Reviews for Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality
Jatok chapter 40 . 11/15/2016
My only real problem with religion, except that most conveniently state that suicide won't get you in.
Theta 'Krypto' Nigma chapter 40 . 8/15/2016
I always find it quite disappointing when a philosophical discussion centered around spirituality comes up and everyone starts discussing things in a rather Christianized form. Meanwhile here I sit with my war-gods and an afterlife that I wouldn't choose over life separate from the conversation.
silver chapter 40 . 6/19/2016
Harry is right on just about everything and I relate to him to a ridiculous degree...

... but when it comes to Quirrell, he's an idiot. Quirrell is .not. like him. He's .not. actually a rational guy. And Quirrell is likewise an idiot for thinking harry can be persuaded, because he doesn't get it. He doesn't get rationalism.
The Anguished One chapter 40 . 6/17/2016
So if I got the right impression of this, Harry just made Voldemort realize he had the Resurrection Stone in his grasp and wasted its power by making it a Horcrux. That's kind of hilarious.
Guest chapter 40 . 2/16/2016
"If I did, Mr. Potter," said Professor Quirrel as he shrugged on his coat, "would I still be here?"

This is a trick, right? Quirrel keeps phrasing these weird "if" sentences, that don't really mean anything. There is little to suggest that someone who believes in an afterlife has a desire to pass on to it as fast as possible. Quirrel could believe in an afterlife that is inferior in quality to his current life, he could have ambitions that he wants to full-fill in this life before moving on or he might believe that he somehow has to qualify for being allowed into the afterlife.

The idea that you'd want to abandon your current life as fast as possible when believing in an afterlife seems really silly to me. WHY? Unless you believe in some kind of Hinduistic rebirth, this is probably your only shot at this at this earthly life and you wont get a repeat. Why miss out? The afterlife will still be there if you die 50 years in the future instead of now, on the grand scale of infinity living out another few years instead of dying _right now_ hardly seems to be a bother.

Personally I don't believe in any kind of afterlife, but find this gambit often posed to religious people (that they should end their life right now if they believe in an afterlife) extremely unconvincing - and I didn't even go into the process of dying, which seems unpleasant, no matter whether an afterlife exists or not.
Montara chapter 40 . 1/22/2016
Interesting conversation
WatchingTheWatchman chapter 40 . 12/7/2015
Quirrell is probably one of the wizards who shouldn't get his hands on immortality...
ShadowLDrago chapter 40 . 10/20/2015
Well played Quirrell.
Guest chapter 40 . 9/22/2015
Soo... does Quirrel have Voldermort in the back of his head? Is he Voldermort? Is he just a defense teacher?
What deh shemurr chapter 40 . 9/12/2015
Potato great job alsom. I just like saying potato so sarry if u thought I was calling u a potato and sarry if bad spelling and English I'm from dutchland
bloodyvamp101 chapter 40 . 8/23/2015
So is Quirrell voldemort or not?
kabs chapter 40 . 7/12/2015
professor quirrell in this book is probably the coolest, most casually awesome guy, in all of fiction
PA chapter 40 . 5/20/2015
I really really really really REALLY don't trust Quirrell, now more than ever.
Riniko22 chapter 40 . 2/20/2015
Oh Harry, I fear you have given Tom a key.
hezzel chapter 40 . 1/5/2015
"Anyway," Harry said hastily, "I did think fast enough not to suggest the obvious idea about the Resurrection Stone in front of Dumbledore."

... and the frustrating thing is that even after five rereads I have absolutely no clue what that obvious test would be. (Gah.)
Chica Plutonio chapter 40 . 12/24/2014
Well, maybe you may want to sit because this is going to be LONG.

First of all, I’m a Venezuelan girl so my mother tongue is Spanish. I’ve been learning English at the university (aside French) for around two years. My writing doesn’t suck much as my pronunciation, but I’m able to read a 93% of English texts (according to Duolingo at least). So, when I started to read HPMR I did it in my mother tongue. I’ve been reading the version of Rhaidot (I think he is the “official” translator in Spanish, isn’t he?), until chapter 27 which is the last one he updated. He has been very busy, you know… I continued reading HPMoR since chapter 28 in English, the last one I read was chapter 39 I think…

Anyway, now I’m here to leave you my review. I thought it wouldn’t be fair if I don’t let you a review, because you are the author after all. I’m amazed by the quantity of words, that would be the longest fanfic I’ve ever read in English, and I think that actually, is longest than any book I’ve read in English. It is a great challenge for me to read something with so many difficult terms that probably are not in my dictionary. Now I’m in my winter vacations, and I thought it would be better if I wait until the third week of January when I return to classes, because my faculty has a lot of specialized dictionaries, and if I borrow some, easily I could look for all those scientific terms and theories you have wrote in your story. But, I’m too much anxious for reading the rest of the story that I can’t wait four more weeks. So, I’m going to continue reading your story.

I almost fall of my chair when I saw the 25.000 reviews. I’ve never, even in my craziest dreams, dreamed with so many comments. That’s amazing! And that tells me that your story is incredibly GOOD. But, unfortunately, I’ve seen so many spoilers (Hermione’s death for example), that now I don’t want to attach to the story too much… but you are doing it something impossible to do, I’ve love the argument, the background, and how you portrayed all of them (even Ron).

What I most liked was the general concept of the story. I mean science against magic. When I read the books (before know that this story exists), I always asked myself how could they do such things? It’s impossible for me to imagine how someone could transform into an animal without losing his/her clothes, and recover them when he or she went back to normal. You see for example McGonagall transforming into a cat and then into human, but she is still dressed… Or the fact of language… how can a cat pronounce words and phrases with meaning if it doesn’t have an oral apparatus which can’t create phonemes to construct an understandable phrase? (at least that was I read in “el puesto del hombre en la naturaleza” -I don’t know what is the name of this in English-, and in my books of phonetics…). So, how could McGonagall speak with Dumbledore while she was transformed into a cat?

And that’s why I love so much your story. Harry is not naïve, he knows exactly what to do according to the circumstances, he knows a lot of scientific laws that mostly all people ignores, and he is not going to let people cheat him. He asks himself how magic can be done when it breaks a lot of rules that make universe exist and don’t collapse. I felt identified with this rational Harry (I don’t consider myself as “rational”, but I always think and ask myself how can some things be possible) because when I started reading the books and I saw so much things -like transformations- I wondered how they happened, or how can you have a glass of orange juice from a sheet when it is made of wood and you don’t have orange or water o whatever…. Even in some parts I thought that Rowling should had explained a little more some things…
I love too that you didn’t take the obvious way. Ron, Harry and Hermione: the best friends ever (I imagined them singing “we are the best friends anyone ever could have” from The Hangover). No, you just drop Ron (yay!) and make Harry and Hermione rivals. You took Malfoy, and, keeping the IC, you made him a kind of friend of Harry, even though when Draco was trying to bring him to his side and Harry was trying exactly the same. Hagrid is not somewhere being the best adult friend of the kids, inviting them and whatever. You kept Harry near the twins, even when Ron and Harry are not friends. I liked to see Fred and George helping him. I liked too to see Neville, I just adore this kid! I hope to see him more because I love him 3 xD
I must confess that one of my favorite parts was the date, I imagine Harry killing Hermione with his gaze, and she being unaware of what is happening in the kid’s mind. I saw a couple of fan arts (my favorites are dinosaurusgede’s), in one of them Hermione was dating with him dressed like in a wedding (LoL) and in other fan art she’s kissing him in the cheek and I just exploded. I confess it, I LOVE harmony, and I’m glad to see a little piece of my favorite HP otp. Please, don’t think I’m a crazy fan that only looks for romantic fics, because that’s not true. In fact I hate them, they are too much predictable, and stupid, and a lot of more things I hate. I prefer stories with exciting plots, plots twists (believable, please), well developed backgrounds and action. Romance, for me, must have a second (maybe third, or ten) place. The story line must be the most important thing. That’s another reason I love so much HPMR. Even there is this little piece of romance (or maybe not, I have read until chapter 39), it doesn’t take the first place. In fact, this is more about Harry and his discovers in the magic world and his plans and adventures, than his relation with Hermione (friendship, rivals, etc). I mean, the girl didn’t appear too much in the chapters I have read, and that is perfect for me. I know I’ll cry when she dies because I like her so much and her role in this story has been great in my opinion, and probably I’ll will hate you, but this must have a purpose and you don’t seem to be someone who put things random just because “it writes itself” or whatever. I hope to be strong for that moment…

I also like the multiple references to other great books, and even great mangas. I like very much Death Note (I love you L!), and since I read that that ring could kill with only knowing the face and the name of the victim, I though “it is like a death note!” I really enjoyed reading that, and of course, I enjoyed too the amazing work of dinosaurusgede. I liked too Haruhi Suzumiya, but I must confess that I didn’t watch the entire 8 episodes of that endless Thursday…

According to what I’ve read the story soon will end. That’s a little sad because I would have liked to follow the story for more time and be part of the people who has supported you since the first chapter. Maybe you will not read this review, probably it will lose in the mountain of reviews you receive (I’m being the most pessimist I can just like rational!Harry has taught me…); but I’d like if you at least say hello to me in a pm if you can read this.
I think I have nothing else to say. Thanks for giving us such amazing story, I wish you the best of the lucks, you are great dude! You are like the FFN J. K. Rowling, I love your work. Seriously. You have made me amaze, laugh, and surely you’ll make me cry. Until the next chapter, greetings from Venezuela!

