Reviews for Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality
ahbuggrit chapter 47 . 3/12
Love this! Bonding and negotiation of friendship and aims between these two is great. The ending is wonderful and fun as well
Beyond Hope chapter 47 . 9/21/2017
You know, I'm just waiting for someone to write a fic where a heir of Griffindor can speak to felines, because lions are just big kittens...
GreenThumbTarasova chapter 47 . 8/25/2017
Very very good and well thought out chapter. I loved the ending scene.
Lidia chapter 47 . 8/19/2017
In Stalin's Russia one could hear about the West being
1) a colonizer and mass-murderers
2) a fascistic and racist (in "democracies" too)
3) a denier of women's rights
Was it all a truth?
Lidia chapter 47 . 8/19/2017
Unfortunately, some scientists are still racists. See Watson of (deserved) DNA fame.
Racism is not a result of ignorance, it is a result of colonialism and imperialism, and imperialism is very alive in USA, and not only.
ack1308 chapter 47 . 4/7/2017
And Harry's view of the world takes another hit.

Also, Draco as a scientist is freaking *adorable*.

I mean it.
Darrk Rabbit chapter 47 . 3/6/2017
Something tells me Harry is going to become a vegetarian. ._.
Jatok chapter 47 . 11/15/2016
Hah, that ending line. Surprise Harry. Unless speaking parseltongue is a magic of its own?
greycat chapter 47 . 8/26/2016
I assumed the Lord Foul reference was from Donaldson's Chronicles of Thomas Covenant. I've not heard of the other one.
Stannis is the one true king chapter 47 . 8/20/2016
Stupid Harry, he should have gotten an Oath from Draco to take Voldemort as his enemy, not "Oh it was sad" How is this Harry meant to be a genius? He keeps doing idiotic things.
AussieSparkey chapter 47 . 8/9/2016
OK, it's decided. Author, you are mad.. but that, apparently, means a good story. Keep it up!
The Anguished One chapter 47 . 7/9/2016
This is such good progress for Draco learning the truth about the world! I can only hope he'll continue on this path once he sees that. Less important, but that's a funny way for Harry to learn he's a Parselmouth.
Thingamajig chapter 47 . 6/19/2016
And the last line is the essence of Harry's Ravenclawness, sorry Draco xd
IIEarlGreyII chapter 47 . 4/29/2016
Okay there is a lot about this story I like and a few things I don't like, but that last line in this chapter just made the whole thing worth reading.
Guest chapter 47 . 3/27/2016
"I have a dream," said Harry's voice, "that one day sentient beings will be."

Guest chapter 47 . 2/26/2016
Snakes are sentient!
Guest chapter 47 . 2/1/2016
Wow. Poor Narcissa. I'm looking forward to finding out the full story.
Alex chapter 47 . 1/27/2016
This is so beautiful every time I reread it.
SamPD2 chapter 47 . 1/26/2016
Pardon me, but wouldn't sapient be the better term here?
Montara chapter 47 . 1/24/2016
Was Dumbledore so awful that he killed Narcissa like that?! Someone was...or maybe it was a lie Lucius told. There's no black or white with those in Harry's circle...except maybe Hermione. :

Hope Harry managed to keep Draco as a friend!
UltraFomi chapter 47 . 1/2/2016

I suppose that is the sort of thing Harry would think. Lovely chapter.
Pom Rania chapter 47 . 12/23/2015
Putting conditions on a pledge like that is a VERY good idea; and those are also very good conditions.
Unfortunately, people look at me like I'm crazy or untrustworthy whenever I do something like that. (It's because I value my word so highly that I refuse to give it in blanket situations, and I've read enough to know that making blind vows is practically begging for it to go horribly wrong on you.) Although, I'm either extremely untrustworthy or extremely trustworthy, depending on which meaning of the word one is using: I'm honest, but not very responsible. Therefore, all my equivalents-of-promises include phrases like "I currently intend to" or "so long as I don't forget" or "unless something drastically changes".

The first condition allows for forgiveness (or forgiveness's twisted twin, Enlightened Plotting). The second condition allows for truth, reality whatever it happens to be. The third condition recognizes the possibility of exaggeration, and limits needless escalation. The fourth condition allows for mitigating factors. The fifth condition follows the chain of direct responsibility.
I'm going to have to remember all of those underlying principles, when writing pledges a smart and honest character would make.
WatchingTheWatchman chapter 47 . 12/8/2015
Greatest takeaway from that... "SNAKES ARE SENTIENT?" Great ending to a poignant, sober chapter.

I love the characterization of Malfoy here, his inner turmoil and the conflict between his upbringing and his training as a scientist are great. More hard questions; I can't wait to see what comes out of it. The shades of gray are very refreshing, especially considering the black-and-white view the books take of morality.
Guest chapter 47 . 11/7/2015
i died :,D
ShadowLDrago chapter 47 . 10/21/2015
Of course the moment Harry's told he can speak snake he asks if snakes are sentient.
The Writing Prokaryote chapter 47 . 8/29/2015
Only thing that Harry gets out of being able to speak to snakes and being the heir to this huge house that is full of sly people and is apparently evil: SNAKES ARE SENTIENT?


I laughed way to hard at this. And I cried. And this is awesome. Bye bye. Gonna go continue to read now. :3
Zyxis chapter 47 . 8/16/2015
YUSSSSSS. I WAS WONDERING WHEN THIS WAS GOING TO COME INTO PLAY. Honestly, with how many big revelations you're having happen in Harry's FIRST. YEAR. Then I have no idea what will happen during the other years, or even how you'll be able to fit the other years into the chapters that are left. But I'd love to see you do it, because I honestly think that whoever you are, you're a good enough writer to do so.
Carly chapter 47 . 8/10/2015
Hold up, hold up. That is NOT canon, and considering everything that happened in the HP universe up until Petunia marrying a biochemist and Harry being raised by them still happened the way it did in the books this is WRONG. Narcissa did not die by Dumbledore's hand, and was still alive well after the series ended. You may have taken a liberty by making Peter and Sirius be in a gay relationship but not this. No, sir.
Cosmiln chapter 47 . 7/16/2015
A social commentary:

Bigotry isn't receding because of science. Bigotry is receding through mixing and understanding, and better yet, through becoming similar enough (culturally) due to the mixing.

Scientifically advanced culturally homogenous countries and regions are still very much bigoted (and even non-bigoted regions will often still be bigoted against -something-). It is one thing to think poorly of an X group without having seen anything more than what the news has to say about them. It is much harder to live among plenty of perfectly normal X group people yet still harbor such bigoted views.
kabs chapter 47 . 7/12/2015
that was moving and brilliant
i sincerely thank you
DesperateReader chapter 47 . 6/9/2015
You made my day!
Concolor44 chapter 47 . 6/7/2015

Of COURSE that would be Harry's initial gut reaction. Not "Wait a minute, I can speak a language I never knew existed?!" No, it was "Snakes are sentient?"

Egad, but I love this story!
Guest chapter 47 . 6/2/2015
Thats a fantastic way for Harry to figure out he's a parselmouth and all he says is:

xD brilliant haha
PA chapter 47 . 5/20/2015
Did we bypass book 1 and head straight into 2? I think we did. Oh lord. Well I guess all the other books have been touched, but dang, continueing on, lol.
Berlin chapter 47 . 5/16/2015
You know, right side up is different than upside down, but upside down is different than sideways.
demon edge chapter 47 . 4/30/2015
First gurren laggan now dragonlance, if the harry potter series and the Dresden files series ever got drunk and had a one night stand baby this would be it
ntalcenent chapter 47 . 3/28/2015
The other day I wondered if it would be a campaign to turn out the lights at night around the globe - a kind of a anti lumen wave - for just an hour could possibly have any chance of sucess. You see, there is a man with a vision to put 4k satellites into orbit in the next few years. It is intended to do wonderful things for the internet and more satellites will follow. But I wonder what it would be like to be able to see the night sky and record it mostly the way it was a thousand years ago; how changed it will be as these satellites rise on their mission. Don't get me wrong, I feel strongly it is a positive advancement ultimately for mankind but still makes me a bit sad.
My Swagg Level Its over 9000 chapter 47 . 3/28/2015
Lagann. Spiral Power.
Village-Mystic chapter 47 . 3/26/2015
I'm still worried about how Harry told Quirrell places to hide TM's horcux where they wouldn't be found, but I'm enjoying the insane alternate plotting. Although it was sad that Draco's mother had to die for the plot to work.
GingerHannah chapter 47 . 1/16/2015
I totally agree with what you said about house sorting. I was like "yes! Muggle hating isn't the trait associated with Slytherin." And then you had such a good explanation for it.

I look forward to seeing what Harry does with the knowledge that he's a parcelmouth.
TheArisingOverlord chapter 47 . 12/29/2014
Is Harry going to turn evil?
TheButterflyComposer chapter 47 . 12/25/2014
Huh...never thought of parseltounge that way before but...yeah, they must be sentient to respond.
Unless it's like the sorting hat, and the gift of language and sentience comes with the wizard talking to them?
I've really enjoyed this so far.
anothersignalman chapter 47 . 12/9/2014
Re this bit-
'"Tell me, Draco," said Harry. "Why don't Muggles ever leave ghosts behind when they die?"
"Because Muggles don't have souls, obviously," Draco said."'

The obvious next question would've been whether the Killing Curse works on Muggles or not.

Probably not worth addressing in the fic because this was so long ago, but maybe in a side-story?
Guest chapter 47 . 12/8/2014
Oh god.
zuzana.skampovaprelcova chapter 47 . 11/22/2014
Personally, this is the best chapter. Man, you have done great job. This was laugh through tears.
MeiPhantomhive chapter 47 . 9/23/2014
I think my head's gonna explode from all the info...
Go Harry go!
rakoun17 chapter 47 . 8/31/2014
AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!i cannot describe the awesomeness of this chapter! but the last line... omg, i laughed SO hard! thank you!
Talkingbirdguy chapter 47 . 8/19/2014
And that's what Harry gets out of being told he's the heir of Slytherin. Wow :P
Good chapter.
thepkrmgc chapter 47 . 8/2/2014
harry's reaction to the parseltounge reveal is priceless, and while i thought Narcessa was alive in cannon (or at least the movies) this chapter is a goldmine for characterisation
Tallman7 chapter 47 . 6/14/2014

I just realized the hints you gave, and I think the pieces clicked together. Quirrelmort didn't just reenforce the disk on the pioneer probe, did he? He turned it into a bloody horcrux...
silverrain-shiningsun chapter 47 . 5/21/2014

Right? WTF?
pencuriLumba-Lumba chapter 47 . 3/13/2014
Oh! It is so laugh! Hahaha, I lika it! It is funny.
Talonis Wolf chapter 47 . 1/27/2014

So, he can talk to snakes, an ability that very few have ever had, Salazar Slytherin and his descendants being the only ones who are public knowledge. And he chooses this part to nitpick?

That is soooo your Harry. Hehehe... man, I love your writing.

Jeez, I just realized it's 3:07 AM at night... your story /really/ sucked me in. Congrats!
Grizzmon chapter 47 . 1/14/2014
Snakes are Sentient? Now that makes no sense!
Makokam chapter 47 . 1/11/2014
Ya I read this a song came into my head and wouldn't leave.

Wrecking Ball
567zoock67 chapter 47 . 11/30/2013
Lol, the last line was hilarious.
I'm a bit shocked to see Draco's mother had died in this fanfiction, though that would explain the lack of her appearance so far in this story. I think the realization of being a Slytherin is perceived as being unhappy and unable to draw out a good memory is smart and interesting.
The recollection of Professor Dumbledore from Draco's, and the other side's point of view certainly was interesting, I'm interested in Harry's plan to find out whoever murdered Draco's mother, though I don't think it was Dumbledore, or at if it was him, he didn't do it intentionally.
addikhabbo chapter 47 . 8/21/2013
Damon Sasi chapter 47 . 7/17/2013
Despite all the awesomeness of the previous chapters, this is probably the one that truly marked this fanfic as my favorite, and actually made it hard for me to not see this world as the "true" Harry Potter rather than JK Rowling's.

Just one nitpick at the end: Shouldn't Harry have said "SNAKES ARE SAPIENT?!"
jameselvendork1123 chapter 47 . 7/15/2013
this was a truly beautiful chapter, particularly when harry cast his patronus. very beautiful. I enjoyed the biblical allusion as well.
alon.shirizly chapter 47 . 7/13/2013
I'm not sure if that would be considered an error of some kind, or merely a case of taste, but I found the word "patronuses" being used in the excerpt from the old book to seem rather strange, and thought it might be better as "patroni", since the word's origin is latin, and especially since it was used in an old book (would add to the feel of oldness). Not much of an important note, just something that bothered me a little.
L.E chapter 47 . 5/14/2013
Exceptional! There were tears, at multiple points in this chapter. Very moving stuff.
PoptartProdigy chapter 47 . 4/23/2013
But...Narcissa Malfoy...was alive in the books...she was a named character in 6...and...7...

ARGH! Why am I looking for canon here?! I'm hurting my brain.

Anyway, on a different note:

No, Harry, they don't want to die. Yes, Harry, that's sad. No, Harry, you can't make everybody immortal. It just. Won't. Happen. I'm sorry
I'MNOTCRAZY1 chapter 47 . 4/17/2013
Sapient, not sentient. Of course they're sentient. They can feel things. You poke it. It feels you poke it. Sapience is a different kettle of fish.
Luna's Meow chapter 47 . 4/7/2013
Dulak is not a Harry Potter spell. It is in fact often cast by Raistlin Majere.
Dracorum chapter 47 . 3/24/2013
...I'm shocked too, Harry. I didn't expect that plot line to come up at this stage of the story :D

And I love that scene in the open-air courtyard. In any scene involving stars and the night really. You have a beautiful way with words.
Jerden chapter 47 . 2/23/2013
Another great chapter! The final line is brilliant! Rationalist Harry is told he's a Parcelmouth... "SNAKES ARE SENTIENT?" The redemption of Draco is also good reading.
Enei Emmu chapter 47 . 2/4/2013
Awesome. Just awesome.
Guest chapter 47 . 1/14/2013
Wow, this was an AMAZING chapter in an amazing retelling of the Harry story.
Arkh Cthuul chapter 47 . 1/4/2013
Still one of the most powerful of your chapters, and the best punchlines ever.
Herooftimes chapter 47 . 12/28/2012
"said the heir of slytherin" was an absolutely wonderful way to set that up
kitsuneko1976 chapter 47 . 12/28/2012
How do you do it, you elegant bastard? You mix pathos, intrigue, bastardize one of the most poignant speeches in human history and make it even more beautiful that the original, and then add in a laugh inducing finale.

Seriously, HOW?!

I am in awe.
treena-ivy-carter chapter 47 . 12/23/2012
Oh Harry...

Your Harry is so dorky and lovable.

He's adorable. He's like a pretty little cupcake. I just want to eat him up... uh... this is a little awkward now, isn't it? Eh...

I LOVE YOUR STORY! Ahem, it is very well written, I love the characters and the entire tale really, especially at the end of this chapter. Harry just finds out he can talk to snakes and the only thing that surprises him is that snakes are sentient...

StrangeoneXD chapter 47 . 12/22/2012
Hehe :D
WildCard-Yes Man chapter 47 . 12/20/2012
Well of course snakes are sentient. Why wouldn't they?
Honoria Granger chapter 47 . 12/16/2012
I'm running out of superlatives. First the Patronus charms, which made ME cry, then the Heir of Slytherin...exhausted with delight.
BiJane chapter 47 . 11/16/2012
Firstly, your Thomas Covenant references are perfection.
Secondly, what you've done with Patronuses (Patroni?) is truly marvellous. Interesting, fantastical, yet believable. Oddly moving, as well: and certainly, the redemption of Slytherin is a good topic.
Thirdly, the way you blend hilarity (Draco continually being surprised) with such vivid, intense scenes as Harry's Patronus is masterful.
Fourthly and finally, I love how that's Harry's first comment on being a parseltongue.
igrowand chapter 47 . 9/17/2012
Harry, you're the air of Slytherin!

Nice priorities, Harry.
tempduloupe chapter 47 . 9/3/2012
jesus H christ..I'm trying to do my homework here and everytime I think it'll be the last chapter for the day I READ ANOTHER ONE...WHY SOOO GOOOD
voodooqueen126 chapter 47 . 8/2/2012
Giving Dumbledore a villain upgrade much?
Poetheather1 chapter 47 . 7/29/2012
Great conversations. What a screwed up year for poor Harry. And Draco is going to need all the Therapy.
Guest chapter 47 . 7/2/2012

PS: Do we ever find out Harry's original Christmas wish? /keeps reading
erinacea chapter 47 . 6/17/2012
Interesting development, and so much in one chapter! For some reason I believe Draco's story, at least up to the point of Lucius telling him, and I also believe that she was burnt alive. However, like Harry, I don't think that killing Narcissa like that would be either Albus' or Lucius' style. That leaves the possibility of it having been an accident or someone doing the killing, and either (or both) trying to cover it up. The whole set-up makes me think Fiendfyre, seeing how it's hard to control, so things could have gotten out of hand.

Great to hear Draco's side of things in general. The Slytherins' hate on Dumbledore makes a lot more sense now, and I also really liked how Harry didn't have a clue.

The whole idea of "healing Slytherin house" awesome! I love Draco being capable of casting the Patronus charm, and his reaction to the fact. Also, kudos on Harry for his five highly sensible conditions.

Great stuff, as always! 3
GravekeeperBat chapter 47 . 6/1/2012
LMAO, I wondered if he'd still be able to do that. :)
HerGoldenHair chapter 47 . 5/24/2012

Finariona chapter 47 . 4/20/2012
Amazing ending to what I think was the best chapter so far. It has everything : the plot, the great dialogue, the intricate interplay of trust and humanity between Harry and Draco, the inspiring Harry-ideas, a personhood theory to accommodate all the universe, a droll picturing of Draco being increasingly overwhelmed... only to be hit at the end with the best possible moment to spring Harry's Parsemouth ability upon the world!

That was both momentous, inventive from a narrative perspective, and hilarious. The cherry on top was to see the gap that remains at the end with Malfoy being completely overwhelmed and Harry being mostly preoccupied with the scientific question of what kind of minds snakes have. A funny last line for a hilarious last scene : the perfect cap to an inspiring, beautiful, emotions-wrenching chapter.


I'm curious to find out as the story goes on: what's wrong with Dumbledore?
Rationally Procrastinative chapter 47 . 4/17/2012
Spoiler alert: Discusses knowledge through Ch 82.

Ch 82 makes it clear that Dumbledore really did attack Narcissa. Does this invoke Harry’s oath to Draco from Ch 47?

Conditions on Potter’s oath to Draco:

1)“The first one is that at any point you can release me from the pledge, if it no longer seems like a good idea. It has to be a deliberate and intended decision on your part, of course, not a trick of wording or something.”

2)“I'm pledging to take as an enemy whoever actually did kill Narcissa, as determined to the honest best of my ability as a rationalist.”

3)“Narcissa has to have been burned alive.”

4)“If Narcissa got her own hands dirty, and, say, Crucioed someone's child into insanity, and that person burned Narcissa for revenge, the deal might be off again.”

5)“If whoever killed Narcissa was tricked somehow into doing it, then my enemy is whoever tricked them, not the person who was tricked.”

Note that violating any single condition stops the oath, or in the case of 5), fulfilling the conditions redirects the oath.

Condition 1) is still in force and the release is extremely unlikely in to be invoked.

Condition 2) is no longer in significant doubt and therefore is in force.

Condition 3) is still in doubt. Dumbledore said, when asked directly, “To that question only a fool would say yea or nay.” His statement shortly thereafter that “Nothing less [than burning Narcissa alive] would have convinced them that I was done with hesitation.” is also not an answer. All he stated is that level of ruthlessness was required in order to be convincing, not that that he actually did it. The difference is subtle but still there.

Condition 4) does not appear to be a factor at this point.

Condition 5) also does not appear to be a factor at this point. Technically, Dumbledore was forced to do something after Aberforth’s death, but Dumbledore was not _tricked_ and Narcissa was not the only possible target.

So, the oath is not in force yet, but it is dangerously close. How likely is it that Dumbledore actually burned Narcissa alive, based on the evidence? The problem is that all the evidence is either from the mouths of people who have good reason to be biased or is indirect.

acts as if he believes it and says he was told by Macnair that there were scorch marks all over the bedroom [Ch 47].

acts as if he believes it enough to confront Dumbledore publically about it [Ch 80].

Bones knows about it [Ch 80].

’s statements retain plausible deniability but leave little doubt that he intended Lucius and the other Death Eaters to believe it [Ch 82].

’s opinion is that it does not seem in character for Dumbledore [Ch 47].

, Dumbledore is not evil in canon and has not done any clearly evil acts in this story, with this possible exception.

