|Reviews for Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality|
| Guest chapter 54 . 4/18
I hate you so much right now you have no idea how much I hate this I KNEW I had zero impulse control and I still said it was okay for me to read today
T-minus 11.5 hours
| ack1308 chapter 54 . 4/7
Welp, the entire contents of the city sewage system just hit the high-speed turbine.
| Jatok chapter 54 . 11/16/2016
Ah, that answers that.
| The Anguished One chapter 54 . 7/28/2016
Well, things hit the fan rather quickly. I doubt Quirrell is dead, but things seems awful doomed for our trio of "heroes" right now. Again, poor Harry. Also, despite her many horrible deeds, I am feeling bad for how broken Bellatrix is right now.
| Montara chapter 54 . 1/24/2016
Things got so out of control that I really don't know what Harry can do to make everything better!
| WatchingTheWatchman chapter 54 . 12/8/2015
This is such a poignant chapter. Bellatrix's characterization is perfect and incredibly disturbing. Voldemort basically used her as a toy and reward for good behavior? That's awful. That Quirrell doesn't react the way Harry does, the way any compassionate human being would, is worrying. I can't wait to see his true motives for this.
| ShadowLDrago chapter 54 . 10/22/2015
Here we go...
| Zyxis chapter 54 . 8/17/2015
I wonder how Bellatrix will recover, if she does. How will she react to finding out that Harry isn't really her lord? Will she recognize Quirell? Must keep reading and find out...
| PA chapter 54 . 5/21/2015
| Village-Mystic chapter 54 . 3/27/2015
| spoonring chapter 54 . 10/6/2014
| Redery chapter 54 . 8/16/2014
This is getting really interesting now. Wouldn't Bella figure out Harry's not voldy when he protected the auror?
| thepkrmgc chapter 54 . 8/2/2014
and quirrel shows his true colors, Im wondering whyHarry decided to launch that sleep spell?
| silverrain-shiningsun chapter 54 . 5/22/2014
Even more dramatic!
| Grizzmon chapter 54 . 1/15/2014
Harry still has a heart, doesn't he?
| 567zoock67 chapter 54 . 12/2/2013
This is really interesting. Harry's certainly got himself up in a fix. I wonder how he's going to get out?
| john chapter 54 . 10/31/2013
I really hope this is going to make sense, because as of now I am not even a little bit on board with the idea that this is Harry acting in character. I'm really, really hoping that this chapter will be explained, and that it is not the end of the good part of the story.
| hapda chapter 54 . 6/17/2013
I really enjoyed your Su/Kao/Xiaoguang Li joke. It made me realize that a few funny puns do exist.
| L.E chapter 54 . 5/16/2013
Ohhhh, it's getting exciiiiiiting!
| Enei Emmu chapter 54 . 2/4/2013
This can't possibly end well...
| Guest chapter 54 . 1/29/2013
Assuming this TSPE section is the 'breakout' which Futurist was referring to, I have to agree that it seems a bit much of a stretch. Also disappointing that your Harry would have followed Q at all after as many obvious hints as he'd seen. (I guess rationalism must allow for failure due to a lack of observation, though.)
Will keep reading in hopes (fueled by recent good reviews) that there may be a resolution to this current mess.
| Guest chapter 54 . 1/19/2013
How can they be so frightened of a delusional, dying witch? Even if she could be stronger eventually, she's sick. They have anti-magic warding schemes in Azkaban.
| outofculture chapter 54 . 1/17/2013
So, if a corporeal patronus charm can be sent about independent of their caster, why wouldn't friends-of-prisoners' patronuses be just hanging out in Azkaban, protecting people (in canon and HPMOR)? Azkaban could maybe be charmed to prevent this, in such a way that patronuses can still get out with messages...? Further, couldn't Harry obliterate dementors from anywhere? Hopefully he'll get the chance to experiment with the spell further.
| voodooqueen126 chapter 54 . 8/2/2012
| Poetheather1 chapter 54 . 7/29/2012
This is not going to end well. Ouch. And poor Harry... really... poor Harry...
| Sophie chapter 54 . 5/20/2012
What does a high cold whisper sound like? Can you make that noise? I tried, several times. It never sounded remotely evil.
| braindoll chapter 54 . 2/13/2012
Re: unblockable killing curse...
It's entirely possible that it actually can pass through any amount of matter, that the range limitation is just that you must be able to see the subject (or their clothes, or otherwise sense them in a way your brain processes as being "direct"). It would be far from the silliest magical rule.
Of course, the curse does dissipate when it's gone too far past its intended target, but that's also not necessarily because it was "blocked" by something.
(... imagines curse cast at a downwards angle, subject apparating to somewhere far off that by incredible bad luck was still in straight line through earth, getting hit anyway)
| Tamara Collins-Parks chapter 54 . 10/9/2011
I am now on my second read through (something I have only done a handful of times in my life). I looked up the Stanford Prison Experiment. It is horrendous. Much worse than what has happened to Beatrix Black. Imagine, not Beatrix, but Harry, with all that he is, participating in a college experiment simulating prison. Imagine him, despite all his skepticism and rationality, finding himself completely buying into it and turning into a cowed prisoner or an do-nothing guard or even a sadistically abusive guard within the first couple of days of the simulation. Imagine, beyond that, that the person in charge of the simulation also gets sucked in . . . . I really, honest to god, think they owe lifetime counseling to anyone who participated in that experiment.
| AR chapter 54 . 9/22/2011
I could practically FEEL the cold chill of his realization how deeply screwed he was.
And even though I have read ahead and I know what happens I still dont see how the boy will EVER trust his mentor again
| AnaRola chapter 54 . 5/25/2011
The last few chapters change tone pretty dramatically, but I think it's extremely well done. I love how - first with the Dementors, now with the Azkaban breakout - you're working within all of the cliches and traditions of the Harry Potter fandom and turning them on their head. Harry's breaking Black out of Azkaban - Bellatrix Black.
The one problem with that is that it seems like Harry is behaving in an uncharacteristically stupid manner. I don't really know what you could to to avoid that reaction - You set up Harry's dislike of Azkaban, his attachment to Professor Quirrell, and his determination to start becoming a hero/God quite well, but no matter how complete the setup is I think anyone who's remotely familiar with canon will recognize "Break Bellatrix out of Azkaban" as a monumentally stupid idea. Maybe have the book Harry reads about Sirius also mention that all trails for Death Eaters after the end of the war were show trials, and that Bellatrix's trial specifically lasted 3 minutes and did not involve the introduction of evidence?
As for what Quirrell (assuming he is Voldemort in this fic) seems to get from breaking Bellatrix out, I'm stuck. Blackmail Harry? Doesn't really make sense. That blood-bone-flesh resurrection ritual? Canon!Voldemort came back pretty powerful using Pettigrew, who was far from a loyal servant, so taking the risk to get Bellatrix (and forewarning Dumbledore that he's planning a return) seems stupid. Whatever Quirrell's motives, I have a feeling he's not being stupid.
That alone says a lot about your story; usually when reading something and a character is doing something that makes no sense, I assume the author wrote the character badly or needed them to fill a plot hole. In this story, I'm inclined to assume you're just several levels above me.
Very few fanfiction writers can write dialogue/humor/lighter stuff and write heavy/plot-driven/action segments. You did well when the action was itself pretty funny/light, with the battles, but here you show you can handle a fairly intense sequence as well. I honestly don't know how Harry is going to get out of this, but I'm sure he will, mainly because Quirrell is such an amazing character you can't give him up quite yet. I'm going to guess some people have probably criticized this for the dramatic shifts in tone/energy, and it does give me mental whiplash, but I think that's half the appeal.
I'm not going to read this chapter three times before I find out what happens next; that would just be torturing myself.
| meyer chapter 54 . 5/9/2011
I can honestly say I never thought I'd feel bad for Quirrelmort, but this chapter managed to do it. Yeowch.
(It was a beautifully executed disaster, by the way.)
| ARMH chapter 54 . 2/27/2011
I really liked this fight scene; it was the first time we saw a fight between actual experienced wizards. It looks like Harry does have an anti-killing curse property, despite what he said in the Fundamental Attribution Error chapter (5?).
| Andrius chapter 54 . 1/26/2011
Holy cow, don't tell me Dragon Poker is a reference to Myth INC series? I LOVE them :)
| Carl Jakobsson chapter 54 . 11/25/2010
This book is a lot better than the original. I've read through it twice now and it is absolutely fascinating. This chapter in particular since it showed how utterly horrible Azkaban is. I really like how Bellatrix (and Malfoy, both of them) are portrayed much more sympathetically.
Other enjoyable moments in the book are Harry's first meetings with (most) of the other characters. Harry's second meeting with Draco is one of the best moments in the book.
Some things could however be improved. Harry Potter, even though he seems to have thought about ethics a bit, doesn't seem to have considered that figuring out magic is really a most secondary goal (from an ethical viewpoint) than, say, liberating North Korea, Belarus or any other dicatorship or stopping certain Muggles from committing war. Yes, he's only eleven years old, but it seems strange that he has not (as far as I as can see) thought about doing it after he's learned more magic tricks.
| Johntitor62 chapter 54 . 11/6/2010
Hey there, mate! Grand story you've got here so far! Can't wait to read another amazing chapter of this wonderfully written piece of art. Question. Is this gonna be a Harry/Hermione story? 'Cause werever you choose to do that one pairing or another I'd be cool with it. Also, I was just fooling around when a thought suddenly crashed-landed into the wastelands of my brain and I thought, what the hell? So, I was wondering if maybe you'd like to add "The Wizard Rules" (Yep, capital letters) from the (Sword of Truth) series, 'cause I was reading them and they seemed like something Potter would deffinetely say... Just wondering there for a minute, no need to put them here, just thought I'd try to add a wee bit of me to the awesomeness that is you. So Long And Thanks For All The Fish!
| Dr. horrible chapter 54 . 11/3/2010
"...how in the name of Merlin's balls had anyone blocked a Killing Curse?"
if Bahry considers it impossible then why bother with the shielding? and wouldn't it be easier just to Abracadabra each other to start with?
and is it even immoral to kill a guard of a death camp? shit, kill them all.
| loserthree chapter 54 . 11/2/2010
It's speculation time.
Quirell chose to make the prison break at this time for a few Bahry-centric reasons:
1. Bahry did not kill those two Death Eaters he faced, but instead ended the confrontation in some pragmatic fashion. He may, in fact, have been a traitor to the Light and the loss of a hand might have been the 'sell' on his supposed-loyalty.
2. Bahry has expenses and is known to cover them by taking bribes.
3. Bahry will violate protocol to confront potential sources of bribery all by himself, because he needs the money so much and is so full of the feeling of his own empowerment (invoking the chapter title, there).
4. Bahry is about to retire, and thus less likely to do anything rash.
Quirell _did_ realize that killing the Auror would alienate HPEV, which is why he wasn't going to do it. He planned to miss, but barely, and use that to intimidate the Auror into dropping his remaining shields and accepting the memory charm. Since the Killing Curse is unblockable, keeping his shields up would not save him, anyway.
Quirell did _not_ anticipate that Harry would try to block the Killing Curse with his Patronus, because Quirell does not think that way. Unfortunately, Quirell _does_ think the "use Killing Curse for everything possible" way.
Quirell got mad skills from his inheritance from Slytherin, of course. But his truly insane mastery over magic comes from combining the Salizar's lessons with the analytical approach to information and systems that makes him a worthy opponent for HPEV.
Man of Smokeless Flame cannot block the Killing Curse as an innate ability. It is, instead, a product of HPEV's immunity to the Killing Curse.
An immunity which is, of course, a result of HPEV's status as a Horcrux of Voldemort.
