Reviews for Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality
Majerus chapter 76 . 7/15
You utter bastage LOL!
moodysavage chapter 76 . 7/8
Sadprecious were good words for Snape's kiss.
apairofraggedclaws chapter 76 . 6/3
Wow, I love this chapter. Very dramatic (literally...this whole chapter could be easily adapted to the stage, and it ends with true dramatic irony) but well played. Brilliantly framed with the Obliviate looming over the whole scene, steadily building pressure, then closing over it and reopening like a breaking wave at the end. There’s a touch of Iago’s madness in Snape’s obsessive puzzling, but instead of exploding outward like Iago’s violent desire, Snape’s is underlaid with an honest and quiet longing that turns steadily inward on itself, even as he shares it intimately with someone who will soon remember nothing. In that note of honest longing, your Snape has a poignant quality of strange not-quite-innocence (a quality also present in his confusion during the interlude in Dumbledore’s office after the Azkaban escapade) that is suddenly augmented by the half-question after the kiss. The whole scene is symphonic. Thank you!
zeeweirdeye chapter 76 . 1/28
Is Snape referring to himself and Lily Potter in the hypothetical situation?

Love the interaction between the two characters, the character development, how the ending of the chapter tied the whole chapter together, and the little twist/revelation at the end, which you seem so good at making. I think your work can be a primer on story writing.
AlenDarkStar chapter 76 . 11/10/2018
Good chapter.
Guest chapter 76 . 12/10/2017
How old is Rianne? AND DID THEY REALLY KISS OR IS THIS JUST HER IMAGINATION? Also:why would Snape do that.
Zethil1276 chapter 76 . 6/22/2017
oh my god... Snape's first kiss?! I'm freaking out at midnight... I am more invested in these versions of the cast than the OG! keep doing what you are doing!
reader chapter 76 . 4/15/2017
omg ily
ack1308 chapter 76 . 4/12/2017
Poor Snape
Guest chapter 76 . 1/30/2017
wtf just happened?
The Happy Cupcake chapter 76 . 1/9/2017
I may or may have not figured something out. Is it possible... That Snape is Hermoine's 'Mysterious old wizard' but she just doesn't know about it? Well, if this is wrong and nonsensical I could blame it on the hour and my lack of sleep. Very well developed, thought out and intricate story by the way, though you've probably heard that about thirty thousand times by now.
Jatok chapter 76 . 11/18/2016
Oooh, the angst is real
The Anguished One chapter 76 . 8/23/2016
So Snape used her as an informant, as at the end as someone to monologue his grievances over his admittedly unlucky life. Good look at his character.
Happy chapter 76 . 6/6/2016
Hahaha! Snape's first kiss - love it!
Montara chapter 76 . 1/25/2016
I'm so glad Severus is good and only follows Dumbledore's will...and he wanted for Hermione to turn a true heroine...

I'm sad that he had to obliviate her, I mean, they seemed to match. Maybe after graduation?!
Pom Rania chapter 76 . 12/25/2015
Pfffft "betrothal contract" pfffGHAHAHAHAHAHAHA that is AWESOME and I love it.

I always love this type of chapter, conversations where one person will either forget it or die; it has a sort of beauty to it, like the skeleton of a burned-down house or a dead tree with all its bark fallen off but still upright.
WatchingTheWatchman chapter 76 . 12/9/2015
I love the insight into Snape's character here
ShadowLDrago chapter 76 . 10/29/2015
Hm...
DesperateReader chapter 76 . 6/11/2015
Snape was awesome in this chapter! I hope there's more interaction between Snape and Harry in future chapters!
PA chapter 76 . 5/24/2015
... holy crap. x.x
Village-Mystic chapter 76 . 4/6/2015
Strong reveals, good follow through.
Shay McSudonim chapter 76 . 1/15/2015
Now, I've read Methods of Rationality three or four times by now, but the truth of the matter is that I almost didn't start reading it in the first place.

See, I don't care that much about spoilers, so, whenever I find a new fic, I'll usually take a look at the most recent chapter posted and, if it's too weird or too boring, then I won't even bother.

Now, I kept reading anyway, and I'm glad that I did. But can you really blame me for thinking that this fic was a going to end in a trainwreck? After all, when I found Methods of Rationality, the latest chapter was Chapter 76...
M chapter 76 . 10/24/2014
Another chapter full of subtleties that I really enjoy. Snape is an excellently written character.
thepkrmgc chapter 76 . 8/3/2014
snape is certainly not a happy man, and despite that he's still to lazy to let go of the past and DO something different for a change, aparently none of the mind's he's read have known the definition of insanity
AlterID chapter 76 . 6/11/2014
SWEET JESUS WHAT
Mercy Of Baal chapter 76 . 6/5/2014
I'm going to have a Tracy moment and say I deserved that first kiss before Rianne. Grrrrrr. How dare she!
Guest chapter 76 . 6/2/2014
Hm, sad.
julian.sloman chapter 76 . 2/7/2014
This chapter is polarizing. People that like that sort of thing love it. People who don't hate it. - It's in-congruent with the Snape I imagine. He's not some lonely young man. He's quite old. He had no romantic interest in that child(!). If he was willing to kiss just anyone he probably did have less meaningful relationships with other women to distract himself from Lilly when he was still a young man himself. I don't see how either a. this could be his first kiss or b. if it was, why he'd have it with that girl. She didn't stand to gain anything from it. He (as I imagine him) didn't want it. He would remember it. Why bother?

I shall go back and review the chapters I really loved later on. It seems only when I find something I dislike I bother speaking up, which is unfair. I loved the askaban mission and the depth of Harry's journey in there. I would have liked the heroines silliness if it hadn't come right after something mindblowing as the askaban thing. (No wonder Quirrel was bored until there was young death eaters trying to get at 11-12 year olds). - I disliked how little description was given to the resolutions of the battles, but I hope that more on that will come in chapters to come? Anyways, back to reading. Thanks for writing this.

And since D&D references keep being a thing I guess I'll have to get over it, since I like this novel otherwise. Still Potter referring to Hermoine as PC/NPC was too close to Milo-speech. And when Milo did that everyone was confused and it was addressed in-world. Here I have to strain my brain imagining both HP (who already has way too many interests) and Hermoine both having enough of an understanding but also *appreciation* of RPG's to use that kind of language *in (their) real world*. That's like someone saying "lol" in a conversation instead of laughing. Only very certain kinds of people will talk about significant others in their life as an NPC. In fact it's actually quite insulting, as we're all the protagonists of our own adventures. Not all PC's are heroes, and some NPCs are - they're just not controlled by the players, and all their stories happen off-screen.
Talonis Wolf chapter 76 . 1/28/2014
Well, you were aiming towards romance with that tidbit /wayyyy/ back...

Knowing the answer to that, in a true twist of evilly planned plot, only leaves me with more questions. A lot more.

...

You are eviler and more conniving than all the charecters in your book combined. In the best way that can be taken, of course.
CMVreud chapter 76 . 1/6/2014
This chapter alone would have been an excellent story.
GlitterTrails chapter 76 . 9/7/2013
: ( Aww, sad. Poor confused kid. That was a little gross given the age difference, but it was still sad how she lost a memory that was important to her.
addikhabbo chapter 76 . 8/27/2013
Oh dawg gone it!
Guest chapter 76 . 8/8/2013
"Pathetic" doesn't even begin to describe this chapter.
Guest chapter 76 . 8/3/2013
Excellent. One of my favorite chapters in the whole story.
Redbookbluebook chapter 76 . 8/1/2013
Well, this chapter just about broke my heart. (Ignoring the fact that kissing a student is kind of illegal...) Poor Snape.
Be3 chapter 76 . 7/14/2013
I wonder how Obliviation actually works. Does it destroy not only the memory, but also personality changes which occurred because of the event? However small or large? Would they be then re-attributed to another event remembered by the person?..
Pancoon chapter 76 . 7/12/2013
WAAAAAAAAAAATTTTT?The end of this chapter is so good . (excluding the fact I was a snape fangirl at one point)
L.E chapter 76 . 6/16/2013
Wow! Crazy chapter!
na chapter 76 . 5/17/2013
Who's the person in the top left corner of your story's pic?
illuminios chapter 76 . 1/7/2013
That was... strange.
WildCard-Yes Man chapter 76 . 1/2/2013
Creeeeeppppppyyyyyyyy :(
Diablo Snowblind chapter 76 . 12/10/2012
This chapter perfectly shows how sad and depressing Snape's story is. This episode with Rianna Felthorne...a passing, pleasant fiction, could have easily been a masterful stand-alone oneshot. Your description of Snape's character, which defies easy one-liners, is fantastic.
LunaSakne chapter 76 . 10/18/2012
That right here. Is a masterpiece. In multiple ways. (And I'm not just saying that because there's Snape in it.)
MondSemmel chapter 76 . 9/15/2012
I approve of how deep and fleshed-out and sad a character Professor Snape turned out to be in this fanfic.
"Courage? There is no bravery in risking a life already ruined." - That's sad. Really sad.
Rianne Felthorne is such a sad character, too, and sort of Professor Snape's younger mirror image, or clone, or similar.

