|Reviews for Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality|
| Guest chapter 23 . 6/30/2022
Review of Chapter 22 continued:
Sorry this software cut me off. That or I misclicked. Blasted tiny iPhone. Another possibility is that there have always been amazing Merlin style anomalies, but they occurred at a consistent rate, and we just remember the 1 in 1000 people, because who writes stories about normies.
This is what happens when two 11 year olds ask literally no one else for ideas. Arrrgggg. Thud. Thud. Thud.
| Emperor Morde chapter 23 . 6/22/2022
Merlin is a fuckin scumbag for creating the Interdict of Merlin
| MulticoloredFlame chapter 23 . 3/13/2022
Science. The power of science. That's all.
| James Birdsong chapter 23 . 1/7/2022
You had me worried there. Another great chapter.
| ossifrage chapter 23 . 10/18/2021
"On the plus side, the attempt had destroyed the hacksaw."
| you matter chapter 23 . 8/10/2021
Oh noooooo, I hate seeing Draco cry and I hate seeing Harry cry and they both cried this chapter :'(
| Guest chapter 23 . 12/21/2019
I am loving this fic. You are a great writer but I think I might not be correct but you got somethings wrong about the concept of heredity. If we go into the basics our characteristics matter on the dominant genes in both cases, this was the basic conclusion of Mendel's reaserch.
| TheGirlWithCurls chapter 23 . 7/12/2019
A quarter of the children magic, a quarter muggle, and a half squib?! False! It only mean there is a 25% chance the child would be magic and so on. Every time you make a zygote, you dont choose genes from the same cell. You get new cells every time. Thats why people can make more than two children. Its like flipping a coin. If you get heads the first time you wont necessarity get tails the second time. The chances of the children of squibs being magical are independent of each other! You can have all magical in one family and all muggle in another. That's why humans aren't a good example when lookinng at geanology because not all genes in a germ cells become offspring.
Sorry for the rant but I'm a Biology Major and reading this infuriated me especially since I absolutely loved Harry's brain in this fic. I rant because I care.
| Majerus chapter 23 . 7/4/2019
Oh boy... well, that escalated ridiculously fast, and what a mess left in the wake.
| IamZort chapter 23 . 5/24/2019
The statistics of this experiment is messed up. I think.
We are testing single sheet vs multiple.
Single means 25% magical, 75% nonmagical.
Multiple means we introduce magical strength which follows a normal distribution. The normal distribution could have the same spread 25%-75% if we match the variance of the normal distribution to the lower bound of magical strength that still makes you magical. That is not an unlikely assumption and certainly does not lead us to accepting the Nullhypothesis (single sheet) at any normal significance level.
Nö the Data is not enough to decide this case. What we really would need to test is the variable magical strength. Does the magical strength of squib-borns follow a uniform distribution (suggesting single sheet) or does it follow its part in the normal distribution (ergo magical descendants of squibs would tend to have weak magical strength compared to half- and purebloods)?
Hermione is an argument, but is only one outlier out of 10 muggleborns which can not lead to an acceptance of the Nullhypothesis (single sheet) at a comfortable significance level.
| IamZort chapter 23 . 5/24/2019
This probably has been said before, but I feel the need to be anal about this.
I don‘t think the gathered data about the descendants of squibs supports the single place hypothesis more so than the multiple place hypothesis.
The Alternative Hypothesis (multiple place inheritance) would be a normal distribution of the variable magical power consisting of three Intervalls for magical, squibs and muggles. It is not unlikely that the intervals could roughly be at the 25 and 75 quantile, ergo leading to a 25% 50% 25% expected value of distribution over the intervals of magical strength.
The only way to test these hypothesis against each other is to actually obtain some value of magical strength and test if magical strength is uniformly distributed among wizards descending from squibs, or if it follows that part of the normal distribution, ergo descendants would tend to be magically on the weaker side of the magical population.
The only real argument supporting his single sheet hypothesis Harry has is Hermione and that could very well be a single outlier, given that there are about 10 muggleborns in their year, the existence of a single outlier like this does not seem unlikely and certainly would not justify accepting the Nullhypothesis to any normal significance level.
| hisnhers chapter 23 . 5/19/2019
I started this fic 3 yrs ago, as a means of distracting myself from chemotherapy, for MS not cancer, and of course! due to chemo fog, very accurate description by the way, I never made it past ch 20? 21? I majored in Chemistry so, you would think I could follow this fic at least a little, right? It was as if I was reading in Russian, a language I haven't learned... yet!
So, after 3 yrs of chemo I finally come out of the fog and decided to restart this fic from the beginning. I have loved it! My favorite parts, so far are any interaction between Harry and M. McG! Hilarious! I swear I can literally see Dame Maggie Smith trying so hard not to laugh or goggle at Harry. Too funny.
Enjoyed this fic until the end of this chapter... Sigh... Shame that the interaction between Draco and Harry took this particular turn, the one after their first real scientific experiment and Draco didn't like the results. Trying not to spoil it for anyone who may see this review. Yeah, that chapter ending! Instead of laughing hysterically as I have through every chapter thus far, I have a huge lump in my throat. I am one of those people who immerses themselves in a story. All too literally at times! Lol!
Very glad I restarted this story. My daughter recommended this fic originally. Just wanted to tell you how much I am enjoying this. The hilarity, the angst and the real journey that Draco, hopefully! will be making soon. Daughter is encouraging me to continue this. Swears it's one of the best fics she's ever read. So, see you in the next chapter.
Thanks for reading my rambling review!
| Wicked.A chapter 23 . 3/27/2019
this chapter was great as well
| Guest chapter 23 . 1/3/2019
Your hypothesis on magical genetics fails to take into account the fact that Squibs have been known to show up in pureblood families rather frequently. Mutations are possible, of course, but not terribly likely, and there do seem to be an awful lot of squibs.
| Surfwriter chapter 23 . 10/31/2018
Hello, I've read up to chapter 23 and I like the story so far. Thanks for making this story
| AnimeVampire chapter 23 . 10/14/2018
Ok, a little off topic, but I love that the plot of the 2nd half of this chapter keeps coming back to “its too late- He’s already a scientist.” In this context it makes sense, sure, but this is just such a dramatic handling of it, i adore it
And it really breaks my heart that Harry thought he couldn’t use the time turner. That’s just horrible, yet it feels so right too. Sooooo well written, thank you for writing it!
| KateOwO chapter 23 . 7/8/2018
Sorry. The more I think of it the more flaws I caught from your scientific method. The explanation on genetic traits is wrong in a very messy way. This bothers me a lot, and I don't think I can be as impressed by your science stuff as I used to be when I read the first 20 chapters of this fic. But still the plot is fascinating as always.
| AlenDarkStar chapter 23 . 7/7/2018
A interesting experiment, but ends bad, for Draco's ideology and for Harry.
| KateOwO chapter 23 . 7/2/2018
I have to say that the explanation of genetics is quite...pseudoscience-ly. A trait like the power of magic must be controlled by more than one gene (at least it is an incomplete dominant since there are three distinguished phenotype already) , and if it's a polygenetic trait things would be much much more complicated. Forty pieces of data are far from enough.
| Guest chapter 23 . 5/22/2018
| TheLoud chapter 23 . 1/29/2018
The story is brilliant, but the genetic theory doesn’t work. If witches and wizards are homozygous recessive at the magic gene, a witch and wizard couldn’t produce a squib. Where would the allele for non-magic come from? Spontaneous mutation? Some genes are very susceptible to mutation, like if they contain transposons, so that might account for it, but there are other possible explanations.
Strength of magical ability might be controlled by very many genes, like skin color. Then there might be different genes that turn magical ability on or off, like albinism.
I have my own theory that magic inheritance has nothing to do with DNA at all, but is instead controlled by capricious spirits of some sort, that give differing amounts of magical ability to developing fetuses according to their own rules, or their own whims. I think this would fit better in the magical world as described by Rowling. There’s no reason it should follow standard genetics more than than standard physics.
| myafroatemydog chapter 23 . 9/15/2017
This was a great chapter. I wonder what Draco will do now
| ack1308 chapter 23 . 4/6/2017
I see what you did there.
Malfoy really doesn't like being forced to face facts, does he?
| Guest chapter 23 . 4/1/2017
| Rambling Drabble chapter 23 . 9/23/2016
1. Manipulating the portraits with pathos... gg Draco.
2. I'm almost positive Less Wrong has read Full Metal Alchemist as well. The Interdict of Merlin reminds me so much of how powerful alchemy is kept a secret. Not to mention McGonagall's warnings on human transfiguration, and what happens later.
3. I love these early chapters, when everything is still light and innocent.
| fateme chapter 23 . 9/21/2016
Wait, squibs are born to witches and means their parents both have two papers that say magic, how do they get one paper that says magic and one that says this logic wizard parents should only have wizard children but that's not what happens in reality.
| blood-doll-aishiteru chapter 23 . 9/18/2016
Only problem is how can two wizards have a squib child? Unless there are other factors, I'm not very knowledgeable about genetics. Anyway, very interesting chapter.
| greycat chapter 23 . 8/21/2016
[ Who else was there for Draco now? Dumbledore? After what he'd done? Draco would sooner have been burned alive. ]
Hah. The first time I read this, I assumed "he" in the third sentence was "Draco", referring to Draco's gom jabbar spell. But it's really "Dumbledore", referring to what Draco believe Dumbledore did...
This is an awesome chapter.
| Happy chapter 23 . 5/26/2016
You are so brilliant...
| Leahelisabeth chapter 23 . 4/26/2016
Just started reading this and with two words you have completely blown my mind...gom jabbar. I don't know if you intended to link The family of Malfoy with the Bene Gesserit. It might just be a geeky reference. I like to throw those in too...but MY GOD! The Bene Gesserit absolutely could be the result of scientific theory applied to magic. I need to go think about this some more...
| Beast Rabban chapter 23 . 3/22/2016
Gom Jabbar? Really? You doubt that Harry is human? Good! So do I!
| Guest chapter 23 . 1/30/2016
Draco the scientist having a bit of an existential crisis. Love it.
| Guest chapter 23 . 1/29/2016
I would like to let you know that this fanfic was what let me pass my ninth grade biology final
| The Anguished One chapter 23 . 1/26/2016
Draco did not enjoy having his entire belief system be proven wrong by his friend. While he went much further than he should have, the reaction doesn't surprise me. I wonder if the two can reconcile, and if Draco will be punished (assuming someone makes Harry reveal what happened).
| Montara chapter 23 . 1/22/2016
Gom jabbar :)) A tribute to Frank Herbert :D
I can't believe Draco left Harry with that pain! I wonder, if Harry wouldn't have managed to bring Flitwick, if he would have hated Draco?
I mean, he can forgive him now that he didn't suffer so much, but what if he'd have felt all that pain, for who knows how long?!
| Guest chapter 23 . 1/18/2016
Harold Shea ! LMAO !
| Guest chapter 23 . 12/29/2015
You have no idea how much I love you for using Carl Sagan's dragon in this fan fic.
| WatchingTheWatchman chapter 23 . 12/6/2015
Draco is a psychopath... That's terrifying. Or at least somewhat of a sadist; that sort of torture spell is vicious. Thinking that he would have been happier if it was Pansy is just creepy.
With the discovery they made, meaning that both of Hermione's parents were Squibs, she must have had wizard ancestors. They can't be too far back in the family tree either, because the probability of a Squib and Muggle having a Squib kid is only 1/4. So the wizarding blood would probably die out within a few generations after the wizard parent. So wouldn't some Muggleborns have family stories of their witch or wizard ancestor?
| Billy Greg Nephew chapter 23 . 11/21/2015
| marduk-report chapter 23 . 11/6/2015
Dat dune reference though.
| Quagmire Blood chapter 23 . 10/19/2015
Gom Jabbar! What a lovely Dune reference. Ah such a classic novel. Now I have to go re-read that series soon. Thank you for reminding me of that excellent novel!
| ShadowLDrago chapter 23 . 10/15/2015
He did try to warn Draco, losing for real HURTS.
| P. P. P chapter 23 . 9/13/2015
I sorta feel a tiny bit bad for Draco, but at least now he knows that his prejudice is scientifically false, which I wish could be said of all prejudice.
| Guest chapter 23 . 8/20/2015
1 problem, if there was only 1 magic allea, then how would here be squibs born to wizards?
| Zyxis chapter 23 . 8/13/2015
This chapter was two things. It was wonderful, and it was terrible. But it was those two things in all the best ways. I love what you're doing with this.
| Rokmai chapter 23 . 8/12/2015
I think the story, as a whole, started off really well. It felt like a fun, parallel universe, but it also told its own story (made more engaging by the fact that we want to see how and where the paths split). There were hints of minor canon inconsistencies and moments of what I call "fanfictioniness" (such as discussing rape, pop culture, having Harry and Malfoy flirt with each other). But, for the most part, it was engaging and clever.
But, I think starting around chapter 16, the tone turns away from a traditional story with hints of fan fiction, to fan fiction with a mix of parody. Some elements in the beginning feel changed naturally, through something like the butterfly effect. But then characters and events begin to change, not because of the time line's been altered, but because... that's where the author felt like taking the story. It no longer is a story showing "What if Harry had grown up with a different home life?" Instead, it becomes "What if everyone acted differently, and some canon got ignored as needed?"
It's just very clear in reading this that the author wrote and released each chapter separately. This leads to a lot of inconstancy in terms of characters, tone, and plot. It goes for emotional beats it hasn't earned, it tends to mug for the audience when it goes for early Discworld-level parody, and it continually shatters the fantasy that does get built up by insisting on calling out "Muggle references". Not just in terms of scientific theories, which are great, but novels, games, music, news, etc.
I thought it was very promising, at the start, and it was incredibly immersive. Perhaps that was not the tone the author wanted, though. Overall, I just think the work needs to be edited as a whole, and would be much improved by a more consistent voice.
| Ariana lenai chapter 23 . 8/7/2015
I love it so far I was so worried for Harry ur the best xoxoxo I hope you write more!
| Guest chapter 23 . 7/10/2015
I am really enjoying your fanfiction but there is a major scientific flaw in this chapter and i need to point it out. Harry says as his second dna theory that there could be only 2 places where it codes for magic. He said wizards have 2 slips of paper that say magic, squibs have one that says magic and one that says no magic, and muggles have 2 that say no magic. This theory is false because wizards can have squib children. By this theory if both the mother and father were wizards than the child had to be a wizard, but that is false both in your fanfiction and in the hp canon universe. Other than this mistake i am really enjoying the fanfiction its just that this small part bothered me and i had to say something.
| Guest chapter 23 . 5/31/2015
Honestly Draco is so pathetic. He had no right to do that to Harry.
| Concolor44 chapter 23 . 5/22/2015
I really don't think that Harry realized fully how much it would hurt Draco ... the Unbelief. Lucius might, perhaps, have had a clue, but there was no way he could have prepared Draco for the onslaught of a truly revolutionary idea.
This piece is so information-dense that any computer where it's being read automatically becomes the Point of Highest Information in the area.
| PA chapter 23 . 5/19/2015
Oh god. That initial reading of "Harry dropped the remnants of his hacksaw to the ground." scared me for a moment.
| Guest chapter 23 . 5/18/2015
I got the Dune references. Thanks.
| Village-Mystic chapter 23 . 3/22/2015
| hisnhers chapter 23 . 3/20/2015
Draco is so confused and then he lashes out the only way he's ever been taught and hurts Harry. Doesn't excuse it though.
| 4everfictional chapter 23 . 3/13/2015
Yay, a character that actually learns from experience!
| Guest chapter 23 . 3/2/2015
your wizard genetics don't make sense, it can't be mendelian... wizards have squib children on occasion don't they? that'd be like two blue eyed parents having hazel eyed offspring. it works with two squibs(known or muggle raised) but not two wizards
| hemerocallis chapter 23 . 2/17/2015
I am enjoying this story, but agree that the genetic discussion is wrong. Squibs and Muggle are the same if magic is dominant. If magic is recessive, then the genotype of Squibs and Muggles is different, but the phenotype is the same: non-magical. There would be no gradation of magical ability, unless the genetics is more complex than binary Mendelian single-gene inheritance.
I tackled this question is Chapter 41 of my story: Harry Potter Finally Graduates, Part II. I decided that the gene for magic is most likely to be dominant. I did assume and introduce some back-story plot to support that conclusion, but I think it derives from a few factors:
- very few magical folks in Britain, yet there are Muggle-borns who are magical
- we know there are Squibs produced my supposedly pure-blood families
The decline in magical ability, if true, can also be put down to in-breeding among the very small Wizard population and even smaller population of the supposed pure-blood families. Other genetic weaknesses, rather than the binary magic/no-magic gene, could be multiplying in the small gene pool and reducing magical ability. The way to strengthen off-spring when in-breeding leads to progressively feebler off-spring is out-breeding, as in hybrids. Hermione and Voldemort would both be examples of the increased capability of the hybrids produced from breeding with non-magical Muggles, who come from a far wider gene pool without nearly as much in-breeding.
| jegraves chapter 23 . 2/11/2015
Wow. The author displays a surprising amount of ignorance in this chapter.
Potterverse: a Squib is not something halfway between a Muggle and a Witch/Wizard. A Squib is simply defined as any non-magical child of magical parent(s).