Harry was only able to drop an Auror because of how intensively he trained with 'Somnium' in DoDA battles.
The Dementors are not blinded to things in the proximity of Mr. Broad Spectrum Skin Tone. They are blinded to _everything_ while they themselves are in proximity. This is why they keep answering something like "Don't know." They only know they are being asked a question because of the anthropomorphization taking place in the mind of the speaker.
When he find out how much he was so brutally used, Snape will kill Dumbledore.
| 109 chapter 54 . 11/1/2010
Also, I've gone and borrowed a handful of your passages. It was very hard to choose just a few favorite ones. 734895401/methods-of-rationality/
I assumed by your author notes that it would be ok, but if it isn't, let me know and I'll remove them right away.
| Indigo Ziona chapter 54 . 10/31/2010
And now I've finally caught up... what a cliffhanger. Wow.
Loving the Retirony going on... Bahry, with only seven months left to go.
"The green death"... don't suppose you're a Doctor Who fan? :)
It seems, to use a colloquial term, that it's really gone to shit for Harry. Please update soon. I'm not reading any other fanfics. I thought I'd grown out of it... but you proved me wrong :)
| Nongarak chapter 54 . 10/31/2010
Awww shit. This will be fun. Can't see how this will end well for anyone involved. Fun stuff.
| TheHypnotoad chapter 54 . 10/31/2010
Once again I find myself returning to the review the facts as presented so far. While there are likely good reasons for Harry to go along with the Azkaban scheme, I don't think the writing has emphasized them to be clear enough to all readers, myself included.
What I believe has happened is that the mounting evidence that Quirrell is up to something devious and no good escapes Harry not for any actual stupidity on his part. Harry is deliberately given no time to think whether he is in or out and he has made a commitment to Quirrell he would keep out of his devotion. His trust and naivety are only exploited to at the beginning of the breakout. Later, Harry is not being rational because he is being seduced by his own dark side. Likely, this is something Quirrelmort has spotted and is exploiting while he can. I believe the writing shows this but does not express it strongly enough to overcome the doubts of readers that see the exchanges between Bellatrix and Quirrell as quite damning.
One thing that keeps coming back to me is the axiom that you cannot make Frodo a Jedi without giving Sauron the Death Star.
We have a Harry that is amped up on science and logic. And that means Voldemort is amped up as well. Only we have not yet seen the extent of Voldemort's enhancements.
If Lucius is a clever Slytherin manipulator, he is a child compared to Voldemort. Probably no better than Draco compared to his father. If Voldemort killed the ancient martial arts order he did it after they taught him what he wanted to learn. Why? Because Voldemort knew even then that you never leave around the source of your power. The story Quirrell tells Harry is only to gain his trust and confidence as Harry at that point believed all wizards are idiots.
Am I alone in seeing something very peculiar that Snape would know how many electrons are in the outer shell of carbon? Snape went to Hogwarts. Wizards have no use for muggle knowledge. I can only assume he knew it from a study of Chemistry since potions are his specialty. And that begs the question, why? Is this because Harry is not the first to attempt to integrate science with magic? Would Snape have learned at the Dark Lord's request? How much knowledge does the Dark Lord really possess? Just how much bigger a threat is he than the original books?
It seems clear that Quirrelmort attempted to do Harry in with the dementor challenge. Harry simply knows too much and is privy to too many things, like good hiding places for horcruxes. Harry's patronus gives him new value temporarily.
I don't see how there can be doubt that Quirrell is the vessel for Voldemort. I think the questions on where to hide horcruxes clinched that on top of all the other clues. And now my only fear is that some reader now feels compelled to write a V'ger the Horcrux crossover fic. NOoooooooooooooo!
| Utisz chapter 54 . 10/31/2010
If I had to pick one word for this fic, I'd say "delicious". If I had to pick a second I'd say "hilarious".
The jokes are good jokes, the references are good references and the winces are good winces. It's weird sometimes to realize most of the characters are eleven years old, but then if your concept is prodigy!Harry, your concept is prodigy!Harry.
Please, please keep up the good work. I cannot wait to see how this turns out.
| cthuljew chapter 54 . 10/30/2010
Despite having read the "intuitive guide" to Bayesian probability three times now, it still doesn't make sense. This fic, however, makes perfect sense on every level, and is one of the most consistently entertaining, interesting and sheerly indulgent things I have to look forward to every week. I'll probably never read a Harry Potter book, but why would I even want to with something like this around?
| anon chapter 54 . 10/30/2010
Interesting development... and cliffie.
With regard to the author's note, I would be another person who thinks that Harry is being incredibly dumb.
I think it would be equally dumb for him to try to break Sirius out of Azkaban (based on what he knows). Actually... I'm not convinced that it would be in his or Sirius' best interest for him to break Sirius out even if he were 100% certain that Sirius was innocent.
In terms of "dear Bella", I think that Harry's dumbness (to the extent that it might interfere with the story) stems from two points.
1. Harry has made a big deal, up to this point, of not trusting anyone. He doesn't take things on faith, he looks at them rationally, does research, and reaches scientific conclusions. Blindly trusting a professor who has exhibited suspicious behaviour in your presence is NOT behaving rationally. It can be justified (Harry's 11, Quirrell is generally pretty rational, Harry wants to do something good to ward off the "DARK!Harry" vibes...), but it did, for me anyway, take some active justification. You'd think Harry would have at least asked for some objective evidence...
2. What is more relevant, and what one would expect to be more relevant to Harry, isn't who Bellatrix *was* or who she *could have been*, but who she actually *is*. And there seems to be no contention on the point that she was willingly torturing and killing people. So... it seems extremely short-sighted to just break her out of Azkaban. Perhaps it might help us as readers if we knew what was planned for her (or what Harry thought was planned for her) after her release? Of course, that could ruin the suspense...
In terms of evidence to strenghten Quirrell's argument (although I don't think weakness of argument is an issue here... Harry got more information about Bellatrix from Quirrell than he had ever gotten about Sirius), you could put in something about how she became alienated from her family... poor Bella had no one to turn to, so she was forced into Death-Eater-ness, and once she had committed, she had no one to help her out.
Incidentally, I don't see anything in Bella's history-that is, the Quirrelmort version-that is inconsistent with canon. From where I'm standing, this could very well be canon Bella. Her motivations just don't seem to be the most important issue, at least not starting out.
Anyway... thanks for the Chapter. I look forward to hearing how Harry gets out of this scrape.
| Akiyama chapter 54 . 10/30/2010
Not only do I love this story, but I also love the illustrations!
I really hope this story unfolds over more than one year . . . apart from the fact that I just don't want it to end, I'd really like to see what you make of Luna.
| sanzo chapter 54 . 10/30/2010
omg omg omg omg whats gonna happen next! O_O can't wait .
| TheOneButcher chapter 54 . 10/30/2010
In a nutshell: Quidditch isn't for children, Harry a Monster and Bella cuddly.
Ok I have been convinced to finally create an account, just to review this story.
First of, the Snitch is an absolutely essential part of Quidditch, and, truly a thing of Genius.
The Snitch is the thing which makes Quidditch interesting in the first place.
It makes Quidditch a prisoners dilemma.
While the single game is nearly always decided by catching the snitch, Quidditch LEAGUES are decided by total points. So holding off on catching the snitch and scoring goals is beneficial to both parties, because they collect points against the other non playing teams until one Seeker defects.
Only trouble is, that School children Do Not get it, and leaving the snitch out or reducing it's point gainage would tick them off, because they don't want to play "Children's Quidditch".
And yeah, Quidditch is the only thing keeping people from ignoring the Suck Up Cup.
Secondly Bellatrix Black's fate is now oficially the saddest and evilest thing I've ever heard of. And You win all my internets for life.
From which I must substract some because you said that rescuing Bella is not really dumb.
It is. It is noble and good and I would have maybe taught Quirrel the true Patronus, in the week Hermione didn't speak to him, under an unbreakable vow bonded by Dumbledore himself to the effect of "Never tell anyone the secret unless they are under an unbreakable vow not to tell anyone and can't cast the normal Patronus.
Never use the secret to destroy someones Patronus."
Dumbledore would understand the severity of the Secret of destroying not only Dementors but also Patronuses.
If not that I would have told Quirrel to be wary as to "Not annoy the Patronus. Dark Magic annoys the Patronus, among other things." But I don't know if that is just because I think that QuirrelRiddle.
I also would not have stunned that Auror, because I would have been too much of a coward, and rather ditched Quirrel, Tommy or not. I would have explained about Bellatrix being brainwashed, but I don't think that would work.
Oh, I forgot: Rescuing Bella is dumb because: What should they do with her after? Who is gonna nurse her to health?
Problem is: Harry thinks Tom is dead, and only MAYBE alive. Because Dumbledore believes in souls.
And honestly I would have done the same, but not before hearing that "I love you." and Harry is an absolute Monster for not petting and cuddling her immediately. I was thinking "MUST PET! MUST CUDDLE! MUST COMFORT! AHHRG PET HER DAMMIT!"
Theories of mine:
Your Horcruxes use the burst of magic accompanying the violent death of a wizard to create something more than a ghost of the murderer.
Problem: Does the burst suffice for that AND Moaning Myrtle?
The True Patronus doesn't block the Killing curse, Priori Incantatem does.
Problem: Wouldn't Dumbledore recognize a certain yew wand?
| Cat chapter 54 . 10/30/2010
A friend of mine recommended this to me, and I've been reading it on the train for the last few weeks. I have to say, it's extraordinary and more than a little inspiring. I trained as a physicist, and so am familiar with the ideas of the scientific method, but had previously put little thought into extending this into the ideas of rationality that your story touches on.
It was also lovely to see you point out and then go on to investigate many of the peculiarities of the world of the original books. I remember that my greatest difficulty with reading the originals was an infuriation that none of the characters seemed curious about how their world actually worked, but it took reading this to realise that this accusation could be also applied to much of the population of the real world too - me included.
Aside from the fascinating ideas that it introduces, the story itself is beautifully written, and was horrified to get to the cliffhanger at the end of this most recent chapter and there not be any more! I look forward to the next one with baited breath, but in the meantime I've amassed a fairly sizeable reading list to keep me busy...
| Pathatlon chapter 54 . 10/30/2010
| richardthinks chapter 54 . 10/30/2010
This is truly a remarkable work in its own right, as well as being remarkable for its faithfulness to the spririt of its source, its ability to deliver sermons while remaining entertaining, and its wide-ranging, thought provoking discussions.
Your treatment of Azkaban is masterly, and I think exactly what's implicit in canon: I can't decide if it's a tribute to Rowling's vision that it contains such lightly-rendered nightmares in a children's story, or if it's an indictment of her authorial cowardice that she's willing to refer to the Third Reich as a source of horrors and attitudes without actually going there and exploring what it means for a society to operate a death camp.
As for the Bella outrage here, I'm looking forward to a discussion of discipline and punishment that I'm hoping will go further than such discussions generally go in the humanities: it seems a bunch of people here don't get how awful Azkaban is, or if they do, that they think death camps are sometimes OK. If the prisoner were a simple innocent wrongly convicted it wouldn't be a test of Azkaban as a tool of justice, merely of fallible selection criteria for who should be a prisoner. Bravo.
| Eli Courtwright chapter 54 . 10/29/2010
Great chapter, looking forward to seeing how this turns out.
IMHO Harry's decision to rescue Bellatrix was (obviously) unwise, but it was very believable. He's predisposed to exactly this sort of rash/heroic action, he hates the very concept of Azkaban, he holds the laws and government in very low regard, he implicitly trusts Quirrell's judgment, etc.
