|Reviews for Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality|
| Majerus chapter 32 . 7/5/2019
Seriously Harry, that's a "be afraid Harry, be very afraid" scene, not a "his heart grew three sizes" scene!
| HarryPotterFangirl85 chapter 32 . 1/9/2019
And that last review was actually supposed to go under this chapter...sorry.
| AlenDarkStar chapter 32 . 7/14/2018
Harry has a good point, Dumbledore not is bad but is manipulative.
| GreenMasks chapter 32 . 2/8/2018
| The One Who Reads Too Much chapter 32 . 8/2/2017
"And the two of them walked on, in their tiny sphere of silence and isolation, through the brilliant and bustling crowds; and if you looked carefully, you would see that where they went, leafy boughs faded, and flowers withered, and children's toys that played cheerful bells changed to lower and more ominous notes."
If anyone likes this sort of Character, I would highly recommend watching The Book of Vile Darkness for the Necromancer character.
| ack1308 chapter 32 . 4/6/2017
| The Anguished One chapter 32 . 6/14/2016
A really amusing look at how Quirrell and Harry celebrate the holiday. I wonder what Harry will get his friends.
| Montara chapter 32 . 1/22/2016
I wonder if Riddle is just using Harry or he's getting attached?!
| WatchingTheWatchman chapter 32 . 12/7/2015
Harry doesn't need thousands of galleons to upset the game board...
| Guest chapter 32 . 11/6/2015
...I googled it, and this fanfiction is about as long as the Bible.
| ShadowLDrago chapter 32 . 10/17/2015
| P. P. P chapter 32 . 9/13/2015
So now Harry is the Grinch?
| Zyxis chapter 32 . 8/14/2015
Christmas... I wonder what Harry will get from his mysterious benefactor. The Grinch is definitely a big part of Christmas.
| Lucas chapter 32 . 8/12/2015
You are a good writer will you write the next daily prophet? It would be good to have someone who could actually write unlike reta skeeter (_).
| PA chapter 32 . 5/20/2015
We all know who Qurriell is, in any other context ... I do wonder how this will play out though.
| Village-Mystic chapter 32 . 3/23/2015
Harry is loving and accepting of Quirell's darkness just a little too much.
| Entraya Crosshil chapter 32 . 3/17/2015
they were so adorable together..
| LauraDragon chapter 32 . 2/21/2015
:) very extremely true. *evil laugh* ;D
| thepkrmgc chapter 32 . 8/2/2014
shame how harry cant leverage his massive wealth to make newtonmass awesome, I wonder how he will get that giant pile of cash?
| silverrain-shiningsun chapter 32 . 5/17/2014
"But Headmaster," Harry argued, some of his desperation leaking into his voice, "leaving all of my assets in one undiversified vault full of gold coins - it's crazy, Headmaster! It's like, I don't know, doing Transfiguration experiments without consulting a recognized authority! You just don't do that with money!"
| Grizzmon chapter 32 . 1/13/2014
Sooo... they are the Grinch? Uh?
| CMVreud chapter 32 . 12/30/2013
This part warms my hart every time I read it to the heights it just wants to catch fire and burn down something.
| DeletedAccount3498 chapter 32 . 11/19/2013
So, Professor Quirrell doesn't like Christmas? Reminds of of an Voldemort aspect. The rest of this chapter was fine, I loved the description of Diagon Alley at the beginning, it was very well done and captured the festive spirit. Can't wait to continue reading :)
| Lunacom chapter 32 . 8/16/2013
It would have been more fun if you made more "Alleys". Like Fair Alley, Actu Alley, or Mer Alley.
| Anon chapter 32 . 7/3/2013
This chapter was quite amusing.
| Treant Balewood chapter 32 . 5/18/2013
I LOVE this story so much & I Can't tell you the number of times I've laughed myself to tears it is soooo much fun Thanks for writing.
| RussianDestruction chapter 32 . 4/27/2013
Short chapter :P I'm so used to the long ones! But this was hilarious too, with the way Harry got the $.
| Guest chapter 32 . 1/10/2013
You are making me positively adore Quirrell.
| BiblioMatsuri chapter 32 . 1/4/2013
The bells are a nice touch. I can't stand things like that. Who wants to deal with tinkly bells when it's cold as [CENSORED CENSORED]? (I know way too many things to insert, and none that could make it before the watershed.)
| StrangeoneXD chapter 32 . 12/19/2012
Die and faded? What kind of thing does that I wonder?
| Mr Norrell chapter 32 . 12/18/2012
Meh, I've grown bored with this.
| Oli chapter 32 . 10/2/2012
I can't quite wrap it around my head, still, that Quirrell is so awesome. _ Jeez, he's not stuttering or anything... I believe I probably think of him as a whole new character, since he doesn't stutter much, but... Is it Voldy doing the talking?!
| voodooqueen126 chapter 32 . 8/2/2012
You know, canonical Harry Potter just made friends automatically because he liked them. This poor sod has to think about it.
| Satirica chapter 32 . 7/17/2012
Five Galleons for Christmas presents? That's not nearly enough...for nice gifts, anyway.
| PinkMusicalCherry chapter 32 . 6/30/2012
I love your Quirrell so freaking much - who knew, coming into this story, that one would like QUIRRELL more than Dumbledore?
| Sin Oan chapter 32 . 4/26/2012
It's a pity Harry didn't get his hands on the philosophers stone. It would solve all his money worries and he'd get immortality to boot. Then again, if the security arrangements are the same he probably wouldn't be able to get it out of the mirror, since he would intend to use it.
Actually now I'm curious to know what this Harry would see if he looked into the mirror of erised. Himself as a god? What would that even look like?
| Leah chapter 32 . 2/16/2012
I saw a speculation on TVtropes- is this really a Chrestomanci reference! 3 if so. "wizards in formal top hats and bath-robes"
Also, request? This is not pressure in any way. Just, could you give us some guidelines about when you will release the new chapters? Time of day, day of week, etc. Because I am embarrassed at how often I am checking to see if anything new is up. Thanks!
| L. Casablanca chapter 32 . 1/5/2012
I reached chapter 32, and I really have to review again. I'm deeply in love with your Quirrellmort (well, I guess it's Quirrellmort and not just Quirrell or Voldie). The Grinch thing of withering the flowers was such a childish thing for him to do... he keeps going to places I didn't expect him to. Also, the stars-space spell is particular brilliant I think. When/If he dies I'm going to be desolate. He's the sort of twisted character I like the most, though usually in HP fiction Snape takes this place.
And talking about Snape... he's very... odd. I'm really confused as to why he even gives Harry the oportunity to save the Lestrange boy. I think he would just ignore Harry if he can't make his life miserable. Be more arrogant. I don't know. Meaner. Though the idea of him 'asking advice' from Harry was a very good one. Anyway, I'll keep reading.
I'm really enjoying this! :D
| ev chapter 32 . 9/2/2011
"I know someone from a certain government-in-exile who is quite competent..."
A *government* that's in exile? Now that makes me wonder...
| Megan McAlistair chapter 32 . 9/2/2011
"It was the season to be merry."
do I detect a hint of sarcasm?
how can food be morally repugnant?
okay, scratch that, I don't want to go into detail
"and discovering that it was rotten and had been made from kittens."
kittens weren't my first idea, screw my brain
"give your friends the gift... of death."
spoiled by TV, like the rest of us
"and the Grinch was as much a part of Christmas as Santa."
Well, in Hogwarts they say - that Quirrel's small heart grew three sizes that day.
| ironhair chapter 32 . 8/28/2011
so he auto-thieved more galleons or is going to sell copper and get silver/gold depending on the weight of copper he took in 5 galleons worth?
| Alaude2019 chapter 32 . 7/17/2011
Quirrel is basicaly a new character, I like him though in general (although I agree with Hermione that he seems evil). Anyway, nice chapter, light and fluffy~
| MouetteHeartsErik chapter 32 . 4/12/2011
Ravenously curious about Quirrell - I like your version so, so much better than the canon. Warm fuzzies from Harry's understanding that it takes all types, there at the end of the chapter. Incoherent, love story.
| Markus Ramikin chapter 32 . 4/8/2011
"And the two of them walked on, in their tiny sphere of silence and isolation, through the brilliant and bustling crowds; and if you looked carefully, you would see that where they went, leafy boughs faded, and flowers withered, and children's toys that played cheerful bells changed to lower and more ominous notes."
- I love this fragment, I've returned to it many times. Their attitude towards Christmas is my own as well.
So, the idea of borrowing from Draco was actually a ridiculously bad mistake of Harry's, or what are you implying?
| Sunshine Ana Cloudyday chapter 32 . 3/13/2011
Reading this for the second time...it's so good, and I figure I owe you about sixty-nine reviews, because I only left one the first time through.
I love all of your characters and your writing; it's awesome.
"Isaac Newton actually was born on December 25th, unlike some other historical figures I could name."
