikin chapter 22 . 2/18/2011
"More than two centuries after science had gotten started."
- Wait, what? What arbitrary event in history are you referring to? People have been trying to figure out Nature ever since there were people. I'm unimpressed with that line, drawing a ceasure somewhere and saying "this is where Science started, but not before" is, well, arrogant and disrespectful of past scientists.
Other than that, I love this chapter. I really feel for Harry, because this sort of undaunted scientific optimism and the sheer boldness of saying "I'm going to prove that everyone who studied this before me is wrong" is something I enjoy seeing, it's inspiring. And here I had to watch it be crushed, with Hermione there to make sure the defeat is hammered home by dialogue. When she says "It's such a boy thing to do", I don't even want to know how she means it, but I know she's right ;).
I loved the "whyyyyyyyyyy!", I can totally relate to it (usually when debugging code that -looks- like it should be working perfectly).
But yeah. The universe doesn't care what we believe and how we feel about our hypotheses. And in the end, I wouldn't have it any other way.
I also like the way you make being a Death Eater an actually attractive ideology for a wizard, with Draco's realisation, rather than just a "for the evulz" thing.
| Tazmainian Devil chapter 22 . 2/3/2011
This is really excellent.
I started reading it on a whim because it looked funny and now it's two in the morning and I cannot bring myself to stop.
| Avi chapter 22 . 2/3/2011
I love how you're making science exotic and mysterious against the background of ordinary magic.
| TheoreticalMagicist chapter 22 . 1/21/2011
I discovered your story about four days ago and finished chapter 67 yesterday, which I guess demonstrates better than anything else I could say how much I'm enjoying it. I wanted to show my appreciation, and I picked this chapter so that i could comment on some of the science.
Quite a few reviewers have pointed out Harry's lapse in assuming that wizardry is weakening without really testing it (although partly he may simply be looking for an excuse to demonstrate to Draco that it isn't the fault of mixed bloodlines, rather than actually carrying out a proper peer review standard experiment). Most people seem to have focussed on the fact that rose-tinted spectacles may be responsible for exaggerating the powers of past wizards, but I'd like to point out another reason to doubt the original observation.
At this point I should say that I haven't read the books, so I'm only working from the films and this fanfic, but the only evidence I remember seeing is that Dumbledore (the current most powerful wizard) can't do as much as the four founders of Hogwarts who, in turn, couldn't do as much as Merlin. If there is other evidence, my point might be destroyed, but otherwise, even if we assume that these comparisons are verifiably true, it is not just weak, but non-existent, evidence for wizardry failing.
Presuming (and this is normally a safe bet in reality) that wizards follow some kind of random continuous distribution, then you would expect that at some point in the past, there was a wizard stronger than the current strongest, and at some point further in the past, there was an even stronger wizard than that. Similarly, at some point in the future, there will be a stronger wizard than now, and at a point after that, there will be an even stronger wizard again.
In other words, the weakening of wizardry is entirely consistent with Merlin being stronger than the Hogwarts four being stronger than Dumbledore, but the strengthening of wizardry and the equilibrium of wizardry are equally consistent. True or not, it tells you the square root of, er, not very much. This is the danger of making wide-reaching conclusions on swan colouration based on a cursory study of black ones.
I guess what I'm saying is I'd like to see more explicitly science based chapters like this one so you can explore some issues more thoroughly, but I can understand your focus on less important but more "fashionable" devices such as characterisation and plot (please not, typing fingers in cheek).
I also just want to share an idea I had while reading this for technological use of magic. It's the kind of thing I suspect Harry would get a kick out of, and maybe you will too, if you haven't already thought of it.
It's based on the fact that the invisibility cloak seems to transmit all light through/around whatever it covers, but it also allows the wearer to see out. Therefore, it must in some way create light. This fact can be used quite elegantly to create an infinite power supply.
First, trap some light inside two mirrors (easy enough, hence the existence of lasers). Second, place the invisibility cloak in the path of the light, between the two mirrors. This will not reduce the amount of light passing through at all, but everytime it passes through the cloak, some fraction of the light will be created inside the cloak. Third, place photovoltaic cells inside the cloak. Fourth, sell your free electricity for billions, whilst simultaneously solving poverty, pollution, climate change, and probably a few wars into the bargain.
| GodricGeoffreyGryffindor chapter 22 . 1/13/2011
You didn't describe a test that was blind enough. If Harry had copied the spells out of the spell books and made the alterations, then he knew what the spell books actually said, and since he was the one testing Hermione, the test was not double-blind.
There is also the possibility that magic works in subtly different ways for different users. Hermione is a rule follower. For her, there may well be psychological impediments that make it impossible for a spell to work properly if altered at all. She is also highly verbal which may make correct incantation more important than other factors. Someone more in touch with raw magic, someone who has done lots of 'accidental' magic, like Tom Riddle, may get entirely different results.
| dementedpenguin chapter 22 . 1/12/2011
Okay, thanks for pointing us all to your profile. It is taking me forever to read this story between googling and wikisurfing through all the science you reference, going to the library to hunt down the books you reference and.. I don't know. My brain is shaking the dust off and finally clamouring for more knowledge like it hasn't in years and it. is. GLORIOUS.
| Tangshou chapter 22 . 1/4/2011
The experiments with Hermoine were great, and so was her conclusion.
| Destroyer Rau'alle chapter 22 . 12/27/2010
This was a great chapter! The use of the scientific method for determining the power of magic or blood and whether it is decreasing is very interesting. I love this series!
| Draeconin chapter 22 . 12/19/2010
I wasn't going to say anything, but with the advent of the dialog containing '5 is unlikely for the same reason', I feel I have to. People cannot speak numerals. They speak words. Numerals are symbols to make working with numbers easier. It might be a pain, but when writing dialog, at least, numbers need to be written out.
| w chapter 22 . 12/18/2010
Why need for intro?
Hermione had asked if Harry really thought he was smarter, at eleven years old and just over a month into his Hogwarts education, than all the other wizards in the world who disagreed with him.
Harry had said the following exact words:
Hermione, in particular "we learned a lot from it and it only took me an hour or so."
"Harry Potter had then presented the idea that scientists watched ideas fight to see which ones won, and you couldn't fight without an opponent" - this is a spectacular summary of why you can't quantify how much the evidence supports your hypothesis without knowing how much it supports its negation. You _need_ to put one or two more sentences around here to this end. And H's pedagogical skills are quite impressive.
(Draco was starting to understand why Snape had used his hold over Dumbledore just to get a position that let him be awful to students.)
| Arturo Vandorien chapter 22 . 11/7/2010
huh. This story just got 9 times more interesting.
| AspergianStoryteller chapter 22 . 11/3/2010
A bit scary! I hope it's just the knowledge thing because that can be re-dicovered or re-invented.
| Paganimagus chapter 22 . 10/17/2010
hmm. I'm not sure if I agree that the plot is about creativity. The plot is creative, and so are the characters- but thats not what the story is ABOUT.
I've two other suggestions for the MoR motto/byline
Because if *you* were a wizard, you'd discover the laws of magic and become a god.
OR, more simply
Because if *you* were magic, you'd plot world "optimisation".
| Kutta chapter 22 . 10/9/2010
| LunaSlashSea chapter 22 . 10/7/2010
Excellent chapter. I noticed a fundamental flaw in their experiment (not a flaw in the story); Harry and Draco forgot to verify that the observation was true before searching for possible causes. It makes a better story when the characters mess up.
| Nakedkali chapter 22 . 10/6/2010
There's a lot of stuff underneath what Harry is trying to demonstrate right now. Wonder why he is being foolish and impulsive here? Elementary and High School curricula are prehaps contemptible to him, but he knows he is starting from scratch here.
| Sissypants8 chapter 22 . 9/18/2010
this has now gotta be my favorite story ever
"Draco had tried to point out the staggering stupidity of this by suggesting that the key to surviving a duel was to cast Avada Kedavra on your own foot and miss
i couldnt stop laughing 0.0
| Shinkiro chapter 22 . 8/2/2010
the idea is nice.. but it is most of the time very boring..
i need to force myself to read more..
to much Angst.. Emo Harry?
| Koi no Soshan chapter 22 . 7/29/2010
I wasn't sure if I was going to review, but chapter 22 finally compelled me to do so. Firstly, I do want to say that I'm greatly enjoying this story- it's well-written, it combines magic and science well, it presents a research/science-oriented story while still having characterization and plot, characterization is adapted from canon well, and Harry is very intelligent while not being a Gary Stu, something which is always good to see. I did want to leave some sort of comment on this as a story before breaking down into babbling about the science/magic inexpertly.
