|Reviews for Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality|
| Guest chapter 28 . 4/18
Now I really wonder what Harry would say if he met Tonks.
| ack1308 chapter 28 . 4/6
| yourpainandpleasure chapter 28 . 4/1
this was golden. i think i'm in love with this fic.
| Jatok chapter 28 . 11/14/2016
Blah blah blah. As if anyone would stop and ask a teacher if they had the knowledge of harry
| Rambling Drabble chapter 28 . 9/25/2016
1. So Dumbledore has used Transfiguration in combat and survived, eh?
2. So many plot details in a single chapter. It's great when authors go ham on their plots.
| blood-doll-aishiteru chapter 28 . 9/19/2016
| greycat chapter 28 . 8/24/2016
[ The earlier experiment had measured whether Transfiguring a long diamond rod into a shorter diamond rod would allow it to lift a suspended heavy weight as it contracted, i.e., could you Transfigure against tension, which you in fact could. ]
I'm pretty sure you had the climactic confrontation planned out from the very start. This is the first foreshadowing of it, I think, other than the extremely cryptic header of chapter 1. It's rather mind-blowing, and I am impressed.
What I really like about this chapter is how Harry peels away layer after layer of his own map/assumption/belief system, completely tearing through every obstacle until he finds the answer. Intense! Finally he does something right.
| Jebediah Kerman chapter 28 . 6/22/2016
I love space. I think space is awesome. From that love came the notion that Harry was trying so hard to understand magic, he wasn't nearly taking enough time to think about how to exploit it. I am so very deeply disappointed that Harry didn't realize that almost how easy space travel would be when you have something (say, a pouch) that could store rocket fuel and make it WEIGHTLESS! One of the major problems with getting very far is space that that if you want to say... come back from mars, you would need X fuel. Unfortunately you now need an additional 2*X fuel to get to mars in the first place, since you have to carry the weight of that X fuel with you. But what if you didn't? What if you could have a small capsule big enough for one man (the insides can be a whole lot bigger anyway), and a single engine connected to a arbitrarily huge amount of fuel that costs you nothing to have? Why, getting anywhere just became as simple as getting a better wizard to make a bigger container! Space travel won't ever get more easy than that! Damn Harry for not having his priorities strait!..
| silver chapter 28 . 6/15/2016
SCIENCE: 1 - MAGIC ... well a lot more than one, actually. Still. SCIENCE!
| The Anguished One chapter 28 . 6/10/2016
Partial Transfiguration... Certainly an interesting discovery, but I'm with Minerva that it doesn't really sound like the key to defeating the Dark Lord. Still, congrats to Harry!
| Guest chapter 28 . 3/11/2016
FINALLY A VICTORY FOR THE FUTURE GOD
| Nictis chapter 28 . 2/28/2016
I personally would have been more bothered if Snape had returned her affections... I mean, go him getting over his biggest failing, but you know that Pedophilia is creepy.
For most stories, I would think that power to be nearly useless, but with yours it is much more exploitable. When Malfoy locked the door, Harry could have turned it to glass so that others could see him or he could break out. While The Dark Lord gloats, the ground could turn to sand, and then to diamond.
| Guest chapter 28 . 2/5/2016
That was sooo FUNNY as Luna would say
| Guest chapter 28 . 1/30/2016
Not just partial transfigurations, but science in general.
| Montara chapter 28 . 1/22/2016
Wow! Harry is good! Not too good since Hermione was the one who saved him, but he managed something deemed impossible!
Now that Severus realized who Lily really was, his allegiances might have changed..hope he won't turn dark.
| Pom Rania chapter 28 . 12/23/2015
The end of the chapter is perfect. That is EXACTLY the way to deal with someone like that.
| WatchingTheWatchman chapter 28 . 12/6/2015
They should teach timeless physics at university, it's fascinating! Walking through the various levels of belief is also intriguing to read. Could they create an Alzheimer's cure if they knew more about what it should look like; i.e., if they had a sample of a drug that partially worked?
Yay, finally getting to see the prophecy!
| ShadowLDrago chapter 28 . 10/16/2015
Harry managed to figure out partial Transfiguration by going BEYOND quantum mechanics, wow, impressive. I suspect that it's a Chekov's Gun/Skill or some sort. What? Virtually everything in the original books was one and this is much like them in that it's positively fascinating.
| P. P. P chapter 28 . 9/13/2015
I am rendered practically speechless yet again. Also, lol at that girl having inappropriate thoughts about Snape!
| SomeoneKnew chapter 28 . 9/11/2015
Hey, I just thought of something. McGonagall said not to transfigure anything into food etc because when it untransfigures it'll make someone sick, right? What if someone transfigures cake or fruit or something into chicken, or some other type of food or drink? That should be harmless, right? Unless you turn it into a drink, but you could change food into different food and water to a different drink, right? So the rule should really be, "I will not Transfigure anything into anything edible UNLESS it was originally food or drink, respectively."
| Zyxis chapter 28 . 8/13/2015
IT. HAS. BEGUN! I can't wait to see what scientific discoveries Harry makes, and I can't believe Snape had an admirer. XD
| PA chapter 28 . 5/20/2015
Oh no ... oh no no no. Aaaaah. Snape. Harry. What have you done Harry? Aaaah. tbc.
| Alphabetta chapter 28 . 4/28/2015
yays! Finally we see some real progress! I'm proud of Harry. :D
| Fireboy19795 chapter 28 . 4/21/2015
An excellent story, and I was enthralled by it. I just can't keep reading it, unfortunately. Its just not my style. Personal preference aside, it is an excellent read. Keep it up!
| Village-Mystic chapter 28 . 3/22/2015
Lots of interesting stuff here.
| 4everfictional chapter 28 . 3/14/2015
Great chapter! Though the end bit with Snape was confusing...
| Berlin chapter 28 . 3/8/2015
Mwahahahaha, and thus the hero learns and discovers.
| LauraDragon chapter 28 . 2/21/2015
Some crazy student has a CRUSH on SNAPE?!
| philharmony chapter 28 . 12/30/2014
But the largest question in my brain is still : 'what is up with James' rock?'
| GingerHannah chapter 28 . 12/29/2014
Well. There was something I didn't see coming. Aftermath 2 was COMPLETELY unexpected.
| TheButterflyComposer chapter 28 . 12/24/2014
Hooray, Harry accomplished something!
I know, I know, he's done some cool stuff before but this actual lends credence to the idea that magic has rules that fit in with the rest of mathematics!
| Ana chapter 28 . 11/5/2014
and this is where i stop...sooo, i really like this story its amazing and hard to follow especially for me cause im brazillian and havent really been practicing my english much,but i love all the science and smart talk cause even though its hard its interesting and envolving and it doesnt rot your mind like some stories do but its long and i can never read stories this big for to long without feeling anxious or stupid so i usually pause dont read it for like 1 year or less just to forget it a bit and breath so ill stop here and come back some other time and finish it, and finish it i will because it really is really well written and explained, at least in my opinion, i understood almost everything so yeah thanks for writting.
| 2needles chapter 28 . 8/15/2014
Partial transfiguration is only the beginning. Your Harry's "power he knows not" appears to be experimentation. Of course, I've always wondered what J. K.s "power he knows not" is. I know her Dumbledore claims it to be love, but I feel that it could easily be anything. I personally favor it to be either Hermione or the elder wand.
| Pixelatedzee chapter 28 . 8/13/2014
Wow... The details in your writing is amazing, honestly brings tears to my eyes. The minor alterations to the prophesy and other details makes this story so refreshing, you are a fucking genius. I would have reviewed sooner but I have been to excited to read the next chapter. You have a brilliant mind
| thepkrmgc chapter 28 . 8/2/2014
yay for the powers of SCIENCE! and for more of the Magical Research Lab
| A chapter 28 . 6/15/2014
How did Dumbledore know it was Miss Granger that Harry told..they already knew?
| Uraharaisgod chapter 28 . 6/8/2014
The last lines of the prophecy...destroy all but a remnant and cannot exist in the same world...oh sh!t...the Pioneer 11...it's a Horcrux, isn't it? It seems the Dark Lord is determined to have the last laugh, no wonder he is fine with making no overt moves in this story.
| silverrain-shiningsun chapter 28 . 5/17/2014
"Don't worry," said Professor McGonagall in the middle of her running description, "this almost certainly won't be necessary, Mr. Potter. If we expected anything to go wrong you would not be allowed to try. It's just ordinary precautions for any Transfiguration no one has ever tried before."
Harry swallowed and nodded.
| O chapter 28 . 5/13/2014
"All things are now plasma!" willed Harry.
| Time scicence chapter 28 . 3/9/2014
To partially transfigure, Harry had to go into the deepest level, something about time science, that I don't understand. It seems that it's enough to make him question the Time-Turner, yet he doesn't. If he can conceptualize time in this deep, non-linear way, I'm surprised the time turner doesn't confuse him.
| Guest chapter 28 . 2/1/2014
Did the author just change the prophecy? Isn't 'Neither shall live while the other survives?'
| Talonis Wolf chapter 28 . 1/27/2014
That last bit you threw in there, the scene with Snape and the girl named Alissa Cornfoot... where did that come from?
It almost felt like /the story/ had gone OOC, but I figure you're adding either a romance or a new plot point, maybe both.
Guess I'll have to wait and see...
| Grizzmon chapter 28 . 1/13/2014
Well, Snape is a tad old for her.
| Makokam chapter 28 . 1/8/2014
Okay, so, you've gone full on Alternate Universe on us unless you're playing with time on the level of Backwards With Purpose.
I'm curious as to whether Aftermath 2 has any significance or if it was just for the lols, but lol worthy it was.
| z1dytd12901z7018273f18y2f31238 chapter 28 . 11/16/2013
Hmm...I didn't get the last part of the chapter. Like the very last last part, which is Aftermath 2. My guesses are it's concerning Snape's behaviour and it's purpose is to give the reader a clear insight to how he's acting, and answer Harry's questions about him.