Mendelian genetics: in an autosomal recessive inheritance pattern (where you need two of the recessive allele in order to get a certain phenotype - the pattern described in this chapter), it makes no difference to your phenotype whether or not you are a carrier. In other words, if the allele for Muggle, M, was dominant over the allele for Witch/Wizard, w, then there would be no difference in phenotype between carrier Muggles (genotype Mw) and unaffected Muggles (genotype MM).
Furthermore, this wouldn't work as the inheritance pattern for being a witch/wizard, because two magical parents can give birth to a Squib (which, again, just means "non-magical child"). If the ww genotype is both a necessary and sufficient condition for being a witch/wizard, then the child of a witch and a wizard (both ww) would always have the ww genotype, which means the child would always be a witch/wizard.
| Prajit chapter 23 . 1/18/2015
Two questions. If there is only one place in the recipe which makes you wizard then you can be a wizard if you have both magic, magic. Then how are muggle borne created? And how do wizards give bith to squibs. I didn't get this. Please explain.
| Math-lv chapter 23 . 1/11/2015
One little problem in Harry's theory - the marriage of a wizard and a muggle would always produce squibs. Definitely not canon-compliant. And even if your AU was meant to be like that - Malfoy would have known of such a thing as obvious proof of pureblood idealogy.
Rereading the story and just wanted to point this out.
| GingerHannah chapter 23 . 12/25/2014
Great chapter. As soon as Flitwick opened the door I felt like I should have expected that, but I hadn't.
Also, are we imagining magic a a dominant or a recessive gene? This has been plaguing my brain and I can't quite get my head around it.
| OrtyBortorty chapter 23 . 11/22/2014
Belief in belief is a concept that helped initiate my deconversion from Christianity.
| Multipartite chapter 23 . 11/18/2014
I've started reading Luminosity (without having read, or particularly intending to read, Twilight) and this has led to some amusing temporary mental bleedover (pun not intended).
"You should have warned me," Draco said. His voice rose. "You should have warned me!"
"I... I did... every time I told you about the power, I told you about this price. I said, you'll be tormented by the smell of blood. I said this would be the hardest path for you. That this was the sacrifice anyone had to make to become a vampire. I said, what if your ethics says one thing and your stomach says another -"
"You call that a warning?" Draco was screaming now.
"You're awakened as a vampire now, and even if you never learn to use your power, you'll always," Harry gasped, "be looking, at, their, throats -"
| Yadsruth chapter 23 . 11/17/2014
Your genetics hypothesis is bunk. It doesn't account for squibs born to a couple that is a wizard and a witch. It would not happen according to your 'magic only occurs with dual recessive' hypothesis. Just like two blondes could only ever have blond children, two magic folk could only have magic children, so then where do squibs come from (other than you 'they bred with a squib/muggle)? Because squib is a magical term for two magic parents making an up magic baby...
| N. E. Person chapter 23 . 11/10/2014
Yay! Corrupt Draco! :D
| gleamfang chapter 23 . 10/30/2014
I forgot a bit of the plot so I would like to ask, did Harry use the time turner after waiting out the torture in the end or what?
| eriz chapter 23 . 10/25/2014
I'm on chapter 55 on your site.
I would like to say a few things.
First, I understand the cold place that logic can bring you in which Harry fell after the dementor. Not that extreme, however this is the only location I have ever read or heard about that besides my own confused experiences.
Second, I feel like your fiction has turned from the joveal humor about the magic world into a story about high class social war. This perspective could be influenced by other media. So, it is interesting to at least gleam
| Guest chapter 23 . 9/8/2014
I love the idea of converting Draco through science and disproving the pure blood dogma. Unfortunately the genetics explained by Harry does not actually work.
| StackofStories chapter 23 . 8/15/2014
Well, that was sooner than expected but. :)
I wonder what this mean for between Harry and Draco.
Thank God for that time-turner.
I actually feel sorry for the bae, everything he has every been told has been shattered to pieces by one experiment. For the first I think I understand those back in the olden days when scientists came out and disapproved whatever popular theory/law of the day. Like the Earth not being the certain of the Universe or Earth being round. It just makes your world tilt and kinda makes you question everything!
| thepkrmgc chapter 23 . 8/2/2014
nice dune reference with the gom jabar, and its very interesting to see malfoy's in progress character development as he learns the hardest aspect of science first hand.
| Meatball42 chapter 23 . 7/28/2014
If it is true that roughly three quarters of the offspring of magical people and non-magical people are either Squibs or Muggles, and roughly a quarter of those offspring of a magical person and a Squib are Squibs, wouldn't that have been sort of obvious evidence to the people promoting blood purity? Or is Draco just not aware of that evidence being used in their arguments?
| Knut25282 chapter 23 . 6/21/2014
How would you get squibs in pureblood families then? If a witch and a wizard have children, then both can only pass on magical genes.
| ARe chapter 23 . 6/3/2014
Draco's sense of betrayal by Harry Potter, how the tables have turned.
| silverrain-shiningsun chapter 23 . 5/17/2014
Ooh, poor Harry...
| Valery chapter 23 . 4/16/2014
I see the same problem as Dancing on the Edge in Jun 5, 2013.
If both parents have two magic-Yes gen, the child have to have two of them, too. And there couldn't be any squib-child in a two wizard family.
I suppose, that all this squib cases really was a result of adultery with a muggle or a squib. And the wizards never guess, because they know nothing about genetics and history says that it just happens.
And the writer don't say it explicitly because, you know, children read this book too.
| Rapey Lemons chapter 23 . 1/28/2014
FUCK YES SCIENCE
I AM GOING TO MAJOR IN BIOLOGY AND YOU JUST DID THIS OH GOD I LOVE YOU
| Grizzmon chapter 23 . 1/13/2014
And so, he gets out by time travelling again.
| Lemmiwinks-NO chapter 23 . 11/27/2013
Using Harry Potter to teach kids to use the scientific method... brilliant.
| DeletedAccount3498 chapter 23 . 11/16/2013
Wow, this was a brilliant chapter. I love how Harry and Draco's discovery had been fleshed out, I can tell Draco finding out that everything he grew up to believe in was false was a truly character changing moment for him. He was progressed far beyond what the original Draco did in terms of character development, and I find his reaction fitting. As for Draco hurting Harry, I think Draco's reasons for it were beautifully written and justified, and the continual emphasis on how to get out on Harry's part was very realistic, as anyone who was in his situation, would be focused on how to get out.
I think for once in this story, Draco is seen as having power over Harry, and it's nice for a change. I can't wait to read more and find out what Professor Flitwick's response would be, whether Draco would be in denial or not. He could always be oblivated or take a potion to erase his memory, but then he would still expect Harry to teach him science, as he doesn't know the diasterous outcome. And if Harry told him that he couldn't teach it to him because of something that happened so bad he had to have his memory erased, Draco would only be curious to know more, and that curiosity might kill him...
| Neloska chapter 23 . 10/15/2013
Ok didn't finish this chapter, but I gotta write down my confusion. How did that experiment wit the squib children falsifie thesis 2. If anything the experiment proved that thesis correct. Because while it proves that there is no difference between purebloods, halfbloods and muggleborns, it also proves that interbreeding with muggles and squibs does make it more likely to have children that are non-magic. In the case of a wizard having children with a muggle it would be even impossible for them to have anything but squib children. And fewer magical children means fewer outstanding talents and more orally taught knowledge lost. So in a way it weakens the magical society as a whole, thereby agreeing with thesis 2.
So while part of Draco's beliefs would be crushed (purebloods better than other wizards/witches), another part would be strengthened (having children with muggles/squibs means fewer magical children).
Just wanted to get that out of my head, am now gonna continue reading.
| Be3 chapter 23 . 8/28/2013
Some other reviewer has pointed out the problem with recessive and dominant alleles (I'm writing this without spell-check, so if there are mistakes, sorry). Maybe there are three alleles - muggle dominant, wizard 'medium strength' and muggle weak? With Squibs being weak muggles? (Maybe even 'wizard' is actually the wild type, but they went through a bottleneck and never recovered:) and 'Muggle' being the anomaly that held). Because Squibs, to my understanding, aren't exactly Muggles: the caretaker perceives Hogwarts as a castle, not as ruins (okay, suppose he was specifically Charmed to be able to do so). But Arabella Figgs described Dementors as 'big and wearing cloaks' (HP&tOtP), which is not the way a Muggle would see them. So Squibs differ from Muggles, probably no less than they do from wizards. (Not to mention that we don't know how many kinds of 'Muggles' there are). So - in the pretty self-contained Wizarding world the 'weak muggle' and the 'wizard' alleles are kept in the population with some consistent proportions, but when you take the overall Britain gene pool, you have quite other proportions. Hardi-Weinberg won't work here, because of the selective mating.
Or maybe there are only two alleles, Muggle dominant and wizard recessive, BUT in wizards, during meiosis, due to the overall 'magic effect' or some such there is a 50-50 chance of mutation to the dominant allele.
Either way, the results we observe require some playing around.
| addikhabbo chapter 23 . 8/16/2013
| Jessica chapter 23 . 8/15/2013
I'm a little confused...the conclusion is that wizardry follows Mendelian genetics, and the allele w for wizard is recessive. If it were dominant, then two muggles (or squibs) wouldn't be able to have a wizard unless one of the parents was a wizard. If two "squibs" (appearing as muggles) had a kid like Hermione who was a wizard, the parents genotype would both be Ww and Hermione's would be ww. In that case, two wizards (both genotypes would have to be ww) would always have wizard children. However, it is my understanding that two wizards CAN have a squib child. Unless in this alternate universe, wizard parents cannot have squib children.
| Lunacom chapter 23 . 8/15/2013
Draco sounds like he was raped.
| Marianna chapter 23 . 8/1/2013
I'm not sure how this is right... If it's like that, than two wizards (both "2 magic") would always produce wizard children. Which they don't, as Malfoy surely knows.
| Mazzax Manacry chapter 23 . 7/9/2013
Actually, that 2Magical, 1Squib, 0Muggle doesn't really work. Squibs are born from magicals, and if there's only ONE magical gene pairing, then ALL children born of two magical parents would be magical themselves! Squibs would be born whenever a magical and muggle had children. EVERY TIME. Only a Squib/Squib couple could produce all three types, because only squibs are heterozygous. If we follow your explanation, then any and all Squibs born in all-magical families must be the result of an affair with a Muggle. I don't think that's going to go over too well…
| Anon chapter 23 . 7/3/2013
This chapter kind of hurt to read. The whole belief in belief thing and how you can't choose what to believe... Ugh
| reddir chapter 23 . 6/25/2013
Ch 23: That was beautiful. I missed the connection between Harry's making a scientist and the making of a Bene Geserit until you did the Gom Jabar thing and had Harry state it explicitly. I like to think that I'd have made the connection after just the Gom Jabar...
| Dancing on the Edge chapter 23 . 6/5/2013
I have thought of a flaw in Harry's conclusion. Squibs are, by definition born to magical parents, plural. This implies that both parents would carry the yes-magic gene, making it genetically impossible for a child to be born with a yes-magic no-magic genetic combo, which is Harry's definition of squib given in this chapter- assuming that Draco had told Harry what a squib was, then Harry should have never made that conclusion. Evidence from canon that supports that squibs are born to two magical parents include: Filch's presence at Hogwarts, Neville's family repeatedly testing him for magical ability because they feared he would be a squib even though he had two magical parents, and the (admittedly half-remembered) presence of a squib being one of the blast marks on the Black family tree in book five. I think a logical explanation for squibs in magic families is that it is one of the many ways that inbreeding screws you over, it just only happens if you're magic. Now, imagine Draco's reaction to that idea. But based on my, admittedly limited, knowledge of genetics, inbreeding wouldn't stop you from having a 100% chance of being a wizard based on Harry's genetic theory, any more than it could stop the child of two blue eyed parents from having blue eyes.
An expanded look on why Filch's presence at Hogwarts is damning evidence against the yes-magic no-magic combo being the definition of a squib is as follows. According to this formula, the only way that this would happen is in a squib-muggle magic-muggle, or squib-squib relationship. Two of these outcomes only occur when one parent is muggle, meaning that there would be no reason for a squib born of one of those unions to be sent to live in the magical world at all. A squib-squib relationship would be far more likely to produce a squib forced to live in the wizarding world like Filch. However, I still think that such a thing would be unlikely, because then there would be massive amounts of squibs living in the wizarding world- unless, of course, all squibs were originally descended from muggle-magic pairings, in which case it would only be logical for all squibs to be sent to the muggle world, where they would believe they were muggles. There would therefore be no squibs, only muggles. Assuming Filch was the result of my inbreeding theory, it would be reasonable for him to stay in the wizarding world, if only because he has no muggle identification and no way of obtaining one, however, I think he would show more signs of inbreeding than bad hair and bitterness about not having magic- like maybe Bellatrix Lestrange-esque insanity, or possibly six toes on one foot and four on the other.
On a different, but related note: halfbloods. Tom Riddle, Snape, Dean Thomas, Seamus Finnegan, and probably a ton more characters whose blood status was never revealed in any form of canon (books: Riddle, Snape; movies: Seamus) or interview (Dean). Here I have strictly defined halfblood as a person with one magical parent and one nonmagical parent, not rather more opaquely as JKR defines it (she calls Harry a halfblood because he has a muggleborn parent). Now, it could be presumed that all of these nonmagical parents were in fact squibs (as defined genetically by Harry in this chapter), but the magical community is small, and it is unlikely that there are enough squibs for the random choice of seeming-muggles to result in that many halfbloods.
Additional thoughts on the halfblood issue have to do with interspecies wand using. Now, if we assume that the yes-magic gene allows you to use a wand like a wizard, then how would half breeds like Hagrid be able to use a wand? It makes no sense. Additionally, Fleur and Gabrielle Delacour's mother or father (whichever has the veela parent) poses a problem. All of these people ought to be squibs, because the magical creature doesn't have the yes-magic gene, they instead have a magic-creature gene. I grant that some magical creatures can use wizard-magic, but if all of them can, why do only goblins kick up a fuss about not being allowed to? Assuming that they are all unintelligent is incredibly foolish, and even one intelligent one ought to be able to see that they should be allowed to do something that they have the ability to, and then rally the others. House elves and goblins are the only creatures stated as able to use wand magic in canon. If house elves couldn't do wand magic than it is unreasonable for there to be statute outlawing them possessing wands- necessity may not always be the mother of invention (the Greeks invented all kinds of things that they didn't put to use) but it is almost certainly the mother of laws. I don't recall if it was ever explicitly stated if goblins could use wands, but I got the impression that the fact that they could and weren't allowed to was the reason for all of those goblin rebellions that Binns drones about.
Finally, on the issue of muggleborns. Based on this genetic theory, they not only ought to be called squib-borns, but, in order for there to be enough squibs to cause as many muggleborns as are present in canon there has to be a lot more squibs than logic dictates there ought to be. Assuming that most squibs go to live with muggles, they would most likely marry muggles. Their children would then only have 25% odds of being squibs, which is about the same probability that someone with one blue eyed grandparent on each side would have of being born with blue eyes- which is to say, not good. Additionally, as birth rates drop with the advances of modern medicine, the actual number of squib-muggle pairs producing squibs would drop, making it extremely statistically unlikely that as many muggleborns as appear to exist do in fact, exist in each generation, as muggleborns can only come of a squib-squib union, and even then only at 25% probability (so Petunia's situation could not have been uncommon at all if many muggleborn children had siblings, and the fact that both Creevy brothers turned out to be wizards is Extremely Statistically Improbable (with capital letters!)).
PS: This story is made of awesome. I love it to itty bitty bits, and I think that this precocious-Harry is hilarious. I also adore attacked-by-logic Draco, and overwhelmed McGonagall. It does confuse me why Hermione in particular never even mentioned the laws of physics in canon, as she seems the kind of person who would know and care about them, and not react well to her muggle books being proven wrong by a simple wingardium cast by whoever was sent to explain things to her.
| astrix chapter 23 . 5/26/2013
...i don't know what to say.
you've put science in the magic world. and i don't know what to say to that. its wonderful.
and then there is that little thing called torture too. im not a fan of that. well, not on harry anyways.
harry and hermione are pretty different from the original though...i kinda understand harry. this harry you've got, he's pretty incredible. but a stupid hermione? please. that just doesn't seem right. although its pretty funny at the same time.
and whats this with quirrell?
| Luna's Meow chapter 23 . 4/6/2013
There's a single flaw in your hypothesis on the transfer of magic in DNA.
What if there ARE a lot of papers in the blood that say magic or not magic, but only one that turns them all on? Like for instance, in the Type-Moon universe, the magi have things called magic circuits. These circuits are focal points of magic in the body, like chakra points if you need something to compare them to. But what if having the circuits isn't enough? What if you need both the circuits, and the power button to turn them on? Muggles and Squibs could have the circuits, but not the "main" magic paper with the power button that give you access to those circuits.
Refine that hypothesis.
| Jazz chapter 23 . 3/10/2013
How the hell is one supposed to tell if a wizard couple sired a Squib as opposed to a Muggle? In canon, wizard can make Squibs, but no one ever calls them Muggles, even if they're completely unable to perform magic.
| xingxingzf chapter 23 . 1/22/2013
I love your story, its logics and the amazing plots. However, I can't bring myself to agree with you on the heritage issue.