Lol, one of my favorite lines ever, the subject of so many idiotic discussions I've had with people.
"This Christmas," Harry said, dropping his voice into a lower register, "give your friends the gift... of death."
Also an excellent quote; I don't enjoy Christmas either.
| ARMH chapter 32 . 2/23/2011
I must say, wands really are the best gift you could give.
| Time-Turner Warp chapter 32 . 1/1/2011
I was re-reading this fanfic in anticipation of the forthcoming chapter 64, when I noticed that Harry was allowed to keep his Time-Turner over the Winter Holidays. Yet, there was no mention of how he explained to his parents the solution to his sleeping problem, or just what the Time-Turner was. I do think they would have noticed him apparently abiding to a normal sleep schedule.
Anyways I love this fic, and have downloaded it onto my e-reader along with all of the Less Wrong Sequences. It has really helped me understand Rationality a bit more, and I hope that you continue writing this masterpiece!
| to EvilShroom chapter 32 . 11/21/2010
Newton was born Dec 25th in the old Julian calendar, which corresponds to Jan 4th of the new Gregorian calendar.
| Person chapter 32 . 11/19/2010
Evilshroom: It's a matter of Old Style vs. New Style.
| Evilshroom chapter 32 . 11/19/2010
Was waiting to finish the story before submitting a review, and I likely still will, but I need to say this before I forget-
Newton's birthday was January 4th, not December 25th. Sharing this birthday, I would know. Unless I am incorrect in my conceptions. In which case, feel free to correct me in a manner most superior and haughty. I would deserve it.
| Indigo Ziona chapter 32 . 10/28/2010
I like that Quirrell deliberately falls for Harry's trick (or I hope that was deliberate, anyway :) )
'"This Christmas," Harry said, dropping his voice into a lower register, "give your friends the gift... of death."
That made Professor Quirrell smile. It went all the way to his eyes.'
That's both heartwarming and slightly worrying. Nice.
| AllyrienDM chapter 32 . 10/23/2010
Two thoughts: I very much like the way you characterized Dumbledore and his occasonal manipulations - some people take it a little far in fanfiction. Also the Harry you have been writing sounds to me a lot like the way Dumbledore was described as a child in the final book. Except child!Dumbledore was more of a mini philosopher than scientist, as far as I could tell.
| Nerdfish chapter 32 . 10/13/2010
That is what I will celebrate from now on.
| Kutta chapter 32 . 10/11/2010
| LunaSlashSea chapter 32 . 10/8/2010
| twistyguru chapter 32 . 9/7/2010
Screw Bumbles, anyway. Harry should seriously consider leaving Hogwarts after his first year (and Quirrel's demise) for either a school in Ireland, Beauxbatons, or the Americas.
| dinosaurusgede chapter 32 . 8/9/2010
| dclayh chapter 32 . 8/8/2010
Suggestion to the author: replace "Grinch" with "Scrooge". They refer to the same category, of course, but the Grinch himself is a much later, and lesser, addition to the Christmas canon than dear Ebeneezer. Plus there's the alliteration with "Santa".
| phoebe turner chapter 32 . 8/7/2010
| The Wolf's Shadow chapter 32 . 8/7/2010
I love how they have some sort of dark aura that withers and mutes the happy things of Christmas. They're just that evi- I mean, awesome. :D
| ShaThief chapter 32 . 8/7/2010
sorry I dont get it did he figure out something clever or just "steal" more of his money after getting Quirel board?
thanks for the triple update,
good night from Australia
| Less Wrong chapter 32 . 8/7/2010
All reviews from before this point are really for 'Coordination Problems, Pt. 1'; all reviews after this point are for 'Interlude: Personal Financial Management'.
| CeilingFan chapter 32 . 8/4/2010
Okay. So that made me SO HAPPY. And Harry can't possibly be too upset with an ending that chaotic.
| your mom chapter 32 . 8/4/2010
you know what i love about this fanfic? When you get a puzzle... you know you have all the clues... and you just can't stop thinking about it. Right now, i am trying as hard as i can to discover the one plot that lets quirrel fulfill all of their wishes... but how?
This is all i have come up with so far. For slytherin and ravenclaw to both win, the two houses would have to become one. Maybe all the houses in hogwarts. (It fits with quirrels ideals of unity) and perhaps altering quidditch will be a means to that end.
Anyway, i have too many theories now, so congratulations. You have officially nerd sniped me.
| Elena Kansi chapter 32 . 8/2/2010
I liked the Ender reference (:
| Tara Ash chapter 32 . 8/1/2010
Ok, I haven't even finished reading the chapter yet, but I am too full of fangirl-ish joy to focus.
YAY ENDER!HARRY! After the first time armies were mentioned all I could think about were the similarities and then, then, he said *the quote*!
Aaaaaaaaand I just freaked my parents out by squeeing loudly and then bursting into hysterical giggles at 1 AM.
I CANNOT EXPRESS HOW HAPPY I AM. I love that book *so much*.
Ok, now to the rest of the chapter. BUT SERIOUSLY, YOU GET A BAJILLION POINTS. A BAJILLION!
| Adeptis chapter 32 . 7/31/2010
| anon chapter 32 . 7/31/2010
Withdrawal symptoms! Withdrawal symptoms! Post what you have!
| William H. Stoddard chapter 32 . 7/30/2010
You know, you've been getting complaints about the narrative time being too slow, with successive chapters coming too close together. But chapter 32 is the first one where I have a complain about pacing, and it's that the narrative time was too fast, with too big a jump from chapter 31. I wanted to see the Hogwarts reaction to Hermione's unexpected triumph, and how Harry coped with it. There were hints of that in 31 and in the early bits of 32, but I just felt like there was too abrupt a jump to "fighting the decisive battle." It felt like reading a bestseller where the plot is nicely developed in the penultimate chapter and then the author ties everything off in haste in the final chapter (say, Rita Mae Brown's High Hearts).
At this point, though, it's clearly too late to go back and fill in. I just hope you won't make such a big chance in pacing again.
A lot of this chapter went by me on the first reading, I think, because I have only the vaguest memory of the Ender novels, which I found tedious.
How many wars did the first years engage in between November 2 and just before the December hols? When was there time for the advanced students to have their own wars? Was the entire school gathering to watch the wars for years 2 to 7 also, and if so, was that destroying the audience for quidditch, and were there protests against that? I can't imagine Ron being a happy Sunshine Soldier if quidditch matches were getting cancelled on his behalf. Or is the whole school being time turned to fit in the wars?
Please note that my concerns about this chapter drop it from an A to an interesting but not quite satisfying B. It's not as if the story had failed for me.
| Wolfric chapter 32 . 7/30/2010
Good chapter. Thanks for writing. W.
| NyeLew chapter 32 . 7/30/2010
There CAN'T be only thirty two chapters of this! This is cruel and unusual and I really, really need some more of it. It's satisfying my need for science and rationality in fantasy, and can you really deprive a man of that?
The answer is no. :(
| Amaranthine29 chapter 32 . 7/30/2010
...well... crap. this is like the first review ive ritten... in a long time. this has become my fav hp story that is not a romance/action/comidy settup(set pairings). and just about the only one that takes place in a completely different world and happens during 1st year. the whole war is awsome! haha love how the bad omens happened and how hermione used a smily face as her symbol. so great and zabini is just kick ass and is he the quadruple agent... and working for him self? cause this is just a game? it would just make my day... if hermiones army won though... just because harry and draco underestmate her... for alot of reasons. go SUNSHINE! love it! question... does this story ever give u a headache when you write it? keep up the good work
| MrHobbs chapter 32 . 7/30/2010
This has been my favorite chapter so far. I really enjoyed the reference to Card's Ender's Game. Very nice.
| Cheesefondue chapter 32 . 7/30/2010
An interesting battle, probably the best that could be done in the space constraints. And, of course, with so many main characters, it's hard to give each one their place in the sun.
The solution to the prisonner's dilema was brilliant (the best bit of the chapter), but probably quite easy to undermine; all that it takes is a few Sunshine soldier shooting someone in the name of Chaos or Dragon to get their gong sounding and break up the collusion in the confusion.
As for Zabini's decision... well, there's been some heavy hinting there's a fourth faction here, but I don't really see how that could work. So I'm going for my first instinct, that Zabini is going to be fun and memorable and shoot himself in the name of sunshine, thus pegging everyone equal.
| Layne the Sane chapter 32 . 7/30/2010
You told us you were going to post the parts simultaniously, you daft fool! I cannot, will not, ought not, and shan't not believe the audacity of this statement! This has gone far too far!
| celopmuh chapter 32 . 7/29/2010
I realize this was kind of the point, but still... too confusing. I would have liked more a chapter that featured timeless decision theory more prominently... can we have a Newcomb-like situation somewhere?
Thank you for Ender. And for Lagann.
