|Reviews for Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality|
| Will Write chapter 63 . 2/19
Hermione might refuse to fire a relatively harmless hex
at a fellow student, but she did like to inflict pain.
That is what proves her curse on Marietta Edgecomb.
In legal terms, it is called disfigurement.
It is pretty serious matter, specially on a teenager,
where it is statistically likely to lead to suicide,
as teenager girls have self-images notoriously linked to their appearance.
| Tarvok chapter 63 . 12/12/2014
Oh God, the references. They BURN.
lol, good show.
| Oirasse chapter 63 . 10/19/2014
I love the characters and plots in your story! It's so unique! Normally I won't bother to point out minor details like this, but since your fic prides itself for having accurate scientific facts... Your justification for Harry staring at the sun through his UV lenses this chapter is not quite accurate.
UV sunglasses only protect your eyes from UV rays. The lens of your eye absorbs most of the UV rays. So, sunglasses reduces the damage to the lens of your eyes, and delay cataract. The more important reason for not staring at the sun directly is the IR radiation. They are not absorbed by the rest of your eye tissue and goes straight to your retinal (nerve layer of the eye) and literally cooks it. Since nerves can't regenerate, people who stare at the sun for too long will damage their vision permanently.
| Gry chapter 63 . 9/11/2014
Burn, burn, burn; plot of book four.
""Bahl's Stupefaction," Moody said, naming an extremely addictive narcotic with interesting side effects on people with Slytherin tendencies; Moody had once seen an addicted Dark Wizard go to ridiculous lengths to get a victim to lay hands on a certain exact portkey, instead of just having someone toss the target a trapped Knut on their next visit to town; and after going to all that work, the addict had gone to the further effort to lay a second Portus, on the same portkey, which had, on a second touch, transported the victim back to safety. To this day, even taking the drug into account, Moody could not imagine what could have possibly been going through the man's mind at the time he had cast the second Portus."
I love this storby. Thank you.
| Oliver chapter 63 . 8/7/2014
I would like to preface this by saying that I really love this story and all of its plots and appreciate the time you've spent to bring this to fruition. However, there is a gaping flaw in all that is rational and good in here and that is where, in almost every chapter without fail, you throw anyone who is disabled under the proverbial bus. In a chapter you talk of Salazar Slytherin's folly of believing what everyone around him said about the general value of certain "classes" of people, but now you are doing the exact same thing. In talking about how "crazy" someone or something is as a reason to distrust it or call it fallacy is a fallacy unto itself. Things like "crazy" and "mad" and "insane" are all these words that are used to describe someone as lesser than ourselves even when it is blatantly false once you you actually look at people who are neurodivergent. The words that you are using are hurtful slurs that fall under the category of ableism and they are really damaging to that community. I really hope that you might look into ableism and what it is and how your liberal use of it hurts others as well as making you look less educated because it seems that you don't register the disabled as actual people and I'm not saying this to be combative toward you or any other malicious intent, I'm saying this so maybe you'll learn something new too just as I have learned from you. Also, the term "Gypsy" is a racial slur. The correct way of referring to them is by saying "the Roma people".
Thank you if you read this to the end, I know it ended up being quite long. If you'd like to reply you can email me at
| thepkrmgc chapter 63 . 8/2/2014
this chapters is very thought provoking and deep, im hoping we can see some more humor after all that drama but I suspect that voldy might be making his return soon
| derpPhysics chapter 63 . 7/21/2014
I have read this all the way through and I have to say, it's extremely well done, clearly the plot is very carefully thought out and executed - a very rare quality indeed. I want to first say that I really really love this story. However, I have a few quibbles:
1. Harry is brutalizing Dumbledore far too much. Obviously Harry is trying to operate from a utilitarian point of view, which I agree with, but a utilitarian approach does NOT involve alienating your most powerful allies! The general approach in a system with incomplete knowledge is to maximize your power (personal strength and allies), so that when unforeseen events happen you are maximally prepared. Harry is obviously failing to do this, and seems to be greatly weakening himself as a result. Also, from an altruistic POV, brutalizing Dumbledore is a cruel thing to do, when there are undoubtably better ways to persuade/correct his mistakes (especially since Dumbledore respects Harry's opinion).
2. Harry is far too intelligent. I work at MIT, where there are probably more geniuses than anywhere else on Earth, and nobody - NOBODY would be capable of feats even approaching what Harry is doing, no matter how much training they might have. Harry's intelligence is INHUMAN. It simply isn't possible for a person to think as rapidly, or as precisely as Harry routinely does - especially since Harry makes virtually no mistakes - ever. Normal cognition involves forming hypotheses with errors, eventually noticing the errors, and slowly converging on the solution. Harry completely bypasses this - he operates probably above the level that even a computer could manage.
3. I feel that Harry is repeatedly being placed in situations that play to his strengths. Harry is still young, with almost no magical power, yet that somehow is never a problem. Why? Because Prof. Quirrel is always there when needed. While I can't give a specific example where it's super obvious, I can sense a plot armor of sorts, and I dislike it.
4. It's a bit odd that Dumbledore hasn't trained Harry on Apparition yet, considering how important it is. For that matter, he could easily key Harry into the wards somehow, so that Harry's position would be logged, and so that Harry could send instant messages to Dumbledore. Both seem like very obvious and straightforward tactics that both of them should agree on. For that matter, why not create a special spell in Hogwarts, where any gravely injured student would automatically be teleported to the infirmary and instantly placed in suspended animation? Well, you can see my train of thought...
At any rate, please do continue writing this series, it's among the best I've ever read and I hang on every word!
| Guest chapter 63 . 6/1/2014
He'd just do whatever it took to get rid of Azkaban, that was all. If that meant ruling Britain, fine, if that meant finding a spell to whisper that would echo all across the sky, whatever, the important thing was to destroy Azkaban.
| Lysianda chapter 63 . 4/24/2014
Despite how delightfully useful the Milgram experiment when it comes to making a point about the general cruelty of humans it must be observed that the manner in which the test was conducted rather spoilt the results. While I appreciate your point I cannot agree with the method or conclusion.
| JT chapter 63 . 4/18/2014
Oh my God I laughed out loud so many times at this chapter. Poor Dumbledore didn't get his food, Snape pouring acid on a dummy grave, and oh my f***ing god, I think I woke my neighbor up when I laughed at this:
Aftermath, Daphne Greengrass and Tracey Davis:
"You doing anything interesting today?" said Tracey.
"Nope," said Daphne.
I don't know who you are, but you're a genius. I've never been a fan fiction type person, but I've reread Harry Potter so many times.. it has a special spot in my heart, as my grandma used to send me the books as they came out and every time I'd read them straight through. However, after 5 or so read throughs, only counting those after the series had been completed, the story gets kind of... well, it's just not the same. There aren't new little details you missed, and many of the details you usually don't remember between read throughs stick.
This whole concept though, is freaking brilliant. I can't stop reading it. I've stayed up way too late the last few nights. You're going to destroy my final grades, and I don't even care.
| berkeleyjake chapter 63 . 3/6/2014
This was one of my favorite chapters for vague references from the author.
Urulat, where the wizard posessing the Eye of Vance was ruling is a city from the novel Banewrecker from the Tolkien universe
Verdandi is a being from norse mythology
Iocane Powder is a toxin from The Princess Bride
Bahl's Stupification is a reference to the absolutely stupid plan of Voldemort in the original books to lure Harry to the graveyard for his resurrection.
And the Bronze statue of a furry creature like a small child, holding a peculiar flat spear is almost certainly an Ewok. There are too many other Star Wars references both subtle and plainly obvious in the book for this to be anything other than an Ewok.
| Grizzmon chapter 63 . 1/15/2014
Sybill? Uh? What the heck?
| poolboywax chapter 63 . 1/1/2014
this chapter changed my life. since i read it i remind myself every morning to try to live my life like the 3 who didn't give the order to administer the shocks.
| Guest chapter 63 . 8/31/2013
Am I seriously the only one wondering what's going to happen to Sirius Black? Something has to be done about him. You foreshadowed more than one innocent in Azkaban, and Harry's logic for one of those innocents being Black still applies. Besides, the whole "Bill Weasley miraculously thought he was a Time-Turned war veteran" reeks of a plot. The Weasley family was shamed, and " People don't talk so much about Sirius Black conspiracy theories anymore". Sounds like someone was stirring up a fuss about Sirius, and somebody else got it in their heads to discredit his innocence. Like what Harry did to Rita Skeeter. Standard psychotic break? Bill Weasley was fine a week after? It sounds like a Confundus or something to me. Or maybe Bill Weasley was Obliviated twice? Of maybe Bill did it himself. The goblins seem to be a part of this story, and Bill curse broke for them in canon. Hmm, I would say the Malfoys or someone who wants Harry to suspect the Malfoys of involvement in Black's denied trial. Maybe Sirius was originally Memory-Charmed(Seriously, Memory Charms being undetectable make it so difficult to come up with viable theories. Because now the only people who can be trusted to believe truth is Dumbledore, Quirrell, and maybe Lucius Malfoy . Maybe Quirrell was Memory-Charmed by Voldemort, and the reason he's so likable is because Voldemort was a psychopath and Quirrell isn't? He just has memories of acting so.
| addikhabbo chapter 63 . 8/26/2013
| Lunacom chapter 63 . 8/18/2013
The Lestranges or at least the offspring of Bella have really desperate S&M personalities. I love the back and forth of Moody and Snape. Maybe he should have gone with heroine instead of LSD. It's more addictive I've heard.
| Guest chapter 63 . 8/6/2013
"Harry Potter is in danger. He must not go beyond the wards of Hogwarts. Listen to me, sons of Weasley, I beg you listen: you know that I am as Gryffindor as yourselves, that I too know there are higher rules than rules. But this, Fred and George, this one thing is of the most terrible importance, there must be no exception this time, small or great! If you help Harry to leave Hogwarts he may die! Does he send you on a mission, you may go, does he ask you to bring him items, you may help, but if he asks you to smuggle his own person out of Hogwarts, you must refuse! Do you understand?"
What i DON"T understand is why the writing has to be THIS bad! Who invented this absurdly over-inflected Pseudo-High-Seriousness? Was it, pray tell, that Master of Inanities, J.R.R. the Toll-king?. For certain it is that JKR would never have the *real* HP or his "headmaster" talk such pseudo-serious drivel. It is, oh Sons of Weasley [!], the mark of a childish intellect trying to project a seriousness of tone and of purpose that it is incapable of achieving in reality.
So much for Harry-Pttr "the Realist" ...
| Guest chapter 63 . 7/23/2013
i think im improving as a rationalist just ny reading this haha
| scorpioneldar chapter 63 . 7/12/2013
There ought to always be one real person who you truly were, at the center of everything...
Harry stared out at the falling night, the gathering darkness.
yes i think so then again i belive that this truely is what your soul is
who you truely are un manipulated not disguised and not influenced by drugs or alchohol or other things that can disturb the process of the brain
learning who that person is for me is hard work and i learned many things about myself through such introspection that i did not like
but it was true
so i agree but then who can prove it?
you got any ideas (or ideas of how to disprove it) im open to hearing them
| Bill chapter 63 . 6/13/2013
Question. In your story, if horcruxes contain a copy (perhaps flawed) of the mind of the caster, does the caster HAVE to die to use the resurrection spell?
I've heard that Quirrel is supposed to bo Voldemort, which is plausible enough, and yet, McGonnagal describes seeing Voldemort as he was described in the original Canon (nothing like Quirrel.) So, I had a thought. What if Quirrel wanted to test the horcrux' power to grant immortality?
He'd try to summon the copy of his mind early, would he not, to examine it, wouldn't he?
But it's not a perfect copy; the appearance and mind are both somewhat off. Not one to waste anything, Quirrel could've helped voldemort into power, for much the same reason he helped Harry. (Harry himself, then, would be an improvement on his original strategy. Where Voldemort (with a broken mind) could only rule through fear, Harry could be feared AND loved.
| L.E chapter 63 . 6/5/2013
| dragoon109 chapter 63 . 3/27/2013
why? the answer is simple really. the prison has been around for years even before dumbloder. no one knows how to kill the dementors. so what can be done but bye them off?
it is called necessary evil.
anyway the women could have been a white dress women. the people she killed could have been her children.
| Nick Martin chapter 63 . 2/4/2013
I don't think I understand Moody and Snape's Aftermath. Has Voldemort been prevented from using the flesh-blood-bone ritual or not? I don't get it.
| chain.reader chapter 63 . 12/20/2012
"Yay, we completed a quest and got a minion"
Moody could not imagine what could have possibly been going through the man's mind at the time he had cast the second Portus.
| somefish chapter 63 . 10/1/2012
This was my favorite arc. Other arcs I enjoy are all the battles. Ingenious ideas, like the blinding potion. Also, Ender's Game.
| voodooqueen126 chapter 63 . 8/2/2012
I seriously doubt that magical America would be much better than magical Britain.
Given that real America is only slightly better than real Britain.
| Guest chapter 63 . 7/5/2012
Just re-read this arc for the nth time, and it was as deeply moving as the first time.
One little tidbit - was the final aftermath, with Trelawney, meant to be (almost) exactly the same as the final aftermath of Ch 85? I know it wasn't there before and I assume that it is part of the revisions being made to the story right now. Hopefully it'll be fixed when E.Y. finishes revising the rest of the story.
| William X chapter 63 . 6/11/2012
I am a huge fan of this story, but I find a problem with this chapter. It's to long. Maybe you could split it into two chapters.
| SelenaWolf chapter 63 . 6/1/2012
Holey batcrap, and that's the best you're gonna get out of me right now, as it's now 10am, and I've gotta go to sleep.
My brain is fried. And I can't wait to read more tomorrow.
| HerGoldenHair chapter 63 . 5/24/2012
Love the scene with paranoid Moody & Snape.
Lol, ice-colored ice. How d'you get away with half this stuff? Good for you.
| mindeh chapter 63 . 5/9/2012
After all those M rated grim fics with gore and darkness about, I've been reading this again after maybe a year and thinking that this will be what I'll read to my children before to sleep. Starting from some 4 years old till 6, then they'll finish reading themselves. Maybe I'll have to translate this to Lithuanian first, but better if they'll read it as writter. And we'll discuss rationality, human nature and all great lessons woven into this story. Later I'll proudly go to see headmaster of my child's school to hear about her unacceptable behavior. I could go on, but I guess idea is clear. Thanks for the great story and spreading rationality around!
| HBregalad chapter 63 . 4/20/2012
After chapter 84 where Harry tells Dumbledore to get rid of "Whatever dark wizard bait you're keeping around here," I woke up with the image of Harry for whatever reason getting to hold the Philosopher's Stone and saying "what's this?" and being told, and him thinking 'cool!' (which here means ...) and 'which is the right kind of thought for a patronus,' and without even meaning to he casts a patronus so bright that all the dementors in the world vanish.
In all probability the only reason he survives casting it is because he is holding the stone which crumbles to ash afterwards. Which is sort of ok with Dumbledore because he'd decided to destroy it anyway. Though, of course, it is not alright with Harry, who of course wants to make enough for everyone on earth, forever.
| Brian chapter 63 . 4/18/2012
I read the My Immortal fanfic, and felt like gouging out my mind. After finally finishing this chapter/episode/whatever, my mind feels a lot better. Thank you, for a spot of rationality to avoid the intellectual black hole that is My Immortal.
| psychothumbs chapter 63 . 4/11/2012
I love how in this chapter Harry is worried that he has sounded a false alarm about Voldemort returning by rescuing Bellatrix, while Dumbledore, who knows less about what actually went down in Azkaban than Harry does, is actually totally correct about Voldemort having been behind the whole thing. Dumbledore sees right through to the truth with what little information he has, while Harry is blinded by some extra information that doesn't seem to fit with the true narrative. A little bit of knowledge can be a dangerous thing.
| yitiantulong chapter 63 . 4/11/2012
It should have been obvious to me from the start but I am slower of wit.
Of course Harry Potter isn't a god. Because Less Wrong, you ARE.
(And there is no god but god right?)
You, and not the wildly talented Occulmens, are certainly the one who creates and is FREE.
(Incidentally I have an irreproducable-results type theory about why there are only 17,000'ish reviews.
All half a million of us who have read this/are reading this get through nearly all 500,000 words in, on average 49.5 hours, reluctant/unable to stop in between end up very, VERY tired. We drop off to sleep for a few days at the end of it, and then come back to life, scrambling to catch-up with furious students/professors/colleagues/bosses/friends/spouses/children/grand-children who thought we had died somewhere, and then end up back here a week later, sheepish and tongue-tied, unable to write a review worthy enough to describe the experience.)
Do I sound as abjectly and pathetically hero-worshipping yet as the poor LL?
I hope so. Because that's how I feel at this point!
Thanks so very, very much for this MAGIC.
PS Have you read more than 10,000 books of sf and f? Enquiring minds want to know what it takes to be this knowledgeable even if these minds will never be as stupendous.
PPS Okay, one tiny, tiny squeal more: I LOVED Raistlin!
PPPS I vill not buy zis record, it zis scratched!
| H.JaneGranger chapter 63 . 4/5/2012
I hope Harry knows that if he does get rid of Azkaban that all of the murders, rapists and whatever else will have to go somewhere. And that he needs to do it before getting rid of Azkaban.
| Mr H. Potter chapter 63 . 3/28/2012
Lol, Iocane Powder. Loving the Princess Bride reference.
| RationalGirl chapter 63 . 3/5/2012
I think the entire "Stanford Prison Experiment" sequence is the best thing I've ever read. (And this comes from a devoted J.K. Rowling fan, so that is saying something).
I begin to think that Quirrell keeps Harry around and subjects him to these many tests, not to Mentor or teach him, but to LEARN from him. He is not truly more intelligent than Harry, and he knows this, he is pretending to be wise. At the same time, Harry is a lab mouse in his maze. From the beginning with the Milgram experiment on the first day of class, then with the Battle Magic Armies, then the ordeal in Azkaban, Quirrell is putting Harry through all these tests to STUDY him. Quirrell doesn't know what it is that will defeat him, so he needs to learn all he can. That's my theory anyway.
I have to say, I just love how you kept adding constraint on top of constraint, making the whole thing seem more and more impossible. Leaving us to think "How in the world will Harry ever get out of THIS one?" and yet you do it, in a completely Harry-esque way. It doesn't even matter that it was a huge 'Deus ex machina' in the end (gloriously so) because this is exactly what Harry would have 'pulled out of the hat' so to speak. And the line, "Alright you Primitive Screwheads, listen up! You see this? This..." etc. was EPIC! E-P-I-C! The right bit of humor at the right time and so perfectly Harry!
Your Azkaban is so much darker than Rowling's, you seem to have fleshed out the implications of the paradigm she created and brought them to their logical conclusions. It remains to be seen, of course, what ramifications will follow this escapade.
Oh and the whole bit:
"Mr. Potter is an Occlumens? You gave him an invisibility cloak and he is immune to Veritaserum and he is friends with the Weasley twins? Albus, do you have any idea what you have unleashed upon this school?" Her voice was nearly shrieking, now. "By his seventh year there won't be anything left of Hogwarts but a smoking hole in the ground!"
Albus leaned back in his great cushioned chair, and said, smiling, "Don't forget the Time-Turner."
She did scream then, but quietly.
Severus drawled, "Should I teach him to brew Polyjuice, Headmaster? I ask only for the sake of completeness, in case you are not satisfied with the magnitude of your pet disaster."
So much genius in those few lines!
| Patrick Bateman chapter 63 . 2/5/2012
Quirrell is an utter sociopath. It was already quite conspicuous before, but now it's just punching your face and headbutting your genitalia.
Can't remember where I heard this (I hope it's not this fic, that would be embarrassing), but it's said that one way to determine what sort of person you're dealing with is to ask him to speculate upon the motivations of his fellow humans. Don't ask him his own motivations directly-more often than not, that triggers a defensive mindset, positive spin on personal behavior and general self-aggrandizement. But when people talk in the abstract about the motivations of others, they're more liable to let down their guard and reveal their true feelings and ethical codes.
So when you have a guy like Quirrell, who outright states that he thinks everybody is no different at heart than the Dark Lord, and says even Hermione is just posturing as a good girl in order to manipulate others, and that everyone will do anything to anyone as long as they can get away with it...well, that's a huge red flag. His words to Harry about the malleability of identity and their so-called "freedom" is another big tell-the "superficial charm" of sociopaths and their weak sense of personal identity are pretty infamous.
Quirrell's greatest oversight in his answer to Harry's question occurs when he says, "But for such as you and I, anyone we can imagine, we can be, in reality and not pretense." So shallow is his sense of identity that he thinks that superficial signalling to others, and manipulating their perceptions of him in the way he desires, actually equates to truly and completely assuming a different identity. What he misses is the fact that those he pretends to be are incapable of his feat of swapping around multiple "identities" as though they were clothing-if Quirrell truly became his masks "in reality and not pretense," he would have a face and not a mask. He would have neither the ability nor desire to don masks, and so the fact that he is donning them in truth reveals that his identities are mere pretense, and not reality. The fundamental identity of a shapeshifter at any given moment is not whatever particular shape it has happened to assume-its fundamental identity remains, in the abstract, "a shapeshifter."