A brilliant chapter.
hedelex chapter 76 . 8/27/2012
Snape's first... wow. That was sad. Damn, I love this fanfiction. I am sorry for not posting a review for every chapter but I truly don't feel like I have something relevant to say every time... on a second thought, I think THANK YOU might be relevant enough, at least for me :-)
voodooqueen126 chapter 76 . 8/2/2012
One almost feels sorry for Snape...
Prettyrad chapter 76 . 7/26/2012
Okay... ... Stuff, stuffy stuff...
Guest chapter 76 . 7/9/2012
Miss Felthorne is a bit of a hypocrite.
YlvaThorgalsdottir chapter 76 . 7/5/2012
S: How would a grown man mark a baby as his equal?

R: I don't know, how would you do it?

S: ...

R: Out of the two of us, you are the only one who is a grown man. How would you go about marking *anyone* as your equal?

Obviously you would test them, but you wouldn't mean it as a test. It would have to be dead serious, and if you succeeded they wouldn't survive, but if they survived they would probably bear some mark to prove that you tried to kill them. And I don't know about vanquish, but if, say, you turn out to not have the power to vanquish me - hypothetically, of course - then would that mean *I* had the power to vanquish *you*?
Rationally Procrastinative chapter 76 . 3/27/2012
I would like to throw out an alternate explanation of Snape’s behavior. I fully recognize there are inconsistencies in my idea and it is certainly not my only idea of why Snape manipulated Hermione, but I do not think anyone has quite expressed things this way:

Snape was being Hermione’s mentor.

Not in Dumbledore’s “teacher and … friend” sense [Ch 20], but in the sense that he was the one who gave her her first true call to adventure and turned her into a heroine. The call to adventure was her bully fighting from the Self Actualization arc. From Ch 76 it is finally quite obvious that Snape was behind Hermione’s continued success. As for turning her into a heroine, Harry himself said that the last barrier to Hermione’s becoming a real heroine was her adherence to and trust in the established system [Ch 75]. Again, Snape was clearly the one who broke that restraint. This has some significant parallels with Harry’s first adventure and disillusionment.

Snape had to hide his manipulations from Dumbledore because Dumbledore thought Hermione was well on her way to being a hero already and because Dumbledore simply couldn’t be vicious enough to break Hermione’s faith in the system. Snape managed to bring events to a head so that the entire faculty had to allow Snape’s punishment, which destroyed Hermione’s belief in the established order. This hypothesis also explains why Snape intimidated the most powerful remaining bullies into doing nothing more [Ch 75].

The major problem with this theory is that the final fight with the bullies could have gone the other way, i.e. SPHEW loosing. However, note that Snape was there and Dumbledore, at least, thought Snape potentially strong enough to perform equivalent actions – in the aftermath, Dumbledore said “Only three wizards within Hogwarts might be powerful enough. … Severus has assured me he was not involved.” [Ch 74, and note that Snape lied] Also note that if SPHEW had lost, Snape could possibly have blocked the bully’s punishment, which would have been another way to show that the system is corrupt.
The Disappearing Me chapter 76 . 3/20/2012
I just reread this chapter for like the fourth time. It's really, really well done! This chapter with Snape and Rianne could actually be its own story - I could imagine stumbling across it as a one shot that stand alone. Bittersweet and quite beautiful. Anyways, great job! :)
JoeB chapter 76 . 3/11/2012
This was _absolutely_ worth the wait, and anyone who bashed EY for taking too long should be stripped of his or her Internets license. HPMOR eclipses other fanfics in roughly the same way that lesser stars are blotted out by the Sun.

If there is a bildungsroman for the twenty-first century, this will be it.
RationalGirl chapter 76 . 3/5/2012
Gah! Who IS Mr. Hat and Cloak? It must be Quirrell, but maybe not? Who? Will Hermione realize she's been memory charmed and tricked? You did leave us on a cliff-hanger there after Ch. 76. I can't wait to read the next sequence! And hopefully get some answers to these riddles.
GBTtown chapter 76 . 2/28/2012
Well, it is an unfinished icon of fanfic literature. Supremely enjoyable.
Antonio Dolcetta chapter 76 . 2/26/2012
Chapter 76:

It took that long for Harry to realize what he was seeing, and then his throat suddenly choked; it was like the rage inside him had been hit a hammerblow, maybe the hardest hammerblow of his entire existence.

looks like this should be:

It took that long for Harry to realize what he was seeing, and then his throat suddenly choked; it was like the rage inside him had been hit BY a hammerblow, maybe the hardest hammerblow of his entire existence.

I've read this fic three times already, it's awesome.

Keep up the good work!
Lendary chapter 76 . 2/17/2012
It would be nice if you could give us some general information on your planned release date, whether it's going to take another week, or two weeks or a month, or longer. This isn't supposed too be presure, it would just be nice too know whether I should continue checking for an update 3 times a day.
Nathan R chapter 76 . 2/12/2012
I'm really looking forward to the next block of chapters! I've read all 77 twice, and it's really helped my own thought patterns. One question: why do rationalist Quirrell and Harry both seem to accept that the killing curse is unblockable? It would be ridiculous to imagine a killing curse passing through the planet and coming out the other side, or even passing through a stout wall. Why not carry around a wall transfigured into something small like Harry's rock and set to change back in the presence of a killing curse?
Anonymous chapter 76 . 2/11/2012
Absolutely amazing fic! Definitely the best fanfic I've read and one of the best works of fiction in terms of cleverness and plotting that I've read. Things do get somewhat cheesy at times (for instance when Fawkes becomes Harry's pet and asks him to do something about the appalling conditions Azkaban prisoners are kept in) or when Harry first produces his special Patronus but that is made up for by the other aspects of the fic.
TheallknowingandUnseen chapter 76 . 2/3/2012
Just wanted to stop by and say how much I love this Fic. I'm embarrassed to say how much time I've spent reading, and rereading it, needless to say this is awesome work! Also, I feel that reading this has helped me pull myself out of my writers rut. So, thanks for that.

Thank you so much for writing this, it's a real pleasure to read!
Tess of the Other chapter 76 . 1/25/2012
The other day, I was explaining to a friend why the characterizations of Quirrel and Malfoy in HPMoR are so much more interesting than their cannon selves, and how I had now read HPMoR so many times that I had to remind myself that certain events didn't occur in cannon when I read the originals. My friend, knowing what a huge Harry Potter fan I am, asked me, "is it possible that you like HPMoR better than the originals now?" I was taken aback for a moment, and then realized that the answer was unequivocally "yes."

HPMoR is my cannon.

I'm enjoying the application of rationality to a magical world so much. Thank you for giving us the occasional author update so we know you're still out there working on it.
JustSomeGuy chapter 76 . 1/24/2012
Aa, I think the liquid is the memory stuff that you put in a pensieve (spelling?).
Aa chapter 76 . 1/23/2012
"There was a cylinder of silvery liquid beside the photograph, but no object; no melted ring or broken wand."

Hmm...what's that? Doesn't sound like a Muggle-ish liquid (unless it was mercury).