As for Time-Turner: good job making something more interesting than a Greek tragedy out of the "time doesn't change" model (I'm not sure if there is a real difference, but I consider Prisoner of Azkaban and All You Zombies less interesting than "do not mess with time" and Egan's Hundred Light-Year Diary).
| Greytune chapter 32 . 7/29/2010
NO! Zabini! Stick with the plan! Do not betray Sunshine!
Although this battle was awesome. All the plot within the plots, and Parvati pretending to be Padma (good one), and Zabini shooting her in the name of Sunshine because she might be a traitor...
Wow, Zabini really is a Slytherin, isn't he? THIS is what a real Slytherin is like. They are intellegent, they are smart, and they are awesome at plotting.
But, now, with that last line... I am worried. For some reason, I really want Hermione to win. I think it's because both Harry and Draco really think THEY will win (at least Draco) and Hermione isn't the obvious choice, since she isn't exactly the first one you think of when you think of someone to lead a war...
But that's how I thought for the first battle, and Hermione won, and the Sunshine supporters rejoiced. BUT I'm not completly sure you will do the same thing this time, since you've already done it. BUT THEN you might do it for just that reason.
Ugh, all this plotting...
Or maybe Zabini will just take himself out and add a point to Dragon or Chaos, so it'll be a tie. Yeah, that's probably what's going to happen...
Or is it?
(All this damn plotting.)
SUNSHINE FOREVER! (I just love the idea of an army named Sunshine.)
| LoireLoa chapter 32 . 7/29/2010
What is Blaise up to? And you know, if Harry wasn't so prone to monologuing, he would have won that one.
| Gogolu chapter 32 . 7/29/2010
| Arkh Cthuul chapter 32 . 7/29/2010
My inner Tzeentch just got Christmas and Birthday thrown to the same day.
| MyCABBAGES chapter 32 . 7/29/2010
I am absolutely adoring your story right now - it's currently my favorite. It's certainly unique - I've never read a fiction like it. You've made me laugh out loud quite a few times and kept me pretty interested. I really wish more fanfiction could be as... awesome as this. Eagerly awaiting your next update.
| Tears of Mercury chapter 32 . 7/28/2010
I wonder if Quirrell intentionally created a flawed scoring system? I'm still not sure what exactly his intentions are in regard to the armies - perhaps he's simply keeping an eye on who rises to the top.
Hopefully the next chapter will shed some light on what Blaise's purpose is in this story. Is he merely a useful subplot, or is he a wild card who will affect the main conflict? It would be fascinating to see a three-army scenario with Blaise, Voldemort and Harry in charge.
It's interesting to speculate on whether there was something important happening in the scene between Hermione and Dumbledore. Even if it was just a throwaway snippet, I felt like it served its purpose. Now the brightest witch of her age has met the highest of the wizarding world's higher-ups. Maybe in a world where Hermione is in need of a helping hand instead of constantly supplying it, she'll find herself getting more help from some of the grown-ups. After all, they need someone to manage Harry, don't they? :-)
| thesehearts.theyrace chapter 32 . 7/28/2010
I have a feeling Zabini's just gonna say, "For Sunshine!", and shoot himself so Sunshine loses a point and everything ties.
| embirsiphonelilathia chapter 32 . 7/28/2010
or he can suicide it in the name of sunshine and cause a three way tie and it's ALL just some giant plot cooked up by all three generals...
| Xynth chapter 32 . 7/28/2010
Wooow. Could you possibly have made that any more Tzeentchian and retained comprehension?
| wisecurledqueen chapter 32 . 7/28/2010
Oh man this delightful and twisted and scary, I LOVE IT! Some of it's confusing but all of its the most brilliant story there is! I am a devout fan who just recently discovered this story, and will read this over and over. It never gets old, and the shock value so lasts. The cold dark side of Harry is very awesome. I think you irony is called for and demanded by me, and more of Harry's lost memories please! Sorry I'm just raving but I'll compose a better review next time, k?
| James Birdsong chapter 32 . 7/28/2010
| aaronmicalowe chapter 32 . 7/28/2010
if i was zabini, i'd make harry win. then the boy-who-lived would become the boy-who-only-won-because-of-zabini.
nice cliffhanger, but since zabini can't actually win it becomes only a matter of what he gains most from someone else winning.
| Lemur chapter 32 . 7/28/2010
Nice Quarantine reference. That's the good stuff.
In general, this chapter has good pacing and ends with a great moment of suspense. I enjoyed reading it.
Frankly, though, it all feels a little pointless. Harry gets to pretend that he's Ender Wiggin, but it's surely clear, even to him, that he never could be. (Harry's much closer to Bean.) We continue to pity Malfoy, who is always a step-and-a-half behind. Hermoine gets a little deeper in over her head, and hardly realizes it. Neville gets some real growth, though, and that's good.
All in all, this chapter feels more like Brust's "Yendi" (laborious plot twists that leave you wondering what the whole story was for), than "Orca" (which even Brust said was the book Yendi should have been). Too many gyrations that seem to have VERY little significance to any character's development.
| Mastigo chapter 32 . 7/28/2010
I have a 5th option ... well more like half option: see how many bribes he can extort out of the audience of deeply factionalized older students
| your mom chapter 32 . 7/28/2010
Still no part two? For the record, when someone faces a dilemma like this in fiction, they nearly always go with a option that was not mentioned... bets on him shooting himself the name of sunshine and causing a three way tie anyone?
(Btw, that would really bug me... VICTORY FOR CHAOS!)
Awesome chapter, please update soon.
| jupimako chapter 32 . 7/28/2010
oh that's just evil. how could you end the chapter like that! you'd better post another chapter soon!
| Wolf chapter 32 . 7/28/2010
Ah, Zabini. Well at least now we know who the quadruple agent is. And with it the fourth team. Who could offer Zabini a better bribe than Draco about things at school? Dumbledore. Mind you, it does beg the question who *does* get the wish once the scores are equal. My suspicion would be that the Headmaster independently approached the Dark Arts instructor and asked to be give the wish, should all the scores tie. An admittedly difficult thing to imagine. Quite the Slytherin, he is.
| Borogove chapter 32 . 7/28/2010
It's *borogoves*, not borogroves! :-)
| Final-Fan chapter 32 . 7/28/2010
Well, I don't know about everyone else, but it seems dreadfully obvious to me that he's going to take the unmentioned path. Awesomesauce. But who gets the wish?
| asdfkwoei chapter 32 . 7/27/2010
ARGH ur killing me, seriously!
| deloriantimewizard chapter 32 . 7/27/2010
to be completely fair though, if this were the perfect fan fic, you would've written out every single battle. only doing the first and the last feels like cheating.
the ender's game quote, however, and the chance for that type of warfare, was frankly nothing short of genius. congratulations
| J-Kid chapter 32 . 7/27/2010
"Why are you upside down?" Oh gods. That has to be an Ender's Game quote and the idea of that book with this is just so darn perfect it made me laugh out loud. Of course it's a book you would have read, too. Harry'd make the perfect Ender.
| ObnoxiousShriekyFanGirl chapter 32 . 7/27/2010
I love you. Your writing is absolutely amazing and it ought to be judged as a philanthropic act if you abandoned your post in Oxford or whereever in order to write fiction full-time. Please, please keep updating.
| ejhawman chapter 32 . 7/27/2010
Lots of action and fun. You went and made the Gurren Lagann reference explicit - too sloppy. Better when references are understated.
D&D material used. Potion of Underwater Action is perfect under the circumstances. Somehow, I think Prismatic Sphere, a 9th level spell, should be NEWT level or Auror Candidate School training. Well beyond the capability of first years to attempt, surely.
Betrayals and counter-betrayals are all well and good, working to Harry's advantage: he is trying to foment Chaos, and making loyalties uncertain feeds that directly. After a certain point, no one knows who to trust so battles become every man for himself, and the teams in effect dissolve. Zabini makes this explicit at the end.
I wouldn't think it would hurt Harry to shoot Hermione; he still doesn't get that this is sports, not true war. In the books he may have been Seeking against Cho from first year, but we don't know he had problems before fourth year, when he began to respond to her beauty.
Naturally, Draco worries about all the 'plotting'. He seems to include normal strategizing and tactical planning as 'plotting', characteristic of his background.
"Why are you upside down?" Because they aren't - this isn't space, there is still gravity, they feel it, the blood rushes to their heads when they invert. Though Harry might want them to have more blood to their brains, to think better.
So, on to getting the plot back on track. Will Harry stay for Christmas or not? He has little motivation to in this story.
| Submit-to-Stupidity chapter 32 . 7/27/2010
Loved the reference to Enders Game. (And I truly hope Zabini shoots himself in the name of Sunshine so the score's equal)
| Zargon chapter 32 . 7/27/2010
I have to say, it does kind of show that you didn't have as much fun writing this chapter as others. Of course, it did have to be written, so you were in a bit of a corner. The whole big elaborate plot was a bit difficult to follow, and even after reading it again, I have to wonder why Harry didn't verify Zabini's reason for allying with him, since he pretty much bet the whole battle on it with his "Merlin says" order.