You've also done an excellent job SHOWING us these things about Harry. We see Harry mulling over Azkaban as far back as Chapter 27, we see him overjoyed to have such a clear-thinking professor as Quirrell as far back as Chapter 16, his mistrust for the wizarding government and its laws is pretty constant throughout, etc. So I say kidos for doing an excellent job setting this up and making it believable that Harry would (unwisely) decide to storm Azkaban!
| manonairs chapter 54 . 10/29/2010
Can't believe what just happened! Harry is so blind to Quirell.
| ManFlardin chapter 54 . 10/29/2010
That was crazy! I don't want to call this dumb, because I like it, but it seems to me as if Harry isn't being as rational lately as he was in earlier chapters. This is probably intentional if he is indeed becoming less rational in subtle ways, but I just thought I would mention noticing it.
This seems like the strongest indication that Quirrel is Voldy. I mean the whole sense-o-doom thing was hintish, but it wouldnt have surprised me if that ended being something else entirely and he wasn't voldy. but mentioning that their magicks are like...equal and opposite and such to me almost solidifies it. Then again, you could probably even get out of that too if you tried.
| browneyes2yu chapter 54 . 10/29/2010
I read your notes for Ch.52-54 and I have to agree that the first impulse is indeed to go: 'WHAT? Bellatrix?Harry, are you stupid or what?' And your counter-argument to your readers' perceptions and in-read (ha, rhymes with inbred!) reflexive responses is that Harry had similar 'evil' background info on both Sirius and Bellatrix. And I would argue that if he would have thought about it a little bit longer and more rationally and did not worship Quirrel quite so much (and yes, he might not recognize it himself yet, but that is what he is doing), he would have ultimately chosen to stay away from both Blacks (with the information that he has at his disposal now). In the end, my argument is that at first, Harry's first thought went to Sirius when Quirrel mentioned an innocent person in Azkaban and so ultimately it was Harry's relationship with Quirrel that swayed him into that crazy plot and not his stupidity. And Harry, for whom it is so hard to make friends who understand him and like him just the way he is while continuing to challenge him, of course, he would do anything maybe well, short of murder, for Quirrel and well, Hermione, maybe Draco, too...a little later. I have a feeling after reading all these fifty something chapters that Draco, Hermione and Harry are like some sort of twisted best friends. So yeah, ultimately, he was bound to make mistakes and, for goodness' sake, he is still only 11 years old, however smart and clever and sly he might be...and in any good fiction, worth its salt, a hero must experience falls (losses) and heartbreaks and disappointments in order to become a better person and a better hero and win in the end. (simplified, but true!)
Anyway, awesome story, but when I am reading it in the evening, after a day's work of dealing with people, it makes my head hurt sometimes! (lol, I still love it and all your twisted and crazy and make-perfect-sense ideas and thoughts) ooh, and I love your Hermione - a character that is surrounded by twisted individuals but is still trying to stand up for her ideals and principles and what she believes is right and I totally understand and sympathize with her, because it's really, really hard to stick to your guns when you are surrounded by strong characters on all sides.
And ultimately, a question(s) - how long are planning to make this story? Just Harry's first year? or Longer? how many chapters?
| AllieOfGreenGables chapter 54 . 10/29/2010
You are a truly intelligent person. Thank you for writing this enticing story.
| The Wind God chapter 54 . 10/29/2010
yet another astonishing chapter
| rwallace chapter 54 . 10/29/2010
Excellent as usual. In particular, best job I've ever seen done of describing a high level wizard duel in this setting.
Was Harry being excessively stupid agreeing to the mission? I don't think so, and I'm pretty intolerant of idiot plots. We're talking about a 12-year-old who's been advised this is a great idea by the one person whose advice he has reason to trust more than anybody's in the world; it's a perfect fit for his particular brand of idealism. Of course it was a hideously bad idea, and hopefully he'll end up going "what was I thinking?" - but under the circumstances, I think it's a believable and forgivable mistake.
| Ainnenoi Aurum chapter 54 . 10/28/2010
This is one of the best stories I have ever read. So much so, in fact, that I find myself leery of writing a review, due to a more than mild sense of inferiority. And yet, I find I can't click away from this story without leaving a mark of jet how much I love this story. So, I'll say it a final time: I love, love, love, love, love, love, love, LOVE Methods of Rationality.
| seth wegner chapter 54 . 10/28/2010
This story simmers in my mind whenever I am not reading it, like hot stew eaten on a cold day keeps you warm all day. I look forward to every chapter.
| Nigita chapter 54 . 10/28/2010
I'm confused how Harry, knowing of Bellatrix's crimes, is able to nevertheless to consider her an innocent, a victim of Voldemort's sadistic manipulation. Sure, Voldemort had manipulated her abominably, and Bellatrix might be pitied for that. But I'd think that some part of Harry would also hold her accountable for how she chose to act on her feelings. Or have a I misread, and Harry is actually unaware that she has committed atrocities for the sake of unrequited love?
It's a gripping story and I'm enjoying it immensely. Thanks for continuing to write!
| sixpacksirius chapter 54 . 10/28/2010
This is so intense. It boggled my mind, and I had to change positions in my chair a few times because of how brilliant it was. Marry me? You're awesome.
| Pamelina chapter 54 . 10/28/2010
Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality is the first fan fiction I've ever read. It has led me to follow Yudkowsky's links and opened new areas of understanding to me. I'd never heard of "Bayes' Theorem" or Bayesian reasoning and am grateful to Elizer for his excruciatingly gentle introduction to Bayes' Theorem for the curious and bewildered-ie: me. Thanks. This is also my first review. In the past couple of years I've been feeling very discouraged about the state of the earth and of civilization, and MoR and the links it's led me to have been like refreshing breezes of hope and optimism to me.
I'm loving reading about a scientifically oriented, reasonable (yet innocent) Harry Potter, and especially a truly effective, intelligent, Quirrellmort-who's learned from his mistakes. I love how he's manipulating Harry so effectively, as Harry tries to manipulate Draco. I also love how much Quirrellmort is learning from Harry about love and his motivations for good, as Harry runs Q's maze. It's clear Q identifies with Harry, is amused by Harry, and interested in how Harry works, while yet all the time intending to destroy Harry in his own creative way when his use of Harry has come to an end. I wonder if Harry is going to end up unconsciously "turning" Q? An all-powerful, intelligent villain, after all, needs an orderly, peaceful, and beautiful world over which to rule, and we know Q has that goal from his speech at the wish-awards. And that's the same end that noble heros share. Conquered civilizations absorb each other's culture, in the end. I wonder if Q is going to end up adopting as well as co-opting Harry? How psychopathic is Q? He does appear to have feelings, although Q sees Harry's loves and friendships as exploitable weaknesses, and knows just how to exploit 'em. His subtle manipulation of Harry to get him onboard with the Bellatrix Black rescue mission was awesomely written. And that's despite Hermione's clear warnings! Naw, Q's just playing with his food before eating it.
I think Q intended Harry to be eaten by Dementors from the start: after all, a dementor's kiss would be worse than death, a better and more fitting revenge than simply killing Harry. But first he's using him, just like he used the martial arts instructor to learn martial arts before showing up undisguised to take revenge, and just like he used Bellatrix Black. I bet he expected Harry to die during the Dementor's visit to Hogwarts, which would end up being blamed on Dumbledore, and would destroy Dumbledore, as well-two for one. (I'm not confident that I understand much about Dumbledore's aims-I think I'm missing Elizer's hints.) Also, why do the whole group of them just accept Q's drooling zombie periods, apparently without question? Wait, of course Q's fixed that.
I like getting to see Q's special superior Salizar Slytherin magic in his duel with the Azkaban Auror. Would Q make a "mistake" by killing the Auror in front of Harry, knowing Harry's motives so well as he does? Example: He persuades Harry to do this dangerous, illegal, and probably evil thing because "only you can help them." Never, I say! Why would he kill an innocent in front of Harry if he hadn't planned it? He could have done other things to the helpless Auror to remove the memory and walk away clear. He's planned it all. He's done this deliberately to Harry, (to make him complicit in murder and bind Harry to evil when Harry realizes all he's done, and, perhaps, to show Bellatrix who he really is?) I can't wait for the next installment.
| wow chapter 54 . 10/28/2010
glad to see no more war games.
| Rosa Mundi chapter 54 . 10/28/2010
The story has definitely taken a dark turn here. I hope everyone gets out in one piece.
Your story has gotten me reading fanfic when I swore I wanted nothing to do with it.
| nth-x chapter 54 . 10/28/2010
Oh my gosh. Of course Harry's patronus would block the killing curse. Dementors are the embodiment of death, so Harry's spell is the opposite of death. The killing curse likewise means death, so Harry's spell blocks that as well. I SO should have put that together before reading this chapter. I'm interested and excited to see the fallout from these most recent events, so I will be eagerly awaiting the update. Thanks for writing!
| Final-Fan chapter 54 . 10/28/2010
If all that stuff about Bellatrix actually turns out to be true, it may have interesting consequences for the "power he knows not". After all, he knew love well enough to enslave Bella with it, even if he doesn't feel it (at all) himself.
Also, I don't know how any reasonable person could, having read the books, NOT know at least some of Quirrel's Big Secret by now.
| dinosaurusgede chapter 54 . 10/27/2010
oh noo, Harry in trouble! another excellent chapter, bravo!
| papillon2 chapter 54 . 10/27/2010
I notice that I am confused.
Well, more curious in many cases, but I still had to say it.
I don't think Harry breaking Bellatrix out of prison is *completely* impossible, but given the Harry we've seen up til now, I assume that we've skipped a pretty important conversation in which Harry a) answers Quirrel's question about how he 'worked it out', b) resolves the issue of why they're NOT getting Sirius on this trip, and c) is given some idea, even a wrong one, of what they're planning on doing with Bellatrix once they have her. Quirrel has to have given him SOME measure of a plan, because he knows from multiple sources, at least one of which is considered to be Not Stupid, that Bellatrix is dangerous. He can certainly believe her to be innocent because she acted under duress and brainwashing, and that can even be true; she's still dangerous until properly deprogrammed. *Sirius* wasn't exactly safe and sane post-Azkaban and he wasn't a baddie when he went in.
Also, comparing it to rescue-Sirius fics isn't quite fair, as this Harry is supposed to be a lot less dumb than canon AngryRecklessHarry.
I'm curious about Lesath Lestrange's existence; why he was conceived and born, why he was acknowledged, why his Black relatives haven't intervened now that his parents are in Azkaban...
| TheHypnotoad chapter 54 . 10/27/2010
So far, this entire Azkaban sequence stands out as amazing. Clearly one of the higher dramatic and emotional sequences so far, some of the others being the first encounter with Snape, the war games and the entire dementor challenge.
The only problem I have with the Azkaban section is that Harry is there under the persuasion that Bellatrix is a completely innocent victim. There is clearly enough exchange for Harry to conclude that she was a willing and deadly lieutenant and thereby at least question Quirrelmort's motives. Yet Harry never begins to suspect he is being used. Harry has placed a lot of blind trust in Quirrel which began simply because he liked his style as a teacher but it goes too far here.
I disagree with others about the recasting of the patronus. Harry would not need to be told to keep the charm up no matter what. I accept that he was quite distracted from the events that transpired and it would not take long for a swarm of dementors to start having an effect.
My only other complaint is having to wait on the next chapter. Can't you quit your day job and finish this faster? After all, the singularity is going to wipe us all out anyway. :)
Thanks for all your work so far. It's been a joy to read.
| OttL chapter 54 . 10/27/2010
Well, this certainly speeds things up a little on the list.
| The Student chapter 54 . 10/27/2010
I really have enjoyed your story, it has given a unique twist on the usual Harry Potter fanfic.