But I do feel the need to think out loud about some of the ideas introduced in this chapter:
1) That a spell genuinely needs to consist of a certain word/phrase in order to work is a concept which bothers me. How, then, would all other cultures in the world and through time have performed magic? Japanese people, for a random example, can't even pronounce the 'v' letter, so how would they ever perform 'Wingardium Leviosa' effectively, or even come to such a (for them) random phrase in the first place? This works if it's a cultural bias (or the idea of magic among a people getting into a pattern from being used so much this way) and similar experiences occur among other cultures with their own, different forms of magic.
2) Shouldn't Harry and Draco's first hypothesis simply be: "Wizardry isn't as powerful now as it was when Hogwarts was founded"? They don't seem to have any solid proof of this phenomenon, so I'd think they would want to test that before creating experiments which assume it's true. Or is the proof based on the fact that spells like that which created and sustain the Sorting Hat can no longer be reproduced? Harry and Draco haven't really given much evidence which could support this being their working observation rather than a simple hypothesis which they should be starting their research with.
3) Um. I'm no scientist (even if I wanted to be one my mathematical skills- wait, calling them skills is an insult to mathematics- are too poor for me to ever do so), but doesn't the theory of magic itself fading violate the law of conservation of energy? Scientists are usually rather freaked out by theories which could potentially violate it, right? I would expect Harry to first feel the need to panic-attack over the concept that energy *can* be truly lost forever. I'm remembering watching a bit about the Information Paradox- people reacted very badly to the idea that information is truly gone once it goes into a black hole. The only way this could make sense is if magic is some form of energy which, when channeled through a wizard, is released as another form of energy which wizards cannot utilize. Like oxygen being breathed in, but the magic system lacks plants to create new oxygen. Though...that would make it even more of a finite resource than fossil fuels, since new fossil fuels are actually created, just at too slow a pace for humans to be able to turn to them any time soon once what is currently available runs out... I'm sorry for babbling, but the idea of magic as a force just *vanishing* potentially broke my brain.
| the.stories.live.on chapter 22 . 7/11/2010
I love this smart Harry. I'm not sure how I feel about Dumbledore or Quirrel, but I love Harry's experiments and being a scientist in a magical world. The idea to combine the two worlds is brilliant.
| DoubleC chapter 22 . 7/3/2010
Have stopped reading for a time, since I needed time to cool off my abhorrence of Granger here, among other things. I can't believe the reviewers who claim to like her! Every time that obnoxious twat comeson stage, I have to suppress a strong, alas impossibly, desire to get inside the text and push her, sans wand, off the Astronomy Tower myself. Grrr.
Anyway, two things here:
- Harry did make spells work without having any idea *at all* what they do (HBP, 'levicorpus')
- what about nonverbal spells? Albiet, one still needs to 'pronounce' them mentally, I suppose.
| aaronmicalowe chapter 22 . 7/1/2010
Being brought up in a foreign country I've experienced a lot of racism and would like to say I didn't find anything even remotely racist in anything Less has written.
Please understand, it's not just what is written but the intention behind it. No author can possibly write something that cannot be misinterpreted. Please remain respectful and remember it’s fictional, which means you don’t have to take it literally.
If you aren’t enjoying it for some reason, then move on, but respect that others are enjoying it and don’t spoil it for them. What's the point in arguing for greater respect between races if we cannot even respect each other in the process?
| Delrusant chapter 22 . 6/26/2010
first part of the chapter : there is the problem of language, where in non latin culture how is spell work learn if latin is used that seems to be a lack of background research which I am sure must have been advised in the books so precious to Harry.
| James Birdsong chapter 22 . 6/24/2010
Eerie but splendid
| dogbertcarroll chapter 22 . 6/13/2010
Harry is corrupting him nicely.
| biologist in training chapter 22 . 6/12/2010
You shouldn't bet on genetics. There are more factors than just mendel and darwin's theories. We now are as far that the human DNA is composed 50% from transposable elements that often replace themselves and copy themselves and cut through genes making them dis functional. But before that there are gene-gene interactions, crossing overs, mutations, gene silencing and a lot more complicated mechanisms that are far beyond even my knowledge on this subject. There is no such thing as a static universe and there is no such thing a static DNA. Almost everything is in a dynamic equilibrium, the climate, the stock market, the planet's CO2, homeostasis, with multiple stable states. I know that it is sad, but this is the first scientific story I've read about the harry potter universe, there should be more. Great Scot!
| Psalmy chapter 22 . 6/10/2010
What a fantastic sense of urgency! Wow-ee!
| badkidoh chapter 22 . 6/10/2010
Yet another great chapter.
I"m looking forward to the next update.
| Q chapter 22 . 6/9/2010
Dobby's a house-elf. You don't need Veritaserum.
| sastath chapter 22 . 6/8/2010
Um not sure if you are fooling around here, but I hope reading on I'm correct because if I'm not then Harry is a complete retard.
Wizardry isn't as powerful now as it was when Hogwarts was founded. is the observation. The problem is that this isn't even an observation. It is just bigotry. It is just as powerful as it was in when Hogwarts was founded.
So I'm assuming Harry is just doing this to crush Malfoys little theory and not actually doing it for research.
The only truth to it is actually number 5 on the list. Muggles have far surpassed wizards in power with basically inventions like the internet, phone, and ways to kill ourselves. So my observation would be wizardry seems less powerful because they have been living in the dark ages rather than listening to the most wisest wizards of all like Arthur Weasley.
An example I saw on one of the forums about muggles vs wizards. A wizard with a stick vs. convoy of tanks. Tanks win. A convoy of tanks vs. a convoy of invisible flying tanks. Flying invisible tanks win.
| Dan chapter 22 . 6/7/2010
One possibility Harry seems to have neglected here is that creating a new spell *imprints* the universe (perhaps locally?) It's a bit like writing a best-selling pop song, I suppose. You slave away in relative obscurity for a while, trying to write that perfectly catchy combination of tunes and lyrics that expresses just the feeling you're looking for. You chase your original ideas, refine them, combine them, discard them and rewrite until it's *perfect*. Then, you publish. A catchy (not necessarily GOOD, mind, just catchy) song changes the landscape permanently for all other songs. Anyone writing a similar song comes off as a cheap knock-off, since even superfically similar creations will draw comments like, "Hey, didn't the Backstreet Boys write that back in '05?" Infuriating, really.
Perhaps spell-work is the same. If a spell is too "semantically similar", it just comes off wrong. There's too much shared culture for it to get any momentum.
| Olafr chapter 22 . 6/6/2010
hypothesis 7: historical aggrandizement a.k.a. my-hero's-better-than-your-hero aka. godhead :-)
Enjoying this, by the way. It must be well written because sometimes I want to strangle Harry.
| yesimahuman chapter 22 . 6/6/2010
"The opinions of characters in this story are not necessarily those of the author. What warm!Harry thinks is often meant as a good pattern to follow, especially if Harry thinks about how he can cite scientific studies to back up a particular principle. But not everything Harry does or thinks is a good idea. That wouldn't work as a story. And the less warm characters may sometimes have valuable lessons to offer, but those lessons may also be dangerously double-edged."
This disclaimer ought to have been posted in bold letters in the beginning of your story, so as to serve as a reminder to all readers that the author does NOT, in no uncertain terms, endorse child abuse as a method by which humility be taught.
