Reviews for Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality
ShadowLDrago chapter 49 . 10/22
So Quirrl is an unregistered snake Animagus, considering he was Voldemort in canon and probably is now as well, which would explain the sense of doom. What? It would.
Pankakejoe chapter 49 . 9/20
Hah. Tenorman's family chili. Classic. His cannibal thoughts aren't too far off. I hope this vegetarian phase ends soon though.
Tula chapter 49 . 7/12
Adding "and comprehend it" does nicely fix the whole predicament with Harry actually having seen a death before Cedric dies.

Doesn't do anything to fix the fact that Harry rode the carriages out of Hogwarts at the end of HPGOF. Unless we make more jokes about how slow the original Harry is, of course.
Guest chapter 49 . 6/28
Was really liking this until the Amanda Knox reference. Was that really necessary?
PA chapter 49 . 5/21
Snake talk is creepy. It will never stop being creepy.
Village-Mystic chapter 49 . 3/26
I wonder if this is a genuine piece of advice or just means to an end, but you've certainly made Quirell complicated.
MeiPhantomhive chapter 49 . 9/23/2014
Quirrel giving advice for girls?
thepkrmgc chapter 49 . 8/2/2014
im beginning to reassess my assessment that quirrell is on the side of good. he's like Ras Al Ghul to Harry's Batman: helping him acheive his full potential but also encouraging harry to fight evil with evil
silverrain-shiningsun chapter 49 . 5/21/2014
And Harry took a casual sip of his water -

- just as Professor Quirrell said, "Mr. Potter, would I be correct in guessing that you are also a Parselmouth?"

Guest chapter 49 . 5/18/2014
"Tenorman's family chili" HOW DARE YOU, SIR

I'm enjoying this story so much, but this is the first time I had to leave some sort of comment. I nearly died laughing.
Grizzmon chapter 49 . 1/14/2014
This is becoming very interesting.
HybridsRose chapter 49 . 11/30/2013
Ooooooh interesting, whatever Professor Quirrell is suggesting, I want to hear.

This whole chapter was written extremely well, however the puzzling thing was Professor Quirrell's animigus and his parseltongue. I know Professor Quirrell is extremely different in this story, but that just doesn't make sense. Now I've formed a new theory that Voldemort must be somewhere in the equation with Professor Quirrell...
Guest chapter 49 . 10/17/2013
Very funny south park reference. Excellent chapter as always.
addikhabbo chapter 49 . 8/22/2013
BarbaraKaterina chapter 49 . 8/9/2013
This is not the correct chapter to ask this, but I'm too lazy to go back and look for the right one, so: if a deeply believing Christian had figured out the answer to "what is under Dementor's cloak" and cast the Patronus, would it have taken the form of Jesus? In other words, does the Patronus take the form of what the person believes can conquer Death, or is, to your mind, the humanist answer an objective reality?
L.E chapter 49 . 5/15/2013
Great chapter!
Luna's Meow chapter 49 . 4/7/2013
There is a problem with your Interdiction of Merlin that Harry should have noticed. If you think about shouldn't the Interdiction be a spell that is cast on a book that contains great magics? Then also, shouldn't it be only cast if the magi WANTS to cast it? Surely there were some who decided to NOT cast the spell on their tomes. After all, if no one can read them, then there is no point in writing them. And everyone knows the danger of only relying on word of mouth. Or are you saying that the Interdiction of Merlin is a spell that is so powerful that it basically FORCES every wizard to either not write down their more powerful spells, or write them down only with an enchantment that makes them unreadable? That doesn't even make sense by this world's standards and instead smacks of a quick plot hole fix. Like the invisible, unhearable, unicorn is permeable to flour.
Endless Strategy Games chapter 49 . 2/27/2013
"Harry's brain performed a few calculations. Whatever the secret, Professor Quirrell did not think his illegal act would reflect badly on him in Harry's eyes. There was no advantage to be gained from not hearing it. And if it did reveal something wrong with Professor Quirrell, then it was very much to Harry's advantage to know it, even if he had promised not to tell anyone."

I'm curious about where Harry gets this strong compulsion not to break promises. I get that one generally doesn't break promises lightly, and snitching them would make him seem less trustworthy in turn, but even with that in mind, Harry seems to put an abnormal weight on promises that I think should have been touched upon in more detail.
Guest chapter 49 . 2/22/2013
The bit about The Basilisk of Slytherin's death doesn't quite make sense. Voldemort was Slytherin's last heir, the last Parseltongue left, or so it is said in canon. And Voldemort wasn't quite humble enough to destroy something that'd prove his ancestry. He didn't use the diadem, and destroy it after-he doesn't seem clever enough to kill the basilisk.
Nick Martin chapter 49 . 2/4/2013
If you seek my secrets, speak to my snake! Freaking brilliant!
But the Basilisk was still alive in canon... So is this an incorrect deduction by the characters, or another shift in facts? I look forward to finding out.
kitsuneko1976 chapter 49 . 12/28/2012
That wouldn't be Scott Tenorman's family chili, would it?

The sweet, sweet salty tang of the tears of unfathomable sadness.

StrangeoneXD chapter 49 . 12/22/2012
just posting for the sake of posting
Eternally Pivots chapter 49 . 10/17/2012

Review thingy is weird.

You updated :D
voodooqueen126 chapter 49 . 8/2/2012
Well, it seems your Tom Riddle is much more clever than the original Tom Riddle.
freklz chapter 49 . 5/28/2012
Tenorman's Family Chili? Someone watches South Park.
ScreenwriterKitteh chapter 49 . 4/28/2012
Myrtle was killed in 1943, and Hagrid was "the most blatantly innocent bystander to be convicted by the magical British legal system since Grindelwald's Confunding of Neville Chamberlain was pinned on Amanda Knox." Assuming that you are referring to the Munich conference and pact, this is in fact a space of five years. If the wizarding justice system makes such mistakes every five years, they are only slightly better than our own system here in America, which imprisons Tarek Mehanna and releases George Zimmerman on bail.
twistled chapter 49 . 4/11/2012
SynOfHumanity chapter 49 . 2/25/2012
I hate you.

I love you.

I don't even know why I'm reading this story anymore. My mind went uuurrrggghhh around chapter thirty-seven, and I had to take a brief reprieve to write unnescessarily depressing comments in a journal I created for the express purpose of stopping myself from opening my bedroom winding and screaming as loud as I could for no other purpose than screaming as loud as I could and I have since updated it. I also had to laugh manically for a minute straight and listen to my mother seriously comtemplate if there was something wrong with me while I wrote about my homicidal and sucidal urges and my desire to laugh as the world burns around me. There is no sarcasm or exaggerations in this review. I am honestly too tired for that right now. And I'm wondering if you really are that insane, because no character can do, say, or think something that their creator doesn't make them do, say, or think. And to make them do, say, or think something, the author has to actually have at some point done, said, or thought about that something. I'm sorry. I must stop ranting now. My homicidal urges have returned, and I must proceed to eat as much chocolate as I can, so as to get as much of the happy drug in chocolate in my system as fast as possible before I begin contemplating the meaning of life, death and existence itself. Then seriously pondering on commiting suicide, or hiring an assassin to kill myself.

...I think you rubbed off on me...
Malix2 chapter 49 . 11/11/2011
Ok, I haven't even gotten caught up yet, but I just have to say this is one of the best fics I've read to date. It's incredibly hilarious at points, very original, witty, intelligent, even though some of the science things go over my head, even though I believe myself to be reasonably intelligent, I do grasp the jist of things though at the very least. Great job, and now I have to go back to reading, although I really should get some sleep. Hmm, it's hard to stop reading.
Asparagus chapter 49 . 10/18/2011
I have this distinct feeling that I have been trolled somehow, but I honestly have no idea why. Hmm.

Also, this made me cackle evilly into my pillow, and if Quirrell wasn't my second favorite character in this fic before, he certainly is now. Actually, I think he's tied with Harry at this point.
AR chapter 49 . 9/22/2011
well at least he is smart enough to hide that he deliberately told that he had heard a voice.

I still feel nervous about Quirrell.

Good writing though...I'm glad the plot is thikening
Goji1954 chapter 49 . 9/1/2011
Tenorman's family chili?
GuesssWho chapter 49 . 8/6/2011
Chianti, eh? Very Hannibal Lecter.
Oz chapter 49 . 8/3/2011
Loving the story so far, although I had to put a review up after that tenorman chilli reference... Laughed out loud at that. Great story telling to be honest... Although it is a bit of a stretch for all these cunning plots and manipulation happening when Harry is 11 it is still great... I suppose after all he is a boy genius. But yeah.. keep up the good work.
Isa Knightwalker chapter 49 . 7/18/2011
What a twist with Quirrel! Great chapter~ Although I'm also starting to worry about Harry being much too evil again lol (with wanting to find the CoS and get the same powers the Voldemort had). Absolute power corrupts absolutely after all! Not sure how Harry manages to ignore that given that he seems well read and yet still desires so much power for himself.
some guy chapter 49 . 6/30/2011
So Quirrel Knew about this; I am still confused about the relationship between Quirrel and Voldemort in this story, Please clarify whether or not Quirrel is possessed by Voldemort in any way, or even if he met him at some point.
wes chapter 49 . 6/2/2011
I love the chapters, and I hate being a grammar nazi.