However I've got some complaints (which i realise due to the length of the story are simply impossible to correct) one of the main problems I have is the massive length of this -already longer then the first three books combined if i recall correctly- and in some ways thats great after all more entertainment, but I feel like it goes no where fast some chapters feel like they are put in for absolutely no reason other then to smply update. Recently I have found myself struggling to be excited about reading any new updates because there is not drama no action nothing that really happens, it seems at time to be a Q and HP combined MarySue fic an entertaining and well written one admitedly.
And thats my other point Harry is to powerful waaaaay to fast he is after all still on 11yr old no matter how much magic and rationality you give he is still human or rather should be and you seem to forget this at times. Other times you show him very well as just a kid but then its like you forget about it again, heck you are no doubt smarter then me and from what i've heard/read a genius by all accounts but remember whn you were 11? You weren't as smart or as emotionaly stable/mature, the way you have built your principle character has left very little room for growth as a person.
Don't get me wrong I have enjoyed this story and will most likely read it until its end or you get bored. But it doesn't stand out, it rally feels like you don't know where tthis story is going and if you do it'll either be story over by the end of the first year or so convolted you'll lose your average joe/jane readers like myself through boredom. You have some great ideas I hope that your next stories provide greater entertainment as you continue to develop as a writer.
ps. If you do read this and don't understand my points or what i dislike I apologise I'm not all that eloquent and can perhaps explain better with more time so drop me an email if you want.
| constant3 chapter 54 . 10/27/2010
wow. I really like how unique this fic is. I like the artwork too. Hope you keep writing!
| Tarayith chapter 54 . 10/27/2010
Argh, this, THIS! Is amazing and very possibly driving me insane because I can't for the life of me work out what Quirrel's motives are for anything in this fic.
Without a doubt, this goes in my top 5 fics of all time. Can't wait for the next chapter!
| AlpineBob chapter 54 . 10/27/2010
Review Part 1
"And it wasn't Professor Quirrell who screwed it up."
And I still disagree. He was in command. Thus the failure is his. But that is almost besides the point, as I shall go over below...
"Yes, thought the part of Harry simulating the Dark Lord, now be silent"
OK, so Harry could have saved a lot of trouble, and future auror attention by speaking up here, but eventually he does indeed say
"Be silent, dear Bella, until I give you leave to speak." So, all's well that ends well, eh?
Well, no, because indeed they are located by a guard. But even that would have gone well enough, as Q out-classed the auror considerably, if he had gone for a nice Somniun (a spell even a first-level can cast effectively), instead of a final "Avada -" etc.
And Q, with his amazing mind, surely should know that a mind like Harry's, soft enough to rescue bad old BELLATRIX if given a good sob story, would balk at the killing of an innocent guard doing his duty. Really. He should have known! That was the error right there.
Oh, and the plan was his to start with, so if he didn't make a POINT of telling Harry that it was VERY important to recreate his patronus ASAP if it fell for any reason, then the failure is his as the planner. Even the most basic obvious details must be considered in order to ensure mistakes don't happen.
So the mistake is Quirrell's three ways, though I do agree Harry was the proximate cause. What will happen next, I wonder...
Review Part 2: random thoughts inspired by recent chapters
I wonder that Harry didn't insist on getting Sirius out too, as long as they were breaking out prisoners, just on general "innocent until proven guilty" principles. But that is moot at this point in any case.
I wonder that they don't ride brooms down the corridors instead of walking through the prison - wouldn't it be faster?
I think this whole strategy of iconvincing/i Bellatrix she should come is flawed. She's weak and defenseless. Hold her down and give her a polyjuice potion if she won't take it voluntarily. Then stick the resultant gerbil in your pouch and fly the frick out of there as fast as possible. I mean, is lying to someone (their strategy) morally better than physically forcing them if you are trying to break them out of a soul-destroying prison?
I'm not sure what they planned to do with Bellatrix once they reached the roof in any case - she certainly doesn't seem strong enough to fly a broom in a breeze, let alone in a gale!
I wonder what would happen if Harry had his patronus get under the cloak with him? Would it be invisible but the shine still be there? Or would the shine be invisible too? Would it still effect dementors from under the cloak?
Dementors do ostensibly notice patronus' (their effects, certainly, or they wouldn't be stopped by them), so shouldn't they notice random patronuses wandering the prison at unusual times and check them out, just on general principles? Since they are smart enough to notice that a particular prisoner has moved and all. Heck, she's still in the prison anyway - isn't that good enough? Man these dementors sure are sticklers for precision, given that they are "living" embodiments of entropy...
| ui chapter 54 . 10/27/2010
Great chapter. I am easily able to suspend my disbelief at the combination of cleverness and stupidity necessary to result in this clusterfuck. And, to those reviewers who believe that "Quirrel planned it all" - you're falling for Quirrel's conjurer's tricks. He's good at presenting the illusion of being a perfect planner, but nobody could possibly plan out this particular series of happenstance events. What if Harry had overextended himself on his patronus? What if Bellatrix had somehow seen through the disguise? What if the Auror had been just a little bit less heroically-inclined? What if Harry's instinct to save the Auror had not been fast enough? And no matter how good a duelist Quirrel is, he must account for the possibility of making a mistake; from the description of the process, it would only take one mistake. (Just as a chess grandmaster is more likely to lose to a master than a 9-dan go player is to lose to a 5-dan, a high-speed magic duel has an intrinsically high element of chance, even for experts.)
| yrfgd chapter 54 . 10/27/2010
I'm really enjoying this story. Where you're going with Professor Quirrel and his influence on Harry is so different from anything else that I've read.
Keep up the good work.
| Tegid chapter 54 . 10/27/2010
Re: your author's notes on Harry being stupid.
Although unbelievable fiction is bad fiction, even if realistic, I think it is good that you have us challenge our background concepts in something as simple as 'Harry shouldn't be rescuing Bellatrix','Bellatrix is bad', etc., due to the nature of this fanfic (introducing and explaining rationality concepts and methods).
It's not good as a general thing, but I like it in this case and I think you should add it as a permanent author note to one of these chapters.
Besides this, I want to say I really like your work.
And also, that when I read about the rescue I /knew/ it was going to be B., but I still hoped it would be Sirius. I'm sad. It's funny how even if I now don't really like the whole Sirius thing in the books, reading it as a teenager made me so emotionally attached to it.
| LNick chapter 54 . 10/27/2010
Excellent job LessWrong! This an amazing work, congratulations. I joined in the obsession around chapter 30, and am so glad I did. I laugh, I think, I must have more!
I had the feeling as more and more chapters went on that the tone was shifting, and newer chapters just didn't have the magic that the early chapters do. This culminates in the yaoi chapters (which I don't enjoy and are easily the worst chapters so far), but after that the excellence is back in full force! So I expect that wherever the story goes we're headed in a direction that leads to awesome.
My thoughts on finishing Ch. 54 "Damn, Potter. You screwed the pooch now." Looking forward to what happens next!
| Vltsing chapter 54 . 10/27/2010
What was the 'flux of magic' buildup all about? What did Quirrell do before tossing his wand and transforming? Did the 'spirit' of Voldemort decide to take leave of polyjuiced Quirrell (explaining the snakes lack of motion before being stunned)? Was he even using polyjuice to become the bearded man, or could he have been possessing him instead? (That's one way of explaining his intricate magic, the other is his ridiculous skill.) Was the wand thrown to Bellatrix? Harry seemed to have forgotten about her in the last moments of the scene.
Those questions are based on the assumption that Quirrell is Voldemort, which hasn't been confirmed, or has it? (There's no way of reading old Author's Notes if you started reading this story relatively recently, is there?)
This is my first review, but I'm sure I hardly need to mention how engrossed I am in this story.
| Cubist chapter 54 . 10/27/2010
Some people are wondering how Quirrelmort could be so stupid as to ask Harry to rescue a psychopath from Azkaban.
Answer: Quirrelmort is *not* stupid. And as Harry himself has noted, Quirrel is *very* controlled - whenever QUirrel hurts/maims/kills someone, he knows *exactly and precisely* what he's doing. And let's not forget that Quirrelmort has a habit of making improbable deductions *that turn out to be RIGHT*.
I think *everything* about this Azkaban invasion ended up working *exactly* the way Quirrelmort foresaw, *exactly* the way Quirrelmort *wanted* it to. If this is correct, it follows that Quirrelmort *wanted* Harry to fall victim to a Dementor's kiss. Why? Not sure. Quirrelmort *did* see what happened to Harry the first time the kid was Demented... I think Quirrelmort *wanted* THAT to happen, too - and I further think he was unpleasantly surprised when Hermoine managed to bring Harry back to sanity. Harry's Demented self (his Dark Side given ascendancy over every other part of him?) has all the power without any of those inconvenient ethical scruples getting in the way, after all...
| Sara Wolfe chapter 54 . 10/26/2010
Okay, there's no way that this review is going to do your story justice, but I've got to give it a try.
This story is amazing. I was hooked from the first sentence, and I've stayed that way for all 54 chapters.
I love the way you write Harry, so mature and rational, but I constantly have to remind myself that he's still only eleven and in his first year. And that makes the parts where he acts his age, or acts naive, even more shocking. Like his unthinking trust of Quirrell, almost blinding him, since he never even questioned the sanity of freeing a convicted murderer from Azkaban.
I am curious as all get-out about Quirrell. I've seen some reviewers speculating that Quirrell is possessed by Voldemort, and while I can certainly see the evidence, I can also see the opposite side, that Quirrell is just an overly-concerned Defense teacher trying to protect Harry the best he can. I'm dying to find out where Quirrell's loyalties really stand.
I also love how you developed the secondary characters. Hermione's friendly rivalry with Harry that turns deeper, Draco's tentative friendship/manipulation, McGonagall's protectiveness, and Dumbledore's insanity.
I love your re-imagining of Harry Potter so far, and I can't wait to see where you take it, next.
| power2corrupt chapter 54 . 10/26/2010
Absolutely bloody phenomenal.
| Tall Tails - Feline Jaye chapter 54 . 10/26/2010
Well damn; everything just spiralled out of control, didn't it? To be fair Quirrel really should've known better than to try kill someone under observation of the one person who has ALREADY TOLD HIM that his goal is to make sure NO ONE ever has to die. In fact that little fact should be near the front of his mind since that's pretty much the premise behind the VERY Patronis PROTECTING them. *eyeroll at Quirrel*
Still - hectic chapter. (This is continuously a great story.)
| elej chapter 54 . 10/26/2010
did the innocent!bellatrix come out of nowhere or did you go back and change someting? (or did i forget?)
| obsidian-fox chapter 54 . 10/26/2010
Seems things are about to become exciting for Harry. And I can't help but think Bellatrix would be a little suspicious of Harry's behavior earlier, though she'd not voice any suspicions. I look forward to discovering what happens next.
| Scottish Ninja chapter 54 . 10/26/2010
The thing that honestly terrifies me the most is that I have absolutely no clue as to what Quirrellmort is up to, or what his goals are now. I don't want to believe that he's simply playing Harry for a fool while he rebuilds his former powerbase. It just seems too obvious, though I can't help but be reminded of this:
"All this was inspired by the principle-which is quite true within itself-that in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods. It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and will continue to think that there may be some other explanation. For the grossly impudent lie always leaves traces behind it, even after it has been nailed down, a fact which is known to all expert liars in this world and to all who conspire together in the art of lying." - Adolf Hitler
The obvious question here is, is Quirrellmort telling the Big Lie, and if so, can Harry figure it out?
| sensoray chapter 54 . 10/26/2010
wow, three chapters so quickly! your a dedicated hard worker! keep up the amazing story!
| lix chapter 54 . 10/26/2010
Astounding story and this chapter is as good as ever. Thanks
| jdboss1 chapter 54 . 10/26/2010
think it time for harry to drop Quirrell in the shit and get back to school
(me fing emil not work i did not get it say this was updats in still i want looking
Love the hold updats
Dont no what you think about "Bellatrix Black when Quirrell was tell harry who she was it was like an older Hermione
what was Quirrell thiknig in trying to kill him he shood of no that harry wood of look
| him-mione chapter 54 . 10/26/2010
I think your two questions are deeply related.