PD: I’ll tell Rhaidot if he wants someone else’s help with the translation. I really love translation, and as I said, I have access to a lot of dictionaries that may help during the work. Plus, even thought my English Grammar and writing is not the best; as I’m a book eater, my orthography and grammar in Spanish is almost perfect xD

PD2: sorry for my mistakes, my English writing is horrible.

PD3: I had an idea. I would like to write something of HPMOR, like my own view of Harry’s reaction when professor McGonagall transforms into a cat and starts talking. I love language and linguistics, and I thought in writing a one-shot from this perspective. Harry would be shocked because he knows the 15 properties of language and a lot of things of phonetics, and he is trying to understand why on earth a cat is talking to him when it is supposed to be unable of produce phonemes… I ask your permission to write it (in Spanish), then when I found Hockett’s article in English I’ll translate it, because I have no idea what is the English term for “reflexividad” or “vía vocal-autiditiva”… Anyway, thanks you so much! I’ll be waiting your answer.
thepkrmgc chapter 40 . 8/2/2014
its seems like harry has caught the philosophy brain worm, heres hoping he moves on to doing some science shortly
silverrain-shiningsun chapter 40 . 5/21/2014
"I don't think the Headmaster believed it himself, actually," Harry said. He sipped his own tea again. "He asked me what I could possibly do with eternity, gave me the usual line about it being boring, and he didn't seem to see any conflict between that and his own claim to have an immortal soul. In fact, he gave me a whole long lecture about how awful it was to want immortality before he claimed to have an immortal soul. I can't quite visualize what must have been going on inside his head, but I don't think he actually had a mental model of himself continuing forever in the afterlife..."

I think I've had this conversation, almost exactly, in some philosophy class discussion group...
Alexja2013 chapter 40 . 1/24/2014
"If (blank), would I still be here?" Seems to be a recurring saying for Quirrell.
Grizzmon chapter 40 . 1/14/2014
Now that's a good answer.
Guest chapter 40 . 1/5/2014
I am captivated by this story so far and I keep going back to chapter 11 Omake Files and crack up every time I read the Khaaan! part and the Weasely Twins' so called song. And the sorting hat's exploits. Allergies, blowing up, accusations against Harry, I love it.
Nameless5387 chapter 40 . 11/28/2013
Ohh very good. The conversation regarding Professor Quirrell and Harry was very good, I love how Harry takes traditions or aspects of the wizarding world that's been always accepted and analyzes them scientifically or philosophically, the results are very interesting. One thing I would love to see this story explore is the science behind bertie botts every flavour beans. I think the possibilities of the flavours for the beans, and the chance that you'll get them is an interesting topic to be explored. Also, one more question - where is Ron in this fanfiction? He was one of the main characters in the original story, so why isn't he here? I understand that he isn't very smart academically, but surely this story isn't just centered on science and academics? I wish I could see more of an appearance of Ron's character...but apart from that, this story is looking great so far :)
BarbaraKaterina chapter 40 . 8/8/2013
I know you've said many times already that not everything your characters say are your personal opinions, but I wonder. Harry formulates Death as the ultimate evil here, yet he would be clever enough to know counter-examples, and so would Dumbledore, really. Would you torture someone just to live a bit longer? No? Then you don't think it's the ultimate evil, and *that is what Dumbledore is talking about.* Yes? Then you're a nasty piece of work.
Also, people who believe in afterlife tend rather to oppose euthanasia than be all for it, so Harry's argument is decidedly patchy here.
I'll ignore Harry's unscientific certainly of no afterlife from the previous chapter for now, it is very much in character, but even he could see that even if it existed, there'd still be a reason to be sad when people died because they are no longer with you. And sorry, but "you'd be bored in afterlife" is just ridiculous, even for Mr. Enlightenment here. I just wish there could be someone who's a honest natural scientist without scorning the humanities, or religion. Or, come to think of it, the other way round. It's like we're playing Democrats and Republicans with our cosmologies, and no matter if it's your personal opinion or just your character's, it bloody irritating. But well, since Professor Quirrell suggests there is only one solution to people being dumb, and it's green, I won't be holding my breath...
L.E chapter 40 . 5/14/2013
Another fun little chapter! That was an interesting thought about the (potentially) overpriced Chinese tea.
RussianDestruction chapter 40 . 4/28/2013
"Besides Avada Kedavra." Whoa. :P
12neo chapter 40 . 4/27/2013
Suspense, didn't one of Voldemort's supposed family have a ring that was the Resurrection stone? Or someone else...

But it was probably a Horcrux... Meh still niiiice story, though I hope I can go on expecting epic from this genre :P
dragoon109 chapter 40 . 3/26/2013
you know why hasnt harry asked him self if magic is really magic than why hasnt it run rappent acros the world? why isnt that magic can be used by every one? magic is magic so why not?
Guest chapter 40 . 3/25/2013
Type your review for this chapter here...
Darka Silvath chapter 40 . 3/1/2013
This is both thought provoking and horrifying, the concepts and theories you demonstrate and allowing the reader to form their own conclusions is both cruel and gracious. When I read a chapter I laugh and glare I grit my teeth and try to make sense of the organised and disorganised chaos you abound in this fic. Every now and then I get up and have to spend a minute away from the screen to get past some of the psychoanalysis you have created and I’m only on chapter 40 so I’ve got another 47 to go. I have to say I hate this fic, I hate how calmly you prove a concept and then disprove it, how you give me a bone and then in the next chapter invert the idea and twist from left to right so I’m barely following but worse having to stop and question my beliefs. It always comes back to my opinion there is no real way to change the world for the better and your Harry seems intent to do just that. Killing people is just something I’ve always appreciated as necessary; it’s something I’ve increasingly come to accept as necessary if you want to change anything. I doubt you will read this review – or anyone else for that matter, it will be added to the deluge of reviews of people praising or discerning you but I just wanted you to have the possibility of knowing the impact your writing has. I hate this fic with every fibre of my being and I just can’t stop reading it. I have to give it a 10/10 – I hate it but that doesn’t mean it’s not an excellent source of writing and concepts, of grammar and spelling, and I congratulate you for writing so much without losing content and sacrificing yourself integrity by bowing to peer-pressure. Where your character argues and tries to change the world around him I would kill Reality and cease for ever more, but then again I do have Asperger Syndrome, Dyslexia and a Photographic memory so I guess I’m just cursed like that.

In case I haven’t been clear enough, thank you for getting your ideas out on the web where they can be read.
Noble Nine chapter 40 . 2/6/2013
Whenever Harry touches on these topics with religious implications, I have to wonder if he's heard of paradigm theory, or has thought of the obvious implications of the Law of Cause and Effect (i.e. Everything that begins has a cause, the universe has a beginning, thus it needs a cause, and that cause would need a cause, etc, until you reached a supernatural First Cause). Thus goes the first part of why I believe as I do.
StrangeoneXD chapter 40 . 12/21/2012
Continuing reading
voodooqueen126 chapter 40 . 8/2/2012
Btw. the reason Harry was able to defeat Voldemort was because of his soul, and the weakness of Voldemort's own soul.
anon chapter 40 . 7/27/2012
Your Harry is frustratingly stupid. He believes that anyone who disagrees with him is wrong and that there is something wrong with their brains or that their opinions are beneath him or that they are stupid. His own refusal to listen to others' limits him. I really wish I could go into your fic and punch him in the face. Or maybe just slap some sense into you.
another fan chapter 40 . 3/30/2012
Great story, very entertaining. One point not brought up this chapter: does immortality in this context mean 'not dying of things like old age and disease so it's possible to live forever', or does it mean 'not dying of *anything* so one is guaranteed to live forever'? I assume the first definition is intended here because the second definition would have some obvious flaws that I'd expect Harry to notice, but it's not explicitly said.