Part A implies that Dumbledore broke through the Malfoy Manor wards without setting off said wards. This suggests phoenix travel. But if Fawkes saw Dumbledore do a clearly evil act he might have left. So, the fact that Fawkes is still with Dumbledore suggests that, if Fawkes saw Dumbledore do away with Narcissa, then Dumbledore did not actually burn her alive. In other words, the past and present existence of Fawkes puts constraints on the likelihood of some of Dumbledore’s actions.

Part C brings up an interesting point. Dumbledore knew that any _detectable_ trickery would be insufficient and he was up against two masters at detecting trickery: Lucius and Voldemort. So the real question is: did Dumbledore truly believe he could fake the attack in some significant way and get away with it? It is clear from the Taboo Tradeoffs arc that wizard forensics are not very advanced but Dumbledore would have to awfully sure of himself to attempt deception in this case.

Part C also implies that if Dumbledore actually left Narcissa alive (no mention of a body in anything so far) then he had to have chosen a method that would last as long as the war against Voldemort lasted. This means that he could not leave her aware and resisting confinement because that would leave too many options for confinement to fail. This also means that he could not leave her in her known body form if there was a chance for her to encounter other wizards. There are not many options left. If she is aware then she is likely amnesiac and looks different, but transfiguration would appear to be out based on Minerva’s rules and polyjuice does not last long enough. The only remaining option that allows her to be alive seems to be enchanted sleep similar to the Draught of Living Death, so the possibility exists.

One hypothesis that fits the known statements but allows Harry to not attack Dumbledore is: Dumbledore attempts to kidnap Narcissa but is not fast enough to stop her from reacting. Narcissa responds with fiendfyre and loses control of it (ala Crabbe in the books). Dumbledore subdues the fiendfyre with trouble and takes away or destroys Narcissa (alive or not).

And because I like to consider weird alternatives, there’s still that damn rock. And it is mentioned in this arc again right before Harry thinks about what he has done [Ch 82]. Does it bear a relationship to Narcissa? Does it perhaps contain her memories, or clues to what actually happened? I judge it highly unlikely that Dumbledore gave it to him just to confuse him, especially since the potions textbook was actually a significant clue (to how Lily transformed Petunia) despite the fact that Harry missed the clue.

In the end, there is insufficient evidence to decide at the moment. So why post? Because hindsight bias is rampant and I want to test how well I think by posting before the answer is known.
Rationally Procrastinative chapter 47 . 4/16/2012
Spoiler alert: Discusses knowledge through Ch 82.

Ch 82 makes it clear that Dumbledore really did attack Narcissa. Does this invoke Harry’s oath to Draco from Ch 47?

Conditions on Potter’s oath to Draco:

1)“The first one is that at any point you can release me from the pledge, if it no longer seems like a good idea. It has to be a deliberate and intended decision on your part, of course, not a trick of wording or something.”

2)“I'm pledging to take as an enemy whoever actually did kill Narcissa, as determined to the honest best of my ability as a rationalist.”

3)“Narcissa has to have been burned alive.”

4)“If Narcissa got her own hands dirty, and, say, Crucioed someone's child into insanity, and that person burned Narcissa for revenge, the deal might be off again.”

5)“If whoever killed Narcissa was tricked somehow into doing it, then my enemy is whoever tricked them, not the person who was tricked.”

Note that violating any single condition stops the oath, or in the case of 5), fulfilling the conditions redirects the oath.

Condition 1) is still in force and the release is extremely unlikely in to be invoked.

Condition 2) is no longer in significant doubt and therefore is in force.

Condition 3) is still in doubt. Dumbledore said, when asked directly, “To that question only a fool would say yea or nay.” His statement shortly thereafter that “Nothing less [than burning Narcissa alive] would have convinced them that I was done with hesitation.” is also not an answer. All he stated is that level of ruthlessness was required in order to be convincing, not that that he actually did it. The difference is subtle but still there.

Condition 4) does not appear to be a factor at this point.

Condition 5) also does not appear to be a factor at this point. Technically, Dumbledore was forced to do something after Aberforth’s death, but Dumbledore was not _tricked_ and Narcissa was not the only possible target.

So, the oath is not in force yet, but it is dangerously close. How likely is it that Dumbledore actually burned Narcissa alive, based on the evidence? The problem is that all the evidence is either from the mouths of people who have good reason to be biased or is indirect.

acts as if he believes it and says he was told by Macnair that there were scorch marks all over the bedroom [Ch 47].

acts as if he believes it enough to confront Dumbledore publically about it [Ch 80].

Bones knows about it [Ch 80].

’s statements retain plausible deniability but leave little doubt that he intended Lucius and the other Death Eaters to believe it [Ch 82].

’s opinion is that it does not seem in character for Dumbledore [Ch 47].

, Dumbledore is not evil in canon and has not done any clearly evil acts in this story, with this possible exception.

Part A implies that Dumbledore broke through the Malfoy Manor wards without setting off said wards. This suggests phoenix travel. But if Fawkes saw Dumbledore do a clearly evil act he might have left. So, the fact that Fawkes is still with Dumbledore suggests that, if Fawkes saw Dumbledore do away with Narcissa, then Dumbledore did not actually burn her alive. In other words, the past and present existence of Fawkes puts constraints on the likelihood of some of Dumbledore’s actions.

Part C brings up an interesting point. Dumbledore knew that any _detectable_ trickery would be insufficient and he was up against two masters at detecting trickery: Lucius and Voldemort. So the real question is: did Dumbledore truly believe he could fake the attack in some significant way and get away with it? It is clear from the Taboo Tradeoffs arc that wizard forensics are not very advanced but Dumbledore would have to awfully sure of himself to attempt deception in this case.

Part C also implies that if Dumbledore actually left Narcissa alive (no mention of a body in anything so far) then he had to have chosen a method that would last as long as the war against Voldemort lasted. This means that he could not leave her aware and resisting confinement because that would leave too many options for confinement to fail. This also means that he could not leave her in her known body form if there was a chance for her to encounter other wizards. There are not many options left. If she is aware then she is likely amnesiac and looks different, but transfiguration would appear to be out based on Minerva’s rules and polyjuice does not last long enough. The only remaining option that allows her to be alive seems to be enchanted sleep similar to the Draught of Living Death, so the possibility exists.

One hypothesis that fits the known statements but allows Harry to not attack Dumbledore is: Dumbledore attempts to kidnap Narcissa but is not fast enough to stop her from reacting. Narcissa responds with fiendfyre and loses control of it (ala Crabbe in the books). Dumbledore subdues the fiendfyre with trouble and takes away or destroys Narcissa (alive or not).

And because I like to consider weird alternatives, there’s still that damn rock. And it is mentioned in this arc again right before Harry thinks about what he has done [Ch 82]. Does it bear a relationship to Narcissa? Does it perhaps contain her memories, or clues to what actually happened? I judge it highly unlikely that Dumbledore gave it to him just to confuse him, especially since the potions textbook was actually a significant clue (to how Lily transformed Petunia) despite the fact that Harry missed the clue.

In the end, there is insufficient evidence to decide at the moment. So why post? Because hindsight bias is rampant and I want to test how well I think by posting before the answer is known.
yitiantulong chapter 47 . 4/11/2012
Ok, I admit, after reading this chapter, I feel three things

1) That you're brilliant... to take this relationship and make of it the complex cat-and-mouse game, that yet allows the characters to learn from each other, and at the same time make it so moving.

2) That perhaps Draco and not Hermione should be in the title characters (okay, okay I take it right back- it should obviously be Quirrell!)

3) Your references make Lucius seem fun (Death Note!)

Oh yes, and I forgot to mention it before but I seriously burst at the earlier Ranma 1/2 reference- you read/watch far and wide indeed in SF and F, and I kow-tow to the Greatness I appreciate and also all the Other-Greatness-I-am-too-lowly-to-even-comprehend-but-nonetheless-can-tell-It-Exists.
nancyhua chapter 47 . 3/25/2012
Quirrell is probably also casting a human patronus and pretending not to be able to cast a patronus.
2guard chapter 47 . 1/6/2012
The idea that the development of science leads to greater morality is easily disproved by Germany at the advent of Hitler. In the early 1930s, Germany was the world leader in science (physics, chemistry, etc.) to say nothing of music, art, religious studies, etc. Yet, once Hitler took power, the German universities and faculty, including scientists, sold out en masse to him. Eventually, the Nazi death camps, as an extremely efficient murdering machine, were a testament to the use of advanced science. See Max Weinreich's Hitler's Professors (and later works).

Science, like music, art, etc., is fundamentally amoral and is a tool that can be used for good or evil. How it will be used, therefore, depends on the VALUES of the user/scientist. Those values may come from religion, parents, ethical education, the society at large, etc. Each ethical person will have his/her own ethical influence/s which are usually quite consciously realized.

However, there are exceptions. Perhaps, Yudkowitz doesn't realize that it was Judaism that provided him with the impetus to save the world.
333 chapter 47 . 12/21/2011
While I commend you in your attempt to not villify any charcater (even suprisingly Crabble and Goyle), you seem to fail in the characterization of Pansy. You manage to not fall into many classical trope categories, but you do fall into the one of splittng the Slytherin House into "positive" or "negative". By not giving Pansy any redeeming characterisitics. She is portrayed as vain and selfish and lacking the characterisitcs to be in Slytherin House. While all these are acceptable in chacterization, she must have the qualities of some house then and she must have some strengths even if they are tiny and rather insignificiant. Perhaps its becausse we only see here from the protagonists point of view, but she is the only really reoccuring minor character that seems very one dimensional. I haven't finished all chapters yet, but I hope when Draco goes to redeem the Slytherin House it doesn't become two factions between intelligent Draco and bigoted Pansy. That would seem way too divided and easy.
Mantis FA chapter 47 . 12/18/2011
I'm getting a little kick out of every time you import a D&D spell into the Potterverse, but that "*Dulak*" had me laughing out loud. Your Harry more than a touch Raistlin Majere in his makeup than Rowling's (though not the bitter resentment that turned Raistlin Dark), and I'm interested to see how much more of that particular literary influence finds its way into this story. Weis and Hickman aren't the writers Card and Bujold are, but that one character made the Chronicles and Legends worth reading.
yannimilla chapter 47 . 12/6/2011
You will never know exactly how indebted to you I am for writing this. I knew there was something off about how people, I, allowed myself to think for the longest time.

This has changed how I view the world.

I've been diagnosed as severely clinically depressed, and this fic has averted self-inflicted death on more than one occassion.

I know it is nothing to boast of, being suicidal.

But I'd like you to know that this fic has literally saved a life. I think anyone who has that to their credit deserves to know about it, at the very least.

Thank you.

Asparagus chapter 47 . 10/18/2011
This brought me close to tears, it was so beautiful.

Me being me, that means at least a few other people were bawling. I don't cry much, you see.

But anyway, it was amazing and you need to become a professional author right now.
Abigail chapter 47 . 10/16/2011
This chapter made me cry. I've been fighting the urge all through 'humanism', which was one of the most beautiful things I've ever read, but this did it.

It also made me laugh. I can't think of a single chapter that did NOT make me laugh in this fic, but this one gets the distinction of having me laughing and crying simultaneously until I almost choked.

I think your Draco is my favorite character.

I think Hermione is obviously supposed to be the stand-in for the audience, but Draco is in some respects an even-better stand-in (at least for me), because he comes from a background so foreign to Harry's, and he tells himself he can't decide whether to plot to kill Harry or whether to admire him, but in reality he decided a long time ago...

I just realized that I'm on Harry's side. About death, about rationality, about humanism... I'm scared for him, because I know that his idealistic attitude and mysterious dark side and excessive cleverness are going to end badly, but I'm with him.

So you, sir, are brilliant.
Capitalz chapter 47 . 9/24/2011
I just realized that there was something horribly wrong with Harry's genetic theory.

If being a Wizard requires two copies of the magical allele, then it would be impossible for ANY WIZARD to have Squib children if they didn't breed with a Muggle.

Harry only looked at one set of results, and didn't even try to expand his experimentation.

Clearly there must be some magical mind-numbing force at work, or Harry isn't nearly as rational as he thinks he is.
AR chapter 47 . 9/22/2011
defining moment..

This was beautiful. It was a important step..and despite whatever that may happen, Draco will be better for it.

and I just ADORED the ending...the tension I had felt throughout the chapter just went a finger-snap

Truly truly amazing writing..
Fenrir666 chapter 47 . 8/25/2011
To be fair, it *is* a very important observation.

TwentyTawnyTigers chapter 47 . 8/18/2011
You have completely spoiled me for any fanfiction -make that any book- for the rest of my life. Somehow that makes me happy. EXPECTO PATRONUM!
Triangular Reasoning chapter 47 . 7/22/2011
Damn... the MLK-esque speech was bloody beautiful. I'm close to crying here. Bloody effing beautiful. Hats off to you, sir...
rtyhujik chapter 47 . 7/18/2011
Draco should just put Harry on Veritaserum and ask if he was an Occlumens.
Isa Knightwalker chapter 47 . 7/17/2011
The last aftermath section was hilarious. Also a very interesting chapter in general, I like how Draco and Harry interact. Can't wait to see what happens~!
jasonjannajerryjohn chapter 47 . 6/20/2011
My god. My god. Words do not do this chapter justice, sir. I am touched beyond belief. Draco and Harry have shared many a moment throughout this story that have been wonderful, but none of them have been as beautiful and touching as the moments in this chapter. Draco reveals vulnerable aspects of his life to Harry, someone he still can't even fully trust after all of what has happened. I really wish to know who has killed Narcissa and why and I hope you elaborate on that in further chapters, just like the seemingly forgotten random rock and pedo Dumbledore story lines.

In any case, I am genuinely touched as well as surprised and awed at how you continue to out do yourself. Well done, and I am eagerly reading more. I just can not put this story down.
AnaRola chapter 47 . 5/25/2011
And...this chapter was fantastic. Breathtaking. Adjectives don't really describe it, so I'll just say that I was crying a little. And that I cracked up at the end and it took me five minutes to calm down enough to write this.

I said already, I think, that the Harry-Draco interaction is one of this fics strongest parts. I'm not a Draco Malfoy fan, in canon or in fanfiction, but your Draco is in a lot of ways a stand in for the reader, as he learns Harry's utterly bizarre way of looking at the world. He's also very convincingly torn between Harry and his father, never more so than in this chapter, and the revelation about Narcissa is heartbreaking and brilliant.

I really appreciate that you didn't have science and rationality redeem Draco overnight. Because that isn't the way things work, and even if you can change your beliefs about somethings in an instant (you've pretty much persuaded me on death in the last two hours), completely overhauling your world view takes longer. I care about this Draco a lot, and I care about his journey as much as Harry's, and this chapter has just passed the last Harry-Draco one (Machiavellian Intelligence Hypothesis) as my favorite in the fic.

I love Draco's interpretation of Dumbledore's story, though I really, really hope there's something more to the picture. Making Dumbledore evil is too much of a cliche - no, not a cliche really, it's that it's the easy way out. Harry and Dumbledore don't see eye-to-eye on death, science, rationality, or much of anything. SO far, it's been implied that Dumbledore, like most adults in Harry's life - just doesn't question his own assumptions much, and spends most of his intelligence defeating himself. If it turns out that he's just evil, that's too easy.

It seems inevitable that Harry and Draco's deal will go wrong. The most obvious problem is if Dumbledore was destroying a Horcrux and the fire got out of control, but I know better by now than to try to predict where this story is headed.

The ending, of course, was brilliant. "SNAKES ARE SENTIENT!"
Vindeen chapter 47 . 5/15/2011
BWAHAHAHAHA!xD I'm at the 47th chapter and just had a terrible laughing attack. Could've died, I'm telling you)

Here's why:


D: "You're a Parselmouth, you can speak Parseltongue, it's the language of all snakes everywhere. You can understand any snake when it talks, and they can understand when you talk to them... Harry, you can't possibly believe you were Sorted into Ravenclaw! You're the Heir of Slytherin!"


Multipartite chapter 47 . 5/13/2011
(I wonder so very much what Dumbledore has to say about the mother's circumstances... whether he claims to know or not that Malfoy believes him to be the culprit, whether he claims the matter as a 'don't know' or 'do know but won't tell you at this time' or something else, what McGonagall has to say/think/react on the matter if in the room with the two at the time... *curiosity*)
anaraz chapter 47 . 4/7/2011

That is so Harry.

"Talking to Patronuses feels odd."

A-Knight4 chapter 47 . 4/7/2011

I love how that's the revelation he's shocked about.
ShineX chapter 47 . 3/26/2011
lol :)
Steph chapter 47 . 3/26/2011
I'm absolutely loving this story, and I'll be leaving a more detailed review on the final chapter when I get there. But at this point I just have to say that "SNAKES ARE SENTIENT?" was the absolute perfect reaction.
ARMH chapter 47 . 2/26/2011
And the plot thickens! I loved all of the forshadowing about draco not wanting to be surprised anymore.
Chelsea chapter 47 . 2/24/2011
I think this is my favorite chapter
well then chapter 47 . 2/21/2011
I think your take on this is very interesting.

But sometimes...

Do you think that your Harry is being rational about the potential of rationality?

Chapter 47:

"It took centuries for science to dawn over the Muggle world, it only happened slowly, but the stronger science got, the further that sort of hatred retreated." Harry's voice was quiet, now. "I don't know exactly why it worked that way, but that's how it happened historically."

Well. That's simply BS.

The "good guys" from SciFi Garry referred to - does Harry - do you - really believe they were that way bcause they were rationalists?
oconnor663 chapter 47 . 2/12/2011
"...the gold and blood sacrifices he [Grindelwald] was getting from his Muggle pawns..."

Is this a reference to the Shoah? If so, I'm curious about your implications. It's understood that Grindelwald is somehow behind the events of WWII. But beyond pulling strings to start the war, which we might take for granted from his character in his context, you're also (in my view, unnecessarily) implying that Grindelwald organized the Shoah in particular, because it strengthened him in some way.

This reminds me of a quote from Chaos!Neville about Bellatrix Black:

"She had a reason for doing that [killing Neville's parents], and my parents were both Aurors! It's not even close to the worst thing she's ever done!"

Let's call Neville's categories Evil Type 1 ("We get it, but still evil") and Evil Type 2 ("Seriously what the fuck?"). You can get some extra evil mileage for Grindelwald by saying he caused the Shoah, but he's still a Type 1 bad guy, so you give him a reason. The Shoah, though, is the quintessential Type 2 event in living memory, and if we change that, we erase something important.

Incidentally, I'm curious what will become of Voldemort in this fic. In canon we never get to know Voldemort in any sort of human way. He's bad from the beginning, just a machine for making evil choices, totally Type 2. But if you've lead us to expect anything at all, it's that rational!Voldemort will have very strong reasons for the choices he makes. That's already a big step towards Type 1. And if you keep going right past it, eventually he's not evil at all, and then what will we do? :)
Moonlit Wave chapter 47 . 2/9/2011
yessss, Draco, your feeling was right.

Man, I don't think I've ever felt sorrier for Draco in any other fanfic. I mean, all that is cool and all, but the parseltongue bit was totally the last straw XD
mabidiso chapter 47 . 2/6/2011
I love your Harry so much, I want to smoosh him into a box for my special treasures that I hide from the world in the dresser drawer that holds my pajamas. No one ever looks for boxes of secret treasures in pajama dresser drawers. I will remember this Harry for the rest of my days, and will try my hardest to envision his world, and the world he dreamed of creating, once he became a god. From thoughts to words to actions.
Media theorist chapter 47 . 1/29/2011
I am begging to hate iPad autocorrect, which just changed Ender to ended, much as it had changed Muggle to jiggle in my previous review.
cross-over-lover232 chapter 47 . 1/16/2011
get told your salazairs heir and the frist thing you think is snakes are seniet?oy vay
Andrius chapter 47 . 1/14/2011
Haha, I love how Harry gets so surprised about snakes being sentient, rather than him being (supposedly) the Heir of Slytherin. Come to think of it, that IS a pretty big deal...
Philip Ryan chapter 47 . 1/11/2011
I've never cried at fanfiction before.
ElNazgir chapter 47 . 1/9/2011
I have rarely turned myself to fanfiction, and when at first I started reading this fanfic, I thought it was just a hilarious "what if Harry was Ravenclaw in the worst way possible" story. I've had to adapt my views a number of times, and although I initially felt the impression of Dumbledore went too far into the whole cryptic lunatic, I became more and more aware of just how serious this fanfic was.

And then came this chapter, which is simply beautiful, though in honesty I admit that I really have no words to do it justice. One thought kept coming to me though:

If you had come up with this universe instead of Rowling, I believe you would have done it much better than Rowling herself, despite it already being very good.

Congratulations dear writer, with beating Rowling in and with her own universe.
Dodos-r-not-extinct chapter 47 . 1/7/2011
Draco's voice came out in a scream. "Dumbledore burned her to death in her own bedroom!"