"Although honesty compels me to say that dear Winston was never one for pangs of conscience, even after a dozen shots of Firewhiskey."

So Dumbledore worked with Churchill personally? And since presumably you haven't made Churchill a secret wizard, it just means he was let into the secret of the wizarding world in confidence as a leader. And got drunk on Firewhiskey with Dumbledore at at least one point.

PS. Yikes, don't delay bedtimes to write! I say this as a recommendation from one who has struggled quite a bit with sleep. Take your time, we shall wait patiently :)
braindoll chapter 76 . 1/22/2012
"At the top of the staircase, now that she was away from Slytherin places and back into the main parts of Hogwarts, Hermione stopped and took off Harry's invisibility cloak."

I'm pretty sure that the above is retconned. (I'm not keeping track, not because I couldn't or because I didn't think of it, but because I think that would be cheating.)

Anyway, retconned or not, I think that it means that replay!Hat-and-Cloak is not necessarily female. I still think that they are not awesome enough to be Quirrel, so I guess that it's Pettigrew or someone like that, someone who isn't a major character yet, because I have various reasons to discount the main characters so far.
J.Crewcio chapter 76 . 1/22/2012
MK,

That part stood out to me as well, and I initially entertained the possibility that it had something to do with time travel. However, there is also the likely explanation that in this context, Hat and Cloak meant "time" more in the sense of "iteration" rather than "temporal flow." (For example, in the sense of "this _time_ when I ask out a hot girl, it'll be different.")

Which would make sense in the context of the dictionary attack he's carrying out on Hermione-many repetitions of the same conversation.

What I can't figure out is whether it's significant that Hat and Cloak's just happened to catch right when Hermione threw one of _Harry's_ sayings at him.
MK chapter 76 . 1/22/2012
"Double wrong!" she said back in a rising voice, even though there were chills going down her spine. One of Harry's phrases came to her. "Just what do you think you know, and how do you think you know it, anyway?"

"Time -" The voice seemed to catch itself. "Time enough for that later.

Okay, I didn't catch that one before. So now the question is, really time travel? or is this a misdirect? I find that I would be a little disappointed to catch timetravel breaking the rules you've set on it, it seems a bit unfair. On the other hand, I can't rule out the possibility that it operates by some deeper rule than the characters have observed... this universe certainly does seem to be connected to Rowling's in some way, vis a vis the Weasley Rat Story.

Damn it, I hate not having all the pieces I need to solve a mystery. Keep up the good work!
Avesza chapter 76 . 1/21/2012
Thanks for the status update!

I've said once or twice before (in the various names I've invented over time to post comments), but I want to say again, this story has been consistently beyond incredible and I would much rather you spend as much time as awesomeness requires (as Harry said to F&G about the 40G budget) than see a chapter soon. I'm sure I'm not alone in this! (The "why are you withholding updates" people are largely the sort of internet commentators that are always more vocal).

So I wanted to say thank you so much for all the work you've put into this. It's one of the best things I've ever read and I really appreciate the countless hours you must have put into planning and writing it.

On another note, I've started to read the Sequences and look forward to buying your book on rationality whenever you publish it.

And on even another note, back to the chapter I'm supposed to reviewing here, the short scene with Quirrell and Snape is very creepy, it's great. I almost expected you to start referring to him as Lord Voldemort in the text. "You might find you have more allies than you thought"...what is he telling Severus and what are his goals? I can't imagine blood purity is something this Voldemort truly cares about, he's too smart and too rational not to notice that muggleborns aren't different than purebloods and are not responsible for fading wizardry (Merlin's Interdict is what should be causing that, no?), if anything I would guess it was just a cover issue to easily gather all of Dumbledore's political enemies, who do care about blood puristy, as allies (since Dumbledore is clearly his enemy, for whatever reasons).
Mr. Hat and Cloak chapter 76 . 1/19/2012
Well, this is worrying. It appears that Quirrell has finally twigged to what he needs to do to manipulate Hermione - thanks to her telling him.

And if Quirrell can control Hermione, then the battle for Harry's soul is all down to Fawkes, and Fawkes is no match for Quirrell.

But I don't think that's what's going on at all.

We're obviously supposed to think that Hermione is talking to Quirrell.

It IS pretty clear that the FIRST Mr. Hat and Cloak was Quirrell.

Quirrell wasn't playing Xanatos Roulette when he got Blaise to implicate Dumbledore in front of Harry. He knew what Blaise was going to say because he set it up himself.

But there is little reason to believe that THIS Mr. Hat and Cloak is THAT Mr. Hat and Cloak.

It's not like this is the world's most distinctive disguise we're dealing with. It's a hat and a cloak.

Quirrell might even have come up with the disguise in conscious imitation of a disguise that he knew someone else had used years earlier, in order to sow confusion if Dumbledore happened to be watching, or got a report from a portrait.

So who approached Hermione?

Why, Severus Snape, of course. And his offer of help is genuine.

Hat-and-Cloak-No-2's game of pretending to know either everything or nothing, depending on what level you're playing at, is the same gambit that Snape tried on Quirrell.

And Severus Snape has no problem with casting lots and lots of memory charms...and he has an interest in aiding SPHEW against the bullies, admittedly for somewhat immature reasons.

So, should we be worried? Well, Severus Snape's track record for making good plans independent of Dumbledore is kind of dismal. And his record for good thinking circa 1980 is worse.

On the other hand, Harry, Hermione, and Rianne Felthorne are doing a good job of curing him of his major blind spots. He may be a great asset to Sunshine.

And the important thing is, Quirrell doesn't have a lever to use on Hermione.

...except, of course, that Quirrell now has a hold over Severus Snape...
sdg chapter 76 . 1/13/2012
"Update 12/28: Ch. 79 done, but I'm not going to post it. Screw you guys."

This made me sad.
HyperCatnip chapter 76 . 12/26/2011
After reading the whole 77 chapters twice, I noticed some interesting (and easily overlooked) foreshadowing, only I don't know what to make of it.

First, Harry, Fred and George used dark cloaks and face-concealing spells to play a prank on Neville on the train platform.

Second, Harry is intimately familiar with Groundhog Day Loops caused by obliviation and extent of obliviated people's predictability from observing behavior of mr. Bester during his Occlumency classes.

Third, mr. Hat and Cloak tells Blaise Zabini that "Salazar Slytherin would have keyed his monster into the ancient wards at a higher level than the Headmaster himself" in chapter 35. In chapter 49 professor Quirrell says nearly this exact phrase to Harry Potter.

I notice that I am confused.

First piece of evidence is very weak and points at Potter or Weasley twins.

Second piece of evidence strongly points at Potter. He could come up with Groundhog Day Loop attack after observing mr. Bester. Also, he thinks about Hermione in terms of PC/NPC from their first meeting. And save-scumming through a dialog with an NPC is an obvious way to cheat the game for any computer RPG player. It fit nicely with Harry's knowledge and thought patterns, but is completely against his attitude towards Hermione.

Third piece of evidence points at Quirrell, but it is not strong. He and mr. Hat and Cloak may just be quoting some text about Chamber of Secrets they both have read.

So, after taking all this (and evidence pointed at in other reviews, like Hermione seeming to recognize Hat and Cloak's face, him saying "hello again" blunder at start of every loop, blunder about time, etcetera) I am still confused about identity and motives of mr. Hat and Cloak.

Also, I seem to by getting withdrawal symptoms from being unable to read more. I really hope an update will be up soon, but I wouldn't want to get a rushed update at expense of quality.
NZSuperNerd chapter 76 . 12/21/2011
Is the person that is Obliviating Hermione the mysterious Santa?
Norven chapter 76 . 12/17/2011
Um... As I wrote, your work is brilliant, but I've just noticed it's been almost half a year since you last updated the story... Please, PLEASE don't abandon your fic, it would be too awful!