This is an awesome story, by the way, rationalist!Harry is undiluted win. The ongoing characterizations of both Harry and Draco are spot on. My only issue thus far is Harry's "dark side"- it seems contrived, and Harry's arrogance and pride could be wrapped up in a much cleaner manner by having it just be anger management.
| Mana's Cinder chapter 22 . 6/6/2010
While I enjoy the round about way you're explaining various 'rules' of rationality, I have to question.. Does this story have an actual plot? Is there something you're working towards, or are you writing 'randomly' as the mood strikes you without too much of an idea of what comes next? Are you planning on Harry discovering the 'truth' of magic, stopping Voldemort and doing.. something about Dumbledore? Or do you plan on making Hermione the subject of a ridiculous number of experiments before she becomes the next Merlin and the story ends with B.C. staring at her gobsmacked?
| qtar1984 chapter 22 . 6/6/2010
Also there is another thing you should consider. There is in fact a gene that is associated with being great at anything in general. and this could be a factor magical strength and skill.
| NamuNamu chapter 22 . 6/6/2010
I want to see what happens next!
| Animekitty47 chapter 22 . 6/6/2010
Ooo, the part with Draco was interesting. Though Harry freaking out with Hermione was amusing. XD I suppose you know the canon explanation for muggle borns is that there is a wizard/witch *somewhere* in their family tree and it only popped up then. Which makes me wonder what kind of odd recessive gene magic must be...or maybe its controlled by multiple factors? Oh, man, now *I'm* treating this like a real question too...XP Update soon please!
| iseenodifference chapter 22 . 6/6/2010
YAY! Thank you for updating! Please update soon! good chappie
| The Wandmaker chapter 22 . 6/6/2010
Brilliant chapter, with a truly riveting scene between Draco and Harry.
| colah chapter 22 . 6/6/2010
Another approach might be to look at the variation in the population. If 6 is true, the extremes are being removed, leading to less phenotypical variation. If 2 is true, variation is being increasing since the weakening is not uniform. If both, the results depend on the ratios.
| Euphemism chapter 22 . 6/6/2010
You mentioned wanting a reference to give people who haven't read the HP series. I'd suggest
In particular, there's a row of book icons, and if you click on them, you'll get a page with several sections. One is Resources, and under resources is chapter synopses. For instance, this is the synopses for Goblet of Fire:
It reduces a 200k book to around 2000 words.
Also, given the emphasis on belief, perhaps a reason for magic to be weakening is the proportion of people who believe in magic. Also, it must be considered whether magic is actually weakening or not - maybe they're testing this with the question of first years and spells, but it seems a bit like they've gone and assumed the premise was true (which Harry already did once at the start of this chapter).
Odd that I can accept weird time travel hijinks with no suspension of disbelief, but the idea that magic requires Wingardium Leviosa to be pronounced 'just so' bugs me.
| Blackdex chapter 22 . 6/6/2010
Belief, as the muggles have advanced, they cease to beleive in magic, the process might actualy be accelerating as cartoons replace fairytales as entertainment for children, the wizards may have as little as two or three generations for the westernized world, could they live on the rest?
| phoenixluv chapter 22 . 6/6/2010
beautiful smart quirky amazing!
| Comelovesleep chapter 22 . 6/6/2010
I'm assuming the word Harry used, which Draco thought to be a Muggle imprecation, was 'Niven?'
| jdboss1 chapter 22 . 6/6/2010
All hail the brilliant Hermione no seriously now I believe you have caught her before the decline happens
Hogwarts corrupt every first generation magical user pretty quickly in forgetting their roots in the story
I am writing my main character is constantly not letting Hermione to get the achievements of the non-magical
population in this story i feel she has been taken in but still can be saved she needs to learn that when
humans have the ability of magic has seen in Harry Potter they stop their brain's as Everything is made very
simple I accept Hermione Granger was taken in by fulfilling hur school related work and then stopping their
because of having Harry Potter and the most stupidest person in the world ron as companions holding her back
hopefully in this story she will ruin a lot more than just the minimum school related mumbo-jumbo
Good analysis of the decline of Wizard society personally I put it down to laziness and not producing many children
in the story I am writing when magic is revealed to the world and the Potters chosen political party has taken power
they will encourage magical humans to donate sperm semen and sell it and a guaranteed government position in the civil
service of 100 K per year after leaving magical education would cause a great rush on everybody wanting their child to
Next I believe magic is like a muscle if every night Harry Potter exhausted himself cast as many spellas possible before
passing out on his bed then I would expect the next day his magic to have grown back stronger
I personally thought I was going to have to wait longer for a never brilliant update but it was a really pleasant surprise
to see that my greatest author I have seen in a long time, come a long update pleased me greatly
This is easily the best new story of 2010 I have read
| larry huss chapter 22 . 6/6/2010
Have you ever read Larry Niven's "The Magic Goes Away"?
The decline of effective use of magic is a great unifying research thread for N/D bonding.
Note that c.8oo yrs ago Western Europe began to recieve increased amounts of spices from the east, and began eating greater amounts of cane sugar in relation to honey as a sweetening agent.
yrs. L. Huss
| The Librarian's Assistant chapter 22 . 6/6/2010
wow. this story is Made of Awesome. really nice work. it's one thing to read fanfiction and return to the world that was so interesting when reading it in the originals. it's another to read fanfiction and see worlds that are even cooler than the world that was described in the original! but heck, to read fanfiction, enjoy an interesting new twist on things, and figure out stuff about our very own world that we probably should have known a long time ago? great job.
now, pressing question. if if there is a possibility that i sit around a table of rationalists in 20 years and discuss some issue, make some point, then somehow it comes out that these studies of mine really started back when i was reading harry potter fanfiction, imagining the ensuing ridicule, should i even start in the first place? i guess it's better to be ridiculed and rational than self-delusional, irrational, and ignorant.
| lipasnape chapter 22 . 6/6/2010
I am greatly interested in this story. Please don't let it fade away like magic ;-)
| Valhamain chapter 22 . 6/6/2010
However, it is rather easy to test theory #1.
If Magic is fading then the phenomenum should affect everything magical regardeless their nature or the species barrier.
Experience 1 investigating if the other magical beings such as House Elves or goblins are suffering from similar problems.
Experience 2 Magical Creatures such as Dragons and Phoenixes can't exist according mainstream biology, therefore their existance is closely related to magic. If Magic is fading then their population should decrease.
Experience 3 Potions are made from ingredients with some sort of magical quality. If magic is fading then to obtain similar effect from the ingestion of a potion you eiter had to absorb a greater quantity or the preparation of the potion should involve a greater quantity of magicaly active ingredients. Therefore by studying the historical evolution of potion recipe, any sign of weakening should be noted easily.
| Guest chapter 22 . 6/6/2010
Two things I felt were missing from the hypotheses list:
1. Nanotech. Has Harry tried figuring out what sort of particles come out of the wand when he uses it? Perhaps magic is just nanobots, and they're smaller than what current muggle science knows as fundamental particles?
2. Embellished history. Sure everyone says Merlin and the founders were awesome, and there's a lot of old artefacts now, but really just how much more powerful were they? Has anyone asked Dumbledore if he knows of something created before that he probably couldn't replicate with enough time?
| Greytune chapter 22 . 6/6/2010
I feel about ten times smarter reading this chapter. At not only do I feel smarter, I actually UNDERSTOOD. Often when you have Harry in his science mode, there's usually at least one little thing I don't quite get. BUT NOW I UNDERSTOOD EVERY SINGLE THING THEY SAID. Nothing was lost on me. It's a wonderful feeling.
Geez, you're making people smarter by just having them read a fanfic. That's a Nobel Prize, right there.
Anyway, I loved this chapter. The interaction between Harry and Draco during their conspiracy meetings are always funny and very interesting. I like how you show them from Draco's POV, because let's be honest here. If every chapter in this story was out of Harry's POV, our brains would melt.
Also, I seriously LOVED the Harry/Hermione experiment scene. And I loved Harry's breakdown, and how Hermione was so smug. This is put as a Harry & Hermione story, so I hope that means we will continue having funny moments between them, even if this is a romance or not. ANd honestly, I like it either way.
Oh, and Draco. I have to have a small paragraph about him. May I say I really like how you portray Draco's character in this story. The things about his father, how he wants to be him but also wants to be his own person, the Slytherin polictics, the minions, etc. I think you've really captured him in a good way and he feels very real as a character. Just wanted to say that.
Now onto the fun stuff!
"In that moment Draco had realized that there was something deeply wrong with Harry Potter's brain, and anyone who tried Legilimency on it would probably never come back out again."
I really want to see someone trying to Legimency (or however it's spelled) him. It's going to be awesome. I don't know if anyone has tried yet (besides the hat) since Harry is on guard with his Occlumency and all that, but I really wanna see Snape try.