Oh, wait, alternate universe. Never mind.
mskkid chapter 47 . 1/7/2011
Damn it. Just when I think I'm out you suck me back in. Thank you. I'd more or less given up on fanfiction as a whole recently. And then I found this. I started reading at slightly after 11:30 pm. It is now roughly 7:35 Am. I hardly noticed the time pass by. I'm only stopping now because my eyes are refusing to focus it's been several years since anything has entranced me so much that I lose all perspective of anything else (and I spend large amounts of money on new books each week, not unlike your version of Harry). This is truly wonderful and you have a real gift for writing. I'm partially convinced that you're J.K.R in disguise testing out how the books could have been. You've got your versions of the characters set to a T, nothing ever feels out of place and it's wonderful. Most fanfictions written like this would have Harry reeking of the dreaded stink of Mary Sue by this point. Yours doesn't. He's a wild prodigy but nothing about it comes of as unbelievable(except for y'know the magic) or overpowered. That is no small feat and you are to be highly congratulated for achieving it. The keyboard is starting to blur at this point, so I'm simply going to give you my highest respect and encourage you to keep this up. Thank you.
Dreamer In Silico chapter 47 . 1/5/2011
Going to poke my head up for air now, again at 4 AM, and let you know that your story continues to rock my socks off.

All the business with the battles was absolutely brilliant, and the Dementor/Patronus segment was also excellent and very fitting.

And I must also tell you that the final segment in chapter 47, where Draco explains to Harry that he is the Heir of Slytherin, and Harry's first response is "SNAKES ARE SENTIENT?" just about made me choke on my Comed-Tea-I-mean-water. (For that to be the first thing Harry freaked out about regarding Draco's statement was absolutely priceless, and of course completely appropriate for your Harry.)
Bob chapter 47 . 1/1/2011
Okay, the "snakes are sentient" line just increased my respect for Harry by a factor of a million.

He's still a prick though.
E.A.V chapter 47 . 11/29/2010
I read and enjoyed. When I read "Snakes are sentient?" I had no idea where you were going with it. The next chapter was surprising and wonderful!
TheOneButcher chapter 47 . 11/25/2010
Give a woman a fire, and she will be warm for a day.

Cast greater fireball on her and she will be warm for the rest of her life.
Raemon777 chapter 47 . 11/24/2010
I'm just gonna go ahead and continue the discussion since I really can't think of a better way to do it. Regarding chapter 47, and whether it is out of character for Harry to believe the powerfully good things he says there:

Harry has ALWAYS defined himself by helping other people. Even when he's doing something selfish, (such as scaring Neville in the beginning) he has to come up with a rationalization that what he's doing is helping them.

There is a HUGE difference between thinking people are worthless, and thinking people are incompetent, or annoying. Draco Malfoy, at the beginning of the story, thinks that Muggleborns are inherently worthless as people and should not have rights. Harry Potter, at the beginning of the story, thinks that people of average intelligence/sanity are annoying and unhelpful. He doesn't think they have much of value to offer to HIM, but he still values them as human beings who have the right to live and be happy.

Harry's problem is that he thinks HE is better qualified to help people than most other people, and often gets carried away doing flashy, clever things demonstrating his superiority, losing track of how much good he's actually doing. And when he makes mistakes (primarily with Neville) he HAS learned from them. Times Harry has gone out of his way to help other people:

1. Rescuing the Hufflepuffs from the Slytherins.

2. Continuing to blackmail Snape even after he has won, because Snape is a threat to the whole school, not just him

3. Trying to get Draco to accept Hermione as a friend.

4. Getting Padma to stop hurting Hermione, and going out of his way to do so in a way that also helps Padma.

5. Rescuing the Lestrange kid, for no particular reward. Feeling genuinely bad when Lestrange curses him because he can't actually give him the help he needs. Which is the setup for...

6. Rescuing Bellatrix. The fact is this actually DOES make sense in this context. Harry already believes Azkaban is a terrible place, already feels an emotional connection with Bellatrix and her son. It's still stupid of Harry to have done it, but all of the character development has lead up to this specific moment.

In each of these cases, Harry's pride is somewhat involved, and he may have done a better job if it wasn't. But if it were just a matter of pride, there's plenty of other things he could be doing to demonstrate his superiority that aren't based around helping people.
HoosYourDaddy chapter 47 . 11/24/2010
"Every life is precious, everything that thinks and knows itself and doesn't want to die. Lily Potter's life was precious, and Narcissa Malfoy's life was precious, even though it's too late for them now, it was sad when they died. But there are other lives that are still alive to be fought for. Your life, and my life, and Hermione Granger's life, all the lives of Earth, and all the lives beyond, to be defended and protected, EXPECTO PATRONUM!"

Sigh. I hardly know where to begin. This passage is so simple and beautiful and noble that it could start a religion. I apologize, Less Wrong, for the less than subtle insults I hurled at your character. They were unfair, and henceforth I'll stick to purely literary criticism.

I'll stop repeating the same tired observation, and note only that the sentiment Harry expresses in this passage flatly contradicts what we've seen of his behavior up to this point. He simply doesnt behave toward other people as if he believes what he says here.

Harry seems to suffer from multiple personality disorder, and I dont mean in the sense that he's got a dark side or that he's got a piece of LV's soul in him. I mean that there is just no way such words could leave the mouth of the boy who arrived at Hogwarts holding everyone around him in quiet contempt because they werent as smart as he was.

Harry's observation about how precious another person's life is cannot be arrived at through science - no amount of pure logic or observation can produce such a conviction. It is an irreducibly moral belief about the world that cannot be falsified or verified by experimentation.

So my question is: how and when did Harry acquire this belief? When he arrived at Hogwarts he did not have it, but now he does.

Also, ending the chapter with the discovery of Harry's parselmouth ability was a stroke of comic brilliance. :)
Multipartite chapter 47 . 11/6/2010
I may attempt the excuse for incoherency or otherwise that, due to this fiction in one sitting, I have now not slept in more than twenty-four hours. (That, even without any specific praise, should hopefully give an indication of how enjoyable I found it.)

Why I write feedback for this chapter is something which kept coming to my attention: of the entire fiction, the cookies-related part was the single part which caused me genuine recurring emotional pain (upon each recollection). I can hypothesise specific reasons for this, but yours are certainly better than mine in my current sleep-requiring state. I may note that I would have preferred a less heart-skewering anecdote or that causing such pain in a reader is to be avoided. I am also aware that this reaction may be very unusual and that others may either react with less pain to that situation or with greater pain to other situations (or both). Whatever is the case, I hope this data is of use in bringing your mental model closer to perfection.

That said, thank you very much for writing this fiction! I avoided it for a long time due to general character-appropriation squeamishness (in regards to authenticity), but the glee-inducingness of non-humourous parts and the hilarity of humourous parts has amassed enough mental credit to render such concerns effectively irrelevant. (In this case, 'content over coinage'...) There is little that I can say on any one point without spiralling out into all of them.

*considers* This is almost certainly due to a facet of personal strangeness, but if anything (other than that mentioned earlier) provoked a markedly noteworthy response in comparison, it would be the section of the eleventh chapter dealing with literal accuracy and the seventh chapter. When imagining the situation (all crucial parts), it appears as a story that I'd very much like to read for its own sake (whether set in a non-Hogwarts universe or otherwise, as long as done well and with all significant aspects present and mostly-maintained). That being as it may, imagining the mind of the boy possessing full realisation of the circumstances, his mind turned upside-down to /that/ degree, may somehow have been the greatest height of joy reached by me. Again, this is quite probably a personal peculiarity only, and plausibly due to imagining how idyllic (?) I would have hypothetically found the situation were I eleven years old, with the same assets/{other context}, and in the same situation. All is probably of no note or significance, but since feedback was decided on anyway I felt I would regret leaving that part out.

Conclusion/Summation: Some data which I offer hoping that it will be of some interest, and extensive applause! to go sleep... or rather brush teeth, spend two hours talking to someone at an afore-schedule time, start on Genetics lecture notes review on DNA damage causes and repair methods, and then fall asleep before reading seventeen words. Thank you again, and good night!
AspergianStoryteller chapter 47 . 11/4/2010
Do good and evil exost in your fic? The end of this chapter made me lol. Draco's shock and "SNAKES ARE SENTIENT?" Poor Draco getting another shock so soon. And really, the same every where? Wouldn't Asian snakes speak a little differently to European and African ones?
Gryffindor for Chaos chapter 47 . 11/2/2010
Tayefeth, you have been deceived! Voldemort/Quirrel clearly *wishes* Harry Potter to believe it; he would have known that telling Harry to ask Draco about Dumbledore would lead him to discover the slander. Lucius Malfoy says that Dumbledore tortured and killed Narcissa; he may even believe it himself. But it is extremely likely that Voldemort is behind Narcissa's death, and that Dumbledore is innocent. As Harry keeps wisely noting, it just doesn't seem like Dumbledore's style. You have been tricked by Voldemort into distrusting Dumbledore!

It's not that the author doesn't like Dumbledore, who is portrayed as courageous, just, merciful (to a fault!), and powerful though flawed. It's that there are many enemies of Dumbledore who dislike him, and Harry is unwilling to jump to the conclusion that we would like him to.

The author has pulled off something of a coup - he's written a Voldemort so convincing, so manipulative, that even readers who *know* that Dumbledore is the good guy suspect him. Bravo.

(In the unlikely event that Dumbledore did kill Narcissa, it will turn out that there were compelling and necessary reasons for him to do so.)

Also, there's nothing good about denying death, but there's a good deal that makes sense about fighting it. I don't like it when people die; the fact we can't stop people from dying eventually doesn't mean that we shouldn't try to stop as many deaths as possible. Being rational about death means facing the truth: that death is common, currently inevitable, and very very bad. The universe is a horrible place where this very bad thing happens all the time because no one can stop it, and despite that we still have to fight. Because if we don't, who will?
Tayefeth chapter 47 . 11/2/2010
Sorry, but the Gary Stu-ishness is getting overwhelming. You don't like Dumbledore. We get the picture. Killing off Narcissa just to make Dumbledore look worse? How pointless is that? It doesn't make Dumbledore a more powerful adversary for Harry. It just makes someone more blatantly evil.

And what's with the whole denial of death idea? Denying death is fundamentally irrational. Living beings die. Stars die. The whole universe will die. Dying is a fact of existence. Railing against that fact doesn't make you smarter or more rational than anyone. (Go listen to Christopher Hitchens on the topic.)

I enjoyed the first 30 chapters (or so) a great deal, but you seem to have lost sight of the canon entirely. More than one point of departure is one thing, rewriting everyone's actions and motivations is another thing entirely.
Indigo Ziona chapter 47 . 10/29/2010
Awesome. Wondered when Harry's Parseltongue would be discovered.
GradStudent chapter 47 . 10/25/2010
I suppose that I'm going to have to let it slide that Lucius has Draco attend Hogwarts despite the fact that he believes Dumbledore to be Narcissa's murderer.
lukstafi chapter 47 . 10/23/2010
Not intoxicated with this fic anymore, but still your tenacious reader. Keep up the good work. Waiting for your other rationality book!
Nerdfish chapter 47 . 10/17/2010
I have a little problem with Harry ( a rationalist concluding life is precious from thought is precious )

This is same as concluding a hard drive is expensive from the observation data is expensive. If a hard drive carrying expensive data is scratched, the data is lost (in the same way as if a person dies thoughts / memories are lost). but it does not make the hard drive itself value any more then it does then a blank hard disk of the same sort.
Kutta chapter 47 . 10/14/2010
Great chapter
suddenmaelstrom chapter 47 . 10/11/2010
Sad and happy. Affected, and yet believing that real work deserves to be put off for "just a few more hours."

You're winding your way through my defenses, and I wish you lived next door.
Shaidar Haran chapter 47 . 10/9/2010
Epic story. In some ways it's comparable with "Shinji and Warhammer 40k"
LunaSlashSea chapter 47 . 10/8/2010
Excellent chapter
genx chapter 47 . 10/8/2010
I seem to remember that when I was a kid, in the 80s, the word "sapient" ("intelligent") was somewhat more in fashion than it is now, and not as subsumed by "sentient" (literally, "feeling"). Certainly, Harry would have read the then-extant Uplift novels by (celebrity endorser!) David Brin, where "sapient" is the preferred word.

I may be wrong about this linguistic memory; certainly, it's tougher to remember that kind of thing.

(On a tangential note, I've always wished that Brin had written the Star Wars fanfic that he obviously had some ideas for at one point, where Yoda is secretly the bad guy all along. It probably was never likely, since he's a professional author and would have had to do it for free; and now is even less so, since with episodes 1-3 it would now be seriously out of canon. But I have to say that EY/LW has talent to rival Brin; I hope that both of them take that as a compliment.)
ejhawman chapter 47 . 10/7/2010
Comfortably long, but little action. Frustrating to some people.

Harry teaches the Patronus charm to Draco. Further corruption of Darkness with Light. Pusuant, naturally, to his resolution at the end of the previous chapter to get the enemy's opinion of Dumbledore.

No surprise: their opinion is rather low. The tragedy of the Dumbledore family is surely well known in the magical world; we don't know yet if the version that Draco relates is just the Malfoys' taking the worst view of ambiguous evidence, or if it is the official story known to all and acknowledged by Albus out of a sense of guilt that the stray shot that killed her MIGHT have been his. Harry should know enough to read up on the Dumbledores' history, find out Aberforth is around, track him don, and get the canon story - or whatever history you've changed it to.

Narcissa dead! A bold change. Cartainly helps to paint Ablus as being over the Moral Event Horizon, if true. But again, the way it's told leaves room for other versions of events to be told.

Lord Foul of Otherwhen reference? I never read those books myself, I only remember seeing them on bookshelves, and now they are out of print. Would they be worthwhile?

Harry isn't the only one who asked the Hat to sort them to or away from a particular House. I also recall the point you added in an earlier chapter about Fiendfyre being required to destroy the Hat. Obviously it had to be tougher than it looked, or it would have been scraps of cloth centuries ago.

Killing Narcissa is not Dumbledore's style: quite true. But Harry realizes that people sometimes break with their prevailing style if necessary. Some people don't have strongly deterministic style habits. And Harry hasn't been in the wizarding world long; he might realize he doesn't really know anyone well enough to say he truly knows their style.

Draco forms an experiment. Coming along as a rationalist. He may not LIKE Harry, but he will be a deeper character, and not always opposed.

"SNAKES ARE SENTIENT?" Well, if all sentience requires is a reptile brain, we can assume all animals with higher-order brains are sentient too. This is a big reason why some people are vegetarians - perhaps HPEV is one thus far only for nutritional reasons, but he should be aware of the sentience issue.

Ah, I see this will be expanded upon in the next few chapters... off to digest them.
Thom Blake chapter 47 . 10/7/2010
After his care regarding Patronus 2.0 and the sorting hat, I hope he doesn't do something stupid like *bring up the subject of animal/plant sentience to everyone in Ravenclaw*.
Eugene Yunak chapter 47 . 10/6/2010
That was a brilliant chapter! i know you don't like it, but i'm sure many readers have found it very good. the story is getting better all the time, and the plots/possible plots are getting more complex, which is interesting and fun! i wish you well, and take your time to do it the way you do it now, don't follow our - reader's - hunger :) because it's the best thing i've read for ages, and many will agree upon that.

sorry for the language, greetings from Ukraine!
aeris chapter 47 . 10/6/2010
That last line was absolute gold!
Vampyromaniac chapter 47 . 10/6/2010
About MoR overall:

I very much hope that you have planned out all the threads and resolution of the story so that you already know how you are going to tie up all the loose ends you've dangled before us so tantalisingly, even if you have to retcon stuff. You've raised so many questions, more than I can keep track of, and I would love to see them answered in the end. Just as I fell in love with J K Rowling's creation - such a richly imagined universe, populated by a cross-generational epic of love, betrayal, human weaknesses and strengths, redemption and triumph - so too am I amazed by what you've crafted, using the Potterverse to examine the magical world and ours, all the while providing what we all come to FFN for but only sometimes find: that compelling, entertaining story, told with familiar characters doing more than their original writers could have dreamed.

More mundane comments:

I didn't find dog sentience to be a big revelation in Up any more than I found toy sentience to be a big revelation in Toy Story - I accepted these as natural features of the fictional universe, just like any other allegory or children's story where every species of animal and many varieties of inanimate object can talk. I did not interpret these as having implications for our own universe - I think that's a bit more meta than Disney/Pixar/The Animals of Farthing Wood etc. intended but of course all the talking animal movies/cartoons are supposed to rally sympathy for the characters and encourage kids to be nicer to animals/care for their conservation anyway. To me, talking animals in a world where animals are accepted by humans as feeling and perhaps even thinking, seems a world away from inducing self-awareness in a hat, in a world where no hats are known to have any consciousness at all.

For some reason it surprised me that you decided to kill off Narcissa Malfoy, even though it should have come as no surprise at all, as it is a much smaller departure from canon than say, the demotion of Sirius Black or the promotion of Prof Quirrell. And of course you have also incorporated many changes from canon that are considered widely (and personally by me) to be great improvements, e.g. demoting Ron, promoting Draco, giving SnapeLily more airtime. Since you have written about that unrequited romance, I wonder if you will also include Dumbledore's love of Grindelwald, which was not stated explicitly in the books, and only elucidated by J K Rowling after the series ended. It would be a very interesting story to flesh out.

I am one of the many who eagerly anticipate and devour every chapter, and are left wanting more at the end of every update, but don't leave a review after each installment due to having nothing more notable to say than 'awesome story, looking forward to the next part'. Also for some reason I feel like reviews are a bit like signed/authenticated forum posts and if my logged in communications to authors are capped by the number of chapters then I don't want to use them all up in case I ever want to have a conversation or add multiple comments about future updates.

For a few weeks now I haven't had the time to keep up with the author's notes or the reviews, but since you're mentioned readers identifying hints in previous chapters I'm tempted to trawl through the reviews just to find them.

I see you have no shortage of fan art these days. Has anyone made any other kinds of fan tributes, e.g. poems? Although I suppose words might be a strange tribute to a wordsmith.
wildchartermage chapter 47 . 10/5/2010
LOL! Wow..just amazing. I can't believe such fanfiction exist in the Harry Potter fan-fictiondom. It is like a breath of a fresh air reading this fanfiction amongst tons of other Harry Potter fanfictions, and does appeal to the scientist inside of me. :)

PS. Did you know that this fanfiction is a big buzz on the MIT campus and amongst MIT students? I learned about this fanfiction from my MIT friends (I'm a MIT student myself too).

Again, please continue on writing and updating!

(I especially loved the part "SNAKES ARE SENTIENT?")
Squeamish chapter 47 . 10/5/2010
Please update ASAP! I keep checking for a new chapter and when I get repeatedly disappointed, I let myself get sucked into rereading and reexamining the older chapters.

Or is this part of a cunning plot on our behalf?
Rodrigo Black Potter chapter 47 . 10/5/2010
hey, an update! this is great! awesome chapter, like everytime!

So, are just snake sentient, or are all being sentient? or maybe like the Sorting Hat they only gain that level of sentience when someone with parceltongue or magic is interactiong with them? If not I believe that harry will become vegetarian.

I would review all my favorite chapters. But I'm reviewing all chapters, or sequences sisnce pretty much the 5 chapter I think, soo... Anyway, you will absolutely pass any other fanfiction, cause this is the best. Simple as that!
jy3 chapter 47 . 10/5/2010
Wow... I keep thinking "This story cannot possibly get cooler." And each chapter disproves that. New hypothesis: Cool has no upper limit.
Rockopolis chapter 47 . 10/4/2010
It's been a while since I've read Harry Potter, but it's enjoyable nonetheless.

I wanted to mention, though, something in your Author's Notes;

"I know that Rowling says that Dementors represent depression, not Death. But if the Ravenclaw door asks you, 'What looks like a corpse, is unkillable by any known means, puts you into a permanent unhealable coma with a single kiss, and can only be temporarily fended off using happy thoughts formed into the shape of an animal?' and you answer "Depression", you ain't gettin' in there. I don't even consider this interpretation a departure from canon. Those things are Death."

I never thought about it one way or another before, but now that you mention it, it does sound like Depression would be an answer, and perhaps more of a Ravenclaw answer than a Gryffindor answer.

I mean, it drains your motivation, (your will to live and act), you don't really get better, you just hold it off for a time, and...well, I suppose if you're a furry, happy thoughts in the shape of an animal would hold it off temporarily? (Is JK Rowling a closet furry?)

I mean, the description of having a Dementor just hanging around sounds like depression; drained, never going to be happy again, etc.
theyhaveeels chapter 47 . 10/4/2010

stopping by to say that i still love the story

even though i actually liked narcissa and liked the possibilities of what narcissa could become and wish she wasnt burned to death like that



anyway, do continue.
Bex chapter 47 . 10/4/2010
Deeee-lightful...this is the sort of fic that makes it worth reading fanfic at all. Nothing well-rounded to say right now; will try to think of something alter.
Harry Figment chapter 47 . 10/3/2010
I actually thought this chapter went well. (It might have a major problem somewhere, but if so I won't find it at this time of night.) And I certainly noticed something going on in 45 before you said it. Maybe they took Harry's suggestion seriously?