I find the whole concept Harry used to transfigure parts of an object really fascinating, though I had to read the huge paragraphs concerning his logic for that twice. I think I understood the whole illusion-concept, the actual object being away from the mental perception of the object, but it was the very last notch that I didn't understand. Ahh..
Great chapter though, I'll always be reading ahead in excitement :D
| Anon chapter 28 . 7/3/2013
That last bit... I can't. It's too perfect
| Alissie chapter 28 . 7/1/2013
Aftermath 2: So, who's Alissa? XD I certainly share her feelings... Poor thing... xD
| wokanshutaiduo chapter 28 . 6/14/2013
Despite my utter certainty that some of what you're writing is going over my head (despite this being my second read-through), I have to say that this is really brilliant. It's really great to read intelligent fanfiction for once, and I love how you're raising questions about all the illogicalities of the magical world (yes I do know that isn't a word).
| MRSA chapter 28 . 4/9/2013
"There was no contiguity, there was no solidity, just electromagnetic forces holding the little dots related to each other..."
It's weaker nuclear forces and stronger nuclear forces that hold atoms (and subatomic particles) together, not UV and gamma rays, right? I'm bio rather than physics, so my nomenclature might be off, but I think it's not electromagnetic forces (maybe electrostatic?).
Still, I love this story on so many, many levels, from writing style to characterisation to plot to the myriad references to everything. I once heard that a good writer (subjectively) was someone who reflected your prejudices better than you could. Ignoring the negative connotations of 'prejudices' this fic reflects every opinion I have ever held about science and more. Objective reality is a thing, and the world is still there when I close my eyes. More people should be aware of that.
| Another.Professional.Tragedist chapter 28 . 3/30/2013
You just somehow put scientific theory stuff and magic...whaaaa I mean wow and huh?
So genius and crazy yet it makes such sense and just ahduihsaudhausyduyabduasbdhb shdgba
Also some parts I remember thinking quite similarly too, merging the rationality like this is really clever
| Jazz chapter 28 . 3/12/2013
Are you incapable of writing characters that aren't either Vulcans or sociopaths, regardless of their age? This reads like you took Jack Chick's writing classes.
| Roger Willcocks chapter 28 . 12/30/2012
"there wasn't really anyone who'd made the history books at eleven"
A prize master of a captured enemy vessel at the age of twelve.
Kind of depends on what you're looking for :)
| WildCard-Yes Man chapter 28 . 12/19/2012
Aftermath 2... WTF? No really! WTF!?
| StrangeoneXD chapter 28 . 12/18/2012
Oh dear, someone does like Snapey quite a bit
| Mr Norrell chapter 28 . 12/17/2012
Ah, so transfiguration is based upon Plato's theory of the Forms! That explains it.
| Guest chapter 28 . 9/15/2012
Murphy's Law - Whatever can go wrong will go wrong. I love how this book is actually written properly, half of the fanfics aren't. I'm very like Harry in this story before he got into Hogwarts and am really enjoying it.
| voodooqueen126 chapter 28 . 8/1/2012
"Because you can do something that no one else will believe you can do," Dumbledore said. "Something completely unexpected. It may prove to be your critical advantage, Harry, and we must preserve it. Please, trust me in this."
On that note, the cold war could have been avoided, or atleast postponded, if spies had not passed on scientific information to the Russians
| Eviline chapter 28 . 7/21/2012
I'm certainly enjoying the AU verse, and Harry is amusing, but at the same time it saddens me that I recognize nothing from the books.
Naturally wondering about magic and its limitations is something any rationalist would do, and I will forever adore J.K Rowling for providing us with a basic knowledge of this world and leaving the rest up to our imagination (the possibilities are endless!)
Still, it doesn't always add up.
Albus Dumbledore is ashamed of his younger self, and his ambitions to become a Dark? Lord, which was in collaboration with his friend/lover Grindelwald. The Deathly Hallows are something he once sought, so it is logical he'd know about them. But he never would speak of them freely, and would have never indicated their existance to Harry if not for Voldemort's desire to acquire them. In this scenery however, he speaks of it freely to a ambitious and power-hungry boy drunk on his own genius. Out of character for Harry is not once questioning what The Cloak means, where it came from and why he's received it
I am having trouble believing Dumbledore would speak of the Hallows without limitations, that others know about it (Quirrell?)
Also Albus did not figure out they were dealing with Horcruxes until Slughorn provided Harry with the memory of him telling Tom, so how in the bloody hell does he know about them?
Another part I had difficulty believing is the close relationship with McGonagall, in the first twenty-or-so chapters. When causing trouble he is always referred to her. This was logical if she was the Head of House Ravenclaw, but she is of Gryffindor so I see no justification why he'd always be referred to her, instead of Prof Flitwick.
You've also made it clear that McGonagall knows about the (changed) prophecy. Would Minerva know, for in my recollection, Albus is the only one that knows the full prophecy, besides Severus.
I want to say I thoroughly enjoy the exploration, but in my feeling I am not reading about Harry, I am reading about a completely different person who just happens to be named Harry. Growing up as he did, I believe a scientific approach but never was it indicated he was a genius. In that case, the summary would be faulty as there's not an inkling left of the character Rowling created.
Yet another question I have is what is up with Quirrell? He was never described in detail in the books, but this is a completely different character, yet again without a single explanation. Is Voldemort not with him? If so, why not? Where is he then? Where is the troll he let into the castle, or is the bad guy of Book One suddenly gone?
I am further missing any characters of Ravenclaw, how they get up to their dorm, what's up with Harry's sleeping habits, who are his dorm mates, does Hermione have friends beside him?
Finally I want to say I do enjoy reading, but at chapter 28 we haven't even reached Christmas of the first year yet! Certainly detail is allowable, but the amount of pages going into this have I believe already exceeded the first two books of the original series, and there has not been a single hint regarding the original plot (without explanation). Changing the plotline is important yet, but without a logical explanation of events and changed characters I can't help but wonder what on earth it is I'm reading, besides an exploration of the limitations of magic, in which case a story would not be necessary at all.
Ps. Hagrid has yet to make a single appearance.
| Satirica chapter 28 . 7/16/2012
The whole Transfiguration thing is beginning to make sense now, which only makes it more terrifying to me. Also, I found Aftermath #2 amusing. It's just the way Snape dismissed her like that...funny for some reason inexplicable.
| Kirinin chapter 28 . 7/10/2012
Poor Miss Cornfoot! Although Harry's discovery is very interesting. :)
| YlvaThorgalsdottir chapter 28 . 6/23/2012
How is Hermoine twelve and Harry eleven? They're both in their first year, he's born in July and she in September, and I seem to recall that Harry was the one with the Time Turner for this story.
| selquist chapter 28 . 3/25/2012
I had a "woooooaaaah duuude!" moment when I realized what (I think) you're doing with Snape.
My guess: There wouldn't be tension of whether or not Snape is "good" since we already know he is loyal because of his love for Lily. However, it appears that Snape may be moving on and then he would be his own agent...
I didn't get what he now understands about what Lily sees in James. But my threat estimate just went up.
| Jibril Mudo chapter 28 . 1/14/2012
Review to bookmark.
| braindoll chapter 28 . 12/31/2011
tree: The difference between the prophecy in chapter 28 and the one in chapter 77 is that in chapter 77 Snape is deliberately changing key words, both for security and to help get a new perspective on what the overall phrase could mean.
| Thatotherguy chapter 28 . 12/23/2011
| SeamusTheDog chapter 28 . 10/11/2011
Around the middle of the chapter I wanted to yell at Harry,
"THERE IS NO SPOON! GET IT? NO SPOON!"
| AR chapter 28 . 9/21/2011
I think I figured something out...I kinda wish I hadn't. I'll miss the mystery.
Then again you hardly keep me hooked with a single plot.
| Megan McAlistair chapter 28 . 9/1/2011
"I was hoping we could end on an up note"
isn't it ending on a high note?
"there wasn't really anyone who'd made the history books at eleven."
kinda all the more reason to try it
"before the terrible cold darkness looked away and said it wasn't angry with her, because it hadn't wanted to scare her."
as if Harry was a completely different person, something so menacing, pure evil
kind of cool
like Runcorn was described in Deathly Hallows
"or van der Waals forces."
I always thought it was van der Vaal...
then again, I rarely wrote it, only ever spoke it and the pronounciation is the absolute same in German
"The Transfiguration still wasn't going through."
and that after all the atmospheric build-up
I was so engulfed; magic, why do you let us down?
"Did you understand any of that?"
it's easier to understand when it's written down
or said slowly, but I guess Harry just rattled it all down in one breath
"You must swear Miss Granger to secrecy,"
magically knowing it was Hermione
"AND EITHER MUST DESTROY ALL BUT A REMNANT OF THE OTHER,
FOR THOSE TWO DIFFERENT SPIRITS CANNOT EXIST IN THE SAME WORLD."
and either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives.
so it wasn't just the translation, your version really is different
"There was probably something really wrong with her but she just couldn't seem to stop doing it -"
it's called fangirleritis, what else would explain all the Snape slash fics... especially those with Sirius
"with her cheeks flaming like molten lava."
student crushes are without prejudice
be it Snape in your story or Firenze in the fifth book
| ironhair chapter 28 . 8/28/2011
I didn't understand the danger of the experiment that caused Herminone to run like that to save harry...
Was the weight about to drop and hurt harry?
Why did she ask if harry was ok and why did harry say he had no symptoms?
I don't get it :(
| RedEyesTakeWarning chapter 28 . 8/24/2011
Yeah, messing around with fundamental structures of magic and matter is probably not the safest of activities.
Dorotea Senjak the tranfiguration prodigy? ALL HAIL THE LADY OF THE NORTH.
| shhIwasn'there chapter 28 . 8/17/2011
I seriously didn't get it. Is snape going to get evil now that he no longer loves...or does he still...? WHAT DOES HE SEE IN LILY?
what did aftermath 2 mean than? he was more...open? gahhhh
| onefishonly chapter 28 . 7/27/2011
In the middle of this chapter, I finally signed up for to leave a review.