The decision theory was, perhaps, too deep for this medium. I think I got it on the 3rd read, but it seems it only really be relevant in true prisoner's dilemmas, which, as noted, are exceedingly rare. One of the best parts about this fic is that it presents rationality not as something that scientists or stereotypical Spock characters do, but rather as a set of tools that anybody can use to better understand the world by showing believable characters using those tools in a believable manner.
With the decision theory, I can't see myself picking it up and applying it to my life and my thought processes like I can for say, the scientific method, or the planning fallacy, or rationalization or belief in belief.
And for the record, I predict that Zabini will cause a 3 way tie, which could be for a number of possible story-related reasons (he hates all 3 generals and wants them to get nothing, or it has to do with Dumbledore's plotting, or he wants to make a story for himself and being a soldier for one of the 3 generals won't do that), but mainly, I think that's what will happen because it's the most obvious outcome that's not listed in the 4th line from the end.
| Stygian Styx chapter 32 . 7/27/2010
Great chapter, extremely amusing.
| The French Dark Lord chapter 32 . 7/27/2010
This is just machiavellian!
| Raven3182 chapter 32 . 7/27/2010
Great chapter! I can't wait to see what Zabini does. Great work all around. Thanks for writing!
| darrena chapter 32 . 7/27/2010
Absolutely bloody brilliant! This is the most wonderful chapter I have ever read! And the story is absolutely fascinating! Loved the "Ender's Game" allusion there :D Loved the idea of the battle. I caaaan't believe you ended in a cliffhanger! :p I'm counting the days till the next one :D Chaos rules, doesn't it?
| EileenL chapter 32 . 7/27/2010
"Harry had thought he wouldn't ever get to say those words, not while he was still young enough for them to be real..." I really liked how much fun Harry has playing Ender.
| ByLanternLight chapter 32 . 7/27/2010
THE ENEMY'S GATE IS DOWN! 6/5.
| narfi chapter 32 . 7/27/2010
As my first review, I have to tell you that this is brilliant. Now that I've gotten that out of the way, I have to ask about the things that have bugged me about these battles.
1) What incentives do the soldiers have for fighting? Do they get Quirrel points, too?
2) What bargaining power do they have for plotting and converting enemy soldiers?
| AliS256 chapter 32 . 7/27/2010
I love this story. Thank you.
| TsuQ chapter 32 . 7/27/2010
loved the chapter, particulary the strategies around sunny and the the meetings. also dig enders game
| lipasnape chapter 32 . 7/27/2010
You are brilliant. And scary.
| MiiRsEnd chapter 32 . 7/27/2010
I love chaos.
| Anna chapter 32 . 7/27/2010
I love love LOVE this story!
| cheekylildevil chapter 32 . 7/27/2010
The sad thing is, I actually sorta kinda understand whats going on... scary...
| Argoroth chapter 32 . 7/27/2010
ALL PRAISE THE TOADY ONE! SACRIFICE YOU CHILDREN TO ARMOK!
| Miss Cow chapter 32 . 7/26/2010
Gosh, all this smart talk is really hurting my head.
Well, I liked the chapter either way.
| Rodrigo Black Potter chapter 32 . 7/26/2010
I laughed! And laughed! And More and More!
You are amazing! the throne scene! and everything! problaby the best chapter I have EVER READ!funny, damm intelligent, amazing, complicated, hilariously full of phrases with second and third senses about voldie and other stuff, I mean... GREAT! Amazing! can't wait to read more! And harry is Crazy. As is Voldie! And Dumbles! And whoa ZAbini? and AAHHHAHAAH I'm soo overwhelmed! I'll read this again latter. GREAt great work. Serioulsy! awesome. keep doing this, it is incredible. I hope you like writing this neraly as much as I like reading, because it really makes the day (or in this case the time 5 min before i have to go to sleep before its too late and I can't stay up in Calculus) better. Have fun wrinting the next chapter! Can't wait for it! (Zabini will say For Sunshine and suicide, won't him? aahhh noo, he is with SOmeone ELSE! HE IS THE QUADRUPLE AGENT! YOU ARE AWESOME! [is quirrel the fourth army? or the Teachers?] damm update fast, please!)
| witowsmp chapter 32 . 7/26/2010
Very interesting chapter.
| dundee998 chapter 32 . 7/26/2010
You are an evil man. Evil evil evil. I adore this fic to bits, and cannot wait to see what Blaise has up his sleeve. It's probably going to take a few more rereads of this chapter to fully appreciate the people for whom the people who were for themselves were pretending to be for. THERE! Try and unmangle THAT sentence! Stupid lousy confusing sentence structures... Thanks for sharing, looking forward for more!
| CrystalC chapter 32 . 7/26/2010
Ever since you started this Army thing I've been having flashbacks to the Ender's Game books, but for this:
[The Chaos Legionnaires were looking at Harry in puzzlement, as their general swam with his feet pointing up toward the distant light of the surface, and his head pointed down toward the murky depths.
"Why are you upside down?"]
I love you forever.
Thank you so much for writing this!
| Lorem chapter 32 . 7/26/2010
I have so many problems with this chapter I registered an account just to comment.
On the technical side, being underwater is only very loosely analogous to being in zero gravity. Notably, you mentioned nothing about the potion granting neutral buoyancy, and without that everyone would have to work pretty hard just to keep from floating up. Even if it does grant zero buoyancy, however, there would still be a clearly favoured orientation - our lung area and related internal cavities are generally less dense than legs, etcetera, so facing "up" is easily preferred. To override this, the potion would basically need to either attach additional weights or air bubbles as necessary or empty out lungs and fill stomachs with water (or something) and feed them air intravenously. Something that seems far beyond its current description.
On the character side, assuming everything goes in the expected direction (Blaise shoots himself, making a tie), I'll be highly disappointed in Harry. His plot just didn't seem particularly amazing, especially since he evidently went to great lengths to tilt things in his favour, and since he overall seems easily the strongest general for the situation. Also, the plot for this chapter feels much more contrived than anything so far, which is unfortunate.
In more specifics, I don't understand why Harry didn't just shoot one of his "rescuers", thus almost ensuring a victory. My one remaining hope is that he had planned to orchestrate a tie together with Zabini, but it's a minor one, since he seemed to want to win quite badly. Similarly, Draco should have shot Zabini instead of just taking away his wand, getting much increased safety and 2 points.
The rules were a little unclear on what happens if you shoot people who have defected to your side. As far as I can tell (especially from Zabini's final choice), you just get 2 points. If this is so, the obvious strategy for Draco would have been to keep the Sunnies he had won over to his side in reserve (or in safer positions, anyway) and then just massacre them for points when those points would ensure victory. This would almost certainly significantly increase his odds of winning.
So, yeah, everything feels a bit contrived, which is quite disappointing for such a great series.
On a brighter note, I'm not sure if the pig transfiguration is such a big problem. We basically have it taking in some oxygen and attaching Carbon atoms from itself to it, forming CO2 (well, the net effect looks kinda like that, anyway). First of all, the desk had carbon in the first place, so it might be okay. But if it's not okay (let's say some of the CO2 gets into a plant and then transforms into some other weird molecule), the effects should still be pretty minor. The stuff the pig breathes out gets diluted with the vastly larger amount of non-transfigured air, so not too much of it should be absorbed overall. The amount that is absorbed would probably not prove overly toxic, since it would in turn constitute a tiny portion of what the plant has within it. The amounts would be even lower for animals (I believe there would still be some since while diffusion in the alveoli would mainly lead to carbon dioxide going out, a little bit would still come in just because diffusion is chaotic).
| Karnen chapter 32 . 7/26/2010
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! that is soooo cruel! CLIFFHANGER! I love this story by the way. it's very well written! no problems as far as I can tell. keep up the good work!
| mantimeforgot chapter 32 . 7/26/2010
Set to the theme of "Steal my sunshine" this chapter works quite well (too bad that is a late 90's song not early); I'd say it ranks in your top 10 so far.
I am curious though what Draco's initial plan consisted of (the one that had so many different things that had to go right that his father would have disowned him)... That is not I think implied in the writing anywhere (perhaps I am not seeing it).
The "solution" to decision making presented here (and your accompanying article) seems to have quite a bit of potential. I am, however, concerned that at some point you will be confronted with arising from incompleteness or inconsistent values.
Morality as I understand it is "merely" applied rationality (you attempt to optimize your interaction with whatever system you exist within; be it family, community, society, world, galaxy, etc), but what do you do when a problem requires you to "sacrifice" the values of family in order to aid your community?
I think the problem with "ideal game theory" is that in only considering outcomes you ignore the "meta-game" (as it is called in magic the gathering). In the meta-game you attempt to figure out what intention your opponents have and determine how well your opponents can determine your intention. Does intention precommitment?