"It was a wonder the Sorting Hat wasn't gibbering madly in St. Mungo's."
It's a wonder we're not ALL there.
| cheekylildevil chapter 22 . 6/6/2010
Slow beginning, but far better in the end.
| Pusakuronu chapter 22 . 6/6/2010
Fun. Harry should probably look into how spells are created in the first place to find out how they work.
Also, the role-playing game with Draco was marvelous.
| anon chapter 22 . 6/6/2010
Excellent chapter, this fic never fails to surprise me with the implications of what happens in it. I wonder how long it'll be until Harry realizes that his experiment with Hermione wasn't conclusive at all; if magic depends on what you expect to happen and Hermione expected the spells to work only if they were done "correctly" then it might not be neccessary for her to know what the correct method is for magic to fulfill her expectations.
Magic fading away? That's a scary thought. Harry should take a look at magical beings other than wizards, they'd be affected too, of course, while if it's blood then obviously they wouldn't.
| Rohan Bernett chapter 22 . 6/6/2010
This is proving to be a most interesting read. Keep it up.
| colah chapter 22 . 6/6/2010
The second scene of this chapter was amazing.
The following are my thoughts regarding how to test between the possibilities and general musings:
- It sounds like Harry is going to assume a nice single gene for magic...
- What has been happening to other magical species? Have Dragons been getting weaker?
- The abundance of magical species are interesting.
- Canon mentions creating magical creatures (eg. Basalisk egg sat on by frog?) which has tremendous implications.
- On the other hand, most species seem to be natural'. The abundance of species means that:
- either magic evolves very easily
- magic would be heavily selected for, at least in humans thus this seems unlikely as the population would dominate
- or the mutation occured early on (blast-ended skrewts are insects and have magic)
- Does the geographic distribution of magic change? Is it easier to cast magic in some areas than others?
- Does using magic make it more difficult to cast magic in an area?
- The premise could be wrong: how do we know that magic has actually been weakening? Glorifying the past is nothing new.
- Has the wizarding world undergone cultural changes promoting having/not having children?
- Are there any examples of the children of powerful wizards?
- Alternate hypotheses:
- exposure at a young age causes magic... cultural change
- magical power is associated with perspective, wizarding culture has changed
- there's only so much magic to go around: growing population
- the population's belief in magic
In any case, great story. Feel free to use this.
| Lord Dragon Claw chapter 22 . 6/6/2010
This version of Hermione is really naieve, isn't she? I know that in a previous chapter you had her think of people either being good or bad, no shades of gray (most children think like that, so it was okay) but the fact that she believes that the magicians who came before, regardless of whether or not they were hacks, are smarter than everyone else simply because they were published.
Being an aspiring author who is husband to another aspiring author... well, we know that isn't exactly true. Christopher Paolini wrote a very derivative series but he knew what would sell. For example, strip Eragon of all the names and Star Wars Episode IV of all of it's names and you have two stories that are almost identical. I know that originality has nothing to do with intelligence, but Mr. Paolini wasn't smart enough to disguise the elements he stole from other things well enough to make them his own. Hadarac Desert? Dune. Eragon? Change the "D" on dragon to the next letter. Also sounds like Aragorn, who also falls in love with an elf princess. Book three has a character who suddenly starts acting like a dictator with no hints in the previous two books to show her going mad with power or anything of the sort.
The list goes on.
Anyway, my original point was that people who are published are not necessarily smarter than those who are not, and Hermione's belief that "if it is printed it is true" irks me, but I do know some people who are kind of like that. Many of them are religious nutjobs.
| Hayden Elrics chapter 22 . 6/6/2010
Aaaaaaaaah! Why'd you have to stop?
I favor the house-elf hypothesis meself...
| SomeGuyFawkes chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
Hermione was very entertaining this chapter, nicely LOL-worthy.
| Khadon chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
Alright, I'm all caught up now and you get my third review.
This is a great fic. Your characters are original and not just J.K.R.'s put in different situations.
Your plot is interesting, engaging, and above all creative. While reading I actually have to think(this is a good thing).
It's so good I haven't stopped reading since I started and now find myself awake at 2:00am in desperate need of some sleep. I just couldn't stop until I was caught up. You've posted that the next chapter will hopefully be posted tomorrow (or should I say today?) and I'll hope your prediction is accurate. Seriously, I can't wait for more.
| The Alec chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
Yay, we finally get to the science. I have been waiting for this for a long time. I agree that Harry's scientific method is a little sloppy but considering that he an excitable 11 year old boy I think it is really quite realistic.
I am continuing to love Harry and Hermione's rivalry. Every time you have had the two interact has been pure gold. They are perfect foils for each other.
As for a new summary for the fic I would go with something like:
"As a child prodigy Harry knew that he was destined for great things. Like his adopted father he would dedicate his life to science. Then he got his Hogwarts letter. Now Harry must face a life far darker and more illogical then anything he ever planned for."
I think the most important elements of the summary should be to warn new readers that this Harry will be more intelligent/arrogant than the original and that the fic will be dark in places.
| kirb099 chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
Nice up date.
Is there a reason you started to call him "Harry Potter" half way through the story, as opposed to Harry?
| ByLanternLight chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
This is exciting and fascinating. A real plot like this really could turn Draco to the side of light, even if it turns out that magic isn't fading out. I'd give tis a 6/5.
| Kasanra chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
I got chills. Thank you Less Wrong for not making me wait too much for the next chapter.
| witowsmp chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
My theory is that the inbreeding of purebloods has weakened their magic. One piece of supporting evidence is that the most powerful wizards like Dumbledore and Voldemort are half-bloods. Of course, like a loyal Death Eater, Dumbledore has protected the secret of Voldemort's origin so that neither Harry nor Draco knows it. (I firmly believe that if Dumbledore had made Riddle's ancestry known, Voldemort wouldn't have had half as many followers.)
| TenshiReike chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
With a chapter this good its no surprise it took long to update.
| Always-Underrated chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
A very intriguing hypothesis. Magic fading... I wonder why that never occurred to anyone before...
And Harry's 'pronunciation doesn't matter' theory. -snickers- Poor darling; but really, I'm not surprised he was proven wrong. Though I wonder if the reason you have to pronounce the spell exactly as the creator of the spell intended it to be pronounced could have anything to do with said person's magic unintentionally leaving a 'mark' on the spell, sort of like a copy right, so that anyone and their brother can't just waltz up, change the pronunciation on a spell/give it a new name while keeping the result, and then claim it as their own. Though... I guess I'm basing this off of the possibility that you can change the name itself, and not just the pronunciation.
Though really, I don't get how Harry thought he could prove his theory. I mean, it just makes sense to me that if someone tried to cast a spell but mispronounced it, it wouldn't work because whoever created it intended for it to work based on that exact pronunciation and wand movement. Er. Or something.
And this also brings to mind the question: how are spells created in the first place?
I think the answer Harry's looking for lies somewhere in that question.
All of that really made a lot more sense in my head.
All these thoughts running around, not really making sense and refusing to write themselves down coherently... I'm going to have to think about this. Hopefully, I can come up with something interesting. And coherent. But no promises.
Oh, and I found it almost... refreshing for Harry to be wrong about his theory, in that it helped remind me that Harry IS still an 11? year old kid. He's not infallible by any means, despite his beliefs to the contrary.
Amazing chapter, interesting and thought provoking. I can't wait for the next one.
| bluepard chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
This fic makes me laugh so much. I really appreciate the characters as they're presented, full of flaws. Someone really needs to tell Harry that humans aren't the only ones who can do magic, don't they?
| Guile chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
"In that moment Draco had realized that there was something deeply wrong with Harry Potter's brain, and anyone who tried Legilimency on it would probably never come back out again."
That is beautiful.