This fic is maybe the first that has really sucked me in. It's actually distracted me from a reread of the Song of Ice and Fire, one of my favorite series ever. I love what you're doing here and how you're doing it-thanks for all the thought and effort this must have taken.
| Isa Knightwalker chapter 28 . 7/17/2011
I always find it surprising when you change other little details, like Minerva knowing about Snape's past (which she obviously didn't in the books)- why does she know anyway? It seems weird that he'd be willing to tell her so easily (or even Harry). The prophecy especially, I wonder what you plan to do with that.
Also, since Krum transformed only his head into a shark (which was said to be a transfiguration and not an Animagus transformation), did he already do a "half-transfiguration?" And if he could do it, then one assumes that other wizards could do that as well. So I don't really get how Harry is doing something that hasn't been done before since changing a human head into a shark head without changing the rest of his body clearly seems to be a more advanced version of changing half of a ball's material into something else.
Otherwise an interesting chapter! lol at the aftermath parts.
| Halla - Carrot Truffle chapter 28 . 6/23/2011
eve and Adam Shea: I'm pretty sure it was just Snape not being completely oblivious and finally deciding (thanks to his discussion with Harry) to quelch her unrequited crush.
Aftermath 2, etc.: I'm pretty sure it was just Snape finally deciding (thanks to his discussion with Harry) to quelch her unrequited crush because he didn't want to deal with seeing it blossom/fester from that point onward.
Vabbie: I'm pretty sure that in canon, you need will and a conduit or battery (whichever wizards and witches are) to cast a spell. In HP&tMoR, will is a definite requirement. Quick-Quotes Quills et. al. canonically don't have will, just sufficiently advanced instructions to make it look like will to a novice observer. Even if they did, it seems to me that it would be inefficient to have a wand made specifically to be able to hold multiple charges of conflicting magic (which is not to say I wouldn't try it, given sufficient funding to make or contract the construction of such a wand).
DragonMan180: People can be attracted to those who disgust them for one reason or another, because the part of their minds that register attraction is separate from or overridden by the part that notices the greasy hair and horrible personality (though depending on what Alissa's fantasies involve, she may not consider his visible personality to be horrible for her purposes). Case inpoint, Indigo Ziona.
Indigo Ziona: I know how you feel. Not with Snape, but with other fictional characters and sensationalized real people.
EsperJones: That was a full transfiguration partly done, like Hermione's match earlier in the story, or Ron's fuzzy teacup/teapot in the film/book. I don't know if Krum was using structured transfiguration and being stupid, using a specially taught and highly dangerous form of free transfiguration and being stupid, or just being stupid.
ejhawman: I understood variations on such concepts when I was thirteen or so, and I had a slow start due to my parents not buying me any physics books for the sole reasons that I wanted to read them and the library didn't have anything more detailed than Stephen Hawking's "The Universe in a Nutshell" and the other one.
VN: Conceit is correct. In this context, it basically means "assumption which is not backed up by anything more solid than faith and/or anecdotal evidence".
I came here via google search from the main page for Chapter 28 because I noticed Alissa Cornfoot was not given a year, and there seems to be no readily-accessible online information on what year she is currently attending. I really, REALLY hope it is sixth year or later. Fourth or fifth year (depending on when hir birthday is) can range from mildly creepy to amazingly awkward, but if she's one of Harry's contemporaries, that is just to a point so far beyond the beginning of disturbing that I have no better way to describe it than far, the story has been amazing in some parts, merely okay in others, and both those extremes and anything in between has been at times hilarious. I've simply had no specific reason to respond to a particular chapter until now.
| Artful Lounger chapter 28 . 6/20/2011
Dorotea Senjak, nice Black Company reference, what's next, the Dread Empire? Am I going to be seeing Yo Hsi or Varthlokkur's names pop up somewhere in here?
| Death by manga chapter 28 . 6/6/2011
Wow! I'm hearing the Police singing "Don't Stand so Close to Me," after that last aftermath.
It appeared to me that Harry had unwittingly used two different forms of magic at the same time: Occulimency and Transfiguration. He used Occulimency to control his perspective and make him believe what he was doing was real.
I think he could use Potions and Transfiguration to make Alchemy, understand the individual aspects of the substance and transfigure its parts into a new form.
| Clownwithachainsaw chapter 28 . 6/6/2011
DID HARRY POTTER JUST REWRITE A LAW OF MAGIC? OMG!
| mslight chapter 28 . 6/3/2011
I think this is the best fanfction for Harry Potter that I've read so far. Of course I haven't read ALL of it yet, but so far it's made me laugh so hard that I've fallen out of my chair.
I find myself hoping that Quirrel is not evil, but at teh same time I expect him to turn out super evil. It's a strange feeling. I just hope that even if Quirrel turns out to be evil Harry turns out good. I'm going to have to go to the website that you've suggested just to understand some of the science and reasoning that Harry has had in the fiction so far, but I am enjoying it quite a bit nonetheless.
Thanks for taking so much time and putting so much effort into this. :)
| AnaRola chapter 28 . 5/24/2011
I thought I understood quantum physics, but I'm pretty sure I don't understand it well enough to do partial transfiguration. That is now my new standard for really understanding things; do I understand it well enough to make new contributions to magic, if it existed? And there's a voice in the back of my head that sounds like Harry whenever I think. You are an evil genius.
I'm loving the use-of-science-in-magic theme again. This story is at its strongest with the Harry-Draco interaction, the Harry-Hermione interaction, and all of the places where science is actually integrated into the story, instead of just being a random lecture dropped by Harry when he's showing off how good he is. I also love Professor McGonagall, and the subtle world building you do, which blows J.K Rowling out of the water at times. The comment on Dumbledore using partial transfiguration in combat, and still being alive, made a lot of sense to me.
That's the other thing about this story. Sometimes, usually when Harry's explaining science, but sometimes when someone else is explaining magic, it just clicks in my head and makes perfect sense. It's an amazing feeling, and I am in awe of you for being able to consistently achieve it.
Snape... that one doesn't make sense to me. I reread it four times, actually, since I have a feeling you're dropping clues all over this narrative if I were only smart enough to see them, and I still don't get it. Is this the change in behavior Harry commented on? What's Harry playing at, anyway? What's Snape playing at? So... I notice that I am confused. I'll leave it at that, for now.
If you're making this up as you go along, I'm going to be hugely disappointed. Otherwise, assuming you ever finish it, it may be the most fantastic thing ever written.
Unfortunately, I don't think my physics teacher will take "I was up until 3 reading Harry Potter fanfiction about quantum physics!" as an excuse when I fail her final tomorrow - scratch that, later this morning.
| trevalyan chapter 28 . 5/20/2011
At the risk of sounding like someone who's come far, far too late to the party, someone who took way too long to figure out why the author regards a particular moment in the arc of one particular teacher as incredibly significant...
... CAN LEGILIMENCY BE USED TO CAUSE INCEPTION?
If so, then wow. Just wow. Awful, yet entirely in-character.
| ARMH chapter 28 . 2/22/2011
Finally a success. Partial Transfiguration isn't an ideal weapon against Voldemort but at least it's better than love. I liked the revised prophecy.
| s-david-m chapter 28 . 2/2/2011
Still enjoying this story, but I'd like to point out that there are perfectly reasonable explanations why transfiguration can only work on whole objects. Consider for instance a force that dissipates quickly over ranges beyond molecular bonds.
| w chapter 28 . 1/6/2011
Very nice altogether. Interesting take on reasoning taking Forms as axiom. "Indeed," said Dumbledore. "But Harry is the hero, so he may be able to do things that are logically impossible." Your D is great when he's crazy.
| Tangshou chapter 28 . 1/4/2011
This is just great. I love the mixture of science and magic here. The discovery went well: possible but not easy. You picked a great discovery to start with. It even shows the contrast between quantum and classical thinking.
I want to make a correction about one line though:
'Atoms were held together by a quantum mist of shared electrons, for covalent bonds, or sometimes just magnetism at close ranges, for ionic bonds or van der Waals forces.'
1. You left out metallic bonds, which could also be described as a quantum mist of shared electrons.
2. Ionic and van der Walls forces are not magnetic, they are electric. They could also be called electro-magnetic but that's just using a more general label. Ionic bonds are electro-static, so magnetic fields are not involved at all. van der Waals forces are due to electric dipoles. Some of those dipoles can be fluctuating, making them electrodynamic. This would mean magnetic forces could be present but they would be tiny compared to the electric forces. It would be like saying gravity helps hold molecules together.
| Obi1Nemogbr chapter 28 . 12/31/2010
Fascinating story and looking forward to the rest.
I hope Snape does not give in to temptation.l..lol
| MungoJerry chapter 28 . 12/16/2010
OH MY GOSH. I didn't even think about that.
Poor, poor Snape, having open access to all those hormonal young minds...
| Indigo Ziona chapter 28 . 10/28/2010
"Anyway," Hermione said. Her voice shook. "I don't want to keep doing this. I don't believe children can do things that grownups can't, that's only in stories."
She's not quite Genre-Savvy enough, really :)
"Indeed," said Dumbledore. "But Harry is the hero, so he may be able to do things that are logically impossible."
"...She kept staring at their awful, mean, greasy professor and fantasizing about special detentions. There was probably something really wrong with her but she just couldn't seem to stop doing it - "
I'd mock, but I was playing a game that was a special feature with the Chamber of Secrets DVD, and squealed when it said "Professor Snape has put you in detention". He's the most attractive horrible greasy reclusive bastard I can think of.
| Nerdfish chapter 28 . 10/13/2010
I just had the weirdest thought.
What if the idea that universe is lawful is a anthropic bias, as in that our existences required a lawful universe.
And that everything we know about the universe is situational, as in how they worked right here and now.