I'm sure Harry knows most of the literature on sociopathy, so now he just has to consciously remember it. He's already explicitly thought that Voldemort must have been "empty," when he considered what the Dark Lord did to Bellatrix (and Harry had similar sentiments when he realized that the Dark Lord must have AK'd Slytherin's monster). His worries now that "there always ought to be one real person who you truly were, at the center of everything" circle more closely the heart of the matter-Quirrell's talk of identity swapping, much like Harry's impressions of Voldemort, speak only of a profound emptiness at the center of everything.
And of course, I doubt that this sociopathy thing is just another of Quirrell's many masks rather than his underlying nature, because only a true sociopath would be able to or even want to wear a sociopath mask.
| Fenrir666 chapter 63 . 1/12/2012
Santa Claus is Sirius Black, and the man in Azkaban saying "I'm not serious, I'm not serious, I'm not serious" is not, in fact, Sirius Black, only someone meant to take his place. Lucius Malfoy thinks Harry Potter is Voldemort.
These are my guesses. Any of them even close to correct?
| modestlobster chapter 63 . 10/6/2011
Our internet was out a couple days ago, so I took the opportunity to continue onward with MOR (the PDF version, naturally) and was reminded (as always) of its brilliance - and even more important, its entertainment value... So then today, though our internet has been restored to proper functioning, I thought I would just read "a little bit more"... without realizing that TSPE (where I had last left off) would span 13 chapters... but I couldn't stop myself. I had to know. I had to get to the end. And so I did, and now I can take a break and do something else with the day (that others might consider more useful than reading fanfiction - but what do they know...) Wizardry, my good author, is what you have, and I thank you for it. (Again, as it were.) Cheers and thanks. Very much.
| AR chapter 63 . 9/22/2011
I suppose when your beliefs and your world irrevocably changes feeling lost is the least of your worries..
We saw Draco go through it...it was only time that he would as well..
Milgram...so that is how he explains his behavior around Quirrell..understandable. You do a lot of thing you could not BELIEVE yourself doing in order to please someone you look up to.
That he would let Hermione know that he was crying was beautiful...I am really loving their relationship and how youre evolving it.
| theInsaneArtist chapter 63 . 8/9/2011
"If I pull off too many plots, will I never be able to smile at anyone again, without them wondering what I really mean by it?"
Yes, that is what happens when you play games with lives and manipulate people. You end up lonely. And there will come a point where you cannot ever go back.
I fear young Harry entered the game before he learned all the rules. Certainly before he learned all the consequences.
As I have said to myself repeatedly (but never got around to posting) 'This will all end in tears. At some point everything is going to go bottoms-up.'
And Severus Snape is brilliant. A Voldemort on LSD would be hilarious! :D
| Ellie DC chapter 63 . 8/1/2011
I love this story and all, but I was really annoyed with Harry's lack of logic with regard to the Azkaban issue. He never once, in all his rationality, came up with another solution to a wizard's prison, so does that mean that his destruction of Azkaban would just release all the criminals back into the world?
I'm disappointed that no one, not even Professor Quirrel or Dumbledore, had mentioned the arguement (valid-sounding yet flawed at the same time) that the prisoners deserved this punishment because of their crimes. It would have been a great opportunity for Harry to call out the flawed logic, and to make some modern Muggle / real world comparisons. It just made Harry's determination seem more one-dimensional.
Don't get me wrong, I still love the story, I wouldn't have read all of it otherwise, but I thought there was something lacking here for this subplot. The Time Travel stuff was just so brilliant, especially the paradox, that it made up for me not actually following that part. Made me feel a bit like McGonnagal.
| Triangular Reasoning chapter 63 . 7/24/2011
Wow... that Stanley Milgram experiment thing was actually real? Damn... the darkness of humankind...
| Gabriel chapter 63 . 7/23/2011
"If you were given a glass half-empty and half-full, then that was the way reality was, that was the truth and it was so; but you still had a choice of how to feel about it, whether you would despair over the empty half or rejoice in the water that was there."
Reading this right on the heels of Chekhov's "Ward 6," and I felt that this expressed very eloquently an idea that I'd been trying (without success) to articulate - that the good in this world isn't just a cheap facade over the "true" ugliness underlying it, but rather that the two can coexist without contradiction, and that it is not naivete to privilege the good.
| Wandering Airhead chapter 63 . 7/6/2011
I can't really review on the whole fic in one review, since it's just too long for that. You have a really great style, compromising some great humour with a serious general plot. There were various points that weren't up to that standard, but I can't really recall even a fraction of them at this point. The worst part of the story so far was the aftermath for Harry Potter in this chapter, which proved plainly boring at some point. The same effect and the same content could be described using half the number of words, and it would work much, much better. But then again, it's pretty much the only point in the story that I can really call boring or bad.
The thing I'm a bit concerned about is the pace of the story. I mean you wrote 400k words and you didn't even reach the end of first year. I am impressed how you managed to fit all this development into a single year, where Harry still has hardly any magical power, but I can't quite stop thinking of stories as having some kind of end. You mentioned it's supposed to be like a TV drama, but at the rate it's going now I can't help but fear that you will never get to the really juicy parts.
| Death by manga chapter 63 . 6/8/2011
So, you're opening up for another plot, involving Harry leaving Hogwats? He should take Draco and Hermione with him.
| Jillian A.K chapter 63 . 5/29/2011
Assuming Quirrel is Quirrelmort, I've got to wonder if he was playing Chessmaster with Lesath Lestrange as his pawn as far back as chapter 27, just so Lesath could proclaim his loyalty to Harry in chapter 63, while really spying on Harry for Voldemort. Or is Lesath just as innocent a victim as he appears? Since it was Snape who nudged Harry to rescue him, that adds weight to the latter, but given it is Quirrelmort we're talking about here... I've got to wonder.
| This is awesome chapter 63 . 5/28/2011
This is the first fiction I've read for years!
Usually I read only non-fiction, science or philosophy stuff, but this work is simply brilliant and addictive!
From HP:MoR alone you can infer that the author is a genius, but then if you think it's impossible to do better, just read the "Sequences" by
the same author! They literally changed my life!
So, keep it up, Eliezer,
You're awesome, and the brightest person I know! (Sorry, I don't know Conway;)
| Reka chapter 63 . 5/16/2011
OK, so this is by far the best-written fanfic I've ever encountered (no eggcorns! no grammar errors! imagine that!), but that's kind of damning with faint praise...
I think that this *isn't* What-if-Harry-Potter-was-a-rationalist, this is What-if-you-stick-Miles-Vorkosigan's-brain-into-Harry-Potter's-life. Which is vastly amusing, don't get me wrong, but it also leads to the biggest problem: Harry doesn't just have Miles' brain synapses (and tendency to get into vast universes of trouble), he's also Miles' *age*, i.e. nearing 40. Which is a trap a lot of fanfics fall into, but it's especially disappointing for this one, because it started out so well, and it is so well-written.
| fitzmorrispr chapter 63 . 5/13/2011
I'm just wondering what that statue of the child-sized furred figure with a spear is
It's a minor mystery hidden in a field of much greater mysteries, but I get the impression that this one won't be explained later
Anyone have a guess?
| D2Killerz chapter 63 . 4/19/2011
I have a question, this coming from someone that read the entirety of the fanfic in the matter of two days. I just can't imagine this story going on for more than one-two years without the use of a time skip. Are you planning on ending this story at the end of the first year?
| Dalxein chapter 63 . 4/6/2011
It's driving me a tad batty, trying to figure out who Harry's mysterious benefactor is. :(
| socialpsych801 chapter 63 . 3/27/2011
Really nice use of Milgram's obedience studies here. I think you could expand on the explanation by talking about dual process models and the different kinds of factors that lead people to use automatic vs. effortful processing.
| Multipartite chapter 63 . 3/21/2011
Rereading this chapter, I wonder if Lestrange will at some point be gifted with (/a title reference to) a book on Occlumency explaining what non-painful reason there might be for being unable to admit to something in the presence of a non-Occlumens... ('I didn't do it, but even if had here's why you'd be making a grievous misunderstanding, and since I didn't do it you're making two grievous misunderstandings instead of one'...) *happiness; as with others, looks forward to future updates (though worries about possible negative effects of pressure or otherwise)*
| Another grateful outcast chapter 63 . 3/12/2011
I got about halfway through this chapter before the need to respond outbid the need to KEEP READING AS FAST AS POSSIBLE AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. I could list all the shockingly well-done aspects of this story, from twists to character development to dialogue, humor and touching social and moral commentary, but I'll stick with the less common response for my first:
Thank you so much for writing this story. Intelligent fiction- especially rationalist fiction- seems very much at odds with the mindless commercial fluff that dominates my country's genre listings. It's profoundly comforting to read about characters and ADMIRE them for a change instead of trying to will oneself not to commit sacrilege by tossing yet ANOTHER idiot book against the wall. Seeing myself in a protagonist, having TRUST in the author to tell an engaging and delightful story, are things I find only on very rare occasion.
Your Harry is a joy. Your characters are fascinating. You take what bothered me about the Potter books and . . . well, fixed it. You take what was good about that series and made it so much deeper and more powerful. The scene where Harry flies a rocket out of Azkaban had me cheering. And when he realizes that he's won the sad loyalty of "LL", his response along the lines of "Yay, we completed a quest and earned a minion!" had me laughing out loud.
One of my favorite lines from him is his response regarding Muggle homophobia: "Only the dumb ones", because that manages to sums up an entire socio-political controversy in four childish but remarkably succinct words. It's not a superficial insult, it's a full analysis which carries pages and pages of unspoken explanation and thoughtful argument.
And I will always remember "the most dangerous student" scene.
| TheNStorm chapter 63 . 3/6/2011
Still, you're not doing a bad job, the chapter's just a touch too... depressed and angry at the bitter saddness that infests Harry's emo heart.
For sad there should be a happy contrast.
| ARMH chapter 63 . 2/28/2011
That was quite a long chapter, especially considering that it was all Aftermaths. I really liked it though, and Harry seems to have grown through his trip to Azkaban.
| kkkkkkkk chapter 63 . 2/23/2011
Haha, LSD and Iocane powder. Nice.
| otakurose16 chapter 63 . 2/20/2011
Pff. Choosing the Suicide King as Harry's portkey to escape Hogwarts just really amuses me, for whatever reason. Was that intentional?
| haavarl chapter 63 . 2/19/2011
This is, actually, every bit as well-written as Rowlings' books. Your language is highly skillful; it is witty and clever all the way through, and with several interesting plots.
Despite the differences from the books, I feel that your alternative story fits perfectly into the world created by R. Even though the characters are obviously changed, you are able to add to them, exploring them further. Draco Malfoy, for instance, has turned into a highly fascinating boy, and you do an excellent job of describing what it means to come from a Most Noble and Ancient House.
I'd surely buy it if you could publish it.
Håvard L; Norwegian male of 41
| Student chapter 63 . 2/15/2011
Okay, I haven't read all of it yet; just up till the Milgram experiment. I remember hearing about that in class, and our teacher joked "why don't we get those things?" because when we were told, it was said that the experiment wasn't so much about obeying authority, as being deluded by authority into thinking that you were doing the right thing. The scientists in the experiment actually told the subjects they were administering shocks for the "patient"'s own good, so that the person could learn faster, and that this was a study to show how much shocks helped, and whether or not this method could be used in schools (hence my teacher lamenting this). Because the subjects believed they were actually helping the subject, and therefore doing good, they went against their morals against helping someone, believing it was all for the GREATER GOOD. This is what they believed Hitler did: He convinced the citizens so convincingly that they believed, whatever they did to the Jews, in the end the benefits would outweigh the harm, and that they were actually doing good. That was essentially how Hitler seized power and managed to kill off so many Jews. So, basically, the premise based on people "obeying authority" because of a "primal instinct" is based on realizations that didn't take into consideration the belief that the people thought they were doing good. A logical fallacy. And I must be really getting into the story, but I think that's why Azkaban was built: because those who agreed to it being built thought it was for the good of all. Those being punished in it were like Jews in the Holocaust: They were harming the nation and deserved to die. Of course, I don't agree with this; I just think this is what they believed when they did all these things. Everyone felt so much safer with criminals locked up in prison that they didn't stop to think about how the criminals were suffering, and whether or not they deserved it, because of course they deserved it. Most people didn't stop to think about all the happiness being drained; they just thought criminals locked up safe helpless citizens; criminals being punished justice, and didn't stop to think more in depth. Maybe other people did, but they justified it to themselves. I finally realize how many things we never give more than a passing glance. This fanfiction broadens minds, and that is definitely a good sign. The plot and writing are also good, despite slight rough parts. In short, one of the best fanfictions I've seen yet.
| Uniasus chapter 63 . 2/2/2011
Right, this fic is awesome because its filled with such good broad issues that normally I would find boring but here is so interesting!
Also, you gave me an idea for a paper I have due next week. Thanks!
| Markus Ramikin chapter 63 . 2/1/2011
The Milgram experiment stuff was inspiring. It was also one of the more important things you've said in the fic so far, which somehow I don't see all that many people noticing in their reviews.
Again, thank you. You are truly an amazing author.
| Butch chapter 63 . 1/31/2011
Moody possibly doesn't know all this stuff, and it's ok and funny to make fun of Voldemort and the Idiot Ball:
Uh, Portkeys and apparition on Hogwarts grounds are ONLY possible with special permission of the Headmaster.
The "second" Portus was already there to take the champion out of the Maze, the graveyard one was added afterwards.
And tell me honestly: Would YOU want to start your great rebirthing party in the middle of the day after tossing a trapped Knut at your "Greatest Foe".
"Oh yeah I just tossed him a trappet Knut, really evil plan. And then we had this really evil Dark Ritual on a graveyard under Sunshine and Blue Skys. But it was really Scary and edgy."
The Cup was really just Voldes flair for the dramatic. Kidnapping him under everyones eyes: Voldemort simply found that cool! He wanted to send a dead Harry Potter with a Dark Mark carved into him back.
The Knut would have been plan B. Harry was at all times either: On Hogwarts grounds where the knut wouldn't work. With the Dursleys thus having Blood Mojo. In Hogsmeade in the company of witnesses(Possible, but like I said: Not as cool.).
If he could pull it off without getting caught Moody would have been an immensly valuable Spy on Dumbles.
And how on earth could Voldy have known Harry would escape him? He had him first bound and then surrounded by Death Eaters?
The only mistake of his was not planning ahead for stuff like a priori incantatem or not considering the emotional fragility of eleven year old boys controling emotional magic Merlin couldn't do on their second(he didn't know about the Draco incident) casting not two weeks after inventing it while listening to tales of Mind and standard Rape.
And why should Harry care for being trapped in Hogwarts? He has Fawkes now! He can go ANYWHERE instantly. Together with "transfigure the floor into an unwound 500 Metre carbon nanotube with a tip of anti-diamond the size of a fleas egg" (roughly a Hollywood-Car-Explosion and a nice Gamma flash with a roughly 300 metre Surefire-Cancer-Radius.) he is pretty much invincible. As long as he wants to KILL, which he doesn't...
Sadly I do not have such a through analysis for the rest of the Chapter exept: lol.
| 75th chapter 63 . 1/29/2011
This story is my first exposure of any kind to fan fiction based on any franchise. So I can't really appreciate all the homages to other fan fic that are undoubtedly in here — indeed I'm very curious as to why song lyrics are to be avoided at all cost.
But this is amazing. If there's any other fic even a third as good as this then I have a LOT of catching up to do.
I do, however, have a couple of niggles about this chapter.
The main one is the bit about Bahl's Stupefaction. Certainly that aspect of Goblet of Fire seems ridiculous if you interpret it according to Moody's thoughts here. But this is how I think of it, and I strongly suspect it's how Rowling thought of it when she wrote it, even though it wasn't made explicit in the book:
Portkeys are regulated by the Ministry of Magic. Indeed, in OotP Fudge is outraged when Dumbledore creates one in front of him. So it stands to reason that the Ministry can track all Portkeys in Britain as well. Just as an owl shows up with Harry's expulsion letter the moment he arrives home after saving Dudley, presumably the Ministry would quickly pounce upon any unauthorized Portkeys — doubly so, presumably, on the Hogwarts grounds; tossing Harry a Portused Knut would be unfeasible.
So why didn't they detect the Triwizard Cup? Because it was an AUTHORIZED Portkey. The final round of the tournament was set up like the final round of American Gladiators: high scorers had a head start over the lower scorers proportional to their point lead. Whoever touched the Cup first, then, would be the winner. The Cup was set to transport the winner to the maze entrance, thereby declaring them the Champion.
Moody-Crouch, however, placed a second Portus charm on TOP of the initial one, so the first touch would transport Harry to Little Hangleton, where he would be waylaid immediately upon arrival. The initial Portus charm(?) was left untouched so as to not cause suspicion at the MInistry, so when Harry touched it the second time, he was taken back to Hogwarts as the winner should have been originally.
This all falls apart with all the Portkeys the Order creates in Deathly Hallows, of course, but many things in earlier books fall apart when you take later books into account.
My other niggle that the Iocane Powder should be in BOTH the fourteenth and fifteenth bottles, not just one or the other.
| rabid.gopher chapter 63 . 1/29/2011
I'm writing a review to this chapter, largely because I just now got around to reading your author page. I understand the sentiment of wanting to know what people who read your work think, so here I am.
I've been reading this story for a couple months now, managed to get to the latest chapter sometime around the Stanford Prison experiment, and was not happy spending a month waiting for further updates. I enjoy the humor, intellect, and sense of discovery or achievement you manage to work into your writing, and have some personal theories about how Harry will figure out magic to work. (Wands are just a front end originally designed by the Atlanteans for controlling actual magical forces? Maybe magic is an intelligent force that wants us to achieve something for it?)
I greatly appreciate finding out about another update to this thought-provoking story, and would love to know what, if any, update schedule you try to follow.
| D Laughing Man D chapter 63 . 1/28/2011
And so the plot thickens...!
| marshman122 chapter 63 . 1/26/2011
Great story. I have recommended it to all of my friends.
| Gill chapter 63 . 1/25/2011
Great fic - I pretty much stopped reading fanfic a couple of years ago but this got linked on Pharyngula and once I started reading I couldn't stop!
| iamnuff chapter 63 . 1/22/2011
A Muggle narcotic called LSD. A conversation yesterday put me in mind of Muggle things, and LSD seemed the most interesting option, so I hurried to obtain some. If it is incorporated into the resurrection potion, I suspect its effects will be permanent."
this makes me sad that its not the real grave...
| Brian chapter 63 . 1/21/2011
I just wanted to thank you for Moody's scathing critique of the weak plot of the 4th novel. I've been thinking pretty much the same thing since I first read it. For a long time, I've been trying to convince everyone I know to read the novels, which I love. But recently, I've started trying to convince everyone I know to read Methods of Rationality. I hope the widespread popularity of this fic leads to at least a little more rationality in the world. We sure could use it.
| anonymous chapter 63 . 1/13/2011
It took me a little while, but the reference to Vecna was pretty amusing after I figured it out. Yay D&D!
| Dodos-r-not-extinct chapter 63 . 1/13/2011
"I can't hear the music" by James Blunt has turned out to be a very fitting song for Harry's aftermath, with "Halleluiah" by Furture of Forestry for the part after when he talks to Hermione. Bittersweet but with a hint of redemption, both for himself and the world.
| Freya D chapter 63 . 1/9/2011
Just read the entire story, and I really like it so far. I subscribed so I'll definitely be reading the new chapters when they come out.
My favourite chapter was the one in Dumbledore's office when Harry was saying "wise" things. And, when Malfoy realised Harry was a Parselmouth. Genius comedy writing!
| Name chapter 63 . 1/3/2011
This is facemeltingly good.
I've held off reviewing for when I could say something worthwhile, but now it seems important to get one in before the newest round of updates.
I really, truly, heart-stoppingly enjoy this fic. It is among my favorite stops online. The way that Harry is-ostensibly-accessibly intelligent is gratifying and encouraging. I've replaced the phrase "good person" with "Hermione" in day to day conversation with people that read MoR.
Most of all, I'm excited that the focus of the narrative looks to be expanding beyond the walls of Hogwarts. I wasn't fond of TSPE at all, but if that was the required step to get us into the body politik then I'm all for it. With a bigger audience, Harry's abilities will have something to gain traction against. The icy malevolence of Quirrel-who remains among the best written villains ever-seems to remain beyond Harry's reach. It was a jarring transition for Harry to be the one getting manipulated, without him getting any punches in of his own.
| Toraffles chapter 63 . 1/3/2011
Phew! Finally finished!
:O This is a masterpiece, no wonder you have more than 10 000 reviews!
| Dessel Ordo chapter 63 . 1/3/2011
Just finished reading through to the most recent update, and I gotta say, awesome work dude. I giggled like a little bitch, laughed heartilly, raged when things went wrong for the characters... I gotta say, your damned good. And it seems I finished at an rather opportune time, cant wait for the update.
| Jim chapter 63 . 1/3/2011
I found that I could not put down this fanfic. I've been inspired to think about rational thought in a different manner and have been reconsidering my own approach to cognition. It saddened me to come to the end of the written chapters and discover this work still in progress...