I think Harry would argue it does because in this chapter he is a bit saddened when he "does not get to play against Draco due to them being "too similar."
The problem I think stems from incompleteness. Any sufficiently general maxim to apply to all situations is by necessity going to be incomplete. So you might tell people to optimize their behavior according to what is most beneficial for all actors concerned with the situation, but what does it mean to be "beneficial?" How many steps removed does one go; do I have to consider my emotional/intentional impact on other actors? Do I have to consider the impact of my impact? Etc etc.
Overall, even if you did not have as much fun with this chapter I think it turned out rather well though. Leaving with the "cliffhanger" of Zabini considering what to do was fairly classic (perhaps he suicides in the name of sunshine in order to deny everyone a wish...) and the battle itself show-cased the various strengths of the generals and even some of the troops.
9.1 out of 10
| Unsigned chapter 32 . 7/26/2010
Guess I'm going to start learning about decision theory.
| KuMardagg chapter 32 . 7/26/2010
Great. Now I gotta go read Metamagical Themas again. I don't mind... just keep the plot away from Rubic's Cubes.
| Griffin Raven chapter 32 . 7/26/2010
Wow...what a totally awesome and a truly unique look at Harry Potter and his personality when he arrives at Hogwarts. What I love best so far, is none of those who are closely involved or are interacting with young Harry, don't seem to truly see things just the way that he does. I particularly like the fact that Harry's in Ravenclaw, as its very hard to see if he might go dark or not. But what everyone else seems to view as dark in regards to his actions/or comments, are simply the fact that Harry seems the wizarding world very differently than the average wizard does, even those muggleborn wizards.
| Arbitrary chapter 32 . 7/26/2010
LessWrong, you missed another, even more obvious rationalization of the transfiguring things into living creatures issue-the Bubble-Head charm. It's not clear exactly how this does what it does, but it wouldn't be an unreasonable way to prevent problems involved with living transfiguration. Of course, for long term living transfigurations you run into issues with what happens if the animal eats, etc.
And to all those describing this as a cliffhanger, I suggest you look more closely at the author notes for the chapter-the outcome is pretty clear (although what happens after that will likely be quite amusing...).
| Guest chapter 32 . 7/26/2010
Very fun chapter to read; thanks for planning it so carefully.
One typo I noticed: "enough for a prison sentence of two years piece" should be "apiece".
| Jim chapter 32 . 7/26/2010
I suppose the next chapter is going to revolve around the general's clever plots to utilize the christmas wish as best they can. How that will happen will depend on how Quirrell responds to be the tie. The armies will want, to some extent, to be rewarded for their efforts in the wish, and while Granger was probably going to do that anyway, I can see Harry and Draco plotting to greedily make the best use of the wish for themselves. There are several avenues I could see this taking, but the most important thing about this is the realization that the armies are, with the exception of Blaise, not as smart as the generals. If Harry tries to execute a complicated scheme it may be exposed as Harry's simply because it's too damned weird. So Harry would be better off trying to make a greedy grab for the wish while making it look like Draco's greedy grab for the wish that's trying to look like Harry's greedy grab for the wish.
And that's where, I suppose, you start talking about all the neat decision theory stuff you alluded to.
BTW: I think Yuletide predated the founding of Hogwarts. Wikipedia seems to agree.
| Curalium Lacrimo chapter 32 . 7/26/2010
Really... you leave it there?
| DoubleC chapter 32 . 7/26/2010
What a place to cut off!
Very exciting, quite scary how everyone takes this so seriously and how cruel and adult it all seems. And, fighting underwater? Isn't that too much even for wizards?
Also, now Zabini is firmly in the ranks of the super-upgraded characters. I wonder about Dumbledore. What was his plan? Dumbledore *cannot* be left out of the loop. In fact, he's got to be the one to win, really. Surely, he get's an 'upgrade', too?
Quirrell and his personality cult continues to be way terrifying.
Harry is absolutely hilarious. (By the way, isn't he a Parselmouth here?..)
Can't wait for more, for Harry to establish himself back as the main hero of supreme awesomeness, and for Dumbledore to turn out extra-crafty, as well.
| mjs chapter 32 . 7/26/2010
Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality is so awesome that I am willing to suffer the mockery of friends and loved ones for reading Harry Potter fan fiction. At least until I convince them that it's actually a serious piece of science fiction showing near-Dickensian mastery of the serial form.
This fanfic has always been reminiscent of Ender's Game, so I enjoyed the straight-up homage in this chapter. Others have said that a tie result to the game would now be the obvious twist and therefore not interesting. I disagree. Any of Zabini's choices could be interesting and suprising if his reason for making it is interesting and surprising.
| Double-Portion chapter 32 . 7/26/2010
I just read this story. It is epic. As for for the science, some of the ideas were a bit advanced, but you worked them into the story well.
| ZeroSum Bias chapter 32 . 7/26/2010
What a cruel cliffhanger! But... thanks for posting! Your friends weren't the only ones going into withdrawal ;)
This chapter was fun, especially the later half. It seemed a bit silly at the start, but it picked up.
| Eskimo680 chapter 32 . 7/26/2010
Oh, thats just evil. Great story though, I love the fact that all of the generals keep getting killed before everyone else. And it's somehow fitting that with all that plotting and it's down to a slytherin's decision. lol, I have absolutly no idea what he's going to do, but I somehow think dumbledore is involved...
| Starlight Chibi-chan chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
ugh, biggest cliffhanger EVER! What happens next? 0_0
| White Ivy chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
Damn it! I really want to know if Zabini is really that cunning or if one of the general's is pulling the strings!
This chapter totally kept me on the edge of my seat. It made me laugh, too.
| He Who Rules With an Iron Hoof chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
Is he going to shoot himself to make it a tie? That's what I would do, anything else would bring the wrath of 2/3rds of my graduating class.
| firedraygon chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
Hahaha, spies! This is just awesome. Quadruple agent. XDD
I'm excited to see what Blaise does. Please write more soon!
| MortalPeril chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
...of losing my mind trying to figure out what Zabini is up to! All these complicated plots, you should be heralded as a true Chaos Legionnare!
| WildeJunkie96 chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
Congratulations on being the Harry Potter of the non-fictional world and using odd mediums to force people to think. I've never seen a fanfiction story so popular before)
-Flying Vegetable of Doom
| rabidchicken chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
Wow... I am not sure exactly how to describe that chapter. It was confusing, frustrating, but ask worth it once you start to see the pieces coming together. so far, I have looked forward to the individual chapters of this story more then each book of the original series. every time a new puzzle comes up in the story, I try to guess what is going to happen next, with limited success so far. What can I say... this is the best science fiction I have read all year. Please update soon... And zambini had better choose chaos
| Gungnir chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
Re: Author's notes.
My knowledge of biology only extends to my vague memories of freshman classes, but as no one has said anything I thought I'd throw in my two cents. If you need to use this for later chapters it should hopefully at least give you enough to start your own research. Plant growth uses carbon from CO2 (and not from the soil as you might think), but any exposure severe enough to damage this process will be more than enough to kill the plant by playing havoc with its photosynthesis: the longer the daytime exposure, the more sugars from the plant's carbon fixing cycle (of which there are a few different processes, but they more or less produce the same result in terms of carbons and organic compounds) that would have be reversed. Nighttime exposure would be by comparison weak. Most plants are nocturnally aerobic. CO2 usage is very light at most because little/no photosynthesis goes on as there's so little sunlight. Moonlight might be a thing to worry about; I don't know if it's actually possible to turn off photosynthesis, or what options the plant's circadian rhythm would allow.
As for what could be done about the exposure: it could be possible, with minimal exposure, to salvage the plant without anything drastic (wilting leaves maybe a problem if the plant is big enough) while longer exposures may force a.. vegetarian? hortitarian? to make cuttings of the plant and attempt to regrow it. Only much longer exposure would cause enough damage to render any cuttings unviable.
| Takai153 chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
Great chapter, but DID YOU HAVE TO END IT THERE!
Loved the final battle, can't wait to see how it will turn out. And what wish will be granted. Keep up the awesome work and please update as soon as you can!
| Dragon Man 180 chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
So much chaos. I can't keep track of all the craziness, good job.
| Lynati chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
Oh, now THAT was a really fun one.
And I'm laying odds that Blaise is the fourth army.
| OhLook-AFish chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
Evil, very very evil, but damn fine way to end a chapter!
Also, great Monty Python quoting.
My hovercraft is full of eels! (Hungarian Phrasebook translation: Keep up the good work, and thank you for the lessons in rationality from a most unexpected source!)
| Guile chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
Have to admit, I wasn't expecting it to all come down to Zabini. Would that make him the quadruple agent, since he's on a fourth side (ie: his own)?