If Harry's theory is right, it can logically lead to two conclusions:
1. No magic couple would ever give birth to a squib, and all squibs born into such families can only be the result of adulteries of the mothers with squibs or muggles. Consider the magical world has legilimency and veritaserum for hundreds of years, and perfect occulumces are rare, and the witches are not much smarter than the wizards, the probabilities for all the wizards, who get the shameful news that their children are squibs, to not to try such measures on their wives, is very low. The equation that "squib children unfaithful witch" would be discovered way before Harry was born. Since this is not a common knowledge (the blood purist wouldn't keep quite on this, would they?), there got to be some other explanation.
2. All the half bloods have to be born to a magic parent and a squib. Therefore, Tom Riddle Sr., (the magic hating) Tobias Snape, Dean Thomas's mother, Seamus Finnigan's father, and according to Pottermore, Minerva's father, etc., would all have to be squibs who has no idea of their magical heritage (and out of some unexplained reasons, their magical spouse and children never found out that one of their parents are squibs, not muggles). Then, the witches and wizards have to have some specially abilities to fish out the limited number of squibs out of the vast number of pure muggles, and despite all the objections from their societies, lay down with the squibs. That sounds to me like magic is actually trying to reproduce itself with no regard to statistics.
More than that, the wizards and witches, and their children (including very clever and powerful wizards/witches such as Minerva, who happens to be quite close with her father), would be so dumb that they never found out that someone so important in their lives are squibs, not muggles.
Otherwise, there would be another common knowledge that the blood purists wouldn't miss: "mating with muggles only produce squibs".
My conclusion is that, either Harry is wrong, or the gene determining magic mutates very easily, especially when the muggles mate with magical people. (Minervra has two magical brothers! Her father's sperms would have to mutate for all three kids! And so is Tobias Snape's sperm, and Dean Thomas's mother's egg, and Seamus's Father's sperm, this list can go on for all the half bloods that JKR describes...) What are the chances that all this happens?
| I'MNOTCRAZY1 chapter 23 . 1/8/2013
...Isn't all that the data proved was that magic ability is not Mendelian? It could have multiple alleles and/or multiple genes, which would make it much more complicated.
| StrangeoneXD chapter 23 . 12/18/2012
Quite a reaction that may change much more of what's to come
| mushroomhegemony chapter 23 . 11/25/2012
So amazing... The experiment from the last chapter is EPIC!
| 989fox989 chapter 23 . 11/17/2012
poor Harry, poor Draco. Amazing story as always.
| betterthanreindeers chapter 23 . 10/16/2012
My brain just exploded...
| adad641 chapter 23 . 9/2/2012
Love it :)
| voodooqueen126 chapter 23 . 8/1/2012
Briliant. How reason makes us better people.
| bob chapter 23 . 7/28/2012
So. I was linked this story at around midnight. It is now 6:30 in the morning, which probably contributes to why I've found this so incredibly hysterical thus far. Regardless, I wanted to extend my most sincere compliments for the inclusion of the "gom jabbar" line. Upon reading it I burst into hysterical laughter for several minutes. I'm a quiet sort of person. I don't do that. I was, in fact, laughing at the very fact that I was laughing aloud. Hysterically, nonetheless. Thought you might find that amusing. Good story either way.
| Satirica chapter 23 . 7/16/2012
I have to say I wasn't expecting that! But I liked this chapter...and it was a little depressing, seeing Draco so defenseless with his blood beliefs ripped from him. It was probably the first time Draco had had a friend, wasn't it?
| dusty old books chapter 23 . 7/12/2012
That's my pen name. I'm too lazy to sign in.
This On/Off premise about magic seems inconsistent with the fact that children born to a witch and a muggle, so far as canon dictates, will always be magic. Case in point, Voldemort and Seamus.
I'll read the rest now. Just saying about this in the middle of the chapter.
| Kirinin chapter 23 . 7/10/2012
Deoxyribose nucleic acid... oh, you've probably heard the correction a million times! :)
Eurgh, Draco Malfoy is still a pretty nasty piece of work. But he kind of has to be for your chapter to make sense, and this IS the boy who so casually suggested the rape of a 10-year-old... Still. *Shiver*.
| Mavarax chapter 23 . 7/8/2012
Wait, so if the magic gene is recessive how do a wizard and a witch have a squib child?
| YlvaThorgalsdottir chapter 23 . 6/20/2012
I love, love, LOVE how you make science education sound like Bene Gesserit training!
Rarely do I see such well-written fanfic.
| Biology of Belief chapter 23 . 4/10/2012
My problem with this chapter is magic being genetic. This is like saying that being good at sports, singing, dancing and art are genetic. Or that being intelligent and stupid are a genetic thing. Well it's not. It's a biology of belief. Want to confirm? Then watch the link.
www . youtube watch?vVYYXq1Ox4sk&featurerelated
| Tail Kinker chapter 23 . 3/29/2012
Bit of a Dune reference, there, wot? Though doesn't a Gom Jabbar cause a very rapid and painful death?
| A bit of genetics chapter 23 . 3/21/2012
I wonder, what if a witch/wizard marries a Muggle? Current model suggests that all their childen will be Squibs. Is it really so?
And on the other hand, for two Squibs meet and produce a "Muggleborn" wizard/witch, there should be lots of unknown Squibs out there.
Very interesting would be some way to distiguish Squib from Muggle. If such a way exists, checking Hermione's parents will be an important test of this 'one magic gene' theory.
| The Blind One chapter 23 . 2/25/2012
"Sorceror's stone." *snort*
That Squibs are somehow distinguishable from Muggles is your own idea, apparently, and it seems like an interesting idea. Harry's vastly simplified version of Mendelian inheritance still doesn't explain how two full-magical parents manage to produce a Squib (assuming the kid's parentage is reported honestly...) but it's neat nonetheless.
Draco's participation fell by the wayside in future chapters, as I recall. It's kind of a shame, really - there's so much opportunity for awesomeness like this.
"Gom jabbar!" Hey, another shout-out I actually recognize!
| Nima chapter 23 . 2/20/2012
I am loving this story alot
i have been a harry potter fan since i first read them in grade 3 and this is the best fan-fic i have ever read... and i love the fact that you are using the harry/draco thing as a metafor for science vs religion back when science was new... i look forward in seeing how this story goes
| Robbie the Phoenix chapter 23 . 2/19/2012
I think this is the first time where the science in this story didn't completely do my head in. I actually really enjoyed Harry's lecture on genetics and what part it might play in the Wizarding community.
I feel really bad for Draco now though. Even after what he did. He did, after all, just have everything he believed had ripped away from him, or something thereabouts.
| megablargh chapter 23 . 2/14/2012
The passage: "Alohomora!"
Harry staggered a little after saying it.
And the classroom door still didn't open.
That shocked Harry. Harry hadn't been planning to go anywhere near Dumbledore's forbidden corridor, of course. But a spell to open magical locks had seemed like a useful sort of spell anyway, and so Harry had learned it."
- Isn't Alohomora a spell to open mechanical locks without magic, and not magical locks? - Can anyone clarify this?
| Hedgehog chapter 23 . 2/7/2012
Okay, that makes a bit more sense now than it did yesterday. For some reason, I had gotten the impression that Harry claimed that falsifying five out of six theories meant that the remaining one had to be correct. (Rereading, this is obviously not the case. He simply states that it appears to be the most _likely_ hypothesis.)
When pondering the genetics of wizardry myself, I completely failed to consider that it might involve incomplete dominance. (Instead, I was struggling with magic either being a recessive trait or a dominant one, neither of which made sense with the data provided in the books.)
I am a bit confused by your use of the term "Squib", which to me has always meant "a non-magical person born to magical parents", i.e. the phenotype of a Muggle and a Squib would be the same. I've only just realized that Mrs. Figg being able to see Dementors and Filch living inside Hogwarts, both of which are invisible to Muggle eyes, point to them possessing low levels of magic. Still, I don't completely follow your (Harry's) deductions about Muggleborn actually being children of Squibs. Wouldn't that mean that e.g. both of Hermione's parents would be able to enter the wizarding world? Diagon Alley, the platform 9 3/4, visiting Hogwarts? Though there's no contradicting statement in the books (of them having tried and failing to visit) I never got the impression that magic works like this.
I'm also a bit disappointed that Harry hasn't taken the next logical step (yet?) of asking about the likelihood of wizard-Muggle marriages producing magical offspring. Off-hand, I can't think of a great many examples of true halfbloods in the books, and the few that we do know about (Seamus' father, and Tom Riddle sr.) could be unrecognized Squibs. Likewise, there are few examples of Muggleborns' siblings (with e.g. Petunia being non-magical, and Colin's brother Dennis being a wizard, too, which only tells us that both are possible outcomes).
Draco went completely bonkers, but at the same time I can sort of understand his extreme reaction. The best simile I can come up with is someone raised to be religious losing their faith and ending up being both believing and non-believing at the same time, scared of the consequences and ostracized by friends and family. Harry's genetic explanation gives a reason to wizards not marrying Muggles or Squibs, but of course that's cold comfort to someone who believes (or used to believe) in the pureblood supremacy of purebloods being stronger than "Mudbloods" when the scientific evidence points to them being perfectly equal.
| Person chapter 23 . 12/28/2011
Unyvon: Harry had to put down his wand to take the medkit out of his pouch.
""Aaahhhhh! Finite Incantatem! Aaaahhh!"
But a few screams later, Harry realized what he had to do.
His pouch, unfortunately, was on the wrong side of his body, and it took some twisting to reach into it, especially with his other arm flailing around in a reflex, unstoppable attempt to fling off the source of pain.
"Medical ahhhhh kit! Medical kit!"
Harry couldn't stand. He couldn't crawl. He rolled across the floor to where he thought his wand was, and it wasn't there, and with one hand he managed to raise himself high enough to see his wand, and he rolled there, and got the wand, and rolled back to where the medical kit was opened. There was also a good deal of screaming, and a bit of throwing up."
| Unyvon chapter 23 . 12/26/2011
""Aaahhhhh! Finite Incantatem! Aaaahhh!"
Harry's left hand had been put into a pot of boiling cooking oil and left there. He'd put everything he had into the Finite Incantatem and it still wasn't working."
"He rolled across the floor to where he thought his wand was, and it wasn't there"
Was he trying to do the finite wandlessly, which I don't think he should be able to do, and didn't try again after he found his wand, or is this just a small error?
On another note, doesn't the existence of the Interdict of Merlin itself suggest that knowledge is being being lost? There must be many powerful wizards over time who don't quite manage to teach their apprentices all of their powerful wizardries, so slowly various bits of powerful knowledge will get lost they rely on word of mouth or self-discovery (no individual can rediscover everything, science relies on standing on the shoulders of the previous giants as we all know).
Knowledge being lost is almost inevitable if you restrict knowledge of powerful magic to being passed by word of mouth. In fact, why the Interdict of Merlin? Could it be a way Merlin intentionally came up with to allow magic to fade in the distant future, seeing it as too dangerous to the larger non-magical population, to the world? Perhaps after witnessing the destruction of Atlantis he realized wizardry had become too powerful and decided the world might be better with less of it or without it and being brilliant and powerful, came up with a way of bringing about that future.
| Wesley Mathieu chapter 23 . 12/15/2011
This Chapter was an incredible read as we finally get to see some real science applied to magic and not only do we get 'rationa' explanations for magical heredity, but we get some great conflict both between Harry and Draco AND within Draco himself. The second Draco realized the implications of the experiment, he became one of the most interesting characters in the story. He can go several ways with his knowledge, and each of them has its own sacrifices and obstacles. As proven time and time again, knowledge changes people, and Draco is going to change, and develop. If the writing is as good as it has been, this character development should be time to watch.
It also hints at some true human drama that the story has somewhat, until now, been lacking. Sure there's been the potential threat of the dark lord and all sorts of mysteries to be solved, but everyone has gotten along pretty smoothly in their respective roles, and their interactions are fairly predictable. Now a bit of a wrench has been thrown in, and now the characters will be forced to adapt.
Once again, I liked the skilful blending of magic and science to create a plot point, and while this chapter lacked humor, the dramatic tension was still present and kept me riveted. Its not my favorite chapter, but its still an important one.
| Steven Lytle chapter 23 . 12/1/2011
/one heads and one tail/one heads and one tails/
| Steven Lytle chapter 23 . 12/1/2011
| Deadzepplin chapter 23 . 11/29/2011
It seems to me that not only is Magical strength power but so is magical knowledge
| Sheepking chapter 23 . 10/28/2011
How would a Mind Flayer be unfamiliar if Harry reads D&D sourcebooks?
| millercommamatt chapter 23 . 10/18/2011
This chapter just ruined the story for me. To mess up something as simple as Mendelian inheritance destroyed my immersion. That's elementary-school-level science. Moreover, Harry's arguments to Draco are full of holes. For instance, Harry argues that a single gene determines if someone is a wizard and then implies that power isn't genetically defined. However, magical power could be determined by other gene(s) that they don't currently have evidence for. They don't yet have sufficient evidence to overturn Draco's beliefs. Confirmation bias runs rampant in this chapter.
| Asparagus chapter 23 . 10/15/2011
This was one of those chapters that makes you want to immediately read the next chapter, but this was very well done and I had to tell you so once more.
Also, you used a line from a They Might Be Giants song, and I couldn't go on without mentioning it. XD Good show once again, milady.
(I have switched genders from my other review in which I used 'Good show' because I do not know your gender.)
| Jesse Custer chapter 23 . 9/26/2011
Maybe I'm wrong, but if you name the 2 alleles W (for Wizard) and M (for Muggles) then you have
WM / MW Squib
This is false per-se because there is no way it can explain how a Wizardborn wich is the combination of WW and WW can turn out to be a Squib wich is WM, or MW and so requires at least one of the parents to have the M gene.
And it fails to explain how a Muggleborn MM and MM can possibly be a WW Wizard.
| AR chapter 23 . 9/21/2011
My heart broke a little for both of them..
It is a very very painful to have your beliefs so abruptly taken away from you. It is equally painful to take away someone's beliefs...especially when you consider them a friend.
No turning back for either of them I suppose. Cruel...cold...but necessary.
I detected a bit of Rand in this chapter...reminded me of painful it was for Dagny and Francisco
Great writing...you really know how to connect to the reader
| Bigreader in The Omniverse chapter 23 . 9/21/2011
nice chapter. You destroyed his evil faith. No wonder he attcked.
Was that Harold Shea a reference to Charles de lints "The Complete Enchanter" series were professors travel to parallel universes through symbology and a theory that all fiction is what artist and authors are view through a filter and that those different universe operate on different laws of physics and magic? if so cool refrence.
| Antigone Q chapter 23 . 9/12/2011
And Dune's Gom Jabbar - that was great! And a little intentional or unintentional nod to Nietzsche - you're a well-rounded sort, aren't you?
| Lydia M Argent chapter 23 . 9/11/2011
Nooooooo! Draco! How could you?
| Oaks423 chapter 23 . 8/1/2011
Wow! Just... Wow! I've been reading for days on end, and I've finally caught up to the latest chapter.
I really enjoy the uber-intelligent Harry. The way he takes all four founders points of view is great.
I like that he befriends Draco (not in some weird way or in some begrudging way) and has forged some sort of friendship between Draco and Hermione. The reasoning you/Harry used to skew Draco's concept of reality is genius.
Please post soon :)
| Alaude2019 chapter 23 . 7/11/2011
I actually thought that JKR once said magic was a dominant trait (although obviously that doesn't make sense with there being so few wizards, so I agree that it's probably recessive since that would make more sense really). Although weird that Harry would conclude that based on a such a small sample, but I assume he thought that anyway and just wanted to convince Draco. I admit I was also hoping that Harry would use his father's Rock to somehow escape lol.
| Alex chapter 23 . 7/6/2011
Two flaws in the conclusion invalidating the blood hypothesis:
One, the evidence which supports the prediction of the single-gene hypothesis, which is that 25% of children born to Squibs would be wizards, is statistically weak. A one-proportion z-test returns a roughly two-thirds chance that this proportion is true for the population (the sample size of 28 is just about large enough to assume a roughly normal distribution).
Two, the prediction of 25%, if true, does not invalidate the blood hypothesis. What it does do is provide support for a "master switch," which determines whether someone's magic is on or off, as Harry predicted. What it does not do is disprove the existence of genes which do not code for the presence or absence of magic, but rather its strength, which may or may not be diluted by intermarriage with Muggleborns and Squibs.
Further, given that so many physical realities which Harry considers fundamentally true are being disproven, he should consider that blood may not be synonymous with DNA. Perhaps there are elements to heritability which have not been observed by Muggle instruments which dictate the presence and strength of magic that do not follow Mendellian inheritance. As a character and a scientist, Harry is being hypocritical by failing to accept the possibility of the unknown.
| Mezzavia chapter 23 . 6/9/2011
I don't really get why Harry's so convinced magic follows Mendel's scheme. They've only done ONE test. Even the 6/28 statistic, they've only gotten it one time. It could very well be a coincidence. It's way too rushed. Actually, they should've checked that no squib was ever born from two magical parents, at the very least. (Since both parents would have Magic/Magic and their children could only possibly get Magic/Magic).