I simply adore your version and am looking forward to the new chapters! *puppy eyes, tail wagging and dumped out tongue* )))
Deadzepplin chapter 76 . 12/12/2011
I just realized how useful the tea that makes you want to drink when a surprising event is about to occur is because if you could break it down and change the activation to danger or something like that then you would have early warning systems and chain that to a portkey and put that on someone that is defenseless and before any danger comes near them or starts they portkey out and chain it to incoming spells that are going to hit you sometime in the future you can automatically auto attack and prevent any attacks on people so if someone were to attack in the next few seconds you could have a magically stored stunner or something similar blast them into unconsciousness
Me chapter 76 . 12/3/2011
I just noticed that I never reviewed this chapter. Hopefully you'll update soon, so I'm reading the SA arc in preparation. Great chapter. I love the development of Draco.
sliz225 chapter 76 . 11/29/2011
Along with a shockingly small handful of others, the "Time-time enough for that later" line indicates to me that Mr. Hat and Cloak is, at least, a time traveler-if not necessarily from the future. Of course, this chapter raises no end of fascinating questions.

If this is a witches-only staircase, is Mr. Hat and Cloak actually Ms. Hat and Cloak, or is he just too awesome for the rules of magic? (Probably female)

Is (s)he just messing with Hermione at the end? (More or less stated in Word of God)

Is Hermione the most Genre Savvy heroine ever? (Hell yeah)

Was Millicent getting her tips from our time traveling lad(y)? (Extremely likely)

Will I smash my computer in a fit of rage if this story isn't updated? (A distinct possibility. Very distinct)

Oh, and this whole chapter was beautiful, as ever. The scene with Dumbledore was just heartbreaking. Draco's character is developing slowly and convincingly. Pleasekeep writing this.
Avvjakn chapter 76 . 11/5/2011
Eliezer can't stop hinting about the significance of Dumbledore's wand, which most of us already know to be the Elder Wand!

Most of what the author writes seems to have purpose, so I think we can be fairly certain that that's going to come up in the story in the future in a big way.

I wonder what if this has something to do with the "ill thing bound up" in the matter of Grindlewald's undefeatability.
LauralHill chapter 76 . 10/30/2011
I still think Santa is Mr Black but would love to know who this mysterious swirling mist is...
Graham Percival chapter 76 . 10/10/2011
Sorry to be "that grammar nazi", but this bugs me every time I re-read your wonderful work:

"Which begs the fascinating question of why you would go to the extraordinary length, I dare say the desperate length, of casting fifty-two Memory Charms"

This is grammatically incorrect: it does not **beg** the question, it **raises** it.

/

if one of the students were talking, I could well imagine them making such a mistake, but surely Quirrell should know proper grammar and logic. :)
Sparrow Hawk chapter 76 . 10/7/2011
This question has bothered me for a while now - and if you intend to continue with the story perhaps it is just good writing to leave something unsaid to tempt the reader with. Yet... : In all honesty I do not see how Dumbledore accounts for hope in this chapter. Surely he realises that bad people claim the same goals as himself? No-one claims to be out to screw the world over. And if you don't actually act in the short term people have no evidence to go with your word in the long term. A good person cannot simply surrender to ultimate pragmatism based on a relatively naive set of variables. "Come, sacrifice children for me - and in forty years when the demon Lord grants me godly powers I pinky swear I will give you a paradise!"

Surely he realises that the children who grow, and have been grown up, will fight the next war - and the next - that some wars never truly end. And if, in the interest of politics - he perpetuates injustice upon them they'll grow up believing him little different from the people he claims to oppose.

This can't be the wise elder wizard, you cannot account for the world with that model.

Maybe it's just that Dumbledore's broken - lost his own hope.

'"The children will survive," the old wizard said with tired old eyes.'

- But as *what?* Maybe the children of the death eaters are lost - but what of the others?

That said I'd like to thank you for a very interesting chapter. I'm not entirely sure how to review except to cache dump my thoughts on you but... Still, keep up the good effort! It's nice to read something where the protagonists aren't total morons for a change _
M chapter 76 . 10/1/2011
Oh wow, so just change the decoration to appeal to someone different from Zabini...
Karrin Blue chapter 76 . 9/29/2011
Wow...ghost chick!
Reader-anonymous-writer chapter 76 . 9/29/2011
Good luck to Severus, Harry, Quirrell, Fawkes, Albus, Hermione, Draco, Bellatrix, Chaos and Sunshine and Dragons.

This window told me previous review fit into 10000 characters as required. Don't know why it was cut off.
authority02 chapter 76 . 9/24/2011
I read this fanfic twice because it was so good.
AR chapter 76 . 9/23/2011
You covered most of the points I had raised after reading the last chapter.

I have more theories. I wish I could discuss them with someone...but so far all who I have recommended this story to are less insane than I am and still lagging behind around chapter 10.

Ah well..
Mr Stereo1 chapter 76 . 9/21/2011
Again, reading through the story-so-far, I have to say I want to see more from Lesath. Although I can only speculate on his wider character, what I've seen so far seems like an excellent character hook, especially considering all the different ways in which his mother's condition and his father's implied-if-not-stated 'history' with Bellatrix could be spun. Is Harry going to forget about the 'evil' Slytherin, or is he going to take the older boy under his wing (in an odd way)? Maybe ask him to tutor him in something or another?
jjones987 chapter 76 . 9/20/2011
Great
HeatDeath chapter 76 . 9/19/2011
Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality is the most awesome thing /ever/. I've owed it a review for ages and ages now, and I've finally noticed something subtle enough to be worth mentioning, on top of merely effusive praise:

Harry seems to have forgotten how to /lose/ again. Or rather, as he says, he's supposed to be, and is, learning goodness from Hermione and Fawkes, and not from Quirrell and Dumbledore.

Dumbledore is echoing what Quirrell so memorably taught Harry all those chapters ago back in September: that is is vitally necessary to lose when you have to in order to eventually win at least a partial victory. Isn't that odd now, that two so radically different people, two so radically different schools of life, should teach the same thing [albeit for two so radically different reasons]. And so much more interesting, that Hermione and Fawkes, the epitomes of goodness with a capital G, should disagree.

I'm glad Harry is learning from Hermione and Fawkes. Let good win, and if it causes trouble, well... let good win again.

With Self Actualization done [I rather enjoyed it myself. I like how it's moved Hermione out from under the umbrella of the school's authority. The delay was the hardest part to deal with], we are visibly moving into the 3rd act, where all of the little hints and events set up start combining and paying off, big time. I'm sure this is just the tip of the iceberg.

And this are reasons number nine thousand, two hundred and seventy seven and seventy eight, why Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality is the Best. Thing. Ever.
Kutta chapter 76 . 9/18/2011
Great chapter
WB chapter 76 . 9/13/2011
Just a quick note:

I'm contrasting the black room of fallen friends that Dumbledore showed Harry with the black vastness of space shown by Quirrelmort. Two similar but starkly different little refuges. It's not surprising Harry chose to follow the man looking into the future instead of the past.
scorpioneldar chapter 76 . 9/11/2011
time travel and memory loss or just plain obliviation? is that what the ellipsis are for
madbrad chapter 76 . 9/11/2011
As a H/Hr man and Hermione Granger fan I very much enjoyed this chapter, particularly the last segment, such as this paragraph:

- "Then you don't know half of what you pretend to know," Hermione said, her voice a little firmer. "I'm scared of Harry too. But not because of what he might ever do to me. I'm scared of what he might do to protect me -"

I love that line. But damn, I do hope you never give Hermione cause to distrust Harry (the way that the 'ghost' is seeming to try to encourage her to do). On the other hand, a brave intelligent couple like these two seems destined for such machinations from evil authors. As long as you have them living happily ever after at the end. Please.

Thank you for continuing on your story.
Nadejsda chapter 76 . 9/11/2011
hello there,

i have other things to say to you.

First of all, it's a difficult story to read. Maybe because of the bunch of theories you explain inside. But I did learn a lot about theories in that story, and about psychologics in general, and good/bad sides and childrens and adults in general and complex ways. So in the end it's worth it.