I also dig Harry being obnoxious for a purpose, there. Draco allying with Hermione against him would be quite a step forward in his 'turn Draco from the Dark Side' plan. Making common cause with mudbloods is a slippery slope. Whether he's thinking that way or not, I enjoy imagining he is.
| Aordic chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
Wow! This was rather mind-boggling and I had trouble following all the plots - as was intended - but it still had me giggling the whole time. Draco's got it right - traitors need to be punishable for this thing to work logically.
Thoroughly enjoyed it.
| Peregrinate chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
You did not just leave that there. I WANT TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS NEXT!
| Phoenix Flight chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
Wow, the awesomeness is beyond measure.
| mynameisthedoctor chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
The beginning of this story kind of reminds me of the story "The Wave" so I assume that's what Quirrell is planing on some level to recruit young death eaters. Also I'm personally shipping for Harry to be with Hermione but I think his characterization is becoming to far leaning to the dark side for it to work out and that bums me out. I know characterization marches on but you're the DM, you could just drop something in his lap that effects his personality positively.
| Molly Morrison chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
I've been reading this fic for a while, but I thought I'd drop you a line and tell you how much I am enjoying it. I was thinking Harry just liked Ender, and then when I was talking to my husband, I realized that you were turning Hogwarts into Battle School, in part. Although Harry is smart but not quite as smart as Ender.. He sure does have that killer instinct though! And I love that I keep wondering what Quirrell is up to and whether Voldemort is involved or not! Keep up the great story and I will keep eagerly reading each chapter when I get the e-mail that it's been posted!
| Hinatafanboy chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
This is truly making my head hurt trying to figure out all the plots and counter plots going on.
| threecankeepasecret chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
| ilikebluepineapples chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
Very confusing chapter. I had to read some lines over a few times to make sure I had it right. Also, Harry's flair for cheesy drama is starting to make me cringe.
Oh Zabini... they all underestimated him... I'm starting to like this guy. Can HE join Harry and Hermione's Golden Trio instead of Draco? Because Draco is starting to get on my nerves.
Update soon. As in today. OR ELSE. Bad things...
| iwannabeX chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
ARGH! you can't make a cliffy THAT large! BAD AUTHOR! BAD! BAD! NO COOKIES!
| Dan chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
Game theory in Harry Potter... now I've seen everything. It was well done but this fic has way too many info-dumps- its a bit preachy and tedious to read at times.
| Jaxtopher chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
Sometimes, when your story isn't awesome, we're sad. But then you tell us to stop being sad and be awesome again. It's pretty great.
Much like this chapter.
Keep on being awesome. _
| mg chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
Harry knew from the outset that there was a quadruple agent in Sunshine, i.e.., a soldier in Sunshine whose betrayal scheme is four levels deep. Harry knew from conspiring with Blaise that Blaise was a soldier in Sunshine whose loyalties ran at least three layers deep. He should've realized that the conditional probability of Blaise being the quadruple agent - and therefore of betraying Harry in turn - given that he's at least a triple agent from Sunshine was extremely high. (But then, maybe he did do this, and is executing some other plot by letting Blaise think he's won...)
| fmriver chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
ENDER! Awesome, I loved it. It made me flash back to younger times, when I still read things on paper in bindings and stuff.
I'm betting Blaise figures out a way to tie all three of them, kind of a way to spite all three right? I guess he's the one true winner in the game huh.
I don't know why, but it made me think of him in a more snape-ish manner (more successful snape) with the quadruple cross.
| colin chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
That was so Awesome Blood for The Blood God! Hell yeah what a amazing plot and twist \. I look forward to the next chapter so please update again soon.
| Animekitty47 chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
This chapter gave me a headache. I also had to re-read some parts, but that doesn't mean it wasn't awesome. :D If I've got this right, if Blaise shoots himself for Sunshine, its a three way tie, right? That would make the most sense...make sure no one gets what they want. And makes McGongall and Dumbledore happy, but I don't think Zabini cares about that...would Zabini get the wish then? Gah, this is so confusing. And I bet you'll end up doing something else that I haven't though of...
Harry trying to be, or should I say sound, evil is oddly hilarious. And his conscious is so cute. It'd be fluff in a different story. XP
| DigiEmissary chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
This chapter brings me both great joy (especially "Why are you upside down?" :D) and also great frustration.
| Bronze Eagle chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
I loled at "Lagann" being the drill spell to break through a shield.
Also, I've been wondering, how many years are you planning to cover in this fic (or series, if that's what it ends up being)? Because if Quirrelmort doesn't get uncovered by the end of the year, then he's not going to be affected by the curse, since it IS Voldemort who finally has the Defense position. But if the curse doesn't affect him, Dumbledore may figure out it's him. Unless the curse will affect him after all, because he doesn't have the position in his own name ... Anyway, I've been wondering how he'll work that out, though I'm sure he has some sort of plan.
I've been reading regularly, but not reviewing, and I just thought I would let you know that I've enjoyed every chapter, and look forward to them every week. Also thought I'd let you know that personally, I wouldn't mind a Harry/Draco pairing. ;D
| hattuteline chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
The ending was weird. It left me thinking that the scoring system used in the army battles is flawed. If Blaise could shoot himself in the name of Dragon or Chaos and earn two points for them doing so (this wasn't quite spelled out, but I thought it was implied as such) - Why didn't any army have everyone shoot themselves in their own team's name? Not only would they gain a lot of points but deny the other teams from gaining those points. Sunshine could have ended the game instantly like that, and the other two teams would look for a situation where the remaining part of their team suiciding would pull them to an undeniable victory.
Similarly if some soldiers shooting themselves reduced points from the team they declared they were for (or even if it removed you from the game without any point changes), this could also be used as an even more efficient point-manipulating tactic. If you've played or know Mahjong (the four player version), it has a lot of score tactics that act similarly to these ideas. Japanese Mahjong also introduces "riichi" which is basically a pledge including a minor point amount that is set aside. It declares that you are ready to win the game at any moment and increases the score you gain for winning. However it limits severely what you can do with your hand at the same time. If someone else wins, those points set aside are lost, otherwise they are returned. Some stuff like that would have spiced up the score system used in the story.
| Inwitari Turelie chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
Wow, another amazing chapter although the battle was difficult to follow with all the Xanatos Gambits. Liked the mentions of the state of humanity.
Oh, also, rubbish attempt at ?qh§ion&qHarryPottermethodsofRationality#/d2unj5l
| badkidoh chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
Yet another really great chapter! I'm looking forward to your next update.
| solussword chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
This chapter keeps up the insane level of thinking that the rest of this story did. That being said, this chapter seriously made my head hurt. With all the complicated plots, counter plots and special orders it made it hard to follow. I know that was the whole point, but after a while I didn't know why you had armies except to pay homage to Ender.
Besides that, your tale held up it's level of perfection quite well.
Also, that Orson Scott Card quote was awesome.
| Majin Hentai X chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
Well that was unpredictable. So are you going to cause a three way tie or something far less cliche and unpredictable.
You couldn't resist letting Harry have his Ender moment.
| Khadon chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
Wow, another great chapter. I love your army battles and all the intrigue going on around them.
I wonder what Ender's game would have been like if they were allowed to have traitors. I can see 90 percent of Battle School simultaneously shouting "For Dragon!" and that being the end of it. LOL!
| Hamm On Wry chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
The war games scenario reminds me of the book, Ender's Game. Especially the part about 'the enemy is down'... Harry as a 'Ender Wiggins' type cracks me up... wants to be eleven forever...
| Peanuckle chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
If it were just Draco and Hermione, then these battles would be typical wizard warfare. But Harry introduces a certain factor that mucks it all up, completely changing the game.
In that sense, he's won every battle. Not by victory, but by forcing them all to play by his (non)rules.
| SaintPeter chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
What an amazing chapter. Sorry it was so hard for you to write, but it really paid off. Really brilliant!
At points I was laughing so hard I was crying. Totally awesome and I can't wait for the next chapter.
| phoebe turner chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
WOW! i can't wait for the next chapter!
| Luiz4200 chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
What will the wish be used for?
| FuzzyBoots chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
And there's the true demonstration of how chaos thrives on the individual. Most of the time, most of us can't make a huge change in the world by our actions. But every once in a while, particularly if we set the situation up to provide for it, we're in the right position to give that lever a shove and move the world.
I'll admit that the setup for this final battle was terribly confusing for me. I still don't quite get who was ordering what, which left me with the impression that the three generals similarly threw up their hands and gave it their best guess (and apparently got it wrong in all cases unless something suddenly changes again and this turns out to be a Xanatos Gambit).
I have to say that I'm also looking forward to Harry occasionally succeeding at something occasionally. He's a bright boy with a lot of magical power. I don't know if it's narrative force that keeps him consistently failing, or if it's simply because he chooses to fight battles he cannot win, probably due to his ego saying that the other battles are below him and/or not worth winning.