Also, after thinking about the other reviews I've seen here, I certainly don't see Harry as an author insert. The point I take from the conversation about souls is 'there likely isn't convincing proof in the world that souls exist, and Harry and Quirrel are not convinced'. No part of that statement categorically denies the existence of souls, and no part of it seems implausible to me. Plus, I think if you read any story with the assumption that the main character is a mouthpiece of the author it will sound bad - if the main character is always right, then it's propaganda, and if he's sometimes wrong, or has flaws, then that just says the author has the same flaws. No story will reflect well on the author if you make that assumption, and unless the author explicitly says 'yes, I intend for character x to be me', you can't know that it's so. I think this story is remarkably even-handed in terms of who actually wins the arguments. Here Harry has persuaded Dumbledore that he isn't evil, but not persuaded him that death is oblivion or that there is no afterlife. In general, Harry often fails to persuade the people he talks to - Dumbledore, Quirrel, McGonagall, even Hermione, that his views are right. And at least the first three have definitely persuaded Harry at different points that their views are right and Harry's initial views are wrong on different subjects, so these arguments are not just a paean to how awesome Harry is. That's not even mentioning all the times Harry explains his views in an unflattering or ineffective way, coming across as arrogant or condescending. You could assume that's a flaw of the author, but I think it's more likely and more charitable to assume that this is an effect of good writing, that Harry has character flaws even when he doesn't appear to recognize them.

My only complaint, and it's not a big one, is that sometimes the story is too subtle for my liking. For example, who is the shadowy character? I know there will probably be a reveal in 50 chapters but it would be nice to have a little more information on which to base guesses. My guess would be Snape. He's already been set up as highly competent, and it would be difficult for him to do any real plotting without hiding the fact that he's doing it since he puts so much effort into maintaining the appearance that he's dangerous but not manipulative. So it would be consistent for a smart Snape in that situation to do *some* plotting on his own, while trying to not reveal his identity. I'd be more surprised if it was Quirrel, since visibly plotting only reinforces his public persona, and indeed he has so far revelled in it, eg with the three wishes. But I don't know. The shadow could plausibly be Quirrel, or could be Lucius, or could be a lot of people, even as of the current chapter (81), I think. I totally would have missed the terrible secrets of Dumbledore's chemistry notes and of the pioneer plaque, among others, had I not reread the story, and then read a bunch of reviews to find theories after recognizing that I didn't have any ideas for those subtleties. It's entirely possible that there are other secrets that are meant to be puzzles to analyze and that I have not even noticed as existing, even now.
Mr Stereo1 chapter 40 . 3/6/2012
OH! So Malfoy made the threat to see if Dumbledore was really ruthless enough to kill Draco to get to him. Maybe.
Ejvajs chapter 40 . 12/20/2011
"I did think fast enough not to suggest the obvious idea about the Resurrection Stone in front of Dumbledore."

And he stopped himself in chapter 39 of course before generically suggesting a question to Dumbledore's non-existent dead-wife (not that Dumbledore would have had much interest in ever having a wife, of course)

So I'm commenting now that I'm rereading. I didn't catch it the first time, I'm not seeing it now. What is this obvious idea?

I feel like I'm only partway there with understanding your hints and foreshadowing everything. I got Ch20, I can see that Hat & Cloak is clearly Quirrell (which a lot of reviewers seem unsure about), I see that Quirrell is Voldemort (though all of the "whys" surrounding that aren't clear). If you've given clues about Santa Claus, though, I haven't figured them out. And I'm not sure if I'm following Lucius properly or not (does he think Harry is secretly possessed by Voldemort? That's one way of making partial sense of their platform conversation, and it works with the later "I know it was you" message).

And this one bothers me because Harry says it's obvious, and Quirrell clearly must agree. But I don't get it!

Anyway, very much looking forward to the next chapter, whenever it's ready (but quality is more important than speed, so don't rush!)
Deadzepplin chapter 40 . 11/29/2011
Also in reference to my review of chap 36 is that the realism makes me sad because i don't really read fantasy because it is real but because it is escapism at its best
AR chapter 40 . 9/22/2011
foolish boy

hahaha...youve made me really wary of Quirrell. And it makes me uneasy every time I feel the boy shares too much with him.

Good chapter though
theInsaneArtist chapter 40 . 8/9/2011
This will all end in tears. And by 'this' I mean somewhere along the line in this story everything will go bottoms up. People who play the types of games young Harry here is playing with people rarely find a good ending even if they win.
zork chapter 40 . 7/23/2011
alas-we-never-do, I have generally found that condescending correction is most effective when it is actually correct. Seamus Finnigan's name is spelt with two "i"s by J K Rowling as well as by Less Wrong. (You didn't say what conditional clause problem you think you see, but the last sentence of this chapter has a conditional clause in it and there's nothing wrong with it at all.)

(A few other remarks, in order. "The bashing of theism" is not a belief, regardless of whether it is cynical or borderline pathetic. I see no reason to think that LW is "trying to frankly ruin life for everyone else". Telling Draco Malfoy "no, wait, pure-blood supremacy is morally wrong, can't you see?" would obviously do no good at all; convincing him that it's based on a factual error seems like a much more effective strategy. If you find this fic so contemptible, why are you still reading it? The canonical Harry does plenty of things as naive as befriending Quirrelmort. Your last sentence, in its context, seems to be implying that the number of "i"s in "Finnigan" is the sort of knowledge that truly makes someone intelligent, which is (1) insane, (2) interesting given that LW got it right and you got it wrong, and (3) a strange contrast with your remark two paragraphs earlier about "names that are of no consequence to me".)
alasweneverdo chapter 40 . 7/23/2011
I think the most entertaining thing about this story is how laughably full of themselves each of the main characters is. I'm also amused by what I see as not-so-subtle implications that morality is deduced by logic, which I think is an almost hilariously sad belief for anyone to genuinely hold-really, a lot of the more cynical beliefs I've read in here are borderline pathetic. The bashing of theism is one of them, and I will probably rant in a later review about how people who are that openly arrogant and simultaneously pessimistic about the universe need to stop trying to frankly ruin life for everyone else.

Wait, I lied, I'm doing it now.

The fact that the ever-righteous "scientists" of the world-that is, specifically people like your Harry, as "not all scientists are alike-there are scientists, and there are scientists," if that rings any bells-are so insecure in their feelings of hopelessness, after finding death to be the fearful and absolute end, does not justify the forcing of their philosophies down everyone else's throats for the sake of having others to share in their loneliness and despair.

What's more, I am sick of the blatant superiority shown by self-proclaimed prodigies and intellectuals, another thing "Harry" exemplifies quite well. He argues against the assumption that pure-bloods are fundamentally better than Muggle-borns because of a lack of scientific evidence, rather than because supremacy is *wrong*. There are no morals to be found in any of the chapters I've read, only calculated and logical methods, and you'll excuse me if I choose not to live my life analyzing every single moment. Actually, I take that back: the only morals presented are the ones given by the figures of authority your Harry so callously discredits and condescends.

That being said, I find myself feeling progressively more disturbed with each chapter, and if not for my ability to have long ago separated these characters from the ones we all know and love, this story would likely have made me hate the entire series. Though this has all made me incredibly glad that I've never met such a disgustingly self-important child (because yes, he is a child, something this story seems to ignore) as your thankfully personal Harry Potter. I'm also quite happy that the original Harry would not be so naive as to befriend a professor who is either a Dark wizard or a pedophile, though I find it beautifully just that for all his intellect and presumption, ickle Harry James Potter Evans-Verres (that is how it's spelled, right? Sorry, I don't put a high priority on names that are of no consequence to me) is still a stupid, hopeless child.

Wonderful for you to find an outlet for your many ideals and philosophies, and it was very clever to throw them to the hungry masses of the Harry Potter fandom, but for you to continue this story under the guise of it being just that, Harry Potter fanfiction, seems in somewhat bad taste, as everything you stand for appears to oppose what Rowling herself attempted to instill.