I'm pretty sure there are more hypothesis Harry should take into consideration. The influence of planets, for example. It could very well be linked to genetics, but depend on the percentage of our brain that we actually use. There are SO many other possibilities. :/ I'm not saying it has actually be like that but.. his list was too incomplete.
| Death by manga chapter 23 . 6/6/2011
OK. First, I'd want to congratulate you on this excellent system so far.
Personally, I would have yielded towards the multiple little strands of magic genes as it sounds more logical.
Have you considered spirit as a possibility? Maybe there are two frequencies of one's soul. Presence (which makes up one's physical energy) and Essence (which is one's mental energy). People with a higher Presence frequency are more apt to want to be physically stronger, while those with a higher Essence Frequency are more apt to seek the books. But you need a closer frequency between both to have an aptitude for magic. The closer your frequencies match, the stronger your skills at magic are.
Something tells me that you watched Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure when you wrote some of these time travel ideas.
| TooLazyToSignIn chapter 23 . 6/4/2011
Hey There! I loveloveloveloveLOVE your story! It's made me burst out in fits of laughter and caused my brother to question my sanity more than once now.
I just wanted to mention that for the part where Harry explains to Draco about the whole "wizardry-comes-from-one-thing" thing to work, then the muggle gene has to be dominant. (Or at least I think it does. Maybe I've overlooked something...) Otherwise there couldn't be Squibs.
Not that this is an all important factor, but I figured it should be pointed out in case you wanted to mention it. It wouldn't be too hard to explain either, because most of the world's population is Muggle.
Also, I was a bit confused on HOW Harry sent a message to Professor Flitwick. Again, I might have accidently skipped over it if you did indeed tell us, but I can't remember now...
Well that's all. Your work is FANTASTIC!
| Braindoll chapter 23 . 6/1/2011
I have a handwaving explanation for some of the genetics questions you don't address. There are several: two wizards having a squib child (Squibs can't all be illegitimate, people would realize and people would certainly care); the fact that half-bloods are frequently wizards; etc.
Say that every time a wizard casts a spell, magic "checks" the specific region of their DNA. If this counted as a quantum-mechanical observation, with an interaction energy and a wavelength, then it could lead to increased mutations in that region of DNA. Some small but significant fraction of their cells would actually be muggle. But unless that happened to include a gamete, their magic would still be inheritable.
Meanwhile, when Muggles do something potentially magical, the same check happens, in this case focusing the energy on the specific base pairs which differ from the correct magical gene. Thus, mutations which recover magic would be much more common in muggles, and particularly in magically-raised squibs, than chance would predict. Half-bloods, then, would have only a few mutated cell lines with two magic-user genes; but since magic is a binary proposition, that is either enough or it isn't.
Imagine if Snape lost a body part and suddenly became a muggle!
(Strength of magic, on the other hand, is like height or intelligence; once you have magic, there are a host of genes with small effects on your magical strength.)
You are, of course, free to adapt and use this handwaving in any way that serves the plot.
| JVB chapter 23 . 5/8/2011
This is perhaps my least favorite chapter, or very high up there. Draco and Harry are very overdone and really chew the scenery with each other in a way I find disconcerting with the rest of the story, which is largely well-written. Still, it's not that bad.
| ben ologistgmail.com chapter 23 . 4/12/2011
just a thought, with the amount of mental pain malfoy is in, might he have pondered using obliviate on himself
| Kevin chapter 23 . 4/11/2011
Wow. Wow wow wow wow wow.
This alternate interpretation is amazing. It's original, unpredictable, humorous, and serious — all at the same time. I haven't read any fanfics beyond the first page, and this definitely has gotten me interested in the category. I've been sharing this with so many people, they think I've become posessed, or something. Perhaps I sound possessed. Oh well.
Anyway, congratulations to the author on a job well done. I've only gotten to chapter 25 or so, but I'll be sure to finish it. In fact, it's so good that my English teacher is considering giving me SSR credit for reading this.
| whalenotpetunias chapter 23 . 3/24/2011
How Draco feels in this chapter how I feel right now.
Reading this fanfiction has caused me to look into Less Wrong and therefore question my religion.
This is bad.
| TheNStorm chapter 23 . 3/4/2011
Conquest through the allmight power of the Scientific Method!
Epic story win. No other term describes it.
Still, there are a couple things I think you might look at, if you're open to constructive crit:
1. The Quirrell voice sounds too much like the Harry Potter voice. I understand that there's a nice bit of drama in the question of just who Quirrell is, if he's the dark lord, and what his interactions with Harry will look like in the future; and I understand that Harry and He are foils of each other by philosophy and style both. Still, a lot of the time when they're talking in the same room they lose contrast between each other, and that makes dialogue a little worse for wear. I'm still a great fan of dialogue, and you do a pretty good job of it. I just think that you might want to tweak the Quirrell voice a bit.
2. I think that the scene with Dumbledore and Snape and Minnie and Harry might need just a touch of reworking. I like the plot-and how it fits together, I just think that Dumbledore (either evil!Dumbles under the pretense of good or heroic!Dumbledore being honest) would probably deal more seriously with the issue of Snape being an abusive teacher. It's not an issue of the result-I can buy that, but I think that maybe a bit of the maddness act should be dropped due to the 'seriousness' of the conversation.
Keep it up, good job.
| ARMH chapter 23 . 2/22/2011
Draco really is quite powerful. I had forgotten that we were shown this before the Army battles. Time travel sure is funny.
| Avian020391 chapter 23 . 2/18/2011
(to clarify something I didn't explicitly state in previous review; I'm assuming loss-of-function mutations on the wizard allele are fairly common, which is the only way two wizards could have a squib)
| Avian020391 chapter 23 . 2/18/2011
How are squibs and muggles phenotypically distinguishable? According to JKR, a squib is "a non-magical person born to at least one magical parent". hence, you don't even know the genotype of a squib, given the "at least one magical parent"; assuming the wizard gene is recessive, squibs can be either "muggle/muggle" or "muggle/wizard" (which also makes the assumption of only two alleles existing). If you suggest the wizard gene is co-dominant, implying wizard/muggle has semi-magical properties, then except for (exceedingly unlikely) gain-of-function mutations you would never have true muggle-born wizards since both parents would have squib-like properties. I was a little surprised by the way Harry jumped to conclusions on this one. Otherwise, great story.
| hp4all chapter 23 . 2/1/2011
Great work of fanfiction, full of original ideas. I'll review all of them in a due course. I was to absorbed in reading (whihc took place between 2am and 5.30 am).
I can't help noticing some gaps in single gene theory. Firstly, how could two magical people have a squib? If they are both AA, where would B come from? Thus, it could only be that squibs are single A, not AB (like single X humans). However, children of squibs cannot be muggle, unless no gene is passed at all. This is much less likely then 1/4.
There is also paradox of Seamus: A child of a muggle and fully magical humans should be a squib. Other outcomes are very unlikely. Indeed, Seamus's father is a muggle, not a squib. Thus he should be AB. But he has two As. Is he AAB?
I would love to see Draco challenge the Squib experiment with pureblood stats and one muggle parent stats.
| Markus Ramikin chapter 23 . 1/30/2011
Gom Jabbar? You didn't.
What next, Exterminatus? :p
| Tormuse chapter 23 . 1/14/2011
Personally, I wouldn't rule out the blood theory just yet. The fact that, according to Draco's research, inter-marrying squibs create wizard children 25% of the time suggests that there's a recessive "magic gene" that is in fact being diluted by magical people marrying muggles. My first thought, when I read that, was, "Holy crap! Did Harry just prove the blood purists right?"
Of course, this kind of goes hand in hand with the conclusion they came to anyway, since fewer wizards means fewer people to pass information on to, which means more stuff gets forgotten.
Still, great chapter! The high emotions and sense of urgency of Draco and Harry as they scramble to do their research is infectious and it kept me wanting to read on.
| Tangshou chapter 23 . 1/4/2011
The experiment was quite rushed, and evidence a little weak to come to such a certain conclusion. There may be nothing wrong with that story-wise though. Harry thought about this before and got the answer he expected. Draco doesn't really know any better.
I like the magic in this world better than in cannon. I'm always annoyed by magical systems that don't seem to have any rules. It feels like anything can happen at any time because there is so much unknown and the author can make anything happen. The attempts that Harry makes to open the door, and the explanations that go along with it are a good example of a magical system should be though about.
| w chapter 23 . 12/19/2010
The DNA explanation is long and mostly Harry talking.
You like Harold Shea too much. And the dragon.
Gom jabbar is nice. And Draco's anger. And the escape method.
| Gelacacine chapter 23 . 12/13/2010
This is a really impressive chapter, and I wish more people were ration.
| Barbara chapter 23 . 12/6/2010
Dear Less Wrong,
let me first tell You, that Your version of Harry Potter is a masterpiece, which made me feel under trance for several days, until I finished reading all the chapters available. I am anxiously expecting the others.
Now let me "review" the Mendelian inheritance issue. In Your canon, one magical allele in Squibs does still produce a Maqgic transfering protein, but not enough for magic to be phenotypically manifested. Whereas doubling the gene copies passes the detectability threshold. I do not say it is entirely impossible, but still I would rather expect some residual magic in Squibs. If I did a research myself, I would think a different explanation, somewhat like Mendelian red vs. white flowers meaning functional pigment vs. disrupted pigment. Dominant allele is often something functional whereas the resessive one is something non-functional. So I believe, transfering magic was originally a default in humans, but there is a Magic supressor protein, a dominant trait, of which one chromosomal copy is suficient to do the job. I believe inactivating magic gave humans some evolutionary advantage. Possibly the cases of untrained, spontaneous magic got our ancestors in so much trouble, that those without magic bore more children. I also believe, Magic supressor protein could probably be inhibited by a proper drug, if enough research was done :-). But who knows what would be the side effects ;-)
Looking forward to Your next chapters
| Lila chapter 23 . 12/5/2010
It seems that there are many ways in which this AU differs from canon. Which is cool, though it could possibly use a bit more explicit pointing out of those things which are *supposed* to differ, rather than differing by accident. In canon 2 wizards can have a squib child, but that must not be true in this AU, or Harry would not have come up with the theory he did. Either that or Harry doesn't know that 2 wizards can have a squib child, but that's just too unbelievable. If he knows what squibs are at all, then he must know that 2 wizards can have a squib child. So, in this universe I guess they can't. But the author didn't really make this explicit.
Also, in canon a squib is just a muggle (a non-magical person) who is born to magical parents (and who can see Hogwarts, probably due to the residual effects growing up surrounded by magic, or being exposed to magic in the womb, or something). In canon there wouldn't be 2 different categories for "squib children of wizards" and "muggle children of wizards". All non-magical children of wizards would be called squibs, and would be able to see Hogwarts.
The author doesn't make these differing rules explicit either, so we have to infer them.
I'm normally cool with inferring world-building rules, and in fact I generally prefer this to having them made explicit. But when you're writing a fanfiction and your world-building differs from the canon world, then I think it should be explicit. The author is clearly fine with exposition when it comes to scientific concepts. Throw in some of that for canon-deviation, perhaps?
My own preferred genetic explanation for muggleborns is that they are new mutations. According to wikipedia, "Spontaneous mutations account for about 33% of all cases of haemophilia A. About 30% of cases of haemophilia B are the result of a spontaneous gene mutation." That would be a good model for muggleborns, I think. But I'm looking forward to seeing if the author does any more interesting stuff with his rules.
And I would *love* more sciencey chapters!
| Aspiring Author chapter 23 . 11/21/2010
They Could Be Giants: Flood! I love your cultural hints!
| A Common Hero chapter 23 . 11/16/2010
The sheer power of this chapter literally inspired awe within me. Not the chapter itself, what inspired awe was the power of it.
What the chapter itself inspired was something I never thought I would feel. Sympathy for Draco Malfoy. Not even the weaker, less repulsive canon!Malfoy, but this Draco Malfoy who has made no secret of, and has never been unreasonably excused from, the fact that he finds the idea of rape perfectly normal, acceptable, and even almost moral.
Furthermore, it was so inspired, with a theme have encountered so rarely that I cannot name another example off the top of my head, yet resonates with my own life profoundly. The theme of knowing the unknown, and having rather not known it. Normally the subject of quaint proverbs, this treats it almost like a loss of innocence, yet not exactly the same. More importantly, it does not shy away from how incredibly devastating revelation could be.
More importantly, Draco cannot go back. A loss of innocence can be overcome by the realization that the world is still, on the whole, a good place. No matter what Draco does, he will always know. He can never forget, and that inability to forget is the true curse.
I know I just keep repeating the same things over and over, and that you wrote the chapter so of course you know everything I just wrote about it. After all, it's all so obvious! Yet, that's the power of it all! It's reduced me to babbling.
I feel so sympathetic to Draco-without a corresponding loss of sympathy to Harry I might add!-that while I didn't cheer for him as he doomed his best, nay only friend to a painful death (or at best, torture), I couldn't find it within myself to hate him for it, say to myself that there had to be a better path, or even chide him for not finding the strength within himself to persevere onward despite the sacrifice science has demanded of him.
Then after that, after all of that, he hasn't escaped. He is forever a scientist. He knows he's a scientist. He knows he's doomed forever to never return to ignorance. Then despite this, despite knowing that abandoning Harry to his fate could change nothing, he condemns him.
Yet still I feel more sorry for him than Harry (not out of any malice for Harry in this situation either, or even a neutral lack of sympathy, which is even more impressive)!
...Now that I am done babbling... I have no more words. I cannot find anything to criticize.
Well, accept maybe the fact that alleles don't quite work the way Harry described. Most of the information was correct, but Harry failed to accommodate for the idea of co-dominance. Now I am no scientist, and I may be misremembering my information, but it occurs to me that there are cases of alleles that, despite having only one "piece of paper," can come out to three possible phenotypes. The recessive phenotype, the dominant, and one in the middle. The classical example is the breeding of White Roses and Red Roses. Two of one allele, and they'll be White. Two of the other they'll be Red. One of each, and they'll have some of the coloration of red and some of white, mixed together on such a small level that the eye sees the rose as Pink.
Other examples don't even mix so perfectly, such as hens (if I recall correctly), who may be black, or white, but if combined will be either black with white spots or white with black spots. The spots are distinguishable from the other colored feathers, thus the co-dominance acts differently than in the Roses.
Then again, all of that assumes that I'm remembering my scientific facts correctly. There's is a good chance that I am not.
This leads me to my only other conceivable criticism, something a little more obvious (more so as I calm down from the emotional high I had as I was writing the beginning of this review).
Again, this is another criticism of the science rather than the writing. The writing was dead on, and I would feel as if I were being just plain ignorant if I were to offer any suggestion to make it "better" (in this case). Despite this, it is actually a glaring problem that, though explainable in that the character may not have even thought of it, could actually prove the conclusion Draco and Harry have come to completely wrong. Furthermore, it is such a simple conjecture that I feel confident in my assertion of its validity as an argument, barring testing that proves me wrong, despite my lacking in any formal training, or even any diligent study of textbooks.
Harry did not account for all of the possible hypotheses. Hear me out; this is actually a criticism, not some conjecture of mine that is designed to free Malfoy from his suffering. If anything, it is just as much a counter to his beliefs as the result in the chapter, if not more so.
Harry has operated under the assumption that genetics has any factor in magic whatsoever. Even his eventual conclusion that knowledge gives magic its strength still operates under the assumption that alleles cause magic's presence in the first place, as a kind of on off switch for potential, even if that potential must then be worked towards.
Simply put, that is not any more probable than magic simply not having any connection to physical makeup in the least. It could easily be an environmental factor, if it is even tied to physical mass in any way shape or form.
It sounds ridiculous at first glance, as if I were suggestion some sort of magic as phlogiston theory. However, Harry has demonstrably proven and stated, outside of a formal lab but with undeniable and repeatable (even repeated!) results, that magic already defies the second law of thermodynamics, something so fundamental to scientific truth that it throws science as muggles know it into doubt to a more extreme degree than anything else in this story. Yes, arguably even the revelation that effect might be able to occur before cause.
Keeping that in mind, it is hypothetically possible that magic has some property that exists outside of normal matter. It could then enter children, and be trapped in that connection without any physical difference being strictly necessary. If one needs a factor to decide whether or not a connection forms, it might be the soul (it is arguable at this point whether or not Harry has confirmed that the soul exists yet however. He knows about Dementors, yet has not been astonished by the soul in any way, which seems unlikely given his reaction to the idea that magic can cause the mind to form outside the brain and his extreme pessimism).
If that is proven false, magic, as a whole and in the sense of some magic "field" or "existence" that lies outside of mass as I have hypothesized, may even be sentient. Thus it might choose who it enters and how strongly, in full consciousness and rationality, or out of some emotional, "humanly random" sense. Or to use an internet term, sentient magic might literally be choosing to make wizards weaker "for the lulz." This does, of course, imply that magic is somewhat malicious, at least to the extent of being a trickster.
Now all of this would have to be tested somehow, and frankly I have no clue how you would go about doing so. However, given how magic has violated so many other laws so far, they are valid as hypotheses, provided a test can be devised. The only argument against them otherwise might be Puckum’s Razor (if I remembered the proper term), they're simply too complicated to be likely.
Despite this bugging me a bit, I enjoyed this chapter so thoroughly that I simply must read more. Are you, by any chance, a professional? I need more stories written by you to read.
| Sheaman chapter 23 . 11/7/2010
Sometimes it seems to me that despite your disclaimer in the A/N a couple chapters from here, Harry really doesn't think as rationally and scientifically as he thinks.