But overall, still a fun story. I'm still reading.
| vreadermd chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
I love the references in the last 2 chapters to one of my favorite books of all time. Ender has been my favorite literary character since my marine corp uncle gave me the book at age 11 and both harry and Hermione's strategies were reminiscent.
| farwalker chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
this is truly twisted...
And way too complicated...
| Werealpha chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
What is up with the Ender's Game ripoff? It is possibly you came by the weightless battling somewhere else, or thought of it by yourself, but the similarities to Ender's Game are striking. Please explain.
PS: Since that was my first review for Methods of Rationality, and it was fairly negative, know that I am quite found of this fanfic. This is why the unoriginality of the water battle bothers me.
| GhostInTheSteak chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
| the.stories.live.on chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
Oh my goodnes! the Ender's Game references had me cracking up! so awesome. *sigh* So awesome. Brilliant job. And I must say that as much as I love your Harry and would like to see him crush the others, I think you've done an excellent job of not making him invincible, because then it wouldn't be interesting. Once again, brilliantly done.
| Tamzin Blake chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
Chapter 32. It seems entirely too obvious (in a conspicuous absence sort of way) that Blaise will shoot himself for Sunshine so that it ends in a three-way tie. I'd guess that he will do so, in accordance with Dumbledore's plan, and then Harry will win somehow. It should be easy enough to conceal an assassin at the border of the battlefield by periodically going in and out of the area (plus some magic).
But then where's the lesson learned? It's hard for this story to be the perceived Aesop for Rationality if Harry just pulls off something that no reader could have anticipated.
Though I also liked the reviewer hypothesis that Harry and Zabini swapped places somehow, and Zabini is Harry in disguise.
It seems vanishingly unlikely that Zabini will win for sunshine, given how annoying it was to so many people that Hermione won the first battle.
It bothers me that Draco didn't seem to do anything terribly clever in this battle. Zabini seems positioned to win for Draco, thus giving Draco his christmas wish (possibly the outcome Quirrell would hope for). And Zabini already knows Draco owes him something.
Well, my attempts at deciphering your machinations have confused me enough that my probability distribution would be:
1. Zabini wins for Harry: 1%
2. Zabini wins for Hermione: ~5%
3. Zabini ties it up successfully: ~10%
4. Zabini wins for Draco: ~15%
5. Zabini ties then Harry wins somehow: ~25%
6. Something clever that falls outside the obvious options: ~45%
I originally concentrated more of the probability mass on option 6 (since with my past predictions, that usually wins) but it *feels* like I have slightly more information this time.
| Delrusant chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
Going for the draw? Quadruple agent?
The ennemy door is down ;-)
| Dark Lord Of Ori chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
Arhhh! Brilliant! but that ending is having me tear out my hair!
| Entropic Specter chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
Finally! An update! I was starving, here.
AN: Oh, hey, thanks for the mention and all. Giving people cameos? I wonder how that'll work out. Sufficiently unobtrusive, I'm sure. And yes, you just might've been right about that "lynch" bit. Good thing you avoided that, no?
Anyway, on to the chapter. I wonder which army will go galumphing back. Sunshine? Or maybe none? Really, that Zabini. What choice will he make, I wonder. Or is there still some deception left floating around, even now?
In any case, I sure hope we'll be "lucky" with that "sometime Sunday" business. Great work as usual, keep it up, and please update soon.
| ReaderMike chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
OH MY GOD THAT WAS A QUOTE FROM ENDER'S GAME!
It is now official. I love you.
| space puppy chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
Sounds like quadruple agent Zabini will call Sunshine and hex himself. He loathes all generals equally, and doesn't want them to get any Quirrell points for this victory. He probably has his own use for the Christmas wish.
However, some of the sleepers might still awake and change the score.
| wowow chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
oh My God! this is BRILLIANT!
okay, where do we start.. yup, everything is excellent!
i love it where Harry being all evil in his big throne commanding his minions with silly formality (and blood red curtain and cat in his lap and his evil laugh)
Dont forget each generals POV, oh that was great!
and Harry saying :
"All we'd need to do is shoot Franz Ferdinand and we could start World War One," said Harry. "It's gone to complete chaos. I'm all for it."
"That's right!" said Harry. "I'm betraying you! Both of you! Again! Ha ha!"
oH THOSE were hilarious.
those prisoners dilemma theory, i got the impression that Harry is trying to shape Draco way of thinking & making strategy in battle through that theory.
Well, maybe Im wrong, im not very sharp anyway,but i still enjoy this chapter
Please dont tell me that Zabini is Harry in disguise! O_O
(those last lines..only Harry would say it!)
GREAT JOB LESS WRONG!\./
| Jarno chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
Nice chapter, and yet I do have a problem with it. And that would be moral rules. The best way to explain would be the first battle where Draco put someone on a broom wich caused problems for Harry since that person was hard to hit.
Good tactic...due to moral rules. Were it a real battle, you accio the broom or use any possible way to just knock him of it which is not that hard. The reason why that is not done is because that would be lethal. Were it a real fight however, that would be valid.
| Judah chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
So he shoots himself in the name of Sunshine, and it's a three way tie?
| Shally-wa chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
This is perfectly chaotic and perfectly entertaining. My brain hurts trying to wrap around who's on whose sides now, but I'm loving it.
| Blackdex chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
force a tie?
| JTK chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
I simply, utterly and undeniably love this fanfiction. Its just chalk full of fun and madness and unpredictability. You sir, are a master writer and I egarly await the next update. One of the best fanfictions of all time.
| Anon chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
If Zabini shoots himself for Sunshine, wouldn't that tie the score?
| BoomboomPOWWWW chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
I know what Zabini's gonna do. He's gonna shoot himself in the name of Sunshine, so it's all tied. Then nobody wins! lol the plotting, the secrets, the awesomeness! Great job! )
| lilyoftheval5 chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
"Why are you upside down?"
Oh, yes, I can totally understand his glee.
Thank you for this wonderful and fun story once again.
It constatantly delights me to pieces.
| jdboss1 chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
Thank you for the update - I was one of those suffering from withdrawal!
I don't know where to begin this story was brilliant or at least this chapter the plot's are mind-boggling and attempting to unwind them at present is impossible as I've been ill with an incredible headache lying down in bed and having this story read out loud to me by my computer to my wireless headphones made me feel a lot betterwhen I couldn't understand was why not just get your troops to shout out the same opposing army and then opened fire on one another must be the quickest
way to deal with the spying situation and make them lose points
The scene where Harry knocked out Hermione was touching (I am a diehard Hermione fan h/hr) so I was glad to see Harry felt upset doing so
Criticisms or stuff you didn't explain enough
there in the late a Scottish freezing cold Lake you gave them potion's to breathe underwater fully acceptable but water confused about is
1 how to retrieve the conscious students
2 how to retrieve the conscious students Magic Wand as they surely must drop it
3 a great lack of bikinis being worn oh I keep forgetting their first year the level of the intelligence they possess it is so easy to forget
Could you make a list of combat spell they can use in these friendly tournament
/utility spells I'm sure they would be quite a few simple spell that will have beneficial side-effects from being used underwater
It might only be for less than an hour or two but get Harry to transfigure that superstrong metal you mentioned before I'm sure he would have the strongest item in the world has none of them seem to know the periodic table
I know you really skip the scene but I would've liked to have seen harry talk on moving plants specially in book to when just the sound of one of them can kill you
record that sound and you have a doomsday weaponetc etc except
get the DNA of the tree that moves I cannot think of its name but the one that was used heavily in book 2 and three the one destroyed the car Harry was in would like to see that dna under a microscope
no experimental scene with the the house Elf would've liked to see his interaction
I just feel you have so much to write about just pick something and write possibilities seem endless when dealing with Harry Potter universe I just feel you are starting to say Harry did stuff not showing us
Easily the best story of 2010
| Balatros chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
I am fairly confident you choose Nevilles tactics to mirror that of Ender from Enders Game, please tell me if I am correct. or if it was just a strange coincidence.
| ImUpToNoGood chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
Yay for Ender references! Actually, this whole chapter read like a chapter of Endar's Game on Hallucinogenics. Well played. And Quirrelmort certainly is succeding in sowing discord.
I'm not sure if Harry is becoming darker by the chapter, or if he's just having way too much fun, or if there's a difference. Your Harry at least is truly a Ravenclaw version of dark, if dark, doing it for the joy of testing theories, instead of out of rage like Dark!Harries in other fics. Crossing my fingers that Harry finds a way to find that joy without succumbing to Quirrelmorts plans... what could be better for the Dark Lord than a Dark Harry?
I can't wait to read how the battle comes out, and I usually hate reading battles. Glad the next chapter will be soon.
| Althaea-alex chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
That first battle was really predictable.
This one isn't.