Best of luck in your endeavor to make the transition from pompous and arrogant fool to genuine writer. I expect to hear back from you when you can finally grasp something called "conditional clauses" and when you learn to check your spelling and facts (as Finnegan is spelled with one "i"). If you fancy yourself a story-writer, perhaps you should prioritize what sort of knowledge truly makes someone intelligent.
Isa Knightwalker chapter 40 . 7/17/2011
Quirrel seems so evil. Not sure if I really like him, but he's definitely an interesting character in the story to have. Anyway, interesting chapter :3
chaSing b0b chapter 40 . 6/11/2011
Hey :) IMPORTANT QUESTION! What is your explanation for wizards with accents, as in from other countries? You had an experiment that proved words had to be said in the right ratio, and it is mentioned in the first book that not even a single letter should be changed. I'm thinking that this is mentioned in Charms. Foreign wizards with accents would use the same spells, but due to these accents they would be unable to pronounce all the letters right and some of their vowels might stretch out, altering the ratio of the syllables in the spell. Can you explain why magic would still work for them?
forsecondlife chapter 40 . 6/9/2011
I love that this story has A. Little Ron time. And B. Awesome Neville time.

Why is it that Quirrell is allowed to take Harry out again? Favoritism? Just wondering, seems a little strange that teachers can just go lock themselves up in a guarded tea room for hours with students and no one has anything to say about it.

Still love the story though, I'm going to get back to catching up with the rest of it.
Ch 40 is kind of awful chapter 40 . 5/31/2011
I strongly dislike this chapter, mostly because it is so clearly a strawman, whether purposeful or not; or whether the author is even playing devil's advocate or not. It reads like a bad episode of Family Guy or South Park, really.

Yes, I know it's uncouth to make this accusation without actually making a detailed rebuttal, but I simply don't have the time. Must get back to reading the ''good'' chapters.
Gedusa chapter 40 . 4/25/2011
"Professor Quirrell was in a contemplative mood that Saturday, and so was Harry, and Mary's Room, it seemed, had not neglected to notice this"

Wait.. Rooms can read minds? Or at least intentions or feelings or something? Sooooo, occulumency barriers aren't effective against rooms?

I don't get why Voldy is angry in this scene...
Sunshine Ana Cloudyday chapter 40 . 2/25/2011
Oh my dear goodness.

This story is fantastic, and I've been so absorbed in it until now that I've barely noticed the review button, and I apologize for that.

THANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOU for a thought provoking, well-written, not-plot-holey, story with references to ACTUAL science and Ender's Game.

(Thanks for the reference to Less Wrong, because I have the vast majority of the How to Actually Change Your Mind sequence printed off in a binder, because it makes everything make sense.)
timunderwood9 chapter 40 . 1/10/2011
Bit of speculation:

Harry's father's rock is the resurrection stone, and it can accept a mind upload that can operate passively (or Harry figures out how to work it before dying), which is how Harry will be able to be resurrected when he dies. Which, if it is the resurrection stone he inevitably will.
E.A.V chapter 40 . 11/29/2010
PaulBlay chapter 40 . 11/29/2010
"If I did, Mr. Potter," said Professor Quirrell as he shrugged

on his coat, "would I still be here?"

Sure he would, if the afterlife would be _worse_ for him. Or for any number of other reasons.

1. There is an afterlife, and the longer you live the better the afterlife is.

2. There is an afterlife, and it's back on Earth (resurrection).

3. There is an afterlife, but you're going to go there anyway so you might as well enjoy yourself down here while you can.

4. There is an afterlife, and it's much better, but they don't have (jam doughnuts / You Tube / sex) so you want to (eat / watch / have) as much as you can before you go.

Actually the Harry Potter theory on souls (lack of) strike me as the turning point of this story. And turning for the worse. Not because I want souls (or something similar) to exist (although I do), nor because souls are pretty well established in 'canon' (although it is). The reason is because that was where the biggest hint of author preachiness came through.

Although 'super' in a number of ways, Harry Potter in this fanfiction is saved from being annoying as heck because there are still things that take him by surprise or about which he is clueless. The more stuff about which he can be smugly accurate there is the greater the hints of Marty Stu there are showing.

The simple gene stuff, the fading-knowledge-of-Atlantis stuff and the (probable) non-existence of afterlife stuff are currently the three big contenders for "This is the way the (HPatMoR) universe really is". I think the absolute best thing that could happen to this story would be if major evidence turns up that one of them is wrong in a big way. 'Cuz preachy author smug leading character is a big turn off for me (and I would hope for a lot of other people too ;-).

I won't comment on the plot holes I've seen going past, because they aren't what's important. If the author has decided X is true (for this story) then pointing out that it is inconsistent with Y and Z isn't going to change his mind. At best you get Y and Z re-written a bit, at worst you just annoy him.
HoosYourDaddy chapter 40 . 11/24/2010
Thanks for the interesting response, Raemon. I dont want to start a huge debate in reviews, but I would like to comment on a few of your points:

"My guess from reading some of the author's other works is that this story is intended to parallel, to some degree, a series of essays he wrote called "Coming of Age", which describe various beliefs he had over the course of his life, most of which were very wrong despite him thinking at each given time that he was a "strong rationalist." My sense is that yes, Harry does represent the author to some degree, but that he is showcasing a lot of important lessons that young, snide intellectuals often need to learn."


If this were the point of the story, I'd have no objection to it whatsoever. The trouble is that Harry-the young, snide intellectual-is NOT learning these lessons. He does NOT lose arguments, except when he acknowledges that someone is a more clever manipulator than he is. He has had no great revelation that made him abandon, or even question, what he believes about himself.


"I've noticed a dichotomy between readers: people whose minds really do work like Harry (and the author) and people whose minds do not. To the people who DON'T think like Harry, they assume he is cold and emotionless, because the entire way he thinks feels so alien to them.

We (Harry and real people similar to him) are not emotionless. We are not amoral. We are not sociopaths. We care about individual people around us and we care about the wellbeing of the world. The difference is that our brains, in addition to feeling those things, are constantly examining the world, drawing connections, testing. If your brain DOESN'T do those thing, then it can be weird reading a story about someone who does. If they spend so much time thinking "robotic" thoughts, how can we also be thinking "people thoughts?"


That was a simply marvelous display of condescension, and I salute you for it. This dichotomy you create-the kind of thinking that Harry does vs. the kind of thinking that everyone else does-is false, and displays precisely the kind of arrogance that I was decrying. We all *think* in the same way and use the same methods. Some people are simply better at it.

Think of it like playing chess. Most people cant see more than a couple moves ahead, but some people, the 'smart' people, are capable of seeing 5, 10, 15 moves ahead. But everyone's playing the same game and following the same rules. To say that there are 'robotic thoughts' that only the godlike rationalists can understand, and 'people thoughts,' which the rest of the rabble can understand, is astonishing in its arrogance and falsehood.

I understand Harry's thoughts, and I use the same methods of logic (induction, deduction, etc.) to understand my world that he does. It's not his *method* of understanding the world that I find loathsome. It's his very personality. I agree with almost all of his conclusions about the world, and I am not challenging any of the science or philosophy that he espouses.

What I am trying to point out is the way he sets himself up as an infallible god in his little universe. Only his opinions matter, only his goals are laudable, and the sole purpose of other people is to recognize this fact. This would not be an issue if the author himself clearly didn't think of Harry (himself?) in exactly the same way. I simply disagree that there is a critique of 'flashy egotism and intellectual showmanship' in this story. That's what this story *is*.

I concede your point about Hermione. I dont know why I lumped her in with the rest of that group, but she certainly has a moral compass that the other characters in the story don't.

AspergianStoryteller chapter 40 . 11/3/2010
I think you don't know if eternity gets boring unless you experiance it for yourself.
Indigo Ziona chapter 40 . 10/28/2010
"He asked me what I could possibly do with eternity, gave me the usual line about it being boring, and he didn't seem to see any conflict between that and his own claim to have an immortal soul."

That's sort of a problem, really. Someone I knew once claimed the world without evil would be boring, and then couldn't really defend his own belief in Heaven.

My idea of Heaven is that it would have little gloomy spots you could wander over to, so you could wander back into Heaven and remember why it's all so wonderful.

Unfortunately, I no longer believe in Heaven...
Nerdfish chapter 40 . 10/14/2010
"Uh huh," Harry said. "See, there's this little thing called cognitive dissonance, or in plainer English, sour grapes. If people were hit on the heads with truncheons once a month, and no one could do anything about it, pretty soon there'd be all sorts of philosophers, pretending to be wise as you put it, who found all sorts of amazing benefits to being hit on the head with a truncheon once a month. Like, it makes you tougher, or it makes you happier on the days when you're not getting hit with a truncheon. But if you went up to someone who wasn't getting hit, and you asked them if they wanted to start, in exchange for those amazing benefits, they'd say no. And if you didn't have to die, if you came from somewhere that no one had ever even heard of death, and I suggested to you that it would be an amazing wonderful great idea for people to get wrinkled and old and eventually cease to exist, why, you'd have me hauled right off to a lunatic asylum! So why would anyone possibly think any thought so silly as that death is a good thing? Because you're afraid of it, because you don't really want to die, and that thought hurts so much inside you that you have to rationalize it away, do something to numb the pain, so you won't have to think about it "

You know. Being alive does not existence of consciousness.