Then I wanted to say that the whole story looks like coming from a book, and you have real talent for writing, even complicated things. It's, even a bit difficult to read and follow, a really interesting, funny fanfiction, from which anyone can learn a lot of things and enjoy reading it. I did.
Meneldur chapter 76 . 9/11/2011
"One answer is that you shouldn't ever use violence except to stop violence," Harry said. "You shouldn't risk anyone's life except to save even more lives. It sounds good when you say it like that. Only the problem is that if a police officer sees a burglar robbing a house, the police officer should try to stop the burglar, even though the burglar might fight back and someone might get hurt or even killed. Even if the burglar is only trying to steal jewelry, which is just a thing. Because if nobody so much as inconveniences burglars, there will be more burglars, and more burglars. And even if they only ever stole things each time, it would - the fabric of society -" Harry stopped. His thoughts weren't as ordered as they usually pretended to be, in this room. He should have been able to give some perfectly logical exposition in terms of game theory, should have at least been able to see it that way, but it was eluding him. Hawks and doves - "Don't you see, if evil people are willing to risk violence to get what they want, and good people always back down because violence is too terrible to risk, it's - it's not a good society to live in, Headmaster! Don't you realize what all this bullying is doing to Hogwarts, to Slytherin House most of all?"

Yes! Yes! Look, I know you're Jewish. Do you read Hebrew? There is an Halacha stating that their is permission (and indeed, a duty) to kill the thief who comes at night to steal should you catch him. Indeed, if he is buried under a rockfall on the Sabbath and you can save them, you are not allowed to do so, because he is ALREADY A DEAD MAN. I delved into this issue, trying to ascertain why this was. Finally, the Rambam (Maimonides) pointed me in the right direction in his amazing More Nevuchim. I made a little project out of it, in Hebrew. If you would wish to read it, drop me a line, I'll e-mail you the pertinent parts. As I wrote, they're in Hebrew, so you'd need to be able to read it, or have a translator. I could try doing it if such was your desire, but despite being the author, I cannot promise things will not get lost in translation. I will do my utmost, of course, if it was so asked.
FanBoySalami chapter 76 . 9/9/2011
It made sense the first time, but it's slightly better-written now. As that one famous guy said, make things as simple as possible, but no simpler.
Confuzzed chapter 76 . 9/9/2011
I don't get it. I went back and read it three times, and I still don't know what's happening to Hermione during the ellipses. What meaning and I suppsed to wrest from these arrangements of dots?
Lynn chapter 76 . 9/9/2011
Further thoughts on Mr. Hat and Cloak: I thought it was strange on the first read that Mr. Hat and Cloak kept saying "Hello AGAIN," but I didn't give it the importance it probably deserves. I failed to properly notice that I was confused.

Saying "again" seems like an utterly stupid thing to do, because Hermione's never met him before the day this meeting occurs, and he keeps erasing her memory of former conversations. He does it in both iterations we see, with the same wording.

It's possible that Mr. Hat and Cloak is simply an idiot, but that doesn't seem likely; it's just *too* stupid. The alternative is that it's deliberate, in which case, why do it?

The only thing that it appears to do, at the moment, is subtly indicate that something is off. From the very first words of that iteration of the conversation.

Accordingly, my current hypothesis is that Mr. Hat and Cloak isn't trying to change Hermione's views of anything, but is merely collecting data on how well-developed her sense of suspicion is, and how she responds to certain statements, under somewhat different conditions.
starduske chapter 76 . 9/8/2011
"And Millicent had said in a small voice:

But, but she told me that she was a seer...

Hermione had told Daphne not to press it, after Millicent had refused to give up her source."

Shouldn't it have been Daphne who said that and not Millicent? Or am I not getting something here.
Hunter chapter 76 . 9/8/2011
Apropos of Dumbledore and Harry's discussion:

"What brings enlightenment is experience, in the sad sense of this word—the pressure of hard facts and unintelligible troubles, making a man rub his eyes in his waking dream, and put two and two together. Enlightenment is cold water."

— George Santayana

I'm glad MoR is back, anyway.
iphis19 chapter 76 . 9/7/2011
"And have you also spoken to Harry Potter, then?" Hermoine said, keeping her voice as even as she could. If this was his helpful ghost -

Typographical error?

~Mademise Morte
asukaphile chapter 76 . 9/7/2011
I really enjoyed the exchange between Harry and Dumbledore in this chapter, even if I also found it a bit frustrating. Harry's youthful idealism and arrogant self-assurance can be a bit grating. It's enough, sometimes, to make me wish for him to incur a real, serious loss. If Harry had a black chamber like Dumbledore's, there would not yet be even one pedestal in it. And while I agree that "You shouldn't be able to win any possible argument, just from people having died of your decisions," to me it feels like this scene's aim is to discredit Dumbledore's position - but I don't think Dumbledore is entirely wrong. Jaded, maybe; defeatist; wrong on the issue of bullying; but not entirely wrong. Nor do I think Harry, though idealistic and inexperienced, is entirely wrong.

I think both of them have a lot to learn from each other, but neither is going to be convinced in dialogue. Something dramatic will have to happen to temper Harry's idealistic recklessness, and something (maybe the same thing) will have to happen to elevate Dumbledore from his grief and despair. I very much look forward to this(these), whatever it(they) may be.

Also, I'm happy to see Hermione starting to get involved in something intriguing. I didn't really have a problem with the Self Actualization arc, except insofar as its events kept Harry and Hermione apart so much. It feels like they haven't done anything together in a long time. I hope this changes soon.

This is my first review, so in closing I'd like to make a few general comments. Your fanfic has rescued me singlehandedly from the disenchantment with JKR's original works that I first noticed somewhere around page 378 of "Deathly Hallows" (but had been growing quietly, I now realize, since the beginning of that book). This fic deserves to be published. It's entertaining, challenging (for a number of reasons), and - it's a little hard to figure out how to say this - it feels like it's as much a labor of love for the author as it is written to please its audience. It's not just a pet project. I think you have a good idea who your audience is.

My only problem with this fic is that there's not a new chapter every time I come back to check, which, to be fair, is usually every couple of hours, and that's much more "my problem" than a "problem with this fic". Thank you for writing this, and keep up the good work.
Lynn chapter 76 . 9/7/2011
Giving your lunch money to a bully to avoid a beating is one thing.

Having the school administration say that giving the bully your money is the best solution and that nothing else needs to be done, that's something else.

It is important to pick your battles, and focus on your priorities. The problem with this situation is that the school administration shouldn't *have* higher priorities than the safety of its students. If Dumbledore wasn't trying to be a general and a headmaster, Hogwarts would probably face less resistance in disciplining and *stopping* bullies. He really shouldn't be trying to be both.

Also... you have to keep in mind that Hogwarts is a place where children grow up and learn to be adults. Small-scale bullying in school teaches these kids what to expect from the adult world, and how they should behave in it. And what Hogwarts is teaching them now is not conducive to their acting as part of a healthy adult society after they leave school. Bullying in school is not actually an insignificant problem, even though Dumbledore is willing to treat it as one.
AlpineBob chapter 76 . 9/7/2011
I believe the first semi-colon of the first sentence should actually be a comma.

"Let the Light win, and if trouble comes of it -" The boy shrugged. "Let Light win again."

(I'm not sure if that 'The' should be capitalized. Can a phrase be ended by a dash? Ellipses are what I use for a trailing off...)

Way back when, Quirrell went to some trouble to show Harry that losing was not the end of the world. I think he's forgotten. Sometimes a small loss is worth not having to fight a war.

When talking about acceptable violence, his police analogy is slightly askew because the police should try to arrest a robber without violence, only responding with violence if the robber resists arrest. So it is still self-defense. But he makes a valid argument that if "good people always back down because violence is too terrible to risk," society will be...unpleasant. And I certainly agree.

But sometimes? Sometimes giving a bully my lunch money to avert a beating? Sometimes that seems like a good deal. Heck, that is basically why most people pay their taxes! But I digress...

Anyway, the problem with Harry is he seems to think Right makes Might, as if having good intentions and an amazing intellect means all problems are solvable.

I think the true answer lies somewhere between Harry's and Dumbledore's. If you only fight in extremis, as per the Headmaster, you sacrifice advantages of position for delay, which can actually be harmful to your chances of winning, winning quickly, or winning at least cost. So I guess I agree with Harry more than Dumbledore. It's just that Harry doesn't seem to understand that he might LOSE.