The important part about the SPE isn't so much the nominal prison and nominal prisoners as that the SPE role-players accepted all sorts of implausible things and made irrational choices in order to live up to the roles being played. Harry got played while playing the part.
| thewanderingmonster chapter 54 . 10/26/2010
Oh shit, I've just realised - Harry and Quirrel have been trying to convince Bellatrix that the former is Voldemort - and when Harry wakes up 'Demented' he's going to have a very Voldemort-esque personality, isn't he?
Guard #N: "Harry Potter! What are you doing in Azkaban?"
Bellatrix: [crazy laughter]He's the Dark Lord you pathetic worm![/crazy laughter]
Harry: "You questions are irritating. You should die. Your laughter is irritating. You should die."
| wsablek chapter 54 . 10/26/2010
I would like to go on record as saying "well done!"
While Beatrix was always portrayed as horrible and evil and eternally loyal to the Dark Lord, she was also ALWAYS portrayed, above all else, as "insane".
Insane is not the same thing as evil. That is not to say that insane people can not also be evil. Or that being insane give one a get-out-of-jail-free card for performing evil acts. But they are not the same thing.
As to people expressing disbelief that Harry would do this, he DOES also have Lesath Lestrange's pleas of "Rescue my MOTHER from that place" echo in his head. (back in chapter 27)
| Guest chapter 54 . 10/26/2010
AHHHHHHHHH, THE SUSPENSE! WHEN WILL OUR HERO REALIZE QUIRREL IS VOLDEMORT?
Caps off. Alright, seriously, the best fanfic ever.
I wish you the best, and please tell us when you're finished with your book on rationality, because I will be attending the midnight release party for it.
| Skay-39 chapter 54 . 10/26/2010
According to the Review Semi-Revolution : This is the nicest fic I have ever read, and I have read quite a bit of it. I was recently thinking to myself how good you were to make me empathize so much about the characters without throwing them in mortal peril (the Dementor being the exception - not for the empathy part, of course), but when you did put them in jeopardy, you just *make them break into Azkaban and stay stuck there*. This is the darkest place I can imagine, being legal and accepted by the british magic world.
I already know I will uselessly look for uptade thrice a day until next week...
| him-mione chapter 54 . 10/26/2010
Oh dear, Harry just did something rather wrong, didn't he...Harry knows there are bizarre rules that cause the words 'wingardium leviosa' to produce levitation-he should have realized that breaking those rules (like the one which causes 'avada kedavra' to produce death) is a very bad idea.
I'm still curious about the sense of doom Harry gets from Quirrell. Are we going to find out what that's about anytime soon?
I think the problem I have with these chapters is that Harry accepts as plausible that the Psychotic Mistress of Pain and Suffering, Bellatrix Black, was in fact innocent entirely, and goes along with Quirrell's plan just on the professor's say-so. Even after he watched Quirrell try to kill a police officer, he is worried about Quirrell-Harry operates increasingly on emotion, which increasingly divorces him from who he was at the start of the story. Yes, it's good that characters evolve, except when they become more stupid. He's been hanging around wizards too long. (I like rational!Harry, but he seems to have disappeared at some point).
Also, I have a question about the chapter title-"the Stanford Prison Experiment." How do the events in these chapters relate to the Stanford Prison experiment (beyond taking place in a prison)? Past chapter titles (for example, ch 6 "The Planning Fallacy") directly relate to the subject of the chapter. True, Bellatrix seems to have accepted her role and can't even think of trying to escape, but that seems more like a function of being driven mad by the Dementors, not simply being placed in prison. And the Aurors aren't sadistic-corrupt and able to be bribed, but sloth to actually get up and check on the prisoners. I guess I'm just a little confused how the chapter title relates to the chapter...I do hope you are able to sustain this story. I'd hate for the quality to wain.
Eagerly awaiting the next installment...
| lipasnape chapter 54 . 10/26/2010
| N chapter 54 . 10/26/2010
Well...fuck. I hope that at least now Harry won't be so innocent anymore so that he may be better able to work out his desires to change the world
| anon chapter 54 . 10/26/2010
That... was a rather cruel place to leave us hanging.
| leonidus chapter 54 . 10/26/2010
So, Voldemort recruits Harry Potter to break Bellatrix out of Azkaban, only Harry screwed up and is about to get said Dark Lord and servant killed. Well. There's something you don't see everyday. :-) And it still feels like the most natural thing to happen in the world, so I know you were right about the whole foreshadowing thing.
| jafl chapter 54 . 10/26/2010
Harry's latest choice reminded me of Superman's comment to Batman, "Despite all our differences, deep down, we're just a couple of guys who don't want to see anybody die."
It looks like Harry is well on his way to becoming the Dark Knight. His parents were murdered. He already has the equivalent of the Utility Belt. Breaking into Azkaban is exactly the kind of action that Batman would do: Justice trumps Authority.
| Cubist chapter 54 . 10/26/2010
Someone has already noted the foreshadowing in Hermoine's remark about "someday you're not going to come back from lunch with Quirrel". Whether Harry ends up dead or 'just' Demented, Hermoine had it pegged. There is another foreshadowing: Quirrel musing about "I wonder what would have happened had you been alone (when you faced the Dementor the first time)." Well... Quirrel's going to find out, isn't he?
I've said it before, and it remains true: This fic is gloriously insane...
| Barry Trotter chapter 54 . 10/26/2010
Great story, engaging writing, thanks!
| mantimeforgot chapter 54 . 10/26/2010
I am curious if others latched onto this as I have...
"Polyjuice, Bahry would have called it, if he'd thought that anyone could possibly do magic that delicate from inside someone else's body "
Am I given to understand that the form alteration due to Polyjuice duplicates the body of another being so entirely as to make the body foreign to its possessor?
Working magic while inside a body not your own is difficult and doing delicate magic within such a body would prove impossible for most people?
If Voldemort after perishing were to build a new body (presumably from scratch, since he did not just happen to have a magical clone lying around), then this body would not be his own and he would be subject to the "problems" that Bahry is talking about.
As per review:
Can't wait to find out what is going to happen next. Anti-death Patronus blocks Avada Kedavra. Awesome. But how do you deal with the monumental level of failure here. Now that the dementors know that something is going down... the jig is not precisely up, but with Quirrelmort down I do not see too many options that do not result in both Harry and Quirrel ending up as permanent residents of Azkaban.
If Harry could do wandless magic that wouldn't even be all that bad of a way to deal with Azkaban... become a resident and kill off all the dementors one at a time (or however many he could manage).
| TJeanetteT chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
Oh wow! Too late? Is Harry going to remember that he could obliviate the auror (maybe out of range of his capabilities but he could still try)? What will be the consequences of Harry's actions?
I can't believe Bellatrix was really that much of a victim. You have me almost believing that Quirrel is not possessed or a bad guy though his interest in where Harry would hide something made me go back to thinking maybe he is possessed by a Voldemort who learned his lesson the first time around and knows to go about things more subtly and manipulatively instead of throwing force around and causing fear and hoping that will work.
Can't wait for the next chapter!
| LadyThanatos chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
A thrilling arc. I don't know how I'm going to bear waiting until the 30th.
The info about Bellatrix has vaporized my pathetic little hope that Quirrelmort felt any fondness toward Harry. Oh, I knew he would never let that fondness interfere with his goals, wouldn't hesitate to kill Harry if that were the best way forward (he's already tried at least twice), but I did hope he might feel something for the boy. No, he's using Harry's emotions as surely as he used those of Bellatrix, and probably congratulating himself on his cleverness.
Harry is wrong to think that it wasn't Quirrell who screwed up the rescue operation. It most certainly WAS Quirrell who screwed it up. If he had remained focused on his goals, he would have dispatched the Auror with a Memory or Confundus Charm instead of messing around. If Harry will not be troubled by Quirrell's fascist and murderous tendencies (apparently these are preferable to playing Quidditch and failing to protect time-turners), perhaps Quirrell's behavior in Azkaban - being not just evil, but careless - will catch Harry's attention.
| Anonymous chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
Wow, just wow.
| radicalpi chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
I have been thinking a bit about your by-line below (tips for improvements). It is an interesting proposition to weigh in on the creation of something I very much enjoy, notwithstanding whether I have anything witty enough to have much weight. And I have had a few tickles over the past few months. Part of the enjoyment is not knowing how this parallel universe will unfold, or what and how other story elements (like the Prison Experiment) will be included. Once an author chooses to teach through his medium, there is a risk of devolving into a morality play, of the reason for the characters and story-line to be subservient to the message, rather than the other way around. Not that I at all believe you intend to do so.
On a side note, I suspect you posted in chapter 51 notes information on this Thursdays Google campus visit. Were there any specific details, or just the lunchtime announcement? Is this visit in regards to Singularity Institute, MOR, or just free-lunch?
Thank you for the great deal of time you spend writing a well thought out and written work of fiction. It has been a joy to read,
| V2Blast chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
That was... epic. No other way to put it. Phenomenal writing, and great use of suspense. Can't wait to see what happens next.
| Squeamish chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
You know what's really hard to believe? The actual Stanford Prison Experiment. Were the guards in the SPE as unbelievably, incredibly dark, evil, problematic, thoughtless, or stupid as some think MOR!Harry?
| Guest chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
ahhh.. so good
| Rodrigo Black Potte chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
DUN DUN DUNDUN! yeah... I have absolutely no idea about what is going o happen next... sooo... I'll wait for the next update!
| Peregrinate chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
Professor Quirrell! No! No! Not him! I liked him! Bring him back!
The date of my retirement will be a closely guarded secret. Just saying.
| Vercingetorix1234 chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
I really enjoy your fic so far. I get a really odd feeling as I read it though, as I held many views in common with rationalist!Harry even before I began to read it. I'm not sure whether this is a good thing, considering that Harry is eleven years old in this fic. Then again, I've never been one to believe that age equals wisdom. Anyway, I was wondering how far you were planning to take this fic. Are you just going to cover Harry's first year at Hogwarts or are you planning to write until Harry defeats Voldemort or achieves his goals? Also, I am trying to write my own fanfic (it's a crossover between Code Geass and Avatar: the Last Airbender) but I don't have much writing experience. I can come up with good ideas, but don't know how to execute them. What advice can you give me?
| Donteatacowman chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
I'm surprised-the guard who was about to retire actually survived somehow! xD
This is definitely a cliffhanger! xD Thanks for writing. :D
| anon chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
| Zargon chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
I'm rather more bothered by Quirrell's apparent stupidity here than Harry's. Harry's I can chalk up to a number of factors, but when Quirrell tried to kill the beaten auror rather than knock him unconscious and do a mind wipe, that struck me as a fantastically bad idea. I mean, he must have expected that Harry would react very very negatively to that, so I'm left wondering why he did it, because it seems the expected gain was minor convenience.
I suppose it could be part of a very cunning plan (perhaps he wasn't expecting to need Harry's cooperation after this?), but I'm just not seeing how that's possible, though I'd very much like it to be.
| OntologicalDuck chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
They both heard the voice, like a long-dead corpse had spoken words and those words themselves had aged and died.
The Dementor's speech hurt their ears as it said, "Bellatrix Black is out of her cell."