We do not know that all consciousness must be achieved biologically ... In fact isn't the author gambling on the opposite ?
Kutta chapter 40 . 10/11/2010
Fabulous chapter
LunaSlashSea chapter 40 . 10/8/2010
Excellent chapter.
DeMarquis chapter 40 . 9/27/2010
Chapter 40: Quirril is what Harry will become if he "breaks bad." Quirril would enslave the nation to fight the next Dark Lord, and kills people who inconvenience him. Harry wouldn't, but so far I don't think that EY has fully explained why not. He doesn't have to, necessarily, but whatever the reason is, it has nothing to do with faith, or love, or any higher purpose other than the pursuit of the "truth". Whether or not EY will choose to resolve these two sides of Harry, and how he will do so, remains to be seen.
ejhawman chapter 40 . 9/11/2010
I have to agree with the reviewers that pointed out how clumsy it is of Quirrel to cut short the meeting once Harry told him the ring-Horcrux was the Resurrection Stone. It's not like he's going to forget in an hour.

Otherwise, a good review of the previous chapter's discussion. But if Dumbledore had no mental model of living beyond death, or of an immortal life for himself, Harry is assuming his thirst for life and experience will never flag. One would think this was overly optomistic - but this is a world with magic in it, offering the possibility of new research leading to immortality before Harry gets too old.
Morbious20 chapter 40 . 9/5/2010
Great chapter
Rick Peterson chapter 40 . 9/2/2010
Hah! I love Quirrelmort's solution to people who don't think rationally. However, his last line, however moving and telling it might be, doesn't really make sense. He is making a very strong assumption about what the afterlife is like. If he were going to spend eternity being tortured in hell for his sins, would he be racing to embrace it?

I have another nit to pick with you. It has taken you six entire months to write a quarter of a million words, something most writers can do in a mere 1-5 years. Slacker.
LoireLoa chapter 40 . 9/1/2010
All this talk of the afterlife is interesting. What Harry failed to realize (and comment on) it that Dumbledore's belief in the afterlife isn't an embrace of death (which is ultimately unavoidable- even if you could live forever biologically, you could still be killed by another person, and people WILL find a way (coughHitlercough)). Anyway, the blelief in the afterlife isn't an embrace of death, it is, in itself, a FEAR of death. People who believe in the afterlife (or reincarnation) do so because they refuse to even entertain the idea (or are afraid of the idea) that when they die their spirit/essence/whatever-you-want-to-call-it simply ceases to exsist, ergo the belief in the afterlife. A belief in the afterlife is a wish for Eternal Life.
LauralHill chapter 40 . 8/27/2010
OK, so Quirrel!Mort doesn't believe in the afterlife/souls. How does he think he's hanging around after failing to kill Harry, then? I guess I could see souls not existing, and Horcruxes just being "copies" of a mind - like say a ST transporter turned you into a locket instead of a person, sort of thing - but how is V possessing Q?
homunq chapter 40 . 8/27/2010
My rot13/spoiler review of ch. 39, about the password, got cut off somehow. Here's the rest:

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Qhzoyrqber fbzrubj orvat na va-gur-xabj pelcgbtencure vf abg gbgnyyl ng bqqf jvgu gur fbeg bs "gjvfgf" jr zvtug rkcrpg sebz guvf fgbel, ohg vg vf n znwbe punatr sebz gur pnaba Qhzoyrqber, naq va n jnl gung ebof guvf fgbel bs vgf znva pnaba-pbatehrag sbvy. Fvapr univat fhpu n sbvy vf vzcbegnag gb gur qvqnpgvp checbfr bs gur fgbel, V unir gb vzntvar gung vg'f hayvxryl. Ba gur jubyr, V guvax gung vg'f zber yvxryl gb or n enaqbz, aba-fvtavsvpnag trrx phygher ersrerapr. Vs fb, V unir gb tvir vg n guhzof qbja; hayvxr gur Raqre'f Tnzr naq Fgne Jnef fghss, juvpu V ybir, vg vf wneevat gb gur ernqre gb unir gb fcrphyngr nobhg ubj Qhzoyrqber pbhyq xabj guvf ovmneer frperg.
Dinya chapter 40 . 8/26/2010
The Resurrection Stone could function by downloading the mind-state of the target person form the moment of their death - similarly to a time-turner while exerting no change or "outcome-pressure" on the timeline as a time-turner or a prophecy (most likely) does.

As such, such a device would seem to be relatively simple to create within this 'verse.

The unusual mental state of Peverell's wife could be caused by a download from a too late state in which her brain was far too damaged to still seem the same, for example; or some other bug, which Peverell had never managed to fix. In this case the Stone would seem to actually be an ugly pile of hacks . Or he probably just couldn't bring himself to just delete his damaged wife... or something.

So; the Stone could be fully functional, indeed, have the value predicted by Harry and Tom and be usable to save people long dead, while there still not being an afterlife.
anon chapter 40 . 8/26/2010
I like everything except that dumbledore is so fail...
him-mione chapter 40 . 8/25/2010
after having considered it, I do still disagree with Dumbledore, because I feel no need to believe in an afterlife. Life starts at the beginning, progresses straight through the middle, and stops. The end. That's as close to narrative structure I can give the world, without having to believe that certain things must happen a certain way, as Dumbledore does. I'm not yet crazy enough to believe that 'Death is only the beginning' or 'Death is the beginning of the next great adventure' or anything like that.

However, I do disagree with Harry-death *is* a part of life. The death of organisms allows for others to have life. By proposing immortality, Harry denies the 'circle of life'-by encouraging his own life, he discourages life for organisms that would feed and grow off of his moldy corpse, and *those* organisms would feed future generations. Harry has turned selfishness into a virtue-this is difficult to reconcile with his claim to want to make things better for everyone...but not future generations? I would have expected Harry to extend his humanism through the 4th dimension...
Adeptis chapter 40 . 8/25/2010
Good couple of chapters.
lipasnape chapter 40 . 8/25/2010
Very interesting conversations about afterlife.
Anna2112 chapter 40 . 8/25/2010
Amazing story! I loved reading it; I laughed so much at Harry playing Ender. Although I think Neville should get some credit as Bean. Or something similar. Anyway, as a story, this is amazing and enjoyable.

I have two questions though, about Harry's logic and rationality. The first is how does he confront issues that science says it can't solve, like Heisenburg's Uncertainty Principle? Wouldn't it say that there are some things that exist that can't be known by humans? Or would he say the law needs to be changed, which would undermine science?

The second is about Harry saying that he'd want to believe in what's true (to paraphrase). But if there's no way to know whether or not there's a God, through experiments and the like, then should Harry not have an opinion, according to rationality? And if he knows that the way he sees the world is so flawed (because everything really happens in his brain) why is he not a solipsist or something? How does he deal with not being able to prove anything without a level of faith that what he experiences is really happening?

I know that really, I should be pouring through Less Wrong trying to find the answers, and if you want to just direct me there instead of answering the questions yourself, I'll understand. Once again, awesome fic, thanks for writing and please keep updating!
Imagine Brittana chapter 40 . 8/25/2010
Great story, I love it and have enjoyed reading it so far. I like how you have portrayed Harry, but also his relationships between him and Draco, and him and Hermoine. I can't wait for the next chapter, please update asap, keep up the amazing work.
george17 chapter 40 . 8/25/2010
The whole twist on transfiguration idea in this fic was to me at first great because it tried to extrapolate the logical consequences of transfiguration that would actually work within the story. Here the emphasis was on how dangerous transfiguration could be if done to a gas or liquid or anything that could be consumed. That all makes great sense except if accurate destroys any possibility of a wizarding world. If it is that easy and undetectable to poison people by simply transfiguring some of the would in a room into pumpkin juice or even just nitrogen into oxygen let alone transfiguring heavy metals to bread, how would anyone still be alive? I mean does anyone seriously believe that in a school no matter how much it is emphasized someone is not going to get drunk and do it? Does it make sense that in a society with Dark Lords someone would not have used that to wipe out Diagon Alley if not all of London? I really liked the fic to start with but the more I read and the more realistic, for lack of a better term, that the author gets, the more difficult it becomes to suspend disbelief and enjoy the story.