Someone pointed out before our reality did not sit on a true vacuum, it could undergo vacuum nucleation to a more stable vacuum state. In that case all organization based on the set of "rules" we perceive to govern the organization would instantly disintegrate.
| LunaSlashSea chapter 28 . 10/8/2010
Excellent chapter. Very interesting. Love the bit with Snape.
| Anonymous chapter 28 . 9/18/2010
Is Hermione on the Atkins diet?
| Morbious20 chapter 28 . 8/12/2010
| Dead Man Writing Is Dead chapter 28 . 8/7/2010
I must say, the line about breaking Mcgonagall's record was spot on in character for Hermione. Good job on that.
| CeilingFan chapter 28 . 8/4/2010
Ha! I seem to remember a fic where Harry accumulated a mind-boggling number of "special powers" by telling Voldemort every time he learned something unusual. Then the prophecy - wanting to be fulfilled - bestowed another unknown "power" on Harry.
Dumbledore is not a lateral thinker.
| michael.gr chapter 28 . 7/22/2010
Ow. I'm a bit disappointed by this chapter - I was hoping harry would be proven wrong, and that indeed only whole objects can be tranfigured. One might argue it is very unscientific to assume the idea of "objects" has any meaning in the physical world but why should magic follow the rules of physics as discovered so far? After all, we only know about atoms because of the *results* of scientific experimentation. If experiments prove other results are just as valid, it's still science. I was hoping for Harry to come to the conclusion that Plato's world of platonic ideal shapes exists and exerts influence on the world of matter; that there is a physics / platonic shapes duality in nature, just like there is a wave/particle duality. I *want* to see Harry proven wrong so he has to undergo the same mental shift he put Draco through.
| Bryan chapter 28 . 7/20/2010
I have no real criticisms. I just thought it was strange that the Dorotea Senjak studied at Hogwarts. Was this before or after the Domination?
I'm a big fan of your work so far. It's a blast to read. I wish it were a finished book that I could keep on my shelf.
| Allen Pitt chapter 28 . 7/19/2010
Great chapter (#28) on the partial transfiguration success. And there is no hope for me-I got the "Dorotea Senjak" reference immediately (I'm a big Glen Cook fan). Very very funny-laughed out loud at that one.
This is one of the weirdest & most interesting HP fanfics ever. And I've read far too many of them.
Very very glad to see HP finally getting even a limited success in his research.
| Gerry LaMontagne chapter 28 . 7/12/2010
I just thought I'd make the observation that with "partial transfiguration" Harry now has the ability to kill someone without anyone necessarily knowing how. For instance, he could turn someones heart into stone, or some such thing. The spell would wear off and the heart would return to normal, far too late for the victim of course. Potentially, you'd be left with someone with only trace signs of heart failure, but a perfectly healthy heart.
I don't know how important or meaningful the observation is, but I figured I'd offer it. Sorry if someone else had pointed this out, or if you yourself had thought of it.
Love the story.
| Tom Buckner chapter 28 . 7/9/2010
On review, I think the Author intends that Harry may not need to do anything about the Pioneer horcrux, because according to the prophecy:
BUT HE WILL HAVE POWER THE DARK LORD KNOWS NOT,
AND EITHER MUST DESTROY ALL BUT A REMNANT OF THE OTHER,
FOR THOSE TWO DIFFERENT SPIRITS CANNOT EXIST IN THE SAME WORLD.
The Pioneer is about twice the distance of Pluto and getting farther every day, thus not in the same world. However, earlier events open the door to FTL signaling, which implies that this horcrux may never really be out of play unless destroyed.
| eve chapter 28 . 7/8/2010
Great chapter, as usual. Snape's using mind-reading again - and being that open about it? Hoping for further justification and plot about that later. I can see lots of threads develop, it's a fun story to follow.
I like that you made it hard to manage what Harry did (and didn't make it an absolutely huge thing), so that it's true none of the other witches/wizards, even the muggleborns, would ever have tried it. Nice and believable, a fun chapter.
Oh, I'm hoping you don't make Harry really good at everything. If that full transifiguration is beyond his level and part transfiguration is *harder*, then... just be careful not to always make him able to do what he needs to for his experiments, I guess. You could have made that the half-match to candle, instead of a metal ball, so it fitted what his skill level should be. Minor thing, won't matter if you don't develop it too much.
Off to read the next chapter! ;)
| luosha chapter 28 . 7/8/2010
seems like you don't have to go through all the QM acrobatics if you just reconceive of your transfiguration as changing the whole eraser into an eraser with a patch of glass in it. both whole objects. it's just that you're transfiguring parts of it into itself (if you insist on thinking about parts instead of wholes the way the wizards tell you not to :P)
| A Bibliophile chapter 28 . 7/7/2010
I like Alissa Cornfoots crush on Snape. It's so cute! I wonder if that is part of why Snape is acting odd. It could just be that I need to re-read earlier chappies or that you were foreshadowing. Hmm...
I'm off to read the next chapter now!
| Catamount chapter 28 . 7/7/2010
My guess about aftermath 2 is that it is supposed to reveal that Harry's previous conversation with Snape resulting in him (snape) flipping to the dark side, because Harry basically undermined his central motivation for being an at-the-end-of-the-day white hat. Maybe we're supposed to pick up on it because he's back to abusing students or reading minds or something (I agree that it was a bit too subtle).
| Begonia chapter 28 . 7/6/2010
Well, now I can't help but guess. If Aftermath 2 is in fact an aftermath of events in Chapter 28, it seems a reasonable guess that it must relate to the only events in that chapter concerning Snape: Harry warns Dumbledore to watch him.
It's established that this Dumbledore may be a bit of a creep (sneaking into female students' dorm rooms). Are we to infer that Dumbledore is observing Snape through a student with a creepy crush on him? That he may even have created that crush?
That's pretty gross, if so.
| James Birdsong chapter 28 . 7/6/2010
Boy oh boy great
| Aftermath 2 chapter 28 . 7/5/2010
Maybe I'm misusing the Razor, but is aftermath 2 just a "Take That" at the "Female Self-Insert OC Falls In Love With Snape And Gets Him To Know True Love And Become A Good Guy" (FSIOCFILWSAGHTKTLABAGG) Plot? Seems to be the simplest explanation, but I fear I may be under-analyzing.
| Andrew B chapter 28 . 7/5/2010
The plot thickens... So, Harry has managed to internalize the fact that the timeless quantum wave function is the truth. Now, possibly I've been skim-reading Less Wrong too fast so I may have some terminology wrong, and I'm *definitely* overanalyzing the story, but:
How does Harry specify the boundary of what he wants to transform? When normal wizards Transfigure, the magic that makes magic work seems to pick up on their conscious thought, and maps the perception-of-whole-object back through the Mayan veil onto the object-shaped collection of particles. You can't think of "half a ball" without thinking of the whole ball, and, whether or not your mind knows about atoms or particles, the magic can just figure out what the boundary of the ball should be.
It seems that there is a whole lot of automatic DWIM power built into the magic, and Harry is discarding that by hitting the low-level APIs..
So, the question is - how does Harry tell the magical universe what the extent is of the wavefunction factor that he wants to transform? In the story, Harry focuses on a patch of the rubber, but where does the patch end in a quantum universe? Harry isn't going to have time to enumerate O(1020) particles, but he can't specify a decision-procedure for determining which particles he's thinking about, without thinking in terms of "a patch of the rubber", which he can't think of without thinking of the whole rubber.
In fact, at the quantum level it's going to be much worse than just selecting which particles need to be transformed...
Let's suppose that Harry had flipped a (quantum) coin before deciding to do the experiment, so that the multiverse is in a superposition of (heads x harry in the classroom x rubber on the classroom desk) (tails x harry in the dining room x rubber in the pencil-case)... So, he needs to pick out the bunch of atoms representing the patch on the rubber on the classroom desk, without accidentally including the rubber in the pencil case, or the coin, or part of his own brain.
- or anything else that is entangled with the rubber, which possible includes the whole of timeless creation
- or any other conceivable factors, such as 1/2 * (heads) x (harry in classroom harry in dining room) x (rubber on desk - rubber in pencil case) x (a horizontally polarised hermione)... (ie. he could create or destroy entanglement between parallel worlds).
- in fact, if Harry is operating on a timeless wavefunction, he could specify that the Transfiguration spell produces a discontinuity at some future (or past) point in causality
- and in some subset of possible parallel worlds.
That can't be far from being God...
As ever, I'm looking forward to the next chapters!
| outlawpoet chapter 28 . 7/5/2010
Really cool to see some real magical research protocols. Have you worked out how Potions, Charms, and Divination is experimented with? The first two have similar but distinct safety concerns, and the last has accuracy and information theoretic issues that Harry may be interested in.
| greedyy chapter 28 . 7/5/2010
"It wasn't a lie like the Buddhists thought, there wasn't something terribly mystical and unexpected behind the veil of Maya, what lay beyond the illusion of the park was just the actual park, but it was all still illusion."
- Aghh obviously Harry hadn't read much about Buddhism. There are two levels of truth in Buddhism, and at the mundane level, all mundane phenomenons are impermanent. At the supramundane level, nothing actually exists. The space is made of, well, just space.
You have gotta read how Buddhism fits nicely with quantum physics (wave-particle duality). If my memory's right, the pali term is "attha kalapa".
| Adam Shea chapter 28 . 7/5/2010
A bit blatant on the Snape being a Legillimens in Ch.28 Aftermath 2. If he can't turn it off that's got to be rather annoying at times hearing all the mental sighs of horny tweenys.
| Nongarak chapter 28 . 7/4/2010
I think I get the Aftermath 2. Snape doesn't love anything.
| Random832 chapter 28 . 7/4/2010
Harry's problem is this: The conceit that scientific laws are _real_ - that they are _what is_. That they are anything more than the simplest best explanation for observed phenomena [with 'best' defined in terms of fitting the observations and having predictive value], and thinking, even for a second, that they _can't_ break down when confronted with _new_ observable phenomena.