I'm not trying to say that Harry is unscientific. Far from it. But he seems to be placing too much emphasis on isolated experiments, much like Mythbusters.
I'll bring up what happened in this chapter first, since it is slightly more ambivalent. The proportions of magical children from Squibs supports the one gene theory, but it doesn't seem conclusive at all. It's one single data set, that only consists of 28 individuals. I realize that magical Britain is small, but by talking to the portraits, they're opening the study into the past as well, which vastly increases the amount of information that they have available to them. I'm not saying that it isn't indicative, but it just doesn't seem conclusive to me at all.
Moreover, and more frustratingly, Harry's test of his mysterious dark side. He used it on the Frigideiro spell -as he was learning it-. If he was testing it to see if it boosted his magical power, the only way that that would have had an effect is if he was doing it right, but very weakly. It wouldn't matter how powerful it made him if he still wasn't casting the spell correctly. Once he got it to work, he should have tested it that way to see if it made the water colder than it should have. What it actually looked like he was testing was if he had a super-competent dark side, not a super-powerful one. Trying it later when he actually has some sort of magical groundings might well have had different results.
This is still quite an interesting story, and I shall continue to read it with relish.
| Tom Reagan chapter 23 . 11/7/2010
"Who else was there for Draco now? Dumbledore? After what he’d
done? Draco would sooner have been burned alive."
You naughty foreshadower, you!
Rereading the whole thing from the start is a remarkably rewarding experience that I would recommend to anyone.
| Arturo Vandorien chapter 23 . 11/7/2010
Wow, that was incredibly dark.
| Indigo Ziona chapter 23 . 10/21/2010
That was interesting... I'm a biochemistry graduate who should've done genetics (but it's ok, I work for a drama group now :) ), and I think this chapter sparked my scientific interests more than any so far...
The thing that bothered me most was the whole "wizardry is not as powerful as it was" observation... It strikes me that this itself could easily be a fallacy, along the lines of "children aren't as well-behaved as they used to be" (Socrates said this!)... people like to argue that things are generally going in a particular direction with no hard evidence. I feel rather as if Harry should have challenged this very idea, as subjective observations are not good things to base hypotheses on.
Magical inheritance! I nearly wrote a fic about this and then didn't, mainly because it was all speculation and no plot. I also took issue with your idea of magic being genetic and following a chromosomal pattern - it could be like mitochondrial DNA which is always inherited from the mother... also I am not sure that, although it's obviously inherited, it's strictly speaking 'genetic'... genes, after all, are simply recipes for protein. If there's one gene that causes magic, then there is one magical protein. This seems unlikely. So it could be that magic, though behaving in a genetic way, is not actually a gene made of deoxyribonucleic acid.
I was also a bit confused as Squib seemed to be differentiated from Muggle - whereas I was sure a Squib is merely a non-magical person born to a magical family... a wizard-born Muggle, in other words, with no phenotypical differences.
Also, it seems that from Harry's argument, magic is recessive, which means that most halfblood children would be non-magical, unless there are a lot more "heads and tails" Muggles out there than you might think.
I actually have my own hypothesis on magical inheritance, based on the evidence - that rather than being a recessive allele of a single gene, magic requires two dominant alleles of two different genes (or three, or four...). If we call these two genes A and B, two parents who are AABB are wizards and will have all wizard children. Parents who are aabb are Muggles and have Muggle children. If an AABB wizard marries a aabb Muggle, their children will all be AaBb and all be wizards...
If someone is aaBB or AAbb they are a Muggle or a Squib, however, their children will all be AaBb, and wizards (I suspect this is the case with Colin and Dennis Creevey, who are Muggleborn).
If two AaBb wizards have children, they could be AABB, AABb, AaBB or AaBb, which would make them wizards, or aaBB, AAbb, aaBb, Aabb or aabb, which would make them Squibs.
If two Muggles are Aabb and aaBb, there is a 0.25 probability they will have a wizard child...
And, anyway, that's my theory, hope it didn't bore you :)
Also, Harry, experiments only "fail" if they don't provide any reliable data! They have not failed if they simply don't back up your hypothesis. Unfortunately, the scientific community - at least in Britain, still has a long way to go in recognising data in studies that proved inconclusive... for instance, it's only recently that drugs trials were made to declare results from studies that provided strong evidence against the efficacy of the drug, or of any dangerous side effects the drug might cause.
I geeked all over your reviews. Apologies :)
"It's like a single magical pebble, a sorcerer's stone." That made me smile.
| Kutta chapter 23 . 10/9/2010
| LunaSlashSea chapter 23 . 10/7/2010
| MikeCaboose chapter 23 . 10/6/2010
I have finished reading through chapter 48 and absolutely love the story so far.
Keep up the excellent work.
| Nakedkali chapter 23 . 10/6/2010
Ah, but what beliefs-in-belief is Hermione holding?
| Eli Courtwright chapter 23 . 10/2/2010
Chapters 22 and 23 embody the soul of this fic. They really SHOW people doing real science, which is funny since the this story is all about magic. But you actually show people forming a hypothesis, looking for evidence, performing tests... it demonstrates the process of distinguishing things which are true from things that aren't, which is the essence of science. And you do it while telling a DAMN entertaining story.
| Dead Man Writing Is Dead chapter 23 . 8/7/2010
Just so you know, this is the only series ever that made me ship HarryXDraco. Congratulations on that.
The only real issue I have with this fanfic is the faux-latin. Couldn't you put a BIT more effort into it?
| LauralHill chapter 23 . 8/3/2010
MobMentality: here's another fan's viewpoint of the genetics involved
| MobMentality chapter 23 . 8/3/2010
I'm enjoying this story immensely. The dialogue is great, and I'm actually learning a little about the scientific method. Learning is fun! But I think there was a mistake in this chapter. Harry's hypothesis is based on the assumption that between the alleles for magic, the magic allele is recessive, so that only homogenous magic children can be wizards. However, if this is the case, then two wizards could never give birth to a squib, since both parents would be homogenous magic, and although I can't reference any specific families in Harry Potter canon, I think it's safe to infer this isn't the case. If squibs only ever arose from the marriage of a wizard and a muggle or squib, then almost nobody would ever enter into such a marriage (especially in more ancient times when marriage was more practical than romantic), and squibs could be easily avoided and would practically never occur. In fact, I remember Neville comments that his family believed for some time that he might be a squib, a possibility that they would not have considered if only mixed marriages could produce them. Right?
| aaronmicalowe chapter 23 . 8/2/2010
really enjoying the last 3 chapters (from 29 to 34), and although i try to keep up with all the plots i like how i can't, since mystery is for me what keeps a story alive. the trick is to make the mystery consistent and not too contrived which so far is happening for me :o)
i think harry would do well to take a step back sometimes, a timeout, to reflect on how he has changed since he joined hogwarts and whether he is still on the path he wishes to be. all this warring around can obscure priorities and create many distractions. i note his research into magic (at least that is written about) is less than it used to be. too much i think he is being drawn into others plans, and now mr hat 'n' cloak has appeared in the story this makes it more official.
there are still moments when i suddenly laugh to loud my cat would land on the ceiling if i had one (a cat that is), so thank you for that and please keep writing :o)
| Hung Daddy chapter 23 . 7/8/2010
hey me japanese likey story cuz its meaty and juicy and tree inchars.
| James Birdsong chapter 23 . 6/24/2010
How very cool.
| ejhawman chapter 23 . 6/15/2010
And so the corruption of Draco begins...
Playing with fire here, having Draco do something so brutal. I wouldn't have a torture like that be academically survivable.
| Sdarian chapter 23 . 6/15/2010
A nice touch with that spell. Good job.
| Desertopa chapter 23 . 6/13/2010
Although this is likely to be lost in the flood of reviews, I'd like to note that Harry seems inappropriately attached to the idea that inheritance of magic is tied to genetics. It's impossible to overstate the magnitude of what he does not know, and should not presume he knows, about how magic works. Magic might well be heritable, and even follow Mendelian patterns, without being tied directly to genetics. At the least, he should have considered finding a way to test the hypothesis that muggle borns are actually the children of squibs.
Based on what has already been covered in-story, we could conclude that if the hypothesis that heritability of magic corresponds to genetics is true, then to any parents of a muggle born witch or wizard, each child from that pairing should have a one in four chance of also having magical ability, so it might be falsified by a demographic study on the rates at which muggle born witches and wizards have siblings who are also witches or wizards.
| dogbertcarroll chapter 23 . 6/13/2010
| squarepancake chapter 23 . 6/12/2010
I'm confused. If magic is single-gene linked recessive trait, how can purebloods produce squibs? Because both parents would be $$ and produce $$ offspring, but squibs require *$ end genes. So either $- * is a common mutation or I'm totally missing the solution to the blood question.
| TJeanetteT chapter 23 . 6/11/2010
That was not very smart of Draco. What is he and harry going to do?
| Blank chapter 23 . 6/10/2010
What can I say about this one that hasn't already been said? Probably nothing, but let me give my praises anyways.
One of the things that I look for in fanfiction (or stories in general, in fact) is good characterization, and I was very pleased with what I found here. The characters are extremely well defined, perhaps even moreso than even J. K. Rowling gave her characters in canon. I'll admit that I was somewhat put off by the fact that Harry was given the "boy genius" role in the beginning of the story, but any complaints that I had about that abated quickly as his characterization set in. Going into more detail, I liked that despite the fact that he was supposedly a genius, he still ends up acting like an 11-year old for the most part, getting over exited on things he feels are important, and stubborn on the things that he feels is right about.
The one complaint I would probably have would probably have to be the slow pace of the story, but a) I know how important a slow pace can be, especially at the start, b) the characterization probably wouldn't be as good without it, c) Wrong has probably gotten enough criticism as it is on this, and d) I have better things to do then agonize on the slow pace of a fanfic.
The plot, setting and scenario are extraordinarily well defined, and all the science references make it shine. I've been following for a while, and I can't wait to see where this ends up.
| Imeralt Evalon chapter 23 . 6/10/2010
This has literally been one of the most interesting stories I have ever read in a long time. You've taken Harry Potter and made it your own. Each chapter has been more fascinating than the previous one. I love your portrayal of characters and just learning about these theories and methods.
You've made science quite interesting for me.
My favorite part of this chapter would be after Draco cries to himself because everything he has ever known, everything that's been ingrained into him, has been disproved by his own experiment. It's also easy to feel very sorry for him when he wants to go back to apologize to Harry, a person he truly believes is his friend, but has done something that has probably put strains on the fabric of their growing friendship.
| Ken chapter 23 . 6/10/2010
A thought on the genetics of squibs, muggles, and wizards as shown in canon (though I have no idea how you'd rewrite this chapter to fit it): if Squibs are magical, but unable to use it, there could be a recessive gene that makes you a witch or wizard (allowing for muggleborns) and another recessive gene that prevents that one from being expressed properly (creating squibs who can feel magic but not use it). Ozma has a whole series of fics developing this sort of squib.
Actually. . . in that case a squib marrying another squib could never have wizard children, but a squib married to a wizard would have about fifty-fifty squibs and wizards. I suppose Harry could have done the search based on that, but it's much less interesting than the pattern in this version.
| Syithe chapter 23 . 6/10/2010
Amazing. Not only do you have an intriguing premise, but you also made the characters themselves interesting. I'm not rushing through to get the major plot points, I'm savoring the moments that lead up to them. I sincerely look forward to reading more. Thank you very much for posting this.
| Angbard chapter 23 . 6/10/2010
Ah! I just remembered that Wizarding time-travel is self-consistent, so there was never a Harry that suffered two hours under the Gom Jabber curse.
| Angbard chapter 23 . 6/10/2010
Great chapter - really intense!
You portrayal of Draco is of the best I've seen both sympathetic, and repugnant.
It occurs to me that Harry could have called a house elf for assistance - to get help or to open the door.
... And Dumbledore lied, at least one student has died from foul play in Hogwarts - Moaning Myrtle.
| Psalm Of Fire chapter 23 . 6/10/2010
Wonderful! How do you make such exception confrontations? No, seriously, if you want to teach me I'd love to learn.
| stealacandy chapter 23 . 6/10/2010
I'm a bit confused.
The way I see it, from what you wrote, if I understand correctly, a pair of muggles will never, not ever, beget a magical or even a squib.
A squib and a muggle would have one squib out of every four children, nd the rest would be muggles.
A magical and a muggle would have half their children as squibs, and the other half as muggles.
A squib couple would have one child in four magical, one child in four muggle, and two squibs.
A squib and a magical would have half their children magical, and the other half would be squibs. Right so far?
That only leaves a pair of magicals, and tey must be the exact opposite of a pair of muggles, then, no? That would mean that bot parents have two sets of "magical genes", so all their children would also get two sets of the "magical gene" and therefore be magical. If that's the case, how come first-generation squibs are born in the first place?
| The French Dark Lord chapter 23 . 6/10/2010
Oh that was good!
| badkidoh chapter 23 . 6/10/2010
| Sandy Popstar Pickeltry chapter 23 . 6/10/2010
Hey there, loverboy! It's been so long since I last reviewed, so I figured, why not? You are probably dying to hear about how my reading is going, and I am proud to say that I have finished my first Kurt Cobain biography! Tonight, I'll start on the Patti Smith one, unless you've got an update ready. I'm checking every hour, and my disappointment grows every time! As your girl, I think I have a right to crave an update, loverboy! If you ain't gonna give me none, there won't be none for you when you get home either, if you get what I mean! So just sit tight, and be a good boy! Your lover from Bristol
| StarEyed2 chapter 23 . 6/10/2010
There's one potential problem with Harry's theory that magical ability is controlled by a single gene. In this scenario two wizards COULD NOT have a squib child (unless due to a random mutation). They wouldn't have any copies of the 'non-magical' gene.
It also means that if Harry's theory is correct then the blood purists are also partially correct. Marrying a muggleborn would be no different from marrying a pureblood when it came to having a magical child. On the other hand marrying a non-wizard would. If a witch or wizard were to marry a squib half of their children would be squibs themselves. Marry a muggle and ALL the children would be squibs.
Even given the confounding factor of some 'muggles' actually being unknowing squibs (and thus occaisionally giving birth to magical children) that sort of clear cut odds should have been noticed centuries ago - even without having any knowledge of scintific methods.
| NoreNeither chapter 23 . 6/9/2010
Gom jabbar as a torture spell? That's brilliant. Another fantastic chapter as always... I haven't reviewed before (ever), but Methods is really quite clever-refreshingly so. It's rare that intelligent characters in stories/fics actually are.
| faithaholic chapter 23 . 6/9/2010
"There've been complaints that the summary does not represent the story very well to interested readers. If you can think of a fair way to describe this story in 255 characters or less, let's hear it."
This isn't exactly about the summary, but you have the story listed as 'Harry/Hermione'. Most other fanfic readers that I know usually only read certain pairings. The first time someone recommended that I read this story I closed it out as soon as I saw 'Harry/Hermione' at the top. It was only after hearing so many other people rave about it that I decided to give MoR a chance. You might actually draw more readers if you take that off. And since it doesn't seem to me that the story is even heading in 'Harry/Hermione' direction, it might actually be more *accurate* to change the pairing.
| Murgatroyd chapter 23 . 6/9/2010
Has Harry considered checking for the other numerical consequences of his single-gene theory? The easiest would probably be that if it's true, muggle-born wizards should be exceptionally rare. The vast majority of wizard-muggle marriages would produce only squib offspring, and the handful of exceptions (the ones that are actually wizard-squib) would produce as many squibs as wizards.
| DoubleC chapter 23 . 6/9/2010
Haven't read the newest two chapters yet (I will), but... pleeease more Snape and Dumbledore?
| bluewillow chapter 23 . 6/9/2010
I think the thing that really struck me about these two chapters was how empathetic Draco was, and how obtuse Harry was. Draco was able to understand Snape's love of petty tyranny, get into the role of a Death Eater/Journal Editor, understood what could motivate a blood purist - and at the end, was able to give Harry a mental framework for understanding the impending loss of the relationship between himself and his father... That's a surprisingly nuanced picture of Draco that we don't usually imagine - thank you for sharing it with us!
| sastath chapter 23 . 6/8/2010
Glad to see Harry was really, in theory, toying with Malfoy.
Still wished it was number 5.
| Katamabob chapter 23 . 6/8/2010
Oh, thank God! I was getting really worried about poor little Harry! Children should NOT be tortured! And I'm feeling very willing for *bad* things to happen to Malfoy. Little shit. I'm glad the results turned out the way they did, and that Malfoy's beliefs were obliterated. Wish Harry had been more prepared for the reaction though...
Good thing he still had that time-turner... I actually forgot about it.