Good job, looking forward to the continuation.
| CurrentlyIncognito chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
I think you've just made me go fan-girl on Zabini. O.O Brilliant. I wonder what he's going to do next. After all, he seems to be taking the game very seriously. Above all, I wonder what Dumbledore did. O.O Or did I miss some vital part in the story because I was so eager to find out what happens next? *runs back to re-read chapter*
| Y.Rako chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
Cliff hanger from hell!
| He-who-must-eat-chocolate chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
blaise shoots himself for sunshine, 3-way tie
| ultra dragon chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
for the love of- you have got to be kidding me! i get the feeling that Harry isn't going to like the outcome that's for sure...(unless of course he left some...insurance like a solider that would watch and wait to see if they were betrayed in the end...) well nice chapter! can't wait to see who wins.
| enderverse chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
I was hoping someone would say everyone is taking it too seriously. Its basically the same thing as 6th grade gym class.
THREE WAY TIE!
At least I think he can do that, the rules weren't laid out very clearly.
| Larry Huss chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
"... and that, Children, is how the Elephant got his feathers!"
A very good demonstration on why spy masters are often bald and take strong tranquilizers. After quituple agents entered the game it all began to be a lot more trouble than it's worth.
Loved Draco's mind being blown.
yrs. L. Huss
| Snag1 chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
Hah! This chapter makes me wonder if Quirrel ever read Lord of the Flies. And then promptly decided to toss the premise in a blender and make it really wonky.
| Lthayer3 chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
Ok, that has to be the most evil cliffhanger I've ever read. I'd attempt to figure out which of the four(?) sides Zabini is/was really supporting, but there were so many plots mentioned that I doubt if it is really possible.
Very, very well done.
| x-caitlin-x chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
No, you can't leave it there! I have to admit that I wouldn't make a very good Slytherin - too much of what was going on before and during that battle flew way over my head. I did understand enough to know that Sunshine is currently winning, and you can't take that away from me! I had my suspicions that Zabini had really taken the few that were really loyal and it was all part of a plan that we'd find out about at the end, but I wasn't expecting that ending. Even now, for some reason I can't help trusting Zabini. Please update soon; I'm on the edge of my seat wanting to find out what happens next!
| Heidinanookie chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
waahh! This is so unfair! I want to know how it ends, damnit!
As always, I had a hard time following the proceedings. It might clear up a few things to re-read the chapter but I'm too tired right now.
Can't wait for the next part!
PS.: Quoting Monty Python's most famous sketch brought a killer laughing fit over me.
| emanon chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
Great chapter. Liked the inclusion of the tactics from Ender's Game.
| Slicerness chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
i predict that he will shoot himself in the name of sunshine and make it tied for everyone.
| Shining Ducky chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
Lagann spiral, lol.
| HakumeiJin chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
It's pretty hard to decide what's going to happen just the fact you chose to omit it makes Zabini's choice of For Sunshine seem likely but even if that really is what's going to happen I can't be sure of the reason especially since we heard of Dumbledore "plotting" and saw no results unless things happened the way they did in the first place because of his plotting.
Also in the final showdown the sheer possibilities for betrayal were way too much. Honestly the only one I actually could trust the side of was Neville and just as he seemed to be surviving to the end he was defeated. Zabini was one of the worst and the one I considered most likely quadruple agent since one was said to exist since he was considered for general and Padma had been extra suspicious. (Of course I was thinking other things like Parvati still being somewhere and both sleeping charms having been fake or something) I wonder how much of the plotting will actually be revealed in the end and also whether he'll actually choose a side, force a tie or do something completely unexpected which I can't guess now since I can only see the existing possibilities.
| The Overlooked Supporting Cast chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
You really shouldn't reward my troubled, restless nights with such delicious updates. These frequent, irregular updates are quickly becoming worse than all those horrible drugs Hermione's parents warned her about, and I really don't need that sort of influence on my sleep schedule. Worse still, I had to reread it in order to even come to a comfortable self-delusion that I understand exactly what everyone's motivations are, at least among those under the age of twelve. Then, as soon as I finished composing the previous sentence, I read it a third time.
Still, there is a vague sense of accomplishment, as I am now entirely certain that Blaise Zabini will call out "For Sunshine!" and shoot himself, tying the scores. He doesn't seem to care for Draco at all, Harry is simply insufferable, and actively supporting Hermione in such a clutch situation would undermine his position in Slytherin for years. More importantly, forcing them to somehow negotiate for the wish, or perhaps simply denying it to them outright would be so, so much fun. Silly Hermione. Becoming one of those obnoxious protagonists means your life gets MORE troublesome.
Anyway, if Blaise doesn't tie them up, I will eat my hat.
I'm now off to buy some early breakfast and think of fifty ways I might be wrong. I should probably just go ahead and acquire a small and reasonably tasty-looking hat as well, because I really should know better by now.
| Stormwinddcon.stormwindgmail chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
I understand your wish to throw in a shout out or two, but making them like that is just painful to me as reader. And it also breaks the general style of spells vocal components.
| DTurtle chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
My guess: Zabini is the quadruple agent working for all three sides and DUMBLEDORE, solving the problem by having a three-way tie by shooting himself in the name of Sunshine.
| NicNacs chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
I think I see what's coming next...
| AngelForm chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
You sir, have a dangerously twisted mind. Brilliant, but twisted.
My the gods help us should you ever go into politics.
| wobster109 chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
ZOMG I just realized. Zabini actually has 4 choices:
1) do nothing: Granger: 255 / Malfoy: 254 / Potter: 254
2) for Dragon: Granger: 255 / Malfoy: 256 / Potter: 254
3) for Chaos: Granger: 255 / Malfoy: 254 / Potter: 256
4) FOR SUNSHINE: Granger: 254 / Malfoy: 254 / Potter: 254
The omission of the 4th choice was pretty obvious, and probably intentional XD
| 109 chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
Was glorious and the MOST CONFUSING THING EVAR. I have no idea what just happened. I shall have to read it again a few hundred more times.
Excellent Prisoner's Dilemma! (and Newcomb!)
| Baughn chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
Or he could shoot himself in the name of sunshine, which is obviously what he'll do..
Oh yeah. Fun.
| Vampyromaniac chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
"For Sunshine! Somnium...*gurgle*"
Thank you for the update - I was one of those suffering from withdrawal! Sorry to hear it wasn't fun to write - it was certainly fun to read!
| yamiishot chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
Oh my, I hadn't expected this twist. I wonder what he's going to do?
| Becca Dax chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
Having read Ender's Game for the first time a couple weeks ago, the shout out simply filled me with glee.
| Tiky3000 chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
This is so awesome. What an action. The entire time your seeing plans within plans unfold all the while wondering who's going to switch sides. And I'm really really wondering what the hell Zabini is up to. Do I smell Dumbledore's plot here?
Update again soon. Cliffhangers are bad for the heart.
| uo-chou chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
Holy plotting shit, batman! Crazy chapter. Crazy-awesome! I especially liked the Ender's Game references. Keep up the excellent work!
| Loonynamelass chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
"that is like the most pathetic childhood trauma ever" - that was hilarious.
Also- GR! Cliffhanger!
| jcogginsa chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
so your a gurren lagann fan?
| gwern chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
'"Procopius," said Dumbledore. "They took their chariot-racing very seriously, in Rome. Yes, Minerva, I agree that something must be done."'
Byzantium! The Blue and Green riots Belisarius put down were in *Byzantium*! At the time of Procopius, Rome had not been in Roman hands for a while; if you doubt me, check out the context of that quote: .
'"Quadruple?" said Granger. "But there's only three sides in the war!" "Yes," said Professor Quirrell, "you'd think that, wouldn't you?'
Silly Hermione. Didn't how Quirrel helped her clue her off that Quirrel is the 4th player?
'"You know," said Blaise Zabini's voice, in the tones of someone who'd been rehearsing the words for a while, "it's just a game, really. And games are supposed to be fun. So how about if I just do whatever I feel like?"'
Spoken like a true Chaos Legionnaire.
| minhoto chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
So my first and only thought after reading this chapter was a quote from Austin Powers - "Oh god I've gone cross-eyed now"
| Fluphy Ninja chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
:( cliffhangers are evil
| Sucal chapter 32 . 7/25/2010
Somehow I don't think you are actually going to be that predictable, but why do I have a feeling that Blaise is going to shoot himself in the head, only doing it for Sunshine. Then it would be doing so in order to cause a 3 way draw, which would cause the most chaos.
Then of course, most people are going to think Harry was behind it, since he is the big Tzeentch of the piece. Except that it seems the result of Dumbledore plotting, with a slight possiblity of Quirrell himself doing it for a lesson.
But meh, I'm sure I've wasted enough of your time... so I'll just end it with one last comment...
Is Harry finally developing a conscience towards Granger?