Until he can get over that, he's _not doing science_. Viewing everything that has been done without the knowledge of the existence of magic as somehow "settled" and not subject to questioning is just about the worst crime against the scientific method that he can commit, and you haven't even put in any indication that he knows he's doing it.
| Zarunak chapter 28 . 7/4/2010
well, i am glad to see that after those couple of out there chapters you have returned to your original style. its good.
i look forward to reading more.
| DoubleC chapter 28 . 7/4/2010
Great chaper! Finally! Go Harry, show them. ) I imagine all us muggles here cheer for Harry something severe, to 'unravel the secrets of magic' and show up allthose pretentious wizards. 'Illogical', indeed. Magic is illogical.
...Guess I'm one of those not getting the Aftermath 2 (I read your note before the chapter). But it's just *precious*, anyway.
I wish you'd given the brains-upgrade to someone other than Granger. However did she get into Ravenclaw? (I don't remember - probably, Harry had something to dowith that.) She's so very *canon*, through and through, and that's annoying... Harry'd never discover anything if he went to adults all the time. And, anyway, what child/person *ever* thinks they are 'too young' for something? 0.o That's insane.
Wonder what's Harry's next course of action, and what did he mean about Snape, and - go Harry!
| Secca Irises chapter 28 . 7/4/2010
I find it strange that while Harry has been working quite hard to make magic conform to the rules of the universe that he knows, he hasn't thought about the magic itself. I mean, he knows how difficult it is to make buckytubes. He must. And that, as far as I know, the power required to make such things is immense.
That is, energy to make the buckytubes comes from somewhere, and acts on the material, as far as I know. So - where does the energy to transfigure something come from? How does it work?
Hell, what about "every action has an equal and opposite reaction"? When magic is preformed, where's the reaction?
I just can't see why Harry wouldn't be looking for a way to measure magic itself. Or perhaps he's just waiting until next summer, when he can use a lab to try and measure the output or whatever, the field of energy, generated by preforming magic?
"You almost died today, Potter. In the future, never share your wisdom with anyone unless you know exactly what you are both talking about."
The only logical response to this is, in my mind: "Never ask for advice or wisdom if you are not fully prepared for what may be said."
Very few fics touch on how horrific Azkaban is. I can't imagine a more horrible fate. It also brings up an interesting question - how does the justice system in the Wizardry World actually work? What happens to those who commit petty crime? Stealing food, for example? Food can't be transfigured, (I believe that's the 3rd law in the Books? something like that), and if someone has no money they can't pay a fine - are they sent to Azkaban? Sent to have all their happy memories sucked out because they were going to starve to death if they didn't get some food?
What about breaking and entering? If someone broke into a "middle class" wizard's home (I can't imagine that there aren't wizard thieves) are they just fined, or do they go to Azkaban? Where is that line drawn?
Are there only three forms of punishment for the entire society? Fines, Azkaban, and banishment in the form of snapping wands?
How horribly primitive. Ugh.
Hermione has an excellent point about reading the background material. I wonder if wizards have "scientific" journals?
The lack of a decent indexing system in the Hogwarts Library would drive me mad. Absolutely bonkers.
I see "Aftermath 2" as being a positive note, oddly. As in - Professor Snape went the route of a professional teacher. I can clearly imagine a chemistry professor saying those exact things to a student - because it could hurt someone very seriously to have a student so distracted in class. To not say something is to allow the problem to continue. And I don't think he necessarily needed to use legilimency on her to figure out what was going on. For all that he's a bit greasy, Professor Snape is one of the youngest teachers at Hogwarts, and there are always those with a crush on the teacher. One would be able to recognize the symptoms, after a while.
Perhaps this is just irrational hope, but Snape seems to be a bit more human, in this scene.
You continue to make this anthropologist regain interest in the sciences. I look forward to the next chapter.
| PBrules chapter 28 . 7/4/2010
Ok I am probably barking up completely the wrong tree here re aftermath 2, but I'm wondering if the girl is somehow possessed. It's been since the beginning of the year that she is compelled to look at Snape and it seems to be almost against her will. I wonder if Voldemort is somehow trying to use her to legimise Snape? Snape may or may not realise that this is what is going on.
I mean he doesn't want to look at her, though that could be as another reviewer suggested because he can't stop legimising her and finds her fantasisies distasteful.
Please can you reveal what this is all about soon!
I love your writing. It always makes me think (and scratch my head, then think some more lol). In the next chapter Hermione's line about her parents being dentists was brilliant. Very funny.
| space puppy chapter 28 . 7/4/2010
What is left to get in ch28's aftermath 2?
Cornfoot has a degrading fantasy, Snape doesn't think being a Legilimens is always a gift, goes to some lengths to avert his gaze. Some reviews mentioned this before, including a shameful admission :P
What is there left to guess? Does that mean one can't turn off his Legilimency, that this is what gave him a higher opinion of Lily than Harry had? That Snape really doesn't like D/s?
| Aloril chapter 28 . 7/4/2010
When I read aftermath 2 I thought this is to demonstrate that Snape's love on Lily is now broken and he is not anymore Dumbledore's guy. Now thinking more about it: He crushes hope for the girl like his hope had been crushed.
| He Who Comes With the Dusk chapter 28 . 7/4/2010
Since you said that nobody seems to have figured out aftermath 2, I figured I'd give it a shot (as likely as it is to be totally and completely wrong)...
This could be a sign that he still loves Lily (which means he is still on the "good" side), because he refuses to reciprocate Cornfoot's affections, and chooses instead to stay faithful. Then again, it could just as easily be him having at least some respect for his position as a teacher.
On the other hand, it could also be that Snape has finally
Also, in the new prophecy:
"AND EITHER MUST DESTROY ALL BUT A REMNANT OF THE OTHER,
FOR THOSE TWO DIFFERENT SPIRITS CANNOT EXIST IN THE SAME WORLD."
Nice job with this. At least the pioneer plaque won't keep Harry from fulfilling the prophecy now.
| hjcallipygian chapter 28 . 7/4/2010
Hmm. Horcrux, singular, huh? I can't help but assume that every word you type is deliberate and either Dumbledore has a mistaken assumption, or Voldemort only has one. Interesting indeed.
| Alex Mennen chapter 28 . 7/4/2010
Your description of Harry's thought process as he transfigures portions of an object need work. It would be confusing to anyone not very familiar with quantum mechanics, maybe even to most people who are familiar with quantum mechanics but have not read your writing on the subject.
| Pusakuronu chapter 28 . 7/4/2010
Oh, now this is amazing progress. Finding out that the way magic works relies on the mental state of the user is a real breakthrough.
| dogbertcarroll chapter 28 . 7/4/2010
| dougal74 chapter 28 . 7/4/2010
Another good chapter.
What I am finding confusing is the lack of any relative time-line - I have no idea where Harry is in this school year. He could be still in his first week or close to the end of the school year.
That and the lack of story developing around his experiments and his sudo-friendship with Draco.
For example, is Harry going to rescue the stone, is he going face any kind of test of his knowledge, magical strength etc towards the end of the year - is there going to be any king of action, adventure, drama or conflict?
| Kutta chapter 28 . 7/4/2010
Wow, great chapter. I actually and strangely found myself cheering for timeless quantum physics. Powering up from the naive level to atomic, then quantum, then timeless level reminded me a bit to several animes, I mean the powering up aspect of it. I imagine Harry fighting with Voldemort, and just short of getting ran out of ammo, saying "hahh, you think you've won? I only fought at classical level. INITIATE TIMELESS QM!" - and striking a theatrical pose.
| kk chapter 28 . 7/4/2010
"If it came down to that, the protons and neutrons inside the nuclei were tiny separate things. The quarks inside the protons and neutrons were tiny separate things! There simply wasn't anything in reality, the world-out-there, that corresponded to people's conceit of solid objects. It was all just little dots."
Yeah, the first time I learned about quantum physics I was terrified. I try to not think about it whenever possible.
I was confused about what the deal was with Snape at the end - new hair gel or something?
| William H. Stoddard chapter 28 . 7/3/2010
All right, that was my brain falling out: I just made the connection between Professor McGonigle's reflecting in this chapter that Professor Snape can be trusted as an ally in the struggle against Voldemort because he still loves Harry's mother, and Snape's reaction in the preceding chapter after Harry presents him with an argument that Lilly was undeserving of his love. Once the pin has been pulled, Mr. Grenade is no longer your friend.
I don't make connections like that right away, because I'm not actually a big Potter fan. In fact I think I find the writing in this story substantially better than Rowling's. The impact of this chapter is a good example of WHY. Keep on planting these time-delayed bombshells, please.
| enderverse chapter 28 . 7/3/2010
Transfiguring dry ice is the first thing I thought of after you mentioned trying to transfigure air.
Transfiguring iron into water then dumping that glass of water into a regular glass of water would be really interesting.
What would happen if you transfigured something into an element that emitted alpha particles or neutrons? Would the neutron turn into a whole atom or would a random atom be missing a neutron when it turned back?
If you transfigured an element into a chemical then separated the chemical into its elements, would there be any difference between the two when they changed back?
| Nigita chapter 28 . 7/3/2010
Still a fine chapter. They can't *all* be chapters 5-8,13, 14,16-18, 20, *22 and 23*, 24, 26 and 27.
So much for Snape's deep game. Seems he really was, simply, driven by love for Lily, then unburdened himself to, and then was disillusioned by Harry. (Not as complex as I thought, but far funnier. Harry broke Dumbledore's Snape!)
So...Snape's being kind to Cornfoot here? Terrible thing, to hope in vain. Or wantonly cruel?
Much as I enjoy your characterizations, I'm reading some of them incorrectly. Don't know yet whether this is your intention.
Thanks for writing!
| witowsmp chapter 28 . 7/3/2010
I'm glad Harry finally succeeded at something.