The idea introduced at the end is really interesting, even if I'm not totally sure Harry isn't just faking that urgency to get Malfoy thinking like a scientist. We just assume ancient wizards (Atlantis, Merlin, etc.) were better than anything we can do now because it's such a common trope in magic stories.
| uo-chou chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
EXCELLENT! Experimentation! FOR SCIENCE!
| Regam chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
Darn, I forgot to mention that I doubt you'll find any summary of HP suitable for you, as if I had to give a concise summary of Book 3, I wouldn't have included the Time-Turner. Just include what you feel is necessary into your author's notes.
| Parselmaster chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
Nice. I like the explanation for the Death Eaters. It is excellent reasoning, and touched up the drama nicely.
| Predicted Anomie chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
I sat with pursed lips, as I always seem to do, through the Draco scene and bristled throughout all the hate speech and slurs and violence that were hand waved by Harry
not because of moral qualms about racism of that sort, but because, again, "it's not how we do things in Ravenclaw" which is, again, disconcerting.
But what I found most surprising is that Harry has completely forgotten the very first step of
the scientific method, here. As far as the readers know, there might NOT be any decline in magical ability
over time, and the belief that there is is just as (or perhaps more) likely to be a result of political fear mongering, nostalgia, and confusing the real for the ideal culture. Harry is going on Draco's word that magic is declining, he hasn't observed any real change For himself or through any real research.
| Regam chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
Awesome update; can't wait for the next one.
I know, with your review count approaching 200 (!) per chapter, that you've likely heard and/or knew these before, BUT:
Harry seems INCREDIBLY sloppy in this chapter. He seems to run with far too many 'ifs' (though I will as well in this review ;) most obviously being complete acceptance of the 'observation' that I always considered myth.
The Founders' and Merlin's legends likely would have been built up. Also, assuming that Grindelwald was somewhere near Dumbledore's power level (in 7 we learn that they were classmates), and most fanfics place Harry at about DD's and Voldemort's power level, if thay had not gone and killed each other, (if, if, if,) we would have gone 2 for 2 in the time periods we know about having four extremely powerful magic users at once. Even without all the 'ifs,' laws of probability (I really don't feel like calculating them...) state that SOMETIME in the past 1200 years Britain had four powerful magic users agree for at least long enough to establish a school.
Then there's the genetics factor, which may mess this up. (JKR has no knowledge of how genetics works. For Squibs and Muggleborns to both exist [and have magic follow genetic rules], there needs to be at least 2 genes for magic, one to activate the other, which directly allows for magic. For variances in power, more genes would be required.) And your hypothesis 6 would likely be at least somewhat true; from what we see, none of the powerful wizards seem to settle down. Although, they may have TWS (Tiger Woods Syndrome), and actually have MORE children then average...
Why does Draco not ask the ghosts? I'd think they'd have a better memory/more interest in certain families, as well as be guaranteed to not have been fictional creations by the artists.
I think that's all of my main points, so I'll finish with a cliche review (for you). I'd thought I'd read everything in the HP fandom, INCLUDING scientist Harry and magic not working on certain planets, but the idea that magic is actually diminishing is new. Awesome.
| Morbious20 chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
Brilliant can't wait to to read the results of those tests .
| troyguffey chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
Wow, Draco is a Larry Niven fan?
Re: Hermione's test. Yeah, magic DOESN'T make sense!
The idea that the magic might be going away is a DEFINITE "OH, SHIT!" moment.
| Dracco chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
not bad, has a touch of a 'chicken little' feeling to it.
| ejhawman chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
Finally! An update!
Slower development, but necessary. Harry gets into the meat of figuring out the magical world, and finds it doesn't make sense. Naturally.
So he's found magic requires specific intonations and pronunciations of words from a specific language. It can't take him too long to wonder: why THAT language? But then History of Magic may have units on the development of magic in other lands - India, China, Africa, etc. - and THEY didn't use Latin, their magic worked with THEIR languages. So is magic derived from language, or the reverse, or is there a mutual development, language being to a culture's magic like an individual and their wand - the language learns from the culture, the culture from the language, getting stronger at magic as their language is refined?
How many potential magic languages are there? Harry might invent his own...
He should also soon realize the Purebloods' beliefs about the weakening of magic are only suspicions, or anecdotal and don't stand up to evidence. Again, History of Magic will tell him some things, biographies of famous persons and records of major incidents will tell more. It could take him years to fully investigate this. Meanwhile he has classes to attend.
["I've read all the books you gave me and I still don't know what to call that. Overconfidence? Planning fallacy? Super duper Lake Wobegon effect? They'll have to name it after you. Harry Bias."
"But it is cute. It's such a boy thing to do."
"Aw, you say the most romantic things."
Thud. Thud. Thud.
"So what's next?" said Hermione.]
Feels like i've seen or read that somewhere before, but always funny.
Waiting for Sunday...
| anonymous chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
Thanks for another chapter.
The best source I've found for HP summaries is Wikipedia... which has its flaws, of course. Most of the other summaries I've seen, though, don't go into enough detail to be useful here.
On a side note, the language thing is one aspect of the HP books that really does get on my nerves. Of course, you've addressed the fact that apparently in HP some sounds/words have intrinsic power. And one wonders why nearly all the spells have Latin roots (the only exception that comes to mind being Avada Kedavra). You'd expect to have representation from other languages/language families, but there don't appear to be any spells with Bantu or Iroquoian origins, for example. [And then there's the whole parseltongue issue: apparently only a select few can speak it, and yet Ron Weasley demonstrates the ability to *learn* it when he enters the Chamber in book 7...]
I wonder whether Harry and Draco are getting ahead of themselves with the magic thing. Have they established that magic IS in fact getting weaker, or am I missing something? Because it seems like legends and hero-worshipping could be enough to account for most "discrepancies" between past and present magical powers. They might be able to glean that information from the experiments that they have planned, but only if they think to look for it... and I'm not convinced right now that Harry will.
I look forward to your next update.
| Book Mad TJ chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
I am loving the Draco/Harry meetings, they are so funny.
| me chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
Is there not a fallacy in this experiment in that they're assuming that magic, or blood, or knowledge, or what have you, is weaker than it was 800 years ago?
| tuku chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
I'm actually surprised that Harry hasn't come up with the "Wizards are getting weaker because of inbreeding" hypothesis-it seems a natural and easy inversion of the blood purist theory.
| Dan chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
Another one of 'those' chapters... Be careful not to get too carried away trying to 'science' magic forgetting the inexplicable 'mystical' aspects. Also, be careful not to make Harry's actions too transparently plot-driven. At times you can tell when the plot is driving actions that he otherwise wouldn't have taken.
Hermoine's a bit of an annoying character- not for beating Harry academically, but for being a semi-mary-sue, even more annoying than canon, and somehow having friends despite having NONE in canon while being less annoying. A lot of authors like to overstate her worth; it would be interesting to see a lesser used character as the genius academic sometimes (and no, I don't mean one of those Luna's actually the smartest, most wise, most amazing, omniscient chick ever fics).
The exact word thing with the spells... I dunno... You might end up going back on yourself later on. Harry's definitely got the resources for research, he's actually interested, has a massive library at his disposal and if he's reading ahead he'll undoubtedly have found that by sixth year they start learning to cast their spell wordlessly. Furthermore, by now he would have seen at least some adults perform said wordless magic as the adults in the series are usually so inclined (except for the unforgivables and other more powerful spellwork, or spells used by the more inept practitioners).
| Everetza chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
Loved it! You're really advancing the plot and the teaching methods were believable and fun to read. I'm looking forward to seeing where this goes :)
| Arwen Amorita chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
Yay! I'm so excited that you've posted the next chapter so soon after I finished reading the previous one! Or rather, 'Yay! I'm so excited that I started reading this story after you've written so much of it and that I just happened to finish the previous chapter just before the new chapter was posted!
You know, if never occurred to me that another option to the "magic is being diluted" theory is that magic is just fading away...so I look forward to where you take this story!
| Harriverse chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
Great update...complicated, but there you go. As if Harry hasn't enough troubles already? Would Dumbledore know any of this? Would Malfoy senior?
| Quincy80 chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
Wow... just wow. You conveyed emotion perfectly in this chapter. I was getting twitchy reading this.
Rushing to find data to draw conclusions from - bad idea, but still I want to know now!
| Karg42 chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
Further proof that magic MAKES NO SENSE!
Yay for cocky-Harry; he's sure of himself to the point it's a(in my opinion) minor flaw. Totally something your Harry would do. Also, Draco's game of Who's Who was great and it even worked the way it was supposed to. I have no idea how long that must have taken you to puzzle out.