I was actually thinking of "Three Worlds Collide" when I read this, but I still don't see the problem with Harry's statement. We just need to become all-powerful.
person chapter 47 . 10/3/2010
At last, a story that isn't full of holes! Ahhh so satisfying... and it's getting better - I like how your knowledge gems are fitting in with more subtlety now, feels a lot smoother to read.
A little less wrong chapter 47 . 10/3/2010
I have an acute case of MoR withdrawal. I promise to properly review a bunch of chapters if I can get my fix today.
A sigh in the breeze chapter 47 . 10/3/2010
Thanks for elucidating your vision of rationality in such a subversive format. When you turn the crank, the simulacra walk and talk, but it doesn't take long for one to realise they have been stripped down and rebuilt, with titanium joints, high efficiency hydraulics, and hacked voiceboxes. (Not to mention the occasional LED sign flashing a homage to the greats.) Hope you can keep up the momentum!

On the downside, waiting for your updates I've been forced to feed my addiction by reading all the stories you linked to (and more). Damn you for luring the unsuspecting into this fanfic quagmire!
Jasper chapter 47 . 10/3/2010
I love this fic. Reading it turned me on to the Less Wrong sequences. I've read a lot of those too, now!

To the author: You make rational decision theory cool. Just brilliant. :D

Anyway the rest of you reviewers should also read "Three Worlds Collide", by the same guy (not on ) if you're jonesing for more of his fiction.

Dreamweaver Mirar chapter 47 . 10/3/2010
Heh. On learning about parseltongue my reaction was quite similar.

Also, here's to beating the number of reviews that twilight fic has!
Guest chapter 47 . 10/3/2010
I never really thought about snakes being sentient, I completely understand Harry's reaction.
Annoying Little Twit chapter 47 . 10/3/2010
Oh wow, I really enjoyed this! One of the best Harry Potter 'Re-Do's I've ever read, and I really love it! Definitly adding this to my faves for future reads ;D

Adeptis chapter 47 . 10/3/2010
Good chapter
dinosaurusgede chapter 47 . 10/3/2010
Harry, harry, that is not the reaction we expected when somebody inform you that you are the heir of slytherin. (_)hahaha

Poor Draco,

Great job, Less Wrong!
vega chapter 47 . 10/2/2010
Thank you thank you THANK YOU for that last line.

And the rest of the fic, too, but ESPECIALLY that line.

I'd say more, but that would imply that I'm in any way articulate enough to... something something, blah blah blah I should be sleeping but thank you anyway.

Fullof-Fiends chapter 47 . 10/2/2010
Thank you for writing this extremely engaging story and distracting me from homework...

PDF file is a life saver :D
c'mon lesswrong chapter 47 . 10/2/2010
poooost. the next chapter. YOU KNOW YOU WANT TO.
chudeusz chapter 47 . 10/2/2010
omg, it's even better when you are not high while reading. Jesus, I think you might have just restored MY belief in humanism. who the hell are you?
m chapter 47 . 10/2/2010
'Humanism' made me weep. I read it over and over until I finally became desensitized from the awesome. Then with Ch47 you made me weep again.

m chapter 47 . 10/2/2010
Sigh... Review whore. Awright, here goes.

Back after the 'blackmail Dumbledore' scene I wondered why the Headmaster tunes people against the Slytherin, with Snape. Now, with Ch47 it becomes a lot clearer, Dumbledore hastens the already existing decline. I predict 'Operation Heal Slytherin' will pit Harry against Dumbledore. Moar drama. Also, good one, didn't see that coming, though should have.

With Rowling, motivations were much more opaque, until they became twists. Not so here. Even if I'm wrong, this sort of motivation speculation is more fun than looking for Chekhov's Guns. This is what I love about this fic the most. You know, aside from rationality in action, and pure awesomeness.

And Daphne. For some reason, she's my favourite. Hope she will do more than be snarker/rumour-dynamics-exposition.

You, my good sir, are awesome. Keep it up!
Th3oRy chapter 47 . 10/2/2010
Hey man,

Just had to give you some props on your fic. I love your characters, they have way more dimension than Rowling's and they make a heck of a lot more sense. I also love your ability to turn science and "rationality" into drama, instead of just taking the easy way out and using magic or romance. I think this has rarely been done well in any fiction, so kudos. Finally, I love Harry's monologues and perspective on death, and the future of humanity. This is a perspective I have long had, and Harry encapsulates the idea perfectly in his arguments.

Thanks, and keep up the good work!
Where the gras is greener chapter 47 . 10/2/2010
Again a very good chapter.

The characterizations go on and keep being reasonable, the style is nice to read and you accomplished to make me to expectantly await the next chapter regardless of cliffhangers. By now I'm curious to how the characters will act and react to the various changes.

Also, when did this supposed killing of Narcissa happen? Most peculiar...
SteveO chapter 47 . 10/1/2010
I love it so far, and am recommending it like crazy to friends, which is something considering that I am a college professor and my friends are 40-somethings...

Although I wouldn't remove the line "SNAKES ARE SENTIENT?" for anything, after his experience with the Sorting Hat, Harry should already guess (and in story figure out pretty quickly) that they hitch onto the processing power of the Parselmouth's brain and are not independently sentient.

Darker in many ways than the original, and yet much funnier. I check my RSS feed every day for the next chapter.
DiscountNinja chapter 47 . 10/1/2010
First of all, this story is AWESOME. I've seen plenty of attempts at trying to make Harry do some real science and they all pale in comparison to this.

Furthermore, you've altered enough things (i.e. Quirril, Narcissa, etc) to make it just different enough to be truly exciting, but also delightfully familiar in tone.

I'm eagerly awaiting the next installment - definitely hitting my favourites list. Thank you for writing!

Mastigo chapter 47 . 10/1/2010
I have an OMAKE request: A Harry that decided to be Super Happey
jack chapter 47 . 10/1/2010
when I've read about 'Up' in your author notes i thought

yes what could be more significant than finding new sentient beings

but i hadn't thought about it while watching movie and don't know someone who had

and, in fact, it is natural, since in all stories anything important should be sentient, and one can't be amazed every time he finds that Christmas tree, or cat is sentient, it's more unusual if they are not.
AlpineBob chapter 47 . 10/1/2010

I don't have any pithy observations, or critique. I've reread this chapter every day since it was released and enjoyed it every time...
srjsk chapter 47 . 9/30/2010
SNAKES CAN BLINK? ...Because as a rule, they can't. Maybe it can be explained away by taking the animal as just a (possibly faulty) image of the animal projected from the caster's mind..._ (Why anyone hasn't nitpicked about this already?)
Guest chapter 47 . 9/30/2010
No! Your interpretation in a fan fiction does not fit with my preconception view of a work of fiction. I am gonna be pissed off, and say that you should go back on saying whatever you were saying. Gotta keep people happy, not actually express your ideas as an author.
Mikko Rauhala chapter 47 . 9/30/2010
Time Shadow: While you make some points with your nitpicks, many nitpicks with the original portrayal of Dementors also still stand. The "Shadows of Death" interpretation is explicitly justified rather well enough, I'd say, including explicit explanations of how the happy thoughts and animal patronuses figure into defence against them - as a mental block, actualized in a nonsapient animal form. Rather than fending off Death itself, the point as I see it is more in fending off the Shadow of Death _in your own mind_, and thus the Dementor as well, through sympathetic magic. While you may obviously disagree with the portrayal, your confusion indicates that you might want to give the explanatory sequences a bit of a more thorough read.

As for Dementors supposedly not being able to kill; sorry, not being able to snuff out all cellular life from a body doesn't mean they can't kill a _person_ (in canon, a "soul"). This is not an idle distinction, either way. Even legal death commonly hinges on the permanent cessation of mental processes, not on whether the body could be kept biologically alive or not. In fact, I find it rather poetic that a Shadow of Death can leave a body with the merest Shadow of Life.

(For population control, one would have to assume that the Dementors are not in fact immortal, but rather merely indestructible - that these shadows can and do fade away with time, even as new ones are born.)
Howard Russell chapter 47 . 9/30/2010
Best end-line ever! Oh, that was so flippin' perfect! I've got tears, I'm laughing so hard.

This is a powerful tale with great laughs too. A wonderful combination.
Katio chapter 47 . 9/29/2010
I love that harry's a parselmouth. I like the genearl battles you write. neville is awesome. update soon!
Ghoul King chapter 47 . 9/29/2010

Dementors are not death. They do not kill. They cannot kill. And they would be far more unhappy than you if you were to die on them, since they can't eat your happiness if you're dead. (Whereas you are free from the torment of their existence) And I'm having some difficulty imagining what happy thoughts in the form of an animal have to do with death. People don't fend off death with happy thoughts, animal form or no.

Meanwhile, Dementors suck out all your happiness, eliminate your ability to feel anything remotely positive, and throw in an excruciating, overwhelming terror that you will always feel this way, all while forcing you to dwell on your darkest, most unhappy thoughts whether you want to or not.

You know, like people who actually have depression experience life.

What do you use to fend off Dementors? Happy thoughts. What do you use to fend off depression? (Not necessarily cure, just make more bearable) Happy thoughts. What helps people recover from a Dementor attack? Chocolate. What helps people feel better when depressed? A lot of things, but chocolate is one of them.

What helps people recover from death? Oh right, nothing. Well, surely happy thoughts help fend off- oh. No. Not in the slightest.

Depression drives people to suicide. Dementors drive people to suicide. People who are dead do not, as a general rule of thumb, commit suicide. (There's some kind of logistical problem there, or at least a level of redundancy)

Dementors wield no weapons, no deadly magic (Sucking out your soul leaves you ALIVE. A vegetable, yes, but alive), no tooth or claw or strength to rip off your head nor even a clever mind to trick you into dying. Death is completely beyond a Dementor's ability to inflict. Everything in the entire series OTHER than Dementors has more ability to kill than they do, including inanimate objects of all sorts. If you die at a Dementor's hands, it's because you fled off a cliff or something, not because of anything they deliberately did.

Furthermore, to kill is contrary to their very nature. They are like a parasite, not a parasitoid or a predator; the death of their prey is not only not their goal, but would actively undermine the entire point. Dead people don't have thoughts at all, let alone happy thoughts in specific, and without happy thoughts there's no point at all to your existence as far as a Dementor is concerned. (Well, other than the whole 'soul' thing)

It is not merely incorrect to say Dementors represent death, it is basically as wrong as you can get. I would sooner agree if you claimed they represent love.

Oh, and on top of everything Rowling based them off her experiences from being clinically depressed, but that's only relevant inasmuch as it explains why they are an accurate representation of depression and not merely an author's ludicrous attempt to fake something they don't understand.

I do like the story, I really do, but this bugs me for the sheer magnitude of incorrectness and, especially, illogic.

And could you maybe point me to where we're actually told they can't be killed? Because other sources agree, but I don't recall any such thing being said in the books and I have some difficulty imagining soul-sucking fungus-monsters NOT taking over the world and using humans as cattle centuries ago if they can experience insane population growth and yet not be put down by anything.
ixwin chapter 47 . 9/29/2010
My guess is that Voldemort turned Narcissa into a Horcrux, and that's why Dumbledore used fiendfyre on her. Or at least, that's one theory that fits the facts which I haven't seen advanced here yet.

Thanks for the story - I think the reviewer who commented a while back that it bears a similar relationship to canon that 'Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead' does to Hamlet had it right. It's a smart, witty, and a nicely skewed version of the Potterverse.
Pathatlon chapter 47 . 9/29/2010
I think I've reached the point where I'll end up being unoriginal and start giving the same compliments as I've already given before... So... I'll just say:

Mariana chapter 47 . 9/29/2010
So I've reread ch. 45 a couple of times, and I still can't imagine what hint you mean. Granted, a lot of things sound like possible hints, but keep in mind that you have at least fifty IQ points on me, so it's guaranteed that some things are going to fly right over my head. Was the hint hint the bit where the dementor told Quirrell it knew him? That sounded pretty hint-ish.
Adam Shea chapter 47 . 9/29/2010
Though it's not in this chapter I'm just wondering if it would be possible for Harry to Transfigure something into an electron scale black hole. Given the ability to enchant shielding and levitation spells, he could make up a Hawking radiation reactor in pretty short order.
Whitewings chapter 47 . 9/29/2010
And Harry has yet another "You turned into a CAT!" moment. At this rate, someone is going to have to share with him a bit of wisdom I found in an issue of Alpha Flight: "Steel your heart ad soul, but keep your mind open. A closed mind is no defence against the impossible." Harry's mind keeps getting blasted open now that he's in the wizarding world.
SirKaid chapter 47 . 9/29/2010
I love the way you describe the Patronus. Even in canon, the Patronus is looked at as nothing more than a particularly difficult emotion-based charm, but here it's nothing short of a thing of wonder, of beauty, of magic. Reading Harry talk about it brings a tear to my eye.
BloodyNeutral chapter 47 . 9/29/2010
.. Wow. Very impressive story. Looking forward to reading more..
Snow-owl01 chapter 47 . 9/28/2010
Hi! I love your story. I laughed so hard at almost every other line. You must be a very smart person in real life. But, seriously, if I knew someone like Harry in real life, I think I'll kidnap him and leave him in Alaska.
threecankeepasecret chapter 47 . 9/28/2010
That last bit was absolutely hysterical. I love this story, update soon!
Spidey-phd chapter 47 . 9/28/2010
Bha ha ha! I love this story! Especially the references to Ender. I'm curious, though, as of yet Harry has had very little interaction with magical creatures. Any strange beasties looming in the near future?
Tall Tails - Feline Jaye chapter 47 . 9/28/2010
That last line before the Aftermath? I COULD NOT stop laughing at that for about a minute. Brilliant chapter! Those elipsees are really effective.
Arielrondil chapter 47 . 9/28/2010
Harry's diet choices are going to be severely restricted when he learns Speak With Plants... "Is there anything around here that isn't sentient?"

Loving the story, especially the last few chapters. All we need now is a really long hiatus between chapters so we can all scour the last 250000 words for clues...
NicNacs chapter 47 . 9/28/2010
Squeee! Love that last line. g
Sealort chapter 47 . 9/28/2010
It may be the case that Quirrell has no happy memories from which to draw to make his Patronus, but he may be lying to conceal his idenity. If each Patronus is unique and can't be altered then by casting a Patronus Quirrell may reveal his secret identity as Voldemort.
Eric Schwenke chapter 47 . 9/28/2010
Your explanation of what went wrong with Slytherin House is just one of the elements from MoR that I'm accepting as fanon.
cheirus chapter 47 . 9/28/2010
Awesome story. I had a hard time getting past the first few chapters because Harry is an arrogant little snot who thinks he knows it all, but over time, I've come to see the amusing side of the story.

"3: Ponicalica: "Could Ryougi Shiki kill a Dementor?" ...that is just so much more interesting than Star Destroyer vs. USS Enterprise, I can't even begin to describe it."

I also find this horribly interesting. I am a huge Kara no Kyoukai fan. And the answer is that Ryougi Shiki can destroy the DISTANCE between herself and an opponent with the swipe of a knife. If dementors and Shiki lived in the same universe, and dementors were the shadow of death, then Shiki's eyes would BE death.

Then again, Kara no Kyoukai is very Buddhist in its philosophy where Shiki is connected to the Origin of all things, which is simultaneously the source of both life and death. I'm not sure this world view is entire compatible with the JK Rowling universe of souls, and coming back from beyond the grave. Then again, maybe it is, but having the Ressurection Stone tap directly into Origin itself sounds a little wonky to me.

Anyways, about your story. I enjoy the character interactions. They are the most enjoyable parts of the fic. The pseudophilosophizing does get a little annoying since Harry has all this time to preach and show people how smart he is, and it can get a little heavy handed at times. But I suppose being loud and obnoxious goes hand in hand with being 11 years old.

Anyways, I hope you enjoy writing this fic enough that you will continue to do so. It is already impressively long, and I'm not sure you'll be able to finish it, but please continue onwar
Mikko Rauhala chapter 47 . 9/28/2010
Slapped together a bit of a composite on the earlier Pioneer theme. I don't mind if it doesn't pass the fan art threshold, being as it is, but thought I'd share; .fi/humor/pioneer_
Platinum Sol chapter 47 . 9/28/2010
Once again a great chapter. I loved the ending of this chapter a lot, so I thought I'd coent to tell you so. :)
Aris Katsaris chapter 47 . 9/28/2010
That Parselmouths seem capable to also make snakes obey them highly increases the probability that snakes aren't truly sentient - that their seeming intelligence when conversing with the Parselmouth is just a sideeffect of his mind controlling them. Certainly when Harry dismisses the sentience of *ghosts* just because they can't make new inventions or because some of their other cognitive functions are impaired (e.g. their learning capacity)... he shouldn't be to quick to judge snakes as sentient just because you can converse with them.

I also note - a thing which Harry may have missed - that Draco seems to have heard about his mother's manner of death from McNair rather than Lucius. So it's not about Harry trusting Draco trusting Lucius trusting Dumbledore - it's about Harry trusting Draco trusting McNair trusting Lucius trusting Dumbledore. Too long a line. :-)
The pills go in your mouth chapter 47 . 9/28/2010
I always wondered if all animals in HP land were meant to be sentient or if it were just snakes.

My theory is that snakes are not truly sentient and are in fact a reflection, if you will, of the Parselmouth, their "voice" is created by the Parselmouth.

Although I must say, Harry's exclamation at the end had me laughing aloud. I also love the references to "Three Worlds Collide"
Whoaaa chapter 47 . 9/27/2010
That. Was the greatest ending to a chapter. Holy Shit. I think i just wet my pants. Honestly though, that was fairly awesome. Can't wait for the next one! Heir of Slytherin beware!
ilikebluepineapples chapter 47 . 9/27/2010
Why is it that when you say you might post something the next day, you usually don't? It used to be the opposite. Le sigh. Still holding for the mid-week chapterette!
Final-Fan chapter 47 . 9/27/2010
Oh right, the snakes.

It's really incredible how little I appreciated the significance of that until you pointed it out. After you did, I was thinking it could be a little like the incident with the Sorting Hat, e.g. the parselmouth has some quality that automatically makes snakes around it more intelligent, the better to converse with the parselmouth. But I don't think that quite works.

I'm sure you're miles ahead of me on this, but humor me. Consider the snake at the zoo in Book 1. First off, it seems to be the case that Harry is speaking English and the snake is understanding it. We could, however, suppose that since this is from Harry's perspective he could be speaking parseltongue and unaware of it (I don't think Dudley showed up while he was talking). In any case, the snake doesn't talk back but makes gestures that show understanding and intent to communicate. Specifically it responds to Harry's question about its history by pointing to the sign facing away from itself explaining that it was bred in captivity, demonstrating PRIOR KNOWLEDGE of the written language (well, fine, spoken language if it's smart enough and can hear through the glass). So the snake is showing a HISTORY of intelligence, unless we are to say that snakes just have perfect memories and Harry made it SUPERintelligent so that it could retro-translate the information it had previously encountered but did not understand at the time in such a timely fashion. Either possibility has ... consequences.

Anyway, I hope that you found that at least slightly interesting; though sadly, probably not, as if I could come up with it so easily I doubt you went unaware of it.
LadyThanatos chapter 47 . 9/27/2010
Someone (coughmecough) has begun an entry on the Wild Mass Guessing page about the hint in Ch. 45. Just thought I'd let you know :)
uo-chou chapter 47 . 9/27/2010
HAHAHA AWESOME! I knew that would be Harry's response to being a Parselmouth. Not the act itself, but that snakes must be intelligent enough to communicate. Seriously though, I hope you address the contradiction there. Please, please keep up the excellent work!
ejacyna chapter 47 . 9/27/2010
That was a beautiful chapter, filled with the things I love most about this fic, interesting monologues from Harry, pure laughs, and epic use of ellipses. Good to see some more intrigue getting thrown in, all I can say is _keep up the good work_ :D

(And also, maybe not so long between updates ;)
Kristin chapter 47 . 9/27/2010
Wow. I really enjoyed this chapter a lot. I'm sorry it you didn't enjoy writing it. I've been having a really difficult month and reading this made me feel better, so thank you.

I particularly liked Draco casting the Patronus. It was touching and sweet and very well done. Actually, overall the Patronus scenes have been awesome. I've been occasionally using the image of Harry's human Patronus to regain focus and calm and strength. That was amazing.

And the last line made me laugh.

So thank you again.
Me chapter 47 . 9/27/2010
I have a theory.

Professor Quirrel is a Dementor, or something similar. He has an Aura of Doom about him, literally, espesially in the part when it's Christmas and I forgot which chapter, but it says stuff about cheerful sounds sounding deeper and scarier, and leaves withering brown, and stuff.
Dragon Man 180 chapter 47 . 9/27/2010
Oh man, I can't wait to see Harry figure out just what happened to Narcissa, because if Harry and Draco work together they'll make the bastard pay! I love Harry's last line about snakes being sentient, very nice. Especially the idea of a babbling Draco upon seeing Harry is the Heir of Slytherin.
OneWhoFrogs chapter 47 . 9/27/2010
Here's my contribution to the review count!