Regarding Snape, JKR seems to think that no criminal ever loved anybody at all. That no one could love one person while killing or torturing another. Or that a criminal couldn't hate his crime lord while still enjoying commiting crimes. However, she's wrong. Many murderers have loved their families and friends, but it did nothing to stop their crimes. Just because Snape supposedly loved Lily does not mean he's incapible of commiting crimes. Remember, he didn't betray Voldemort because he disapproved of the atrocities he caused. He didn't betray Voldemort because he hated the crimes he had personally commited as a Death Eater. He betrayed Voldemort for personal reasons that had nothing to do with Voldemort's methods. He just didn't want one specific person to be a victim. I'll never understand why that makes him a hero to so many people. That's more JKR's problem than yours, but I enjoyed ranting about it.
| Loonynamelass chapter 28 . 7/3/2010
"It wasn't a lie like the Buddhists thought, there wasn't something terribly mystical and unexpected behind the veil of Maya, what lay beyond the illusion of the park was just the actual park, but it was all still illusion."
As a Buddhist I say- um, what? Perhaps this has to do with the Mahayana sect of Buddhism- I'm a Theravada Buddhist, and it's very very different from Mahayana. Though Queen Mahamaya was Buddha's mother, she was a woman who bore a very wonderful child and then died from the process. So excuse my confusion, but please consider it, too.
Oh, and fantastic chapter, fyi. :)
| ilikebluepineapples chapter 28 . 7/3/2010
"AND EITHER MUST DESTROY ALL BUT A REMNANT OF THE OTHER,
FOR THOSE TWO DIFFERENT SPIRITS CANNOT EXIST IN THE SAME WORLD."
I don't think I like this new prophecy. It has less pizzazz. Couldn't you have written more poetically?
| vabbie chapter 28 . 7/3/2010
Portraits, chess sets, quick-quote quills, and talking mirrors prove that wizards can make Artificial Intelligence. By incorporating an A.I. into a wand or staff linked to his telepathic commands, Harry could simultaneously wield two wands in battle [one normal and one on auto-pilot] that’d him fight on par with more experienced wizards like Dumbledore and Voldemort. It’d be similar to the Armed Devices in “Nanoha,” also known as “Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha.”
Quote: “We’re no nearer catching Black than inventing self-spelling wands.” [Arthur Weasley] A wand with a built-in A.I. would be mistaken for a self-spelling wand.
Devices that respond to mental commands or emotional states are auto-answer quills, foe-glass, the Goblet of Fire, the Sorting Hat, the Marauder’s Map, Mirror of Esired, secrecy sensor, self-correcting ink, Neville’s Remembrall, the winged keys guarding the Philosopher’s Stone, etc.
| badkidoh chapter 28 . 7/3/2010
| Starlight Chibi-chan chapter 28 . 7/3/2010
LOL at aftermath 2!
| Raven3182 chapter 28 . 7/3/2010
Very good update. Hermione kinda, sorta saves Harry's life. Does that mean that Harry owes her a life debt now? I think that would be a fitting twist on canon, and I also think that would work well with Feminist!Hermione's idea of a romantic comedy, the girl saving the guys and all...
Perhaps Harry might owe Hermione another date to go along with his really, really, really big apology... I could easily see her demanding that.
Anywho, I look forward to the next update. Thanks for writing!
| Meiaie chapter 28 . 7/3/2010
Gwern: "(This doesn't address student failures at transfiguration in general. I dunno guys, fanwank something.)"
Those cases seemed to be exactly what McG was talking about when dismissing Harry's great idea, when she thought Harry would just be transfiguring the whole into a two half-balls, instead of really transfiguring only half of the ball.
I'd like to thank you for this chapter in particular. ABout 5 chapters ago I thought this fic was not going to be a story, but a rather scientific explanation with some flat, one-dimensional characters with their unnatural relationships and little storyline. Now, it seems that every single thing I had complaints about then has been fixed with this chapter. I mean, sure, this ending with Harry/Hermione thing didn't make much sense to me, and I am kinda embarrassed to read about Harrys "dark side", as the whole idea sounds just too stupid, but whatever, this was exceptionally entertaining. Characters seemed cool, multi-dimensional and everything between them felt quite right. And the magic/science hybrid that is going in is about as interesting as the time turner tricks you played earlier, at their peak.
Thank you. I hope your rationality book will be even half as entertaining as this, because if so, it will be a best seller.
| bakapervert chapter 28 . 7/3/2010
Finally some succes in Harry's part. I already think that Harry is just all talk and no result. Thanks for the update.
| Dragon Man 180 chapter 28 . 7/3/2010
Honestly I find it hard to believe any girl finds Snape attractive. His hair alone gives me shivers and I'm a guy!
Harry's new discovery is awesome, I can't wait to see how it goes. But I can see him transfiguring a wooden sword blade into a metal one and leaving the handle wood.
| Peregrinate chapter 28 . 7/3/2010
:O I don't understand "Aftermath 2" Oh well. Interesting advances. Mmmhmmm, dumm, de dummm...
| gwern chapter 28 . 7/3/2010
"The pill! That had been something to be eaten!"
Argh. If this is the explanation why it didn't work, I AM DISAPPOINT. Can Harry really not think of anything? Maybe a dermal patch. No? How about a syringe filled with a substance which injected into a petri dish of neurons will end Alzheimers? It's not being eaten, it's not going inside a body, and it meets the non-magical criteria. We can't do liquids? Then a solid which placed in a dish will dissolve.
"There were no particles, there were just clouds of amplitude in a multiparticle configuration space and what his brain fondly imagined to be an eraser was nothing except a gigantic factor in a wavefunction that happened to factorize"
Aw. Does this mean that as far as magic is concerned, they're not in a simulation?
"And Hermione slammed the door shut again, just as the gigantic crash of a hundred kilograms of falling metal came from inside."
Oh noes, 220 pounds of metal neatly hanging from a hook. How very dangerous and life-threatening. I'm glad Harry was taking a nap right under it, so Hermione could save him.
In general: I'll echo the other commentators in not understanding why billiard-atoms aren't a deep enough conception to alter a small chunk of something.
lord Martiya: I think Krum's partial transfiguration is easily retconned. Imagine someone who wants to partially transfigure themselves into a horse, or a bull - impossible, given the impossibility of partial transfiguration, right? But then they go and *fully* transfigure themselves into a centaur or a minotaur! Perhaps Krum was actually transfiguring himself into a similar beast and any use of the word 'partial' is just sloppy layman terminology.
(This doesn't address student failures at transfiguration in general. I dunno guys, fanwank something.)
Fuzzyboots: Mozart is perhaps not the best example. He had intense coaching and training, and I've heard people suggest that he may not've written the whole symphony.
People seem to be unimaginative about the uses of changing shape. If a titanium rod changes shape with effectively infinite force, then that's really useful. You can make instant diamonds, for example. (Have a little hollow with graphite in one rod; lay it next to another rod; wrap the 2 rods with some more rods; now transfigure all of them to be thicker and shorter - you'll effectively get millions of atmospheres of pressure on the graphite. No apparent reason that this couldn't be arbitrarily scaled up, either.)
| Hikari Daeron chapter 28 . 7/3/2010
All I have to say is: Best. Ending. Ever.
| Daedaleon chapter 28 . 7/3/2010
Nice tribute to Glen Cook...
| cheekylildevil chapter 28 . 7/3/2010
I truly thought that this would be the best chapter, and it was, right up to Aftermath #2, where I subconsciously took back all pleasant thoughts, as it seemed to weird for me...
Other than that, very intelligent chapter.
| ilikebluepineapples chapter 28 . 7/3/2010
So the point of your Snape disclaimer is that...you may return Alissa Cornforth's affections?
Speaking of Alissa Cornforth, was there a point to that scene besides demonstrating that Snape can do nonverbal Legilimency? Or is there a deeper meaning?
Also, I don't really understand why Harry has to think in wavefunctions in order to transfigure part of an object. If wizards can transfigure objects just by thinking of them as fundamental units of existingness or whatever, Harry should do just fine with billiard ball atoms...
Dear author, you are a very confusing person. Thank you for making my life a little bit more interesting today.
| Entropic Specter chapter 28 . 7/3/2010
What a joyful spectacle. There is not much else to add, for me.
Please keep up the great work and up date soon. (What, Sunday? Why, yes, that would be very nice!)
| Xardoth chapter 28 . 7/3/2010
The amount of realism in your story is making me depressed (more from ch27 then this chapter) so I'll have to stop reading it until its completed. Mind giving me a hint in if you think it'll end with the characters being relatively happy so I know if I should read it through when you're done? Thanks.
| Andrew chapter 28 . 7/3/2010
Great story, and extemely interesting. I actually went out and bought a book on theoretical physics to help understand some of the concepts that you discuss in the fic. I may be a tad old to spend my spare time reading fanfiction, but gems like your story keep me coming back. Thought you may like to know that I'm seriously considering changing my major to something within the field of physics (currently my major is philosophy), or at the very least go for a double major in both fields. Keep up the good work. Especially enjoyed this last chapter mentioning reality's annoying habit of ignoring "time" as we tend to experience it(invented system of measurement or entity itself if you prefer).
p.s. Any chance at Harry discovering new dimensions? For example, magic as a physical manifestation of a higher dimension? Or "love" as a key to understanding the highest dimension, and thus the ability to understand and manipulate all other dimensions? Be fun to read, although some may consider it anti-climactic if Harry used understanding to rationalize Voldemort out of existence, ha.
| Luiz4200 chapter 28 . 7/3/2010
Great chapter. Nice way to bring up the prophecy.
| unnamed2 chapter 28 . 7/3/2010
The classic Buehler, Griffin, & Ross (1994) paper on the planning fallacy cites Kahneman & Tversky (1979) as the source of the term, so I think it was around by 1991.