Great last two chapters!
| Shikatanai chapter 23 . 6/8/2010
Very enjoyable. I love your incarnation of Draco - completely true to canon while still having depth and being completely believable in this new role. Thank you, and I look forward to further chapters!
| lessthanthreedougie chapter 23 . 6/8/2010
I am in love with your story, possibly more than Harry is in love with his time turner and Professor Quirrel...combined. I can't wait for more, it's so ingenious! :)
| CeilingFan chapter 23 . 6/8/2010
I love Draco's characterization: kind of regretful, kind of sadistic, full of self-pity.
| Sarah1281 chapter 23 . 6/8/2010
So Draco totally overreacted here. Harry's probably right that he can't really go back to believing in blood purism (although nothing stopping him from looking down on those not raised by the wizarding world) but that doesn't stop him from becoming a DE and pretending that he does. I mean, Snape did it, after all, and as long as he's not secretly a spy would Voldemort or anyone else REALLY care? And he can still hate and fear muggles, especially once he realizes just how dangerous they can be.
| KuMardagg chapter 23 . 6/8/2010
Damn, things suddenly got grim in here! I feel like the end of HP & Goblet of Fire, with things taking a sudden turn for the gritty!
Awesome as always.
| confuddled chapter 23 . 6/8/2010
Why hasn't Harry yet commented on the fact that Scourgify is basically a disintegration spell?
| Arkh Cthuul chapter 23 . 6/8/2010
Damn, Ive caught up. I ahte it when thathappens, but seeing you pumped out 23 chapters in less than 4 months I am pretty optimistic to get another good chapter soon.
Also nice Dune Reference with that torture Spell. ;)
| Mother of Tears chapter 23 . 6/8/2010
| Ghost chapter 23 . 6/8/2010
Two possible explainations for flitwick coming in.
If harry wants to keep his good side, he would go to Mcgonnagal (Excuse the spelling)and reak out, saying he used it, but hasn't used it yet, ect ect.
Or he just waits til later and turns time and goes to tell flitwick, hoping that he doesn't get in more trouble.
| egoserenade chapter 23 . 6/8/2010
What I love most about your story is the integration of all the anecdotes about scientific experiments and logic rules. It's almost an unprecedented event for me to encounter even one fact in a fanfiction story that actually teaches me something I didn't already know. Every chapter of your story introduces things which I find fascinating, and I've even been through enough science and math courses that I'm surprised that so much of these are unheard of for me.
I would very much appreciate it if you could recommend any non-fiction books with more along these lines.
| Valhamain chapter 23 . 6/8/2010
So Draco has found his conscience early along some brain power.
However, both Harry and Draco have yet to find the reason why wizards are getting weaker.
Either it is pure propaganda from the pureblood supermaschist or it is a fact.
However should it mean that no squib are born from wizard parents?
I found that a little farefetched, considering that there is a true geniune fear within wizarding famillies to have squib children.(Nevile Longbottom case at least)
Maybe the dynamic duo should test further the theory by determining if Squib actualy are born from wizarding parents. If it is the case, then the Autosomal theory is wrong or another factor may influence magical developemnent in children.
I have been thinking about the foodpoisoning theory.
Being a chemist, i have always been astounded by the primitive and downright hazardous way they are making potion. I will not waste my time explaining the poor aeration or lack of protective gear such as google, glove, etc...
I am talking about their cauldron.
Any time that you synthetize something, the resulting mixture in the recipient is a truly hazardous witchbrew. unused reactifs, the synthetized product and quite a lot other products that could be qualified as trash.
Therefore, anykind of consumption is downright lethal without quite a lot of work in extracting the pure product from rest.
Guess what wizards don't. They drank the potion straight from the still fuming cauldron.
Worse they are using Pewter Cauldron to contain highly reactive mixture. The risk of parasitic reaction with the metalic inside of the recipient is suicidaly high.
Pewter is a malleable metal alloy, traditionally between 85 and 99 percent tin, with the remainder consisting of copper, antimony, bismuth and lead.
Metalic poisoning is a very likely hypothesis.
Particulary if you consider that the period of magical weakening roughly coincide with the growing use of pewter dishware. A simple research on the net told me that pewter dishwares were introduced in britain during the Roman occupation to replace simple clay pot during the middle age.
It would be quite funny if the gradual weakening of magic was caused by "the Art of brewing potion". Making Severus Snape an unknowing accomplice.
| Tangerine-Alert chapter 23 . 6/8/2010
Excellent, brilliant engaging chapter.
| jdboss1 chapter 23 . 6/8/2010
I am struggling to see what is the benefits in having Draco around just push them down the stairs from the events and then h/hr for the rest of the story I don't really see what Draco can bring to the table I feel his demonstration in getting his own way in this chapter has used up any benefit he might have offered a part from cannon fire
Brilliant chapter I really believed magic was fading to
into the end
I believe it's all down to spell is becoming easier for the advance of new discoveries mean in the day-to-day magical citizen doesn't really have the need to force himself into outstanding feet of Magic Magic is like a muscle I believe more you use it stronger you get
(you might have Mrs Weasley more massively powerful than the death eater she killed him the seventh but not physically skilled in using reserves ( on the house work she does every day when using Magic) (ps if you somehow kill Mrs Weasley or any Weasley but the Twin's I won't mind I might actually enjoy it as not being a Weasley fan
another brilliant update keep up the brilliant work I think it's about time your Harry Potter had some type of weapon stored in his super bag a chemical potion bomb?
| anon chapter 23 . 6/8/2010
| Sandy Popstar Pickeltry chapter 23 . 6/8/2010
Anon! Don't you mess with me, toyboy! You just can't appreciate the art of my lover. When his soft and skillfull fingers tickles my stomach through my nightgoun, it gives me a sensation of enormous wellbeing that you and your fellas never could replicate! I bet you're simply jealous of my posission as Less Wrong's posession! I bet you're nothing but a punk, and that you never made love to anyone! I'm totally over you and your inbread cousin's attempt at ruining my reputation 'round here! You just ain't got nuthin' on me and my lover, cause he has written a story that your damaged brain never could have come up with, you mean-spirited, cruel, foolish, damned, Cobainish, piece of Jimmy Osmond lyric's feces!
| HNNNNG chapter 23 . 6/8/2010
This story is still good and you should still feel good.
| cheekylildevil chapter 23 . 6/8/2010
Better to see a chapter with a purpose,
| Starlight Chibi-chan chapter 23 . 6/8/2010
oh dear. the truth hurts, doesn't it, Draco? S
| RJ chapter 23 . 6/7/2010
Great story! But seriously what is it with making Hermione into a Mary Sue? If she was so powerful, she wouldn't have needed Harry's help in Dumbledore's Army.
The way most people see it is that, sure she probably knows more spells, but when it comes to duelling and power, Harry is the giant.
| Deritine chapter 23 . 6/7/2010
Whoah. Intense chapter. You had me honestly believing that magic was fading... and then torture!
Part of my instinctive sciency backwash was what you pointed out in your author's note: Harry should not have placed so much faith on magic being a simple autosomal recessive trait. Sure, that is the easiest to see... but more likely to me, based on canon, that magic is an incompletely penetrating dominant trait (non-Mendelian, sure). But it totally could have been a Mendelian one such as er... the one that means that 50% of the offspring of red and white flowers will be pink. Haha... been too long since that genetics class. Or it could be sex-linked (are there more wizards than witches? Seems to be sometimes!) Or, being magic (considering that his 'it doesn't matter how you pronounce it' thing was disproven and you basically proved divination) there is something other than genes that causes magical inheritance. Like star alignments or something.
It got Draco, true. But what if they come up with some of these alternatives later? Or if it hadn't worked? I was wincing through the whole explanation on genetics. Simple recessive being the easiest to see, but wouldn't they have noticed by now if squibs had wizards kids?
| Lil'layah chapter 23 . 6/7/2010
You are awesome. You are all kinds of awesome. My only disappointment is that this isn't an offical-type book, because it is that AWESOME.
Science for the WIN!
| anon chapter 23 . 6/7/2010
Sandy Popstar Pickeltry is writing creepy reviews. _
| Al chapter 23 . 6/7/2010
A few strong possibilities that Harry missed are:
Environmental triggers - exposure to magic prenatally/as an infant is required to trigger magic
Squibs aren't muggles - which J believe we know. They may just be wizards with some form of other disorder (possibly due to multiple causes) that destroys their faculty to use magic. One of these causes could be linked to muggle descent.
Epigenetics - perhaps you parents need to be exposed to magic for you to become a wizard.
Magic. We know it's possible to enchant concepts in the Potter-verse, like the DAtDA position and Voldermort's name. Family lines could themselves be enchanted/blessed to produce wizards. These blessings could have literally any restrictions on them.
| Y.Rako chapter 23 . 6/7/2010
...Amazing, awe inspiring, extraordinary. Many similar words come to mind but none could truly describe the sheer awesomeness that lies in this story.
The story has many high points but the first one that comes to mind will be the astounding originality. Simply put, your story is as original it can be while still being a fanfiction (considering you only use the characters, locations, etc... given to you by canon).
One thing to note though, you keep on stacking more and more things on the readers plate, it feels stuffed. I find it hard to keep track of everything going on and I have a feeling that was I to hold a remember-ball while I was reading your story it would glow like a supernova.
Can't wait for your next update!
| Rodrigo Black Potter chapter 23 . 6/7/2010
well he WAS being tortured! If that doesn't vouch for an exception, what does?
and my, time travel really is a very, very powerful tool, isn't it? good chapter, though harry is still kinda of weak except of t his powerful magical artefact(that may be taken from him) wich is kind of sad... but the story develops in a great way!
| Cremello chapter 23 . 6/7/2010
That's ingenious! Harry's really smart... and so are you who think of these things... Great chapter!
| Anon chapter 23 . 6/7/2010
Ahhhh Draco didn't know how to lose :(
| Sandy Popstar Pickeltry chapter 23 . 6/7/2010
Hey there, loverboy! I bet you have missed me sooooooo god darn much since the last time I reviewed this hell of a story! I bet you've wondered what's been going on. After all, you haven't heard from me for 2 days, and I'm almost certain that you're missing me just as much as I'm missing you. Well, to start with the basics. For the last few days I've read a biography on Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain, and I am currently planning to read one on Punk idol Patti Smith, and later on, I'll read another on Bob Marley, before I'll read a biography on Jim Morrison. After that I'll finish 2 John Lennon biographies, and I don't know what to do matter how many biographies I read, nothing compares to your loving touch. I really enjoy feeling your soft and tender fingers caressing my skin, while you whisper sweet nuthin's in my ear. Please come on back home soon, or your gal'll be waiting for a long long time.
| Scarlet chapter 23 . 6/7/2010
Fear is the mind-killer, Harry! Awesome to see updates again :)
| Jiece Reno chapter 23 . 6/7/2010
Gom jabbar? A Dune reference? I wasn't aware I could love this story any more than i already did! God bless you, Mr. Yudowsky. Also, 10 for realizing that Anthony "Goldstein" was Jewish. I'd honestly never thought of that.
| lipasnape chapter 23 . 6/7/2010
Exquisit. I'm not scientist enough to understand the Flitwich solution, but the rest of the chapter was great.
| Shining Ducky chapter 23 . 6/7/2010
First of all, amazing chapter. I was shaking.
And then Janet was a Squib /Main/AndThenJohnWasAZombie Win
| dial chapter 23 . 6/7/2010
Nice Dune reference with the Gom Jabbar.
| Celestial Moonwalker chapter 23 . 6/7/2010
The truly fascinating thing is that I actually understand what was being talked about in those two chapters and author notes. *shakes head* It's nice to know not all school knowledge is fading away. Even if I don't know that much about genetics.
Torture spell - AUCH! Maybe Harry will think things through better next time? He certainly should have enough motivation.
Poor Draco. His world has just about started to crumble...
I'm GLAD Harry is still 11 and DOES have gaps in his knowledge. I really hope he continues to strive to fill those.
It's quite possible several factors are contributing to lessening of magical talent.
And I could write all about it (I really did start to) but it's a jumble and awfully disjointed. I could presented it at a later time but that would probably serve as amusement because the point is moot for your story anyway.
Still, the concept itself is fascinating enough to boggle my mind for a while longer. And even if it's just theory it might be worth researching. Hypothesis without proof is still worth consideration.
| Allen Pitt chapter 23 . 6/7/2010
would have been interesting if wizards really were getting weaker due to interbreeding with half bloods/muggleborns/mudbloods... as is, poor Draco. He got hurt worse, in a way.
* On the experiment with Hermione. He shouldn't have been in the room when it was done; his 'knowing' the correct way might have influenced results somehow. Just a thought. But yes, expecting to solve the problem in less than many years was silly. hey, he' only 11.
| MiiRsEnd chapter 23 . 6/7/2010
Nice. I like the continued use of the time turner ala bill and ted.
Very enjoyable and well written.
| uo-chou chapter 23 . 6/7/2010
Holy shit, wow. Crazy, that was a powerful chapter. Keep up the good work!
| yesimahuman chapter 23 . 6/6/2010
What I'm loving is how the individual Kick the Dog moments have either been forshadowed, have a canon explanation, or are a part of a person's character. Harry bullying Neville? Well, it's been pretty clearly established that he finds some social rules... flexible. Hermione, somebody already regarded as a bit more stable than Harry immediately berates him for it, and Harry has to pull desensitization theory out. If Draco's talking about rape like it's okay, expect him to use torture spells later on. And come on, guys, QUIRELL IS VOLDEMORT. I would expect that any lessons that he's teaching aren't exactly usable in real life.
| blucritic chapter 23 . 6/6/2010
This chapter was... so well written it shocked me.
You surprise me again and again, and I love you for it.
| Everetza chapter 23 . 6/6/2010
Quick update me happy. So thanks! I liked this chapter, you've got the story flowing at such a good pace now. The storyline's are all developing and it's not too focoused on one thing like some fics: Harry has more than one goal. Good job, looking forward to reading more :)
| witowsmp chapter 23 . 6/6/2010
I hope Draco does get in trouble for what he did to Harry. No matter what the reason, he put a dark spell on a student and locked him in a room so he couldn't get help. I hope that's against Hogwarts' rules. They can renew their semi-friendship afterwards, but Draco does need to be punished for that sort of behavior.
| Dur'id the Druid chapter 23 . 6/6/2010
Wow. Your taking normaly dry topics normally discussed among geeks and nerds and adding very human elements. I wonder if something like what is happening in your story is why the Freemasons came about and developed as they did. Are you taking inspiration from them?
| Wolfric chapter 23 . 6/6/2010
Interesting couple of chapters. I wonder what Harry is learning from his experiences? Thanks for writing. W.
| APXAS chapter 23 . 6/6/2010
I love this story. It is very interesting to see Harry's dilemmas with magic, yet I was wondering if you give him such an absence of talent as a plot device (First rule of fanfiction) or whether you believe that is how powerful he was in canon? I have read the books, and while there is no explicit comment about his proficiency with magic in the first book, it is very much remarked upon in later books, i. e. his learning expelliarmus in CoS, or the Patronus charm in PoA, or the various spells he uses for the triwizard tournament in GoF, or the number of spells he learns himself, to teach the DA in OotP, etc. I can understand that his performance in class is hardly exceptional as it is explicitly mentioned several times throughout the series, but it always seemed to be impractical, or uninteresting spells which would suggest his poor performance was due to a lack of motivation, not a lack of skill. Sorry if that was a bit long, but it was just something which was bothering me because I couldn't understand if you intentionally portrayed his as such, or if it was an oversight. Also, for Harry's spell experiment with Hermione, did he take into account that the wands used by Hogwarts schoolchildren most likely all come from Ollivanders and that all the textbooks used by the students are written by authors who use roughly Latin incantations, and so perhaps the reason his experiment failed was because the Ollivander wands are preprogrammed to respond to those particular incantations that particular way? It was just another thought which occurred to me. Anyways, I really do enjoy the story, and it was nice to get two updates so close together, especially after your two week hiatus. Keep up the excellent work!
| deitarionSSokolow chapter 23 . 6/6/2010
Now THAT is what properly-done minimally-gradual character development looks like. None of that cliché melodrama crap. :)
I also love the conclusion you had them reach. Beautifully reasoned and tested and taking into account the readers' inherent inability to forget/ignore that the author is ultimately responsible for an unpleasant outcome.
| malcolm75k chapter 23 . 6/6/2010
Nicely done. The long awaited "Draco proves himself wrong" moment arrived nice and dramatically.
Hermione is getting pretty annoying. She seems to believe all answers are in her books and that achievement is measured by how well those answers can be memorized and applied (ie, I can cast faster than you, my books know more than you...)
Her limitation, which I am waiting eagerly to see exposed, is that this sort of thinking discovers nothing new. It does not lead to a deeper understanding of reality. It's like knowing the land pictured on a map very, very well but never expanding your experience by leaving the boundaries of that map.
Her reply of "Why not?" to Harry's query seems like willful ignorance to me. There is a rule there...Find it!
If Harry can break any new ground, discover something more fundamental than the, I assume, piecemeal rules in his texts, he could leverage that understanding to excel at things the way Hermione could never match without learning from him.
I would guess that the spell does not rely on the vocalization of the words, or even a wand movement, but rather on the neurological patterns evoked by such actions. Hence you can have wordless magic if you train yourself to create these thought patterns. Its like training wheels: You need them at first to get the feel of what its like to ride, then you can jettison them as you get better.
Other topics I would suggest Harry to explore:
Magical resistance - Is this a sort of anti-magic to magic? Does magic have poles or modes? Practical applications would be for shielding muggle equipment that Harry might want to acquire to use in future experiments that would otherwise fry at Hogwarts.