If you care look at "Of course it was obvious the instant Pofessor Quirrell said it." I am pretty sure that Professor is spelled wrong.
CMoH chapter 49 . 4/3/2011
Rereading this chapter, I just realized that the author's notes at the time when this was new mentioned the conviction of the obviously innocent Amanda Knox. Then I thought, well, it's nice that you mention it, but will she even read the notes? But now that I saw that it's mentioned *in-time*, I had some tears in my eyes because it was so beautifully crafted... this is awesome and I am adding it to the CMoHs on TVTropes!

Any Chance of an update soon? Or maybe a date or something? Please?
TC chapter 49 . 3/25/2011
Damn, I hate myself for not getting immediate reference to Scott Tenorman Must Die. This is brilliant.
ARMH chapter 49 . 2/26/2011
Another great chapter. I love the little harrys in harry's mind;they're hilarious.
sal chapter 49 . 2/10/2011
I did not expect a south park reference :P
E.A.V chapter 49 . 11/29/2010
Yes and yes!
Tinfoil chapter 49 . 11/6/2010
I enjoy this story - thanks for writing :)
Indigo Ziona chapter 49 . 10/30/2010
'"I shall have a bowl of green lentil soup, with soy sauce," Professor Quirrell said to the waitress. "And for Mr. Potter, a plate of Tenorman's family chili."'

It's rather rude to assume what someone else wants for their dinner, unless they can't talk or indicate and you have an idea of their tastes. That's it... Quirrell is evil.

'...just as Professor Quirrell said, "Mr. Potter, would I be correct in guessing that you are also a Parselmouth?" '

Nice. Which rather makes me wonder if the deliberate ordering was specifically to get to the bottom of Harry's newfound veganism.

'the murder of Abigail Myrtle '

Myrtle's her first name, isn't it?

'Grindelwald's Confunding of Neville Chamberlain'

Ahahahahahahaha. That would make so much more sense than history. Or it would if people didn't actually possess the capacity to be extremely stupid out of a mistaken sense of self-preservation :)

'Salazar Slytherin had been very cunning indeed. Cunning enough to come up with a way to bypass the Interdict of Merlin.'

That is rather brilliant, not to mention making something of the massive plothole that is the Chamber of Secrets. That said, I always thought CoS was a bit underrated, as the books go – the whole 'little girl possessed by the Dark Lord' plot is impressively dark for a book meant for the 8-12s.

"If only You-Know-Who had lived, you might have persuaded him to teach you some of the knowledge that would have been your heritage, from one Heir of Slytherin to another."

Quirrell is EVIL. I mean, he turns into a poisonous snake.

Reading on...
necro-wulf chapter 49 . 10/16/2010
I caught that. You just fed Harry Potter human flesh.
ThrustVectoring chapter 49 . 10/15/2010
I had a funny thought: Animagi are those wizards that can transform into an animal that is the same kind as their Patronus. Harry Potter's Patronus in MoR is a human. Can Harry learn how to be an Animagus, and if so, can he transform into a human? If so, what uses would it have?
KDay2 chapter 49 . 10/14/2010
I'm really enjoying this. To the detriment of everything else I had on my to-do list today, but it was well worth it. Thank you for writing and sharing it. I've recommended it to a number of my friends.
Kutta chapter 49 . 10/14/2010
Great chapter
dinosaurusgede chapter 49 . 10/14/2010
wait, is Fawkes the phoenix a sentient then? coz it seem intelligent enough.
William H. Stoddard chapter 49 . 10/13/2010
AlpineBob: Actually, nuts are not the equivalent of fruit. Fruit is a shell surrounding the seed(s) of a plant, loaded with tasty and nutritive substances to advertise it to animals so that they'll eat the fruit and disperse the seed(s). But nuts ARE the seeds. Shell a peanut and remove the brown husk, for example; you'll see exactly the same two-seed-leaf structure as in a pea or a Lima bean. Sunflower seeds obviously are also seeds. So if you eat and digest the seeds, you are aborting the seedlings. I suppose one might debate whether vegetative life begins from the formation of the seed or only when it sprouts. . . .
Symmetry81 chapter 49 . 10/13/2010
Well, I've been following this one for a while and its been well worth my time. The characters diverge a lot from cannon and are a bit absurd at times, but they're still self-consistent and well realized. As a longtime reader of Less Wrong I'm not seeing much that is new to me rationality wise and occasionally the messages are a bit heavy handed... but this fic makes me laugh out loud in delight on a regular basis with the cleverness of the characters, or the situations, or just the writing.
Arkh Cthuul chapter 49 . 10/13/2010
A truly great chapter.

With the most evil cliffhanger you had so far.

Loved it. Nough said.
AlpineBob chapter 49 . 10/13/2010

Reading all the commentary, insights, speculations, etc. about HP&tMoR is almost as much fun as reading HP&tMoR itself.

Still, "almost" can be a very relative term. I'd gladly forgo all the reviews for another real chapter NOW. But while a distant second, they are better than nothing...
AlpineBob chapter 49 . 10/13/2010

"I'm a bit confused by the way you seem to be using "sentient" as a synonym for "intelligent". In my dictionary "sentient" means "capable of feeling" or "responsive to sensory stimuli". Clearly, therefore, chickens are sentient. Whether they have what we would recognise as intelligence (or how much) is another matter."

I've always thought sentient WAS a synonym of intelligent. Should have looked it up, I suppose, instead of going by context in old SF novels.

Hmm, both chickens & Harry's pouch are sentient, I guess, by the second definition. Though the only stimuli the pouch responds to is a request for items it contains, which is very limited...

Darn it, I feel cheated to find out "sentience" is not the word I always imagined it was. Not very rational of me, I know...
AlpineBob chapter 49 . 10/13/2010

We don't know for certain that "the Parselmouth is able to instill sentience in any snake-like creature... including a patronus".

It certainly seems so, but it is also possible that a patronus has a certain intelligence of its own, from the caster. Certainly an animagus has the caster's intelligence.

Further down you mention that Quirrel would know that Harry has told "about the Slytherin secret". Though he actually does NOT know that - at least, he states that he believes Dumbledore _stole_ the secret from Harry's brain.
AlpineBob chapter 49 . 10/13/2010
Harry, who tells me: "Toads sing."

Interesting. Is that enough to make them useful as familiars?

Or is that a note in re Harry's search for sentience?

Anyway, something has occurred to me since I wrote my note about familiars. Which is: are there ANY adults with familiars in canon? I'm not sure, as I stopped reading the Potter series midway through (I became a bit tired of the inconsistencies and angst). I do remember Hermione and Ron fighting over their respective animal's actions, but I don't actually remember those animals doing ANYTHING at all useful. Even the owls just deliver mail, which might be done as well by some spell or another. And as they aren't useful, it is small wonder no adults have them...

Which brings me to this, I don't expect you to resolve ALL the inconsistencies in the Potterverse, but it sure is fun seeing how many you do!
Another Lazy Rationalist chapter 49 . 10/12/2010
Two things:

Mr. Hat and Cloak: "... entity which Salazar Slytherin keyed into his wards at a higher level than the Headmaster himself."

Prof. Quirrell: "... Salazar Slytherin would have keyed his monster into the ancient wards at a higher level than the Headmaster himself."

If I go with the idea that Mr. Hat and Cloak is Prof. Quirrell am I reading too much into the above similarity?
WestWard101 chapter 49 . 10/12/2010
So the Dementor was a get Harry to turn Dark.

It seems that Voldemort is looking to Harry as a protege.

The dojo story sticks in my mind. Voldie doesn't seem the type to tell disparaging stories about himself, even false ones.
Troofs chapter 49 . 10/12/2010
I can't believe I only found this story now. P Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I only mainly pay attention to fics containing Hermione and a Slytherin. (any Slytherin, mostly, be it Draco, Blaise, Snape or Theo)

Anyway this is so effing awesome. It's hard to find fics like this nowadays. I am definitely recommending this to my Potter obsessed friends. rational!Harry is a fun!Harry. D

It's an awesome story with great character development and storylines. I hearted Quirrell in this one. It's a really great story. )) I give it a 10 out of 10.

Update! ))
TsuQ chapter 49 . 10/12/2010
Wanted to let you know I am still enjoying your story.

I must say, Harry's ability to conjure a patronus of his particular sort shows a remarkable strength which I personally have had difficulty marshaling. I can't help think about the boy, ignorance, who leads to doom, and how profitable and popular ignorance seems to be.

I certainly see how one might surmise the final words of Voldy to his hidden pet, although I felt his belief that he was the only one who could benefit might have an effect.

In any case, this fic is still highly enjoyable and refreshingly unique. Keep it up ]
Colour Coded Chaos chapter 49 . 10/11/2010
Interesting use of Rule 34. Although it reminds me of a story in which a wizard could turn into any animal he wanted to by stamping his foot... and promptly turned into a snake.

Also, the choice of Amanda Knox as a name has been discussed in the author notes. Read 'em, chuck.
chlorinehamster chapter 49 . 10/11/2010
Interesting use of the name Amanda Knox. Was that purposeful?
ejhawman chapter 49 . 10/11/2010
/nod about Harry seeing Thestrals. "seen death and *comprehended* it..." can be used to address cases where the viewer does not *remember* seeing it, as Harry didn't until recently - or explain why students can't see them after seeing, say, a bug get crushed, which probably most students will have seen.

Harry starts to develop schizophrenia from his anxieties! Each House is represented in him. Would be funny, if the boy weren't scared to death.