But, I look forward to each and every update to round out the first year at Hogwarts. The writing style intrigues me and I find my analytical brain has little to say about the piece as a whole. The work feels polished and prepped for the masses, and this is one opiate I highly recommend to others.
| Diranish chapter 63 . 1/3/2011
I just signed up so i could leave a review, i honestly meant to leave one earlier but i just *had* to keep reading more. this story is fantastic, superb and incredible. it has completely fixed my disillusions with the HP universe and has made me start really *thinking* again, something i realise i haven't been doing for far too long. thank you so *so* much for writing this and long may it continue.
| K chapter 63 . 1/3/2011
... I can't help but hear that last Aftermath in Garrison Keillor's voice.
| demonicnargles chapter 63 . 1/2/2011
Found this story today, and just read it all the way up to here.
Fascinating, as long as I ignore the ages of everyone involved. But I am okay with that.
And I wonder which story about Bellatrix is true, and what is true about Quirrel, and about... everyone. I like the way you write this, with the reader NOT omniscient. Makes it very... suspenseful.
I look forward to next time.
| Shadowhawke chapter 63 . 1/2/2011
The one, and only reason that I haven't reviewed earlier is that I have been too engrossed. Thank you. This story is immensely humorous, immensely powerful, immensely intelligent, and immensely enjoyable, and I cannot wait to read more soon.
| Kate chapter 63 . 1/2/2011
Wow. This is one of the best fanfictions I have ever read! The way that you Harry thinks is really interesting. I hope you enjoy your hiatus and update as soon as you are ready. :)
| Dr. Elemenohpee chapter 63 . 1/2/2011
For an entire chapter of aftermaths, it sure ends off with a mammoth cliffhanger. B-e-a-utiful style, fantastic way to end for a while, excellent, just excellent.
| anonyMOUSE chapter 63 . 1/2/2011
I certainly enjoyed reading this - all 63 chapters. It kept me drawn in and engaged!
| Tim chapter 63 . 1/2/2011
Steph, speak for yourself. The rest of us are happy for this to remain a hobby with no deadlines. Go find yourself something else to do in the meantime.
| AngryParsley chapter 63 . 1/2/2011
This whole story is ridiculously good. Thank you very much for writing it.
| particularlygoodfinders chapter 63 . 1/1/2011
I enjoy this story a lot, it was actually the first fanfic I'd ever read.
I do wish that you'd move time along a little quicker (timeline wise, the written pacing of events is great). I understand that Harry is supposed to be a child prodigy but I've known a couple in my day and none were as smart as this character at age 10, by having time move by quicker his amazing intellect is becomes more reasonable. 63 chapters into cannon would place you somewhere in the 4th year, so the pacing is definitely different. I love reading this stuff but you've gotta space it all out unless you've already got your story arcs mapped through the 7th year, otherwise we're going to have a scientifically-converted Draco and all the wizarding world's problems solved by Christmas break 2nd year.
| Swimmer963 chapter 63 . 1/1/2011
I discovered this fic after reading Less Wrong, which I discovered after finding your name on a Singularity mailing list. I have now successfully addicted my brother, and we are both waiting in breathless anticipating for the next chapters...and trying to guess what's going to happen, which is HARD. Your builds and climaxes are satisfying without being predictable, and your characters are almost all INTERESTING regardless of how important they are and how well they are developed. I find the story tends to fluctuate in style and genre...but I've enjoyed all those styles anyway, so who am I to complain? And I would love to have your sense of humour and absurdity. Thank you for all the sci-fi classics inside jokes. They are magnificent and make us nerds feel cool. The story is an excellent way of applying knowledge and ideas that I may know, but realize afterwards that I have never taken seriously in my everyday life.
| mikhal69 chapter 63 . 1/1/2011
Great Story ! keep it up
| Lady Nightwisp chapter 63 . 12/31/2010
This is definitely one of the best stories on this site. You've clearly put a lot of thought into it. It's an interesting idea and I love your AU Harry. He's very mature, but he's also childish at the same time. I also like how you've created detailed explanations for things taken for granted in the books and reimagined so many parts of the story. The relationship between Harry and Quirrel is especially interesting. I can't wait for more.
| Gratification chapter 63 . 12/31/2010
| ShadowedHearts chapter 63 . 12/31/2010
I got this far. And I have the worst headache of my life, stayed up all night because I couldn't stop reading and I -know- I'm going to get scolded by the very person who sent me the link to your fic. (I find this quite unfair, considering he should -know- by know that I have a bit of a compulsion to not stop reading things, having lost entire -weekends- to the discovery of a new and exciting fic or webcomic or book, but eh, he's looking out for me...)
What you -should- know is that despite knowing this scolding was coming the moment four am rolled around and I wasn't even half done...
This fic was completely worth it. Thank you!
I don't think I've found a fanfic yet that I couldn't -quite- guess what was coming...though that it is not finished is going to KILL ME SLOWLY. (. I'm hoping slowly enough that I don't die before it ends. Because for one, if you take THAT long something is wrong, and for two, I don't exactly plan to die.)
...I'm going to post this regardless of the fact that I've realized it's after 10am CST, and this is almost certainly sleep deprivation talking. It may be entertaining for others, and may give you an idea of just how much this fic meant to me. (Yes. Knowing it would damage my brain functions, I -refused- to stop reading this fic.)
Thank you, yet again. And I only hope you -continue- to not disappoint.
| David DeLaney chapter 63 . 12/31/2010
To put it in another way, it does not seem natural to have parodies of the characters in one chapter and in others they act like manipulative bastards (I think Dumbledore is the one I have the most problems with; he seems like two characters that happens to share name and thus take turns in appearing in the story).
...that's IT! Dumbledore is SECRETLY TWINS!
(That's why you never SEE him with himself, they don't want anyone to know! And, as Ron and George have shown, they wouldn't have to meet to talk to himself and keep things straight between himself either... This explains so much! Though admittedly not what the rest of the things that make noises in his office are. Hmm.)
First review here, though I've been reading since the mid-20s. I deeply anticipate each new chapter (and am happy we've gotten an update on 64, hidden at the top of 63 though it is), have been notifying . on and off when new chapters appear, and have presented the current 1-63 gathered .pdf file to three family members for Christmas. As others have noted, this is definitely an outlier-to-the-extreme-right in the way of fanfiction, and I shall read whatever more Eliezer wants to write of it for us, whenever he can get it written.
I'd write more here, but the review page has started jumping back to the top after each letter I type, so I must be done.
| OwlofNight chapter 63 . 12/30/2010
Please finish this.
And before i have kids would be awesome.
I just read your full story so far, its quite good and i hope you continue it, ill keep reading and reviewing.
| Benquo chapter 63 . 12/30/2010
Loserthree raises some good points. Swapping bodies at the price of his memory would seem to satisfy the desire shared by Harry's Dark Side (and attributed to Voldemort by Dumbledore) Not To Die, though not in any meaningfule sense the desire to live or continue as the same person.
But I'm worried about resolving every funny little thing by saying that *yet another* person in Voldemort; this isn't Battlestar Galactica, they can't *all* be Voldemort. And Quirrel drops too many very specific hints, such as "My family is long since dead at the dark lord's hand"/"I resolved my parental issues to my own satisfaction", so any explanation for HV needs to take into account Quirrel's apparent belief that QV (one possible though much less probable hypothesis being QG...)
| Him-mione chapter 63 . 12/30/2010
Maybe I missed it, but what does Harry intend to do with the criminals in Azkaban?
He wants to destroy it because it's just such a terrible place, but what's his plan for afterwards? Maybe some of the prisoners are innocent, but it's improbable that all of them are. Certainly the Dementors are terrible, but Harry wants to blow up the *prison,* which is something else entirely. He said to Dumbledore "maybe the phoenixes are just waiting for us to take the prisoners out of their cells."
There comes a point when kindness to the guilty is cruelty to the innocent, which I think he may be starting to realize with the whole "we broke Bellatrix Black out of Azkaban because Quirrel said to!" at the end of ch. 63, but he's still not thinking long-term. It's great that he's got a moral center that says "Dementors are bad, mmkay" but the justice system still has to go on, and something has to be done with those who break the social contract.
I agree that the way Azkaban works is wrong, because (IMO) the point of the justice system is to repair the hurt caused by criminal action, and, if possible, rehabilitate the wrongdoer. Azkaban simply punishes, but offers no restitution for the victim, nor rehabilitation for the guilty (mostly due to the Dementors). What is Harry's plan for after he destroys Azkaban?
Looking forward to the next chapter!
| danielolhotmail.com chapter 63 . 12/30/2010
I read through the current 63 chapters in about a day, so obviously I enjoyed it. I just wanted to share one thought - not that I imagine it will change much, but it's the only one I got to put in a review.
I think sometimes the story switches genres a bit. In some places, it is a parody; in some places, it is a dark psychological thriller; and sometimes it's a kind of science fiction introduced to fantasy. Of course a work can incorporate several genres at once; but it is my impression as a reader that these genres rather bump heads than co-exist. To put it in another way, it does not seem natural to have parodies of the characters in one chapter and in others they act like manipulative bastards (I think Dumbledore is the one I have the most problems with; he seems like two characters that happens to share name and thus take turns in appearing in the story).
I think if this was to take the jump from being a fanfic to an independent story it should decide on which type of genre it wants to devote itself too. Aspects of the other genres should only be allowed then, if they do not disrupt the impression of the prevailing genre.
Of course you may be satisfied with this being a fanfic, or simply disagree with my assessment. That's more than fair, it's your story. I just wanted to leave a review, be a good reader so to say, now that I have enjoyed your story so much. Thank you for the read, and I hope my criticism causes no offence. I have included my e-mail since it would be unfair to leave these words and give no chance of an answer, but you are of course not obligated in any way to answer me; it was just in case.
| Ivar Hugo chapter 63 . 12/30/2010
First, let me begin by saying that this is a most magnificent story. You must have the best command of the *awesome* that I’ve ever seen in a fan-fic. Contrary to most other fan-fictions, the rewards and pay-offs never feel cheap, but perfectly justified within the context of the story. For instance, in the chapters “Reductionism” and “Humanism” (the entire sequence) Harry’s progress does not happen out of the blue; instead, you’ve put effort and work into the process and consequently his breakthroughs are all the more satisfying. It seems I can only credit your Rationalist Fanfiction Principle for this; such a marvellous idea.
There is a little point I wanted to bring up, however, and it concerns the aftermath of the “Coordination Problems”-sequence. It seems to me that both Hermione and Draco erred somewhat when they announced that their wishes from Quirrell were that their respective Houses win the Cup. Wouldn’t they alienate all the soldiers in their armies who belong to Houses other than their General? Since Harry did not ask for such a divisive (arguably) favour, shouldn’t he be able to motivate his own soldiers much better than Hermione and Draco, since Harry’s soldiers would know that when they fight for their General, they do not undermine their own Houses, whereas such thoughts must be on the minds of the soldiers fighting for Dramione’s Sungon Argiment. To my mind, at least the Gryffindor and Hufflepuff soldiers in Draco’s and Hermione’s armies would be ripe for treason and defection to Harry’s side. It would be very interesting to see if this impacts any future developments in these wargames.
I’m looking forward to your next update. Keep up the good work.
| Anon chapter 63 . 12/30/2010
Where is the new chapter, Less Wrong?
You said there would be a new chapter.
| LadyRowyn chapter 63 . 12/30/2010
I just want to say that I love this story (I read every installment to date in one giant gulp on my phone, which doesn't handle the review function, hence you only get one review. Sorry!) I am not a big reader of fanfic - in fact, I can't name any other fanfic I've read, although there've been a few over the years - but this one grabbed me from the start. It's smart, funny and unpredictable. And the characters really feel true to their alternate-universe originals. Well done!
| loserthree chapter 63 . 12/30/2010
In before the update.
It's Speculation Time again!
HJPEV is not actually Harry Potter. HJPEV is Voldemort. He transferred himself into the infant Harry Potter and then was obliviated. Perhaps he swapped bodies and the body of Tom Riddle, in which rested the infantile mind of Harry Potter, was then burned to a crisp.
This was all done with the assistance of Bellatrix Black who then left the scene and traveled to some 'safe' location before obliviating herself. After she had obliviated herself, she attempted to return Voldemort's wand to him, but of course could not find him and heard he was destroyed by an infant he had, apparently, confronted alone. She then stored his wand under his father's gravestone.
This answers the question of how Bella got the wand without knowing what happened to Voldemort when Voldemort needed his wand to use the Killing Curse on James and Lily Potter. We find out about Bellatrix and the wand in Chapter 53, "I hid it in the graveyard, my lord, before I left," even though she doesn't know what happened to him.
Why would Voldemort obliviate himself? For one thing it would fulfill that pesky prophesy without dying and for another it would allow him to lay low and one day renew his pursuit of his goals from another angle. Also it may have made Voldemort more compatible with Harry Potter's infant body. In Chapter 46, Quirrell says, "One can never quite disentangle the mind from the body it wears."
In Chapter 43, Quirrell says, "Our worst memories can only grow worse as we grow older." This may be a hint about What's Wrong With HJPEV, namely, his obliviated memories of his life as Tom Riddle's have made him very capable with disassociation, prone to cold rage, vulnerable to dementors, and exceptionally good at broomstick riding.
That's why the rememberall lit up like a sun. He had forgotten an entire lifetime.
That's an in-universe hint, something the characters could guess. But there are hints for the readers, too.
Chapter 38, my favorite, is _packed_ with hints. The _wonderful_ conversation with Lucius Malfoy shows us that Malfoy has figured out at least part of the Dark Lord's JC Two-Step, but it's the Quibbler hints that _really_ shine.
HJPEV is 65 years old because he is Voldemort. Since Lucius knows this, Lucius has a very different understanding of the line, "I prefer to deal with the part of House Malfoy that's my own age." than HJPEV does.
HJPEV is betrothed to Bellatrix Black because he is Voldemort. Poor Bella.
HJPEV's betrothals to Luna Lovegood and Hermione Granger are less clear and perhaps more likely the product of Xenophilius' wish-fulfilling interpretations of Luna's vision. Of course I might also be missing something here.
As I've mentioned before, the suggestion "Sirius Black and Peter Pettigrew were secretly the same person" is probably related to how Sirius got out of Azkaban as suggested in chapter 6, "The best way to get out would be to not go there in the first place."
But who and even what, then, _is_ Quirrell. He is _not_ a good person; we know that much because he killed Rita Skeeter and the author likely killed off Skeeter specifically so we would know that Quirrell is not a good person. He is amazingly powerful; although there were hints before, we _know_ that because of his performance against the auror in Azkaban. He is either _very_ intelligent and clever or in possession of very dependable foreknowledge; we know this because of just about every damn thing he does, but a good example is how he reacted when confronted with Snape-in-HJPEV's-form. He chose to lose to Snape when we know he did not have to, and he must have either chosen to do so in an instant or planned to do so ahead of time.
I believe Quirrell is some kind of key that Voldemort prepared ahead of this infantilization, so that he could recover his knowledge at a later date. Quirrell might even _be_ that knowledge. Or perhaps Quirrell is a horcrux. Perhaps the reason for HJPEV's feelings of DOOOM is the soul fragment leaking out a bit and clashing or something. Does that even make sense?
But are they souls? What is a soul in Less Wrong's rationalist take on the Potterverse?
So if HJPEV _is_ Voldemort, then who is the antagonist?
I suggest that Dumbledore is the antagonist. He is the most powerful wizard in the world and has done some very nasty things, like waiting to face Gindlewald until the point where he would gain the maximum power from doing so, mercilessly burning Narcissa Malfoy alive, sending the infant Harry Potter to live with cruel step-parents, setting fire to a live chicken, setting up Snape to play James Potter for a Uriah, abusing and killing his sister, and treating people as though they were pieces on a game board.
Dumbledore is deathist, so there's Author Appeal for him to be the antagonist.
Also, there's the way things worked out in The Sword of Good.
And HJPEV as Voldemort makes a lot of things make sense, but there's a problem: the last line of the flashback from Chapter 43.
"And the boy in the crib saw it, the eyes, those two crimson eyes, seeming to glow bright red, to blaze like miniature suns, filling Harry's whole vision as they locked to his own -"
Until that point, the whole flashback thing makes _more_ sense with HJPEV as Voldemort. After all, why would anyone have such a clear memory from when they were not even two years old?
So.. yeah. I'm not sure how that would work.
I had suggested, before, that Quirrell is manipulating HJPEV into a closer relationship using tools that Less Wrong was identifying for us. Since then I've noticed that Dumbledore has tried and failed to do the same.
Reciprocation pressure is described in Chapter 7 when Draco uses it on Harry. In this case HJPEV notices and Less Wrong lets the reader in on how it works. Later, in Chapter 20, Quirrell uses reciprocation pressure when he confesses to HJPEV that he did _something_ to the Pioneer Plaque. In this case HJPEV does not notice the manipulation, but it sure seems to work. Dumbledore uses reciprocation pressure in Chapter 17 when he reveals the terrible secret in the diary and likely again when he confesses to HJPEV that he tried to make his childhood miserable. In this last case HJPEV apparently does not recognize the attempted manipulation and the manipulation also fails for the same reason: HJPEV is exceedingly freaked out by how crazy Dumbledore is.
"This was your father's rock." is actually a ploy by a _very_ clever Dumbledore to create a weakness in HJPEV that would be known to very few. If Dumbledore later (much later) faces HJPEV in earnest combat, he may be able to deliver a crippling attack just by removing the transfiguration on HJPEV silly ring. HJPEV would lose his finger, possibly his hand, and be rather distracted for a little while.
If there is a character without a known identity and there is any conceivable reason for Quirrell to take the actions the unidentified character takes, that unidentified character is probably Quirrell. _Especially if he seems to act at odds with Quirrell in some odd way or another.
Mr. Cloak and Hat comments, "Salazar Slytherin would have keyed his monster into the ancient wards at a higher level than the Headmaster himself" in Chapter 35. Quirrell says, "some entity which Salazar Slytherin keyed into his wards at a higher level than the Headmaster himself" in Chapter 49.
In Chapter 37, HJPEV thinks something like, "It would have been nice if there had been a mysterious figure who entered your house in the night and brought you presents." Then Quirrell shows up. Quirrell is 'Santa Claus'.
Quirrell is the one who whispered to HJPEV that he should introduce himself to Hermione Granger.
Quirrell is the reason the Dark Lord's body was burned, instead of actually being hit by the Killing Curse. This is the problem to which our attention is drawn by the line, "a sense of something wrong about that story," in Chapter 3.
What if the old bearded man introduced in Chapter 52 is Quirrell's _true_ form and the young balding man is a mask he wears?
From Chapter 54, "Polyjuice, Bahry would have called it, if he'd thought that anyone could possibly do magic that delicate from inside someone else's body."
Alternately, Quirrell is Peter Pettigrew, the metamorphmagus, the Dark Lord's real most trusted and utterly unknown servant, somehow 'blessed' with the Dark Lord's knowledge and power, on a mission to prepare the Dark Lord to resume his pursuit of world domination, for the Good of All Mankind!
Then who's in Azkaban? Another body switch?
Perhaps Voldemort did all the horrible but not necessarily useful things that he did because he was subject to some persistent dementation. The last segment of Chapter 49 may hint at this. With no one to pull him out, he reach horrible conclusions about the right things to do, and did them.
Or perhaps he wanted to be seen as a monster, to catch his opponents off their guard when he moved into the phase of his plans were he did not act as a monster while his opponents had turned into monsters to fight monsters.
Neville is the real subject of the prophecy. HJPEV is the Dark Lord who is on his way to marking Neville as his equal and Neville has kindness and the true power of friendship, which HJPEV knows not.
Luna is knowingly, diligently working from offstage to advise HJPEV through the Quibbler. She is getting mixed results.
Because there is a time and season for everything, including throwing out the old and starting anew, Snape kills Dumbledore.
| Y.Chip chapter 63 . 12/30/2010
I owe you a review, because I read all 63 chapters in less than a week of being introduced to this fic.
Sadly, I don't have much to say. It's certainly very engrossing, especially whenever McGonagall's in the scene. Ahh, that poor woman, what did she ever do to deserve have Harry Potter-etc. thrust upon her? I can't say I'm a fan of the changes done to Quirrel. Even if/when he does turn out to be Voldy, he's not the same blurred image that all the other characters are. With everyone else, you can see the changes you've made, but the original character is still lurking in there, somewhere. Voldy is sort of this new guy, but not quite enough, so it just doesn't work right. I don't know.
So, in any case...
| aughoti chapter 63 . 12/29/2010
This is hugely entertaining! Loved the humor in the earlier chapters - particularly Harry and Draco's first meeting - and then became increasingly caught up in the plot.
It's quite a lot of fun to see how/where the this plot twists away from (and sometimes back to) the original storyline. It certainly has kept me guessing.
And I'm very glad that these last two chapters did tackle the "elephant in the room" of Harry only rarely sounding - or reacting - like an 11-year-old boy, no matter how intelligent. (He's a marvelous character, and the internal debates are hilarious, but it was becoming an increasingly odd note to leave unaddressed.)
Thanks very much for sharing this!
| FaeBreeze chapter 63 . 12/29/2010
Wow,this story was astonishingly well written. It really is a work of art and art should never be work so work at your own pace!I especially admire the way all your plots have been woven together. Keep on painting this beautiful tale and I will keep on being absolutely addicted until the very end.
| 2642379 chapter 63 . 12/29/2010
Overall, an excellent fic so far. I liked the first dozen or so chapters most, probably because as well as thinking they were good, I was thinking "Oh my god this is totally what I would do if I went to hagwarts, and it's AWESOME".