Hogwarts frying modern tech - What are the limitations, how does it work? It would be hard to have chemical reactions not work right, say, as human life is bio-chemical. Things oxidize normally, so gunpowder, say, should work. Mechanical items as well - watches should work, I believe. Electronics, not so much. So what is the fundamental relationship there?
Units of magic - Creating potions involves the addition of measured amounts of magical components. Do these things have a measurable magical density? Can the magic be defined for a given ingredient the same way molar weights are defined for elements, say? More exact ways of measuring and weighing should result in greater alchemical accuracy...
What is the source of magic? Does it have poles? Is it internal or external force? Is it a force, an energy source, an expression of the fundamental underlying reality, an entity with some level of awareness?
Is it experience or growth that makes a wizard stronger? ie, does the magical core or whatever develop, or does the wizard just become more adept at using what he has? Where does the magical core tie into the physical being, if at all?
| Arwen Amorita chapter 23 . 6/6/2010
Well, I'm glad that magic isn't fading, though I'm not surprised that I don't remember all of the hints leading up to that conclusion...
Anyway, I'm curious. What effect could something such as inbreeding have on the population of wizards, since the wizarding population is fairly limited, secluded, and has a pureblood prejudice? Would it affect the strength of magic (or lack thereof) or would it affect intelligence or the ability to learn (magic and otherwise)? And would it only affect the "purebloods" or would it affect the entire (or majority of the) wizarding population?
| DarkHeart81 chapter 23 . 6/6/2010
Good chapter! Am glad Harry has found that magic isn't fading. Knowledge disappearing over time make sense, though it does pose a question as to how much is known about magic compared to the days of the Founders or before.
Many things have been forgotten over time and I could see it being possible for wand making in Britain becoming a lost art. Why? Olivander does not seem to have an apprentice or son/daughter to pass his knowledge on to and, as far as we know, he is the only wand maker in Britain, if not all of the UK. Once he is gone there will be no one around to make wands so it could be considered a lost art.
When it comes to magical strength, I think magic may be more like a muscle than a limit truly preset by genetics. I imagine life at the time of Merlin or the Founders being much harsher with witches and wizards using magic more often. The more magic is used the stronger and more powerful a witch or wizard can be. How else can you explain Molly, a housewife who uses magic all time at home to cook, clean, or punish pranks, holding her own against Bellatrix when the Death Eater has taken on and killed groups of Aurors.
I hope Draco gets into serious trouble for what he did to Harry.
| Violet Shadows chapter 23 . 6/6/2010
Heh, that was some cold shit; good two chapters.
| Luiz4200 chapter 23 . 6/6/2010
| anon chapter 23 . 6/6/2010
This was an awesome chapter! I love a) that Harry is starting to be smarter about things (going to flitwick etc.) and b) that Draco was a jerk even though he's changing. One bit of information can't replace patterns of behavior learned over a lifetime. The one thing I don't like it the Harry/Hermione pseudomance but whatever...
can't wait for more.
| Guest chapter 23 . 6/6/2010
I'm really enjoying your fanfic. I'm glad you didn't conclude that magic is fading or the wizards are getting weaker, because the evidence really doesn't support it. If that were the case, then why is Merlin such a big name and then hundreds of years pass, four people in their generation do great feats, and you don't hear about great magic in the generations shortly before or after them?
This seems much more consistent with the Wizarding community being tiny. As Harry pointed out, for a Muggle if you have a one in a million level of ability, there are thousands of you. For a true genius to be notable, you need the ability, the appropriate upbringing, and whatever other factors come together to make someone able to truly contribute notably. If you want a one in a billion level of accomplishment, well Muggles these days will have six in every generation. How many generations of wizards does it take to get an extreme outlier on the bell curve who has the right circumstances to foster it?
Plus, wizards hide info and only pass it on directly. So, how much gets lost when a great potential wizard doesn't find the right tutor (or the tutor doesn't like him). And since great wizards don't always tell what they did, how many great wizard accomplishments aren't even known to most wizards?
Great minds work better in the presence of other great minds. But if one in a million intelligence is so rare in wizards (I'm assuming they have average human traits other than magic ability and fit the same bell curves as Muggles) then you have trouble putting together the sorts of gifted classes that help the Muggles on the left end of the bell curve. Maybe Hogwarts was created because of the sheer luck of having four great minds in the same generation able to work together.
However, I am also looking forward to Draco's realization that if magic and wizards are no weaker than they were, and if the only difference is study, work, and talent - then there is nothing to stop him from trying to be as great as Merlin. And that the belief that they can't do magic on that level has probably been holding back most other wizards. I wouldn't be surprised if part of why Voldemort managed so much was that he didn't just accept the idea that he couldn't be as great.
| irfane chapter 23 . 6/6/2010
Interesting chapter. Ironically, Harry has proved much of the pureblood core beliefs true. IE some external factor is the cause of squibs (as no two magics can produce a squib... though possibly there are more than two states for the relevant gene, though, with incomplete dominance ...ie one mid gene and one magic gene make a magic person, while one mid gene and one muggle gene make a muggle, and two magics make a magic...etc
Following his line of thought, either magical theft is taking place, or all squibs are the children of adultery, or something else screwy is happening. I'm inclined to think magical potency rituals, whether for the caster or his/her children, are responsible, and they steal the potential from elsewhere.
| Dormant Account 24 chapter 23 . 6/6/2010
Wow. What a price to pay for winning. I hope Draco is worth it.
| Nongarak chapter 23 . 6/6/2010
Well! That was an ok chapter. It's unlikely you can just demolish blood purity with a test conducted in a day using information only gathered from portraits and a few books. Are the portraits reliable? Is anything lost in translation? Are portraits able to retain their memories? Can they gain knowledge? Before you can ask a portrait about blood purity, you've got to find out if you actually CAN ask a portrait anything, and get the right answer.
Other than that, it was a pretty straightforward chapter. Kind of disappointed that there weren't more jokes like usual, but not bad.
| Mastigo chapter 23 . 6/6/2010
The "sacrifice" was only permanent in a world with no magic. More specifically, it was only permanent in a world without the ability to erase memory.
| Dureth chapter 23 . 6/6/2010
Ah, awesome chapter, and many thanks for the fast update.
| SevereWrath chapter 23 . 6/6/2010
Actually, the canon explanation *is* that the Cloak of Invisibility was made by Death; I don't think JRK is creative enough to make it otherwise. Part of the reason Harry survived, it would seem, is that via having all three hollows he was "master of death."
There are other explanations, of course. Death, as a personification, may not exist. But canon evidence exists that spirits exist after people die, and that there are ways of accessing the world of the dead via magic (door Sirius fell through). If the door was naturally occuring, the stone could be made from the door. If the door was made, the stone could be part of it (say, a key for accessing the world of the dead). The nature of the want indicates that it casts spells perfectly; or, that part of the difficulty making of casting a spell is offloaded onto the wand. One way to make it would be to shove a wizard's soul into a wand. Why aren't there more? Well, wandmaking in canon-verse is already a trade secret; you can't imagine they'd release that knowledge. And the cloak... who knows.
Of course, you're missing the obvious explanation. That is, wizards can only control magic to an extent - spells are not cast precisely the same way every time.
Sometimes, a spell cast or an object made is randomly "perfect," or pretty close. Sometimes, it fails entirely. Those objects that are "randomly perfect" last, get legends made about them, etc.
That is, it's not that knowledge has been lost. It's that over time, random shit happens. Since the things you have of/know about the past (legends) are predominately exceptional, you'd think the past was likewise exceptional.
Of course, you may have reason to contrast magic in this fic (degenerative) against science (cumulative). Magic is irrational, and gets worse over time; science is rational, and gets better over time.
| ultra dragon chapter 23 . 6/6/2010
okay you had me there...and what the hell happened in the end? it was a bit unclear...
| Darla chapter 23 . 6/6/2010
Brilliant chapters. I love the introduction of genetics into your fic. :)
A couple of points:
- If the ability to wield magic is an autosomal dominant trait (even assuming a simple Mendelian inheritance), "pureblood" wizard does not necessarily mean "possessing of both dominant alleles". If Mable to do magic and munable to do magic, then you can certainly imagine situations in which Pureblood man Mm marries pureblood woman Mm and has a squib child (mm) who for all intents and purposes is like a muggle. One assumes that the families in JKR's world who derive their sense of self-worth from being pure-blooded would hide and/or kill squib children, even if that's up to 1/4 of all children born to those families. (Maybe that explains why there are so many single-child pureblood families...) We have no evidence from canon that squibs differ in any meaningful way from muggles.
- The theory that _all_ Muggleborns are descended from Squibs seems a little unlikely. Again, with the presumption that the ability to do magic is a dominant trait, then presumably the ability to perform magic is a gain-of-function mutation, which initially arose by chance, conferred an evolutionary advantage, and then was passed on. Why assume that such an event could only happen once? There are some loci in the genome that constitute mutational hot spots, which could even explain the relative frequency with which Muggleborn wizards/witches come up with the ability to perform magic...
- Reasons why there could be more and less powerful wizards, other than practice, could include but are not limited to epigenetic modification and variable penetrance. I would also posit haploinsufficiency as a possible explanation, except we have no evidence from Canon to suggest that "pureblood" wizards are in fact more powerful than muggleborns, and given that there's a higher chance that "pureblood" wizards would have both dominant alleles (MM), odds are good that ya only need one to have the full phenotype manifest.
- Just an alternative hypothesis - if JKR misspoke and meant that the ability to wield magic was _recessive_, then the occurrence of Squibs could be explained by an occasional loss of heterozygosity. However, the books seem to hint that there are too many squibs for that theory to really hold water.
Whew - enough about genetics. Again, great story, and I look forward to reading more!
| Skeletaure chapter 23 . 6/6/2010
Another idea, in light of your note regarding the invisibility cloak as evidence of feats which cannot be duplicated: wizards are not significantly stronger or weaker overall, they are simply different. It could be that there are some modern feats which would look like miracles to the ancients, just as there are ancient feats which are as miracles to the modern wizard.
| Puidwen chapter 23 . 6/6/2010
| Katlyn chapter 23 . 6/6/2010
I've really enjoyed reading this story so far, and I'm looking forward to more :)
| TheWiseSirIvanTheShadowLord chapter 23 . 6/6/2010
So how long will it take Harry to realize that his theory of two sheets magic, one squib, zero muggle is inherently flawed because two magics can make a squib despite his theory stating that neither has the capability to be the contributing factor for a squib to exist. I tried to work out a couple punnet squares and compare them to your 6/28 sample to flesh out a theory for more than just one magic node on a chromosome but they all fell flat. Which ultimately leads me to believe that either Draco stumbled across a statistically unlikely but possible set of data or Harry/you goofed somewhere. I am leaning towards statistically unlikely but human error can never be completely ruled out.
I am also surprised you never had Harry come up with a hypothesis that wizards exaggerated how powerful their ancestors where ala my grandparents were cooler than your grandparents or "well yeah but my XXX did YYY!"
Now to go read the authors notes and amend but not change my review.
GOD DAMNIT! You preempt both my points in that note. Another point to you.
| Not-A-Spy chapter 23 . 6/6/2010
This is a good story. Please make sure you continue writing it.
I might suggest having them wait a little while before moving on to bigger and better things. After all, they have seven years and it would be slightly irrational to have the undoubtedly huge amounts of tension between Harry and Draco disappear quickly.
I wonder how Harry will react to the threat of Voldy and Dumbles's manipulations?
| Sangemaru chapter 23 . 6/6/2010
Heh... you sure think of some nove time turner uses.
Love the way you apply your thinking.
| AngelForm chapter 23 . 6/6/2010
One of the greatest truths ever stated: ignorance is bliss, for knowledge cannot be unlearned.
One of the greatest lessons it is possible to learn: how to learn and thus adapt.
So magic, and magical potential, are constants.
Spells can be lost very easily, although spell research is still unknown.
| Furcas chapter 23 . 6/6/2010
Ok, that was awesome.
| Quincy80 chapter 23 . 6/6/2010
I've read a lot of fanfiction, but I've never seen Draco crushed in such a beleivable way.
If you ever get a novel published I promise I'll buy it.
Also the new summery misuses 'and' quite a bit.
Maybe, "Along with new friends, like Hermione, Professor McGonagall, and Professor Quirrell.", "As well as new friends, like Hermione, Professor McGonagall...OminousPause and Professor Quirrell." or "Then came the Hogwarts letter, introducing strange new opportunities to exploit and new friends, like Hermione, Professor McGonagall, and Professor Quirrell. should character count be at a premium"
| Peanuckle chapter 23 . 6/6/2010
Awesome. The idea of a scientific experiment being a dark ritual is kind of funny, but it does make sense. You have to sacrifice belief, and to the magical world, belief is all-important.
| mionedisgized chapter 23 . 6/6/2010
First off I'd like to start by saying, this is a great fanfic! I love reading absolutely original ones, which this most definately is. What made me review however was reading your page and one part stuck out in my mind...
~Albus Dumbledore, the most powerful wizard in the world, holds the Cloak and tells us that he can't make such a thing, that the art has been lost. In other words, there are non-duplicable artifacts lying around as continuing proof of the lost powers. ~
Just because Dumbledore can't replicate it doesn't necessarily mean the magic has been lost or forgotten. Canon has shown us that certain talents are rare and must be inherent rather than taught, ie: parseltongue, metamorphmagus...
You could even say wandlore is a lost art since the only ones mentioned in Canon are all very old (Olivander and the one that made Krum's, can't remember his name, but both are at least 100 yrs old) maybe the talent necessary to make an item such as that just hasn't appeared in the bloodlines recently?
Plus, the Peverell's were said to be true masters of their art, is it possible to duplicate a Picasso or an original Mozart score? Sure we could do it through technology, but it would never be as good as the original, perhaps it's the same with certain magical items?
Thanks for sharing your muse and I can't wait to read more!
| TSFreedom chapter 23 . 6/6/2010
Awesome chapter thanks for posting it soon quickly .
| vicky23 chapter 23 . 6/6/2010
the story is lovely...keep it up..
p.s. i've been searching for a story quite awhile and i cant find it anywhere... so here is what i remember: harry & hermione, they fake a pregnancy, i dont remember why...for the baby bump hermione uses a pillow with magic..
contact me at:
| Treant chapter 23 . 6/6/2010
This story is very exciting! Really looking forward to the next chapter.
What will be done with Draco? Harry can't just let him get away with this as if he uses this used on another student...
| jhonc chapter 23 . 6/6/2010
I read this chapter 3 times...It was simply that awesome...I beg of you to please update this soon. I love this story and every twist you add just makes my day! I really think that once you finish this story you could easily be a published author! ; )
| DrE chapter 23 . 6/6/2010
Wow.. 2 amazing chapters
I especially liked chapter 22, but chapter 23 was very good as well.
| Rowan Mikaio chapter 23 . 6/6/2010
Many of you suggested that too many wizards are sharing a limited supply of magic, which I also didn't think of; but this I don't consider a major branch apart from "magic is fading" (the effects are not easily distinguishable).
The biggest difference that I can see between these two scenarios is that if there is a finite supply of magic to be used, then the death eaters are still accomplishing something. Every time they kill another wizard (pureblood or muggleborn), they increase, by however small an amount, their own magical powers. Therefore, their genocide of the muggle-born and muggle-loving would actually accomplish their goals of preserving magical ability.
If magic were fading, however, then their attempts to save wizard-kind would be futile.
| Sandy Popstar Pickeltry chapter 23 . 6/6/2010
I knew you could do it, my sweet lover of 40 days! I knew you could provide me with such gracious a chapter! Your unhealthy obsession with Dune, (two references throughout the story) is quite worrying, but as long as we make sweet hot and spicey love tonite, it'll be aaaaaaaaaall riiiiiiiiiite
| Baughn chapter 23 . 6/6/2010
That worked. I suppose he doesn't know any stunning or binding spells?
| qtar1984 chapter 23 . 6/6/2010
Problem with you're theory, it should be impossible for wizards to have squib children. if being magical is a recessive trait relying on only one gene like blue eyes is then if both parents are magical then all children are also magical because two MM gene parents would always have MM gene kids. in cannon there are squibs born from two wizarding parents.
| Sarah chapter 23 . 6/6/2010
haha, for new readers, you might want to add 'professor of.." or they might assume she married Flitwick or Snape...
...3 I love your Draco. I mean to say, he's kind of how you wanted cannon-Draco to be.
When Harry dropped the hacksaw, I thought he'd cut off his hand. e.e I'm sure it could be regrown, but it made me wince for that second.
Oh Flitwick! Yay!
And like I've said before - I like that Harry's knowledge is believably that of an 11 year old. It's annoying when Harry is a prodigy, but doing stuff that adult prodigy's would be doing.
Thanks for the two updates! They were interesting.
| phoebe turner chapter 23 . 6/6/2010
i loved it!
| Larry Huss chapter 23 . 6/6/2010
You do a mean (well writen) Draco.
You have also brought up a good point for future plot developement, how will draco handle his father.