Quirrelmort plays Harry like a fiddle. The intellectual wrestling match is fascinating: Harry wondering how Quirrel knows so much or guesses so much. The Sorting Hat speaking in Parselmouth? Often it is interpreted as being a telepathic conversation, so no one else should have heard anything, but some have it merely speaking low, as in the movies. If it can be overheard, though, how about someone inventing a magical gun microphone to listen in next year?

Abigail Myrtle - everyone else has assumed "Myrtle" was her first name, and come up with last names for her. More points for originality.

Good discussions about why Slytherin put a monster in his Chamber, and how Tom Riddle gained much power from it. After killing the monster, might he have created his own to replace it? Just to guard the chamber, not to carry any information?

Naturally Quirrelmort is a snake Animagus. You have to wonder why he isn't in canon... and then your notes mention the *other* Rule 34.

Would Voldemort have learned his transformation at school, as the Marauders did? Dying and possessing someone else does not seem to have affected his form. I hope Harry doesn't master his Animagus transformation this year - he's gaining power awfully fast as it is.
Harvey chapter 49 . 10/11/2010
AlpineBob; Toads sing.
suddenmaelstrom chapter 49 . 10/11/2010
Please, more?

I feel like Oliver Twist, asking for just one more serving.

But I mean it, nontheless.
Swordchucks chapter 49 . 10/11/2010
Dude, you made Harry eat Scott's parents! You bastard!

Anyway, excellent chapter and excellent story.
Him-mione chapter 49 . 10/11/2010
We don't know that the Chamber only contained the basilisk. We only know that Harry was rather more preoccupied with not getting eaten to explore properly, and then had other things on his mind. Whether anyone tried to go in later to see if there was anything else in there, we don't know. Harry never thinks about it, displaying a deplorable lack of curiosity (but this is nothing new for the Canon Potter).

Ron and Hermione go back in Book 7, but only to get basilisk fangs. Since Voldemort was attacking Hogwarts, they weren't exactly on a sight-seeing tour.

Nobody asks Harryto open the Chamber for them, but Voldemort and Harry are, I imagine, not the only parselmouths in existence.
Nomad1 chapter 49 . 10/11/2010
This is an entertaining and highly original read, although you're keeping me guessing over exactly how much you're intending your Harry's attitudes and philosophy to be vindicated; I'll be interested to see where this goes from here.
Ann Morgan chapter 49 . 10/11/2010
"All right," Harry said coldly. "I'll answer your original question, then. You asked why Dark Wizards are afraid of death. Pretend, Headmaster, that you really believed in souls. Pretend that anyone could verify the existence of souls at any time, pretend that nobody cried at funerals because they knew their loved ones were still alive. Now can you imagine destroying a soul? Ripping it to shreds so that nothing remains to go on its next great adventure? Can you imagine what a terrible thing that would be, the worst crime that had ever been committed in the history of the universe, which you would do anything to prevent from happening even once? Because that's what Death really is - the annihilation of a soul!"

Which is about the conclusion that a character I play in a Harry Potter RPG game, an expert 'apparator' came to. He is actually now working for Lucius Malfoy, and planning on helping him take over wizarding England, because in return for assisting Malfoy in committing the rather minor insult against muggleborn wizards, and not allowing them into a school (Hogwarts) whose existence they won't be informed of anyways, Malfoy is in return going to give him and everyone else in England a benefit of literally infinite value, namely he will remove all the dementors from England, so nobody will have to worry about having their soul devoured.

This apparator is sometimes quite a nasty bit of work. Other than teleporting people to pleasant little vacation spots, such as outer space, or the bottom of the ocean, he also makes objects appear above them and fall on their heads, or simply deliberately splinches parts OFF people or objects. As the saying goes, he slices, he dices, and he makes sushi out of your internal organs in 18 different ways. Killing him is somewhat problematic, as his first reaction to ANY perceived threat that could possibly be deadly, is simply to APPARATE away, not necessarily, but not necessarily NOT, either re-apparating BEHIND the person who posed the threat, or else simply returning later with several well armed friends.

He also has a rather interesting thought for dealing with Lord Voldemort, should the need arise. His idea is to simply splinch off both of the Dark Lord's frontal lobes, leaving him a vegetable. The Dark Lord, of course, is the wizard who can't be KILLED. Not the wizard who can't be LOBOTOMIZED.

By the way, Harry's reasoning is in error. His notion that if a soul actually existed, it would then necessarily allow a body to continue to function normally if the brain is damaged is erroneous, somewhat along the lines of the idea that if television signals actually existed, they would necessarily allow your television to continue to function normally, even after you took a sledge hammer to the circuitry inside. The existence of dementors, in fact, permits research as to whether the soul exists or not. Take someone who has been soul-sucked by a dementor, and see if you can find physical damage in their brain. If you can't, then that is good evidence that the soul exists.

As a matter of fact, there is a very simple way, given the spells in the Harry Potter books, to prevent a dementor from EVER being able to suck your soul. Even if you are chained up in Azkaban and served to one on a platter. If you are logical, and do believe in the existence of souls, you would run out and do this immediately. Which my character has, in fact, done. I'll give you a week to think what it could be, then I'll tell you.
AlpineBob chapter 49 . 10/10/2010
"and Dumbledore is clearly willing to prosecute the case regardless."

I believe Dumbledore will 'pursue the matter'. Prosecuting the case is exactly what he is trying to avoid or undo or negate or something...


Going further up, the 4, 4, 2 listing when Harry is describing the conveyance is, while certainly even, just not terribly smooth.

It would be better to either go with 8 or 6, 4, 2, or all 2's (2 axles, 2 sets of wheels, 2 huge etc.). I just think it would flow better that way...


"His library research hadn't turned up any sign of wizards speaking to nonmagical plants. Or any other nonmagical animals besides snakes"

I'm not sure, but "non-magical" should perhaps have a hyphen?

Anyway, that statement confirms that Wizards just aren't trying! Harry may or may not know of Koko and the other chimps that have been taught to communicate, but certainly he knows that some parrots can be taught to ask for crackers.

So apparently Salazar (or more likely some ancestor of his), had a bright idea in re snakes, but never thought to apply it to other animals, and since then either no one has considered the usefulness of similar abilities with other animals, or no one has been able to successfully make such a spell work.

Speaking of animals & wizards - what exactly is the purpose of a wizard familiar? Owls, rats, toads, etc.? Owls, at least, seem to be intelligent enough to take orders and deliver mail. I was assuming that the others could also be given orders and perhaps communicate as well, but I guess not...
Graydon chapter 49 . 10/10/2010

Don't forget that if (as seems probable) the dementor was a Quirrell-plot, it didn't do what it was supposed to do; Quirrell isn't a rationalist - maybe a pragmatist - and had no way to expect that Harry could destroy one. So whatever we're seeing now is the backup plan, or the reactive plan, formed after the big surprise.

Harry is 11; he's not poking at the sense of doom because he doesn't want to know the answer. This is a rationalist sin and he's quite likely to pay for it later in the story.

I suspect a whole lot hinges on whether Harry takes Quirrell's social advice and asks Hermione about it before he does it.
mixster chapter 49 . 10/10/2010
I'm not sure if I can convey what I think. Somehow, you have a whole cast of characters with complimentary flaws. The story is made of layers of parody, drama, tension and more at every point, yet isn't 'confusing' to follow. You are directing us down some obscure path into a deep abyss of rationality, where no one has ever been before, yet it seems no more unfamiliar than going home.

All in all, this is a story that is expertly woven together to produce something that is truly unique. The only thing I know for sure is that I have no idea where you will take us, but I plan on being there.
notBald chapter 49 . 10/10/2010
The "nothing odd here" remark got a chuckle out of me.
Bias Hazard chapter 49 . 10/10/2010
From Chapter 12:

"This whole business with seeking Slytherin's secrets... seemed an awful lot like the sort of thing where, years later, you would look back and say, 'And that was where it all started going wrong.'"

Another excellent chapter. I was listening to a creepy ambient song (Aphex Twin - Tree), which significantly upped the Sense of Doom I felt the first time I read it. When Harry thought that Quirrell must have done something illegal, I suddenly worried that he was /about to do/ something illegal. So with the phrases "reflex", "instinct", "blur", "shift" and "sudden motion" in quick succession, my brain instantly assumed that Harry was being physically assaulted, which startled me. What followed wasn't a disappointment given that panic. Fantastic.

This take on the Basilisk's function is great! It may be dead, as Quirrell speculates. It makes sense for Voldemort to have killed the Basilisk. The only reason he might keep it alive would be if he thought he could /lose/ that knowledge, and need to regain it. Tom Riddle made contingency plans, the Horcruxes for example. Could he have foreseen a situation in which he would lose his knowledge? If Quirrell does embody some or all of Voldemort's original utility function, but not all of his knowledge... it could have been a known risk with death-prevented-by-Horcrux. Or an unplanned bug, but that seems like a stupid oversight.

I wonder if powerful magic can be learned by Legilimency, and if the serpent had the curse of the Basilisk before meeting Tom Riddle.
daemonkieran chapter 49 . 10/10/2010
I love this story. I like that you use rational arguments to validate theories. I like the sardonic humor and the off-kilter way Harry introduces everyone into. I like that Quirrell has such an interesting mind that he puts to use instead of just being a sniveling carrier for snake-face. I appreciate that there is always something new to learn, a different idea to consider. This is a true delight to read, as it is very mind-stimulating.
aaronmicalowe chapter 49 . 10/10/2010
Less Wrong:

"If you didn't just enjoy this fic, but learned something from it, then please consider blogging or tweeting it. A work like this only does as much good as there are people who read it."