Dumbledore's mother had died mysteriously, shortly before his younger sister died in what the Aurors had

ruled to be murder. Supposedly that sister had been brutalized by Muggles and never spoken again after that;

which, Draco had observed, sounded remarkably like a botched Obliviation.

After Harry's first few interruptions, Draco had seemed to pick up on the general principle, and was now presenting the observations first and the inferences afterward.

I was initially confused by the preceding passage. Here "observe" is used to mean two different things. The first use is describing Draco giving a subjective conjecture. The second is meant to mean "facts". This ambiguity removed me from the story for a few seconds while I tried to figure out what you meant here, so I'd suggest clearing it up.

Now to my theory. One way to reconcile sentient snakes with scientific research is to say that wizards impart temporary sentience upon them. By considering them sentient, they become sentient (much in the same way that the sorting hat became conscious through Harry.) I'm curious as to whether a lesson on p-zombies could apply here.

I'm very excited about the next chapter; you're writing a wonderful story here. (If I'm able to convince my 10th grade friends to read something remotely intellectual, then that is enough of a testimony in itself.)
TehKeg chapter 47 . 9/27/2010
Wonderful story. I've been worried about posting guesses about hints (feels like potential spoilers) but since several others are doing it (and the author encourages it) I'll join in. Hmmm, why would Dumbledore kill Narcissa with Fiendfyre... When would Dumbledore use Fiendfyre... I should point out that conditions 2-5 won't apply if I'm right about this.

I thought the blatant hint from 45 was about Death hunting Quirell down "someday, wherever [he] tried to hide" but isn't that mystery already obvious by now even without reading the original Rowling? The only other hint I noticed wasn't a hint until 47 and produced the previous paragraph. Thanks for the story and I hope it stays (or returns to being) fun to write.
Morbious20 chapter 47 . 9/27/2010
Awesome chapter loved how you let how the parseltongue bit at the end. keep up the great work an dpost again soon.
mantimeforgot chapter 47 . 9/27/2010
This Harry has a valid reason to be off-kilter from learning snakes are sentient. Even to this day mainstream neuroscience does not recognize anything other than Neuron activity - Consciousness as being even possible.

Minerva can turn into a cat and still be able to think "properly." Snakes are sentient (they will almost certainly not share human goals; probably see things entirely within the purview of predator and prey relationship... hence humans might be one of the few things snake will treat as "equals." Not prey; not predator. And a human is not too large to "comprehend." Like an elephant might be "moving mountain"). In addition to this Elizer has a scene where Harry and his Brain are having a discussion about teleportation. His brain tells him this did not happen in the ancestral environment, and yet Harry is not at all nonplussed about it.

What this amounts to, by my estimation, is a critique of the materialistic hypothesis. We are operating from a position of supreme ignorance. Watch the charlie rose brain series and you will note that neuroscience doesn't even know what level of brain activity to look at to identify what things do what in exactitude. You have hemispheres, lobes, areas, series, and it only gets more diverse from there.

But what if quantum rules or so-called "junk DNA" influenced the formation of consciousness? In point of fact given the fact that snakes are sentient in this world I do not think the materialistic hypothesis survives at all. Consciousness cannot be an "emergent property" of neurons at this point. There would have to be a more or less direct proportion of brain size/complexity to sentience relationship. Here that is severely undermined. Which leaves the possibility that consciousness is something brains "tap into;" kind of like a radio antenna. You note a lack of functionality when an area of the brain is damaged because the receiver is damaged (just like we do not assume that radio information is found in dials or antennae for your car stereo).

Overall, this was one of the better chapters (goes into my top 5). And I think, Mr. Yudkowsky, you will find that one of the reasons why the chapters you hate writing end up so well-received is that you are spending much more time envisioning the simulation (revising the script, making subtle alterations to implications, etc) and thus when the finished product is finally read we, the readers, all tend to find the product to be more "polished."

I think the Draco depiction in this chapter was one of the more compelling, though I wonder if Draco's sense of entitlement and viciousness (I would rape Luna if I could get away with it) has been dealt with any appreciable manner...
Mikko Rauhala chapter 47 . 9/27/2010
Another fine chapter, so pretense wisdom it was.

Like how Draco is stunned by mere racism (and the parallel generally), the building efforts to redeem House Slytherin, "OH THAT IS SUCH A LIE".

Using Harry's Patronus as a fallback lie detector was nice (I presume, at least in part, Draco wanted that done so Harry would use a sincere happy thought incorporating his views on Narcissa and the problems exhibited in Slytherin). Of course, you could suspect our first-year-Occlumens Harry of managing to concentrate on a _totally separate_ happy thought while his mouth moves, but one takes what verification one can get. And at least Draco positively verified Harry _casting_ an über-Patronus, which should say a lot too.

The pregnant pauses at the end are swell, ("said the Heir of Slytherin" :), but kinda weird to put an "Aftermath" in there without much change in time, venue or circumstance. Would have been better, IMO, to just add an actual short, stuttering explanation by Draco, and then go for the kill.

SensiblyTainted chapter 47 . 9/27/2010
I remember all the trauma Harry felt of making the Sorting Hat sentient, and then his fear of questioning the sentience of the paintings. I think discovering snakes have self consciousness is so damn funny, but for Harry that would be very disconcerting. I bet he's going to be snake obsessive for a while! I can't wait to observe his first "experiment" with snake consciousness through your eyes!
sensoray chapter 47 . 9/27/2010
!. . . !. . . . . . .yet
exarnecross chapter 47 . 9/27/2010
Lol. Only this harry would be so off kilter from thinking snakes are sentient. Great chapter and cant wait for another. Was wondering if harry needs all that windup every time he casts his patronus.
Zargon chapter 47 . 9/27/2010
I still suspect "fun to write" translates reasonably well into "fun to read". The thing is that "fun to read" stories are a dime a dozen. If "fun" was all MoR had to offer, then it wouldn't even be a shadow of what it currently is. I read MoR not because it makes me smile (though it often does), but because it makes me think. Chapter 47 was fairly dense, which probably made it rather hard to write coherently, but it made me think, and that's what I'm here for.
ByLanternLight chapter 47 . 9/27/2010
This is your greatest chapter. Period.
Tyche Nemesis chapter 47 . 9/27/2010
I am...this is Brilliant.

I LOVE your Harry. He's fantastic. You give him great characterisation, and while he is much stronger he is also facing much bigger problems. It's fantastic.

In short, I adore your writing. I adore your characterisation.

I adore...this fic. It's amazing.


DeMarquis chapter 47 . 9/27/2010
I owe Eliezar an apology- my previous two reviews were in TV Tropes, not here. I actually didn't know anyone was counting. This review is going into both TV Tropes and the fanfic site.

Plotwise- a very strong chapter, as the main plot has been advanced by a considerable degree. We have Harry trying to separate Draco from the Death Eaters, and Draco trying to separate Harry from Dumbledore. I predict that they will both succeed.

Thematically the story seems to have settled on a death motif. The author is handling this well, with some sophistication, and not using it as a source of melodrama, but of actual thought provoking questions.

Harry's vision for humanity, as he casts his patronus, is quite stirring, and plausible, and more satisfying than the previous one, which was focused on achieving physical immortality and spaceflight. The precious nature of all life, and the poison that is race hatred, is well put. Minor quibble, however, in that Harry seems to have changed the nature of his patronus charm. Maybe he improved it. Another minor quibble: although rationalism can plausibly be said to be incompatible with hating people, it doesn't necessarily lend itself to loving them either, nor does it exclude exploiting them for self-interested reasons. It can actually make one better at that, in fact...

I am looking forward to Harry vs. Dumbledore, even if it turns out Dumbledore is innocent. The most natural course for the plot to take at this point is for Dumbledore to be guilty, and in proving it, Harry wins the loyalty of House Malfoy, making his own long range plan much more likely to win. We'll see.

LauralHill chapter 47 . 9/27/2010
I liked someone (forget the name now, sorry) else's notion, that Narcissa was killed by Fiendfyre, the cursed fire that destroys Horcruxes but is pretty hard to control. That way the person who did it could still be not necessarily at fault.
AOEUIDH chapter 47 . 9/27/2010
This new chapter was worth the wait; thanks for writing it. More than any chapter so far, I empathized with the characters. I really *felt* Draco's exasperation and desperation as he had his expectations violated over and over again. I'm looking forward to the next chapter, because this is getting better.

Tip to other readers: When you encounter an ellipsis (three periods: ...), either within a sentence or when it comprises an entire paragraph, deliberately pause for a few seconds. When there are four ellipsis-paragraphs in a row, look at each and deliberate pause for a few seconds each. This makes the dialog flow more naturally; it seems like the author uses them to indicate actual pauses, with duration, most of the time, rather than interruptions or changes in tone.
Sabrinasidd chapter 47 . 9/27/2010
Your chapters keep getting more amazing and mind-blowing with every new posting. First of all, I LOVED how this latest chapter was completely from Draco's point of view. It's amazing getting a glimpse into Draco's thought process as well as seeing Harry from Draco's suspicious, critical and slightly awed perspective.

I loved the parallels Harry has drawn up between the common BEHAVIOUR of bigots who secretly suspect that all their arbitrary hatred might have an irrational basis behind it. I would have loved to have known exactly how Harry 'accurately and cuttingly' portrayed Parkinsons and the Montagues that it left Draco nearly breathless at Harry's clairvoyance.

I was completely bowled over by the stunning and yet so OBVIOUS realization that House Slytherin is deteriorating because it's become too strongly associated with irrational prejudice and hatred rather than ambition and cunning. The truly clever and cunning people now go to Ravenclaw (or to other houses), not because they regard Slytherin as 'evil, but because they regard House Slytherin as a pit filled with really STUPID, snapping, self-destructive vipers.

Draco's revelation about his mother was just... wow! I find myself breathless to find out about the true answer to that mystery!
MaximilianShade chapter 47 . 9/27/2010
Huzzah, an update! I didn't reveiew the Humanism chapters, but they were excellent excellent stuff. Indeed, a very well done dementor destruction. I had to laugh at the intensely strong Star Wars 'Sith Master and Apprentice' feeling I got from Quirrel's comment about Harry being exceptional at killing things. In this chapter, it seems like you're drifting further from established canon (please don't take that to infer that this is inherantly bad) with the alterations to Narcissa's story. Also I personally don't recall anything to the effect of dumbledore's parents and such which comes across as invented. While past discrepancies of that sort haven't felt large, this feels particularly significant, though you're intending to base a large portion of subsequent plot, potentially even the overall outcome, on the alteration. Hmm. Anyway, to close out, please continue writing! :)
Shrlck chapter 47 . 9/27/2010
A great chapter, i would make a lot of fan art of the "Snakes are sentient!" line if i could draw just a little bir.
Kaleidoscope chapter 47 . 9/27/2010
Quite honestly, that always bothered me about the books. Snakes can't have that much to say, can they? then again, I always assumed that the dogs from "Up" just had really creative translators...enough to give the impression of sentience to normal dog behavior. The airplane flying, of course, is the result of careful training. : ) What else are they going to do on that island, after all?
Final-Fan chapter 47 . 9/27/2010
But he didn't FOOL the Sorting Hat, he BLACKMAILED it! Or something.

And I intensely enjoy the scenes done with Hermione's internal dialog. I know there weren't any this chapter, but I didn't say it before, and it's SO TRUE.
Gogolu chapter 47 . 9/27/2010
Quizer chapter 47 . 9/27/2010
I've read your comment in the author's notes that you don't like this chapter. I think it's a great and essential chapter, however, and I enjoyed reading it. With Harry and Draco's dialogue, each trying to figure out the other person and determine what is a plot and what is honest and true, this fundamental dilemma of people trying to understand each other, but never being able to truly look inside their head and just know - this is what Methods of Rationality is all about. At least I think so.

I primarily read fanfiction as (often somewhat mindless) entertainment, as escapism. Your story provides that, but eve more than that, it forces me to think. Without just manipulating my emotions, dropping me into a melancholy mindset like the bittersweet ending of a story sometimes does. There's lots of stuff happening between the lines of the story. The exchanges of dialogue between characters are concise and crafted with obvious skill, but it's far from being so banal that one can follow along without effort. I've done a bit of writing myself, and having agonized over word choices and lines of dialogue, I can appreciate what a huge bitch it must have been to get this chapter just right. I think you've succeeded in full. The consummate care with which this story is put together is so pervasive that it makes this work stand out even among the gems of fanfiction.

This chapter may not be as epically awesome as 'Humanity' (which I'll have to go back later to review in its own right, because it IS that awesome and deserves it), but these exchanges of dialogue make this story what is. I hope the encouragement of your readers will give you the strength to persevere through them, because there will undoubtedly be more chapters like this one.

Suggestion chapter 47 . 9/27/2010
Cute ending. The chapter was nice enough... but I have a slight problem with this fic overall. You make a big deal of your 'law of fanfic' - you know, equal challenge for strength. Yet you take Harry's skills as average, add on a heaping load from his rationality (if he thinks that way, you've got to put in some disadvantages intellectually too), and then don't advance the plot much with the big enemy. So, although you're *technically* going by the rule, *effectively* you're not. Give us some more core plot! At the moment the core plot seems like making people more rational and you haven't made that challenge proportionally harder - so unless you're going to, it's time for a bit of advancement with Quirell.
George W Bush chapter 47 . 9/27/2010
Most likely Dumbledore lied to keep what really happened hidden. It's in cannon that he would take on a burden like that.
BluePard chapter 47 . 9/26/2010
I laughed throughout this chapter. I also feel like Harry is being mature because he doesn't get it? It's a bit hard to describe, but he's been very ... well, rational. I suppose that shouldn't surprise me after all this, but it is his mom we're talking about.
Wanderer D chapter 47 . 9/26/2010
Best HP fic ever.

Anyway, would that particular thought about snakes basically destroy Harry's theory about patronus being animals because they were not sentient?
thetempest chapter 47 . 9/26/2010
With regards to narcissa's death:

i feel like voldemort polyjuiced himself or somehow disguised himself/tricked macnair/lucius into believing that it was dumbles that killed narcissa in such a manner.

like harry thought, burning to death seems pretty out of character for dumbledore; he's more of the "capture and reform" etc etc if we go by the canon dumbledore. Maybe voldemort was trying to cement lucius' hate towards dumbles (or support for voldie)

or perhaps there is another third party interested in escalating the war between voldemort/dumbledore; picking up the pieces after both are spent.

chap 45 'obvious' hint:

i don't think i am very observant, but i shall try nonetheless, since you put it out there...

1) The headmaster doesn't think the dementors are undying, thus know of a way to kill them

2) if the dementor is a riddle, then Riddle might also be a dementor somehow... or likened to a dementor. Undying, a wound of the world. and if Quirrell is also Voldemort, then he is also undying. Thus the dementor's 'message' to him. But it seems like Quirrell/voldemort is more at peace with himself, whether it be the security in knowing his horcuxes are safe, or that he's been enlightened ... or something

3) since he has realized that dementors are death, and how much the wizarding folk are scared of them, is this then, his answer about the afterlife? Or maybe dead people come back as dementors and there's billions of them hidden away somewhere!ahh! alright, i'm all out of ideas :/ that last one was just a desperate attempt

on a side note: if the dementors are only the things under the cloaks, where do they get their cloaks from? lol

on a different side note: i always thought fear was the basis of our survival instinct. And animals have plenty survival instinct. with the whole "don't worry, it's probably more scared of you than you are of them" when trying to calm someone down about the mouse that just darted away from under the fridge etc.

oh yeah, great story by the way. my day brightens every time i find that you've updated. And even when i've had a bad day that 15-20 min of reading blocks out all of that, and all i can think of is your story and its awesomeness

I also read your Three Worlds Collide story after you mentioned it in your review, i liked that one too :)

tempest out.
DW chapter 47 . 9/26/2010
Whoops, that last review was supposed to be attached to chapter 47 - Anyway, love the 'snakes are sentient' line - hope Harry elaborates on that!

Didn't you say earlier that the Marauders Map can see all sentients? If snakes are classfied as sentient, wouldn't it show one that got into the castle or does it need a name to be seen?
sadinar chapter 47 . 9/26/2010
Another stunning chapter, yet again!

I'm curious, though, did Harry mean to say sapience instead of sentient in the last line? Because the implication that snakes can carry on a conversation not only implies sentience but also sapience. Because while I'm not sure about snakes there are plenty of mammals that are sentient.
m-f42 chapter 47 . 9/26/2010

Thank science someone has finally said it!
twistyguru chapter 47 . 9/26/2010
lol! great ending to a great chapter!

This continues to be one of my favorite fics. It's so refreshing to see characters that actually think rather than just feel their way to the ending.
Nongarak chapter 47 . 9/26/2010
Ahaha, oh wow, what a way to end the chapter. And what a chapter it was. Good job on being awesome. This story just keeps getting better and better.
Kari chapter 47 . 9/26/2010
You think in beautiful, shining patterns. My admiration for you, and gratitude for your work, amounts to nothing short of love. Thank you. You make this world brighter. Amazing that something as simple as fanfiction could do that.
bluewillow chapter 47 . 9/26/2010
So, now that he knows that he's a parselmouth, I wonder if he'll investigate Slytherin's message from the Sorting Hat?

Also, I was thinking about Mr. Hat & Cloak (and I apologize if all of this is just really obvious and I'm just now getting it), that it was Quirrell, and that he staged the whole 'Zabini talking to Quirrell' moment as something for Harry to watch, to prejudice him against Dumbledore. Mostly, because that seemed subtle enough to be the kind of thing that Quirrell would do - and that after the meeting that Harry witness, the text mentions that Quirrell hurried after Zabini (but Quirrell certainly wasn't going to meet up with Dumbledore)... plots within plots.

The thing that I *really* wonder about is Quirrell-Mort's ultimate goal. I mean, if Voldemort is depicted as not quite that clever (i.e., the Dark Mark) - and ruled by ambition and generally evil - and yet, Quirrell conveys the sense that he has no use for the Wizarding world in general, finds society hateful, and would be much happier spending time by himself on a distant planet. To what end is he cultivating Harry? To nurture his sense of uniqueness and 'otherness' so that he feels less attachments to the Light things of the world, less love for his friends and family? Does he think they'll have to band together? If he wanted to kill Harry, he could have done it any number of times in plausibly deniable ways.

In the JKR canon, Dumbledore doesn't let Riddle teach at Hogwarts because he doesn't want to give him the opportunity to shape young minds, platform for his views, etc. Is *that* what Quirrell is doing here, as Voldemort? And if so, how terrible is it that the students should learn to defend themselves and be competent and challenged by a good teacher? Is he assuming that learning these things will expose them enough to the Dark for it gain a foothold?

Your story has prompted a lot of interesting thoughts :)

DrgnDrake chapter 47 . 9/26/2010
I just came upon this a few days ago and it was SO hard to stop at any point. Now that I'm caught up I'm sad that there's not more, so I'm looking forward to seeing that update in my mailbox _
Donteatacowman chapter 47 . 9/26/2010
Hahaha, I love the last sentence! xD Hey Harry, maybe all animals are sentient! Go vegan, haha!

Oh yes, I wanted to thank you... I'm just beginning Physics in school, and we had to learn about Fermi problems. I looked it up and learned about it due to this fic (not to mention your in-fic explanation). So, ah, thanks for the inadvertent study aid!
mitremlap chapter 47 . 9/26/2010
wonderful chapter
Yvain01 chapter 47 . 9/26/2010
56,000 reviews seems like a worthy goal (and fully attainable at the present rate by the time you get to chapter 300 aka Harry's sixth year) but you'll have to do better than an update every three weeks!

This was a good chapter. It's always fun to hear Draco's confused mental monologue about Harry, and the Lord Foul reference was a nice touch (though some of the others escaped me). The discussion of the fall of Slytherin and the sheer low-status-ness of their prejudice is obvious in hindsight. The way you made a sorting hat chapter that was hilarious and moving in itself and then able to drive the plot forward months later for totally unrelated reasons is pretty impressive.

...and, of course, SNAKES ARE SENTIENT? was the best part. I have an urge to go make that my status on facebook.

Are you even trying to make this about the methods of rationality any more? Story's gone a long time without a cognitive bias. I'm loving it, but the only way I can convince my friends to read it is by saying that even though I know intelligent high-status people such as themselves would never be caught dead reading a fanfic this is really just a cleverly disguised cognitive science textbook.
ImUpToNoGood chapter 47 . 9/26/2010
Oh, I CHORTLED at the end of this chapter. That was SO very much your Harry. So what he was heir to Slytherin, so what he could talk to snakes and there was a name for that, but who is and is not Sentient defines who is and is not a person. And suddenly Snakes are people. When something moves from non-person to person in one's mind, that is a paradigm shift, and Harry lives for those moments of enlightment. That is the true orgasm for a scientist: the sudden dawning that the world is different than you imagined, and now you know, you KNOW something that you did not know before, and it changes everything!

I love your Harry at moments like these.

I am in awe of the way both Harry and Draco try to figure out truth, each bound by their preconceptions. But Harry chooses to break his preconceptions whenever he finds them, and Draco may or may not, because his beliefs are part of family and home and comfort, even when they are not comfortable. Yet he explores with Harry, tentative, sometimes resistant, but still choosing to explore, if for his own reasons.