Kahneman, D., & Tversky, A. (1979). Intuitive prediction: Biases and corrective procedures. TIMS Studies in Management Science, 12, 313-327.
| Lucy chapter 28 . 7/3/2010
Also I don't understand the Aftermaths. WHAT IS GOING ON
| Lucy chapter 28 . 7/3/2010
I think this chapter was fine. I mean, I generally like it better when you limit the number of scenes so as to make it less disjointed, but Harry's process of discovery was very fun to read, and I can't wait to see how he will end up using his shiny new secret power :P Also, can Hermione have her Big Revelation soon? I'm pretty sure "it's okay to question the rules sometimes" will be less of a blow than "everything I believe is a lie," so Hermione doesn't even have to have a mental breakdown like Draco! As it is, Hermione's stress over everything is inhibiting her from applying her considerable brainpower properly, and that annoys me.
Can't wait for the chapter tomorrow :)
| TyrannoStorm chapter 28 . 7/3/2010
It amazes me that you can write each chapter so fast while also making every single one long and high-quality. I have no criticism for this story. It has even gotten me interested in Rationality, and no other story has ever truly inspired me before. Thank you for creating this.
| SevereWrath chapter 28 . 7/3/2010
I can see why the title was Reductionism - given what happened - but I'm not sure you nailed getting the concept across (assuming someone didn't know it beforehand). Rather, while the material in the chapter worked, the chapter didn't stand together as one unified whole.
Also, I didn't quite understand the second aftermath. Perhaps that's deliberate.
Nevertheless, I still very much enjoyed reading it. Excellent work.
| WaxWings chapter 28 . 7/3/2010
It is always nice to get an update to this story. I like that Harry is experimenting with magic. Transfiguration as presented in this sotry seems much more useful than in the oringinal books, where the only useful transfigurations were animated objects.
AS a nitpick. I do not believe that ionic bonds and van der waals attraction has anything to do with magnetism but with ectrostatic or induced electrostatic attraction.
| Jaxtopher chapter 28 . 7/3/2010
Why would you be unhappy with how this chapter turned out! Harry's first, real new power, and it's almost as great as the means by which he acquired it.
| jdboss1 chapter 28 . 7/3/2010
another brilliant update easily the best story of 2010
I wasn't sure to get angry at Hermione or feel that better to be safe than sorry
my understanding from Canon and hundreds of stories I have read then the first several chapters of this story added to my overall understanding that wizards ( McGonigle) with never put on a life jacket or other equivalent safety stuff as they always can never see the dangers specially when Harry Potter wasn't allowed to buy a first aid kit when one should be in every classroom
So I found it quite a surprise to see the lengths of safety they went to just try and obviously safe sounding bet of Magic
From what I have read so far in your unique Harry Potter universe my conclusion is that they will some stupidly overpowered god that was drunk and when he was bored he made some random stupid rules that have no consistency and then persuading a community to hide and then name it magic
it might be me but I am surprised at the level of magic Hermione perform in this chapter for just being in her first year
I cannot wait until you're having Potter learns how to make a tardis in the brilliant story "Harry Potter and the Quantum Leap"
Harry Potter puts together a metal box and then makes it big on the inside then turns it into a select a destination Portkey and that my spinning weight at the opposite speed of the spinning of the Portkey you can make the experience a very smooth ride
But then I realised your Harry Potter doesn't know much Magic
Because of the backwardness of Wizard Society I wonder if they were aware of plastic and other materials I would like to see their reactions to magic
Can you transfigure everything on the periodic table?
how much of it as he tried?
(personally I wouldn't care if the result of Transfiguration turned elements into gas that could be breathed in and kill you at a later date just where a gas mask that contain your own air
supply I mean if you could conjure transfigure and ever lasting supply off petrol uranium gas he could power his station forever
magic in it one end ( comatose Magic prisoners) as batteries
and pop up petrol that only remained petrol for a second longer than it needs to be burned into fuel
Point me spell?
( point me gold ect
try out all the info giving spell?
good one on the levitation spell if that was permanent you could make yourself light forever
I don't know how much it was an act but I wasn't much of a fan on relying on the headmaster wisdom or even telling him of an ability unless you have it painted copyrighted except except
one quick memories spell later and he can add something new to his chocolate Fog card
(and before your Harry Potter eat anything does he "Finite Incantatem!" it I know I bloody would and every chair and bed
thinking about it I don't think I would put my Wand a ways it would become my most popular spell
I would especially attempt to put it on Draco Eg not having any magic and more HAHAHAH if it actually worked probably knowing the stupid wizards it has never been tested
switching spell swapping damaged body organs?
If you get 100 meters of titanium rod and you shrink it to 1cm does it carry the same strength /weight as 100meters
| phoebe turner chapter 28 . 7/3/2010
i loved it!
| EsperJones chapter 28 . 7/3/2010
Wasn't there partial transfiguration in-canon? Viktor Krum's shark half-transformation only transformed the upper half of his body.
| Not-A-Spy chapter 28 . 7/3/2010
I love this story. Please keep writing, I always have no clue where it is going to go next.
| ejhawman chapter 28 . 7/3/2010
Now Harry gets down to the serious God-work: trying to synergize Magic and Science!
Trying to make a buckytube strand by transfiguration: ahhh, I waited too long and now you beat me to it. Was going to have a character use a buckytube garrote to behead giants at the Battle of Hogwarts...
I do agree, it should be easy to transfigure graphite into diamond. But, of course, transfiguration is temporary...
A lot of Harry's thinking during his transfiguration attempts are well into college level. We've long since left the "eleven year old child" behind for sake of the story objectives...
Why does he have such trouble trying to transfigure only part of an eraser? In the books students do partial transfiguration all the time - when they fail their attempts.
The Power Voldemort Knows Not: nor any other wizards, of course. Slightly different prophecy, common enough in AU treatments.
I think we all wanted to see Harry tearing up the Romantic-age environment of Platonic Forms. When will he get to body-soul dualism? It has great relevance to him in particular, after all...
| FuzzyBoots chapter 28 . 7/3/2010
*wrinkles brow* I don't follow what was going on with Miss Cornfoot at the end, but I'm certain all will become clear.
This part seemed a little disconnected from the rest of the story. We started /in media res/ with the experiments, some apparently already completed, continued with him demonstrating his new ability (and I find it amusing both that Albus made his own new discovery at an age of only three more years than either was considering possible, and that Harry totally skipped over the usual example of Mozart composing a symphony at six, although I could see him not seeing musical composition as a real science and therefore not worth considering.
Interesting. Well, I'm still reading. :) Good work on your part.
| farwalker chapter 28 . 7/3/2010
Love Harry's experiments.
Producing buckytubes! Cool.
Hermoine's respect for authority balances Harry's inclination to rush in.
| Peanuckle chapter 28 . 7/3/2010
Fantastic stuff. A lot of what Harry accomplishes makes me sad that this sort of magic doesn't actually exist. And not just so I could fly around and shoot fireballs, but so that we could use it and science together. Magitech or something.
On the nanobots: If he HAD managed to create them (and he still might, given his breakthrough) he could simply have them self-replicate such as in a grey goo scenario (controlled of course). The original nanobots would return to the original form, but the created ones would be made of a natural substance from a natural process, and thus be permanent.
Real nanobots. Imagine unveiling THAT to wizarding society. Hell, if this line of research proves true, he could be pulling Transhumanity within the decade. Immortal robot wizard wars, GO!
| Violet Shadows chapter 28 . 7/3/2010
Same world huh, is that a reference to Harry ascending and claiming some kind of alternate existence, or are they going to discover terraforming with Voldemort leading the dissenting elements to another plannet - possibly the moon?
| Vampyromaniac chapter 28 . 7/3/2010
BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA aftermath 2.
Oh. My God. Alissa Cornfoot is totally me! I never thought about the implications of crushing on a legilimens.
I wonder how old Severus was when he learned legilimency, and whether he ever read Lily.
| DigiEmissary chapter 28 . 7/3/2010
I think, perhaps, that Harry should do some reading about early experiments with radioactivity. Before people had a full understanding of the potential biological consequences, they didn't take proper protective measures. It's very much like giving matches to a small child, and that's more or less what the Wizarding world does when they give wands to eleven-year-olds. This is, in my opinion, the strongest argument to support Hermione's cautionary position: wizards might be limited by their preconceptions, but they have the experience that Harry and Hermione lack, and I'd imagine they've learned a lot from trial and error. Of course, the sort of arrogance that ignores the value of experience is typical of children, especially bright ones. I think Harry is beginning to understand this, but I feel the point could do with being reinforced.
Also, I almost fell out of my chair laughing at Aftermath #2. Bravo.
| Paganimagus chapter 28 . 7/3/2010
HAHAHA. Yet again- brilliant!
I especially love the final snippet with Snape that dismisses a large wad of fanfiction out there. Very funny.
| Gogolu chapter 28 . 7/3/2010
| celopmuh chapter 28 . 7/3/2010
Very good chapter.
I don't understand - why was it necessary to go to timeless physics? If normal transfiguration works on a simple ("folk physics"?) model, why substituting another (less simple but still simplifying) model wouldn't help?
Also. Did it work because timeless physics helped to suppress the misconception about solid objects, or because it's supposed to truly be "the final and only level" of organization, as opposed to an accurate-as-far-as-we-can-tell model? (Would it all work if Hogwarts (but not the magic itself) existed in a computer simulation?) I feel enabling that distinction would make magic VERY powerful.
| KGB chapter 28 . 7/3/2010
I don't understand why Harry only concentrated on the mechanical side of transfiguring. He should at least have realised that if he could hold the transfiguration of a smallpox infested cell long enough, he could probably harvest a bunch of infected cells which didn't have the transfigured element in it. At least his 'dark side' should have, because it's a small step from the nanomachines idea.
I'm just wondering if you're going to concentrate on transfiguration henceforward, because so far it's the only magic subject you've thought up clear defined rules for.