Nice way to show the differnce between the D&D character stats of IQ (intellegence) and Wisdom. Harry's got IQ to spare, but only an 11 yr old's wisdom.
yrs. L. Huss
| Animekitty47 chapter 23 . 6/6/2010
Woah. Just...wow. Well...the make up scene between those two is gonna be interesting, huh? I wonder if you'll have a teacher/Madam Pomfrey examining Harry's hand...and how he's going to get out of that with Draco being expelled. Draco calling science a ritual was surprisingly amusing. Hmmm, how did Flitwick know where Harry was? Gah. Also, since you're going by the one gene theory (for now?) would squibs just be muggles?
| Bel e Muir chapter 23 . 6/6/2010
I liked the part of this chapter from the moment Draco left Harry alone while he was being tortured. The Dune reference made it truly special :)
Gom jabbar - a test to check one's humanity, because only human can withstand pain without taking his/hers hand off, anything just to make the pain go away. And Harry thought about that, too, but because his hand was numb for a part of time, he didn't have to make a choice, not really. He was rescued just before pain returned. So, is he a human, or an animal? :)
I also liked Draco behavior. His decisions, his actions just fit - he wouldn't rescue Harry from the pain; from death maybe, but certainly not the pain. Not after 11 years of listening to his Death Eater father and only after a few months of Harry's trying to undo that influence. That's why I think Draco was so believable in this chapter.
Thanks for this story and a new chapter as well. Hope to hear (read) from you soon! :)
| Apocalypse chapter 23 . 6/6/2010
Umm end of the universe, anyone?
| Adam Shea chapter 23 . 6/6/2010
"Gom Jabbar"? Really? The Gob Jabbar was the poisoned needle (ref: when Alia kills Baron Harkkonnen). The pain box wasn't given a fancy name.
| Loonynamelass chapter 23 . 6/6/2010
Your characterization of Draco is fantastic. I can't wait for the next chapter.
I'm also very relieved that mudbloods are no worse than purebloods... Yeah, I know, it's a given, I suppose, but I couldn't help simply getting caught up in Harry's "all you beliefs could be denied, and you have to accept the evidence."
Finally, your definitions of squibs, muggles, and wizards really confuse me.
As far as I've gathered from the seven books:
Squib-nonmagical human born to two wizards which may have residual magical properties that are stimulated by Kwikspell.
Wizard- magical being.
By this, it really doesn't make sense to me for anything but a squib or muggle to be born to two magical people.
Just for imagery, I'd like to ponder the genomes in this below...
MM MM MM (but pureblood wizards can have squibs)
MO MO MM, MO, MO, OO
OO MM MO (but muggles who marry wizards do sometimes have wizard children that aren't squibs)
OO OO OO (but what about muggleborns?)
Although I'm relieved that they arrived at their definitive conclusion, I simply can't grasp how yet. Perhaps I'll reread that part of the chapter or something when I've more time.
| tatewaki2000 chapter 23 . 6/6/2010
A cute ending. :)
I can ignore the torture, and mindless screaming.
A crying Draco and the appearance of Flitwick, keeps me from ditching this fic altogether.
An interesting chapter, at the very least.
| Always-Underrated chapter 23 . 6/6/2010
Oh oh oh. The pain. And not even the literal pain that Harry experienced, or the mental pain that Draco is experiencing. I mean, THE PAIN. My pain, that is. Of not being able to see what happens next, immediately, without and excruciating wait.
...On the plus side, while I was waiting for this chapter to come out, I found a few other good fics to read. So I think I might survive. Maybe.
Amazing, as per always.
| LadyBluePhoenix chapter 23 . 6/6/2010
That was good, I Harry is going to have to tell everyone what Draco did...because when he goes to Madame Pomfrey to fix it and she'll realize it was a torture curse and that will force him to explain wont it unless he refuses to tell though I think Harry should tell, after what Draco did
| Xuenay chapter 23 . 6/6/2010
Blink. Blink. Blink.
That was sheer awesome. My new favorite chapter, quite possibly.
Right now I'm just sitting here, somewhat dazed by the emotional content in this chapter. Dazed the way I tend to be after reading good writing, which happens way too rarely nowadays.
The part with Draco thinking about going back and helping Harry, but then not doing so despite knowing that he should? That was one of the crowning moments of this chapter. It felt very realistic.
| purpledinosaur7 chapter 23 . 6/6/2010
AWESOME. Just... awesome. I am completely in love with this story in general, but this chapter just about made my life.
I can't wait to see what happens next! The only thing that could possibly make this story better is some Draco/Harry slash...
| firedraygon chapter 23 . 6/6/2010
This chapter is pure genius. I love how Harry explains Mendelian genetics to an 11 year old wizard, how he orchestrates everything until the final part where Draco snaps. Fantastic work.
I wonder about the time-turner though. So is it the first time through, Harry needed to stay under torture for 2 hours before he could escape? Hmm...
I'm looking forward to the next update!
| Scott Harris chapter 23 . 6/6/2010
Of course, Harry is actually ignoring a bunch of other possible hypotheses, which is reasonable since he's still only eleven.
Suppose magic is passed down with the mitochondrial DNA, and only the mother's heritage is really important? Suppose heredity of magic is mediated by some process other than DNA, such as family genii or spirits (hey, if ghosts and other such spirits exist...), or just exposure to magical emanations in the mother's womb and through early childhood, or any of a dozen other possibilities?
Of course, what looks strangely like a Mendelian inheritance pattern for a recessive gene might be hard to reconcile with any of these, but I haven't bothered to think them through yet; maybe one of the others would also predict the same proportions.
| FuzzyBoots chapter 23 . 6/6/2010
Interesting. _ Nice Dune reference. Kind of makes me wonder whether, in this continuity, Frank Herbert had a distant ancestor tortured by the spell such that, years later, when he tried to decide on a proper name for the test, he decided on a bit of lore his granny taught him about how his great-great-great-great-grandfather had to fight a Faerie King who forced him to undergo a tremendous torture to win back his true love.
I agree that Harry's interpretation of the genetics is a bit shaky, but like you said, he is a kid. Myself, I was thinking more of a genetic predisposition and an environmental trigger. Exposure to magic brings further magical abilities. For Muggles with the right predisposition, they have to have accidentally walked into the Leaky Cauldron, or for the little old lady babysitting them to be a secret which, whereas those living in magical families are surrounded by minor magical artifacts whose radiation turns on the right genes. Some, of course, will lack the right genes, even in pureblood families.
Lastly, I'm glad to see that Draco remains in opposition to Harry despite his revelation. _ I wonder how long it will take for him to realize that he can choose to reject the truth and, moreover, use the scientific thinking he's learned to find ways to convince other people through falsified results and bad tests. Not all scientists are devoted to the truth whatever it turns out to be.
Overall, I'm still liking the story. No major corrections in my opinion. Good job.
| Nancy Lebovitz chapter 23 . 6/6/2010
At least some of the nice tidy Mendelian genetics could be blurred by adultery. Marriage isn't a perfect surrogate for parentage.
I'm curious about the link between genetics and magic- is the magic gene simply a physical arrangement of atoms which makes magic possible, or is there magic in it?
Are there magic bacteria?
The Interdict of Merlin may back my theory that formal schooling is part of the problem. Time spent in school is time *not* spent as an apprentice.
| Jaxtopher chapter 23 . 6/6/2010
Awesome chapter - I very much like the way you played Malfoy. I have some trouble seeing how he's going to get out of this one, though. Even for someone with his connections, surely the professor will recognize a torture spell when she sees one and demand and explanation.
| troyguffey chapter 23 . 6/6/2010
Lost knowledge is EXACTLY why you don't make things like the Interdict of Merlin! That's why humans freaking INVENTED WRITING! Interdictus Merlinus delenda est!
| MinhaPessoa chapter 23 . 6/6/2010
favorite chapter... it was beautiful...
"That which can be destroyed by the truth should be"
| fsdfasefe chapter 23 . 6/6/2010
awesome awesome awesome!
| Mac Ceallach chapter 23 . 6/6/2010
I was going to whine about simple Mendelian genetics not being possible, because we see Muggle/Wizard crosses in the books (Tom Riddle, Dean Thomas) that are not Squibs. It seems improbable that the all or most of the muggle parents are really muggle-born squibs (unless an unconscious selection for magic on the part of the participants is occurring, of course), and if many muggle/wizard crosses were squibs then Draco would have presumably known that and brought it up. I was speculating about multiple genes, some of which might be dominant, but 'magic genes' being dominant wouldn't allow for the birth of muggle-borns... Then I read your authors note, where you acknowledged the alternate, more complicated possibilities that Harry might not know about. So, I'm just going to shut up now, and say how much I liked the chapter. I particularly loved Draco's perspective on the 'ritual' of science. And the whole idea of treating it as a ritual, really. My favorite quotes:
"You call that a warning? When we're doing a ritual that calls for a permanent sacrifice?"
"But Father hadn't known that the accursed Muggles had invented rituals that didn't need wands, rituals you could be tricked into doing without knowing it, and that was only one of the terrible secrets which scientists knew and which Harry Potter had brought with him."
I was laughing despite the torture. Thanks for writing!
| rollingWater chapter 23 . 6/6/2010
Your idea on using genetics is an interesting one, and it seems viable. Of course, it also requires that every parent of a muggleborn be a squib, because if one is a muggle, then the non-magical gene would force the children to be a squib at best. Since muggles CANNOT possess a magical gene, every muggleborn must be descended from some magical being from each family line, whether their grandparents, or their distant ancestors. It also means that there are far more squibs than anyone would expect, as any line that goes from magical being to squib to muggle would dead end, so any that end up with a muggleborn has a line of exclusively squibs between them.
| Count Napula chapter 23 . 6/6/2010
So, so intense! I can't wait for the fallout of this one. Thank you for updating.
| Crescent Beam Shower chapter 23 . 6/6/2010
| WaxWings chapter 23 . 6/6/2010
Thanks for the quick update.
Concerning genetics. There seems to be a problem having three categories of people controled by a single gene that consists of two alleles.
1. Squibs would never be born to a Witch and Wizard. Since both parents only have the magic gene, they can only pass on the magic gene, therefore their offspring would have two copies of the gene and would be a witch or wizard.
2. There would be no such thing as a muggleborn witch or wizard. A Muggle crossed with any other phenotype can only result in a squib or muggle.
Number 2 might be resolved by thinking that so called muggle born are actually children of Squibs who are sufficiently removed from their wizarding cousins that they have no knowledge of the wizarding world. Number 1, however, cannot be reconciled with canon.
I am glad to see that Harry is still able to take adavantage of the time turner, and remembered McGonagle's advice.
| Entropic Specter chapter 23 . 6/6/2010
About the chapter 22 notes: Checking for new email is more work for me than switching to the tab with your story and hitting reload. Guess I'll keep wearing down that F5 key.
About the new chapter: I'm a bit surprised how "well" Draco took the conclusion of their experiment. I would have expected him to have some manner of in-built absolute denial macro for this. In any case, this was another delicious update.
Update soon! Please.
| me chapter 23 . 6/6/2010
Well, that was surprising. Draco torturing Harry like that, very... twisted. I like the Dune reference too.
Anyway, keep up the good work!
| gwern chapter 23 . 6/6/2010
Many of you offered the suggestion that the accomplishments of Merlin and the Founders had been exaggerated. I confess I didn't think of this hypothesis - hopefully I would have if Harry had been putting forth a genuine and honest effort to list out all the alternatives. I did make an absent-minded mental note that there were many more than the six listed, but that sort of major branch is still the sort of thing I should have at least thought of.
And is easily dismissed with a second's thought; in canon, the world is strewn with powerful spells and artifacts that can't be created or competed with by contemporary wizards. (The Deathly Hallows come to mind only as the first and most obvious such artifacts; Hogwarts itself is a case in point.)
"I didn't know anything you didn't know," Harry said, still quietly. "I admit that I suspected. Hermione Granger was too powerful, she should have been barely magical and she wasn't, how can a Muggleborn be the best spellcaster in Hogwarts? And she's getting the best grades on her essays too, it's too much coincidence for one girl to be the strongest magically and academically unless there's a single cause."
Like longevity and IQ are linked...? There are a lot of things correlated with good health and thus correlated with each other. Nothing wrong with magic being one of them.
And come to think of it, isn't Hermione evidence for multiple alleles rather than one?
You have Harry remark earlier that there are absurdly few Muggle-born in Hogwarts considering how many muggles there are compared to wizards. Combine that with selection effects (any wizarding child which is anywhere near being magical enough to go to Hogwarts *will*, but perhaps it takes something more for a Muggle child to be chosen out and the risk & effort taken to try to enroll her) and you get an explanation for Hermione and the paucity of mudbloods.
| csad21 chapter 23 . 6/6/2010
*scowls* I really don't appreciate the evil-little-boy-who-needs-to-be-redeemed approach to Draco in this story. But the insanity in previous chapters always made up for it, so I'm hoping/assuming this will be true for later chaptes as well.
While I *had* expected this to be a flimsy excuse to convert Draco to the blood-mixing means nothing faction, I'd hoped perhaps you'd go the other way, that blood-mixing does affect magical powers. It would have made for even more insanity in the story, after all. After all, the insanity - aside from the science broken down for everyone to undestand - *is* the best part of this story.
I guess I can assume that my earlier excitement - caused by the notes Harry was getting - about this being a Dumbledore's-manipulations-get-exposed type of story? There go my hopes. *sighs* Oh well. Let's see how far and where the insanity and other interesting tidbits will carry this story, canon-wise.
| PBrules chapter 23 . 6/6/2010
OMG I was really worried he would actually hack his own arm off for a minute there, yuck.
He takes the torture very calmly doesn't he? I mean I know he's been trained to lose/accept defeat but I'm a little surprised he's not more angry with Draco. I hope Draco will have to work hard to make Harry trust him again.
I'm really enjoying this story though, can't wait for the next chapter!
| SaintPeter chapter 23 . 6/6/2010
So I think If I'm reading it right that Harry had to cut off his hand in an alternate timeline, then use the time turner to go back in time far enough to send a note to Professor Flitwick to save him in time to keep him from cutting off his hand. He should have the time turner on him, he just can't use it because it was not 9pm then.
Also, Woah. I agree that I don't think TV Tropes has a name for this.
| Heidinanookie chapter 23 . 6/6/2010
I really hope Harry realizes that he can't let Draco get away with using a certainly illegal torture spell on him. He'll have to report this - and even if Draco tries to blackmail him with the announcement that he's going to make their findings public (or tell his father) Harry should keep in mind that nobody is going to believe him, anyway, so the threat is worthless.
anyway, Harry really, really needs to learn some techniques to cope with panic! It incapacitates you ability to think. I've locked myself in a public toilet twice when I was a little kid, which made me mortally afraid of locking doors for years to follow after the first time around and taught me how to get out of there by fighting down the overwhelming panic and keeping my head the second time.
So: Next time Harry sees Quirrell, he aught to ask him for some... meditation techniques or something so he can assure himself of being in charge of the full power of his mind at all times and in all situations.
Aw, damn, and how did Harry get that note to Flitwick? Seems like I'm still not following this story as alertly as I should.
I guess Harry will forgive Draco (which is stupid, but Harry's not that intelligent, for all his science and stuff) and keep the incident their little secret. Stupid. On the other hand, Hermione is smart enough to figure out that something happened and she won't be deterred so easily...
Another point that I can't quite wrap my mind around is the concept of Muggleborns. According to Harry's interpretation of Mendel's law muggleborn wizards and witches should be impossible. They can only be "Squib-born" - if both parents are Squibs (somehow descendent from a magical) family with one magical gen each and not Muggles with no magical gens at all. Or is the magic in Muggleborns the result of crossing-over? Or mutation?
I hope you'll explain more thoroughly.
| ByLanternLight chapter 23 . 6/6/2010
... This is how you create a trusted lieutenant that will, at your moment of triumph, stab you in the back. Good job, Harry, in assuring your eventual downfall. 5/5.
| Raven3182 chapter 23 . 6/6/2010
That was intense.
I wasn't expecting a confrontation of such intensity at this point in the story. Kinda like Harry, I expected him to ease Draco into the ability to accept that he was wrong before he just laid everything on the line. But this way certainly made it a more interesting read...
I wonder what will happen to the Harry and Draco dynamic now. Draco seems to think that he has no one to go to but Harry. I can see it going two ways, either Draco crawls back to Harry, or he convinces himself that he simply won't believe the truth and become a bitter, angry person. Either way would be fine with me. With the first path, Harry, Hermione and Draco could form the new Trio and take on the world. With the second path, Draco would be a great arch-enemy for Harry. Good things for the story either way.
As for the actual genetics, I could be wrong, but, if magical ability is determined by a single gene, wouldn't it be impossible for muggleborns to exist? If muggles are the people that have two non-magic genes, and two muggles have a child, how can that child all of a sudden have two magic genes? Muggles simply don't have the magic gene to pass on. Maybe I missed something... Like I said, I might be wrong.
Anyways, great chapter and I look forward to more, hopefully soon. It seemed like I was waiting forever for chapters 22 and 23 to come out. Thanks for writing!
| Zicou chapter 23 . 6/6/2010
| lilyoftheval5 chapter 23 . 6/6/2010
That left an impact...
| Toki Mirage chapter 23 . 6/6/2010
Oh thank god. I was worried about Harry for a second there. *wipes sweat off brow*
Stupid idiot Draco. *scowls*
That was great, btw. The whole experiment disproving blood purism. mwahahaha!
| Tiky3000 chapter 23 . 6/6/2010
My mind always feels twisted after reading a chapter. I kinda like it.
Your blog gives me the same feeling of mental vertigo.