I only tend to learn when I listen and then more likely to if I believe I'm hearing some truth I want to hear. Science does hold truths though not necessarily the truths I'm interested in (though all truths are interlinked and one often leads to another). Still, it feels more like mental entertainment than true learning even though I do enjoy reading MOR. But you know what it's like sometimes, the best truths are true on infinite levels, and it can take years for the next level to be truly understood. However, it's all getting stored up in that thing I call a brain, and if there are any truths in it I will hopefully benefit from them one day and knowing me as a blabbermouth will share it with everyone I can. Whether I remember it coming from MOR or that I'll talk to anyone that cares is another thing :o)
Vampyromaniac chapter 49 . 10/10/2010
"I'm still wondering what affliction he has that turns him into a zombie when he's not engaged."

Perhaps that is when Quirrel is conversing with his inner Voldemort.
dinosaurusgede chapter 49 . 10/10/2010
Excellent chapter! Quirellmort giving hints about chamber of secrets is quite unexpected. the basilisk has the recipe to power is a good solution for chamber of secrets lack of any important secret. I thought chamber of secret is (perverted)Slytherin's peeping hole for unexpected Hogwarts girl students.
showstopper573 chapter 49 . 10/10/2010
since i just read this thru till the current update without reviewing i will just make up by leaving a review per chapter and and review wenever i feel da urge to go back and reread a chapter. excellent story btw i like the character flaws being passibly realistic in the context they are portrayed in
Ossindie chapter 49 . 10/10/2010
I wanted to answer the whole Amanda Knox issue you brought up in your profile page comments, since I currently cannot join the website and answer there.

With no prior knowledge of the case except remembering that I heard vaguely about an American student charged with murder in Italy an hour and a half ago, I can now safely say I have an above average knowledge of the case. I even read the relevant parts of the evidence log book linked on the Guilty page in Italian. I now have a notebook with about 10 pages filled with observations about evidence, timelines and various other details.

I came to the conclusion that the probability of Knox having committed the murder is somewhere in the range of 1%. I am not equally sure about Sollecito, and put the probability of him having committed the murder in the 5-10% range (which still isn't enough for a conviction, but merely further investigation of Sollecito's claims and evidence - flimsy as it may be). I am a 100% sure that Guede murdered Kercher (regardless of the fact that he may have had help - though I don't see how that could have been Sollecito, but I leave that one open to interpretation).

The only problematic aspect of my interpretation was, in the beginning, the fear that I may have been influenced by your assertion of Knox' innocence. However, reading through the evidence, the trial and character descriptions of both Knox and Sollecito, I now believe your assertion has not swayed my opinion in any significant way which would impair the objectivity of my analysis and proposed conclusion.

Other than that, great new chapter. I'll keep it at that.
rockindownthehighway chapter 49 . 10/10/2010
loved this chapter.

awesome awesome awesome, harry and quirrel's interactions are just on another level entirely
SingularOp chapter 49 . 10/9/2010
Great last two chapters. The start of 48 was hilarious and 49 really moved the plot forward. Looking forward to more :-)
The French Dark Lord chapter 49 . 10/9/2010
WB chapter 49 . 10/9/2010
Quirrel as you write him may be my favorite character of the story. Much more intriguing and in-depth than the Quirrel of canon.

The only thing that bothers me is why Harry ignores the feeling of doom. It doesn't make sense. I suggest that it be addressed in one of the next chapters.

One reviewer wondered what affliction Quirrelmort had that would make him like a zombie when not engaged. Gave me a funny idea comparing Quirrel to the Sorting Hat...
OttL chapter 49 . 10/9/2010
So, how does the parseltongueslytherin descendant thing work again? Did Sazar Slytherin actually come up with talking to snakes power? It can't be so I suppose I'm missing something. But then how could he ensure some other parseltongue found out? Like Dumbledore said he knew other parseltongues. Wasn't tom's mother's family the last descendants? There could be some cousins out there I guess but still if all you need to do it talk to it.

Bah, the answer is just 'magic' isn't it? :(
twistyguru chapter 49 . 10/9/2010

Now, is the basilisk still alive in the Chamber, or not?

Rule 12 notwithstanding, a creature of that much potential power-that only you can speak with-might be the exception to the rule. Especially as parseltongue is such a rare gift...

I'm waiting for the revelation that Voldemort is Quirrell's puppeteer, and how Harry reacts to that.
jdboss1 chapter 49 . 10/9/2010
I am very nervous about confessing actually liking Hermione in front of him I do picture something drastic happening to me over the summer like a house suddenly Burns down or the plane she's on get swallowed by a dragon just so the defence teacher can act out his plot in making Harry Potter more malicious he does show too much niceness around him I do believe it is obvious that he's not as evil as he makes out to be "harry"

The one thing I cannot understand is why does the headmaster allow the trips out of school he must realise the teacher is a bad influence unless the headmaster is used in a Time Turner and is drinking lots and lots of potion and it's completely insane or pretending to be two people seriously your statement at the end about the snake was excellent any team of magical police officers

could so easily kill it amplified the sound of a bird noise job done

the story I felt that gave the best justification for having the snake was

Harry Potter and the Quantum Leap » by Seel'vor H/HR

where harry said described to Hermione parents that 1000 years ago there was a lot more fearful other non-medical people and that the snake was as a defence for the school

(in that particular story Quantum Leap Harry Potter got a metal box made it bigger on the inside painted blue printed police phone box box on the top turned it into a reusable Port key from the inside )result

one Tardis coming up (And the gyroscope spinning the opposite direction to make the light perfectly smooth from the Disney Effects

So basically I would like you Harry Potter to bash out the laws of space expansion Magic and some think go inside something to go inside something go inside something and then design A design program that can even map the hidden spaces

Keep up the brilliant work

Have joined the Facebook group

I'm trying to persuade my father in two reading this book out loud so I can make an audio book for everybody
Sceptic Watcher chapter 49 . 10/9/2010
I did like the South Park reference a lot :)

Not sure about the rest of the chapter. It was ok, I guess, but I'm eagerly awaiting more awesomeness like the Dementor scene. Perhaps a bit hard to judge other chapters by what has been, so far, the best part of your story in my opinion, but it is difficult not to make that comparison.
uo-chou chapter 49 . 10/9/2010
Quirrel's a snake animagus? Crazy. I'm still wondering what affliction he has that turns him into a zombie when he's not engaged. Keep up the great work, this is the best fic on this site by far.
A Bibliophile chapter 49 . 10/9/2010
I think it is interesting that Quirrelmort asked not "How would I have turned out if I had friends?" but "How would you turn out if you did not have friends?"

I think that statement really showed a lot about his personality.
yamiishot chapter 49 . 10/9/2010
Oooh I wonder what this secret meeting is going to be about?
capdancer chapter 49 . 10/9/2010
Struck me as a low-key chapter for building to the next climax, lacking the more poignant moments that are characteristic of the author. I missed a couple of the inferences, but that may just be me - what Harry is thinking but not quite described in the text.

Harry is facing the persistent problem of Quirrell out-guessing him, apparently not realising that the Professor always has more information to hand than Harry does. This makes me wonder when Harry will change the rules again; in the recent chapters, Harry realised things about the Dementors and the Patronus Charm that put him in control and allowed him to surprise both Quirrell and Dumbledore.

The dominoes seem to be falling...or maybe it's that the penny is dropping, too: for Harry, the ultimate rationalist, the irony seems to me that friendship & love are not rational at all...but they are all that might save him.
Overlooked Supporting Cast chapter 49 . 10/9/2010
First of all, and this is just for starters, "Then here is what I might have done at your age, if there had been anyone to do it for -" is the most ominous ending line I've seen in a long, long time. Frankly, I'm kind of disturbed at the thought you will shortly demonstrate how Quirrelmort might have expressed... youthful affections. Kudos.

Beyond that, though, I notice I am confused. You reintroduce the Chamber of Secrets, not only a key plot point, but a titular feature of the setting. Then, within the same conversation, you seemingly dismiss it entirely as one of the 'obvious mistakes' your Rational!Voldemort manages to avoid. From a narrative standpoint, this seems a little flimsy, and it provoked me to think about it.

So Salazar is a genius. He puts a secret spell on his rival's own intelligent quasi-living hat, he manages a secret chamber underneath all four Founders' noses, he puts wards around it so powerful that the geniuses that follow him, up to and including Dumbledore, cannot penetrate them. He figures out a way around the Interdict of Merlin, that which is causing the decline of magic itself, and engineers everything so perfectly that none other than a 'geniune' Heir of Slytherin ever does discover the chamber.

We're expected to buy that Voldemort foils his plans, the plans of an unmatched ancient genius who lived, fought, and died in the Middle Ages, with a single common spell? I can understand that Voldemort might think that, given his arrogance, given that none of his contemporaries are both as intelligent and vicious as he. That's the sort of mistake he might make. I don't see why Harry would reach Quirrelmort's suggested conclusion and just... stop, though. It has to occur to him that anyone who could make a snake immortal would probably rather make himself immortal instead, that -line- of basilisks makes more sense from an implementation standpoint. And that is only one possibility. It has to occur to him that Salazar Slytherin, of all people, would anticipate treachery and viciousness, given his life and times, even before his reputed attitude. It has to occur to him that Voldemort cannot outsmart everyone. That he had to miss something, somewhere.