There are a lot of interesting things to research. Think of how the bubble-head charm basically filters out most of the H2O underwater, could it be adapted to only filter hydrogen gas? The question is, how do you make spells anyway? Hermione got different effects saying a standard spell in different ways. Is that the only way to do it? It seems to me that it's pretty much impossible to start making rules for all the cause and effect in spell casting.
| Eric chapter 28 . 7/3/2010
Love the fic, Less. And nice Black COmpany reference.
| Denubis chapter 28 . 7/3/2010
In many ways, this chapter is one of the most interesting philosophically speaking.
I love the elaboration of the concept of what amounts to be Lakatosian research programmes. The complete incomprehension of the wizards is an excellent way of actually communicating incommensurability. I would dispute Dumbledore's statement of months of learning and say that for a fully qualified wizard, it would be impossible to learn what Harry did. They live in truely different paradigms (using the term in the Kuhn sense.)
Did you mean this kind of exploration, and that Harry's power really is the ability to shift paradigms? Or is this still in a Popperian mode?
Still, awesome story. I... may even strongly suggest reading it to my students when I'm teaching a philosophy of science class.
| avatarmirai chapter 28 . 7/3/2010
The dynamic between Harry and Hermione is my favorite in this story. And Dumbledore isn't as cuckoo as he was in the earlier chapters! Once again, amazing job, and I can't wait for the next update!
| thewanderingmonster chapter 28 . 7/3/2010
lord Martiya: if I remember correctly (I don't have the book to hand) that was an accident, but yeah...
Huh, Harry's experiments (lightsabers!) reflects what mine (and I think a lot of other people's!) would be, and reminds me a lot of the SCP-826 experiment log - and finally one of his experiments succeeds!
| greywizard-dumblemort chapter 28 . 7/3/2010
"Sometimes Harry hated having a *dark side*, even when he was inside it."
"Just for a moment, before the terrible cold *darkness* looked away and said it wasn't angry with her, because it hadn't wanted to scare her"
You really love this whole 'darkness' thing don't you. Labels like that are counterproductive, especially given the complexity of human behaviour. People are people... this isn't starwars.
I like Harry's discovery since I could tell from the get go that it was a conceptual limitation and was not only definitey possible but entirely probable.. Harry's a bit loose with sharing though isn't he? He's a smart kid- knowledge is dangerous and Harry knows this.
Furthermore, Hermoine's got somewhat conflicting ideologies. She's shown this chapter that though well intentioned she can't be trusted to keep a lid on things if she *feels* what they're doing is somehow 'wrong', dangerous or in any way conflicts with instruction from an adult/authority figure.
Harry should not continue experimenting with her, he's smart enough to know this. Though two heads are better than one it's a necessary precaution and it isn't like your Harry isn't cautious- see interactions and past conversations with Draco.
I'm glad you didn't decide Harry was too young for any kind of progress. We know for a fact that there are a lot of young prodigies out there and quite a few great ideas/discoveries go unshared and unrecognised. Dumbledore himself made a few great discoveries while still at Hogwarts and was able to perform feats at his OWLs that the examiners themselves had never seen before. Even wizards known to be sub-par academically like pettigrew were able to achieve feats most adult wizards find themselves unable to- the animagus transformation in 4th year.
I hope you don't make the partial transfiguration any more taxing than a regular transfiguration. I suppose it depends on how you view the HP universe but it really shouldn't be if you know how to do it. If you hold the view of magical power-levels coming from a magical core then fair enough but I think the exhaustion experienced by wizards is mental and physical as a result of magic-use rather than 'magical-exhaustion' from using some finite quantity of their 'magical-core'.
We know that the fundamental necessity to perform magic (other than whatever genetics make wizards, wizards) is intent, willpower and belief irrespective of a wand. Your intent must be clear for a desired effect and you must have the will and the belief to make your intent reality. After you've achieved a particular act of magic then it stands to reason that at least one factor- belief- would be far more potent since you've already seen it happen and you've made it happen and as a result said magical effect becomes easier and less mentally taxing as you become accustomed to making it happen. Familiarity would also allow for clearer intent.
As a child Voldemort discovered his magic and from then could will objects to move, achieved a minor form of legilmency and could cause his tormentors to feel severe pain at will- Intent, will and belief. He wasn't constrained by a lack of wand and I think its fair to say that he could not understand the finer workings of legilmency or nerves and pain receptors.
| Dumbledork chapter 28 . 7/3/2010
Brilliant! And Hermione is an annoying, whiny bitch.
| Baughn chapter 28 . 7/3/2010
So in other words, you might in fact return her affections? _
Good chapter, though quite frankly I was expecting a bit of a bang from partial transfiguration - breaking bonds, that stuff. There are quite a lot of details that need to be taken care of at the interface, to avoid that.
| lord Martiya chapter 28 . 7/3/2010
Er... Didn't Victor Krum used partial transfiguration on himself during the Second Task of the Triwizard Tournament?
| anon chapter 28 . 7/3/2010
Minerva's paragraph musing on how transfiguring half a ball is impossible are annoying. You need to make the fact that this is an author tract a bit less obvious (she seemed a bit stupid really). Overall a rather uninteresting chapter.
| Nancy Lebovitz chapter 28 . 7/3/2010
So what happens if Harry realizes that he's living in fiction and everything he's dealing with is made of ideas?
| anon chapter 28 . 7/3/2010
Awesome! Also nice change in the prophecy to allow a horcrux to survive perhaps?
| Arkh Cthuul chapter 28 . 7/3/2010
Overall once again a very good chapter, witty and with some interesting outlooks.
Youa re aware of the fact that your prophecy is not identic to the Canon one, I assume.
If so: interesting twist, but maybe a little bit too specific for sucht things for my taste ;). Harry might disagree there though...
If not (which I deem relatively unlikely): Consider yourself informed. ;)
And bring on the next chapter fast, will you?
| Tiky3000 chapter 28 . 7/3/2010
To really conceptualise such an alien world view is quite the achievement. Much more so then the result I would think. I have trouble enough thinking of the world in atoms.
The prophecy seems to take the space!horcrux into account. Good thing too, I couldn't see any way for them to go and get it. With a little luck it will fly into a sun and solve itself.
| Jack chapter 28 . 7/3/2010
So transfiguration still makes no sense. Wizards conceptualize the world in a way that is useful but fundamentally misguided- treating whole objects as ontologically basic. Wizards can transfigure whole objects, and only whole objects, into new objects. They can do this despite/because of their naive view of the world. Why then must Harry conceptualize something close to a 'final' theory of matter in order to transfigure parts of objects. Why wouldn't theoretical perspectives that, like the Wizard view are useful but not quite perfect, allow Harry to do partial transfiguration? The billiard-ball atom perspective should work just fine. As far as the universe is concerned it is exactly as reasonable a perspective as the Wizard view. In fact, it makes better predictions than the naive Wizard view- but for some reason the entire theoretical space between the Wizard view and the ultimate/perfect theory of matter is useless for transfiguration purposes. Why?
Consensus mereological theory is that a whole is whatever we make it. A 'whole object' for example can be an automobile or a piece of property, we just decide to treat those things as wholes even though they're not. So can one transfigure a steering column or tires? What about whole wheels? Whole cars? What about fleets... nation-states? The naive view of the Wizards isn't just strictly speaking inaccurate: it is inconsistent, malleable and probably culturally and individually relative.
And what does it even mean to conceptualize matter in terms of quantum amplitudes, etc? I don't mean "what do these theories say?" I mean: "what does it mean to conceptualize in terms of those theories"? I don't see why imagining amplitudes is much different than imagining billiard balls- a quantum amplitude doesn't look like anything, it can't be accurately modeled in a human visual cortex. Harry could just be thinking about the math involved, but that doesn't seem to be the same thing as conceptualizing matter at a fundamental level. He's certainly not running a quark by quark simulation in his brain. Whatever he is doing is just a version of the map which to humans provides a guide for what experiences to expect under particular circumstances. But his doesn't even give him predictions. It's just supposed to sort of 'resemble' reality... why does what he's doing work at all?
I'm not sure how those experimental investigations into magic (as fun as they are!) can possibly leave us satisfied. In fact, enough science/philosophy has been presented at this point that I would not be surprised if some of the ideas presented imply the impossibility of cannon magic. Magic just sort of *is* a kind of anti-reductionism and a kind of map-territory confusion. Short of "Harry Potter is in a computer simulation" I'm not sure how the magic can end up explicable.
| VN chapter 28 . 7/3/2010
probably a typo: "people's conceit of solid objects" - concept
| i11it3r4t3 chapter 28 . 7/3/2010
How could the dark lord destroy all but a remnant of Harry? Was that a mistake because you wrote prophecy knowing that harry would win, or is it on purpose and to be explained later? (If it's the latter then forget I asked ;)
Love the story so far. (Sorry that my grammar and spelling isn't very good)
| stalker32 chapter 28 . 7/3/2010
Wonderful. Thank you very much for such a kick for me to change myself.
| firedraygon chapter 28 . 7/3/2010
Haha, this chapter threw me back to my chem and organic chem days! Too awesome. I love the format of this chapter, with the scenes bouncing back and forth between Hermione and Harry. Keeps things intense! Fantastic work, I'm looking forward to Sunday!
| fsdfasefe chapter 28 . 7/3/2010
Lol someone is crushing on snape ! lol
Some of the stuff harry does just blows my mind I mean ppl when they create a Fan-fic the stuff they "add" to the story is hakf the time made up but I'm so confused half the time when I reread it I can believe it happening .
| Hedi Dracona chapter 28 . 7/3/2010
I had to suppress a squee when you did that thing with the prophecy. That was brilliant.
| NicNacs chapter 28 . 7/3/2010
I'm still enjoying this immensely. I liked Harry's struggle to visualise the rubber as something that is not an object. Keep up the good work!
| metawhimsy chapter 28 . 7/3/2010
This is a very curious new development. Part of me wonders if this discovery is going to prove to be of some use later in the arc.
Aftermath #2 was a delight.
| jcogginsa chapter 28 . 7/3/2010
didn't know they had carbon nanotubes in 1992