As for a new summary, I'll give it a shot. Maybe you'll find something you like.
"Harry Potter tries to solve the mysteries of the magical world...with SCIENCE! Scientist-Harry goes through Hogwarts creating allies to assist in his quest of discovery. Who knows; he might just learn something."
| DarkHeart81 chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
Good chapter, though I can't help feeling that there is one question that Harry should answer first as its answer could tell him whether or not magic is fading from the world. That question is where did the ability to use magic come from? Was it a specific group of people or is the ability to use magic a result of a random genetic mutation? If it's the former than magic fading from the world is possible as the bloodlines become more diluted while the later would mean it is something that could occur with anyone, explaining the existence of muggleborns as well as why witches and wizards are more likely to produce a magical offspring while still being a chance that their child is unable to use magic.
Also, I think it's worth consideration as to whether or not history's recollections of power wielded by Merlin and The Founders of Hogwarts are remembered as they were or if their acts have not been exaggerated over time, much like a minnow caught by a fisherman can become a large 10 pound bass after a few beers and retellings.
Then there's always the possibility that magic is fading, but only from the UK, as a result of blood purity issues. By only reproducing with what they perceive as purebloods, in many cases inbreeding because of it, they are weakening themselves while most of the rest of the world, not constrained by blood purists, suffer no such decline. This would be supported if the Potter and Dumbledore lines have held few if any blood purist fallacies and married muggles and squibs and rejecting marriages to those that could already be considered family.
Of course it could just be that purebloods have become lazy and complacent, not taxing themselves and just doing what's needed to get by and therefor rarely accomplishing anything grand, while those like Harry or Dumbledore or Voldemort choose or are forced to go past perceived limits when those limits are all within ones mind and not a true limitation for any witch or wizard.
And lastly, I can't help wondering how spell creation works within the HP-verse in this fic. If performing a spell truly is all about a specific wand movement and indication and has nothing to do with the caster's knowledge, or lack there of, then how did any spells come to be? I can't imagine a random person saying random things in a random manner while performing random movements of a random bit of wood infused with a random bit of flora or fauna is conducive to spell creation. It's far more likely that magic was performed without invocation or wand at one time and that spells and wands were made to make casting easier to teach by giving someone words and movement to focus on along with a demonstration to show what the end result would be.
I think I rambled on long enough, lol. I hope that all made sense as I'm half asleep right now and I hope you did not take this in a negative way as I did not intend it as such.
| Peanuckle chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
Lots of fun this chapter. Their reaction to the conclusion that magic was fading really drew me in. I'm also curious about the test Harry's thinking of. My guess is that he's going to do a Punnet square or some sort of genetic testing.
I think that it would be a useful thing if he started a testing drive, where they collected blood samples of many wizards and many muggles, and looked for a common difference between the two to find the genetic expression responsible for magical ability. That would be awesome, because then they could turn muggles into wizards with a bit of gene-therapy.
| Heidinanookie chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
huh? I can't believe that you are devoted enough to "Harry Potter" to write fanfic if you haven't even read all the books. Writing fanfiction takes a lot of love for the fandom and I don't quite understand how you could love "Harry Potter" enough to write about it (and something as massive and complicated as this story, at that!) and still not want to finish the books RIGHT THIS INSTANT.
Anyway, I like how Harry is turning into more of a child now, seeming more than a little naive and, well, arrogant (or rather, damn sure of himself), but also looking closer to his actual age now.
| Idontknow chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
I don't know. I simply don't know how to describe my amazement at this wonderful story. You simply have to update soon! THis was AMAZING! I am totally now going to leave a review every single time! I Love this story and this chapter was F #$%&g AMAZING! ; )
| Baughn chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
It wouldn't make much of a story, and there are reasons to think it's false (sorting hat..), but aren't they forgetting one possibility?
The stories of past wizards might be exaggerated.
| MiiRsEnd chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
That was really good. Much more scientific method than the previous chapters. I like the experimentation.
Also I would like to put forth another hypothosis. More charmed items take up more magic. Only so much magic available in the world less to use for everyday spells.
| Furcas chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
Ok, that was brilliant.
From the Author's Notes:
"This is the most sciencey section which I have planned for the whole fic, so please don't panic about this being the start of an accelerating downward trend."
Actually, I'm disappointed that this isn't a trend. More sciencey chapters, please!
| Garlak chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
Couldn't another possibility be that there are now MORE wizards, but there is the same "amount" of magic as always, meaning there is less to go around with for everybody.
Or maybe that old spells fade away, not indicative of weaker magic, but just because they, well -do-. Fade away, that is.
Or maybe, because there are now MORE spells around then there were before, each spell has less individual power?
| deitarionSSokolow chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
Wonderful chapter. I've always wanted to see someone explore the nature of the decline of wizarding society in depth, but I could never think up a plot to do it properly and I never ran into anyone else who'd done it either.
| Taure chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
Hypothesis: historians and stories exaggerate the power of past wizards, and in actual fact wizards are just as, if not more, powerful than they were 800 years prior.
| Katara97 chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
Their reactions to the "magic is disappearing" theory was hilarious. Great job!
| More science needed chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
Perhaps it's Harry should look at the bats? See if they're all identical and if not what differences there are between them. If he had a fully staffed bio lab he could check the genes of the various bats. Hmm...
Harry should probably find an animal that learns things from it's environment/fellow creatures and make a few of them (and get someone else to make a few of them) to see if the created animal already has these things in memory.
He should also investigate why magical animals (even unintelligent ones) do not seem to approach muggles and muggle areas.
Depending on how all these things go Harry may be able to conclude that the world was created by an intelligent deity who bears more than a passing resemblance to a middle aged English women. :D
| BerserkSlash chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
Awesome ideas, goes way beyond the usual 'OMG the purebloods are inbreeding! That must be making them lose their magic!'
| DaveInACave chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
Ah now THERE is something that would light one heaping hell of a fire under the arse of the pureblood purists. Another thing to consider is exactly HOW they know that magic is getting weaker on a more quantitative basis. I mean all they've got is qualitative unsubstantiated claims. But for getting Draco on board with the scientific method something like this is one hell of a start.
It'll be interesting to see where you actually do go with the Truth of magic. By that I mean the ACTUAL basis in your story, not necessarily exactly what Harry and Co. discover.
Awesome work as usual :)
| Team503 chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
I did NOT see this coming. OUTSTANDING.
This is my favorite fanfic of all time. Period. Ever.
PS - Teach me, Yoda?
| NicNacs chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
Another great chapter! I liked the slight panic at Draco's alternative hypothesis. Keep up the good work.
| Wind172 chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
This is getting interesting. I'm looking forward to the next few chapters.
By the way what is your estimate of the British Isles Wizarding Population?
| twilight's reflection chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
I see what you mean by making the obstacles greater.
Excellent chapter, I look forward to the next one greatly.
| fontgoddess chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
I wish I had learned the concepts in this chapter in high school science class. Even in elementary school. I feel like all my science fair projects must have science observations rather than experiments with a falsifiable hypothesis.
I've never had a teacher who has so thoroughly gone over how to sufficiently and scientifically figure out ways in which you might be wrong. They should teach this to children as soon as possible. "What could make what you believe untrue?"
If more people knew how to think this way, we'd have a much better chance of solving all sorts of problems — not just scientific problems either. It's one thing to do science projects where you just don't know what will happen, it's quite another to really hammer your hypothesis to see whether it stands up.
I feel a lot like Malfoy feels in this chapter. Suddenly I'm wondering whether assumptions I've made are untrue, and how I can test them for veracity. It's honestly quite exciting (although maybe not for Malfoy) because the world might be completely different than I thought it was and all I have to do is look at it differently to see a completely different universe.
Story-wise this chapter is especially compelling. It went without saying in the canon of the series that the blood purists were being racist fascists. It is such a fascinating idea to wonder what if they were right, what if magic was changing, lessening, or becoming more dilute. How did no one in the actual series get more than anecdotal evidence about how magic was changing?
This also hits on the issues that I've wondered about in more than one fantasy series. Where does magic come from? Is it matter or energy? Is it a finite or infinite resource? Is magic even measurable? What are the effects of using magic beyond the intended effects? Obviously you've wondered about some of these things too, because you're looking at these questions within your story.
| dougal74 chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
I have enjoyed this story in the most part - you are a good writer.