I predict Harry will flip out when he realizes that Dementors can talk, especially since he has already gotten rid of (and perhaps murdered) one of them. Unlike with snakes, I don't think we can use quite the same excuse that Wizards are handing them sentience using spells: the Dementors don't seem to speak in their own special language, nor does the listener seem to require a special talent which might be implicitly casting a spell on them. Maybe they talk by psychologically suggesting whatever the listener dreads, but if that's the case then it is either also inducing limited clairvoyance of the dementor's past experience on its Auror audience, because otherwise, the Aurors would have been repeatedly lied to by dementors in the past and would have no reason to believe it now. (But even dread clairvoyance can't explain both of the Aurors hearing the same thing.)
Making things which symbolize Death sentient seems like a huge departure from the earlier Humanistic themes. It will certainly make Harry's plan to eliminate Death more morally ambiguous. If the author were anyone else, I could imagine the sentience of the dementors being somehow symbolic of the ways in which the human psyche is attached to Death, but I know the author well enough to know he wouldn't do that.
Of course, even if the dementors are sentient, there are still better solutions like keeping Azkaban like it is except without the prisoners (unless Dementors die or suffer horribly without human sustenance, in which case it seems like someone has to die or suffer horribly.)
| Intense chapter54spoilders chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
Bellatrix Black? Stopping Avada Kevadra? Cliffhanger?
Pretty intense. I know a lot of people are complaining that it's hard to believe that Harry would go along with this, but I think the part that's hard to believe is that Harry wouldn't have crossed a threshold of suspicion with Quirrel.
Quirrel is a dark super-hero at this point, obviously willing to kill. It's hard to believe he could be anyone but Voldemort; otherwise he'd already be well known for his own skill. Also, the hint "if he'd thought that anyone could possibly do magic that delicate from inside someone else's body...", for instance, indicates that he's already used to using possessed bodies.
| emanon chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
What just happened? Harry, who prides himself on making rationale choices, decides to break a known felon out of prison simply on Quirrell's word? No evidence, no proof. You established that Harry felt a kinship with Quirrell, that he was the only one who saw things the way Harry did, but that's not enough. It bothers me that Harry didn't stop to think about why Quirrell wanted Bellatrix freed. Even if the story about Bellatrix being twisted by Voldemort was true, it doesn't change the fact that she is a deranged killer now.
I'm guessing that Bellatrix is going to pick up that wand Quirrell threw down and probably kill a guard or two. Harry's mistakes up to this point have only hurt feelings and changed relationships. I wonder what will happen to Harry's innocence and/or soul when he's responsible for the deaths Bella is about to unleash. How will he explain to Neville that the woman who took his parents is free because of Harry's actions and arrogance. And it is arrogant for Harry to assume that he knows better than everyone else in the world, just because he doesn't play Quidditch.
| riayi chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
Could Quirrelmort possibly have intended to test Harry's Patronus against a killing curse? Maybe he didn't expect the magical backlash (much like canon Voldemort didn't know about the wands), though he at least knew about Harry apparently guessing the location of his Horcruxes, which would hint at some connection. Also, we don't know if Quirrelmort also feels a sense of doom while near Harry, which would be another clue still about a bond.
| The French Dark Lord chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
LoL THAT WAS GREAT!
| skeptic7 chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
I love Auror Li. Poor Bellatrix.
| badkidoh chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
Another great chapter.
| Elelith chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
I have read the new chapter thrice and I am still in spellbound awe at the fact that you just manage to make every update better than the previous. I mean seriously, I may not be able to contact your sister, but you cna tell her I owuld camp all night to meet someone with your genius skills. Seriously, you know you have a gift when readers can;t decide whether your version or the original deserves more praise. I do guess I should be glad the original came out first, so that we can see how much cooler your Harry is. As for the plot, it is truly decided, Quirrel is evil? I was wondering if you would follow that original plot thread since you showed Quirrel as such a charismatic fellow. Anyways, can't wait to see the Aftermath, don't know how I'll wiat for next week, please don't make Harry have a break down now though, I'd love to see his dark, in-control, I-can-get-Snape-fired side again. I have to say, I love you for the fact that you don't drag out each chapter as an update, you release like three chapters at once if they all are about the same plot event...
| DigiEmissary chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
Giving Harry the conscious ability to block the Killing Curse is an interesting touch. It fits with the life and death themes of the story; Harry's True Patronus, representing eternal life and drawing from his own life, can counter Death whether it is in the form of a Dementor or a curse.
I did enjoy the "Harry acting as Voldemort" bit, as another spin on fanon tropes. That this fic manages to be a commentary on both reality and the universe of Harry Potter fanfiction is quite a feat. The line "(Harry had asked why Professor Quirrell couldn't be the one to play the part of the Dark Lord, and Professor Quirrell had pointed out that there was no plausible reason for him to be possessed by the shade of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.)" made me laugh out loud at its audacity, from the reader's point of view.
I must agree with a few others in wondering exactly what Harry planned (or thought Quirrell planned) to do with Bellatrix after the escape. Rehabilitation from dark, mind-altering magic, in secret no less, would be difficult to say the least. However, I can see Harry engaging in just such an action with no solid plans; you've done (what I believe is) a good job of showing his impulsiveness over the course of the fic. He is a young boy and a prodigy, along with having a clearly-stated God complex, and his emotions will, realistically, get the better of him for all of those reasons.
| Stygian Styx chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
Very interesting set. Well written as always, I look forward to seeing what happens next.
| An Oni Mouse chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
...The plot thickens. Lol at the reference to original events. I seem to have lost track of things. How long is it till the end of the school year?
| shouldabeenadog chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
You kept me awake last night trying to figure out how the characters are going to escape from the trap you've set. My love for this story grows ever greater.
After some thinking, I have come to the conclusion that Quirrell really needs some happy memories. Harry needs to stop slacking off and do some serious gambits with the appropriately manipulative endings so that Quirrell can be happy. Perhaps more science experiments.
| Anon chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
Many reviewers seem to think Harry is being stupid in this chapter. Well... all I can do is ask whether you'd be saying he was stupid if they were off to rescue Sirius a la 5,000 other fanfics, on the same information?
Well, yes, yes I would. But in those 5000 other fanfics, Harry really isn't the brightest bulb in the box, and such degrees of stupidity aren't that far out of character.
| E.A.V chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
Whoah...will Harry be caught? Will he figure out a plan? Will Bellatrix figure out a plan? Will the Dementors eat them? Will there be a return of Dark Harry? He's facing some serious opposition, mainly his own hubris.
I can't wait for the next episode!
| Kutta chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
Uhh, now there is a stunted Auror who's seen literally everything, a K.O.-ed Quirrel, a Harry with a dwindling awareness of the situation and a couple of Aurors bent on calling reinforcements. FUBAR. I think you'll either make a recovery via some sort of well-handled - as expected - deus ex machina or turn the narrative upside down and propel the story forward to a momentous finale. Great chapter anyway.
| Vermithrx chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
Wonderful! I see you've read Bridge of Birds.
| Animekitty47 chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
Dang, I forgot to review ch53. I was too caught up in it, which will have to suffice for a review. :P
Your consequences for the overuse of the Patronus are interesting. Make that ironic.
Wow. Just wow. Hm, so Harry's saved the Auror and it certainly looks like he's about to get caught anyway. Nice take on Prori Incantatum by the way. Looks like you extended the resonance between brother wands to either resonate in their magic, which would make a certain amount of sense or with the fact that Harry's his horcrux. The reason there's an or there is because after you ate the whole life after death theory for breakfast a few chapters back I'm not sure if you'll still have Horcrux people around. How do you have a soul and a fraction of a soul (that can obviously still think look at the diary and locket) in one body?
I'd also like to add that, given the knowledge Harry has, going to save Bella's on par with saving Sirius, even though it looked like that was the direction his thoughts were headed in. Just because we know its stupid doesn't mean Harry does. I'm also on the fence about Quirrel. It was stupid to try to kill the Auror, he should've known what that would do to Harry's trust, and Voldy doesn't have honor for his opponents. I doubt even this version has honor for his opponents. Yes, perhaps Harry jumped into it on too few actual pieces of evidence, but this Harry isn't free of doing reckless things either.
have no comment on your defense of Bella, cuz I see as giving her more character than it being a defense of her actions. I also agree with Vampyromaniac's point that it is odd that Harry would think freeing a 'mental patient' who is bound to the will of the Dark Lord is a goood idea, when he has to go to great lenghts to make her think he is the Dark Lrd. He can't seriously expect to keep that up forever, so then what?
Are we closer to the end of the first book than the timeline woud indicate? In other words, is Harry about to find out about Quirrelmort?
Unless the wand was thrown toards Bella as soneome else guessed? And that was why Voldy gave her chocolate, so that she'd be more responsive in case soemthing went wrong?
Finally, the comment from DonLyn's review "It's like some guy in the cinema screaming in your ear "The boy dies!" or "Never would have thought that those two would ever hook up!". And then he gets up, steals the movie from the projector and runs off cackling into the night..." I compeletely agree with. XD And so ends the longest reivew I have ever written. *huggles you*
| farwalker chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
What a place to leave this...
Please let Harry get out of here...
| Squeamish chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
Is that it for the DADA teacher this year?
| Luiz4200 chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
Poor Sirius. He'll be so hurt Harry broke Bellatrix out bit didn't break him.
| HerrSchmidt chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
Fool! Was Li's chair facing north? If so then his hand would be invalid! Plus he was wearing red. You know what happens to a hand when he's wearing red.
Aside of that, carry on.
| Guest chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
I'm already counting the days to the next post. It's about time that we start to get some idea of what's going on with Quirrell. Thanks for writing.
| Ham Nox chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
You are absolutely right to say that your readers have an automatic bias against the idea of breaking Bellatrix out of Azkaban, but I'm rather disappointed in how much you underestimate your fans' ability to overcome such biases. Really, Eliezer... I should hope that you've taught us better than that!
I was very confused by Harry's talk about wanting to be a hero at first, and was sure that he had Occlumencied himself into a clueless Gryffindor who had no idea what Quirrel's desire to break out the dark lord's most loyal servant implied so he could put on a more convincing act. Having found that this was not the case, I'm still very very confused. And I have to agree wholeheartedly with Valar Morghulis's review.
| Fredryck chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
Wow, just...wow. This multiple update was a wonderful birthday present, thank you very much! Your Azkaban feels so real, and I just love the genre savviness of the main characters. Things got pretty ugly now...still, I think it's quite bizarre that Quirrel decided to go for the kill instead of some kind of disable coupled with a memory spell, knowing that Harry was watching him. It's almost...careless. Is there a reason for this?
| Dur'id the Druid chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
As usual, great chapter. And we seem to be moving beyond the school now, getting more serious. I don't see how anyone is going to get out of this without major consequnces.
I also gotta reply to Lorem here. Not everything the charcters do is about themselves and one person they are trying to minpluiate. I can see Quirralmort(sp?) getting caught up in the fight and treating it as dispatching a worthy foe who refuses to turn back or surrender. He would see nothing wrong with conquering someone in a fair fight, and then killing them. People forget that is what King Arthur did to unite England. Yes, his army helped, but the big thing he did that seperated him from just another warlord was that after the fall of Rome, he dualed each warlord who would fight him one on one, and killed those that did not yeild to him. That is what began the Round Table and the legend around it and Camelot.
| PaulBlay chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
I bet two galleons on
Quirrel Back-from-the-future Harry Potter
That was my suspicion from quite a while back, but the last chapter makes me think it much more likely.
| Phoenix Flight chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
Wow. This one would seem to call for a "and then they all died" ending. I bet those approaching dementors aren't too fond of Harry's continued existence, what with his patronus and all. If he's unconscious, they might just kill him. Or, the return of the demented Harry? So much for "I promise to come back from lunch."
| voider chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
Huh... what a clusterCESORED
I wonder if Quirrell is going to be unmasked. Even if he isn't ... but words gets out about bella's escape, Dumbledore is going to suspect Harry and Quirrell.