"If that requires breaking Lucius Malfoy's entire conspiracy, fine." Heck, it sounds like he thinks finishing a battle that has stymied Dumbledore since Voldemort's last stand will be an afternoon's lark!

'After a hesitation the old wizard nodded his head'

I'm not certain (maybe there is a different convention for wizards), but shouldn't that be 'shook' his head?

Loved the section with Draco!

And the last bit with Hermione was delightfully mysterious - I can't decide if the familiar face she so briefly recognized is more likely to be Snape or Quirrell (I think those are the only people she knows that might leave her terrified), but I'm tending toward the defense professor. As to motive, I haven't a clue...
sizuka2 chapter 76 . 9/7/2011
A few thoughts about the identity of Mr. Hat and Cloak. The clear suspect is Quirrellmort, who is certainly capable of it, and may desire a deniable pseudonym. The actions taken don't line up neatly, yet: an allegation to Quirrell, with Harry watching invisibly, of Dumbledore endorsing bullying to pressure Zabini set a wedge between Dumbledore and either Harry or Quirrell. The attempt to gain Hermione's trust has no purpose visible - yet. Two others are capable - Snape and Dumbledore. Dumbledore only makes sense if we assume he's pretending to be crazy and thinking in stories - both of which are true - but arranging for Zabini to betray Dumbledore to Dumbledore is exotic, even for a man who would set a chicken on fire.

Snape - Snape is a real possibility. He uses memory charms extensively in this arc - to cover up his presence at the battle wherein Tracey channeled dread powers, to cover up the pipeline through which he provided Hermione with intel about bullies. Snape is "moving on his own," to quote Quirrell, and surely needs anonymity from both Quirrell AND Dumbledore more than anyone when doing that. And... perhaps he really does want to help Hermione. Dumbledore believed Potter had set Quirrell to protect SPHEW, invisibly... false, until the last, though Dumbledore was certain that no first year could have achieved the results they did (and yes, he specifically references a duel before Tonks joins in). But if Snape were doing that all along... perhaps this is what he would like to do, if unchained from memories of Lily. He does hate bullies after all. And, with Millicent's outing, who else has just lost their channel for communicating with Hermione, and stands in need of a new one? Looking at the evidence, Snape seems most likely.

And still,I keep wondering about a long shot. Hat and Cloak is always and repeatedly described as... black. And if that prisoner indeed was not Sirius... perhaps, just perhaps...Black.
Work Designer chapter 76 . 9/6/2011
I must say I liked the old version. Man, brute forcing till a right answer comes! That too doing that with a human being. Whoever is doing this is cold, cold, cold.
sanity is my piano chapter 76 . 9/6/2011
i like how the time of the meeting with snape and quirell correlates with original book but i think that this story's pace is too fast this is at least as long as the first 3 or 4 books in Harry's first year, it is really just too fast
Furcas chapter 76 . 9/6/2011
Well, I have to say I'm really, really glad this arc is over. I mean, sure, it was vastly better than 99% of fanfiction I've ever read (and a lot of 'normal' fiction), and Hermione finally becoming a full PC is the perfect ending. However this arc and the Azkaban both feel irrelevant compared to the rest of HPMOR. What really matters, and what really interests me, is Harry figuring out what the hell magic is, how to control it, and taking over the universe.
Moriwen1 chapter 76 . 9/6/2011
This fic is so amazing! I just realized I've been reading for ages (well, weeks) and haven't reviewed yet. Anyway, truly a work of art. One of, possibly the best, works of fanfiction I've ever read. I hope you carry this out to its logical conclusions.
uo-chou chapter 76 . 9/6/2011
Good work, I am looking forward to reading more. Thanks for sharing!
PrincessVamp chapter 76 . 9/6/2011
Woohoo! I am loving the fast updates, and this chapter is a doozy. So much new information you've revealed! Your mind must be a complicated place. :)
none chapter 76 . 9/6/2011
"And I don't usually come right out and say things like this, but no Hermione is not the last magical descendant of Merlin, and if you thought she was going to be because Mr. Hat and Cloak said so, then I want you to consider very carefully the alarming proposition that you might be believing everything you read."

I have another hypothesis. People are biased in believing Hermione was the descendant of Merlin because it fits the pattern seen in many many other fiction stories. In the universe of fiction, this description of Hermione fits the hero archetype very well. Aragorn in Lord of the Rings is another example of this archetype.
Guest chapter 76 . 9/6/2011
I like where this is going. I hope the mist-lady is Snape.
lipasnape chapter 76 . 9/6/2011
Albus Dumbledore beautifully deconstructed.
elianneE05 chapter 76 . 9/6/2011
Was that last scene a boggart? hmmm... love the irony there, people will always be guarded by the dark and mysterious than the pretty and helpful. BUt I think it's really a boggart stating all of Hermione's fears and the cloaked figure a symbolism too, and then when she became of misleading appearances she became aware of her fear of overly friendly and helpful people, and wasn't her fear in Canon talking too? BTW Really like your work.
teapotsaucer chapter 76 . 9/6/2011
Apologies in advance for linking MOR with the real world.

Dumbledore & Harry's conversation reminded me most vividly of the current diplomatic tangle involving Palestine, US and the UN, regarding higher recognition of Palestine as a state rather than an entity.

While US does wish to resolve the Israel-Palestine conflict in a way to both parties' satisfaction? content? not-war? ... US opposes a UN vote regarding the matter..

..and would veto wherever it can.

Not because US holds Israel in higher regard (although it does),

not because US wishes to take sole credit for keeping relative 'peace' between the two entities (UN may do a better or a worse job - certainly be more bureaucratic!)

...but because IF the vote is held, IF it passes or not (especially if it passes, and Palestine has higher positions in various UN bodies and treaties)... the Israel-Palestine conflict will ESCALATE.

The fact is, escalation is bad. Winning a battle leads to escalation. Winning Escalation.

Winning does not mean cessation.

Ways to cessation are... more complex, and difficult, and not as morally clear as would be UN recognizing Palestine as a state - because it would be a RIGHT thing to do... but what then?

I study International Politics. The beginning of this Chapter reminded me of several real-life conflict-resolution problems. Sorry if I rambled.

That said, Harry is right within context of what he knows and understands. He's eleven. Eleven-year-old children should have the right to think that way.
etErnALChaOsMaKer chapter 76 . 9/5/2011
Great stuff! Keep it coming! I dunno terms rational enuf to express my impressions! :) BTW, at this rate, will Harry get to second year and stuff?
Exotria chapter 76 . 9/5/2011
I am going to go with a Tonks prediction on the mysterious shadowy figure who can suddenly look all silvery and such, on account of she just became important and I don't think Quirrel is that bored. Thank you for removing the heir of Merlin bit, that sort of thing made me instantly angry with you, since I had really figured you were going with the 'being the heir of whoever does not make you terribly special. except the snakes bit.' angle. It was reassuring to see the results in the author's notes! And yes, I was believing everything the characters said, because SOMEONE has been making everything about having misleading lines instead of lies. Because, er, if that Salem Witch portkey had just explicitly said 'this will take you to Salem Witches Academy' and lied, there wouldn't have been much of a difference there. You've been a lot more half-truths than outright lying, so I wasn't expecting this.

But whatever. Absolutely love this story, have already had a friend tell me it's possibly the most important thing he'd read ever (though he later cursed me for ruining the Harry Potter series for him, since he was planning on rereading it and now it would just be unsatisfying in comparison). And given that a writer has to encompass their characters, I am scared of you. Congratulations.
s-david-m chapter 76 . 9/5/2011
Excellent chapters. The cost of justice can indeed be high, and it's heartening to see that Harry at least glimpsed this truth, even though the price has burdened Dumbledore to the point where he will avoid it at all cost.

Quirell is as delightfully inscrutable as ever. Hermione's shadowy figure is definitely intriguing. I wonder how many times she's been Obliviated so that convo would go the way the shadow wanted. Draco could indeed make a good case for being a spy. The Malfoys always hedge their bets.
tyrannosaurus-hex chapter 76 . 9/5/2011
"You shouldn't be Headmaster," Harry said through the burning in his throat. "I'm sorry, I'm so sorry, but you shouldn't try to be a school principal and run a war at the same time. Hogwarts shouldn't be part of this."