Either way, Harry is likely to make a visit, but I can't imagine him doing so while expecting to be disappointed. Right now, he is using his ironic idol's reasoning as a stop sign. He followed along Quirrelmort's arguments and accepts the conclusions. I'll be extremely surprised if it remains that way.

So, instead of actually reviewing your writing, as I originally intended, I find myself on the tail end of four brief paragraphs of character and plot speculation. You may consider that a passing grade. I'd assign you a numeric score, a percentile of some sort, or maybe a letter, but I've abandoned such systems. You've so completely spoiled the curve that everything else pales in comparison, and I've retreated to the tribal dichotomy of acceptance/rejection in an almost bewildered consternation.

Hybrid Theory is making a good attempt at keeping up, though, for all that it outright celebrates the tired cliches of self-insert fanfiction. Thanks for the recommendation. It never ceases to amaze me just how many Ranma crossovers there are out there.
mantimeforgot chapter 49 . 10/9/2010
How odd...

So the Parselmouth is able to instill sentience in any snake-like creature... including a patronus...

Even supposing that it is personal magic, the materialistic hypothesis of consciousness is still heavily damaged, since this parsel-magic does not seem to discriminate animagus form from natural serpent. The animagus form will be "identical" to a natural serpent in terms of construction and yet a human intellect is able to inhabit it... somehow, and further still parsel-magic is able to temporarily? instill a comparable sentience into all serpent-like beings.

Quirrel almost certainly knows that Harry leaked the secret. The question is why does Quirrel not press the issue? Quirrel seems shocked that Harry is willing to be "loyal" or "kind" to him, and yet he knows that Harry is the kind of person who would destroy dementors rather than use them, hangs out with Granger, and would tell about the Slytherin secret... I notice that I am confused, but I think this is because I am missing a premise, not that any of my priors are demonstrably false.

Overall very good chapter again. I look forward to the exchanges between Harry and Quirrel in the future.
mynameisthedoctor chapter 49 . 10/8/2010
This chapter was TROPERIFIC!
anon chapter 49 . 10/8/2010
...Dang for a second I thought Quirrel was about to drop a rule from the Evil Overlord list but then I realized the list was made in 1995...
stoictimer chapter 49 . 10/8/2010
wow. it's been a long long time since I've found a story that just blew my mind away. It's amazing that there hasn't been one huge confrontation/battle against voldemort yet. The anticipation and tension is killer for me. I love how you give us teasers and hints of the original timeline and are able to hold this story on your own terms ... and not lie heavily on Rowling's plot arches.

The draco/harry friendship and it's complications rang true to me... thank you for not making it so easy for them to shake hands and be the best of friends.

The entire time I've been trying to figure out Quirrell... i love the new re-vamped Quirrell (i hated his stutters in the series) and i'm beginning to buy that he might haven't any connection to the one in the book... other than he took on the DA position. . . can't shake my suspicions but it's one of the things that got me hooked onto your story. thank you for sharing!
LunaSlashSea chapter 49 . 10/8/2010
Excellent chapter
Tall Tails - Feline Jaye chapter 49 . 10/8/2010
Hm... I wonder if he thinks Harry & Hermione fancy each other... (and I add that I hope they don't).

Horray for quick updates, nice little chapter.
Kaneta chapter 49 . 10/8/2010
I wonder if poor trapped Quirrel hopes to free himself, using the time when he is only snake and not Voldemort. I wonder if Harry could possibly help him.
N chapter 49 . 10/8/2010
Different than other chapters, very Quirrel centric with Quirellmort being wise and having figured it all out and closing with some mystery while Harry was left to catch up instead of dominating the situation, interesting premise for possible Quirrelmort Harry altercation
dundee998 chapter 49 . 10/8/2010
... It's not over, is it? Only the AN at the beginning speaks of this in past tense, and there isn't the usual blurb about the chapter notes being in your profile... I'm being paranoid. Of course this thing isn't over yet. Harry's still got to discover Quirrel's identity and choose which side of the oncoming war he'll be on. Of course, he'll probably take the third option and force the Ministry and Voldemort to join forces against him like in the faux battles, or something similarly outrageous and splendidly logical in that peculiar rational way of his. I am a naughty reader, and haven't been keeping track of all the other plot lines running around loose like small naked children to be herded back inside. To be honest, I have very little clue of how this is all going to end. This story completely breaks free of all formulas heretofore introduced in HP fanon; whatever I predict will surely be mocked in a later chapter as 'how idiotic! Why on earth would that happen?' But I am surprised at this chapter. Voldemort has broken one of the most important rules of the Evil Overlord List: "Don't turn into a giant snake." Sure, the benefits of being an animagus may be quite tempting, but you'd think the certainty of snake transformationdeath would make him hesitate.
Brandon chapter 49 . 10/8/2010
Crappity crap crap. A friend of mine shared a link to this story on his Facebook page, and knowing him to be an incredible nerd, I took a gander. I was almost instantly hooked, I've had to suppress enormous peals of laughter in a library on multiple occasions, and I'm generally loving every moment of reading. However, being as it was so long, I had assumed it was finished. Knowing now that I will have to wait with baited breath for each and every update makes me wildly impatient. Still, thank you so much for your incredible ingenuity and for sharing your obvious knack for storytelling.
Sarshi chapter 49 . 10/8/2010
Harry is waaaay too trusting of one Quirrell.

Anyway, awesome! The Parseltongue bits actually sound like a real language translated back to English. I cannot express how happy I am.
Rodrigo Black Potter chapter 49 . 10/8/2010
Voldemort is evil. Quirrel is Voldemort. Hence he is evil. But he is Fun. No, he is EVIL!

damm, I know he is evil and kills people, but he is so much fuun! hahahaha

ok then then, next saturday i will be here!
Squeamish chapter 49 . 10/8/2010
Tenorman Chili?

I bet that scar works in the opposite direction.
Adam Shea chapter 49 . 10/8/2010
I think Harry is underestimating that someone like Quirrelmort who has no moral qualms about rampant legillimancy would be able to gain much more information than you'd think.

As Harry isn't a very experienced occulimens he probably doesn't keep the shields up all the time so Quirrelmort just does a Harry-db dump at every opportunity.
Kuzosama chapter 49 . 10/8/2010
I have a feeling Quirrelmort's advice isn't going to be very pretty...

Also, perhaps the Basilisk is alive, and Quirrelmort's tempting Harry to go find it so it might kill Harry?

...We'll see.
sixpacksirius chapter 49 . 10/8/2010
Great chapter again :) Thanks for posting it so quickly! i wonder what Quirrelmort will have to say to Harry, and if it's just going to be a trick. Is everything he advises Harry to do a trick that Harry will understand when some huge action ends up hurting either him or ones he loves?
AlpineBob chapter 49 . 10/8/2010
Well, one of my questions answered already!

Serpent animagus conversing with parselmouth gets to control the conversation. :j At least, this time - I note that Harry didn't even attempt any control, but I don't blame him, as no good would come of such attempt, whether successful or not. But I'm still curious. :/

I do hope that Harry gets more info regarding parseltongue from the professor, though if it is an ability genetically keyed to the Slytherin genome then probably he'll have to find Salazar's diary or something similar to get any good info. Back to experimentation...

also in this chapter, I'm not sure why Harry didn't just evince a sudden fondness for lentil soup himself, but I think being in the vicinity of Quirrel flusters him enough that he becomes almost normal, and azathoth knows I wouldn't have thought to proclaim my love of lentils either.

Getting back to the prior chapters quest for sapience, however, I think no matter what he finds in the stacks about intelligence (just possibly snakes & maybe squirrels, so far), he has to take that as argument from authority, not experimental verification.

These are the people that believed partial transfigurations to be impossible - just because they believe anything doesn't make it so. Dumbledore, for example, believes in an afterlife, while Quirrel doesn't. Lucius believes muggleborns are inferior, and most wizards see muggles as less than human (Harry's own parents aren't allowed to control his finances, for example), while Harry certainly does not.

Heck, Minerva has explictly stated that Phoenixes are not intelligent, while Harry has experienced otherwise in chapter 45: "Fawkes told me to," Harry said.

Given that what various wizards believe, and even what they may have in their books may be taken as anecdotal, then Harry is left with doing experimentation.

First, track down a translator spell. The more "Universal" the better. If it can't translate to & from Sign Language then it probably isn't universal enough for this eventual purpose, as a hypothetical plant language is almost certainly not going to be verbal. And heck, it's called "Body Language" for a reason...

First experiment:

(Be prepared to possibly end up with an intelligent snake as a familiar, as a side effect of these experiments.)

A) find a snake (zoos are full of them, but so are woods if you have the time to find them) and see if a cohort (probably Draco, since he already knows about Harry being a parselmouth, or possibly Quirrel, who also knows, and might also know the needed translation spell.) can speak to the snake using said translation spell.

If is succeeds, color me surprised. The ramifications boggle me...

But I expect this to fail, because if animals caught in the field of translation spell effects were able to speak most likely someone would have noticed by now. Heck, Wizards with pets would likely have _purposely_ tried likely spells on Fido, etc. Anyway, if it does fail, snakes are not natively intelligent. Or, more accurately, not language users. So, move on to:

B) speak with the snake as a parselmouth (use a simple yes/no question such as "do you like to eat mice?", and see if the translator spell enables others to understand parseltongue, both as spoken by you and by the snake. (That is actually a side question.) The important question is whether a person with a translator spell can subsequently talk to the snake (does using parseltongue on a snake make it a persistently intelligent language user?).