Trying to mix science and magic sounds great but the more you truly bring in science the more everything falls apart and where's the fun in that?
Alex Mennen chapter 40 . 8/24/2010
If not for your insistence in the author's notes that Quirrell is evil, I would have concluded the opposite by now. Is this going to develop into a lesson about how people with bad values can have good rationality and thus be worth listening to, or something like that?
WaxWings chapter 40 . 8/24/2010
It is always nice to see this story updated. I am a little confused at both Harry and Quirrels response to speculation on the afterlife. Does the existance of insurance make stealing less of a crime? I fail to see how these supposededly reasonably people think that the existance of an afterlife necessarily implies that murder is not heinous, or that it would be desirable to commit suicide.

The nature of the afterlife must be explored as well, but I think it would provide a reasonable explanation for why one would not seek death, but not fear at it as well, and indeed look forward to the next adventure. Harry is still a bit immature, and full of himself, if he cannot understand Dumbledore's position.
Entropic Specter chapter 40 . 8/24/2010
More delicious chapters! Thank you!

Chapter 39 was beautiful.

Please keep up the great work and update soon!


It's infinitely cruel of Harry to destroy Dumbledore's mental haven that is the idea of an afterlife, but the idea of giving eternal life to everyone is... horrible!

No, it's not! How could it be?
thedarklordsonlyheir chapter 40 . 8/24/2010
I love this soooo much. please update soon 3
keiranhalcyon2010 chapter 40 . 8/24/2010
Brilliant as usual. Hope we can get back to some significant story/plot progression in the next update.

I've just had something occur to me. Is Harry going to do any experiments with magic enabling much cheaper access to space within the scope of your story? You already did the carbon nanotube transfiguration. Hmmm. Are you going to keep the Weasley Ford Anglia in your plot? It's a perfect example for Harry to begin working getting the annoying faults out the thing becoming sentient/doglike...then again,he might find that interesting. Magic creating an AI. ;-)
Ril chapter 40 . 8/23/2010
Is Quirrelmort isuicidal/i? Or depressed? Or both.

...either way, poor fellow.

(It's a reasonable plan, groom some bright young kid to fix the world for you, when you're just too itired/i to do it yourself...)
Code Aster chapter 40 . 8/23/2010
Perhaps it is just me, but I find that my belief in the afterlife influences me about as much as my belief in germ theory or evolution. It has resulted in a number of small and large choices in my life. (ex. washing hands, church, pasteurization, prayer, proper use of antibiotics)

To me, many of Harry's arguments seem immature. But then, I don't want to live forever, actually had a couple nightmares about it as a kid. So I suppose Harry would put me in the suicidal category, recommend medical intervention and consider my arguments invalid. :)

Just a thought- When a very small child I wondered why people grieved so strongly at funerals. But then, as a child, I also wondered why the same people I watched sob inconsolably at the funeral of a seven year old girl were able to gently laugh and fondly reminisce over old stories at the funeral of my ninety-five year old next door neighbor. One is met with disbelief and horror while the other receives gentle acceptance and a fond, if tearful, farewell.

If death is truly the destruction of a soul, why would there be a difference? After all, both were good people and well loved...
Thanks chapter 40 . 8/23/2010
Seriously Eliezer, methods of rationality makes me so euphoric each time I read the new chapters. I look forward to each chapter. I can't contain my laughter and my glee when reading it. Definitely one of the most enjoyable things in my life.
Donteatacowman chapter 40 . 8/23/2010
I don't think that I share an opinion on the afterlife with anyone in this fic as of yet, but I bear in mind that oft-repeated disclaimer of yours: that "wisdom" dispensed in this fic may be more of a double-edged sword if it is wisdom at all... :D

I loved what you did with the "trying to sound wise" theme in the previous chapter. XD Harry's pearls of wisdom were HILARIOUS combined with what was going on in his head.

Awesome story so far; I shall keep reading! And finally read the TVTropes page I found this fic at...
Rodrigo Black Potter chapter 40 . 8/23/2010
when harry "died" in the seventh book, didn't dumbledore tell him things he didn't knew about? just wondering.

I'm a bit dissapointed about this turn in the history, I mean, putting relligion in the middle of things allways make them more complicated, but I respect this view and will, of course, keep reading the history. Because, well, it's amazing!

OHH and I loved the list harry gave to dumbledore about thing he will do in immortality! great, really loved, one of the highlights so far for me!

gigantic post, so I'd wager no more posts for some time... bloody worth it! see'ya
DoubleC chapter 40 . 8/23/2010
Can't be a good idea telling Quirrell about how to recognise the Stone. On the other hand, he must have already known the Hallows' symbol, and, in canon at least, didn't seem to connect it to Marvolo's ring. And anyway, the Stone seems pretty useless.

When will Harry finally catch on and start working against Quirrell?
Fragorl chapter 40 . 8/23/2010
I just discovered this fic and it has eaten about two of my days! it is really one of the best I have ever read and I adore your portrayal of Quirrel.
Peregrinate chapter 40 . 8/23/2010
Wow, that's a lot of reviews you're getting. Congrats on 6k.

Brilliant and clever arguments. :) You write wonderfully. Lemme know when your book comes out.
AliS256 chapter 40 . 8/23/2010
I just love your plot so far! Your characters are all fantastic, keep on writing.
rldragon chapter 40 . 8/23/2010
I really should stop reading this fic. I prepare to relax and have a nice past-time reading entertaining fanfiction, when you go and pull every other Big Question There Is on me, never mind it's from Harry's POV which I often disagree strongly with.

Oh, well.
muciope chapter 40 . 8/23/2010
Brilliance! Look forward to more rational awesomesauce. :D

And Harry ought to question Quirrell's decision to leave abruptly right after the revelation of the Deathly Hollow symbol..

Awaiting further braingasms,

riayi chapter 40 . 8/23/2010
So wouldn't Harry think something is odd about the way Quirrel suddenly cancels their day out in Diagon Alley? Right after discussing an artifact that he carefully says he's never seen before? Also, about Harry becoming Voldemort's equal, and Harry thinking it's not much of an accomplishment, is it actually possible to reconcile Rowling's somewhat dim, two-dimensiona villain with the smart and capable professor Quirrelmort? Looking forward to that...
Miss Cow chapter 40 . 8/23/2010
"If I did, Mr. Potter," said Professor Quirrell as he shrugged on his coat, "would I still be here?"

Exactly what I was thinking when they were discussing Harry and Dumbledore's talk. I was hoping that either Harry or Quirrell would point out that if people believed in an afterlife (and if their religion didn't make a rule against it) that they would just kill themselves the first chance they got.
mikhail-ling chapter 40 . 8/23/2010
I wanted to write a long, long discourse about the loopholes in Harry's arguments with respect to the death/afterlife debate. Suffice to say that even though I don't believe in the afterlife, I disagree strongly with what Harry has spoken. His arguments were about as rational, logical and scientific as the assertions made by Dumbledore, or the portrayal of the rationality of magical Britain in your story.

But then I realised that you probably were, again, not projecting your own views onto Harry, but simply letting Harry run as he is. Because for all the intelligence and rationality we see in him, Harry is (and this is something I needed to remind myself) a boy. He is still limited by his own experiences, and he has yet to realise, I feel, that he knows much, much less than he thinks he does.

As a footnote, I wouldn't want to live in Harry's world. Not because I wish to die (the logical induction of wanting to live not wanting to die is, of course flawed, but that's another point to debate), but because I don't wish to live in a world where nothing dies. Death is vastly important, even - nay, ESPECIALLY to a scientist. The process of death and decay allows this world to regenerate, to repopulate, to grow. Dead matter decay and is used as material to feed the next generation - that is how life as a whole works. An infinitely reproducing population with no manner of removing individuals will simply overconsume and explode beyond all control. I don't want to suffer thirst, famine, and disease without a way of not ending it, thank you very much.

In that sense, I'd say Harry is far, far more evil than he lets up to be. Just that unfortunately, his evil is based on the path of good intentions.
him-mione chapter 40 . 8/22/2010
regarding one-way trips to Australia:

some people still are sad when friends move far away (such as to Australia), even though it is possible to come back from Australia. They are not sad because their friend is going to a place from which they can never return-that would be silly, because you *can* return from Australia (unless AustraliaHotel California); they are sad, I would imagine, because they are no longer *here.*

I think it's inappropriate to say that people who believe in an afterlife are really believing in believing in an afterlife, just because they cry at funerals, despite believing in an afterlife. It's irrational, but it's a different kind of irrationality-one of selfishness, in that people want to have the people they like and care about *around them.* I imagine some people do believe in believing in an afterlife, but it's too far, IMO, to assume that everyone believes in believing in an afterlife, just because they cry at funerals. We wouldn't have going-away parties and tearful farewells at airports (which I've seen) otherwise.

regarding calling evil good, as Dumbledore does:

I agree with Harry (and with you), and I notice that I've been doing the same thing as Dumbledore-calling an eventual death good, because I think (or rather, I think I should think) that death is good because it's the start of the next great adventure, due to some rather dreadful and unfortunate religious programming I'm still trying to get over. I imagine I'd get bored eventually, or become a giant asshole, due to the way my brain alters its perception of the passing of time as time progresses. After a millenium, I'd perceive people's lives' flashing in and out, and they'd become little more than ants (which rather explains Dr. Manhattan, of The Watchmen) Harry, I battle my own Dark Side...bwa. ha. ha.