I didn't know calculus at 11, but I still got the feeling whenever I read the books or watched the films that whichever character is onscreen at the moment is an IDIOT.
If I went to hogwarts, I would probably have the same goals, but because I know I'm not a genius (and at 11, I was lazy enough to do things the easy way, same result) I would probably approach things with more of an eye to technology than magic. Not so much thinking "What fundamental laws does magic work on?" as "Oh my god I can turn stuff into other stuff let's make a nuke. No, wait, let's charm the bullets ofan AK47 to turn into rabid badgers on contact. No, wait, let's use transmutation to get antimatter, and use that to power a spaceship!" and just keep looking for newer, cooler, more explosive ways to use stuff. But that's rambling about something only tangentally related to the story, so nevermind...
| Raineh Daze chapter 63 . 12/29/2010
I really did time reading this fic well.. right after you started on the next chapter I read it all. Admittedly, I forgot to go to sleep, but that's a minor problem.
| deleted92 chapter 63 . 12/28/2010
Just another note of encouragement, and a plea to continue.
If perhaps you're bored and wish to read something not-awful, have a look at my own story here.
| noko chapter 63 . 12/28/2010
You just started the chapter
| Shdwfeather chapter 63 . 12/28/2010
Fantastic fic! I had a great time reading it.
| Triplicate chapter 63 . 12/28/2010
Excellent, excellent fic. Cannot wait for the next chapter. It will surely be the highlight of my holidays.
| draconlord chapter 63 . 12/28/2010
Just one question: WHY?
Why in the metaverse are you writing fanfiction?
I mean, I've finished reading this, as well as "Three Worlds Collide" and several other things you've written, and there's no excuse, absolutely zero, for you to waste your time offering this up for free...
I mean, it's fan-fiction, so obviously you can't sell it, but with the same amount of time you could at least get a novel done.
If you publish a novel, I'll definitely buy it. Even if it's self-published(I made myself a promise before that I wouldn't ever read a self-published novel, but I also said the same thing about fanfics, and look at me now, finished with TSPE and still counting...)
Hmm, as for actual constructive criticism, I really don't have much. The earlier few chapters seem a tad didactical, but by now, all the philosophy seems to flow into the story(ie, I'm actually reading the story for the story, and not just because I'm interested in learning the various methods of rationality)
Lots of this story intrigues me. Especially the question of whether Quirrel is still Lord Voldemort's servant or have you changed it. If the former, Harry is screeewwwwed. I also appreciate seeing Slytherins as human beings, quite different from Rowling falling into the old fantasy trap of white-hat/black-hat.
Needless to say, the rationalist arguments were appealing to me(that's the whole point of the fanfic, isn't it?)
Oh, right. iCriticism./i
I feel like both McGonall and Hermione are too-good characters. In a story about moral relativism, it's annoying at points to have so-called "bedrock" Lawful Good characters, IMHO.
| jast chapter 63 . 12/28/2010
I know, I know. The next chapter is done when it's done. But when is it done? I miss the Harry that wields rationality as a superpower!
| chronos280 chapter 63 . 12/28/2010
This has to be the most entertaining story I have read in well over a year, with the fact that it is an amateur production (in only that you are not being paid for your work) making it possibly the most impressive fiction I have read to date. The story itself is fantastically written and fleshes out the universe that J. K. Rowling originally created, while warping it slightly to create a world that is utterly believable while losing none of the original magic. Here’s hoping this story continues on for a long time to come.
| old-crow chapter 63 . 12/28/2010
This is such a fun story on so many dimensions - originality with the science aspect, Quirrell, your other supporting cgaracters and of course, Harry himself.
Thanks for sharing your chapters.
Until next time,
| Benquo chapter 63 . 12/28/2010
Looking forward to the next installment, and I hope the hiatus was restful. I finished the withdrawal phase a couple of weeks ago, but will of course become re-addicted immediately when the next chapter(s) come(s) out.
| Shayne chapter 63 . 12/28/2010
I have waited, patiently but with trepidation, for the past month.
I have not succumbed to the temptation to check this site the whole time.
Now the moment has come.
December 28 has dawned.
GET THE NEW FRIKKIN CHAPTER UP ALREADY! :P
| pansymoomalfoy32 chapter 63 . 12/27/2010
Is underage magic undetectable in Azkaban?
| ThatKyubiBrat chapter 63 . 12/26/2010
This is without a shadow of a doubt, the greatest fanfic I've ever read. Thank you, and enjoy your hiatus.
| muciope chapter 63 . 12/25/2010
May the bright light of human reason illuminate the nights of your solstice season. I look forward to your future updates with colossal anticipation.
| Yes chapter 63 . 12/25/2010
I would like to let you know, in case you are one of those people who read reviews and get something positive out of it, that I truly find this to be the best fanfiction I ever read. Of course, this very probably doesn't mean much to you, as you do not know me and have no connection to me whatsoever, except that I presumably read your story.
So I will just try to put it this way: Not only is your story greatly amusing and therefore well worth the time spent on reading it (just in case you are familiar with the concept of mbti, I would call it Ne-humour at its best), not only is it interesting to read and giving you something to actually use your brain on, through it I also was able to discover the Sequences, that are essentially TRULY helpful and an awesome read.
So: thank you.
| Madman chapter 63 . 12/24/2010
You got me hooked around the middle of Chapter 1, and there hasn't been any looking back since. So far, I have read all the 63 chapters through twice... with the second reading revealing many nice touches not obvious on the first run (like the unofficial use of timeturners by Millicent Bulstrode, and the meaning of Lucius' conversation with Harry on Platform 9.75). The latter especially was a bit of a revelation that I had not quite absorbed on first reading...
The "His Dark Materials" series made a vague stab at bringing science into fantasy in some nontrivial way, but it was still a phenomenological marriage as opposed to a philosophical marriage. What you are doing is spectacular, and will keep me and many of my likeminded friends delighted as long as you keep writing.
Thank you, and wishing you continued thoughtfulness!
| Random Reviewer chapter 63 . 12/24/2010
So, I've been reading this for a while, and it has been a very enjoyable read. At first, I mostly read it because it was funny, at first, but it grew more and more interesting to the point I would read it without the comedy (though I still enjoy that).
At first, I hadn't left a review because I was a bit nervous as to what I should type, but your Author's Notes kind of guilt tripped me into finally leaving something. Unfortunately, I really don't have any critique of value, (since the depth of my ability to understand works is pretty much: Do I like it? Y/N) so... Nice work? I enjoy your story? Is that sort of review sufficient?
I guess I should mention that it is the first fanfiction I’ve read that has managed to make me start trying to interpret all the little hints as to what will happen next, and one of the first pieces of literature I've read that really made me think.
Oh, and I like what you've done with transfiguration.
New at this review sort of thing
P.S. Gee, for not saying much I sure typed a lot...
| Kettricken chapter 63 . 12/23/2010
My goodness, I spent all day reading this.
I'm reviewing (I usually don't leave reviews) to say that I think you have a genuine gift and unique voice for humor writing. In particular, the scene where Malfoy and Harry meet, and many of the bits with the Chaos Army, are just plain inspired. I thoroughly enjoy your sense of wit, Mr. Wrong. Thanks for sharing it!
| godescalc chapter 63 . 12/22/2010
I love Harry's unbelievably tactless side. "Yay, we completed a quest and got a minion!"
| Yips chapter 63 . 12/22/2010
Great story, keeps me coming back. Can't wait for the next chapter (okay you got me. I don't want to wait) :'(
| SEA-106 chapter 63 . 12/21/2010
I've just read up to the current chapter. Well written, and from the very little I've read of the original books, I believe this is far better.
It is rare to find a story where the protagonist is very intelligent, but I enjoy them whenever I can.
| TKrause chapter 63 . 12/21/2010
Pretty interesting story. Hilarious at times, tiring at places, well-written and well-thought. I'm familiar with most philosophy underlining the story, even though I'm a history teacher, and the familiarity, instead of making the fic tiresome, made it more enjoyable. I surely grinned when I saw Harry using the classic Dragon in the Garage example by Carl Sagan, just to name one particular instance.
I think you should have somehow spaced more the events so that Harry wouldn't be so young, but anyway, that's a truly common problem in fanfiction and sometimes even in famous authors (such as Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire). Nevertheless, your story is truly hilarious (though less in the last chapters) and intelligent, so I hope to read the next chapter soon and see how everything plays out.
| Sandy Popstar Pickeltry chapter 63 . 12/20/2010
Dear former lover!
I know our love has faded, per say, but I don't know what else to call you, Davy!
I think I had quite the influence over your writing, actually, cause your story has sucked ever since chapter 42 and you know what happened then? Well, that's when I left you far behind! Please stop writing this nonsense stupid stuff. Ever since you chose Mandy over Sandy, you rightious little dandy! You should have left this story far behind and let it fade away like I did it with you, precious fool!
| Guest chapter 63 . 12/20/2010
On chapter 7:
Harry took back the book, flipped the pages until he found what he saw. "This is a rocket going up. The fire pushes it higher and higher, until it gets to the Moon."
Hm, I wonder how the Malfoys got the impression that Potter had anything to do with Azkaban.
Now *that* is planning your story early. Or at least building a complex enough universe you can make it look like you had the rocket escape plot planned all along.
| Null chapter 63 . 12/20/2010
The Stanford Prison Experiment is still well-written in your distinctive style, though it's clearly less light hearted and innocent as the rest of the fanfic. I'm convinced that this was intentional. I love your work, Mr. Yudkowsky. Truly, I wish this fanfic went on forever.
| Amethyst Pheonix chapter 63 . 12/19/2010
You've crafted something completely amazing here. I really can't wait for the next chapter sometime in the next few weeks. I'm sure that it will be awesome.
| snark chapter 63 . 12/18/2010
I'd like to start by saying I've greatly enjoyed this fanfiction so far, even as someone who doesn't usually read fanfiction, and I look forward to all future installments.
You're clearly a very talented writer in addition to your other well known strengths. That said... WOW! Some of these reviews are incredibly fawning. Some of them seem to think you're the second coming of someone who has never actually come before because in fact none of your predecessors were anywhere near this level of genius, and surely it can't be possible for such an amazing person to exist.
Have you considered acquiring a slave to sit next to you while you read them and whisper "Remember you are mortal" constantly in your ear?
Also, I think it's interesting that you're using this fic to market rationality. The trick of concealing something you care about (getting lots of unique readers interested in the ideas and perhaps in your own "brand") as something the readers can believe you would care about (breaking fanfiction review records "without cheating", the channah challenge) is an interesting application of internet mass psychology. Causes the reaction to be more in the vein of "hey wouldn't it be funny if we helped" rather than "Not your personal army gtfo propaganda".
As a rather tangential point (this review is made of them), have you considered getting this published as a printed book in a not for profit capacity? My Immortal seems to have gotten away with this, although whether that is a matter of its Not For Profit status or simply that it is small enough to fly under the radar is an open question. I would consider buying such a copy. I do enjoy the pdf version.
I haven't looked into it, but it's possible that various print-on-demand sites would allow interested readers to simply commission their own copies without any official involvement, I suppose. That may or may not be cost effective.
Once again, this is a very enjoyable and worthwhile work of fiction, by any standard, not merely those of fanfiction. My primary reaction is positive - I hope the tone of this review doesn't seem primarily cynical simply because the cynical bits ended up taking more space to express.
Great work, keep it up.
| Eli Courtwright chapter 63 . 12/18/2010
"He'd considered going after the Left Foot of Vance next, but had decided against it after he realized that would be just what they were expecting."
Not only did this make me laugh when I read it, I thought about this sentence occasionally over the next week and laughed out loud every time. It captures the essence of Mad Eye Moody so perfectly and cleverly. The rest of this chapter was also fantastic, but this is the sentence that really stuck with me more than anything.
| dancingkatz chapter 63 . 12/16/2010
This has to be the most utterly brilliant Harry Potter AU I have ever read and I've been reading fanfiction for a very long time. I've added this to my favourite story list and will be telling my friends about it as soon as I get done typing this.
I'll go back and review each chapter (as I should have done at the end of each one) once I have let this feast of ingenuity and imagination digest. At the moment I can only say "Bravissimo!"
| Alrissa chapter 63 . 12/16/2010
I still read this but only as a side note.
I understand you wish to expand on cognitive science but I miss the humour. And Humanity.
I have enough of brain type jawbreakers by trying to understand neuro-linguistic programing and applying that to a synapse emulating computer network protocol.
Seriously. I haven't laughed out loud In ten or fifteen chapters or so.
| nbmoonbeam chapter 63 . 12/15/2010
I am about to cry because I have been reading your fic for the past two weeks and now I have no idea of what to read because I have reached the end of what you have so far written. So tragic... Maybe I should try reading a fic that is other than harry potter because my friends keep saying that i am obsessed...but...what do they know?
| Triglo chapter 63 . 12/15/2010
I found this book very entertaining and also intellectually stimulating at times. I really enjoyed the critique of Rowling's arbitrary and unimaginative magic: I have always been frustrated with its seeming lack of rules. Adding in another layer, the attempt to explain and extend her magic through modern scientific knowledge and rational inquiry, is something I never thought of, and makes for a deeper, more imaginative, interesting (and funny) approach.
I did find the criticisms to be unnecessarily harsh at times, using biting words like idiotic and stupid to describe the various flaws in Rowling's work.
I had little patience or interest in much of the plotting and planning which seems to get way too complicated for my liking.
I did find the passages dealing with the education of Draco in the methods of rationality to be quite a clever and interesting probing of his character and belief system. I think these passages also contain interesting ideas about how to educate someone to be a clearer thinker (even when they don't expect it!)
I found the discussion of death to be a turn off, perhaps because it came off as preachy. I just don’t share the idea that death is evil or wrong, and I am more in line with the idea that we need to accept death. Not necessarily as the “next great adventure” as the author has Dumbledore argue, but because it is inevitable and natural and acceptance will bring us peace of mind. Thus I found the whole gambit with a patronus taking human form to be a bit preachy and something of a turn off.
My biggest issue with the values of this book has to do with the general approach Harry takes to solving moral problems. While he and the author are right to point out the immorality of verbal abuse by Snape or horrible prison conditions in Azkaban, I think the kind of what I’ll call cowboy heroic approach endorsed by Harry is unrealistic and a serious flaw of certainly the Rowling story and possibly this one. In real life, many people need to work together to solve these kinds of social problems; like prisoners in Georgia who went on strike on December 9 against virtual slave conditions where they aren’t paid at all for their work. I’m unclear on whether the author is criticizing Harry’s cowboy heroic approach or not; when the phoenix goes with Harry after his argument with Dumbledore, I tend to think the author is supporting his cowboy heroism. However, at other times the author seems to oppose this lone heroism, for example when he intimidates another student so she’ll stop spreading rumours about Hermione. This seems to indicate to me that the author has mixed feelings about cowboy heroism and thus I’m left with an unclear picture of the author’s opinion’s of Harry’s morality; perhaps this apparent conflict will be solved in later chapters.
In any event, I found this to be a worthwhile, interesting and entertaining read, and I’m looking forward to finishing it.
I had little patience or interest in much of the plotting and planning which seems to get way too complicated for my liking.
I did find the passages dealing with the education of Draco in the methods of rationality to be quite a clever and interesting probing of his character and belief system. I think these passages also contain interesting ideas about how to educate someone to be a clearer thinker (even when they don't expect it!)
| Kame-tan chapter 63 . 12/15/2010
The first and foremost thing I want to say is congratulations for reaching 10,000 reviews. I didn't think it was even possible for a story here to reach the 10,000 mark. You are now my inspiration for reaching that goal.
As for the story it certainly is in a category of its own. I don't think I've ever read a fascinating story with so many alternatives to the main characters. I applaud your interpretation on some of the minor characters (Blaise Zabini especially) and the removal or downsizing of some of the more...questionable main characters (like Ron. Seriously, thank you for pushing him to the background).
You also tend to use a lot of scientific principles, but I sincerely appreciate the fact that you explain the principles so clearly.
I realize that because the characterization of some of the main characters have changed (as well as who is actually a main character), the outcome of the story is less than clear. My biggest question is are you coming up with an alternative ending? It seems like you're at least hitting on some of the more significant points of the book in a different light, and I was trying to guess what might be in store for the end. I was also wondering about the length, as this still seems to be taking place in book 1 and it seems like at least half of the major plot points have already been brought up one way or another.
Finally I must ask about your update speed. Either you are the master of time management, most of the story is already written or you don't seem to suffer debilitating bouts of writer's block: how do you do it?
Good work so far:)
| White Ink Penpal chapter 63 . 12/14/2010
Well just wanted to say congrats for having over 10,000 reviews! It's impressive!
This story fascinates me. It took me a while to read (because I had to re-read to completely understand or I had things to do) but after faithfully coming back I can say I read this story. I can't count how many times I've laughed or nodded my head or snorted at the ridiculous (yet highly entertaining) world of Harry Potter. Fics like this make us understand just how wild and irrational stories like Harry Potter are, yet how much they entertain us. Keep it up, this is one of my top three favorite stories!
Also, I don't think words are enough to express my gratitude to you for introducing me to the formal rationality and Less Wrong. Sure, a high school freshman has her limits to the scope of knowledge, but I'm not discouraged. Since I'm little I've been taught to look at the rationality of things. Somehow it's lonely to be the only rational person for every three hundred people in high school (or more, it's hard to meet rational people in high school; my dad says wait for college) but I don't mind. You helped me redefine my definition of rationality, and expand my world (Simple Truth and Belief in Belief remain my personal favorites). What I love most about Less Wrong is that it's an actual challenge, I think and reason and reflect on what I read, and that is something that I thought I had forgotten. And there are even times in which (I admit) I have no idea what's going on, but it awakens my thirst for knowledge and I learn more than what school teaches me.
Now I'll cut the lengthy review, sorry about that.
THANK you! I'll be waiting for the update!
| theoretically chapter 63 . 12/14/2010
I've been reading and I am fascinated by the topics. I can feel the way I think starting to improve.
It's great to be able to learn, as you put it, all what Harry knows and more.
My question is: Where can I learn all what Draco knows and more? The way he understand social situations and conducts himself is something I'd like to know more about...
If you could point me in the right direction I'd be very grateful.
| Sean chapter 63 . 12/14/2010
Ho. Ly. Shit.
This was an amazing piece of work, wholly amusing, and wholly inspiring. Well done.
And now, having spent the last 16 hours reading it, I'm going to bed (at 10 in the morning).
Thank you for this.
| dylanredefined chapter 63 . 12/14/2010
Thank you this was brilliant.
| Lord Foreigner chapter 63 . 12/13/2010
Honestly, the main reason I'm reviewing your story is only so I could add it to my favorites, but I suppose I do have a few things I'd like to say about it in the end.
When I'd realized just how rational Rationalist!Harry really was, I was taken aback and scoffed at how ridiculously logical and how easily he could out debate grown adults into blubbering submission, never mind kids his own age. Meanwhile I'm giggling hysterically, drooling and panting ominously in my dark and dank garbage infested nest of a basement/attic waiting, F5ing fervently each day for the next chapter to be submitted for me to mentally molest like a starving vulture at a rare desert feast like every other rabid fangirl... maybe...
Anyway, it was quickly remedied when he realized that it's somewhat of a problem in it's own right, not being able to live a comparatively normal 11 year old life (but he knows it's definitely a blessing) coupled with the fact that there are actually reasons for most wizards to not adopt that particularly muggle way of thinking lest they become the next dark lord.
Another complaint: He's the only wizard to ever destroy a dementor (that they/I know of.) And at 11 at that. Of course, with wizards and witches living in a closed society and muggle scientists actively looking at the stars and over the entirety of human evolution in general, on top of his dream to unlock immortality, it makes sense, but still... lol.
ALSO, the first to transfigure part of an object, rather than the whole. But, with knowledge of physics and chemistry to back him up, that's also not something that's unreasonably explained.
Okay, so there's nothing wrong with your story, but I might have to reread it since I'm not a very bright person. lol. I look forward to the next chapter, and keep up the good work.
I almost forgot, I noticed some unfamiliar names randomly mentioned for no particular reason. Later, I realize it's an homage to fans who've shown their support one way or another. That's really awesome. That's all.
| potterinu chapter 63 . 12/13/2010
Just want to say wow look you have over 10000 reviews! :D
| Celebrien chapter 63 . 12/13/2010
This story is simply stunning. I don't believe I've read a fic other than this with as much exquisite attention to detail. You are made of win, as this is easily one of the best I've ever read. :D
| WestWard101 chapter 63 . 12/13/2010
Yay! Over a thousand!
| Connor chapter 63 . 12/13/2010
If I hit the submit button at just the right moment, this will be Methods of Rationality's 10,000th review.
| vighnngaigh chapter 63 . 12/13/2010
Amazing as always! The plot twists intense, yet not overwhelming, and the entire thing so engaging... I am enjoying this more than the original books, which I never believed possible)
thank you, and I look forward to your update:)
| Scott chapter 63 . 12/13/2010
I was looking through some old web comics and I found one that made me think of your Harry.
| fefnir5160gmail.com chapter 63 . 12/13/2010
I like your story. In fact it has kept me interested so much so I have spent every free hour I can find reading it, even putting off some important work to see how far you've taken Harry. To put it simply, you've made him a genius. Re-working old spells to create new powers such as partial transfiguration is an awesome power-up. The true patronus and it's cost is breath-taking and the fact it can block a killing curse is almost god-mode for Harry. But I have to wonder, how far can you take this story?