Narcissa is not alive in this verse? Another thing that is different from canon. Wow. Can't wait to see how that plays out.

Celestial Pendent chapter 47 . 9/26/2010
Oh my gosh that was a great chapter! I love the ending. and I love how the story is going.
J-Kid chapter 47 . 9/26/2010
Man, I LOVE the ending of this chapter. Draco and Harry's reaction to Parseltongue is hilarious! And I much prefer the way Dumbledore's history is revealed in this chapter to canon. So . . . Narcissa's dead in this story? Weird. That'll make things different for sure.
Szihuoko chapter 47 . 9/26/2010
Its chapter 47 now and 250k words already. I hope that you don't lose focus and control over the plotline. Generally at this point even the most ablest of professional writers tend to lose it a little bit if they're writing without really planning. That said, i love your story-there isn't much acclamation i can give you that hasn't already been said so i'll tell you something i rarely say.

You seem to have the beginnings of a tapestry, the foundations if you will. What seperates books like lotr/silmarillion/ice&fire is how the story is interwoven so tightly that it feels that everything is connected to everything else. What character A does affects character C a thousand miles away. This tip might feel very strange but you should mind it to create a great story.

That said, why are you a scientist and not an author? Have i read any of your work before? Do you prefer writing fantasy?sci-fi? Do you have any original manuscript?

Zebra Scale chapter 47 . 9/26/2010
I enjoy this chapter. I'm not the sort who catches hints, and I didn't expect snakes to be sentient. But now that I think about it, it's an obvious conclusion to draw from the books. I'm sorry you miss your hints so often.

I enjoy it when you write from a non harry perspective. Harry has a very 'weak' voice when you write him. He's a reactive character, in many ways. He pulls at strings but he doesn't really plan, and you often try to leave his thought patterns more... opaque for drama reasons.

I suspect part of this is that you're writing, well, you. You're writing Harry as you. That gives him a weaker voice because when you try to balance the character's voices you hear his voice as particularly strong, and you see his actions as particularly self evident. Since Draco's actions are less self evident to you, you think harder about him and work harder on his character. You also explain his actions better. This makes him a 'stronger' character.
smusma chapter 47 . 9/26/2010
I blame you for any delay in completion of my responsibilities, although after 20 long days, I must say that I was not in the least disappointed.
uzumaki misaki chapter 47 . 9/26/2010
wow, that was really good! i especially liked the long silent pauses. the whole 'snakes are sentient?' was the best part though. i can hardly wait for the next update! cya!
Mapox chapter 47 . 9/26/2010
I love your fanfic. The way u meld fantasy and science (scientacy?), I don't know what to call it ... It is just fantastic.

Snakes... are... SENTIENT!

Please keep it up.
Darla chapter 47 . 9/26/2010
Nice chapter. It's unfortunate that you disliked writing it - Draco's evolution from unthinking racism to - well, wherever he will end up, which will hopefully involve a less prejudiced mindset - is one of the more interesting subplots in your story.

A few comments:

1. I agree with storybookknight about pacing. Your various plotlines logically need more than 1 year to resolve, and are starting to strain my usual fantasy story-related suspension of disbelief.

2. Minerva was guarding the Sorcerer's Stone in chapter 45, wasn't she? (I thought that you implied that one pretty nicely.)

3. Dumbledore as manipulative semi-bad-guy - I'm not sure I buy it, though as you carefully wrote, we only have third-hand evidence for it, channeled through some unreliable narrators, and we are of course only getting Draco's POV about this. Still - that's too great a departure of character for me to swallow. Yes, the "wait a dozen years to confront Grindelwald" doesn't make sense on the face of it, but presumably JKR was trying to align it with the WWII timeline and had to come up with some sort of patchwork explanation that wouldn't have made sense. I'd have preferred for her Dumbledore to say something along the lines of "I was in denial for years about what Grindelwald meant to accomplish, and by the time I took his threat seriously, a world war had broken out and trying to reach him and take him out would have been a suicide attempt until the Allies started winning the war." Or something along those lines - that would have made sense to me. But to then take that and turn it into a cunning plot to take over the world is a bit too much of a character departure. No, the man JKR portrays was far from sainthood, and was manipulative, and did express some abhorrent views in his youth - but he clearly outgrew them by the time we meet his character, and was a legitimate force for good. Not the kind of man who could deliberately burn a relative innocent alive. Sorry, but no.

Overall, good story, or I wouldn't have left such a long review. And I'm glad it's gotten back to being more of a story again...

Tenshi chapter 47 . 9/26/2010
hahahahaha! Very very very nice ending there, completely worth the wait. This was a very good chapter too Draco's world is opening up. All in all it's impressive you do good work and I hope you continue.
He Who Rules With an Iron Hoof chapter 47 . 9/26/2010
It would be horrifying if all animals were actually sentient beings, eating would be murder.
jdboss1 chapter 47 . 9/26/2010
"MoR now has over 7,000 reviews, which I think puts MoR into the top ten most reviewed Harry Potter fics on , hence probably the top ten most reviewed Harry Potter fics period. Thanks! By the way, I note that the most reviewed story on is a Twilight fanfic called "Masters of the Universe" with 56,000 reviews, which could well make it the most reviewed story on the Internet, and that if everyone reading MoR reviewed just their three favorite chapters, we could easily top that."

How can I look at the most reviewed stories

I never believed update I was concerned that some think nasty Had inflicted itself on your Brilliance every weekend I looked forward to another brilliant update is

I have dyslexia I have my computer read The text of this story I am trying to turn it into an audio book so I can have my family listen to the story in the car is they've never ever want to read any fan fiction stories but myself and I'm trying to persuade them your story so clearly better than all the others it is worth the effort

What I would like to see next is

Harry Potter's take on magical moving plants

how the heck can Magical potion some work?

Whatever physical limits to potion Can the Body altering potion from second-year allow you to always get perfectly donated body organs from unwilling donors?

My only criticism is that You have left out Entire section of first-year Classes

Canon magical telescopes Compete with NASA one in orbit?

doesn't the g-force of a boom kill u Eccentric sector

I would love to have somehow contribute more to this brilliant book really felt like printing off the PDF version that I realised how money pages there were when I turn this into an Audio book( Read out loud by my computer I will upload it Two probably rapid-Share
foudebassan chapter 47 . 9/26/2010
Thank you for writing!
Yuen chapter 47 . 9/26/2010
I laughed so hard at the ending. Great chapter. as usual! Can't wait to read the next one!
bruttimabuoni chapter 47 . 9/26/2010
Reviewing on the dual grounds that it's past time I said thanks for 47 chapters of enjoyment and that beating some Twilight epic on the review count has to be worthwhile.

So: thanks. I've never read a fanfic that has intermittently made me feel so clever (for keeping up, and seeing things anew), and so idiotic (for those parts I just Do Not Get, even sometimes with the help of Author's Notes). This is a good thing.

This chapter may have caused you pain, but it gave me considerable pleasure, of the kind that comes from watching someone acknowledge the importance of individuals and the right to differing viewpoints.

Also: the snakes are sentient. Weird.
YourMom chapter 47 . 9/26/2010
I loved the last chapter, and will be rereading to check for clues, but just wanted to say thanks for finally updating first. I know that your writing pace has been pretty insane on this story, but suddenly stopping for almost a month after that is probably a bad idea. you never know what the yandere fangirls / fanboys might do. :o
Mr Stereo1 chapter 47 . 9/26/2010
I'm starting to question the reasoning of the readers who wanted the chapters divided up, it just seems right to read it like this. It's easier to follow.

Still a top notch story.

Mr Stereo1
kinda evil chapter 47 . 9/26/2010
Looks like Harry’s got his priorities straight with his last comment;)
w chapter 47 . 9/26/2010
Couple more thoughts.

Repeating, essentially, Harry's happy Patronus thoughts was way too close to the previous occurrence and diminished its impact. You could have just said how he adapted it to Narcissa. But then it's your story :).

If you like reviews, you should say this explicitly on the first part. Not everyone is familiar with enough to realize people care about them.

It's interesting how much better hpmor is from your other stories, in particular the three worlds.

A further reading list would be quite nice to have; Harry's conversation with Hermione provides some :) but still.

It _is_ an interesting question what makes Harry trust Dumbledore, before listening to Draco and distrust Lucius, modulo the canon. Personal impression? Surely he knows good actors exist.

Anyhow, thank you. Please continue doing great job.
SevereWrath chapter 47 . 9/26/2010
Great chapter; loved the punchline at the end.

The only thing that irritates me - and this is wholly worth ignoring - is that, IIRC, Dumbledore spent quite some time during the Order of the Phoenix inventing the new communication channel (Patronus messaging). I'd always interpreted it to mean that it didn't exist before then, and certainly wasn't well known.

Works out well for your story so, as I mentioned, please ignore.
hjcallipygian chapter 47 . 9/26/2010
Hahaha, what a great way to work that into the end of the chapter. And I loved what harry took from it, too.
voider chapter 47 . 9/26/2010
heh... "snakes are sentient?"

this is another can of worms...

if snakes are really sentient... then maby other ... "lower life forms" are sentient.


"Hey, Harry, are you going to eat that piece of chicken?" Ron asked while looking hungrily at the food on Harry's plate.

Harry's already pale face turned even more white. "I think I'm going to be sick..."
Minke chapter 47 . 9/26/2010
On God, I so love this story. It makes me laugh so hard I cry and get concerned looks from my boyfriend. It's also surprisingly sentimental and a lot more thought provoking than I normally find fanfiction. I've got it marked as a favorite and enjoy every new chapter. I got to admit I *love* when you mess with Harry's head, "Snakes are sentient?" - so dang funny! Can't stop laughing ... have to go pee now ...!
Snake of Medusa chapter 47 . 9/26/2010
That last section there was EPIC AWESOME!

I love how Draco was all tired of surprises, then they used the Patronus to send a message and Harry spoke Parseltongue, and Draco was all WTF-WHYYYYY? and then he explained and Harry was all SNAKES ARE SENTIENT?

Epic awesome all the way, can't wait for the next chapter! _
Raver Styx chapter 47 . 9/26/2010
You have an ability to take something we (the readers) have read over time and time again, and make us go: "Holy Sh*t! How did I miss that?", and furthermore you keep doing that! I was starting to get more relaxed reading this fic and happily thought that you couldn't possibly surprise me again and then I read the ending of this chapter. How did we miss that? Regular, non-magical snakes being sentient...

Please don't ever stop writing, world will be a poorer place because of it.
amy01 chapter 47 . 9/26/2010
best ever.

i always wondered about the snake thing. especially since - do snakes even communicate by hissing?
Hatheny-Lurey-Dralaw chapter 47 . 9/26/2010
Absolutely, 100% fucking BRILLIANT. I swear, you outdo yourself every chapter. Well done, seriously. :):):)
five pounds chapter 47 . 9/26/2010
I almost wish you'd stop - surely there are more deep thoughts about the Singularity to have and express? Because a) I know these stories have to stop sometime, and I'll be disappointed when they do and b) I'm afraid of this occupying your mind, taking you away from your duties (but I'm sure you know what you're doing). On the other hand, you don't need to worry about your writing skill imo - at least wrt fiction. The way you explain things, I feel sure you'd be great at non-fiction too. Perhaps starting with fiction, and explaining stuff embedded in fiction, is giving you practice for the real thing (re: a post of yours that said it took you forever to write non-fiction). Anyway, awesome stories. If JK Rowling's stuff were as good, I'd read it. Thanks much!
Hayden Elrics chapter 47 . 9/26/2010
I think I'm feeling a bit like poor draco, my mind's about to explode! :D But its all gravy.

Btw, are the armies going to re-form?
phoebe turner chapter 47 . 9/26/2010
WOW! i loved it!
Dr. Blue chapter 47 . 9/26/2010
In the way of hints:

In 47, you remind us that occlumency is a defense against veritaserum (the HP wiki corroborates this, though I don't remember that particular detail from the books and the HP wiki doesn't give detailed citations). Draco claims "...Father couldn't testify under Veritaserum because he was an Occlumens."

In 20, Dumbledore suspects Quirrell is plotting: "'You have now made it more difficult to confirm his mental privacy on future occasions,' Dumbledore said. He favored Professor Quirrell with a cold look. 'Was that your intention, I wonder?'" Was Quirrell's intention to prevent Potter from ever being able to testify against him?
Rhys chapter 47 . 9/26/2010
Not to stomp all over the sentient-snake-brothers parade, but I always figured it was likely that the magic of Parseltongue itself gave mundane snakes the temporary intelligence required to communicate whenever they are in the presence of a Parselmouth, much in the same way the Sorting Hat in this fic uses the minds and magic of the students wearing it to create an image of intelligence.

Hopefully because this is a different effect which does not explicitly include mind reading snakes talking to Harry won't all end up despairing of the consciousness they can not hope to keep.
Zankaru Zelladonii chapter 47 . 9/26/2010

Poor draco. I am starting to think this whole fic is just you thinking up new ways to torture draco emotionally. Haha.

Seriously though, a believable Good harry that surrounds himself with the trappings of evil? Awesome. The scenes with the Chaos army yelling out khornate warcrys made me jump up and scream yes, which led to an awkward explanation to a concerned neighbor which I completely blame you for.

I am helplessly addicted to this fic. Been following it since chapter 20, and have have re-read what you have posted at least seven times now.

Keep up the awesomeness!

Code Aster chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
You know... I rather shared Harry's reaction to the whole parseltongue thing. Later, when I found that canon never seemed to resolve the apparent sentience of animals with the ethics of eating them (or just killing them), it bothered me as a kid.

As far as writing critique goes, the way you tied so many different story threads into a coherent plot in this chapter was impressive. You present several different world views, your approach to how they deal with each other, and how basic scientific theories change people who first implement them, while still making an enjoyable and readable story.

Somehow, you are making me take fanfiction seriously. I'm not yet sure if I'm grateful or annoyed at the change, but considering that I'm still reading...

Furcas chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
One of your best chapters, IMO.

I think your hints are a good deal more subtle than Rowling's.
tadrinth chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
It sounds to me like Narcissa tried to use Fiendfyre against Dumbledore, that Dumbledore warned her that it was a really bad idea, and that the fire turned against her and consumed her. Dumbledore tried to tell Lucius that he warned Narcissa not to use the spell that killed her, but only got as far as "I warned her-" before Lucius lost it. Somewhere along the line, that gets turned into "she was killed as a warning."

Holy cow, awesome chapter, and one I have been eagerly awaiting since chapter 7.
bluWriter chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
Oh my god.

That last line was absolutely brilliant. Completely in character for your version of Harry Potter.

Please continue writing more.

I look forward to reading more

guardian00X chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
Simply one of the best stories I've ever read. Excellent mix of magic, rationality nad insanity.
storybookknight chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
I am all for helping this extremely well-written fic get more recognition and prestige; so while I normally don't bother with reviews, I'm happy to oblige.

If I'm gonna do it, though, I'm going to do it right, so without further ado:

Things That Could Be Improved Upon in Methods Of Rationality:

1. Harry Potter is currently twelve years old. Sometimes you do a very good job of conveying the notion of a hyperintelligent twelve-year-old who reads too much science fiction and their thought processes well, such as when Harry tells Quirrell about his 'mysterious dark side' and Quirrell tries not to laugh, or when Harry gets excited by "the enemy's gate is down". In chapters like the most recent, however, Harry's voice gets speechified and stops resembling normal language. When he's doing it to sound self-important to Draco, such as when they plot or conduct blood experiments, it can work, but sometimes it reads a little more like a John Galt speech, an obvious place that the author has chosen to embed his own ideas.

This is not to say that I disapprove of your embedding the Sequences into the main story, because I don't - far from it, in fact. Not only do they make for more interesting reading, but they teach good solid principles that more people need to learn. With that said, please be careful at preserving Harry's voice, because it's one of the strongest things the story has going for it. When it's genuine, it's very genuine, and very reminiscent of how all of us, I think, felt as young boys.

2. One of the few things that J.K. Rowling did very well, that you are not doing, is pacing, and allowing herself room for sequels. Since you decided to oh-so-cavalierly laugh off the possibility of the Chamber of Secrets (though i can imagine you pulling something off), or the most part of the Azkaban storyline, writing second or third years would seem progressively more difficult. In fact, you have so many good ideas about ways to subvert, undermine, and otherwise logical-ize J.K. Rowling's childlike fantasies and idealistic whimsies. (Incidentally, if you haven't read it yet, Lev Grossman's 'The Magicians' is superficially similar to MoR in that respect; it reads a little bit like Harry Potter on Nihilism). As a result, your plot-arcs, while being crammed into one school year, are starting to severely strain credibility. I suppose that you being the author, you have the capability to resolve all of the plot threads by the end of the second semester, and wrap everything up to some sort of denouement. It looks very much like that would be your plan, given the aforementioned spiking you've done on the second and third books' plot lines.

I do wish that it weren't. Partially selfishly, as I would very dearly love to see seven whole school years' worth of Harry Potter revisionism, and have this story run interminably. Beyond that, however, Harry is currently trying to a) Avenge his parents' murder (On Snape and Dumbledore, that is). b) Avenge Narcissa's death. c) Stop Voldemort. d) Educate Draco Malfoy. e) Heal Slytherin House of racism. f) Apply scientific theory to magic in a productive manner. g) Start a conspiracy. h) Excel in all of his classes. i) Lead Chaos Army singlehandedly, without the assistance of lieutenants to plan his strategies. j) Master transmutation well enough to keep his father's rock on him at all times. k) I'm sure there are a few things I haven't mentioned that I just can't think of, but the point is that as Harry himself has mentioned, some of these he will not complete until he is thirty years old, if ever. The storyline, however, appears bent on having him complete at all or most of them, before he even turns thirteen.

Now, maybe things with Quirrell will boil to a head, and Harry will start getting involved with the Sorcerer's Stone and Voldemort, and then be busy enough with the crises to let certain plot threads dangle to be picked up next year. In fact, this is what I heartily recommend, if you want to keep credulity from stretching too much.

3. Now to the more minor complaints and observations, such as: Where is Hagrid? Given that you've been departing from canon only when it makes the story better, is he no longer a good friend of James, Lily, and Dumbledore? Did he suffer more realistic consequences when accused of murdering Myrtle? If not, why hasn't he contacted Harry? I realize that Hagrid-the-oaf would have very little in common with MoR's Harry, but not having him at least make contact seems odd, or out of character for Rowling's Hagrid.

4. I'm not opposed to your decision to exclude Ron from the story, and in fact very much enjoy the substitution of Draco as a much more interesting third character, and of all the changes in Neville. Nor do I protest your apparent decision to ship Harry/Hermione, although all of the pre-juvenile romance is another reason you may have wanted to shift some of these dementor-related plot arcs back out to around third year or so. I do wonder, however, why Harry hasn't started grabbing some more people into the conspiracy, or why Draco hasn't. Seeing "Dumbledore's Army" twisted around into the Bayesian Conspiracy seems like a logical turn of events and Draco at the least seems the type to want to control more people if at all possible. Of course, some of the characters you would want to include in that sort of thing include Colin Creevey, Luna Lovegood, and possibly Ginny Weasley, so maybe you're waiting for next 'year'? I do hope so.

5. Not a complaint at all. However, I do have a guess about your 'hint' for chapter 45. What, pray tell, could have been Minerva McGonagall's important task that she was called away from, and that Harry told her to get back to?

Anyways, that's all for now. Looking forward to the next update!

firedraygon chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
Oh wow, this chapter is just full of new discoveries. I'm sorry to hear about Draco's mother and I hope Harry can help get to the bottom of what exactly happened. And what a way to reveal the Parseltongue ability! You just keep surprising me with how well you can deliver a punchline. Fantastic work. Please write more soon!

Eskimo680 chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
So, in the interest of getting more reviews than the twilight story, I am now going to follow your suggestion and review some chapters. Actually, to tell the truth, the only reason I haven't reviewed much (if at all, I can't remember) is because you're such a good writer that it's intimidating. You may laugh, but I'm serious. I rank you up there with J. K. Rowling (well, not quite that high, but you certainly have a better sense of humor than her.) I really do like your story, though, it's awesome. Now, as for this chapter in particular, I find it hilarious that in that last part, out of all the things Harry could focus on, he chooses the fact that snakes are sentient. And, for the record, this chapter was extremely fun to read, despite the fact that you didn't have fun writing it, lol.
Math and Chaos chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
I haven't read the Twilight fanfic with all the reviews, but I strongly suspect HPMOR is more deserving. So...

Most of your departures from canon-history have made sense to me at least in hindsight. Narcissa's death doesn't seem necessary for consistency. But I'm confident it'll become clear later where you're going with that.