I notice that I believe in an afterlife; however, I also believe that an eventual death is a good thing. I never noticed until now that either (a) I must want to die, or (b) I believe in the universe having a narrative quality, despite telling myself I don't (i.e. "When it is time," the old wizard said quietly. "Not before. I would never seek to hasten the day, nor seek to refuse it when it comes." That line is something I might have said).

Must think on this...thanks for helping me find that contradiction!
Unsigned chapter 40 . 8/22/2010
I actually liked Chapter 39.

I'm guessing Tom's actually keeping track of his Horcruxes, and went to check on his ring.
Nielso chapter 40 . 8/22/2010
So now Quirrelmort knows that the stone in the Slytherin's ring, that he made a Horcrux of (of the ring, not the stone), is in fact The Resurrection Stone.

Which means he is going to go get it now which means he is going to see wheter or not it is true. He is going to test if the one who comes back is really from the afterlife.

So unless it was intented that Quirrelmort find out about this, either by design of Dumbledore or Harry (or both) then It is most likely that the stone will not be really able to bring back the dead because that would turn this story upside down. Of course it is possible that you might want that to happen in which case this story might actually be moving towards Harry's discoveries about Magic and as such Immortality (and more) instead of a standard Harry VS Voldemort story.

But you seem like an author that carefully constructs his or her story and as such won't flip it all that much. Therefore I would put my money on the fact that in this story the Resurrection Stone will not give a positive result to the testing Quirrelmort will give it or something will stand in the way of said testing (like Quirrelmort not using the scientific method).
N chapter 40 . 8/22/2010
So now Quirrelmort knows that the stone in the Slytherin's ring, that he made a Horcrux of (of the ring, not the stone), is in fact The Resurrection Stone.

Which means he is going to go get it now which means he is going to see wheter or not it is true. He is going to test if the one who comes back is really from the afterlife.

So unless it was intented that Quirrelmort find out about this, either by design of Dumbledore or Harry (or both) then It is most likely that the stone will not be really able to bring back the dead because that would turn this story upside down. Of course it is possible that you might want that to happen in which case this story might actually be moving towards Harry's discoveries about Magic and as such Immortality (and more) instead of a standard Harry VS Voldemort story.

But you seem like an author that carefully constructs his or her story and as such won't flip it all that much. Therefore I would put my money on the fact that in this story the Resurrection Stone will not give a positive result to the testing Quirrelmort will give it or something will stand in the way of said testing (like Quirrelmort not using the scientific method).
Pentecost chapter 40 . 8/22/2010
Excellent chapters. I feel like I should say something more, but that about sums it up.
Phoenix Flight chapter 40 . 8/22/2010
You have the frequent habit of making me think about my own beliefs, which I find quite valuable. I don't necessarily agree with your (apparent) positions, but that doesn't make your insights any less valuable as a scaffold on which to build my own thoughts.

I do notice that I do not subconsciously trust my own immortality, but I have also noticed that I don't always subconsciously trust my own rope and harness when it comes to heights - even though rationality would suggest I ought to. The only way to get rid of that fear is practicing jumping from heights to train your gut to believe the truth, and that's not a terribly practical way to deal with fears of death. Anyway, subconscious distrust for an idea does not necessarily mean that the idea is untrue, anymore than a subconscious trust in it makes it true.

From my perspective as a living human being, I appear to myself to be as equally unwilling to believe that there is NO afterlife as I am to believe that there IS an afterlife. Something in me rebels against both. It would seem rather odd, but fairly common to the human condition. There have been groups that have believed in no afterlife all through history, but strangely, the majority of humans throughout time seem to fall in the same camp as I do, crying in grief at funerals even as they talk about how the loved one is in some better place.

If, in fact, souls are immortal, then the Christian explanation seems as good to me as any - that we are living in a world gone wrong, and death is the ultimate expression of that. If what we call the 'natural order' is in fact a perversion or cursed version of a rather nicer model that doesn't have death, then perhaps it would make good sense for us to shrink in horror from death. There would be a part of us that knows at heart that death is, in fact, the most unnatural thing in the world.

This would also explain part of why the Christian-viewed God sees things, and thus acts, differently than we do. He acts in the bone-deep knowledge that death is merely a stop along the way.

In any case, those who originally spread Christianity did put their money where their mouth is. Most of them died in rather unpleasant ways, and they did so precisely because they were banking on an afterlife - or to be more precise, a bodily resurrection of the dead. (No disembodied spirits for all eternity here.) As the Apostle Paul pointed out two thousand years ago, if there's no resurrection of the dead, the best thing to do would clearly be to ditch Christianity post-haste.

Anyway, it is a rather frustrating question, if only because it has such an impact on every part of our lives. A wrong answer, whatever the truth of the matter may turn out to be, would be a tragedy because it would mean a wasted life. How sad that would be.
DrE chapter 40 . 8/22/2010
While chapter 38 is good, chapter 40 is very good, I can't begin to describe chapter 39.

Fantastic job, it was very worth the wait :)
threecankeepasecret chapter 40 . 8/22/2010
Ooh, I loved the last three chapters. Professor Quirrel is a fascinating character- or at least, he is when you write him.
Luiz4200 chapter 40 . 8/22/2010
"If I did, Mr. Potter," said Professor Quirrell as he shrugged on his coat, "would I still be here?"

Does he really think so? Will Voldemort try to reunite the Hallows? And, don't you think it'd be less tireful for the readers if you took some time between posting a chapter and the next one?
Vayah chapter 40 . 8/22/2010
Must you be so brilliant that it makes me want to bow down to you? Really?

This is really my most favorite fanfiction EVER.

Thank you for being totally awesome and wanting to be immortal- because it would be very boring here for us livens if you decided that you want the next great adventure.
GinnyLover14 chapter 40 . 8/22/2010
WOW! You really have a way of making your readers THINK! You make a lot of good points and they are all true!
Guest chapter 40 . 8/22/2010
Is this how you actually think about more mundane religions? Not your opinion of their truth value, which is obvious, but what you think it is that they argue for? If so, then I'm afraid you've violently misunderstood the theistic ones (you haven't addressed anything resembling pantheism).

Their is an obvious alternate explanation to why Wizards might 1) really know that death is not the end, 2) Still fear it, or are sad when others die, or in general behave as muggles might. If they know that the afterlife exists, but they don't know what it is like or in what manner a soul continues to exist. For the existence of an afterlife doesn't automatically equate with the existence of a cosmic justice. Death might mean eternal torture, or reincarnation, or being forced to do inane tasks for arbitrary periods, or a different mode of life altogether. If what happens after death is unknown but real, people might still react that way or (like Voldemort) go through immense trouble to avoid true death.

One other problem, when you were talking about the difference between what people say they believe and what they actually believe, you were using a false comparison. The phenomenon you were referring to is the difference between what people believe (both feigned and real) and what people have experienced. People believe in Mongolia (or Queen Victoria) even when they haven't been there or seen pictures of either, but their belief isn't as personal and certain as their belief in the sky. The difference isn't in the amount of doubt that they have (which in both cases is zero) but in their ability to form mental pictures of the thing believed (for the sky complete, for Mongolia ephemeral and whimsical). This shouldn't lead us to doubt that people actually believe in Mongolia though.
phoebe turner chapter 40 . 8/22/2010
amazing chapter!
AngelForm chapter 40 . 8/22/2010
A truly interesting discussion. Several actually.

By the way have you considered the implications of Snape’s “even put a stopper on death” comment?

Question I was expecting Harry to ask: why only make one ress-stone?
CrystalC chapter 40 . 8/22/2010
He told Professor Quirrel about the Stone? Considering we know the Prof. (probably) has seen the stone but did not know it's true significance, this was a bad idea. What was he going to say? "Yes, I've seen that symbol before! Let me go fetch it and I'll let you test the afterlife on it."