But, I find I have lost patients with the story as it is, as it seems to be going no where; apart from Harry trying different experiments.
Is there any correlation at all between this story and canon - all I've got up to now is that Harry is getting frustrated and angry because he seemingly can't catagorize magic. Is anything strange gonna happen, a stone, a three headed dog, VOldemort in one guise or another.
Chapter wise, your story is now as long as PS and word count is probably double, yet we see no real development in the story itself.
| nxkris chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
wow, i love that harry now has draco scared that magic is disappearing from the world, i hope you actually go with one of those options and show what steps harry leads believers to take. update soon.
| Luiz4200 chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
Would people trust Draco? Please update.
| LWCyan chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
"Find portraits who knew a married Squib couple well enough to know the names of all their children. Write down the name of each child and whether that child was a wizard, a Squib, or a Muggle."
Squib couples can't have Squib children, because Squibs have at least one magical parent by definition. But -
- according to Wikipedia, Squibs can see Hogwarts but Muggles can't, so there's at least one test that can distinguish Muggles and Squibs without knowing anything about ancestry. Hmm... can Muggle-born Squibs exist?
| Puidwen chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
| WaxWings chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
This was a very enjoyable chapter, the interaction with Hermione and Draco was very good. The wait for this chapter was hard, but I guess I am just impatient, and I am happy to have received such a good update.
I thought it was a bit odd that the table was mentioned to be light both in weight and mass. I wondered why Harry would check both, did he expect the acceleration die to gravity to be different for some reason? Then it hit me as a bit of fridge brilliance, the table had the appearance of being heavy, but when it seemed to be light, Harry might have suspected some magic in play, and decided to see if the mass disagreed with the normal weight. I wonder how he estimated the mass. Did he check whether the table had an unusual amount of inertia for its weight?
This actually brings up a interesting issue with the featherlight charm. Does it work on objects by reducing the effect of gravity on the object, or by reducing the effects of its mass. I could forsee some interesting effects if worked by reducing effect of gravity on the object while leaving the mass alone.
It is funny to see that Hermione stll seems to believe that she and Harry are the protagonists of a Romantic Comedy. Of all the genres that this story could belong to, it would be interesting if she was the one proven correct.
Concerning the nature of spells. When I was exposed to the Harry Potter series, I too was of the opinion that it did not make sense that spells at a fundamental level were a product of the words and wand motions, that there had to be more to it. In such a world spells are not some much created as discovered. They are some aspect of reality which had not previously been seen, but swish and flick and there you are! My personal fan theory has always been that a spell is created by a magic user who has made a schema of some sort which describes the spell. Perhaps this schema takes the some of some physical object.
Hermione makes a very good point about the looking into the existing wizarding literature. Perhaps the naive view was worth exploring, but now that Harry's hypothesis has been disproven, he should see what the wizards say about the nature of spells - especially about how spells are created.
I think you did a very good job describing Draco's transformation from a simple pureblood bigot to one who has discovered an alternate, perhaps even mor terrifying theory. It was fun to see the silly reasons Draco came up with for rejecting Harry's paper, and for him to have some empathy with Snape.
I have never thought about it before, but I guess I would be part of the forgotten knowledge camp. When I read the series, I never had the impression that wizards were becoming weaker, rather, that there was knowledge that had been lost.
I like the use of the portraits in this story. I think that they are a resource that are rarely used in canon or fan fiction, but have the potential to offer much.
You still seem to be channeling Terry Pratchett with your description of the cowls and their practical utility.
Thank you for the story, I always look forward to updates.
| Darchias chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
How exciting, I definately look forward to the conclusion of this experiment.
| Kathleen chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
GREAT chapter! Loved the experiments and figuring out how to test hypotheses. Truly brilliant work. I look forward to the next one.
| LionessAmaya chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
Just to begin with a little response to your author's notes, I wasn't trying to complain about the summary, just saying it could be better. I don't know how to summarize (sp?) your fic- that's your job. I'm not saying it's BAD, just that it's a bit vague... Oh, and I noticed that you got rid of the "typical review" bit. . My respect for you just went up considerably- there aren't many authors, particularly GOOD ones, that bother taking advice like that.
Anyway, this chapter was very well done. I'm afraid I can't give you quite as long of a review as I did last time (assuming you still remember me among your legions of reviewers :D) but I'd like to take the time to pick apart Harry a little bit more, as I didn't quite get the chance last time, before I go into the events of the chapter. .
To me, the most realistic part of the Harry you have created is his flaws. Hubris, I think would be the word for it? He's always determined he's right, and it's refreshing to see that for all he's a scientist, he miscalculates at times. It would seem that he might have inherited that from his foster-father, Verres? From his few appearances, it's obvious that pride is also his main flaw. At any rate, I adore reading about your version of our protagonist, and that is the highest praise I can give you as your reader.
Moving on, I was stunned by this chapter. I had some difficulty following it, but it was worth it. I really must start looking at the site shown on your profile and attempt to educate myself about these things slightly- rational thinking isn't a part of the Grade 7 curriculum, I'm afraid. Harry was very... I don't know, but I could follow what he was saying and thinking quite well. Draco being slightly out of his depth was also well-done, and the parts about him "playing the game with his father" delihgted me beyond reason. His experiment with Hermione was amusing, and I snickered quite a bit when he started banging his head, something that I tend to do myself when things make no sense. I have never seen the concept of magic fading away used as a viable alternative to the pure blood theory, and it definitely made me think. Draco's reaction to it was realistic, as well, and the line about Death Eaters was well placed and felt even a bit chilling; his idea of them, as heroes, is very much realistic and in character and goes against what we, as readers, would normally consider as we first saw them from Harry's point of view.
At any rate, it is here that I take my leave; once again, I would like to end by stating that I am in awe of your talent. Wait, I don't think I did get around to saying that last time; at any rate, it is true. I think that I shall have to put a recommendation for this fic on my profile. It has that quality that makes you think about it, forces the reader to do some of the work. I adore it. .
P.S. Please forgive me for any grammar errors- I noticed quite a few typos in my last review. Fanfiction is being stubborn again and sending me back up in my reivew whenever I'm not typing, leaving me with a flashing screen and no way to see what I'm typing. .
| strelt chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
MOAR SCIENCE PLEZ!
"What warm!Harry thinks will often be a good pattern to follow yourself" - this sounds _incredibly_ arrogant, you might want to remove it as people can be put off from an otherwise brilliant story due to this.
Change it to:
"What warm!Harry thinks will often be what I would think"
| Eclipse1234 chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
Magic is dying! The wands into sticks of wood part was pretty amazing, I can see how wizards would be totally lost without their way of life. Their entire world would collapse!
| jodic chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
I really like your story, it's well written and very original. looking forward to reading more.
thank you for writing!
| another anon chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
Though Harry needs to do one more experiment before he can be certain of his results with Hermoine (that it is indeed part of the universe and not in her mind*). He needs to get someone who can only speak languages unrelated to English and get them to try the spells.
* It could even be that magic is based on consensus (like a consensus reality), with only wizards counting towards the consensus (this should probably be tested too!).
| OA chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
THe one problem I have with this chapter: If you had just banged your head on bricks you can't talk very well... It's not like you talk gibberish, you just don't talk for at least a that counts even more if you keep hitting your head while trying to talk... I know
| ultra dragon chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
dude, just wow, magic fading away that's interesting really interesting, i wonder were it to be true could it connect to the fact that you need to pronounce a spell i an specific way for it to work because the lack of power? after all it's possible to cast a spell without words how strong those spells are? that is a bit questionable...
amazing job on this chapter, l could feel the panic from those two radiating to me...
| AngelForm chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
You have put an awful lot of thought into both questions.
When is Harry going at ask how spells are discovered?
| Loonynamelass chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
Ah! Thank goodness I've only got to wait another day for an update! This is so magnificently done, and I'm full to the brim with anticipation... And Harry really is quite a genius experimentalist.
And the "of course" was hilarious. Actually, anything with Rationalist!Harry and Hermione near each other in this story is hilarious.