Indeed.

I am quite interested in rationalist!Draco and I hope the next story arc will allow some more depth to his character.
LoliPear the WaltzQueen chapter 76 . 9/5/2011
I am suddenly worried that this will somehow end in a "HarryHermioneHarmony" pun
A. Nonymous chapter 76 . 9/5/2011
I don't normally read HP fanfics. This one... my word, I would recommend this one even to those who have never read a fanfic of any type.

I do feel like, with this chapter, that Harry has missed the point, and Dumbledore failed to get it across.

To put it simply, Harry has forgotten how to lose. More importantly, he has never learned how to accept that you *cannot* win everywhere, all the time, and the true strategist must therefore attempt to choose where, when, why, and how to lose to minimize their losses.

After failing epically the entire story to even really decide to teach Harry this, Dumbledore makes a decent attempt at it, but never seems to say the right things, the things that would penetrate Harry's paladin-like view of the world and accept that he cannot, *at this present time* always win everything, and that he will regret deeply when his failure to accept a minor loss leads to a far greater one. The one person who might make him understand this... doesn't seem to want to. Harry desperately needs to start reading his Clausewitz, Sun Tzu, and military history, and learning military science. I don't think you're going to give him the chance to do that, though; things have already swept out of control.

As for Hermione... that was the most evil cliffhanger I've seen in months. I'm... really hoping that the "Time-" bit doesn't mean the figure is Future Harry/Hermione; there are altogether too many fics that go that route, and you've already extensively played with the limits of time travel and paradoxes. Minerva might be a possibility, but some of the accusations of conspiracy seem off for her. The "witches only" staircase may be meaningless, if the intruder is outside of its boundaries. At this point, I have no idea how she'll get out of this, short of seeing signs of the passage of time, and jumping over the railing. Worse... an interlude is next? You evil...
Guest chapter 76 . 9/5/2011
I am loving this story. I've been a faithful reader for months now and eagerly await new chapters. I am also enjoying the weekly podcast but it is going to be years before they catch up with the story posting only a chapter a week! At any rate, outstanding work, you've spoiled Harry Potter for me. I have a hard time reading the novels or other stories without thinking of this one and questioning the characters' actions. LOL
LoreWren chapter 76 . 9/5/2011
I have officially been reading this fic so long that it is absurd I have not yet commented.

First, the story as a whole is inspiring. I'm not quite using that term in the colloquial fashion, but I don't know a better one. It sets my mind spinning in new directions; it's been a source for many a start of a story; it is literally inspiring.

On the current chapter: I'm gonna say whoever-it-is is repeatedly memory charming Ms. Granger, just because that seems like the simplest explanation. Not sure who it is, though s/he doesn't really feel like any Quirrell-facet we've seen yet.
Zaptor chapter 76 . 9/5/2011
This is a phenomenal chapter. Many of yours are, but I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate the work and thought you've put into your writing. Thank you.
Ham Nox chapter 76 . 9/5/2011
I was only fooled for about 20 seconds. I was beyond pissed for those 20 seconds, internally ranting that I thought you were better than that, before I realized that you ARE better than that. I've read some of your other fiction; You're far too original to pull a straight "Main Character is the long lost descendant of [insert super-powerful legendary wizard here]". Plus it would feel very contrary the current magical inheritance theory. It wouldn't actually invalidate the theory, but it would certainly leave me feeling a small note of confusion... Like the idea of half-bloods leaves me with now. Sure it's POSSIBLE that wizards are just marrying squibs... The fact that Petunia can look at the trunk suggests that squibs would be better able to function in highly magical areas and would therefore be more likely to run into wizards than muggles, and wizards that marry a muggle and have no magical children are unlikely to be very loud about it, but that's a very precarious explanation so it still BUGS me...

I'll admit until I read the author's note that I was a little worried that you'd anticipate your readers dismissing the claim on default and have it turn out to be true just to Mess with Us :-/

Didn't notice the hat upon first read, though that would have made it even more terribly obvious.
braindoll3 chapter 76 . 9/5/2011
linda: I don't think that male characters are ruled out. It only says that the stairway is witches-only, not the hallway leading to/from the stairway. EY/LW, if you read this and did intend it to be women-only, I think you should fix the wording... but not until after we get the reveal on who hat-and-cloak is. I'll remind you if it comes to that, which of course you can ignore if you disagree.
janefanatic chapter 76 . 9/5/2011
Oh, wow. Hm.. the Grey Lady, perhaps? I am excited about what this means for Hermione. I loved Draco's intervention in the Slytherin common rooms; his sadness at lying to his friend (and that he acknowledged Gregory as a friend) was so very bittersweet. I like this transition of sorts you've made into a more omniscient third-person narrator. There've been hints of it in the past, with little insights into what Draco is thinking, or so on, when Harry says or does something ridiculous, but you've gone further into it this chapter, with Dumbledore's feelings and thoughts. Thanks for sharing!
Benjamin chapter 76 . 9/5/2011
Very nice chapter - good ending to the SA arc.
Linda chapter 76 . 9/5/2011
Hmm.. My first thought was that the Hat/Cloak person was Quirrell, but then I reread it and it's meant to be in a hall way that only females can access... but he could be clever enough to find away around this... but then again, if it is a female, I doubt it would be any of the teachers... unless you're aiming to blow our minds by making it McGonagall just to make it turn out to be some kind of impressive plot set up by Dumbledore... but then why would they say she couldn't trust anyone, and badmouth the headmaster?.. This is a hard one...

Anyway, loved it! I'd like to see an Aftermath: Lucius Malfoy at some point to see exactly what he's thinking of his sons actions and of Harry Potters character as a whole.

Update soon.
Meat wearing a mask chapter 76 . 9/5/2011
spiderLoving: re-read that paragraph; I interpret that paragraph to mean that Hermione *doesn't* recognise the face of the 'shining lady' but *did* recognise the face beneath the black mist - and then was immediately Obliviated, and the 'shining lady' form replaced the 'black mist' form as something Hermione would be more receptive to (eg. Herminone's "momentary sense of disorientation", her noticing that "without any thought or any conscious decision her wand had leaped into her hand" [*leapt*, surely?], and her wondering why her "heart was already hammering, and why she felt so scared" when confronted with such a "gentle sight".)
Coby chapter 76 . 9/5/2011
I think Dumbledors begining to realise that he's not Harrys wise old wizard after all.

I honestly never considered the idea that Snape and Quirelle could become allies, good plot twist.

I love Draco in this story, I love that he can't lie to himself for long, he knows his fathers wrong and instead of turning against him or trying to change his mind he respects his fathers beliefs and expects his father to respect his. I have to say that I think the Goyle scene said alot about Dracos character, aswell as Goyles. I don't think I've ever read a story that involves Draco reasuring Golye before so congrats on individuality!

Hermiones starting to become more like Harry in the way that her life is becoming more and more caotic but yet she still remains in character. She's not turning into a female version of Harry and still has her own way of thinking. Weldone on that note, I find it annoying when writers make the main characters nearly identical in their way of thinking, it's just not realistic, everyone has a different opinion.

And, overall, I love this story. Good job, so update soon!
LongLiveInsanity1 chapter 76 . 9/5/2011
I really enjoy reading this story. It's funny, smart and has good direction, which is rare for fanfiction these days. I also really enjoy the updates of each character and of the underlying theory of magic as a whole; it's very consistent, and very logical.

However, I fear that your personal biases are bleeding into the story and making it less enjoyable to read. Clearly, your favourite characters are Harry and Professor Quirrel, and you believe that only they have true intelligence and, in Harry's case, truly do the right thing. However, you also have no respect whatsoever for the character JK Rowling created in Dumbledore, who was formerly the smartest in the series, but in your story has been demoted to a foolish old man. Mostly, the problem lies with Dumbledore, especially in this chapter in which Harry questions his methods and denounces him as leader of the light. Because, personally, I don't think Harry should be fighting down the feeling that he has no right to question Dumbledore on anything. Harry may know everything there is to know about some areas of knowledge, but he is startlingly ignorant on strategy and morality in this war. It would have greatly improved the story, and been much less grating, if you had allowed Dumbledore to teach Harry something, and allowed Harry to grow as a character. Instead, you believe that Harry's intelligence surpasses Dumbledore's and that Harry should therefore have no mentor-type figure that is always required for a hero, because he already knows everything.