It has taken you 63 chapters to get to this point. It has been a journey and I just can't turn away. Even making Draco into an ally was amazing and done perfectly. But after 63 chapters Harry is still in his first year, and doesn't seem to be leaving it fast enough. He's made some amazing leaps in power, but there's still 6 years in the actual story. I am wondering how you're going to pull this off. You won't lose me, and I'll be reading it as soon as you update, but please try to spread the story out. I just don't think I can read for 600 chapters to see him win the tri-wizard cup.
| J-Kid chapter 63 . 12/12/2010
Wow. Yes, the Milgram experiments were deeply disturbing, and for that I am glad to see it linked to what Harry did with Quirrell, because that makes things have so much more sense. I'm glad Hermione is there for Harry after all that has been going on, even if Harry can't tell her everything. Lestrange bit was very scary in more than one way as well.
BTW, I'm curious if you saw the movie "21" with Kevin Spacey. Quirrell reminds me of the professor Kevin Spacey plays in the movie who recruits his students to learn how to count cards and cheat at blackjack in Vegas casinos, and his at first reluctant new apprentice- and how said prodigy gets pulled into the gambling life. I have some caveats about the movie, and Spacey's character is definitely the best part, in my opinion, but I can definitely see some parallels here.
| righteousreason chapter 63 . 12/11/2010
When reading it (before I confirmed my guess who was writing), I had the overwhelming sensation that somebody way out of the league of writing Harry Potter fan fiction had waaaay too much time on their hands...
| eggplant1 chapter 63 . 12/11/2010
I only became aware of this story a few days ago and have refrained from commenting on it until I read it all, now that I have I must say that I've seen a number of Harry Potter fan-fictions and even written a few myself, but this one is by far the best. And even if I hadn't already known who wrote it I think by the fourth or fifth paragraph I probably could have guessed. Besides being entertaining this is an excellent way to get ideas that we both believe in to become more widely known.
John K Clark
| Pokethat chapter 63 . 12/10/2010
Amazingly done, it is stories like your that make me read fanfiction. Consider your story among my top five favorite stories on this site.
| dinosaurusgede chapter 63 . 12/9/2010
have a nice holiday/break, Less Wrong! :D
| James M chapter 63 . 12/9/2010
I just recently discovered Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality, and immediately fell in love with it. Please keep up the great work; it's very much appreciated.
| GuesssWho chapter 63 . 12/9/2010
Azkaban was something I couldn't stomach in Harry Potter either.
To be honest, there were more than a few things I didn't like in that series, especially towards the end. She didn't do anything 'unusual'-that is, not a cliche-at the end.
| Parish Moz chapter 63 . 12/8/2010
Well done, sir. Love the references to the work of Kahneman, Tversky, Cialdini, etc. (as well as a couple mentions that I haven't explored yet.) It's refreshing to find such a high level of intelligent content in fiction, let alone fan fiction. It's also hard to inject some of this material in without it coming off as preachy/pompous/pedantic, but you usually pull it off with flying colors.
The SF/Fantasy references are good fun too, (a Black Company reference! Dorotea Senjak aka Lady! nice!)
Enjoy your hiatus!
| Ladylaurel chapter 63 . 12/8/2010
I just want your Christmas present to be five figures worth of reviews. I don't actually have anything interesting to say. Y'know, beyond the whole 'your story is awesome' thing.
| James chapter 63 . 12/7/2010
Really enjoying this story and the characters (perhaps too much, as I've been failing to get my own work done for the last two days). Looking forward to the next instalment.
Since the little note down the bottom says to offer tips for improvement, if it concerns you, there are a few words/spellings here and there that might be changed to the British rather than American versions (e.g. 'maths' instead of 'math').
| Cate B chapter 63 . 12/7/2010
Hey, wow! I finally discovered this fic. (Late to the party much?)
I just finished reading and it was pretty damn AMAZING. There were so many good and clever and interesting parts, I can't even begin to list them all. My favorite was probably when Harry got his Ender on during the lake battle.
Having just read the whole thing (Chp 1-63) in almost one sitting, I have to say that the Azkaban (TSPE) arc was a little too drawn out. I get that it was momentous and important. But TWELVE chapters, that was mostly just Harry sitting around THINKING THINGS? It was a little much.
I loved the story, and will definitely be checking back in a month or so to find out what happens next!
| open-sketchbook chapter 63 . 12/7/2010
I'll do a more complex review when you've finished the story (it's my goal to review only every story I read to completion; a sort of review counter counter revolution (One could accurately say it is anti-antidisestablishmentary)
Anyway, I have to say that as a rationalist and lurker on Less Wrong from before this story started, you've packaged the tenants of rationality into a beautiful bit-sized package, but also made it much more real. It is much easier to pattern your thinking when you have a character to pattern it after than a lecture to try and follow, though obviously the lecture is also important.
Also, the story is really good and I wanna see where it goes.
| Dwst chapter 63 . 12/6/2010
With concern for Harry's dilemmas being too complex to describe simply, for his thoughts to seem inhuman, an author's preaching soapbox, this chapter does a very good job. Although the last sentence extends the reader's awareness of his ignorance even further, and although nary a thread is raveled in the whole chapter, there is a very satisfying, soothing, sense of a complete step being taken along the narrative's path.
| andaere chapter 63 . 12/6/2010
Wow. It's not often that I'm intimidated to review a story, but... I am for this one. I feel like there's nothing new that can be said (I mean, you have nearly ten thousand reviews!), but I'll try.
Okay, let's start with honesty. I started reading this because it was long, well-written, had a LOT of reviews, an intresting premise, and I thought it was complete. I didn't really care about rationality, I barely even knew what it was. But, as can be expected, while reading this I found rationality very interesting. Being interested in psychology, I particlarily liked reading about all the different experiments that rationalists have done. You also brought to my mind just how ridiculous the world of Harry Potter is when you think about it. But in a good way - I mean, I can tell that you like Harry Potter, you're not just parodying it to make fun of it.
Now, on to the actual story. It's fascinating. I love how different everything became just by making Harry a rationalist and Duresly-free. I'm intrigued by Harry and his "dark side", and how he tries so hard to be a good person but sometimes goes about it in all the wrong way.
You write extremely well. I often found myself laughing aloud at your jokes. Your writing is so absorbing that I read this instead of the actual books I was reading often, and whenever there was a spare moment I was like, "Oh, time to read more of Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality!"
Your character introspection is great (for lack of a better word), too. And you manage to make concepts like rationality which, in all honesty, I might find boring otherwise interesting when it's Harry trying to figure something out.
What I like the most about this story, though, is the interaction between the characters (specifically, Harry and the others). I remember at the beginning I had my fingers crossed that Harry and Draco would be friends (or at least not rivals). You delievered on that one, and I'm always curious to see the boys play off on each other. Harry's relationship with Professor Quirrell is also fascinating - in a weird way, I love that Harry picked Quirrell as a mentor over Dumbledore. Although, I remember that when I first read your Quirrell I was shocked, because in the book he's portrayed as a stuttering, fearful idiot but in your story he's really someone to be respected and feared. I feel like Harry losing his trust in the Professor will ultimiately be for the best, though, because when someone convinces you to break the Dark Lord's most faithful servant out of Azkaban when you're only eleven they might not be all that good for you. (About that, it really interests me in how you described Azkaban and Harry's reaction to it. I never gave much thought to it, but it must be horrible.)
Out of all the realtionships, though, I like the ones best with Harry and a "good person" (or at least a good influence). Like Harry and Professor McGonagall. I love how she obviously cares for Harry but worries about him, too, and how Harry really wants her to be proud of him. I think my favorite relationship is the one between Harry and Hermione, though. I love how you portray Hermione as the epitome of a good person, because she really is. And how they're friends even though Harry scares Hermione sometimes... and I don't normally ship Harry/Hermione (not when Ron's in the picture - speaking of, it's weird to read a Harry Potter 'fic like this and really not have much Ron, but you write so well that I don't mind), but I can't help but think that when these two group up in your 'fic, they'd make a very cute couple. They do right now, in a platonic way. ;)
Hmm... I think I've said everything I wanted to for the moment. At first I was disappointed when I found out this isn't a completed story, but then relieved when I found out it's been updated often, and then sad when I found out you're going on hiatus, and now I'm just excited to read a new chapter at some point in time. So thank you very much for writing this, and story for this excruciatingly long, rambling review. Thanks again for writing this and happy holidays!
| Vampyromaniac chapter 63 . 12/6/2010
Loved the references to
1. The massively, unnecessarily convoluted plan used by Barty Crouch Jr in olf Fire to transport Harry to Voldemort, that could have, and should have, failed at any number of points.
2. Molly Weasley taking out Bellatrix Black in Deathly Hallows.
It's references like these that are best appreciated by those familiar with canon, and it feels like those who haven't read the books are 'missing out'.
Great end to the arc. Does Sybill Trelawney's latest (in a very short list!) prophecy correspond with the canonical prophecy about Voldemort's servant returning to him (Peter Pettigrew in canon, Bellatrix Black in MoR)? Does it declare the return of the Dark Lord at full strength and in his own body, post-ritual? If Quirrellmort performs the ritual, will he split into mortal Quirrell and immortal Voldemort or just turn into the form of Voldemort that is most familiar to us?
At the time of writing, I found MoR to be the 2nd Google search result for 'rationality', second only to the wikipedia entry.
| Dragon Man 180 chapter 63 . 12/6/2010
Interesting aftermath, I can't wait to see how things go with Harry appearing to doubt Proffessor Quirrel now. Plus, he's got a minion who will do much for him, so that will be interesting.
| Jearom chapter 63 . 12/6/2010
Wow this story is so awesome. I love how you have changed everything on it's ear and along the way managed to ridicule the canon story events that never made sense. I am right along Harry in not knowing what Quirrel's motives are.
| Faranda chapter 63 . 12/6/2010
I love the "Bahl's stupefaction" and the LSD, but I don't understand the Veela Verdandi : is it about the norse norn or the anime character ?
I also love the way Amelia Bones finds out about the protagonists of the Azkaban escape : that's perfectly clear and "rational", and still sheer genius from her.
About The Azkaban Issue : I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one to helplessly try to figure out how you will get out of this while having to deal with the story's cynicism and the main character's idealism...
Enjoy your break !
| Havoc chapter 63 . 12/6/2010
I am not at all a fan of Harry Potter. Nevertheless, I am quite enjoying this work. I cannot think of a better compliment to give than that.
I wish you had written the original books, they deserved to be done better and it pains me that you cannot profit from the creation of this exceptional piece.
I hope very much that you will create an original work at some point that you WILL be able to profit from... but only after you finish this one, the suspense is killing me. :P
| Lila chapter 63 . 12/5/2010
I have loved all 63 chapters immensely. I am dying for the hiatus to be over!
Here are some things I really, really, hope we'll get to find out:
-HOW DOES MAGIC REALLY WORK?
-How did Fred and George pull off the prank on Rita Skeeter?
-What exactly is the connection of Quirrell to Voldemort, and what are their plans regarding Harry?
-Did Dumbledore kill Narcissa, and if so, why?
Dumbledore didn't seem to show much remorse when Harry confronted him about the child abuse that he not just allowed but specifically intended to happen. Also, Dumbledore hoped that Harry's adoptive parents had been abusive as well. This is enough to establish Dumbledore as over-the-line evil, unless he's been imperiused or really is clinically insane. So it's quite possible that he really did murder Narcissa. I also think that Harry's view of him has been far too lenient. Dumbledore is just as responsible as Snape is for the abuse. Harry should consider Dumbledore a "nazgul" too, not just Snape.
But mainly, HOW DOES MAGIC REALLY WORK?
| Chelsea chapter 63 . 12/5/2010
i liked the part w harry and hermionie. i want them to grow up so there can be more of a love intrest to the story. when reading i think of harry as much older, 18 or 17, still immature but old enough to act how he does. im always dissappointed when im reminded that he is 11 and not interested in girls and that there isnt going to be any love action with super smart harry, because i think super smart harry would be a very entertaining date. i'd like to see more of the weaslys, in the original story they were my favorite and they are even better in this fanfict because they are seen not just as prangsters but as intellegent also. i think some plot that brings in the weaslys more would lighten up harrys dark always thinking about everything-ness, and add an element of fun.
| Sienf chapter 63 . 12/5/2010
I'll get around to doing a few proper reviews now that I have the time, but first I just want to say...
I'm glad you're taking a hiatus, by the sound of things it is a really good decision. Just rest up, take your time and I hope you can enjoy writing this again because we certainly enjoy reading it :)
Also, I think this chapter is a brilliant way to "pause" the story for the hiatus: food for thought, but not too cliffhanger-y. Rest up, get your mind off this and I hope you'd be happy to come back to this. Have a great month!
| PureWaterLily chapter 63 . 12/5/2010
I shall not revere you like a god, for there are few nuisances that I find irksome. (Then again, there are nuisances in god that I find irksome...)
OoC/AU: Dumbledore is a bit of a let down, Hermione is off in terms of her niceness/romance, Draco is lacking in that Malfoy pride/snobbiness, the Narcissa part was a blaring siren. After some mental contemplation, most of these might have been 1. forgivable, excused as this new Harry's meddling, and 2. crucial and strengthened the plot more. Mostly, by inserting or fleshing out existing details, you blurred the distinct line of Good/Evil/Neutral in the original books, gave insight to characters, and aroused more sympathy and understanding from the audience. For characters that we really morally shouldn't be sympathetic to. Oh boy.
Xanatos Roulette: So wrong but just feels so good. I'm the type that likes reading convoluted plots that weaves together, and REALLY likes it when it is of a psychological battle between multiple intelligent players (cough, Death Note). Regardless of how impossible the scenarios gets. Seems Harry needs to remember the Planning Fallacy more often, esp. before he decided yes to the Azkaban arc. Quirrell waking up gives impression of deus ex machina.
Immortality debate: Not as simple as tomorrow tomorrow. There should be a /limit/. Yes, that is an incredibly lame math pun. And to expand Harry's Dementor vision: For humans to have colonized Mars, the solar system, the galaxy, spread through the universe faster than a virus, discovering, learning, revolutionizing, only to break and fail, destroy itself in tragedy, leaving a single crater with some fading mark of human existence. Search for immortality is not necessarily a search for eternal life then, as I initially thought, but permanent existence, whether it be horcrux/ knowledge/inventions/art/the“you”you've created/your-species. Everything we have accomplished is threatened to disappear until that permanence can be established.
Then there are just the pure epicness:
The human patronus.
The allusions to everything from mangas to the original HP
Nanotechnology. Transfigured geckos feet bonus.
And of course, I just feel so, so, so happy when I know of the theories Harry is referring to.
This is truly a gem. It made me laugh, cry, nod in agreement, stare in horror, and spit my tea, all while reactivating my hibernating brain. As a student enrolled in science and tech, and whose goal is to major in mathematics and philosophy, I jumped in joy seeing this and recommended it to all of my friends.
| Arachne chapter 63 . 12/4/2010
You should congratulate yourself, Mr. Yudkowsky, your writings have commanded the full bulk of my attentions for the last 48hrs. I am being entirely truthful when I say that Not Many can succeed in that - You've entered the company of Tolkien, Sagan, Pullman, and the Great Rowling herself.
1) My brain is very, very happy
(a) Violation of Conservation of Energy. Well Played.
(b) Starry Night broke my heart in the best of ways*
(c) Almost everything that comes out of Harry's mouth
(d) Nerdy pop culture references, Science!, humanism, Books!, moral ambiguity...a hella lot more
2) Your treatment of Dumbledore is my favorite, ever, including canon.
3) I respectfully request more physics
4) Also Harry should read some Carl Sagan if he hasn't already - The Demon Haunted World, for starters.
5) I keep thinking I've got Quirrell figured out, and then not. I approve.
6) A lot of my personal beliefs have been affirmed - specifically the ones involving space travel (it needs to happen, I will help make it so), science (truly a candle in the dark), life (precious), the universe (full of elegant truths that creatures such as we are capable of understanding and USING), and everything (42)
7) I really need to read more Feynman. And by more, I mean any. Once I get through this semester...need to tick off some more books from my Education Not School list.
8) I'm sure you've heard this before, but it gets a little preachy sometimes. I don't mind - but I See What You're Doing (not that you're being particularly secretive)
I eagerly await the next installment, and will be Very Sad if I have to wait *too* long.
You wouldn't want to disappoint a little physics student and her Engineer Minions so close to Christmas, would you?
(*I've had a yearning since before I can remember to go to the stars. The thought that this is very unlikely gives the bit of me I think of as my heart a very unpleasant twist, but strengthens my desire to discover lots of exoplanets that will be good candidates for exploration)
| FrostyAKF chapter 63 . 12/4/2010
I'm not sure what I can say about this fic that hasn't already been said. Needless to say, I've truly enjoyed your story and writing. I look forward to reading more of your work. I hope this review is part of many that leads you to getting 10000 reviews on this story before Christmas.
Good luck with writing.
| Stygian Styx chapter 63 . 12/4/2010
Very well done, yet again. A more serious mood then usual, but then this is the end of a fairly serious story arc, so that's to be expected.
| CEstUnRond chapter 63 . 12/4/2010
Hi. I'm french, so i would be pleased if you could just forget the eventuals grammar/orthograph errors, or if i use some words that do not exist.
I let this review because i realyly like your story, even if i don't share your view on magic, which proves your great talent as an author.
For me, magic is the perfect opposite of science, it's all about intention. The first principle of any science is that any experience is reproductible, and i do not think that can be applied to magic. For exemple, i think that the spell of death, avada kedavra, will destroy a part of your soul if you use it to kill an ennemy, but not if you use it for euthanasia, for it will provide a death without pain. I believe magic is all about what you mean, when science is all about what you do.
But you built a universe that could convince me, like a non-euclidian geometry. And it helped me built my own conception of magic, even through their opposition.
So i thank you.
| Silly Spawn chapter 63 . 12/4/2010
When starting to read this on Saturday I didn't expect to do nothing else but work, sleep, eat and read it until now... Great story, better than most fantasy/science fiction I've paid for to read. It's really outstanding and I had thought that there was no good fanfiction at all anymore. Thanks for writing this.
| NougatEvolution chapter 63 . 12/4/2010
I really hope this is setting up for Hermione to do something awesome again. Even though it would probably be a mistake for her. ;)
Wondering about Lucius's motives in SENDING that note. It implies that he didn't think Harry would know he knew but that he wanted him to know... but then I still haven't a clue about their previous conversation.
Thanks for the chapter! Really appreciated all the little references. Having Harry actually face up to the problem presented by Azkaban and change his mind about his purpose in life was cool. Of course it's suboptimal to decide NOW on what evil to tackle when he doesn't know what others are out there that might be more substantial. And that little problem about what to do with the prisoners...
I appreciated all the different aftermaths. Harry really didn't -think- before the quest. Lesath is deeply disturbing.
I'm glad you're taking a true break from writing and not letting the chapter hang over your head.
| GL chapter 63 . 12/4/2010
so like 12 chapters to find out that while harry is a prisoner himself he has decided to champion the cause of prison reform
| Guest chapter 63 . 12/3/2010
Vance is not at all an anagram of Vecna.
| Chasing chapter 63 . 12/3/2010
This was very, very beautiful. Update soon!
| Diablo Snowblind chapter 63 . 12/3/2010
I am an undergrad economics student at a small liberal arts college in New York. As the years have passed, my intellectual curiosity has been converging evermore on economics and finance, to the exclusion of essentially everything else; science, philosophy, politics, actual literature, to name a very few. After reading this story, and now re-reading it, you have helped me realize that I was being a fool; that although it's to be commended that I've found a true passion in the study of human enterprise, by focusing on that in exclusion I am stunting, putting a wretched ceiling on, my capacity for intellectual growth. Though there were other factors that led to me this realization, reading your story was the final determinant. Because of this, I've decided to focus less on economics, and to begin taking classes, and doing my own reading on, calculus, chemistry, and empiricism, as a starting point. In addition I've decided to begin going through, and doing my best to understand, the works of the Less Wrong Sequences.
Sir, you have my utmost thanks for this wonderful story. I no longer wish to be a lifelong specialist of economics who remains ignorant of Montaigne, Francis Bacon, empiricism, the scientific method, higher science...I want to learn it all, to learn everything. I have accumulated a massive stack of books of economics and finance, I have devoted hundreds of hours to the pursuit of money in my brokerage account...I will not stop these things, but it will be toned down. I will return to bettering myself, to the pursuit of knowledge that may not be in my comfort zone, but still must be learned, because it's the right thing to do. Via Less Wrong, you've provided me a path towards that end. For that, sir, you again have my utmost thanks.
I do have one recommendation. John Kenneth Galbraith, the pre-eminent Institutionalist, said something that really was quite poignant, when recalled while reading Draco's reaction to his becoming a scientist, to no longer believing in blood purism.
"faced with the choice between changing one's mind and proving there's no need to do so, most people get busy on the proof."
In fact, sir, I think that you'd enjoy reading Galbraith. Whoever you are in real life, you seem to have some knowledge of finance, judging from the comment of arbitraging away market inefficiencies and the power a hedge fundie could wield in Rowling's universe, early on in the story. I would really, outstandingly, appreciate a few references to economics in the coming chapters. I'd pretty much be going "this author wins so hard," while hopefully laughing my ass off.