The thing with the Lestrange boy will also point Dumbledore in the right direction.
Though there is still a possibility that they'll get away with it, obliviating all witnesses... i kinda doubt it.
One thing that I didn't see Harry do was try to find the reason for Quirell's desire to get Bellatrix out of Azkaban.
I would see two reasons... personal... or Quirell wants to use Bellatrix for something.
I wonder if after this... incident... Harry will begin to suspect more about the true nature of Quirrellmort.
Can't wait for the next chapter!
| KikiLynnwood chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
Excellent as always and hanging on the edge of my seat for the next chapter. You mentioned in the notes that people were thinking that this was stupid of Harry and you were wondering if more setup would be helpful. I agree with your conclusion that people are just having trouble getting over their knowledge of the players.
It had already been established that Harry believed using the Dementors as guards was Wrong. This was built upon by his obvious desire to rescue everyone independent of their guilt or innocence based solely on the belief that no one should be subjected to that. Q/V played Harry very well and everything felt to me completely within his character and current knowledge. That the results will undoubtedly be disastrous does not mean the actions were stupid from his frame of reference.
| Lorem chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
Setting aside the wisdom of rescuing Bellatrix, I'm still hugely disappointed in both Harry and Quirrel.
Considering how worried Harry is about Quirrel being exposed to dementors earlier, and how much he obsesses about keeping his patronus up, I completely don't understand why he'd forget to recast it immediately. This really feels like a sacrifice of plausibility for convenience.
Meanwhile, casting the killing curse is just incredibly thoughtless from Quirrel. I mean, does he really forget that Harry thinks they're trying to save an innocent? Even were he to successfully kill the auror, it would likely cost him practically all of Harry's trust, and maybe cause his patronus to poof to boot. Not to mention it would leave a dead body behind, while, otherwise, at least something could be done to reduce the visibility/unexplainability of the incident. It's just such an unbelievably bad move that I sure hope your next (batch of) chapter(s) has a lengthy explanation of how he could have possibly thought it's a good idea.
| Morbious20 chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
Awesome chapter I can't wait to see what's going to happen next.
| linkhyrule5 chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
I think it's less "rescue Bellatrix" as "rescue from Azkaban." I know I always groan when people miraculously manage to rescue. Just because it's prevalent doesn't mean it's accepted :D.
| Pandora of Ithilien chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
right, still feeling some sympathy for bella over here... how do you DO that? the set-up with the guards - and the fact that it turns out breaking into azkaban is 'easy' - was interesting. and with the magical connection between harry and quirrell... i wonder if harry will finally figure out who quirrell is.
| guardian00X chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
Great updates. But if the avatars of a certain anthropomorphic personification should talk at all it should be in the style of: "BELLATRIX BLACK IS OUT OF HER CELL."
| Tiky3000 chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
holy crêpe :P This has gone to hell in a hand basket! How in Gods name are you going to write him out of this one?
Is this the end of the Quirrel-Harry relationship? Harry had to stop him murdering an innocent man. Quirrel almost killed someone who was already defenceless. I can't see this not producing some strain.
| AngelForm chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
A lot to think about from this one.
Excellent description of the prison and security. Likewise a very good portrayal of the duel.
| Violet Shadows chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
Sounds like Harry lost his Horocrux; but given the previous chapter, does this mean they still get away with it if the papers report it as suicide?
| Nibbles the Chicken chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
Oh wait. It seems to have fixed itself.
| Rijl Kent chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
Ahhh... no. You say that Harry's been told by Quirrell about Bella, and he not only takes Quirrell's word for it, but he thinks that because she was sweet once upon a time, that it's _good_ to break a murdering torturer out of prison? WhyWhyWhy?
Why her? Why not anyone else who could be rehabilitated? Why now? (Why NOT Sirius?) Why isn't Harry more suspicious of Quirrell's motives or his knowledge of "dear Bella?"
I understnad that smart people can do dumb things, but Harry needs to think at the time that it's right. Your Harry does. And you just haven't shown enough for for me to understand why he thinks that it's right.
| phoebe turner chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
i loved it!
| Gogolu chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
| Vampyromaniac chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
"What do you want to bet the wan(d) Quirrel threw was thrown in Dear Bella's direction?"
I like the way you think :O
More on Bella: sure, she's a victim of Voldemort, but that could be said about anyone who's ever been harmed by him (such as canon!Pettigrew for whom we have little to no sympathy; he had to choose between obeying Voldemort, and death, to which canon!Sirius responded that he should have died rather than betray his friends) - it doesn't make her blameless. Broken despairing "love" as the reason for doing his bidding is not as mitigating as the Imperius curse, I feel. A lot sadder and perhaps even Darker, but I don't think we will forgive her so easily. Even if we did not hold her responsible for her past misdeeds, we have no reason to ignore the possibility that she is likely to go back to her old Death Eater ways, all in the name of love. What exactly was Harry planning to do with her, had the perfect crime gone off without a hitch? A mental patient not entirely responsible for his crimes is no less dangerous, and perhaps a great deal more so. Like Snape, Bellatrix is shaping up to be a great tragic character doing extraordinary things for love, and I'm glad she gets more characterisation in MoR than the one-dimensional villain of canon.
Interesting to reveal the cost of destroying all the dementors in Azkaban. When it comes time to fulfil that ambition, will Harry have taught many others the secret to the true Patronus so that they can share the burden, pool their life forces in the stand against Death? And will he already have in place another way to isolate the inmates so that dangerous prisoners are not unleashed upon the world at large with no way to contain them? The role of Azkaban is not just to punish or deter, but also to keep criminals from reoffending. Wandless prisoners or otherwise, what would it take to secure a dementor-less prison in a still-magical world?
| dundee998 chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
Hm. Should have expected that, I suppose. I'm eager to see what you'll do with Bellatrix. Is she truly innocent in this story, or is Tommy lying to Harry? He doesn't do that very often, I've noticed. And I can't help but wonder what this Voldemort would think of our canon Moldiemort.
| Entropic Specter chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
Well, there it goes. Doom, doom doom doom...
Great job, as usual. Please update soon.
| DonLyn chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
The only thing I don't like about this fanfic is that it makes parts of my personality revert to early childhood. 'Cause damn it all, I want to read the next chapter AND I WANT TO READ IT NOW ! *end tantrum*
Oh, and the explicit foreshadowing (or whatever it's called) in the last two chapters. I hate that. It's like some guy in the cinema screaming in your ear "The boy dies!" or "Never would have thought that those two would ever hook up!". And then he gets up, steals the movie from the projector and runs off cackling into the night...
But that's just my childhood trauma ;)
Great work. I don't think Harry is dumb for trusting Quirrel or for breaking into Azkaban. he just doesn't have all th information we as readers (think we) have.
| hjcallipygian chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
It's like you sat down for several hours thinking, "Okay, what could possibly go wrong? Okay. Great list. Now, which of these could happen without killing off everyone in the world? Okay. Still a good list. Which of these can happen and still let my characters survive? Okay. Set. I'm ready to write." )
| Raven3182 chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
We have to wait a whole week before you update this! Are you legally allowed to have a cliffhanger like this last that long! That's plain evil!
Good chapters. Thanks for writing!
| Heidinanookie chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
huhu... now what? Harry's really in too deep this time. Stupid, arrogant boy! HOW can he be daft enough to believe Quirrell about Bella? HOW can he still try to save their "mission" when it becomes clear that Quirrell is ruthless and evil? The sensible thing for him would be to memory-charm the guard and get out of there as fast as possible. Besides, with his enormous powers for deduction he should be able to see that there has to be a very sinister reason for the magical resonance between him and Quirrell and that there's really only one thing that would explain it...
| Jonathan Schattke chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
wow. Excellent work.
The characterization leads inextricably to the conclusion of this section. The writing it tight and pulls the emotion in.
| showstopper573 chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
just...wow...wow...sigh now ima think about this all day i just now it
| Sangemaru chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
| Dezy-X29 chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
Was hooked in a day ago to your fic and I must admit it did not dissapoint!
| luosha chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
okay, but WHY did they feed her chocolate right away? she was being levitated, it's not like they needed her to be responsive for the escape. this seemed like a bad idea right away, not just in retrospect after everything goes wrong ...
seems like you just needed a trigger to get Harry going, and this was the only thing you could think of?
| threecankeepasecret chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
I think that's the best chapter so far! Oh my gosh... there are so many things making sense and so many things I'm confused about... Harry's become a pretty good actor, no?
| Niesse chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
You're deliberately trying to stretch out your tvtropes page now, aren't you? The only reason - no, that's not right - the *most probable* reason I can see for you adding the cliche-riddled character of Bahry is if you're aiming for a Retirony: Averted. (Speaking of which, has that been added yet? Hmm... no. I'd do it myself, but tvtropes has problems with me adding things.)
Did Harry answer Quirrell when he asked how he'd known he was talking about Bellatrix, which he hadn't? Um... the bit at the end of Pt.1?
This whole arc is large quantities of AWESOME, and I don't care how far from canon it is. Canon!Harry could not perform awesome of this magnitude. Even when he's screwing up, Rational!Harry is something else.
And we still don't know what Quirrelmort's ultimate plan is.
| Valar Morghulis chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
First off, I'll say that I like MoR. A lot. It's quite simply a great fic that combines a whole lot of fantastic ideas, characters and humour into a story that's well worth rereading several times (as I've done). I've actually also just finished reading Three Worlds Collide, which was disturbing and intriguing in equal parts, and overall mesmerising.
But there's a sort of irony in the fact that it took a desire to criticise to spur me into praising your work. At the end of Chapter 51 I was absolutely hooked, waiting to see what happened next... Unfortunately, I can't say that the next three chapters really fulfilled that promise. In themselves, I suppose, they are good. But it's really jarring to see Harry moving straight into an Azkaban assault with a whole lot of questions and problems left unanswered, and that spoiled this section for me. It seems, almost, as if Harry's prized rationality has deserted him completely - and although there's the potential for him to be justifiably carried away, it ends up being no more than that - potential.
From the start, Quirrel offers Harry no proof of any of his claims at any point. Evidence, the rationalist's key weapon, is completely absent. And yes, Harry's faith in Quirrel combined with outrage over Azkaban's existence might let him ignore this point... It would be nice to see that evidenced in the story, though.
It seems that Bellatrix is either a prisoner in her own mind, or she has had her basic personality twisted by Voldemort. Surely, for Harry, this would be an appalling crime - yet he doesn't even think of it, at any point. Considering the value Harry places on his mind, and his otherwise healthy sense of moral outrage, this would warrant a place in his thoughts - especially because he's reminded of it with every second word Bellatrix speaks, and the fact that these words are - apparently - not her true beliefs is the only reason that Harry isn't committing an outrage by breaking an unrepentant multiple murderer out of prison.
The Harry we know would probably also question the moral implications of freeing somebody who is in the same mental state as they were when they committed a crime, especially considering that there's a distinct possibility her mind will be irreparably stuck as a homocidal torturer.
And finally - how does Quirrel know this sort of in-depth information about the Death Eaters? Vague imaginings of a high-ranked captive tortured shouldn't be nearly enough to convince a rational person to embark on a possibly fatal mission.