I'm curious about what exactly taking Dumbledore (or whomever) as an enemy will require of Harry. It seems... nonspecific. Is it necessary to oppose an enemy in everything he attempts? Presumably not... that would be far too easy to exploit, especially for someone as byzantine as Dumbledore; Draco could see that at a glance. Is it necessary to actively plot to cause an enemy's downfall? That'd be more reasonable in this case... Dumbledore has a lot of power, and Harry could conceivably discredit him. The question, though, is where to stop; I don't think Harry would kill if he could think of another option (well... light-Harry wouldn't anyway), but I could see Draco requiring it of him.

Speaking of Dumbledore... wow. I did read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, but it was a while ago, and I was mostly reading it because I'd read six books already and might as well finish... It seems all Draco's facts are canonical (though JKR presents them in a much better light for Dumbledore, of course).

Thanks for the update, and I understand getting stuck on a chapter; I'm amazed (and delighted!) that you're normally able to update so often.
him-mione chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
Another excellent chapter, I love it! It was quite a shock to read that Dumbledore had burned Narcissa alive in her bedroom and gotten away with it...I wonder if it'll turn out to have been true.

It *was* odd that Harry could not hear the Dementor (or perhaps odder that everyone else could actually hear Death's imprint). What does this mean? I could either go searching through MoR to try to find out what this means...or I could wait and find out where you're going with this, because it's much more exciting that way!

I eagerly look forward to the next chapter!
JustSomeGuy chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
Loved it.

Regarding personhood, I wonder about the shock about sentience at the end and its relation to the warm thought about all /humans/ looking the same-won't all the earthlings seem similarly similar to something "/Really/ different"?

Harry's updating after this unexpected observation should be interesting.
Torgamous chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
So Harry's goals so far are to understand the underlying principles of magic, ascend to Godhood, kill Death, and eliminate discrimination. This is going to end with Instrumentality, isn't it?
SomeGuyFawkes chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
Okay... Draco's reactions/POV are very, very funny. Nicely done.

WTF? You've killed off Narcissa? Apparently previous chapters have been edited to not mention Draco's mother (I'm not saying they ever did - as 100's of periodical stories tend to blend in one's recollection). Still, the fact that she was dead - in defiance of canon - would have come up by now, and should have been foreshadowed at the least - especially as it comes off as a cheap trick to up the emotional stakes and fuel a morality discussion.

But again, the way you keep battering Draco with inconvenient revelations is eminently LOL-worthy.

Entertaining chapter; thanks for the update.
Unsigned chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
So Harry isn't trying to get Draco to make a human partonus eventually?

The sentient snake thing was what I was thinking about when Harry mentioned aliens.
Msogwan chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
I'll probably do a more indepth review once I get my hands on a computer and can find the time to thoroughly reread this fanfic (translation: in ten years). But I'll try to do the best I can on an iPhone. :P

Okay, first off.

I really like that you update at such a nice pace and that the chapters are so long. Of course, it makes me wonder how many chapters there are going to be, considering that this is still first year and we're on 47 chapters.

Second, I do like your interpretation of JR's universe though you lose brownie points for not having finished the entire series.

Third, this is one of my favorite fics. I enjoy your style, especially on the lighter aspects of the story.

Fourth, your fic is so good that it makes me want to review to make it better.

Alright, my mind won't let me say anything nice until I've let out the constructive criticism/flames/nitpicking/whateveryouwannacallit.

The young main characters (Harry specifically, well fine, Harry mainly) seems too mature and intellectual, even for a prodigy. I'd like to see more of his faults and more reminders of his actual age. The Christmas dinner with Hermione was great, for instance.

That brings me to my next point. When the story is in its lighter aspects, ie the Christmas dinner, the yaoi fangurls thing, the slytherin girls, it seems to be in it's element. But when you move on to heavier topics, ie immortality, death, blood purity, science, things seem to drag a little over a bumpy road. Perhaps it's the long flowery speeches of an eleven year old. In fact, maybe you could be more concise in Harry's speeches. If I were the one listening, my mind would wander or I would interrupt. Or, you could maybe break up the speech dialog into smaller paragraphs?

Another thing is Hermione. I like her characterization very much and I think you're doing a great job on her and pretty much everyone else so far. I just wanted to remind you that ( in case you didn't know) Hermione isn't quite sunshinyness especially when pushed or her friends are threatened. Look at her treatment of Rita in the fourth book. Or when she jinxes the DA paper into a magical contract without telling anyone, or her manipulation of umbridge into the forbidden forest. Or the way she punches malfoy in third year, sets birds on Ron in sixth year, and goes completely bonkers on him in seventh year. I'm not saying your characterization is wrong, i'm just saying don't forget Hermione is kind-until you mess with her friends. This is probably because she didn't have many friends when she was young and her self confidence is low so she clings to the first friends she makes: Harry and Ron. And it explains her actions in all the books, her attack on anything that might threaten them, especially Harry. Gah, I'm so disjointed and rambling. Sorry about that, I'm on meds.

I've got a headache, so one last thing aside from me saying I really do love this fic, the patronus thing.

I never really understood why Harry was so good with a patronus in the books. If you think about it, he should have the most difficulty with it as the majority of his life sucked. Harry should actually probably have less difficulty in your version as his home life was no where near as bad. But funnily enough, hermione's the one with the trouble in the books. In DH, Harry says it's the only spell she has trouble with. What does this imply? Hmmm...

Now that I've thought about it, maybe it's te way you fill the plot holes in hp that both fascinates me yet sometimes rubs me the wrong way. I dunno.

So to sum up and leave out so much more I want to say: I love this, watch your characterizations, other crap, looking forward to more twists, sorry about any spelling and or grammatical mistakes that can be blamed in the drugs, headache, and iPhone, update soon, yadda yadda.

Oh and THANK YOU for not being sexist like so many fanfics are. And for also showing that smart people in math and science can too write an awesome story. Yes, people can do both!



if you wanna rant at me fr my incohesiveness, feel free to email me at
wdango chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
W... Wow.

...That was heartbreakingly beautiful. The picture you paint is so vivid and overwrought with emotion, that I nearly cried myself. I admit that my eyes are damp.

I think I might be drawing that scene, if I get the time, though I don't think I can do it justice...

That was... really powerful. I'm still shivering.
Lord Jace chapter 47 . 9/25/2010


Oddly enough, my favorite part.
Rachel chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
I love the ending, but knowing that snakes can talk doesn't tell us how much awareness they have. Bees can communicate with other bees. If you could magically speak to bees, you might understand which direction and about how far it is to the good flowers, just as scientists can already determine that from watching bees communicate. The obvious next question is, how sentient are they?

I don't think sentience is a binary. For one thing, it's pretty clear that many mammals have some awareness. For another, it's not like humans sprang fully-formed. We know that complex eyes that are as powerful as they are came from a string of lesser vision perceptors that could see a little. It seems likely that intelligence, awareness, and self-awareness are things that many animals have to some lesser extent. You mentioned the complex social lives of non-human primates. Like many people, I've had enough exposure to cats to see numerous behaviors that show various forms of awareness. They just aren't nearly as aware as humans. They definitely seem to have some basic understandings and some basic feelings. They'll even bond to someone who doesn't feed them and solely gives them affection, and they have preferences among people that isn't something you create through pure reflex and instinct. That requires an ability to adapt to an environment. But they don't make long-term plans. They don't seem to reason much beyond the immediate.

I wouldn't expect much awareness from snakes, although I have virtually no personal experience with them and haven't researched them. But my understanding is that they aren't social creatures, they don't care for their young, and they have very small brains. They don't seem to need much brain power, and since brains come at a high biological cost, evolution is not going to keep brain power that isn't giving some significant advantage to an animal. But it isn't completely bizarre to expect them to have some basic awareness. What would surprise me is if I could have a conversation beyond, "Are you hungry?" "Are you hot/cold?" "Do you want to go over there?" and could instead discuss something like "Where do you see yourself next year?", "Do you like this poem?", or "Do you think fish are sentient?"

Obviously, testing needs to be done to determine the level of intelligence and awareness they have. If you haven't read Hofstadter's I Am A Strange Loop, I recommend it. He writes about the view of self-awareness as an analog property far better than I can, plus various other interesting issues.

Although I have often thought that if we found something with the mental properties of an orangutan or a dolphin on another planet and looking completely alien, we would spend a long time analyzing it to determine how intelligent it was and whether we could communicate. We'd likely put a lot more effort into it than we have with the other somewhat intelligent species on our own planet. And I assume it's just because we're so used to them being there that we got used to treating them as unintelligent and unaware. Again, snakes are a poor choice, being reptiles and showing limited abilities. But mammals (and at least some birds) play. You have to wonder how limited an animal can be if it is capable of playing.
J chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
awesome, simply awesome.
theoretically chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
This was a really good chapter. I love seeing the changes in Draco as he becomes alienated from everything he believes in and everyone he considered an ally, and in the process gains new allies (harry and hermione).

Keep up this amazing work you're doing and don't leave us hangin' for two weeks!
Ham Nox chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
So long I have waited... Just dying to know what happened next in the story... Checking back every day.. even TWICE some days... I was beginning to think Eliezer would never update, and I would have to personally track him down and force him to write it at knife point..

But that last line made it absolutely worth the wait!


Now on a completely unrelated note, I'm still stuck thinking about the applications of Comed Tea. I realize it's already been concluded that it works by a funny event retroactively causing an impulse to drink the tea, but I can't help but wonder... What happens if Harry decides to drink Comed Tea at regular, pre-arranged intervals? Drink a can of Comed Tea, set a 20 minute timer (or a similar time period unlikely to occur between random hilarious events), and repeat.

In fact, why didn't this idea occur to Harry? Is there absolutely no way that the idea could have occurred to Harry because the Comed Tea did not give him the impulse to do so? It seems like a perfectly logical test for him come up with, and I'd have thought that logical thinking and safeguards against bias should be able to override the impulse. But then again... What would happen if he HAD been able to overcome the impulse and test the Comed Tea when there was nothing funny about to occur? Is there quite possibly a fail safe built into the tea that WOULD cause something funny to happen if the backwards causality failed? It is guaranteed, after all: once per can. In a universe in which they give time machines to eleven-year-olds to treat sleeping disorders, I'd believe it.

But if Comed Tea is actively working against the idea to test in this fashion coming to our little rationalist, that has some serious implications-That would mean it is literally suppressing ideas to preserve a stable time loop... If Comed Tea could potentially be modified to the purpose of knowing the future, what else could it be modified to do?

(Wait a second.. Liquid luck! In the sixth book, Harry KNEW what he needed to do, he saw how it would all play out before he even did anything... It probably works on a similar premise as Harry's extended ComedTea idea...)

And I still think that Harry could have succeeded in the Stable Time Loop experiment if he wasn't so easily spooked. It was a simple matter of there being more than one stable time loop-one in which the right answer came back, and one in which Harry wrote an answer that would scare the bejebus out of him-and the universe took the one that was less complex (required the fewest iterations). If Harry had determined that such an answer would not phase him and he would simply continue on with the experiment as best as he could, then it would have ceased to be a viable time loop and he would have gotten the correct answer instead.

Well there's my 3 cents.

if anyone feels the need to respond
Zege chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
Very nice, I really liked this chapter. The ending was the best.
superbunny chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
Another wonderful chapter, well worth the wait.
KsandraMallan chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
The last line had me in giggles. Poor Harry.

A most welcome update, and thank you! :)
N chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
Teehee Snakes have minds of their own, enter animal rights Harry?

This is story has once again proven itself to be funny, intresting, so deep I can't avert my eyes and full of twists!

Though to me this is more than just a story, The views of the author spoken through Harry touch my very soul, or without the mushy crap: I've had such views for only a year now (age 19) and Im learning new things about my own morality each day and your views are so just and true to me that it really gives me hope that there are many other out there who think the same. Or better yet it gives me the hope that one day thinking like that will be considerd normal.
Almaseti chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
I love, love, LOVE the dual WTFs at the end there. Really, that made my day. So much.

Although even without that PERFECT ending, this chapter would still have made my day. It made me laugh, made me cry (well, tear up definitely, around the time Harry is talking about how alike people really are and how he'd like to be friends with alien crystal-things one day that aren't anything like human) and... well. That just kinda did me in. That and the thing about Draco and his Dad, and how nothing could take that away from Draco now.

Dangit, I'm tearing up a little NOW.
Luiz4200 chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
Yay! Harry learned about being a Parselmouth!
TrisakAminawn chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
Yes! That last line right there! I get so annoyed with this story sometimes but that was SO UTTERLY THE CORRECT RESPONSE!
Fredryck chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
This chapter is seriously awesome, it might have been a pain to write but I assure you the read completely compensates for that. SNAKES ARE SENTIENT! Mind blown, best cliffhanger ever. That's not to say the rest of this deliciously long chapter isn't full of awesome as well but when you pull of such a good and unexpected (and yet "damn I should have seen that coming!" twist it's inevitable it overshadows the rest a bit. I really love your Draco and Harry and their interaction and their pact. Narcissa's death was quite unexpected, I wonder about the for the hint now I feel gulty from not noticing ;_; I promise to be more careful from now on! Thanks for the updates and keep them coming, or else. (well, or else I wait)
WildeJunkie96 chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
Wonderful, as always. One little thing that's always bothered me about the Potterverse is that, in book one, when Harry talks to the boa constrictor at the zoo and sets him free, the boa says 'thanksss, amigo'. Spanish. Which doesn't make sense, as Parseltongue is all supposed to just sound like English to a Parselmouth, and so that just goes on to something along the lines of 'so is there a snake version of every language in the Harry Potter world? How does a snake become bilingual?' and several other things that I remembered at the start of this note and have forgotten since.

Anyway, keep up the good work.

WB chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
A week (or two) ago, I stumbled across a link to MoR. I don't normally like fanfiction, but I decided to give this a shot. I'm glad I did. I forsook my usual leisure activities to finish reading this, and I've checked back a couple times a day since then, hoping for an update.

I'm riveted to this story. You've got a fantastically twisted mind, Less Wrong. Thank you for sharing it with the internet.

Chapter specific feedback: The characterization of Draco and Harry is good; they are consistent, relatable, and interesting. Harry's dream for humanity is inspiring; his line at the end was hilarious. I like that, though this work is much darker than the original, there are glimmers of hope. It's not all science and cynicism. The humor and humanism, contrasted with the more dark and mature tone, is what makes this story work well for me.

I look forward to the next installment.
Alex Mennen chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
I like your handling of Draco's conversion here. Count my reaction as more evidence against "if it isn't fun to write, it won't be fun to read."

I don't see any contradiction between what Harry says here and what you have implied in Three Worlds Collide, though. Can you explain that?
somebodykillme chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
! awesomely done!
Muse Delta chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
It's hilarious how Harry's first thought is to be surprised at the fact that snakes are sentient.
Loonynamelass chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
That chapter was simply fantastic.

and I love the levity of the ending- it's just sweet.

and wow, this chapter had so many surprises! I love the pact- I'm so eager to find out what really happened...
Miss Cow chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
Wonderful chapter. I can hardly wait for the next one.
Muhoshin chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
I don't usually try to point out all the easter eggs in the story, but I was flabbergasted to discover I still recognized the Darkness spell from Dragonlance after having not read it for at least 15 years.
major wallace chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
absolute-insanity chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
While reading it I...


Delrusant chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
Tremendous chapter, with real progress on the "geopolitical" situation. And where black, light, evil, good, gets completely mix up and really shows that the story depends on upbringing and and on who you got the story from.
He Who Comes With the Dusk chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
I know you said you didn't enjoy writing this chapter, but I certainly enjoyed reading it a great deal. It's definitely one of my favorites.

Oh, and is the "slightly painful to look upon" naked man that Dumbledore sees actually tge burnt to death body of Narcissa Malfoy? I guess it's not really a question, because you probably can't answer. Oh well.

Thanks for the chapter!
Arkh Cthuul chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
Simply a wonderful chapter.

The ending had me laughing far too loud for my taste 8its late over here, and my neighbours dont like being woken up due to unholy amounts of laughter).

I do hope though the enxt chapter will not need that long. Allthough the wait was well worth it, mind that.
Vaughn Tyler chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
and thats the only thing harry has a problem with, lol
Phoenix Flight chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
So much for no more shocks...

Glad to have you back!
Carumati chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
That's the perfect way to slide from one arc to another. I'm guessing why harry hasn't figured it out before in the muggle world was because rationalists don't check out zoos?

This will open up so many new topics!
CornedBee chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
There's an important difference in media between your story and Rowling's books. The books came out every 2-3 years, in big blocks. Your story is updated more than once per week, on average, with little snippets every time.

I think the long waiting periods of the published book encourage time-filler activities like looking for hints, speculating over the outcome, and writing fan fiction. The waiting times between your chapters are too short to get that "I can't wait anymore, I have to do something" effect.

Not that I'm saying you should update less often, of course :-)

In this chapter, you include not wanting to die in your (or Harry's, but in this case I'm going to assume that it matches your opinion) definition of, well whatever you want to call the category of beings that include humans and whatever aliens we might find. Sentients, sophonts, SciFi has found various names.

I may be weird.

I know I don't suffer from depression or anything like that.

But I take objection to that.

Now I could try to delve into my feelings and explain them, but that's very vague, and really, in the end I have to admit I don't really know what I'd do if I knew for certain that I was going to die at a specific, close, point of time in the future.

But you mention beings of pure magic. Couldn't such beings be simply indestructible? In fact, magic itself seems to have some sort of sentience, or at least intelligence. And if a being is indestructible, doesn't have the concept of death - then it can't have the wish to not die either.

On a side note, I think your description of the dementor's effects is canonically inaccurate. They don't put you into a coma. People who received the dementor's kiss are, I believe, very similar to Neville's parents, only more extreme. Their conscious thought is gone, they have lost all drive, ambition, memory or reasoning abilities. They will move when led, eat when fed, and generally have a working body.

That's not death. Depression is more apt.

Also, happy thoughts in the form of animals, and death? No, they don't go together.

In other words, I think your Ravenclaw's door question was inaccurately framed.
Psilontech chapter 47 . 9/25/2010

Good show!

As always, excellent stuff and looking forward to the next chapter!
AMAMAMAM chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
Twilight be damned. What took you so long to update? one day you'll look back and understand that this was the more important project...
farwalker chapter 47 . 9/25/2010

that is an amazing chapter. For the concepts, the revelations, and the sheer persistence of Harry and Draco to continue the conversation.

And the whole way the parseltongue thing came out.

This Harry will perform all sorts of experiments with Parseltongue.

Keep up the good work...
DigiEmissary chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
You should check out Robin4's Unbroken Universe series. It's very well written and, as an aside, slightly invalidates the remark of the one reviewer whom you quote in the word of advice in this chapter's Author's Notes.

Also, it would be nice to have an archive of all of the author's notes somewhere. I'm sure you have plenty of webspace.

I'm glad you linked to Three Worlds Collide to offset Harry's optimism regarding future meetings with other self-aware lifeforms. It's in statements like "I don't plan to spend the rest of my life on Earth" where it's easiest to see that he's still very young. (Then again, he's not living in an era where a President who ran on a platform of hope and change, and for whom I voted, decided to cancel the Constellation program, a tremendously shortsighted move.)
Double-Portion chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
Epic last words.
LIX chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
Thanks for this chapter. You have a rather tortuous mind, and I see this as a quality. So it's with great pleasure that I finish writing this and start awaiting the next one.
rosewinkle chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
God, the last line cracked me up! XD

Great chapter!
TheWiseSirIvanTheShadowLord chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
This is not my favorite chapter but to Vanquish the Evil of Twilight I shall review!

I did enjoy how Harry made Draco learn the Patronus before he started screwing with his mind and spirit the way he did. I was more than a little annoyed at Harry for breaking Draco the way he was doing especially when you wrote how lost Draco feeling. The ability to show Draco that he can still cast a Patronus did a LOT to make up for the torque Harry put on Draco's mind.
Y.Rako chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
Really? REALLY? I can't believe it! This just keeps getting BETTER AND BETTER! This is one of the best fanfics ever.

One thing to point out: During Draco's argument when he said that his father and some of the death eaters turned to the dark lord's side because he was their only chance against Dumbledore, did they think that the Dark Lord was the lesser evil? Did they think he wasn't going to try and take over the world? or was it just because they had similar views on the muggle issue?
Squirrel Watching chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
I'm having a flashback to when I first read Harry Potter. I was around eleven or twelve and when Harry talked to the snake in the zoo that was my first thought too.

And throughout reading the whole book I kept thinking if snakes are sentient then what other living creatures in Harry Potter Verse are too! After that feast scenes in the great hall never did sit right with me.

I have a feeling Harry is about to be plagued for the rest of his life figuring this out. And will immediately become a vegetarian to be on the safe side.

This is possibly the greatest fan fiction ever written and I love it.
Peanuckle chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
The patronus scenes you write are simply beautiful. Inspiring goodness in the face of an uncaring universe.

And I had completely forgotten about parselmouth until now. That's really gonna throw a wrench in things, isn't it?

Also, 7 thousands reviews. Amazing.
GetItWrong chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
Rather than multiply entities beyond necessity, I think a even complex magical explanation of why Parseltongue works would be more plausible than imagining that snakes are somehow sentient.