That is all. I look forward to the coming chapters. When you finish this story, I'd actually like to see a comment on who you are in real life. In nearly every chapter of this story, I've been wondering "who IS this guy? How can anyone (aside from a 60 year old philosopher) be so educated in so many areas? People this educated EXIST?"
Peace, Less Wrong. Again, I thank you for the route to knowledge you've provided.
| uo-chou chapter 63 . 12/3/2010
Interesting! I liked it immensely, as I have all of your other chapters. Please keep up the great work!
| Guest chapter 63 . 12/3/2010
So, I was walking around campus today and found a bunch of lovely chalk drawings. In between pictures of smiley faces, spongebob, and trogdor was written "Less Wrong is awesome. "
Seeing that made up for not having any MoR to read, at least a little bit.
| madbrad chapter 63 . 12/3/2010
I'm a sappy HP romantic, but I love Harry's view of Hermione. I fear you'll eventually do the expected twist and have her fail, become corrupted in some way. I hope not. Or if she strays somehow maybe Harry can help pull her back (and vice versa). But there's probably a lot of pressure on an author to have not even one character as simply pure and good, no doubt you have readers pushing at you to be 'complex' or 'realistic'. Sigh.
It's quite amazing how much a (potential) relationship can be, how strongly one can feel for it, when the two characters concerned are fleshed out in such solid detail. Compare this story to the HP canon where Ginny is a cardboard cut-out and Harry a thoroughly stolid and the premiere 'romance' falls completely flat and emotionally lifeless. Versus the substantial relationship that you already have in this story. So much more satisfying to witness the interrelationship of two *thinking* people who think and feel and whose thoughts and feelings are detailed and substantial.
That image of Harry, Hermione and maybe others who can cast a 'true patronus' coming back one day and razing Azkaban to the ground, it continues to captivate me. I do hope to see that one day.
I *loved* the humour you injected into this chapter. '"Molly Weasley against Bellatrix Black? Who does she even think she's kidding' - HA HA HA. Excellent. And Mad-Eye was a nice refreshing spot of humour too. Good show!
Hopefully the auror will make a 'full recovery', it would be sad if Harry's mistake/mission did have any permanent bad repercussions.
On the other hand, Bellatrix being free is no doubt a huge colossal repercussion that's going to come back and bite everyone ...
Thank you so much for continuing to put so much effort into your fan fiction novel. It's thoroughly entertaining. Have a good break!
| rhymz-worange chapter 63 . 12/3/2010
Great reviews of this fanfic were passed from my friend's boyfriend to her, and after she read it, from her to me. Upon reading the first few chapters, I then passed on glowing reviews to another three people who themselves have started reading this. A story this good deserves to be viral! As a scientist, I particularly appreciate the Sorting Hat dilemma- be mediocre and be happy, or contribute as much as you can at the sacrifice of your personal wellbeing? I appreciate Harry's almost irrational fear of the first.
It seems hard to suggest anything to make it better, especially considering that I have never written fiction myself. But as a sci-fi reader, I notice that there are certain similarities between your Harry and Ender from Ender's Game (I did note the reference in the underwater battle scene). So perhaps diverging from the path Orson Scott Card made for Ender in the subsequent novels to Ender's Game would be interesting. Its seemed to me that adult Ender never got over his guilt over the negative consequences of his actions as a powerful and semi-arrogant child prodigy. Will Harry JPEV have the same issues?
Thanks so much for this enjoyable work, I hope you continue writing!
| Fhyve chapter 63 . 12/3/2010
To references made in the story:
I liked the reference to iocane powder in this chapter
I did not like the reference to death note in an earlier chapter where it is a play that Draco saw.
I like my references to be more subtle, it feels less artificial or breaking of the fourth wall.
Also, a reader below me said something about the characters being slightly off from their canonical counterparts, like when Dumbledore rages at Quirrell for getting Harry beaten up.
Would like to see how the twins pulled off their prank but it seems far enough from plot significance at this point to likely be never revealed.
Would also like to see Hagrid, he was a major part of the canon story.
Would also like to see some low-to-average intelligence characters. I think some people reading this will have trouble relating to most of the characters that get plot significance. Maybe someone that Harry is forced to involve significantly in some plot and must rely on them to make intelligent decisions? Maybe the making of an average rationalist? Does it take a level of intelligence to be a rationalist? Does being a rationalist make you smarter?
OMFG THIS IS THE BEST FANFIC I HAVE EVER READ!
It also beats a lot of ordinary fiction. I certainly learned more from this than I did reading anything in highschool... but that's highschool.
New near-top priority on list of things to do: become a rationalist. Not far below is to get this read by as many people as possible.
Thanks for this. You should consider writing original fiction, I think it has much more of a chance of being widely read and therefore these ideas will be more widely read. It is sort of odd telling people, "OMG I just read this totally awesome HP fanfic! you should read it too!"
| Konsta chapter 63 . 12/3/2010
...Now that Harry can't use "muggle" technology in battles, maybe he'll start using "muggle" math and science to develop new spells? Could he come up with a power-enhancing ritual similar to something Voldemort used to increase his magic? Knowing Harry, he's probably going to offer that ability to others... (gasp)
... too painful to think about...
Keep 'em coming - can't wait for the next installment. :)
| Julienne chapter 63 . 12/2/2010
This fic is truly extraordinary and I eagerly wait for the next update. In the meantime, I will be recommending this to everyone I know who is interested in Harry Potter and then come back and reread my favorite parts.
| superbunny chapter 63 . 12/2/2010
I'm not sure I agree with the direction you seem to be taking Harry, but at least the boy has real ambition and nerve. It always bothered me that canon Harry, despite being the chosen one, having powerful magical artifacts, and possessing fame and wealth, was content to be so passive and mediocre. I know that a lot of people attribute that to his upbringing with the Dursleys, but that excuse never satisfied me. Thank you for writing, and enjoy your hiatus.
| Janneia chapter 63 . 12/2/2010
:D Love the Ah! My Goddess and Star Wars reference btw! Or what I think were references... lol. Also rather liked the conversation between Moody and Snape! Keep up the fantastic writing!
| Guest chapter 63 . 12/2/2010
Surely if Voldemort were back, or in his weird semi-alive form from The Goblet of Fire all the Death Eaters (including Snape) would know because of the Dark Mark, maybe that's part of your explanation as to how Lucius knows it was Harry - because he knows it couldn't be Voldemort since his mark would be no different then it was when Voldemort was defeated, but Snape should also realise this, and because Snape knows Voldemort isn't back he has no motive to fool Dumbledore and would just tell him the Dark Lord couldn't have broken into Azkaban, even if you're one of the authors who has Snape loyal to Voldemort (and I find that very unlikely) he still wouldn't gain anything by allowing Dumbledore to think Voldemort was alive when he isn't
| Tim chapter 63 . 12/2/2010
| Howard Russell chapter 63 . 12/2/2010
Wow. Simply, wow.
| qa32pt chapter 63 . 12/2/2010
Everyone in this novel is smarter than me. That's lovely to read. It's also really difficult now that the war has started, to enjoy it as just a story.
| bluewillow chapter 63 . 12/2/2010
To answer David Brin, punishment by way of having magic 'revoked' actually comes up quite a bit in FanFic - either by removing or breaking a wand, or banishing a pureblood to live as a Muggle.
Here are a few examples (specifically from Snape/Granger fanfic, but I'm sure you could find it in other tropes:
Wandless Magic by Deeble
Improbably Felicity by Subversa
the end section of Second Life by Lariope
| blackadder chapter 63 . 12/2/2010
and looked up from her copy of Beauxbatons: A History
small things like this, and Eye of Vance are making this fic really marvelous!
| JA chapter 63 . 12/1/2010
Good as always. Point of order on some of your psychology:
1) Recent Psych evidence indicates people who overestimate themselves have superior performance to people with accurate estimates of themselves. I doubt you'll have any trouble finding the studies on your own effort, so I'll let you evaluate them yourself. However this presents the interesting possibility that the optimists- the Dumbledores- are in fact rationalists as well. The problem is that this provides a contradiction between instrumental and epistemic rationality. Truth being useful isn't a logical necessity- believing false things evidently can be the -better- option, normatively speaking.
2) Another example of this, slightly related, is social psychologies work on "internalists" vs. "externalists". The former think themselves responsible for nearly everything (a false belief); the latter attribute things to fate or destiny or whatnot (also false). Most fall somewhere in between. But it is notable that the extreme internalists, the "natural libertarians" as some articles have called them, show resistance if not immunity to learned helplessness. These stem more from attitudes than beliefs, holding that attitudes have supremacy over belief in a psychological context. Likely contentious for your Less Wrong lot, but all the same something you should look into.
If nothing else, it would be an amusing twist to see Dumbledore have his own case for normative rationality in acknowledged and direct opposition to epistemic rationality.
It may also be the case that you know of these studies already, but that the work is too recent for Harry to cite.
| Phoenix Flight chapter 63 . 12/1/2010
I hope you have a good vacation!
| Loonynamelass chapter 63 . 12/1/2010
Only a month to wait! :)
| z chapter 63 . 12/1/2010
This is very cool. I'm always looking forward to the next chapter.
| foudebassan chapter 63 . 12/1/2010
Thank you for writing!
| Aubri chapter 63 . 12/1/2010
The past few chapters really make one reflect on the difference between the active kind of courage that saves the world, and the thoughtful courage that changes it.
| PrincessVamp chapter 63 . 12/1/2010
Enjoy your hiatus, and I will enjoy re-reading all the chapters, and look forward to your update at the end of the month! Thanks for making this chapter extra long! :)
| Spidey-phd chapter 63 . 12/1/2010
I love this story!
| ejhawman chapter 63 . 12/1/2010
I looked back over chapter 46. I get that there are other students using Time Turners; I guess I was looking for something more specific, naming Bulstrode as one of the users. The indication that someone might have been using one for rumormongering is a bit too subtle - the problem with subtlety is that it's open to interpretation and debate. But this fic is all about subtlety and complexity, so by its standards I have to give it to you.
Draco is caught flat-footed by the news: he doesn't seem to have gotten in the habit of checking the paper or for private messages immediately in the morning just yet. Perhaps his father will consider giving him a linked parchment for alerts after this. Draco should be wondering if his aunt Bella will be at home when he returns for the summer. Nice characterization of her we get through him.
Lucius is at least on to him. Is this because Bella is there to tell him? Or is it just so obvious?
Neville wants his pound of flesh. But he is at least minimally sensible. Still, the fact that he's willing to express a desire for revenge at this point puts him years ahead of canon, when he was just a quivering ball of nerves at this point.
Yes, there's a line in front of him. Hat tip to the duel that actually kills Bella in Deathly Hallows. At this point, with her fresh out of Azkaban... well, Neville still couldn't do anything as he hasn't learned any really damaging curses, but Molly could take a recovering Bella. Not that the public knows this, though the Aurors can probably guess. Good for Bella she's well hidden.
The Slytherin delivery system: a bit more cooperation and organization for Slytherins than is generally assumed. Very useful, other houses should know about it. Won't fool a sharp teacher, can be dangerous if someone can guess who the message is from or just wants to be a barbarian and attack the messenger, but good for properly coded and subdued messages.
The LL confusion - looks like playing with the readers. A bit deservedly, since so many of us automatically think of LL as Luna as we usually have no one else with those initials to track.
Bones thinks Bella got out alone. Harry's Cloak's nature as a Deathly Hallow unexpectedly contributes. After Dumbledore interrogates Harry, he doesn't want to suspect this, so the matter is dropped. I don't recall if it was ever resolved who Harry got the Cloak from in this world: Dumbles here doesn't seem so stupid or senile as to withhold such information from the Ministry if he had it, nor would he have given it to Harry so soon, which argues that someone else had the Cloak.
He does get Fred and George on side. Necessary to at least neutralize them.
The graveyard scene: Snape and Moody have a window of opportunity to do this attempt at sabotage, created by Quirrelmort being out of commission for a while just when Dumbledore realizes what Voldemort's strategy might be. Few writers make Dumbledore so competent, when he easily could be.
The dig at the plot of GoF is well-trod territory. Everyone goes off on that book. It's well understood that Crouch Jr. was probably a novice at programming portkeys, so he made a returning type when he needed a single-use. But there's no real excuse for him, or him and Pettigrew and a near-powerless Voldy, to beat Alastor Moody any day of the week. Nor do they need to, given they have polyjuice - Crouch can impersonate some student on the Hogwarts Express, grab Harry, and apparate away.
Moving the graveyard - probably the most energy-intensive precaution Voldy took. But also the most necessary, once he realized the need for the ritual. This Voldy would certainly have foreseen the need and invested the time and effort.
Making him fall in love with Belldandy? Lol. Nice thought, but... that IS the Power He Knows Not, wrapped up in human form.
Harry's musings: FINALLY we find out why he went long with Quirrell. It's taken him entirely too long to realize his slip from rationality.
Don't really have much to say about the Milgram experiment, that's for other places.
Santa's gift and message: sounds like a hat tip to typical powerful!Harry stories where he goes looking for other schools when he starts feeling trapped and/or manipulated by Dumbles. Here it looks absurd because it's happening so fast, it's barely been a day, and because someone else is making the offer instead of Harry himself being forced to the conclusion. I suppose I should learn my lesson and guess that other schools have their own Time Turners, and will use them to cram in offers over the next day or so as they realize his situation.
Harry is right to worry about always having to wonder whether other people are being honest with him if he keeps manipulating them. Ever since "Pretending to be Wise", a running theme in this story has been many-layered guessing of other peoples' thoughts and intentions. This is highly unrealistic for eleven-year-olds, but it's what makes things so fascinating here. Much of what we call "innocence" seems to be dealing with people only on the simplest level, and the desire for it comes out of weariness from thinking about the reactions of others.
Trelawney makes the second prophecy early. Well, THAT we can expect: the Powers From Beyond will obviously know the situation and act in a, heh, timely fashion. Might do to keep the text of the new prophecy hidden in the Ministry archives for a while.
Rest up. We need the holidays to decompress.
| farwalker chapter 63 . 12/1/2010
this arc has been quite a ride. And I especially love your aftermath - and Harry actually reflecting.
And I like that Harry and Hermoine are reconciled.
I look forward to whatever's next. I would like to see him get Sirius out somehow...
| dsdscds chapter 63 . 12/1/2010
The piece about the milgram experiment made me cry. This fanfic is so beautiful and emotional.
| phoebe turner chapter 63 . 11/30/2010
| jafl chapter 63 . 11/30/2010
Why do people check obsessively every hour? They can just sign up for email notification when a new chapter is posted, and then they only have to obsessively check their email, which I'm sure they do already :)
| Maxwell Gray chapter 63 . 11/30/2010
In Harry contemplating his freedom, I'm reminded of a quote by Walter Cronkite: “There is no such thing as a little freedom. Either you are all free, or you are not free.” that's all I have to say really...
| The French Dark Lord chapter 63 . 11/30/2010
| dragonfilia chapter 63 . 11/30/2010
Good ending. I especially liked the Hermione part, I hope to see her living up to her MoR potential. ...Though to be honest I hope she does something more worthwhile that SPEW.
One of the best parts, and the part I found the most amusing, was the part about the portkey. Stated like that it really doesn't make any sense. However, I have a theory that the cup was a portkey before Barty messed with it. It was instead supposed to port the winner back to the beginning of the maze. All Barty did was create a diversion, he probably couldn't outright remove it because of Dumbledore. So, in other words Harry grabbing resulted in the residual magics of the original portus and he was sent home. In other words he was very, very, lucky.
| Work Designer chapter 63 . 11/30/2010
Very good point to take a break. Amazing writing. Thanks for bringing all sorts of perspectives to the sendoff chapter.
The biggest mysteries still lingering, imho
What was the old prophecy? "he is coming..."
Why did the rememberall light up when held by Harry? What has he forgotten?
Santa Claus, identity of.
What is Lucius Malfoy's plan, now that his puppet minister's position would be severely compromised by BB's escape?
What will be the excuse that will remove Quirell? (Now that the prison break doesn't seem like it)
What is Quirell's plan after the year ends?
"I'm not Serious" - well then, who are you?
And last, but in many ways the first
What is the mechanism by which magic works?
| Aotrs Commander chapter 63 . 11/30/2010
A truely unique work. In parts hilariously funny (especially the subtle- and not-so-subtle D&D references...), others tragic and all the while, a fascinating study of the mind and science. And a plot, that - for once - that isn't immediately obivious. (Especially as I started reading this literally as I was finishing the last half of my latest read-though of the series itself). I have vague suspicions of what might be going on, but with the story's changes, you've sufficently fogged the mirror that prior knowledge of the old characters doesn't actually help you in predicting anything. That it itself a very clever piece of work.
The science and psychology are fascinating, if the latter sometimes makes my head spin a bit, which is quite an achievement in and of itself. (My background is engineering.) One can perhaps say this is story is not unlike the sort of material one finds in the Science of Discworld in places.
I shall look foward to the continuation of this utterly fascinating read.
| EmEx chapter 63 . 11/30/2010
When you are cheering for the hero to fail, you know there is something really wrong with him! Ok, joking, kind of.
I was mildly interested by the title of your fanfic so I decided to give it a go and I must confess that it was a bit hard to reach chapter 10, not because of the plot or because the many scientific facts -au contraire, that was what helped me keep reading-, but because of the slow pace of the development regarding the flow of the reading.
However said flow became more dynamic and the story is now just addictive. I have been enjoying your character's developments, their personalities and description of mental processes and even Harry, who for me, feels like an Original Character in the skin of a canon character, has really grown on me.
I won't deny I feel deeply frustrated at times when it comes to how he rationalizes problems, and I wonder how someone so brilliant can let go of such simple details, but it agrees with his nature. It would seem Harry still needs to learn to find the simple solution to a problem before starting to think about using Hufflepuff's bones as weapons, but his journey proves that he might get there and that is what kept me hooked up to this story for 6 hours in a row.
Of course I deeply appreciate your great usage of grammar, punctuation and spelling and your wonderful dialogs. My favorite part so far has been of course the Sunshine/Chaos/Dragon battles and all the references to experiments of which I had already read in sites such as cracked dot com or howstuffworks dot com.
Harry and Hermione's friendship and relationship development have also put some smiles on my face and... don't tell anyone, but I'm secretly glad you got rid of Ron. There was something in his character that always annoyed me. What? You mean anyone can read this review? Damn!
Thanks for this great story, I'll keep on reading.
| Zargon chapter 63 . 11/30/2010
Really liked this series, especially the aftermaths.
I like how so many characters get some of their story told, such as Mad-Eye and how he acquired the Eye of Vance and a decent level of caution, as well as the Aurors in Azkaban, for example.
I liked the passage on the Milgram experiments. I knew of them before, but I didn't really know about them. I still don't, really. I'll go looking later today.
| wsablek chapter 63 . 11/30/2010
I LOVED this chapter. It is beautiful and amazing, and... well, I had to read it in 3 sittings, and will probably re-read it at least 3 times before your hiatus is over. Take all the time you need. This story is so worth it.
| anou chapter 63 . 11/30/2010
Another 1000 reviews or so and this will become the third most reviewed story in ff (searched through only 300 000 words though).
| koipen chapter 63 . 11/30/2010
Past Harrys first year? Unless you rush the events into the first half of the second year this is going to be a loong fic. My guess of 80 chapters is now pushed more towards 100 chapters.
Awesome chapter as usual. Apart from the huge rope still hanging (Quirrel), most of the threads have been solved. It is a question of time how much it will take for the people to go back to their original tracks, and how much this will affect Harry.
The hiatus doesn't actually bother me too much. It will be christmas-time so I have plenty of things to do, and new year will be coming along too.
I really hope the hiatus helps and this will be relaxed for you - the state of the author reflects on the story.
| twistyguru chapter 63 . 11/30/2010
excellent, as always.
| Hedelex chapter 63 . 11/30/2010
I love every single chapter of this story to this moment. I must admit it is not what I'd usually call light reading, sometimes I get lost thinking about stuff while I read and I have to come back and re-read the paragraph, reading that makes you think your own ideas about the matter has to be good :-P
I enjoyed chapter 63, it is very motivating and funny and, as usual, entertaining.
I hope you enjoy your hiatus and possibly the holidays, since as a coincidence they are timed, family is important (I'd tell your sister anytime that being you is far better than being infamous Paris Hilton or something, your sister is lucky having you as a brother) and... um... be happy! XD
| N chapter 63 . 11/30/2010
Lestat joined your party!
| Matthew Fallshaw chapter 63 . 11/30/2010
This is possibly the most awesome chapter of 63 awesome chapters of this most awesome story.
"His wandering feet took him near an open window, and Harry went over,"... there's a comma there to warn me to suspend judgement, but that's still an awkward construction, because he didn't go over in the plummeting to an unscheduled visit to Madam Pomfrey kind of way... but I need to read a few words further to set my beating heart to rest.
You're awesome, Mr E.
| PersonaJXT chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
Hey, great chapter as usual. Sorry to hear about the hiatus - I'll be suffering from withdrawal for the entire time.