Rita Skeeter, involved already? Well, Harry's done enough in this week to attract the beetle a few years earlier...
| Raven3182 chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
Excellent! I love Hermione; I think that she's the most entertaining character in this story. I love that she's able to pose such a challenge to Harry in a consistent way. Seeing the two of them interact with each other is just great.
I also enjoyed the frantic energy that the Bayesian Conspiracy acts with. Running out of the room to quickly run their experiments as if the world will end if they don't. Great fun.
I look forward to more! Thanks for writing!
| firedraygon chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
Hahaha, oh gosh, I just love these two parallel 'secret societies', though I do like the Bayesian Conspiracy more. The whole pretend to be pretending thing is awesome. I'm also looking forward to how Harry goes about dealing with Rita. Please do write more soon!
| Withering Soul chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
For a new reader coming along, having a small blurb for your current chapter can be annoying.
Harry_Potter That should be a short enough summary for them. If it's too long, well really your story can stand alone without them knowing anything. They can just be suprised etc. when they find out about Voldemort. Just remind those readers that don't know that there's a HP lexicon if they need to look up certain things/creatures that you use that they don't know (like with the time turner)
I think your current summary is pretty good. Maybe change "Petunia married a scientist" to "Harry was raised by a scientist"
| Xuenay chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
Good chapter. I do admit that I was a bit disappointed when you said that this would be /the/ most sciency chapter in the whole fic, as I was really enjoying the way they were starting to study magic in a scientific way. But maybe you just meant that there won't be as much explicit exposition about how science works, which is cool.
"For the first time in his life, Draco realized why there were Death Eaters."
This was an unexpected gem. One of my fave things about the last books was that Draco grew from a cardboard cut-out to a real character with a realistic personality. Even in general, I love it when the bad guys are actually given plausible and realistic motives. Here, you've given them to not only Draco, but to all of the Death Eaters, which was never really done in any of the books. The mudblood thing isn't just random racism: they actually believe that they're trying to save the way magic works. That's awesome.
| Caznikk chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
This is a great story so far, sort of a mix of funny and adventure and drama and scientific stuff. Keep up the good work, I'll be watching for the next update!
| Entropic Specter chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
Aah! Finally, a new chapter. I was starving, here.
Magic is fading? What a nice hypothesis Draco blurted out on his first try there. This will be quite interesting, methinks.
In any case, keep writing and please update soon. (Tomorrow? Great!)
| Seriouslydull chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
I have to be brutally honest and say I have no idea what's happening in this fanfiction. Not that I don't like it, but rather, I don't understand it. Having said that, it is amazingly original and that is my favourite part. So keep it up :)
| VN chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
a typo: "be prepared do what we can" - "be prepared to do what we can"
| PiecesOfSerendipity chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
I like this story but I think it was better at the beginning.
This story is very.. stuffy, if that's the right word. It feels like you've overcomplicated it and just jammed a bit of everything into a much smaller space. This story has humour, drama, adventure, a lot of angst, a bit of mystery, hurt/comfort, tragedy, friendship, horror and even some sci-fi. You've tried to include everything and it's just not working for me. It feels as if this story is always being pulled in several directions and it's ruining the pace. Something is always happening, which messes with the flow. If somehting isn't happening, then something angsty or philosopical is happening.
Also, this story is constantly changing between humour and some sort of dark drama/angst. Sometimes this is really good and adds a whole new element to the story - but sometimes, it's jsut tiring.
Sorry it's pretty harsh and I actually do love this story - I love all the theories Harry comes out with as they are extremely interesting - and those moment where I can relate to Harry. This is just my opinion :)
| Sorrowful Stone chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
Scary! Exciting! More please!
| Jaxtopher chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
Wow. That is an unexpected direction. I approve wholeheartaidly. Nice take on the "Magic was stronger way back when!" classical story element. Of course, I should have seen it coming - you consistently spin awesome out of not taking genre features for granted.
| bakapervert chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
This story become more stupid I think. Harry is really stupid loser who talk big without result and his pride is so big. It make me skip so many part lately because watching Harry is just so pathetic and pitiful.
| gwern chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
Then Harry Potter spat something that was probably an extremely bad word if you'd been raised by Muggles. "I didn't think of that!" said Harry Potter. "And I should have. The magic goes away. Damn, damn, damn!"
Hm, and just think, this past week on Less Wrong someone brought up Niven's _The Magic Goes Away_ universe as a rare example of a magic universe that could plausibly have turned into our own.
| what are you even saying chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
I guess it hasn't occurred to them that the tales of Merlin and the Four Founders were exaggerated? Oh well, that's one of probably hundreds of reasonable explanations that they haven't come up with yet. Doesn't mean they won't.
The second half of this chapter was far more interesting than the first. I have a surprising amount of sympathy for your Harry, given what an arrogant little genius he is. I hope he gets ahead of Hermione in some way/shape/form in the near future.
Looking forward to more.
| DigiEmissary chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
I greatly enjoy the Harry-Hermione interactions. Please do more of them.
| lilyoftheval5 chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
I just so loved reading this. Makes me think...
Speaking of which:
"If the portrait only knows the name of the wizarding children, not the names of all the children, then don't write down any data from that couple."
Why not use the information the info portraits have and check the archives?
And Draco should check his family's records, find out the squib ratio and track down their descendants (if the Malfoys did let them live).
| PBrules chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
Yay you're back! Your chapters always leave me feeling fuzzy headed but I love them.
I can't wait to see how their investigations go...
| csad21 chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
I love this story, it gets more and more insane in every chapter! :)
The best parts in my opinion?
[ Hermione had asked if Harry really thought he was smarter, at eleven years old and just over a month into his Hogwarts education, than all the other wizards in the world who disagreed with him.
Harry had said the following exact words:
"Of course." ]
[ "But it is cute. It's such a boy thing to do."
"Aw, you say the most romantic things."
Thud. Thud. Thud. ]
[ "Walking on the moon is power! Being a great wizard is power! There are kinds of power that don't require me to spend the rest of my life pandering to morons!" ]
Harry's arrogance really is incredibly cute :)
[ In that moment Draco had realized that there was something deeply wrong with Harry Potter's brain, and anyone who tried Legilimency on it would probably never come back out again. ]
Oh, how true that is for the Harry in this story. :) In fact, this and the quote before could probably sum up the whole story.
Can't wait to see what to expect from the experimenting duo next time. I mean, how much more insane could it get? Haven't you used up the quota on that yet?
| Toki Mirage chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
"What if magic was fading?"
*twin looks of horror*
XD That was a hilarious moment, there. But the meeting of Harry and Draco still rests gentle in my thoughts. *dreamy sigh* Now THAT scene was PRICELESS.
| V2Blast chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
Excellent chapter. A bit sciencey, but it's nice to see Harry questioning the same sort of thing I wondered about: the necessity for proper pronunciation of spells. I also liked the alternate theory he and Draco came up with for the weakening of magic over time. Best chapter yet.
| Nancy Lebovitz chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
I enjoyed this a lot, but am surprised this might be enough science to scare people. Is it really?
Very funny, and I appreciate this version of Hermione.
A slightly different hypothesis about the decline of magic- it's the result of formalized education. It's not that spells are being lost, it's that the imagination and ambitiousness needed for great spells are being squelched.
| Balatros chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
What a terrifying thought, that magic would be leaving the world. Of course your thought has occurred in several other stories, one of the more famous ones being "American Gods" in which a loss of belief indicated a loss of power. Or that an Event of note would have inspired magic in the first place, either way I eagerly anticipate where-ever you decide to take the story
| Tiky3000 chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
Wow. Just wow.
| Not-A-Spy chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
Hey, thanks for starting this up again. I've been waiting for it. I know it's tough to write sometimes (writer's block), but I like this story so far!
| R. Donald James Gauvreau chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
This is brilliant. Poor Draco, everything blue has suddenly turned yellow with stripes of orange.
| JoshuaZ chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
Excellent chapter again. Harry's focus on Mendelian genetics is a nice touch (I'm pretty sure that's the blood secret he's talking about). Minor nitpick - "If you didn't tell her at all what the spell was supposed to do, it would stop working." - That's inconsistent with canon. In particular, Harry tests spells from the Half-Blood Prince's book without knowing what they do.