Which is to say, when a wizard with the ability encounters a snake, the snake borrows the wizard's cognitive ability for the purpose of communication. Once they part ways, any decisions the snake made, or knowledge it acquired, as a result of its temporary intelligence are mapped onto its normal mind if possible.
KK chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
"SNAKES ARE SENTIENT?" So awesome! Amazing that the Slytherins know about Albus' dark past! I wonder if Harry will meet up with Aberforth? Interesting idea of following Voldermort just because Albus was too strong and no one else could stand up to him. I personally believe that Albus is immortal and just created all these wars out of pure boredom.
celopmuh chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
This pledge worries me, it's too Asimovey and too complicated.
badkidoh chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
Another great chapter.

so Narcissa is dead & snakes are sentient.

I'm looking forwad to your next update.
Flashx11 chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
I read chapters like this one twice to appreciate the nuances.

What really impresses me is how this chapter follows the thread of the Patronus and Dementors from the last chapter and the thread of Slytherins and blood purity while discussing Personhood theory without missing a beat. TvTropes (& Idioms) still uses the phrase "Author Tract" but the story is none the worse for wear.

(Is this a declaration that Harry is the Heir of Slytherin or just Malfoy's observation? In canon, Voldemort was the heir but the scar made Harry able to speak to snakes.)
RaeRae9 chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
I liked the chpater.I wasnt going to review because im ashamed of not having found any secret hints in chap 45 (or any other one) but I realized im just 16 and have no further knowledge of the methods of rationality and havent finished reading my Sherlock Homes book so I decided to be a good girl and review so that the most rviewed story isnt a twilight one

Good luck!
Alex chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
Clearly, you write about matters you study in your professional life. I find that the Harry Potter format works surprisingly well in conveying your ideas.

Your story is very enjoyable and inspirational.

Thank you!
homunq chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
(minor spoiler for chapter 47 joke)

The chapter was slow, but the end was good. Still, of course, biologists (even in 1992) have a mountain of evidence that snakes are pretty predictable creatures of reflex, while this new magical evidence could be explained by other hypotheses (perhaps the intelligence is "borrowed" from the Parseltongue). Still, I look forward to the tests of such alternate hypotheses elucidating the nature of magical intelligence (portraits, items, etc.)
Me chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
(submitting this review a few times cause my Internet's having trouble and I'm not sure if it's getting through)

...Wow. Every time you post another chapter I get my mind blown AGAIN. The INTENSITY, the characters' personalities ('specially like Draco in this chapter), the plot and the humor and the SHEER AWESOMENESS...

Next time I read this story through again I'll be sure to have a pen and paper in hand and take notes on anything that looks like a hint. This is way better than the original Harry Potter books, and may be the best piece of fiction writing I have ever read.

If you ever write and publish a novel, let us readers know somehow, k? 'cause I for one will buy it if it's anywhere near as good as this... DO you have any plans to write a novel? Can you please reply in the Author's Notes in your profile?

Thank you so much for writing this fanfiction!
Me chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
...Wow. Every time you post another chapter I get my mind blown AGAIN. The INTENSITY, the characters' personalities ('specially like Draco in this chapter), the plot and the humor and the SHEER AWESOMENESS...

Next time I read this story through again I'll be sure to have a pen and paper in hand and take notes on anything that looks like a hint. This is way better than the original Harry Potter books, and may be the best piece of fiction writing I have ever read.

If you ever write and publish a novel, let us readers know somehow, k? 'cause I for one will buy it if it's anywhere near as good as this... DO you have any plans to write a novel? Can you please reply to these questions in the Author's Notes in your profile?

Thank you so much for writing this fanfiction!
Simsen chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
As always, this chapter didn't cease to amase me.

You are perhaps one of the most talented writers on this site, of that I am certain.

Keep of the good work!
Elelith chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
BUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA, 'snakes are sentient?' lol, I couldn't stop laughing for a full five minutes, poor Draco, way too many shocks for him. Well, your fanfic is just getting better and better, I hope you update soon, I honestly can find no constructive criticism, except, maybe, for the time it takes to update.
TheSeverusSnapeFanClub chapter 47 . 9/25/2010 There is no other way to say it. I LOVE YOUR FIC! IT HAS TO BE THE BEST THING I HAVE EVER READ! I didn't know Harry Potter fanfiction could be this...awesome, and it isn't, except for this story. As of now, I have read the entire thing twice...and some chapters much more than that. I don't know how you manage to make it absolutely hilarious, incredibly interesting, very complex and totally awesome. Wow...
elej chapter 47 . 9/25/2010

lol, the best response to "you are a parselmouth"
Balatros chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
Hi i just wanted to let you know one thing, you said that at no point do muggles turn off all their lights. There is such a practice, it is called Earth hour. In canada twice or so a year(march 27 and some time in july) we turn All the lights off in peoples homes and whatnot for at least an hour from 8-9pm. It is not mandatory but ALOT of people do it.

just wanted to let you know.
mcdowella chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
The previous chapter was acclaimed as a must-read for SF fans, and I agree. This chapter is a must-read for Harry Potter fans.
ilikebluepineapples chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
The last two segments are perfection.
Jalen Strix chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
I just adore this story, and the latest chapter continues in the fine tradition of making me burst into laughter while reading it. Your writing is fabulous, your plot is delightful - looking forward to the next chapter very much!
Stygian Styx chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
Very amusing chapter. At first glance it appears that Harry forgot to list his fifth condition regarding the pledge, though I assume that this is because Draco himself stated the condition when he said that he would help Harry fix Slytherin and admit that Harry's mother's death was sad.
Ptronille chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
Great chapter (once again) ! Interesting as usual. And intriguing. It's fascinating how you mix canon with alternate pathways, like for Narcissa.

Oh, and I was happily surprised to find a reference to Three Worlds Collide... Hope to hear from you soon !
Reeder chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
"It wasn't any worse than what you would have heard about the West in Stalin's Russia, and none of that would have been true."

Or what you would have heard in the West about Stalin's Russia (rather USSR, really, there never was such a country as "Stalin's Russia"...).

You are bringing up some interesting points and with skill too. You are willing to look at things from so called “Dark Side” point of view. But at the same time you seem to be unable to get the other side of the Soviet Union's story. And people there were not "blood purists" or "Death Eaters", I assure you.
Cheshire chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
Brilliant chapter! Loved the interaction between Draco and Harry, the revelation of Dumbledore's past was well done, and the whole thing with Narcissa is very interesting. Plus, the ending was just perfect, poor Draco, I don't know how he can stand all the shocks! chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
"SNAKES ARE SENTIENT?" - I can't wait to read what happens next!

Thanks, this chapter was a bright light in an otherwise dull day.
Sarshi chapter 47 . 9/25/2010

Oh. My. God.

The ending was simply AWESOME ))

*rolls on the floor laughing some more*
imrae chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
AHAHAHAHAHA! That last line made me laugh so hard!
DvorakQ chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
Darnit. Thought I found a plothole when you mentioned Narcissa. Then I read the author's note and found that you retconned it .

Definitely an interesting update. My automatic reaction would be no, dumbledore couldn't have... but then I remember that this fic is awesome and I should keep an open mind.

Draco's reveal was done pretty damn well, really liked the fact that you portrayed him hurting so much, and that hatred was delicious. Not too sure about the "it had been Patronus light, once you knew what you were looking at, you couldn't mistake it for anything else" portion though. Patronus magic doesn't seem that common, how would Draco know what to look for?

Only disappointing thing for me about this chapter was not enough Quirrel. You crafted an awesome evil one and he can be such a scene stealer .
Violet Shadows chapter 47 . 9/25/2010

Best line I've heard all month; that has got to throw Harry for a loop (scientists would have definitely noticed something like that).
R. Donald James Gauvreau chapter 47 . 9/25/2010

Ha. Ha.

Oh yeah.
wisecurledqueen chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
Love LOVE the update. The snakes are sentient part got me laughing hysterically. All of this is brilliant, lovely, and had a sort of desperate hopeful cynical tone to it that has me totally addicted. Wonderful piece. Please continue!

Work Designer chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
A very good chapter to end a rather long (or it seems to us fans) drought. Many chunky ideas introduced.

The inevitable endless cycle that revenge becomes (and well contrasted with the emotional reaction of Draco)

Enlightenment and the value changes it brings. Are we inching somewhere to an objective morality?

Ofcourse, the thought of personhood itself.
Entropic Specter chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
Aaah! Finally! The wait is over, another delicious chapter!

Draco's reactions are as fun as ever. I guess Harry really won't enjoy putting snake parts into potions now. There were some other things I wanted to comment on, but it seems my cache got flushed near the end. Oh well.

Thanks for another great chapter. Keep it up the wonderful work, and please update soon. Please.
Anon chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
Minor fact check, Moaning Myrtle muggleborn ghost
DrE chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
Interesting chapter.

While I didn't really liked all of it, the chapter was necessary, and advanced the plot.

The last sentence open a big door I'm not sure u want to open.. If snakes are sentient, all other animals are (probably) sentient as well. Harry believe every life is worth fighting for, and no one should be killed for no good reason, combine this two thoughts, and you come to the conclusion that Harry must now fight for the freedom of all animals, and turn into a vegan.. I really wonder how you are going to resolve this.
Majin Hentai X chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
Damn damn damn this chapter is just what I needed. The cesspool know as Bleach had put me in a funk the last few days but this this made me feel good from reading it. Would you ever turn the final antagonist into a TV antenna after a lazy final battle?

Dumbledore performing an act of semi-secret evil is perfect and the pureblood way of seeing him as a monster I like it a lot. There are three sides to every story most only see one rare other see two only the few see all three. Draco having a tragedy in his past to make him deeper an excellent touch.

Ah yes hatred begets weakness if you have the so called elite and the weak willed sycophants where is the talent the genius the spectacular people who make life a little brighter just by being. Add in the fact that the other 3/4 of the school think their evil and can get away with treating them like that and you've basically got Germany right before the beer hall pusch.

So murder investigation Harry is a rationalist scientist but can he be Sherlock Holmes or Shinichi Kudo.

I can't wait till the next chapter. Though it is odd that even though they are shorter now it feels like they take longer. I really hope you don't befall the same fate as Artful Lounger.
LadyThanatos chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
Yes we DID notice that Harry can't hear Dementors (or I did, anyway), I just have NO IDEA what it MEANS!
evelsaint93 chapter 47 . 9/25/2010

Animekitty47 chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
The first part of this chapter, about Slytherin, was fascinating and wonderful and excellent. Draco's take on Dumbledore is interesting and certainly sounds like something the other side'd think. And we got to Narcissa. WTF? What-how-what possessed you to add this in? What does it prove or correct/improve like some of your other stuff? WHY?

Nice point about good people killing quickly and evil liking to draw it out, though that can be a tad of an exagerration, of course or there wouldn't be war crimes, 'I was just following orders' isn't an excuse for those...Anyway, more proof that Harry isn't perfect. :)

The ending was awesome. XD Especially Harry's repsonse at the very end. XD
White Ivy chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
The rule of balance...anytime Harry is able to achieve something (like Draco's pledge, in this case), something else must happen to throw Harry off balance (like learning that snakes are sentient and he can speak to them). lol
quickshot0 chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
Oh my... this does form some interesting problems. Mainly the Snakes being sentient matter... does this mean the world has a lot of inadvertent murderers... Or maybe that snakes are one of those magical species actually and no one ever really thought about the significance of that... hell... how many such species might there be then? What in heck have we been doing! How many innocents have we killed in our ignorance...

Also... this might have some potential uses for Harry eventually... though first one will have to figure out how to fix this horrifying newly realised situation. How to do it though... this is like a super ultra disaster... What Was Salazar Thinking?
theodora.pyrene chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
5 star chapter. Really amazing. Can't wait to read the next one.
Gamebird chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
Oh, poor Harry. Still thinking that some people are good and some are bad.
Quincy80 chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
The gap between their reactions at the end was hilarious.
Ellyanah chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
I've read some books that made me change the way I saw the world. This is the first time that a fic has had the same effect.
bakapervert chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
Lol, poor Draco. He just can't get a break.
komponisto chapter 47 . 9/25/2010 that thing about a chapter that wasn't fun to write not being fun to read was definitely wrong.

This was one of the most interesting chapters in MoR. (Though admittedly there's a fair amount of competition...)

It was the kind where, even on the first reading, I lingered over every word, rather than skimming for the important plot points.
KSVH chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
I love it - "SNAKES ARE SENTIENT?" That is so incredibly in character for Harry!
RasberryDreams chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
HOW DO YOU COME UP WITH THIS STUFF? Oh my gosh...that was fantastic.
irdgad chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
I'm not going to waste too many words from now on...

Count Napula chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
Wonderful! This chapter was delight after delight, with an emotional rollercoaster or two thrown in. Thanks for the update!
lilyoftheval5 chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
Absoulutely amazing chapter. I keep and keep rereading in it in glee.

It's great that all these revelations came through and in front of Draco. And I love his reactions through the whole shocking day.

Bouncing off!


It's about bloody time someone noticed that. They use them in potions for crying out loud...
anon chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
This really was a masterpiece. Thank you for sharing it with us. I'm always amazed by how complex you make your stories :)
Deoxy chapter 47 . 9/25/2010


William H. Stoddard chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
That point about Dumbledore's multiple offices reminds me of nothing so much as Augustus Caesar, who, after his defeat of Marc Antony, managed at the same time to get appointed or elected to the offices of Consul (making him Rome's chief executive), Tribune (making him the official defender of the people against the state and making his person immune), and Pontifex Maximus (making him chief administrator of the Roman priesthoods), while also being Rome's prime military commander and incredibly rich. We tend to think of him now as just "emperor," but that wasn't a formal title then: Augustus assembled the powers involved out of several different offices, and then they stayed stuck together and acquired "Imperator" as a formal title for his heirs. Whether Augustus was evil might be debated, but I don't think there is the slightest question that he wanted power and knew how to get it.
cerulean azure chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
loved the last part. Trust this Harry to think of THAT as the first thing.
Baughn chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
Heir of slytherin? What's that? We've got *serious problems here*.

Don't they use snake parts in their potions? o_O
Speechwriter chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
Oh, thank God! A new chapter. My day/week is complete.

So many heavy issues in this chapter. It's fantastic. The wonder with which Draco responds to his first knowledge of racism is so sad and so endearing.

Also, I just loved reading the snippet of the book that Harry showed Malfoy about Salazar's Patronus. The sentence structure there is so reminiscent of the Bible, it's really so well-done. As everything tends to be in these chapters.

"Your life, and my life, and Hermione Granger's life, all the lives of Earth, and all the lives beyond, to be defended and protected, EXPECTO PATRONUM!"

And there was light."

I just couldn't help but think, "And Harry Potter said let there be light, and there was light." I'm not sure if this was meant to be a Biblical reference or not, but after Harry has just 1) described endless hypothetical alien life forms and 2) described how life should really be lived, it's almost fitting that he is a sort of God character. Hmm.

I think there might have been a speck of inconsistency in how Draco deals with the death of his mother. The first time it's mentioned, it drives him to sobbing hysterics. The very notion that he might have misunderstood something about her death - that Dumbledore may not actually have killed her - makes him furious at Harry. Yet, somehow, after this:

"Condition three is that Narcissa has to have been burned alive. If that part of the story turns out to be something exaggerated just to make it sound a little worse, then I get to decide for myself whether or not to still go through with the pledge."


"Condition five is that if whoever killed Narcissa was tricked somehow into doing it, then my enemy is whoever tricked them, not the person who was tricked."

Draco's reaction is to accuse Harry of attempting to get out of his pledge? If it were me - if I were so sensitive to my mother's death that I couldn't talk about it without breaking down completely - I would feel defensive, at the very least, about someone talking about it so casually.

Of course, Draco has probably adjusted to Harry's insensitivity quite well by now, but I still think anger is a logically proceeding step for after Harry's conditions.

Of course, I just adored "SNAKES ARE SENTIENT?"


"Draco, I'm an Occlumens -"


Gah! I just love your writing. Thank you, too, for being brave enough to address the issue of Slytherin's increasingly homogeneous 'evil' population. I'm so looking forward to seeing how they clean up J.K. Rowling's painfully-stereotyped House For Bad People.
skylerbird chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
I adored this chapter, and Harry and Draco's carefully wrought deal, but that last line is what sent me into hysterical fits of laughter. "SNAKES ARE SENTIENT?" Ah, poor Harry!
Evilblaze chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
Great story. I've stumbled upon your work around chapter 8 and have been hooked ever since. I miss many of the small hints you drop, as well as completely overlook some plot events (for example, I didn't realize that Voldemort made the horcrux and sent it into space until I read your Author's Notes), but the trip so far with you has been amazing and I eagerly await you next update.
cheech chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
Vayah chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
Holy crap. I think I'm in love with you.

I always thought it was SO stupid that nobody in the magical world realized that if snakes could make conversation with humans then it meant that ALL animals could if you could speak their language. Or that snakes were just that more awesome.

You just keep getting better and better. For God's sake, it isn't fair!

PLEASE update soon!
w chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
Nice to get a new chapter, thank you! Good on the plot-side, power-hungry Dumbledore. Also, nice description of Draco's changes. Harry's monologues feel a bit long. Yerby's death should have been treated with some skepticism by Harry too.

And also nice to see Harry back messing with people's minds.

It's also obvious, and a very nice touch, that Lucius _is_ being truthful about him being under Imperius. Also, one does wonder how smart Snape really is.

Anyhow, thank you.
Crazy Iemon chapter 47 . 9/25/2010


This story is deep. It makes me REALLY want this in physical book format since its so damn hard to re-read / find things when reading on the computer.

On a side note, are you planning to ever "re-release" the author notes for your previous chapters? Like at the end, make one big chapter with all the author notes or something?
kutta chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
Aweeeeesssooommmeee chapteeer! At last the hiatus is over!
EarthScorpion chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
With regards to the Author's Note; yes. So very yes. It's one of the things that makes me twitch, the way that some series suddenly reveal that humans (or near-humans) are not the only sapient species around, and then people shrug and accept it. I mean, in HP... okay, snakes are self-aware enough to conceptualise and communicate at a level above chimps and sign language, and people just shrug and accept that it's normal? Argh!

And, yes, I'm sorry that you didn't like this chapter, but I did, a lot, so that might help make you a little happier. You've managed to discuss some quite delicate things without ending up waffling, or reducing one character to a machine that exists to prompt exposition. So... yep. Fun-fun.
Rachit chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
Ur chap are always entertaining and unique and every theory is in detail,
Zeetthegreat chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
Harry's last comment nearly had me on the floor laughing.
Peregrinate chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
You have to update again. Soon. Lol. OMG. I wanna see what Harry makes of it all. :D
deactivated32456i chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
So with Harry now knowing that snakes (and presumably other animals) are sentient, does this change anything about his rationalisation in chapter 42 that patronuses/i are animals because animals can't understand the fear of dementors as the fear of death?
Pandora of Ithilien chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
right, harry's last line added a nice dollop of humor to an otherwise very emotionally harsh chapter. i can't help but feel truly awful for draco, and i sincerely hope that, whoever did kill narcissa, dumbledore or whoever, that lucius really did have nothing to do with it (and in some versions of that kind of set-up, he would have). i don't think draco's mind would survive that.
782782 chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
Gosh! I'd forgotten the Parselmouth trait!

Narcissa being burned alive is an… unusual… idea, though I believe that Dumbledore WOULD take the blame upon himself if it was done by someone who (for example) had a spouse, parent or child whom Narcissa tortured to insanity. I can't imagine Dumbledore doing it himself, but if he did, well… that would be a twist to be proud of.

Draco's reasoning process with plots is somewhat sad, but I can understand Malfoy raising him that way.

The story of Dumbledore's youth via Draco was interesting; are you going to make Draco right or are you going to make it a misunderstanding, like it was in Book VII? The adult Malfoy's reasoning for joining Riddle was VERY intriguing. I can't say it never occured to me that Dumbledore might be taking over the world—indeed, I have read several fanfictions which have precisely that story—but I've never found a fanfiction which uses nothing but the facts we already have to indicate Dumbledore was attempting world-domination.

Dumbledore's enormous number of positions IS suspicious, yes, but I never thought about it as explanation for a desire for world-domination IN ITSELF: now I do, it does seem suspicious that he can be allowed such a conflict of interest, being both the head of the British legislative system and the equivalent of the General Secretary of the UN.

I liked the bit where you said that no-one was the villain of his own story; I imagine that even Riddle and "evil!Dumbledore" would believe that they were doing good. Harry's comparison of it to Stalin's regime's depiction of the West (and, conversely, what the West thought about the socialists with McCarthyism around) was especially apt.

This entire story is so emotionally charged… I don't know where to BEGIN to describe it.


Tiky3000 chapter 47 . 9/25/2010
That last line had me laughing out loud!:P