About the Milgram experiment, isn't it more that the people who refused to continue shocking the supposed victim had more individualistic traits than the people who didn't? Like the people who obeyed the scientist conducting the experiment due to the scientist's authority, rather than a willingness to actually shock the person? I'm not a psychology major or anything like that, but I do recall something along those lines when I took a psychology course a while back.
Anyways, it'll be along wait to the next update. Here's to hoping the wait won't be too bad!
| emanon chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
Nice reactions by the students and teachers, especially Neville's. This one act had far reaching consequences, and confirms that Harry really didn't think things thru. His whining that "its not fair" shows us that he's still just a child, no matter how intelligent he may be. I was disappointed by the bit of Harry deciding that destroying Azkaban is the course he is set on...that's his side in the conflict. I mean, imagining the prisoners free and shining and laughing as they escape? Does he really want to let loose the criminals back into the general population? That's just stupid. He should have asked himself if the criminals deserved to be saved. Maybe they don't deserve to be tortured by dementors, but they don't deserve to be free either.
| sumwhriblong chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
I have been following this story for sometime and would like to see where you are going with it. Harry in this story is very smart but that also causes problems as we are seeing now. Will be interesting to see Neville's reaction if he knows Harry was behind the escape.
Keep up the good work.
| Sue chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
"Iocane powder." - This. This makes me love you so, so much. Well, plus everything else in this amazing story.
| Unknownlight chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
It took me a full four days to read this fic from beginning to the current chapter. I do not regret, at all, the devotion it took for me to do that.
You're awesome, and this fic is too. Congratulations.
| Lady of the Hunt chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
What a damn fine chapter that was. Thanks! Have a good break!
| Gamebird chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
It is irrational to continue on with a poor course of action merely because you promised or swore to accomplish some end.
| Anosios Andreas ho Kinkajou chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
Congratulations, Eliezer. You wrote one hell of a fanfic.
To review why you are awesome, you have a host of well-rounded and intelligent characters, you put them in fabulous situations, and you do so with panache. Your re-imagining of the characters who are NOT Harry James Potter(-Evans-Verres) is one of the greatest strengths of your work. Another is that you really succeed in making rational characters with flaws - their insights are genuinely insightful and their mistakes almost always have interesting consequences.
Good for you! I am very selfishly unhappy that you are taking a break from writing for this month, and look forward to reading more MoR.
Andreas (programmer, cowboy, small fuzzy mammal)
| Dwelgatte chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
Last Alchemist: I think you misunderstood the Mendelian pattern thing. Squibs *are* muggles, genetically.
| obsidian-fox chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
Truly a fantastic chapter! I especially liked Blaise's little display, and the recognition of Hermione's strength. They're eleven years old, sure, but I'm sort of hoping for another kiss...
| AllieOfGreenGables chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
Hello, my name is Allie. I realized recently that, though I have read all of your story so far, I have neglected to review any of it as far as I remember. I'd like to tell you that your plot is engaging and your characters have much more depth than I would have expected. I'm intrigued by your story and hope to read the rest of it.
| FanFiction guy chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
This chapter culminates (for a while) a story I have been following avidly. If you like this story (and I do, very much), I suggest reading the first two Null-A books by Van Vogt. LessWrong's Methods of Rationality take up where Korzybski's General Semantics left off. I hope LW keeps writing!
| annawheatlie chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
Thanks. Really. If we're going to have to go a month without HPMOR, this was actually a really nice way to say goodbye for a while. And thanks for the ambiguity - it's nice to read a story where it's actually unclear who's good and who's bad, and who's fuzzy, and who's misguided.
Kind of makes me want to go storm Rikers island.
| Ayriannah chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
enjoy you hiatus- come back soon! I detect a new prophecy arising on the horizon...Love this story.
| j chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
This review is for your author's notes, actually.
You mentioned it made you sad to think of readers mashing the internet reward button like lab rats.
I would instead use the comparison birds in a Skinner box. After all, behavior is much easier to extinguish when a fixed-rate reward is stopped. What with the variation in updates lately - you'll probably have people hitting refresh every day. no matter what else you say.
Although, to be fair, the conditions aren't exactly identical. It's not like the pigeons had an RSS feed.
| Benquo chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
I agree with William H. Stoddard. I nominate as title for the sequel, "Harry Potter and the Will to Protect".
| w chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
This is a spectacular chapter. Really, quite a treat. Details:
HG - nice guilt trip for Hermione. And HG is actually a bit mean here.
F - nice reckoning sentence.
DM - Draco rocks. Nice touch with BB torturing herself. Nice repetition of there's A and there's A from Q. Nice Lucius message.
NL - Nice mishandling of NL by HP. Oh, Harry's losing his innocence so fast. LL is too obvious. And amazing (and so realistic) minion part.
AB - nice ghost touch.
MMG - not clear.
AM - quite 's stupefaction in particular. Checking if you could be trusted.
DGTD - ?
HP - yes, yes, you mentioned Cialdini, did I mention a full bibliography would be nice?
The lunch thought.
Finally the reckoning _why_ he went to Azkaban. Why is Hufflepuff suddenly a college student?
"Embarrassment". Funny how he missed Cialdini's "Kill the embarrassment" advice. And he _still_ misses what Draco ironically knows - a simple "who gets the most" from a confusing plot, as in why Q is helping V.
So nice references to BB's names of sun/clouds.
The Milgram's experiment has one crucial assumption which HP doesn't question and he should - that the participants _indeed_ believed deep inside they are administering shocks. If it's an experiment, it's natural to deep inside not to treat it seriously. Only now connection between the experiment and HG? It was obvious.
Excellent ponderings on 3 out of 40.
Excellent Ravenclaw's reaction.
"The manner in which..." is a bit too obvious reference to D.
I still think Santa Claus is Sirius.
One more time: spectacular. Thank you. Take as much time as you need.
| twilight's reflection chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
I simply love your writing. The plot is intriguing, but I also quite enjoy the logic and stuff involved-learning a bit along the way. Every time I see a new MoR chapter sitting in my inbox of my email, my day gets brighter. So thank you for that and keep up your captivating writing.
| Remoara chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
Something seems off in the writing at the end of this chapter.
"Her sheets were soaked in sweat, her nightclothes soaked in sweat, she took her wand from beside the pillow and cleaned herself up before she tried to go back to sleep, she tried to go back to sleep and eventually succeeded.
Sybill Trelawney went back to sleep."
Altogether too much repetition, with two instances of 'trying to go back to sleep' and three of just 'going back to sleep'.
The main purpose here is to move the reveal of WHO the section is talking about to the very end, yes? That should be completely possible with some more flowing wording.
I'd suggest some myself, but I'm pretty damn sure EY will be able to come up with something better than I could as soon as his attention is drawn to it.
| Peregrinate chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
:) Yay. An update. That's made my hard, sad day just a little brighter, thanks.
| The Wind God chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
Another absolutely fantastic chapter. I greatly look forward to the new chapter in a month or so. Enjoy the time off. :) Have a wonderful Christmas and/or Holiday Season.
| Last Alchemist chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
David Brin is on to something, wondering whether magical criminals can be dealt with by removing their magical ability by some means, thus making them into muggles. That would seem too extreme, especially if it involves something like a form of wizardly partial lobotomy. But there might be a middle ground-turning them into squibs. This would require inquiring into what makes a squib different from someone who is able to do magic, and yet also different from a muggle. Since it seems clear that the magical gene or genetic traits need to be present on both sides of the paired chromosomes in order to be expressed (which would make them like recessive genetic traits that must be doubled to be expressed), the difference between anyone able to do magic and muggles is that muggles at most only have the genetic traits for magic on one side (or neither). Squibs on the other hand would have the genetic traits necessary for magic present on both sides-they are duplicated-so they can sense magical things (like Mrs. Figg being able to see dementors), but they cannot use magic even for the simplest spells. This could be caused by a chance mutation or damage causing an off-switch to be set (DNA coding is known to include off-switches), so that a critical portion of one of the genetic traits is skipped over and not read by the molecular mechanism that reads the DNA. In order to render a magical criminal unable to use magic, it would be necessary to set an off switch so that the critical portion of genetic coding is skipped over. The one real catch is that this must be done for every cell in the body (or a least for the brain, but that is still millions of cells). But if this could be done magically by a precise and sufficiently encompassing spell, then this means the same technique could be used to cure squibs, so that people like Mrs. Figg-and Mr. Filch-can wield magic and become witch and wizard. Thus this research into finding a better way to deal with magical criminals would pay dividends in leading to a cure for squibs.
| sundog chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
Your story is making me a better person. I had lost my way, for a while. Thank you for helping me remember why striving for the truth is worth it. Sometimes a person gets mired in amongst other people to whom truth is not the most important thing. Sometimes a person gets stuck in a mental trap of his own making: to feel completely alone is enough to change your mind, and sublime that core of yourself that you once cherished above anything else. But thank you for making me remember myself. I missed me, a lot.
| JudgeMingus chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
This is brilliant stuff.
I feel there are a few minor niggles in characterisation (eg: in no possible universe can I imagine Snape referring to Mad-Eye Moody in as familiar a manner as he does in Chapter 61 - "Any word from Mad-Eye?").
Not just great by fanfic standards.
Great by any standard.
| falenas108 chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
Amazing chapter, especially the Milgram Experminet part. So, should I assume the clock Dumbledore gave Trelawney can be used to spy on her in case she makes another prophecy? And possibly to spy on dreams like the on she just had.
| AwsmAdm chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
This was a great chapter! It's fun to see everything that happened after the fact. During the hiatus I plan to reread the whole thing casually (last time i rushed through it because i wanted to know what would happen next). I also wanted to thank you for introducing me the the Ender's Game series. I've had some of the books lying around for a while but i never gave them a shot. However, in the past few weeks I've read a bunch of them and I expect to get through the whole Ender's Game universe before long. Thanks again for the great times I've had reading the everything I've learned along the way.
| SexySnape99 chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
Wow. This is amazing. I love the chapters where you give a point of view from almost every character. Please finish your hiatus quickly.
| James Firecat chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
Damn I spent all of last week reading all of this and all of this week waiting for the updates and now...
Well I guess MoR updating again will make a great Christmas Present/Way to ring in the new year/whatever in January...
Also, pretty damn sneaky of Voldy to move the rest of his family's graves but not his father's... though to pull that off wouldn't he have needed to do it before he tried to kill Harry?
Well given how smart that Voldy is is in this fic it's hardly unheard of to think that he wouldn't have tried to get his foot in the door of as many different ways back to life as possible...
I wonder if there are any magical spells for dowsing for bones... his father's remains still have to be where they were actually buried which would probably be within a hundred miles or so of the Riddle House give or take since a prominent family like the Riddle's probably have/had a personal graveyard.
Likewise wherever he moved his father from, is probably not some place that a city/house has sprung up recently since I don't imagine Voldy would enjoy having to jackhammer his way through concrete to get at his dad's bones (or worse yet have them excavated as part of the ground laying. Maybe the Auror's should do some tests to see if there are any nearby areas that muggles naturally just don't pay attention to. That or just start digging up the country side at random and hope they get lucky, not the most productive use of time imaginable but they doubtlessly have more raw manpower on their side than Voldy does right now...
| Hippoponymous chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
All right, I'll say it (along with about 9000 other people): BEST FANFIC EVER. Seriously, this is amazing. As much fun as the original books, and more informative than an intro to critical reasoning class. (Incidentally, I am fully willing to credit my A in Intro to Critical Reasoning to this fic.) I have been tearing out hair trying to guess Quirrel's answer, but it was worth it.
Thanks for the great story!
| Niqi chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
This was a very good ending to a series, it really has a sense of conclusion.
Harry's take on the Milgram experiments is inspiring. And I still end up cheering at the top of my mental lungs for him every time he rails against the injustice of Azkaban.
I hope you end up writing the scene where it gets destroyed. I hope Harry gets to take part. I hope it's glorious.
| sensoray chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
yayyy! i cant wait for the next section of the story! youre doing wonderful!
| Rigal chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
| Kay chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
Great chapter. I like how we're returning to eleven year old Harry. I also like that Prof Q is no longer Harry's mentor, though I'm suddenly struck by the realization that Prof Q might be like Dumbledore's Grindelwald - in which case, Prof Q is Voldemort, in the flesh? I can't wait to read more. I hope I don't forget everything by the time you update again. :)
| 109 chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
I still think it was the logical thing to do. When you think someone is innocent, and an undetected rescue feasible, what other choice can be made? Besides, torture is pointless from a utilitarian perspective regardless of the victim's guilt.
| Eclipse1234 chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
Come back soon!
| SANTARII chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
Okay, I may have accidentally reviewed for chapter 1 instead of chapter 63.
I accidentally have some spoilers there now, and cannot remove it, oh deary...
Oh well, anyhow, I have now logged in and shall post it again, in the right place.
Hello, I've never reviewed this, being afraid that my review would be inadequate, which is silly, I could always do another anyway )
This is my favourite fan fiction, and one of my favourite stories (indistinguishable from the other favourites, and might even possibly go above the others).
I would like to thank you greatly for this story, and, ehm...
No, that's all that's coming to my mind right now. At least the part that types anyway.
I have recommended this story to plenty of people, my father is one, who already thinks it's amazing, without having even read it yet. I told him about the "Don't mess with time!" part, and the general idea of the whole thing.
Also, the sequences are worse than TV tropes man!
And of course, by worse, I mean better.
Thanks for your latest chapter, I was planning on doing something productive myself, but then you ate 1 and a half hours of my time.
I love reading about Harry from other people's perspectives.
I was slightly disappointed with McGonagall [I originally spelt this 'Macgonacgal'] refusing to listen to Snape and Dumbledore figure out what could have been going on, just because I REALLY would like to know what they wrote down and said. Time travel is the most fun thing for me, I look forward to you doing more of it, and I absolutely LOVE the way Dumbledore avoids paradoxes, and the "Don't mess with time!" part might be my favourite part of this story, or at least, the most fun part.
| David Brin chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
Excellent stuff. I enjoy it all and am gradually persuading my own kids to read it. Naturally, I think this is the kind of answer that magical thinking has long needed. Nuanced and even appreciative of what magic offers... but sharp and severe toward what - for 6,000 years - magical thinking allowed people to rationalize.
One quibble. In this entire portion about Azkaban, there is no discussion of an important sub-factor... HOW do you deal with magical criminals?
Normal imprisonment seems unlikely to work. One imagines that even heavy spells from Merlin's time could be gotten around.
What comes to mind - and it is immoral in its own right - would be borrowing muggle surgical techniques and disabling or removing some part of the brain that is essential for the manipulation of magic. One could imagine that rendering a wizard into a MUGGLE might be a logical thing to have been tried, over the centuries, even without scientific surgery.
It has parallels in the way that a citizen of Sparta might be sent down to the Helot slave caste, with no avenue of redemption, for any infraction. (Side note, the comic book and film "300" comprise works of truly titanic evil. Staggeringly and deliberately horrid advertisements for monstrousness.)
In fact, now that I think of it, why do I recall no mention of this option, casting a wizard down to muggledom, in this or Rowling's version? It has many precedents, in life and literature. From Marlowe to the Borribles.
That would be pretty severe punishment and it alone would take care of most of Azkaban's clientele... just do it and let them go. The rest could then be kept on a normal prison isle.
But forget such details. It is the PROBLEM that should have at least been mentioned, in Harry's discussions. Even if only to raise it and dismiss it. Because simply tearing down the prison and sending bad wizards capering about is not much of a solution.
Good stuff! More.
| SpaceMonkey0941 chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
Thanks so much for this chapter. I hope you enjoy your break as much as possible, and please only start writing again when you feel like it!
| kitiem3000 chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
| pjeby chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
Oh, and I forgot to mention...
...Harry and Quirrel are PRETENDERS?
(Still can't believe nobody's *said* that yet...)
| Animekitty47 chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
Ah, the symbolism of not seeing the forest for the trees during that introspection. XD
And we finally, finally got to Milgram's experiment. I've been waiting for that since I started reading this fic. XD
Ah, Harry's fallen into the Western trap. I wonder what he'd say of Buddhism or other Eastern philosophies that there is no true self? Ah, well, probably not an answer I'm going to get in this fic.
*blinks* Another prophecy from Trelawny?
I also read those other works of yours that you linked us to in your author note. I loved the sheep/math/truth/reality one. If there's a moral to Hirou's story reminds of Harry. Gee, I wonder why. :P Loved how you played with all the tropes, of course. XD
| lolelia or backslash symphony chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
felt like reviewing. i realised i used to like this more when it was.. lighter, and the whole lets-rescue-someone-from-azkaban-but-not-sirius part - even if it would make no sense - just kept disturbing me, but i think now that thats over and we're back at hogwarts i feel warmer about this again.
"No, I didn't mean it, please don't die!" suffices to make my eyes water up.
have a nice month, i hate when things i like turn work-like - and i'd love to see harry change the world - when he's older, that is.
| pjeby chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
This chapter very much reminds me of G'kar's speech at the end of Babylon 5's season three finale... i.e.:
"The future is all around us, waiting, in moments of transition, to be born in moments of revelation. No one knows the shape of that future or where it will take us. We know only that it is always born in pain."
(Actually, it's not just the chapter's ending, but the whole chapter that reminds me of the B5 season wrap-up. Nice.)
| wisecurledqueen chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
This is brilliant. I love the sad parts, the parts that made me wonder, and the parts that made me smirk. This, my author, was quite the Aftermath. I hope that whatever you write next will be this awesome. Thank you.
| unnamed2 chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
braindoll wrote: Die 8.5 times: Let me see if I have the math right. There are approximately five thousand (4913.76884) dead non-paranoid Dark Wizard hunters, of which Moody is the survivor?
That's right. It's interesting that Eliezer mentioned proton decay in this chapter, since it's the same math. A Dark Wizard hunter could die at any time, which means they undergo exponential decay just like particles. Lyall presumably calculated that the amount of time needed to become paranoid is 8.5 times the mean lifetime of a Dark Wizard hunter. The probability that something facing exponential decay is still alive after n mean lifetimes is e-n, so only e-8.5 1/4914 Dark Wizard hunters will become paranoid before dying.
| if i'm to be honest chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
I think harry should've figured out quirrel by now.
but congrats on deepeing the moral and emotional content of your story, Harry's thoughts are very interesting to read.
| Violet Shadows chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
Harry Potter is an eldritch horror: Sybill Trelawney is proof.
| Tom Reagan chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
Well, I'm simply blown away. Such an epic end to this sequence.
Some highlights for me:
'And some unbelievably tactless part of him thought, Yay, we completed a quest and got a minion -'
Oh, mere words cannot describe how much this made me laugh. The whole build up of a horribly stark, tragic and serious scene, and then - Bang! This single line alone would have made my day.
'"The true location doesn't look like a graveyard any more," Moody said flatly. "He moved all the other graves here and Memory-Charmed the Muggles. Not even Bellatrix Black would be told anything about that until just before the ritual started. No one knows the true location now except him."'
This too, is awesome, but for a different reason. I'd gone through the whole scene guffawing with general merriment, thinking that poor old Voldy was really screwed, and then after this it suddenly hit me that, of course, they aren't up against Rowling's Voldemort, they're up against a Voldemort who's been leveled up as much - if not more - than Harry and Quirrel. And I shivered.
Also, I take it that Moody's mockery of a Dark Wizard who went to extreme lengths to get someone to touch a certain portkey, and then portus-ed it again to get back, was a reference to Voldemort's ludicrous scheme in GoF? Very subtly done, and very amusing.
I know it was you.'
I think this all but confirms that Lucius thinks that Harry is Voldemort. Sooo awesome.
As was the rest of the chapter, in my eyes. Probably one of my favourites, actually - there're so many priceless moments, incredible ideas, a smattering of both deep philosophy, emotion and comedy, and all rounded up with excellent writing.
On you author's notes; I know exactly what you mean by fanfic turning into work. I find that whenever you start feeling that you're accountable to your readers, and start finding that you're giving guilty excuses when you haven't updated when you said, then a break is definitely in order, and in this case you richly deserve it. 365k words in something like nine months? That's pretty impressive by anyone's standards. And then of course there's the fact that all of it's of such staggering quality... Anyhow, I hope you enjoy your hiatus and that you manage to regain the feeling of writing for fun you had when you first began.
| simon-st chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
Thank you very much for this great story! I'm really looking forward to the next chapters (and I promise I won't check for updates every five minutes).
| Jenny chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
Now the name of this section, The Stanford Prison Experiment, finally makes sense to me. That was a nice way to apply the last chapter of The Lucifer Effect to the story, the part about the human capacity to be a hero, and what it costs. I kind of hope Prof. Zimbardo reads this sometime and enjoys it. Have a good break from writing.
| tmsupreme chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
I must not be properly calibrated because I am consistently surprised by how great this story is!
| stendec661 chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
Wow. In keeping with the author's stated philosophy on reviews, I have to chime in. This is a phenomenal fic. I have to be honest, I only learned about MoR a few weeks ago, and I have already become the person referred to as "obsessively checking every hour." I love this story, and I commend the author for all of his/her hard work. Truly inspirational.
| E.A.V chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
Dear Less Wrong,
Wow...It's safe to say that the aftermaths were perhaps the best part of the whole prison break beside the description of the broom ride. I loved how you jumped to utilize Trelawney, who hadn't been a part of the plot up to that point. Perfect!