If yes, go to Z

If no:

C) Try B again, but with an open-ended request such as "please go over there and see if any mice are available in Draco's pouch, then come and report back to me." See if translation spell users can converse with snake while en route. See if Draco's patronus can converse with the snake.

Ask the snake when it returns if it understood their attempts to communicate.

Whether or not it 'understands' language, if it cannot converse except in parseltongue (and parseltongue is not translatable), then it is not using language, and the effect merely mimics intelligence.

If it can speak, then it is intelligent, at least as best as can be determined so

Z) then you have a familiar, or pet, which you ask to hang around, testing it periodically with the translation to determine the duration of the parselmouth effect.

Really, though, how often are you going to eat snake?

So the real question is, how intelligent are your food sources?

The answer is, using a trusted translator spell, try a conversation with a representative sample of each species.

If it can't talk, and you aren't worried about the pain question (which to me seems just as morally worrisome as the intelligence one), then chow down.

New questions:

Could Draco's Patronus could speak with Quirrel-snake?

Quirrel-snake is obviously intelligent, so could someone with a translator spell speak with him, or are snakes hisses not a language except to a parseltongue? I don't expect to ever find out the answer to most of my questions, but I gotta say it is fun to consider possible answers...

anef chapter 49 . 10/8/2010
I'm thoroughly enjoying the story, but I'm a bit confused by the way you seem to be using "sentient" as a synonym for "intelligent". In my dictionary "sentient" means "capable of feeling" or "responsive to sensory stimuli". Clearly, therefore, chickens are sentient. Whether they have what we would recognise as intelligence (or how much) is another matter.
homunq chapter 49 . 10/8/2010
So, what's with the sense of doom? First, I agree that it's odd that Harry's doesn't investigate it more. I think it's clear that, were Harry to ask Quirrel directly, Harry might be admonished and warned never to do so again, but he wouldn't be entirely cut off. Thus, the worst that could happen is that he'd get an uninformative answer; and it seems it would be worth asking. If he isn't asking because he realizes that the sense of doom might reveal more about himself and he doesn't want to share that info - well, that seems out of character with how generally open he's been with Quirrel about non-obviously-significant facts, progress report aside; and anyway, it seems reasonable that that would be mentioned.

Second, it's odd that Harry can become friends with someone who emanates such an aura. No matter how rational we are, friendship is a matter of feelings.

Third, what's with the disappearing aura when Quirrel goes Animagus? A few hypotheses:

1. Some arbitrary property of animagic, not significant to the plot. If this were the real world, this would be the most likely hypotheses (especially because nothing about magic makes any non-narrative sense anyway), but I think it can be ruled out here as a huge violation of Chekov's Law.

1a. Perhaps some property of Harry's parselmouth ability screens out the aura. That doesn't help explain the doom itself, though.

1b. Perhaps the parselmouth ability somehow detects that Q is animagus and "wants" to speak snakish to him, but is unable, and that dissonance is the source of the feeling. This would conveniently explain everything using only known facts, but I still think it would be a Chekov letdown, and so is unlikely. Also, it seems from canon to be essentially impossible to directly magically detect an animagus as such.

2. The doom has to do with the fact that a consciousness [linked to Harry by a possible Horcrux] is inhabiting a body not its own. Since the animagic is Voldy's, the animal body is also somehow "his", not Quirrel's. This would give pretty strong support to the idea that non-zombie Quirrel is Voldemort, though there would still be other stranger possibilities.

3. The doom has to do with Quirrel's body itself.

3a. For instance, what if Quirrel is Harry, after some sort of magical plastic surgery, and the doom is a time-turner-like effect, but such an effect is based on an encounter between bodies. Not very plausible, since almost all the matter in a body cycles anyway, so the definition of an individual really hinges on mind.

3b. What if the Quirrel body is somehow a reanimated dead body? But why would Harry alone feel the doom?

4. Quirrel is in fact two people, but the non-animagus of those two is the sole source of the doom aura. Listed only for completion, because the implications would be bizarre.

5. Whatever force is trying to warn Harry against Quirrel considers that a poisonous snake is warning enough.

All in all, hypothesis 2 seems most likely. Unfortunately, it's not an idea Harry's particularly likely to come up with on his own. (We as readers would be no better off, if it weren't for canon.)
109 chapter 49 . 10/8/2010
I also much prefer when Petunia used to be fat. She could be wire-thin in the present without precluding being fat in the past, and it does make her much more sympathetic.

This continues to surprise me every time. Holy project to infinity. That part where Harry wants the basilisk's knowledge, I see Harry grinning maniacally, and superimposed on that, Light's face sneering as he towered over L, wow.
Mairaks chapter 49 . 10/8/2010
Not only is this one of the best written and thought-out pieces of fiction I've read, it also made me read through the LessWrong sequences and Eliezer's other short stories.

So, fun and educational in one package. Keep up the good work, Eliezer!
Sabrinasidd chapter 49 . 10/8/2010
I cherish and adore ALL the scenes that involve in-depth conversation between Harry and Quirrell. It never fails to blow my mind... and any and all preconceptions that I might have from reading the Harry Potter books. I'm beginning to think of this fanfic as a work independent in itself, but I still find myself referencing Harry Potter verse elements and narrative outlines to fill in the blanks as well as guess what might happen next.

So I ADORE the scenes between Potter and Quirrell, because those scenes help firmly establish how this is an independent work of fiction in it's own right. Yes, there is a constant comparison and contrast being drawn between this universe and canon, but I LOVE the major deviations that take place to separate the two.

Speaking of which, I actually preferred the scene where Petunia admitted that she used to be FAT (as apposed to vaguely 'not pretty') in the first chapter. In the original version, I could sense Petunia's devastation and anguish over her non-ideal condition. But now, she comes across as slightly vague, shallow and silly. Can you change it back please? The original was MUCH better! Don't worry about it not fitting to canon. The important thing is making it fit effectively within your own fic's universe!

Back to Quirrell. Heeee, he's a snake! Fantastic! Yet more suggestions about how Quirrell is actually Voldomort!

I can't believe that you actually made me grieve for the Basilisk monster! I suddenly stopped seeing it as a threat and killer, and started viewing it as an amazing repository of knowledge. It struck me as a horrible WASTE to imagine the poor thing dead, just because the selfish, thoughtless and short-sighted Voldomort didn't like the idea of sharing. It felt like the world's biggest book burning... destroying all the knowledge, for absolutely no good reason.
November 5th chapter 49 . 10/7/2010
Hm, I wonder. Could this be considered a case of "Its not paranoia if they really are out to get you?" xP You sir... have me wondering. Well and truly wondering... is the entity possessing Quirrel the same one that killed Harry's birth parents?

You've certainly throw enough twists at us thus far. I cannot, however, say that I would not be surprised. Shocked would be a better word, even thinking about it ahead of time.

Contributing to the goal of reviewing to get to the top!

Work Designer chapter 49 . 10/7/2010
The references to time travel seems to indicate that this is a fic in which time travel will play an important role.

Voldemort seems to have come back from a time where he was royally defeated and became smarter because of that. But he would have used methods much superior to a time turner. Why does he need a time turner now?

Another idea about the pointer in Chap 45. The neural pattern for clearly remembering his parent's deaths was not there in Harry. It was probably a blur and that blur was modified by VOldemort, which ties up with the rememberall becoming all red when Harry touched it. He was obliviated and partially wrong memories were put in him.

But if Voldemort was really so smart, what stopped him from taking over the first time?

aaahh! too many hypotheses..

You thought that your battles were something more complicated than death note. The game quirrel seems to be playing seems to be way more than that. I wish I could just sit back and read and enjoy, but I am not able to. I love Good!Harry and don't want him to turn to Dark!Harry.

On a completely tangential note.

I'm just wondering if the methods of rationality is like a magical ring than can transform a squib into a wizard. We live like squibs in our own world. Witnessing wonderful things happening without ever doing anything magical ourselves. Once we learn the methods of rationality, slowly but surely, the universe starts responding to us.
Final-Fan chapter 49 . 10/7/2010
I think Harry's answer to the "progess" question was unnecessarily cold; even at 11, I think I'd have said "not as much as I'd like" if I wanted to be cautious, which seems to me to be a ... less unfriendly way of putting off the questioner, and which, after all, only really discloses that I haven't found it yet.

And I agree with Harry's thought about the Monster - although it's also horrible to think about the loss of knowledge when it died. I wonder what the Malfoys would think of that?
Lord Jeram chapter 49 . 10/7/2010
I was shocked at your South Park reference - highly disgusting; I approve heartily.

Unfortunately it was all too obvious Harry would try to trick Quirrell and fail - very predictable, and the manner in which Quirrell actually figured it out was a TAD contrived. I think that _Harry*_ is not really as smart as he thinks he is (obvious much?), but he should know better than to telegraph like that.

Now the odd things was the reference to "Plant Language" that was then seemingly discarded - subtle (sort of) clue or oversight? Or did you mean to imply that you could speak with magical and not non-magical plants (because that could still be an issue).