Yes, I can see that it would be possible for Harry to ignore all these issues and storm in anyway. His character is noble enough and hot-headed enough (sometimes) to do that. But that tenuous conclusion isn't even close to justified by his thoughts or actions during the scene. Harry might be outraged enough by the thought of an innocent in Azkaban to assault it without proper proof of anything - but the issue of Bellatrix' innocence is skimmed over. He might be angry enough at Voldemort's mind-rape to lose control - but he's actually feeling sorry for what looks, talks, and acts exactly like a convicted Death Eater. Harry's emotions before the breakout could probably fill a whole chapter - and with that touch of polish, this arc could be my favourite in the whole story.
I hope that I haven't sounded overly critical- I find that it's better to offer criticism too detailed than to be vague and unhelpful. And, after all, this section is the first in your story I've really seen a problem with. Overall, I think that you're doing a brilliant job, and can only hope that you will continue letting readers enjoy it.
| Lady of the Hunt chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
O.O OMG. Holy mackerel...omigawd...
| WB chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
Dear god, this was an exciting three chapters.
| wisecurledqueen chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
Please continue, please please please!
I love this so much, and am dying for the next chapter. Good God, your brilliant.
| Arkh Cthuul chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
And one more time Harry messed it all up.
And in a truly great chapter to boot.
| Miss.Kaylala chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
Everything is going to pot.
| Work Designer chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
Well, finally the connection has been revealed. The dementors have come and you've already mentioned Harry was too late to cast the patronus charm.
And their inability to do magic to each other, nice twist. though, like in demolition man, you can always ask another guy to pull the trigger for you.
I would say that Quirrelmort should have anticipated that Harry's emotional control is nowhere near as good as it should be for such a mission. Taking him to Azkaban secretly is a big no no.
Bahry is now a holder of too many secrets. A super powerful animagus wizard, A killer curse blocking human shaped patronus(from Harry Potter!), all working in tandem, in conjunction with Bellatrix's escape!. I see memory charms or death as the way out. Knowing Bellatrix, the sadistic witch, she would probably get revived and become whole if she killed him.
Quirrel's prowess in battle is an awesome thing to see. I wonder if he duelled dumbledore or flitwick when auditioning for the DADA position. That would have been EPIC!
| Rachit chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
Now its becoming interestering.
| Guest chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
"Lesath should be happy about his mother; at least if Harry is getting her out."
'"Ugly," said Bellatrix. Her voice said that word like it was the final nail in her coffin, the last despair. "I'm ugly, they ate that too, I'm, I'm not pretty any more, you won't even, be able, to use me, as a reward, for your servants - even the Lestranges, won't want, to hurt me, any more -"'
That imples Bellatrix is not his mother, and is not a Lestrange and just using her maiden name.
| Chelonie chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
Is it a stupid idea to rescue Bellatrix? If you believe that Azkaban is the most unspeakably evil place in existence, and that no crime could possibly justify being put there, it isn't. If you saw her son pleading for her rescue, it isn't. If you have near complete trust in the person who tells you of her innocence, it isn't.
But, is it a stupid idea to have your first rescue attempt be a try to go after someone on the lowest level, instead of a practice run to rescue someone they could extract quickly? Yes, I'd say so. Rescue them, obliviate the details of the rescue, help them go into hiding. Rinse and repeat until the operation runs smoothly - the perfect crime.
Of course it couldn't go on for long. Eventually one of the rescuees would be found, and it would be known that Azkaban is no longer escape proof. But it still seems like a better idea than having the first run be the hardest, especially when it's dependant on a child who has never been battle hardened. Battle Practice with sleep spells doesn't count for the kind of experience needed here.
Loved the combat scene. LOVED it.
bocaJ: I agree. I prefer to see 'The Auror cursed.' though in a setting where there are literal curses, that isn't an option. And saying 'The Auror swore' kind of loses some impact. Actual swear words, when used sparingly, have the most visceral impact.
Az: What do you want to bet the want Quirrel threw was thrown in Dear Bella's direction?
ilikebluepineapples: Too late for him to cast a Patronus before the despair made him too weak to do so, is my guess.
| Kewangji chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
To make it not seem as stupid, try expounding the scene where Quirrel tells Harry about Bella, about how evil the Dark Lord was to make her like that.
| Dureth chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
OH MY GOD HOLY CRAP WHAT HAVE YOU DONE
shit just got real I can't believe you had them do that and Harry thought so fast and now it's obvious Q is the dark lord, isn't it, and what is Harry going to do about it?
and the guards were totally realistic and it is hard to remember this isn't canon
and omg they can never use magic on each other... You've outdone yourself. The action was perfectly paced, the suspense had me leaning in like you're not supposed to ergonomically and... and... you're wonderful. And I tell all my friends about you.
| rpresser chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
Seven months from retirement? Really?
| Debate4life chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
Thanks for another couple of awesome chapters. I was having a horrible day, but this really picked up my mood. I am looking forward to seeing how Harry handles this situation, but I will pass the time thinking about the possibilities, which is almost as much fun as reading a chapter. Thank you for the food for thought,
| jy3 chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
Not really seeing the relevance of the title of this batch... I don't see anyone being sadistic simply because they can.
| firedraygon chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
Holy crap, again I don't know what Quirrell's agenda is. Voldemort? *shakes head*
Fantastic updates. I love getting so much action all in such a short amount of time! Definitely looking forward to more!
| deitarionSSokolow chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
Another beautiful set of chapters. It's always such a refreshing feeling to read about characters whose true motivations your can't predict, dealing with elements of the setting you are still working to fully comprehend.
As for the story as a whole, I've finally figured out why it's not as good as it could be: You're letting its purpose wander.
A good story is like an essay. It has a thesis (in this context, an experience to be shared) and it explores it in a focused fashion. At first, it seemed your thesis was going to be "Satirizing the inconsistencies of the Harry Potter universe through the lens of a rationalist Harry Potter", then somewhere around the time when you introduced your excellent "Rationalist Harry converts Draco Malfoy" subplot, you started to let that initial focus languish and fade away, leaving just "*crackle* wizarding world *bzzt* rationalist Harry Potter" and then, as Quirrel grew to take a position of dominance, it became "Character drama with a rationalist Harry Potter and a Professor Quirrel with a mysterious but major difference to him".
While you're still good enough to keep this interesting on sheer brute-force insight, that lack of finesse and unified purpose does make itself known. It especially doesn't help you that your first impression no longer holds valid for the whole story because readers who like the early chapters will be disappointed when they reach the point where those themes are phased out while readers who like the latter chapters may not stick around long enough to discover them. I know at least one of my friends stopped reading after a couple dozen chapters for just that reason.
| Sarshi chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
| bocaJ chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
I enjoyed these past four chapters - thank you!
One critique - I feel like saying a word is "unprintable" (as in "The Auror spat something unprintable") breaks up the flow of a story for a reader, especially at an action oriented moment like this quote is from. I don't know if this is how it is for others, but when I'm in the middle of an engrossing passage, the words are being rendered nearly immediately into images and sounds, but then I try to render "unprintable" and the image part of my brain makes a full stop and I am immediately drawn back into the world of text, away from the world of sight and sound.
I know the term is a common literary tool. I can even see how it makes the writing more Rowling-esque, particularly vs. just writing "shit" or "fuck." Nonetheless, I don't really like it. Granted this comment is extremely nitpicky, and might not even represent a majority or plurality opinion on the issue, but it bugged me, so thought it might be worth mentioning.
Can't wait until next Saturday! Halloween Special?
| muciope chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
Dear Less Wrong,
Your mastery is beyond anything I have ever read in my lengthy career of reading. This is the most INTENSE fanfiction ever. I absolutely adore this tale. And I fervently anticipate your next update.
| InAshenSilence chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
Tell me that Professor Quirrell is possessed by Lord Voldemort. Seriously. This has to be a crazy long con.
| yuenyuen13hotmail.com chapter 54 . 10/25/2010
"I was really, REALLY, *REALLY* looking forward ot the ensuing conversation between Harry and Quirrellmort about the innocence of one black versus another, and seeing just WHAT ON EARTH KIND OF EVIDENCE (existent or non) of Bellatrix's innocence/Serious's guilt Quirrellmort offered to Harry, to convince him to rescue one Black, and not the other. I mean, he hight as well pick up two Blacks from Azkaban, while he's out, right? I guess I was kind of disappointed that we don't get to see that conversation, and therefore, we remain convinced that Bellatrix Black Bad News. That conversation, methinks, is the solution to the problem posed in your Author's Notes."
Highly agree with this.
As it is right now, the execution of the Bellatrix storyline smacks too much of melodrama and cheap emotional tricks to make us sympathize with her instead of giving us evidence that Bellatrix is worth saving.
| Math and Chaos chapter 54 . 10/24/2010
I am having trouble thinking of anything coherent to say.
That chapter was... I would say 'intense,' if that word were not going the way of 'awesome.'
Twice I had to stop and close my eyes; several times I sputtered in futile protest against the oncoming storm...
...and you've left us with yet another cliffhanger. I'm beginning to think you enjoy torturing your readers, O Dark Lord of the Bayesian Conspiracy.
| Az chapter 54 . 10/24/2010
Oh boy. This is, to my knowledge, the biggest cliffhanger of this fic so far. I can only think of three ways for harry to get out of this situation. Scratch that. Two ways. And one of those ways is PURE LUCK, and Quirrellmort might not be cooperative, upon immediately waking up. So there's really just one thing I can imagine Harry doing to resolve this situation without bloodshed, and it involves giving Bellatrix Black a wand, so she can revive Voldemort... Huh. Who would have thought that HARRY POTTER giving BELLATRIX BLACK a wand, so that the DARK LORD might be revived would EVER be considered REASONABLE?
| ShaThief chapter 54 . 10/24/2010
great chapter but in the last one you mentioned what happened the day after about her death in the newspaper, just edit that to be what they PLANED to happen and it should clear up a bit of confusion.
Ps. my sister went to Stern years ago D Katz any how I'm in Australia so I don't think I have a chance on that challenge.
| Daesereg chapter 54 . 10/24/2010
It's times like this that the episodic nature of fanfiction updates really irritate me.
| Armagnac chapter 54 . 10/24/2010
Four cliffhangers in a row? You're killing us out here! And yet my hat is off to you.
| Alex Mennen chapter 54 . 10/24/2010
Brilliant! This fight scene was just perfect. Hell of a cliffhanger, though.
| William H. Stoddard chapter 54 . 10/24/2010
Per your request, my review's at . ?modereply .
| ilikebluepineapples chapter 54 . 10/24/2010
Nice job with the writing in these chapters, by the way. There was a bit of a lull in quality between 47-50, but you're back in spine tingling form. Not just the action, but the character interactions. I don't buy for a minute that Bella was a kind girl unwillingly twisted into evil by Voldemort... after all, even Voldemort was considered a quiet, well behaved student while he was in Hogwarts, nevermind that Quirrelmort could've been lying about that part... but, well, I foresee a redemption story here? Or at least the potential for your most nuanced villain yet.
| WestWard101 chapter 54 . 10/24/2010
Now that's some action!
| ilikebluepineapples chapter 54 . 10/24/2010
"without him even thinking, it just seemed to be operating on automatic" something's up there
What do you mean "too late," was Harry Kissed? You can't just DO a cliffy of that magnitude with a week to wait!
Also anyone who doubts that Quirrel is Voldemort and evil should reaaaaally be converted after this chapter...
| Oxi-Nu chapter 54 . 10/24/2010
Oh my. You're awful for leaving it on this note. Truly awful.
| Kitty chapter 54 . 10/24/2010
I stayed up till 2 am to read ch 54, and the chapter exceed all possible expectations. One part of me is thinking poor Harry; he never get through anything without something going wrong. But, I enjoy reading about the Harry and the other characters much more than the original book!
| Howard Russell chapter 54 . 10/24/2010
Wow, you're good. Just enough to make me think I know what's going on, but you're creative enough that I doubt myself. Brilliant!