Please enjoy your holidays! I hope that you will be able to regain that sense of writing for pleasure that you've mentioned.
Very truly yours,
| me chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
Poor Harry. I don't want to think about what a blow it's going to be to him when he realises how dark Hermione really is. After all, she refuses to inflict minor pain simply because she's ordered to, but is more than willing to cause major pain because she imagines herself to be wronged somehow. I suppose it's a sign of Harry's selfesteem issues that he doesn't consider cruelty against himself to 'count'?
| Lynn chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
The King of Hearts. The *suicidal* king, as in "One-eyed jacks and suicidal kings wild."
Quirrell shouldn't be "clever" like that, not even as a joke. It wouldn't be a sensible choice for anyone else who wanted to give Harry a way to get away from Hogwarts, either. Not that everyone's sensible, but still.
I suppose it makes sense if it's Dumbledore, and if the portkey sends Harry to Dumbledore's office or something if Harry decides he's had enough of Dumbledore's control. Then the choice of card is a subtle warning, not foolish overcleverness.
| Angurvddel chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
I like the chapter, but I think the Milgram experiment, while relevant, doesn't make for a particularly good analogy. When taken as the base standard, and the variation that you mentioned it seems analogous, but given the _many_ variants and the respective swings in participation to the end it becomes less accurate. For example, the 'distance' of the experimenter is also a variable, if the experimenter wasn't in the same room as the teacher compliance decreased to about 21%.
More telling in some ways, a _dissenting_ experimenter disagreeing with the experiment (other voice of authority, so one experimenter going on, and one disagreeing) caused compliance to be reduced to 0% In that context I would wonder why Harry didn't challenge Dumbledore on that front. Even if Dumbledore doesn't go in free everyone himself, why don't he at least offer a dissenting public view? (The answer is likely to be the same one given before, Chaos, etc.).
In other words, I feel that that you're looking at the experiment like a cutoff, as if the difference between the three and the other thirty seven is some kind of switch, where as in reality, it is a difference of magnitude. Practically speaking, to affect a change here, it isn't necessary to change the nature of humans or wizards, but to change the context of their perception.
And there too is an interesting assumption that the experiment makes, and that is is that _without_ the influence of authority, no one would comply with the experiment.
| QuestSeeker chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
It keeps getting better!I can't wait to see what happens next!
| Entropic Specter chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
Oh boy. This last arc was really quite something. Epic you might say, even. Delicious. I was actually to busy digesting the awesome, to review before. Thanks for writing. Really.
And before anyone starts any silly rumors, the fic is not over, Harry's first year is not over (how would that even work?), and it is still the second Sunday of February in story time.
Wait, are you implying it will end with his first year? I'm not sure how to feel about that. Well, guess I'll have to belief in your word craft skills and hope all turns out well.
For now, I wish you a good/successful/appropriate-adjective hiatus. Apart from that, thanks for the great work, keep it up, and... Well... Update soon, please.
| Morbious20 chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
| xsithspawnx chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
Definitely the best fan-fic I have read so far, and one of the better works of fiction I've read as well. I'm sad to hear I'll have to take a break from reading these awesome methods chapters for a while, but if it helps you keep writing this in the long run then have it. Restore your creative juices and come back to this with a vengeance when you are ready. Thanks for writing this amazing fan-fic for all of us to read.
Also, great tie up to an awesome story arc in chapter 63. It gave really good resolution to the arc with just enough anticipation for what's to come next. I also like how the fic has begun moving into the first stages of, if not an endgame, then at least a much broader feel rather than the somewhat focused view it had on Harry (not that this wasn't super fun to read as well) earlier.
| hjcallipygian chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
I have this mental picture of you sitting down, rubbing your hands together and cackling with glee because you get to write Mad-Eye Moody finally. ) Especially as you got to add Iocane Powder.
I can't help but hope that the person who is leaving Harry notes is Peter Pettigrew, who is playing both sides off one another and has somehow decided to give all his loyalty to Harry and is crazy creepy and sneaky and all that. I have yet to see anyone do a capable, interesting Pettigrew, and you seem like the dude to pull it off. Anyway.
Have a nice little vacation! I hope all goes to your liking, if not your plan.
| Arkh Cthuul chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
Very good once again, I wont specify all the things I loved in this chapter, just use your Hiatus well and keep the quality that high!
| Squeamish chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
| William H. Stoddard chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
So, like, this is just a wild idea . . .
You've clearly reached a point of temporarily slack narrative tension and momentum. The motives for new actions are still there, but the forward movement of ongoing actions has slowed.
You've also written a massive amount of prose! I've heard it said that your fic is already as long as the first three Potter books.
To me, this suggests that you've reached a natural point to declare that this point in the "Harry James Potter-Evans-Verres" story marks the end of the first novel, "Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality," and that when you start up again, it will be the opening installment of the second novel. You might even deliberately make that first new chapter a jump-on point for readers who are coming in in midstream; there are well established literary devices for doing this, which you can see in (for example) the later Harry Potter novels. You would then give your readers a sense that the story thus far is a single entity that can be perceived as a unit, and that defines a single movement in HJPEV's life to a single crisis.
Of course, you'd have to have titles for the forthcoming novels. "Harry Potter and the Consent of the Governed"? "Harry Potter and the Harmony of Rightly Understood Interests"? (Really, you know, the only answer to QQ's challenge to utilitarianism.) "Harry Potter and Cause and Effect"?
| threecankeepasecret chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
Wow... You just write circles in circles until I don't even know what's what anymore. Or who's who. I am in a state of total confusion... but I don't really mind. I can't wait for you to get started on the next part!
| Rufus Shinra SFFS chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
I'm in awe before Snape's cunning. And cruelty. Come on, thinking about shipping Voldemort and Verdandi. No, that's... Noone ever dared thinking about that... I just don't know who would be the victim, there. I don't know if I so much want the ritual to take place or if there isn't enough bleach on Earth and beyond to clean my brain from the effects of such a chapter.
Where. Do. You. Find. Such. Ideas?
The story in itself is, well, the best HP fic I've ever read, the best fic I've evere read and is in my Top 5 of the best books I've ever read, period.
Awesome, more awesome, and then crazy awesome with a cherry on top.
| Tall Tails - Feline Jaye chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
Oh no - another plot is about to unfold. (Gah, feel free to give us a light, breather chapter.)
Lovely aftermaths (Daphne & Tracy's was extra funny).
Have a nice month off!
| Drex Olympus chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
Insane. I join the hordes eagerly awaiting your return from hiatus.
| Pathatlon chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
Curious, very much so! I love this
| Rohan Bernett chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
Curious. What could Trelawney have seen? Is it foreshadowing of future events in the story, or is it a red herring? Oh well, I'm sure we'll find out which it is in time.
| Cassandra chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
You are certainly one of the best writers I have ever had the pleasure of reading.
| braindoll chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
It's too bad you can't review parts of this manypart chapter separately. I'm going to do so anyway as braindoll2, etc. This is one of the lighter reviews, so I'm doing it first.
On the Mad-Eye section:
Eye of Vance: Nice to have a character with his own theme music. Of course, he himself would scoff at cocky Rocky; but, aside from the cockiness, they are similar.
Die 8.5 times: Let me see if I have the math right. There are approximately five thousand (4913.76884) dead non-paranoid Dark Wizard hunters, of which Moody is the survivor?
| kewangji chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
Hm, depressed Harry is just like depressed me. I wonder if this means I'm a genius child.
I need to reread this whole fic a few times to catch all the things I missed the first time 'round.
| k1000a92 chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
I've been following the story for a month now, having originally stumbled upon it on TvTropes' Fanfic Recommendation page. It is just now that I have mustered the resolution to write a review, a signed review, despite my usual lurker leave-no-traces-behind approach to all things internety.
This story deserves it.
I have loved every single moment of it: the humor, the affectionate jabs at the original story, the complex characterization, the way it challenges your view of the world, the shout-outs (Death Note, WarHammer, Lovecraft and Army of Darkness were my favorites), et omnia.
But this last chapter has given me something more, something even more astounding than one of the most awesome displays of literature I have ever read.
I've known for some years of the Milgram experiment.
And every time I thought back on it, ever since hearing about it for the first time, I couldn't help but feel bad about myself. Bad that I knew, deep inside, that if someone who looked like he knew what he was doing told me to switch to harmful amounts of electricity, I'd be scared, I'd be insecure, I'd be reluctant, but I'd give in and do it. Because I knew that I was one of 37 out of 40. And I thought, despite my best efforts not to, that 37 out of 40 meant that there was something wrong about humanity as a whole, and about me in particular. And all I could do for a long time was forget and pretend that didn't bother all that much.
But you have made me realize that it's wrong to pretend it's not there, to try and forget when you can't explain it.
And you made me realize that there are always 3 out of 40 that don't pull the switch, no matter what. That those 3 out of 40 are human too, and probably were a bit insecure and kinda scared, and they didn't and wouldn't pull the switch.
That the fact that they were human too meant that everyone has the potential to be like them, because every mind can understand if they put some effort to it and every heart can love if they try.
And I have to say thank you.
Thank you very very very much, because I know what I want to do.
I want to be 3 out of 40.
| gg2 chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
what a somber way to go on Hiatus!
One can't get rid of dementors that easily, fire and ice are seen as destroyers of life but theres one thing they can't touch. (bet you know what that is)
The mortal shell that binds us all, also blinds us to the truth,
Monkey see Monkey do
religion without science is blind
science without religion is lame
add religion to your story and see how it goes compare magic, science and religion three of the biggest forces that effect human exsistence
Goodluck and can't wait to read your next chapter
| Gogolu chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
| wmadavis chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
I don't review stories often, but now that this first arc is finished I'll drop a note to say I've really enjoyed this story. I look forward to seeing if the ff system explodes when the reviews number 10,000. Cheers and thank you.
| Scripsi chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
"Gypsy" is a racial slur. The correct term is Roma.
| badkidoh chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
Yet another great chapter, I'm looking for to your next update in a month.
Unicorn attack, very amusing.
| Skylar626 chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
The contemplative scene with Harry thinking over his choice to go to Azkaban, his hindsight rationality which we all experience, the milgram experiments, his dedication to the 7.5% outlook, that scene is the reason I really enjoy your writing Eliezer. I think you are good with action scenes, better than you think you are, but passionate inner monologues are my favorite and they seem like the purpose of all the action. But I am a Foundation/Vorkosigan/Thirty Xanatos Pileup kinda guy, so you had me at Professor Quirrell. The discussion about Harry's imagination super power makes me introspective about the mere human super power of empathy. I know we all think we are shining snowflakes of individuality and I have my hyperbolic discounting of my own uniqueness in this regard turned up to eleven, but gosh... that spoke to me. Personal Anecdote Time!
Thanks for writing the sequences. I found you and Robin about three years ago. You could say I got in on the ground level. "I liked Yudkowsky before HPMOR, before he got trendy and sold out with the book." Whatever. I remember rereading Configurations and Amplitudes 4 times with a physics textbook at my side to make sure I was really getting it and not just believing I was getting it. The sequences helped me feel morally right about my earlier decision to kick the religion habit that I had up until 4 years ago when I was 21 and Mormon. It gave me morality back. It gave me free will back. By which I mean that I didn't have to shy away from reality because I feared its implications any longer. It gave me a vocabulary to use with friends as I brought them over the inferential gap (see?). It helped me decide that I needed to do something with myself in this life even if I was perfectly happy being a broke nobody. I got into a community college and got some tech certifications, enough to make a decent wage, then I got into a real university and now I am going to get a bachelor's in economics in a few more years. The idea is to go into public policy and see if I can't pull the tug of war rope into an interesting direction. And that is all mostly you and Robin's fault. The point, that I have arrived at tangentially, is that those of us that have the mere power of human empathy can imagine ourselves as we are and a nobler alternative. We really really profit from having someone like you around to provide a framework for that construct. Thank you for being my scaffolding Eliezer. Enjoy your December. Come back refreshed, we can wait. I mean it's good and all but we aren't going to die of lack of harry potter fanfic, even if its pretty satisfying. We whine but its because we are dramatic like your very fanfic. You really should have left a homework assignment for us though...
One thing I would mention is that I was really attracted to the idea of a Harry/Hermione/Draco super team but the two lesser members have seemed ineffectual, especially Draco. To me, Draco is the most interesting of the three in some ways because while Harry comes across all Ender Wiggins, Draco is in the position most readers are in, when he isn't busy being shocked at Harry's crazy thing of the week. I saw what you did there with Draco and the sun going out and I like it. You gave a nod to respecting Hermione's and Draco's respective powers in this chapter that I would love for you to return to it and soon.
| Sarshi chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
Nope. Not fourth for 'rationality', but third. For me, anyways :D
If I may say this... whoa.
(btw, how do you know which are the most reviewed fanfics on ? as far as i know, you can't sort by that)
Don't worry about the updates. There's a lot of amazingly good writers out there who update at random times and sometimes it takes them months (except one fanfic, "The Problem with Purity", which was written in advance and updated every Thursday for about a year. I'll always remember that. Well. I'll also remember it as 'the fic which had all sorts of premises to be a Mary Sue story, but *wasn't*')
So. 'Freedom', Quirrell calls it.
I don't know what to think about that. I consider it freedom, too, on some point. People keep telling me, 'you need to try hard to change, you need to fight very hard to change' - and I'm not sure if I can agree to that. It's not that hard. You set a 'destination' personality and convince yourself it's better to be there and therefore get there. I suppose most people have natural barriers against doing that, because there's always the risk of becoming really messed up. (hey, look at me, I'm cheerful and depressive. At the same time) But the question is, what is the best to become? What is it most 'real' to become? It keeps bugging me. The concept of reality.
*sigh* Rationality seems like a good way to go about it. I feel... what's the correspondent to 'paranoid' in this direction? I've been messed up pretty badly in the past because of a logical error, not doing the same now, thanks.
Maybe I agree with Harry. There has to be something genuine in the middle. Maybe not a *personality* per se, but something. I recognize myself in all variants of me. Even when I, say, dream myself male and completely different than I am now. Still me.
Pondering on this. I'm not sure how much sense I'm making. I'm sick and have a stupid fever, which kept me up last night in between reality and dream, to convince me that I was a minor noble in Moscow at the time Napoleon invaded it, while Tolstoy was telling me how the important people in history are actually consequences of events, not the events consequences of their existence. I hate "War and Peace" right now. Badly.
But I like your story. It keeps making me think.
| Therealcrocus chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
"a typical Dark Wizard hunter would die, on average, eight and a half times along the way to becoming 'paranoid'. This explained a great deal, assuming Lyall wasn't lying"
It took me a second but i see what you did there. I LAWL'd hard!
Anyways, I appreciate everything you have written thus far.
I think it's time for Harry to start "network building" as he distances himself from Quirrell (while still trying to learn his sweet majiks) and pursuing his own goals of destroying Azkaban. He could use Draco and LL to affect the anti-racism campaign, on his political front.
Long periods of study (alone and/or with hermione) to learn NEW magic and work on his get rich quick scheme to fund his revolution.
Not to say it wasn't good and well placed writing... but Harry's EMO period needs to end. You can only reflect so much before you decide to take action. And then reflect so much about THAT decision before homeboy has to actually DO SOMETHING.
I suppose you will show us next Harry's resolve to take start making move towards his goals.
Thanks again. I love you. Be safe.
| KsandraMallan chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
Iocane powder XD I just watched that film yesterday. Love it. And Harry needs a hug.
Enjoy your break, and have a great Christmas. I look forward to seeing more updates when you're back.
| Kutta chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
I tend to especially like the introspective, pondering parts in your writing so I enjoyed this chapter greatly. Something like a closure was sorely needed now, too, after that much convolution built up in TSPE.
| yamiishot chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
Ooh, whats Trewlany got in store for us now? A new prophecy? Should be good!
| Overlooked Supporting Cast chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
I only wish to convey my thanks for what you've done so far, and my hopes that your hiatus proves fruitful. Take your time, and rest assured that your loyal readers will not torture themselves -too- much in your absence. The very worst that could happen is someone actually writing your proposed Belldandy/Quirrelmort romantic comedy. Well, no, I take that back, the very worst that could happen is explicit slash presenting a whole new take on "the flesh of Bellatrix Black, willingly given."
On the other hand, maybe you should hurry. I'm not certain anymore. Either way, thanks again.
| Yael chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
Let's see if I can count the references in this chapter:
Verdandi seems like an obvious allusion to Ah! My Goddess, although a more entertaining version of the character in question.
Iocane Powder is of course an allusion to The Princess Bride.
The Bahl's Stupefaction seems like an allusion to Stargate SG-1, and is my favorite of all of them.
Very nice chapter, by the way.
| Sorrowful Stone chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
I really liked that sunset scene.
And of course, Harry gaining a minion. :P
| Me chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
The whole thing about LSD and the gravestones. YOU WIN.
You write some of the most beautifully I have ever seen. The emotions. Harry's emotions. YOU WIN. Some of the other reviews I've seen are complaining that Harry is a self-insert of the author. I don't know if he is or not. But I think the way you write him is wonderful, and PLEASE KEEP WRITING HIM LIKE THIS HE'S SO AWESOME AND! IT! HAS! REAL! EMOTION! BEHIND! IT! LIKE THIS AND I LOVE YOUR WRITING SO DON'T STOP THE WAY YOU WRITE IS GREAT-
Have a good vacation! I'll keep an eye on the story occasionally and watch for updates.
| roshnir chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
I stopped reading after the first aftermath to tell you that was a breathtakingly beautiful scene. Oh Hermione, you are so much better than most of us who could do nothing but hang their heads in shame when Fawkes asks us that.
Thank you for making me think of this.
| Pentecost chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
Completed a Quest and gained a Minion? He also altered in his own mind the overarching plot of his life, and since this is a story, what he decided will inevitably come to be. Or at least we will have some eventual satisfaction, either with him renouncing leadership and leaving the world to Democracy, or, with you proving that a Dictatorship can be moral. I'm rooting for the latter. Good chapter.
| firedraygon chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
This is a beautiful chapter. I loved the scene with Harry and the setting sun, and the one with Lucius' letter is awesome. I hope you enjoy your little break from this fic, and I'm looking forward to new updates in a month to come!
| BlindGardener chapter 63 . 11/29/2010
I think I get it. Sirius Black never went to Azkaban. Or Sirius Black is guilty and Peter Petigrew is Santa claus.
That having been said, this chapter made ME think about the milgram experement. I was ALWAYS fairly certain I was in the group who would go the whole way, but in thinking about my own interactions in similar situations... long story short, I tend to disobey when pressured. Even though my mental image of myself folds like a wet sponge.
This honestly bothers me...
Also, this chapter could use a little bit of rewriting. I'm not sure exactly what needs rewriting but it's less good then the preceeding chapter. The wordings were... more awkward, less direct. And chapter 62 was slightly less good then 61. Honestly it 'feels' like it was written while muddled with lack of sleep and barely edited. You should have waited a day or two to refine it.
61 was great though.
| Jack Diamonds chapter 63 . 11/28/2010
A high point in the story, great like so many here. Glad the author is taking a well deserved rest. I wouldn't want him to burn out before this is done!
| CrystalC chapter 63 . 11/28/2010
"In another 150 reviews this will be the fourth most reviewed HP fic on , and (at least when I try it) the fourth Google result on "rationality"."
Since you've posted that, so many people have googled it that it's coming up as 2nd on my search list.
| ilikebluepineapples chapter 63 . 11/28/2010
Great chapter. Every other word seems like it could be a hint, so I shall have something to do if I get HPMOR withdrawal in the next month (well actually, I /should/ just be doing my college apps, but...)
Too much awesome to comment on all of it specifically, but I loved the Moody scene, the bits of humor you wove in there and the chilling last line, and I like that the chapter begins with Hermione questioning herself and maybe starting her own Trial.
And ugh, I really want someone to see that Quirrel is Quirrelmort, and I /know/ that it only seems obvious to me because I've read HP canon, but... well, dramatic irony has never been my thing.
Thank you, I can't wait for the next chapter, and will maybe even buy your rationality book when it comes out.
| Speechwriter chapter 63 . 11/28/2010
I'm going to hunker down and hibernate during your hiatus. I'll ask someone to awaken me when the new chapter has come up.
Actually, that idea is incredibly appealing! Hmm...
Excellent chapter, by the way. Gah. I was feeling all emotional during the Lestrange scene - and then this:
"And some unbelievably tactless part of him thought, Yay, we completed a quest and got a minion -
Shut up. If you ever want to vote on anything ever again... shut up."
Thank you for being hysterical.
Happy hiatus! And happy ex-Thanksgiving.
| rwallace chapter 63 . 11/28/2010
Excellent as usual (though, while I agree with Harry that gratuitous torture is bad, he's running out of excuses for seeing nothing wrong with the idea of _freeing_ the inmates of Azkaban).
Technical correction, though, in case any reader ever puts it into practice: if you look directly at the sun, it's not just the ultraviolet and visible components that are hazardous, but also the near infrared.
| VA23 chapter 63 . 11/28/2010
"Get in line, you lot, I got an owl from Mum this morning, she says to tell everyone she's called dibs"
...SINGLE best line I've read in this story. If it wasn't so late at night I would be roaring with laughter at the time of this writing.