This reminds me of the canonical issue with plants that _I_ have - which is the Mandrakes in Chamber of Secrets. They seem like sentient beings - here is a quote: "and in March several of the Mandrakes threw a loud and raucous party in greenhouse three"

And they kill these plants to restore people from petrification... always seemed a bit odd to me. Either it's silly (in which case I think it's not really funny enough) or it's serious (in which case they are murdering sentient beings to save humans - and Mrs. Norris the cat)
KenAR chapter 49 . 10/7/2010
Harry seems surprisingly incurious about the sense/aura of doom he feels around Quirrell, and how it waxes and wanes. (On review of the PDF, he does try to talk to McGonnagall about it in Chapter 17, Locating the Hypothesis. She shuts him down. But it seems odd that he doesn't explore it further.)
bocaJ chapter 49 . 10/7/2010
Another great chapter!

A couple thoughts: First I went through just about the same through process as Harry when considering what the dark lords final words to the Monster of Slytherin would have been, but when I reached the moment of realization, I thought "Obliviate".

I can see either answer being acceptable - avada kedavra makes damn sure that it will never speak again, while Obliviate, if it's done wrong, might leave some memory of the spell in there On the other hand, it would seem a shame to waste an incredibly rare and powerful magical beast that the rare snake-speech ability apparently gives you complete dominion over. Also, the dark lord can probably cast a competent obliviate hex.

It also seemed like a departure from canon in saying that the time-turner could not be used to transport other humans, since such a use is a key plot element in Prisoner of Azkaban, transporting Harry, Ron and Hermione at the same time. I thought perhaps the restriction arose from the shell, so I reread part of Chapter 18, but didn't see it, only the time restriction. Also, it might be that the shell brought about other restrictions, but I don't see how Quirrell would have known about a restriction that no one else seems to talk about, then again, the theme of the chapter seems to be that Quirrell has a reason for knowing everything.

All of that being said, there's no reason you can't depart from canon, but, although I am unstudied in the rules of fanfic, it seems that departures from canon are only to be used on an as-needed basis. Here, the departure is only made so that Harry and Quirrell can find a way to get around the departure.
Azten chapter 49 . 10/7/2010
What if I enjoy the story but learn nothing from it?
Another Lazy Rationalist chapter 49 . 10/7/2010
"Then here is what I might have done at your age, if there had been anyone to do it for -"

I think you mis-copied part of this chapter. I'm sure you'll promptly remedy the error... You evil &#) *$%!

Plot thickening isn't my favorite, but it certainly is effective. Great chapter!
ilikebluepineapples chapter 49 . 10/7/2010
I hope Quirrelmort doesn't suggest something awful. Especially not something awful that sounds good to Harry.

Also, I really, really don't like this new policy about updates. Part of the fun is not knowing when an update will turn up! We may complain about having to check obsessively every day, but it's still *fun*. And surprises are fun. Now I shall click on the story every day just to gaze sadly at it, knowing there will be no update.

If Amanda's really reading this story, that was a pretty thoughtful little cameo you gave her. Awesome.
Larrik chapter 49 . 10/7/2010
So, if word of mouth is the only way to pass on powerful magic, how did an "older student" learn Sectumsempra from a handwritten scrawl in a potions textbook?
12763457 chapter 49 . 10/7/2010
I very much like your Quirrell-Harry interaction, perhaps you are one of the only people to have developed Quirrell's character, unless of course he is simply possessed by Voldermort, but that does not seem to be in line with your characterization.

Your update speed is greatly appreciated, and that you do so without compromising the quality or integrity keeps me coming back for more.
Harmony All The Way chapter 49 . 10/7/2010
Atleast now I know that Salazar Slytherin was not just a 'blood purity' preaching moron and that he had some ulterior motive.

So is the Basilisk still alive ? (either Vol didn't AK'ed it or as some fanfiction authors used to say AK will not affect Basilisk).

Also as Druid said in his review, are you going to introduce "Mirror or Erised" ? I am also interested to see how that goes with a Rationalist Harry ?
boonerunner chapter 49 . 10/7/2010
What is old Salazar's scheme, I wonder? And if Parseltongue is as secure as Quirrell claims, why did he feel the need to erect so many privacy charms beforehand? And did Quirrell tell Harry that the snake was dead because it's true, or just to throw him off the scent? And why do the two examples of Quirrell's rules appear to be the OPPOSITE of their counterparts in the Evil Overlord list? Is Quirrell actually just a cliche overlord after all? Or is he clever enough to avoid the obvious mistakes and figure out the reasons behind the cliches and use them to his advantage?

In one of the books, the Sorting Hat was aware enough to detect the divisions between the houses and compose a song which encouraged the houses to work together. Is it possible in your story that the hat was self-aware to begin with and was just messing with Harry during the sorting?
Donteatacowman chapter 49 . 10/7/2010
I find it interesting how they talk in Parseltongue... I haven't read the books for a while so maybe you're just trying to be accurate by consulting the source material. But it's so broken-not quite Hulk Speak but definitely not proper English. At first I thought that maybe it was because of the grammatical structure of Parseltongue, but if Harry's right, it's more of a reflection on the speaker's mind than the snake's. And that would make sense, considering how easily Harry's brain can translate the hissing into English...

Heh, I feel like I'm forgetting something I was going to say. Ah well. Thank you for another awesome chapter!
Theodosia chapter 49 . 10/7/2010
I'm enjoying this story a lot. _ It's *clever*.
A chapter 49 . 10/7/2010
When did Harry start not worshiping Quirrel?

Also, "It cannot have been easy to create a creature with a lifespan of centuries." :D

Lady of the Hunt chapter 49 . 10/7/2010
Argh! Stoppin mid-sentence, what are, the Sopranos? ARGH! BLARGH!
wildchartermage chapter 49 . 10/7/2010
Haha, aren't you such a genius to be able to write this fanfiction? :P

Why don't you come up to MIT for a day and let all of us MoR fans meet and discuss with you? ;) ;) ;)

Btw, that's a first such cliff-hanger you've done in this chapter. :)
Karsus chapter 49 . 10/7/2010
This version of Quirrel/Voldemort is growing on me. This dude seems to have grown up and deserves to get a new body
Phoenix Flight chapter 49 . 10/7/2010
Yeah, the whole Chamber of Secrets thing didn't make that much sense in the first place, did it?

Funny how you sometimes forget to ask the most basic questions about motivation - like, 'what good or benefit did setting a big snake on the student do for Tom Riddle either time?'
Loonynamelass chapter 49 . 10/7/2010
Strange cliffhanger
lilyoftheval5 chapter 49 . 10/7/2010
There are hardly words to convey my delight with this chapter.

I will point out that I loved how Harry used one of his professor's swears.
callalili chapter 49 . 10/7/2010
There are a lot of things that I disagree with in this story, rationality-wise and not plot/characterization/world-building wise (and lots of things that I agree with too), and overall I have learned some stuff, and thought about some other stuff, and it has been an interesting journey into Harry's mind and a very thorough exploration of how a rationalist thinks.

But personally? I don't think fanfiction is (or should be, anyway) a Public Service in the way that you have described MoR to be. I've always thought of fiction as just that-a vehicle for a story, and the story always takes precedence, and learning anything actually useful or factual or whatever is just an incidental benefit. So I will not be telling my friends to read MoR because they will Learn Things About Rationality; it would feel way too preachy.

On the other hand, I HAVE been telling all my friends to read MoR because it is well written and fantastically enjoyable. I love how you've expanded on Rowling's world; I love how you've tested magic in a way that I always wanted to see tested; I love how everything Makes Sense and the plot has been reforged into something sleeker, more fast-paced, and tons more intelligent. Seriously, I have been pimping this fic to everyone I know. At least four of my friends have really gotten into it. So, that said, I think you should be advertising MoR on the strength of its premise-like, tell everyone to blog about it because it is unique and intelligent and enjoyable, and presents a side of the HR universe unexplored in canon, etc, etc, etc. It's a good story, is my point. Being a good story is what makes it worth reading and talking about to other people. The rationality and science is just part of why it is a good story, and not the main reason why this story should be read.

I guess that is a more fanfic-y centered way to look at this? I hope that helps. I will definitely be suggesting MoR on some hp rec sites.
Vaughn Tyler chapter 49 . 10/7/2010
Dur'id the Druid chapter 49 . 10/7/2010
As usual, great story. Guess we're not going to get an answer to the question of 'Did killing the hat enable Harry to see thestrals?' now... or did I miss when he was taken by the carriage and didn't see the theastrals? Going to have to look.

Are you going to include the Mirror of Ersiad (sp?) in this story. It would be interesting if Harry muttered "So it works like a Dementor or the sorting hat then" where ... well anyone can hear. Dumbledore, Draco, Quirralmort or Hermoine. Any of them would have interesting reactions to that!

It's amazing how complicated your making your world, yet it doesn't contradict itself. A hallmark of a good story I think.
Erezxm chapter 49 . 10/7/2010
Amazing , the interaction is breath taking
Luiz4200 chapter 49 . 10/7/2010
I never thought about Salazar using the basilisk to pass information.
Peregrinate chapter 49 . 10/7/2010
Made a terrible day better when I saw the update. Also-I don't know if you really read the reviews, but, your story brought me to the LessWrong blog, which has completely changed how I think of things, and what I'm planning to do with my life. Just thought I'd let you know. You're doing a really good thing here.

I'm really looking forward to the next chapter. :)
AngelForm chapter 49 . 10/7/2010
Interesting concept.

Some vegetarians say that killing to stay alive is wrong. Scientifically, every animal, plant and bacterium is alive. If no one life is worth any more than any other then everything that eats is morally wrong.

Good test of the Ress-ring, getting access to that lost spell-law from the snakes mouth.