I love your fic. Really. Thank you so much for writing it.
Quincy80 chapter 40 . 8/22/2010
Wow, That's an impressively deep group of chapters, chock full of subtext.
badkidoh chapter 40 . 8/22/2010
another great chapter.
irdgad chapter 40 . 8/22/2010
Yes... At long last... a well thought out discussion of death, the belief in the after life and the introduction of the idea that there might be nothing after death.

Thanks a lot for that...Keep up the great work. Its just great to see the characters in a world of magic who use their brains...
Gogolu chapter 40 . 8/22/2010
Plot twist on the end was amazing.
Tiky3000 chapter 40 . 8/22/2010
I do believe in an afterlife, if only because having your life end after death would make the whole of existence pointless. That still doesn't mean I'm looking forward to death.

I'm not convinced of the existence of some sort of a guiding force behind it all, so that would imply the afterlife is run by people. I believe we are in for disappointment there.
ShaThief chapter 40 . 8/22/2010
I know that as the author you got to know all the stuff you have harry quote but I want to ask do you actually think like that with the mental processing power to calculate the psychology of every situation?

on a side note I'm doing a business marketing course and I find myself more interested in the psychology aspect of things... is there any books you would recommend that cover things like consumer psychology?
Arkh Cthuul chapter 40 . 8/22/2010 many fantastic implications...

I have to say, while I would still prefer a somehow more...reliable update schedule, these chapters were certainlky worth the wait!
gwern chapter 40 . 8/22/2010
"Quite," said Professor Quirrell. Then the Defense Professor lifted up his teacup again, and tipped it back as though to finish the last of what was there. "By the way, Mr. Potter, I fear we shall have to cut short today's visit to Diagon Alley. I was hoping it would - but never mind. Let it stand that there is something else I must do this afternoon."

A buck says Quirrell has seen a stone like that before and is now off to follow it up. If I'm right, I will be disappointed - Quirrel instantly taking off like that is way unsubtle and way blatant, and further, if he really had done as much research as he had said, the symbol of the Deathly Hallows ought not be novel to him.
yamiishot chapter 40 . 8/22/2010
So Quirrel would want to go to the afterlife rather than stick around and tutor poor Harry? Shame.
Loonynamelass chapter 40 . 8/22/2010
Hm... I wonder if the tea was good, at any rate.
Sarshi chapter 40 . 8/22/2010
*suddenly has this image of Quirrell running off to find the place where he hid the stone and recover it*
Peanuckle chapter 40 . 8/22/2010
I love the philosophy in this story, especially the rationalization that Harry puts forth for Dark Wizard's search for immortality.

Since this story got me thinking about magic scientifically (a hopeless cause if there ever was one) I got the idea that perhaps magic was some sort of energy flow that wizards could control and shape into patterns. Uttering the incantation and waving your wand would force the energy into an arrangement that had the desired properties, much like how chemists arrange molecules into patterns to create polymers.

Just a thought.
Meneldur chapter 40 . 8/22/2010
Poor Harry. What a fool. Doe she not realize belief will always win out over rationality? If I truly believe in an afterlife, no proof Harry will bring will sway, especially considering he can't have definite proof (at least now). But I can sway Harry with rational arguements and proof. I may hold the idiot ball, not accepting proof and facts and taking belief over it, but I'm happier - I have certainty, and I'm not sad when people die. This is a basic tenet of jewish faith - mourning is no more than 12 months, for the dead are forgotten after that. And when I think of my grandparents, I am comforted by the fact that they are in a better place, I will see them one day, and that as long as I remeber that, they're still with me.

It may be simplistic and irrational, but I still think it's better.
Nongarak chapter 40 . 8/22/2010
Quirrell is starting to freak me out. I don't know why, but he seems more dangerous. Maybe it's because we know so much about him now. Or, that we know we don't know so much about him. He is an enigma wrapped inside a riddle inside a mystery or whatever the hell the quote was.
deitarionSSokolow chapter 40 . 8/22/2010
It's always a joy to see a run of multiple chapters posted in rapid succession. I think chapter 39 on its own is almost more delightful than the set as a whole, but together, they work beautifully.

In fact, Chapter 39, in context, is probably one of the most satisfying things I've ever read in Harry Potter fiction. Bravo!
voider chapter 40 . 8/22/2010
Most people say that being immortal is a dream we shouldn't have. That they would never want to live forever. They bring excuses for why it really is ok to die of old age.

And perhaps, in a way, they are right if that immortality were to be filled with suffering and boredom. But why think only of the bad side?

I think you're right, they find excuses to soften the blow of death. Dreaming of an immortal, healthy, young body, reminds us too much of the current life expectancy.
Queene chapter 40 . 8/21/2010
First, I just have to say that I absolutely love this fanfic. Not only is it really well-written, but it's also well thought out and exceptionally hilarious. I also commend you on your knowledge of science as well as rationality, especially as you are skilled enough to explain the theories/studies in a way I was able to actually understand even though I've never heard of most of them. There are a few things that bother me though (mostly to do with character personalities, actually). The first is: why did Harry forgive Draco for directly torturing him? Maybe it's because I'm 19 and cynical but it seems to me that a friend who would do that isn't really a friend in the first place, nor do you want such a friend. It would be one thing if Draco just locked him in a room with no food or water, but to actually cast a torture spell on him? Maybe it's because Draco grew up in such a different way from me that I can't even comprehend having values that says rape or torture is ok (which I firmly believe it's not, even for the people who most deserve it) or maybe I'm just being disgustingly liberal again. I don't know. But I can't think of a single person who would forgive someone that would do that to him or her. Not telling on him I can see, but to also forgive him? Such a person would be extremely rare, if he or she even exists, but I guess that's kinda the point. It is Harry after all :) My other question is: why is Draco so resistant to changing his views about muggleborns? I mean, I am definietly pro-choice, but that doesn't mean I don't understand the arguments (and agree with some of those arguments actually) of those who are pro-life, or that just because I think it's wrong for us to be destroying the planet means that I am totally disregarding financial and practical difficulties. I know for the whole world to go completely green (or even just America) would take a whole lot of money and resources we don't have and definitely have a negative impact on those countries/companies that rely on the current fuel. I don't know if that means I'm inordinately open-minded or Draco's inordinatly close-minded (at least about that), but I can't see how someone is so unwilling to see what's right in front of them.

Thanks for reading this really long review (I swear, I didn't intend for it to be this long) and I hope you update soon. I can't wait to see what Harry does next.
Violet Shadows chapter 40 . 8/21/2010
I liked the conversation with Dumbledore about immortlaity, it reminded me of one of Richard's scenes from Looking for Group:

"You Killed My Son!"

"He's in a better place."
Dur'id the Druid chapter 40 . 8/21/2010
And now we get to the heavy questions. Great story. Wonder if this will make 10000 reviews before it ends?
witowsmp chapter 40 . 8/21/2010
Enjoyable chapters.
ilikebluepineapples chapter 40 . 8/21/2010
Oh dear. I think Harry shouldn't be so forthright with Professor Quirrel(mort?) Now he knows one of his Horcruxes (how do Horcruxes work in your world anyway, since there isn't soul-stuff? There is still some of Voldemort's memories/personality in Quirrel, how much and how did it get there?) is the Resurrection Stone.

I like your enigmatic last line.
anon chapter 40 . 8/21/2010
Depiction of DumbledoreWin; if voldemort is not in the story at all, please say, as this is then not harry potter.
wisecurledqueen chapter 40 . 8/21/2010
I really enjoyed these new chapters. They were awesome. You actually held a debate about the afterlife in this fic. That takes both guts and originality. But you also had the conversation with Lucius Malfoy, and that was hilarious. Harry bluffing make the scene even more so. Thanks for the new chapters!

TheWiseSirIvanTheShadowLord chapter 40 . 8/21/2010
I seriously think you could take this story and add more in-depth chapter notes to the side and make an excellent textbook that I would definitely by even if I wasn't taking that class. And I agree that Dumbledore is absolutely bonkers though I wouldn't be surprised if he was approaching the point where fatigue from living has brought his mind to a state where fear of death and fear of what he will experience if he continues to live are reaching an equalizing tipping point.
firedraygon chapter 40 . 8/21/2010
Heheh, Harry and Dumbledore's conversation on the merits of immortality is awesome. I also love Harry's convo with Lucius! Fantastic work. Please write more soon!

Lineape chapter 40 . 8/21/2010
I take it that Quirrelmort will be checking a family heirloom in the near future, no?
Stygian Styx chapter 40 . 8/21/2010
Great chapters. Very thought provoking.