So when do we get a chapter on Harry learning what it takes to be an animagus?
Gogolu chapter 49 . 10/7/2010
DigiEmissary chapter 49 . 10/7/2010
I do wonder if Harry will figure out (before the end of the school year) that Quirrell has such good priors because he's actually Voldemort.

The author's note addressed to Amanda Knox is very thoughtful; however, if she's reading a printed copy it's unlikely that she'd ever see it, given that the author's notes aren't archived anywhere. (hint hint)

Also, regarding my use of "emergent phenomenon" in my previous review: of course, I've read the discussion on Less Wrong about how calling something an "emergent phenomenon" isn't actually an explanation for it. However, my use of the term wasn't meant as an explanation, but as a description. (I am not quite so arrogant as to believe that I can explain sentience in a fanfiction review.) As a description, it is useful to draw contrast between such a phenomenon and a fundamental property, like a particle's spin. Sentience emerges from the interactions between many specialized cells; how could something like that be "given" to an entity that lacks the proper setup of cells (or analogous structures)? The lack of any obvious method for that sort of transference is what makes the idea of Parseltongues "endowing" sentience upon non-sentient lifeforms seem very implausible to me.
Entropic Specter chapter 49 . 10/7/2010
Thanks for another delicious chapter.

Are my reviews getting a bit repetitive in form, I wonder? In any case, that's a nice cliffhanger. Is it one of those, which end up getting fast forwarded out of? Those are a bit troubling, you know. Too effective, maybe.

In any case, there's a slight mismatch between the EOL and the Quirrel list. Heh.

They are visible only to those who have seen death [...] I suppose that the first time you went in front of the Dementor, your worst memory proved to be the night of your encounter with He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named?

Temporal sequence wasn't the same as causation, it wasn't Harry's fault if Professor Quirrell missed that.

Two people can play the same game, I suppose. I wonder if Quirrel had considered that he might have to create a reason for Harry to see the Thestrals, after he killed Rita in front of him. Was there a plan between the murder and dementation sequence? Was it just chance? Hm...

Anyway, thanks for writing. Keep up the great work, and please update soon! Ah, too bad that there's a limit on the soonishness this time. I wonder if that is enough to keep my finger away from the F5 button.
threecankeepasecret chapter 49 . 10/7/2010
I love this fic, I can't wait to find out more about Harry, Professor Quirrell or the dementor-induced memory.
deitarionSSokolow chapter 49 . 10/7/2010
This story continues to amaze me. I think the last time I even approached being this clueless about a character's real goals was when I read a manga named Monster... and that was more a case of a literally award-winning ability to believably inject new plot twists every time you've finally concluded there can't possibly be more.
firedraygon chapter 49 . 10/7/2010
Another twist! I'm really enjoying how you're using the whole Parseltongue thing to move the plot forward. Lovely work. Please write more soon!

Morbious20 chapter 49 . 10/7/2010
Awesome chapter I gotta admit I have no idea what your going to do next and that is quite interesting so please keep it up and post again soon .
wisecurledqueen chapter 49 . 10/7/2010
Great piece. I loved the cliffhanger. Very interesting. Flying squirrles. heh. Thanks!

badkidoh chapter 49 . 10/7/2010
Another great chapter.

I'm looking forward to your next update.
Tom Reagan chapter 49 . 10/7/2010
Excellent chapter.

I found this line interesting:

"Note to self, thought Harry, with a slight chill and an edge of anger, make sure to extract my heritage out of the Dark Lord's mind, one way or another."

Now, I may be completely missing the point here, but how on earth is Harry planning to do this? Time travel? Perhaps Harry has already guessed that the voldemort is not actually dead?

Another thing that made me think (and I have to apologise if I'm completely wrong - I can only claim limited knowledge of the hp universe as an excuse). We learn in this chapter that Quirrel can speak parceltongue - surely this reveals him to be Voldemort? I'm using the assumption, if I recall correctly, that only heirs of Slytherin are parcelmouths (and also that turning into a snake doesn't give him parcelmouth. As I say, I'm probably completely wrong, but it's fun to speculate on such matters, and I can only complement you on writing such intricate, thought provoking prose.
Shrlck chapter 49 . 10/7/2010
"Sstupid question, forgot you were ssmart"

That quote entered my top 50 this week.
kewangji chapter 49 . 10/7/2010
"Answer in speech"?

Is this some form of unbreakable vow? :O
Violet Shadows chapter 49 . 10/7/2010
Are lentils a kind of fava bean?
farwalker chapter 49 . 10/7/2010
Interesting -

I'm still trying to figure out the enigmatic Quirrel.

If he's possessed, his possession is much smoother than in canon.

And he's wooing Harry, which actually does make sense.

I loved the trying to figure out what he can eat after discovering snakes can talk. Harry's sense of compassion and respect for all beings is really amazing.
phoebe turner chapter 49 . 10/7/2010
i loved it!
KsandraMallan chapter 49 . 10/7/2010
*is plugging the story to friends*

Poor basilisk... although Harry will definitely find some way to get around that.
Daniel Wolke chapter 49 . 10/7/2010
Hello. Ahm. I've never written a review for anything that's still in development. It's actually a bit distressing. I want to praise you, while having the least possible effect on you and your writing. In essence, this is what I feel: "I like X more than Y, and Z is getting a bit repetitive, however the introduction of W was brilliant!" Take from that what you will. Be encouraged. Be invigorated! Write!

My reluctance to influence you doesn't extend to your authors notes. I want you to censor a detail. The fact that you told us which decision the rationalists at LessWrong came to, after linking us to a 'litmus test' in which the writer goes out of his way to avoid telling us which conclusion he came to is upsetting. If you can use html/css for the authors notes, maybe implement some kind of spoiler on roll over. If not, perhaps divide it up into two paragraphs, clarifying that one should look at the link before reading on.

P.S. I'm getting rather compulsive with the checking of this page. Today, I managed to check after you posted the authors notes, but before you posted the new chapter. 'I will refuse to post before _.' is a devious solution. Bravo.
john chapter 49 . 10/7/2010
this story is nothing short of literary crack
Gryffandor for Chaos chapter 49 . 10/7/2010
So what does the Defense Professor intend to do with Harry and his Time Turner?

Clearly the Defense Professor has some need to travel through time, to be two places at once.


This is part of some scheme, by which his visible presence at one place will make him not a suspect to Dumbledore of a crime in another. This would have to be some crime of which Harry would be unaware, since otherwise Harry would immediately deduce it was Quirrell who had done it. Quirrell would also need some plausible cover story for what he is doing which Harry will believe is the reason for the trip, so at least one other hypothesis must be true as well.

He intends Harry to witness an event set up between [QuirrellHarry] and Dumbledore from the outside, in a position where only Quirrell can get him, and thus needs two copies of each of them to exist at the same time.

He intends to perform some feat of magic which relies on two magicians, and intends to violate the rule that you must not be seen by yourself in order to do it. This is rare magic, like his Planetarium spell, and he does not wish to teach it to anyone else.

These certainly aren't exhaustive, but they are my best current guesses as to what Quirrell is up to.
kenlon chapter 49 . 10/7/2010
Looney Theory time:

Not Quirrellmort. Quirrell is Dark!Harry, either come back in time or from an alternate dimension/timeline. Quirrell understands Harry far too well, and the feeling of DOOM that Harry gets is probably due to whatever terrible magics his alternate self used to take over Quirrell.

Also neatly explains why Quirrell wants to set up a Light Lord - he thinks in terms of dictatorship, as that's what worked for him (at least until he went over whatever line has caused him to try to come back and change things).

And the fact that he knows he will not survive to teach in the next year - the spells holding him here will dissolve and he'll die.

Of course, this Looney Theory is just that, and I'm probably wrong, but. . .

(I also think that Dumbledore has been playing with time, too, but that's a Theory for another chapter.)
kitiem3000 chapter 49 . 10/7/2010
Quirrel's behaviour is so perplexing! I truly can't figure it out.
hjcallipygian chapter 49 . 10/7/2010
Hahahahaha, I'm sorry this is so juvenile, but... Harry spoke to Draco's snake. "That's what she said." You just dropped the ultimate slashy for Harry/Draco fangirls into your story right there, dude. Is Harry going to expose his magical tongue to McGonagall's cat, next?

Anyway, I haven't yet read past that and this is my only allowed chapter review, so pretend that I've actually given some sort of, you know, worthwhile review here instead of the preceding paragraph. Thank you, good sir.
GetItWrong chapter 49 . 10/7/2010
Well, so at least one of the Evil Overlord rules is *inverted* in this universe. "Always turn into a snake if possible; it's probably very helpful."
FuzzyBoots chapter 49 . 10/7/2010
*groan* Tneorman's chili... assuming there's no older reference I'm missing hear, I would have expected you to be quoting South Park. Interesting part. I enjoy the aspect or dramatic irony in these meetings with Harry and Quirrell where he, as the character, performs actions and says things that we, as the audience, knows are entirely dangerous. He's perfectly logical in his reasoning; he just lacks some of the facts which makes his conclusion fallacious. Nicely done.
jouve25 chapter 49 . 10/7/2010
Cool! After the angst of Chapter 48, I am excited to see what Harry ends up doing for Hermione.
Pandora of Ithilien chapter 49 . 10/7/2010
nice historical nod, and as for quirrell... i do not like how he was cut off mid-sentence, that is a bad sign. i wish harry didn't tell him quite so much, all things considered...