I sincerely hope that, later in the story, Harry gets his comeuppance somewhat. So far, as long as he remains unchallenged, he is incredibly annoying to read, and his every mental flourish is just begging to be unravelled and exposed for being unreasonable.
spiderLoving chapter 76 . 9/5/2011
Read this chap (last few) so many times now and NEXT IS COMING OUT TOMORROW! dying to find out who mr/miss scary-cloak-man-lady is, and don't think its any of the teachers. Where does hermione recognise it from? AHH. Hoping HP gears up with some awesome power soon, or smartens up and allies with lucius so he can protect his friends come summer holidays. So good, thankyou!
weeksauce chapter 76 . 9/5/2011
That last scene was incredibly scary, beyond terrifying in fact.

And my respect for your version of Hermione just went up another notch. She's in many ways the odd one out in your collection of characters. I'm thinking back on the part were you lay out the concept of multi-layered players; a the reference back to game of stone, scissors and paper in The Princess Bride I think. I think you think I think you're playing strategy A, so you think I will be playing strategy B which will win against A, and thus you'll play strategy C winning against B. Thus I'll play strategy D. While in jankenpon there're only three strategies for any prediction methodology and only one goal, this whole mess get's a lot more complicated here. (If you find stuff like that interesting, google 'roshambo iocaine'.)

I think this makes Hermione's role interesting since from the people around Harry that actually seem to matter, she's the only one that refuses to play (possibly with the exception of McGonogal) - Surprisingly this doesn't make her a designated pawn, but instead offers another choice. The reason Quirrel awarded those points, whereas Dumbledore stayed quiet, were due to their respective strategies and complex goals.

However a non-player such as Hermione would have awarded those points simply due to the fact that it would be the right thing to do. This kind of predictable, simplistic behavior has the possibility to change the nature of the game. Most backroom deals, multi-layered, political games have the tendency fall apart once pulled into the open.

And this makes her dangerous to people such as Quirrel, Snape and Dumbledore, should her influence due to her friendship with Harry and her own merits increase.

... I'm really curious whether Mr. ISP will succeed in his memory charm aided try to subvert her. Even her prolonged resistance is, in my book, a crowning moment of character integrity. But I fear Mr. ISP will gain the influence he or her seeks over her ...

Keep updating.
Dvelle chapter 76 . 9/4/2011
I see a lot of fellow readers debating the identity of Mr. Incredibly Suspicious Person, but I thought he pretty much admitted he was Quirrell when he said:

"I am perhaps the only true friend you have in all Hogwarts, Hermione. For you have now seen how the others stayed silent when you were in need -"

And right after saying that, he told Hermione to solve that riddle. Quirrell was the only one who did not stay silent when Snape was verbally abusing her.

Also, chances are nobody else would happen to do the same "Hat & Cloak" routine, and Coordinations Problems 3 also seemed to be Quirrell:

"And the Defense Professor inclined his head with some irony, and then strode off in the same direction Zabini had fled, while Harry was still standing in open-mouthed shock."

This happens before Zabini's meeting with the Hat & Cloak. And Zabini assumes that it couldn't be Quirrell because he's asked to go lie to Quirrell, except he didn't know the actual audience was HP who was under the invisibility cloak.

Anyway, I loved this chapter. The conversation between Snape and Quirrell was most ominous. I wonder if Quirrell concluded that Snape still was hiding his true allegiance to the death eaters, since he told Hermione shortly after that "Snape is a hidden death eater"

But what I'm not understanding is what Snape (and Dumbledore) know about Quirrell. I mean, they surely noticed there's an incredibly powerful wizard who plots and has possibly enourmous goals and is obviously having a pretty strong influence on Harry Potter. I get that he's the defence professor, but wouldn't they be wondering "where was this guy during the war", "what are his goals", "why have I never heard about Quirinus Quirrell before this year", etc. Or what do they really know and believe about him?
Where the gras is greener chapter 76 . 9/4/2011
Well, if that ain't interesting I don't want to know what is.

I tentatively think the black cloaked figure facing Hermione is... not who it seems to be and changing appearances until it comes across one Hermione will trust (the most) while somehow removing the memories of her prior attempts to persuade the young Ravenclaw.

POSSIBLE PLOTHOLE:

Also, I did think the use of the time turner had been restricted to two hours per day? Shouldn't Harry in that case turn it over twice instead of thrice?
Ophilia chapter 76 . 9/4/2011
You've pretty much turned the reviews into a discussion board with your last chapter.

Well, I'm almost certain you have everything planed out for Mr. Hat and Cloak's motives and identity but it does leave us with a very interesting mystery.

It's someone who cared enough to mess with the armies or at least a person in them. I have no idea why Snape would care about that, so that could point towards the Headmaster but it also turned out to put him in bad light...

Quirrel may or may not have had direct knowledge of that and given it away mentioning the quadruple agent. So Quirrel maybe the most likely person as there is some motive but that also seems dubious he could have gone through different means in the past to get Harry to distrust the Dumbeldore and to now just after talking to Snape give information on him... I don't know.

Maybe its obvious or maybe is a clever, like a person on the side we should have thought about. Either way I'm thinking way to much about this, read this book way to many times, and still want more... Good job.
Curly chapter 76 . 9/4/2011
Oh, I am so, so hoping Hat & Cloak turns out to be the author of Trelawney's prophecies. I loathe prophecy as a storytelling crutch and would love to see you tear it to pieces. An early Author's Note refers to "real seers", which was disheartening. Thank you, Chapter 76, for keeping hope alive.
KingCritter chapter 76 . 9/4/2011
I liked the Merlin version better, which just goes to show that you can't please everyone at the same time.

The three sets of ellipses makes less sense, now; to me, that represents someone's mind getting absolutely blown. A shining lady telling a person they have a marvelous destiny? Sounds pretty mundane for a magical school. The whole Merlin thing on the other hand, now that was comed-tea worthy. And my mind was thoroughly blown.
none chapter 76 . 9/4/2011
"And Millicent had said in a small voice:

But, but she told me that she was a seer..."

You mean Daphne right?
Me chapter 76 . 9/4/2011
Hah. The mysterious Hat and Cloak guy who turned into a shiny lady is Dumbledore in disguise. The words, the tone - it matches up, I think.
KickAir 8P chapter 76 . 9/4/2011
"I don't want the impact of the Groundhog Day attack messed with by people deciding whether or not to take the last words seriously. Edited to make it completely vague."

And honestly, it's better written now - no distraction of false clues, and somehow more sinister.

I usually don't read WIPs, but I got into this ("TVTropes will ruin your life!"), and it's been great so far! Could tell you were struggling a bit with the SA arc, but it worked out well. Over-all, a feast for thought.

Re the speculation on Hermione's Stairway Stranger (which I haven't gotten all the way through, so I might've missed somebody saying this), didn't that happen on a stairway only witches can access?

~
braindoll2 chapter 76 . 9/4/2011
Please don't remove the "Merlin" business just to pander to the lowest common denominator among your readers. If you must be clearer about the Groundhog attack, then make your exposition clearer, don't change what actually happened. Something like this:

"and then, just as she first glanced at the alcove, a rush of shock and fear hit her like a Stunning Hex over her whole body, her body jerked around so fast it was like she had Apparated, and she found that without any thought or any conscious decision her wand had leaped into her hand and was already pointed at..."

It may already be too late, and I won't blame you if you don't want to go back and rewrite it for the 3rd or 4th time. But in the future, it's really hard to suspend disbelief or respect your characters as truly masterful, idiot-ball-free plotters if their very actions are retconned to be more obvious to the stupidest readers.
Vonneguts chapter 76 . 9/4/2011
This needs to be published. That is all.
Daniel chapter 76 . 9/4/2011
PLEASE, PLEASE show us the diallogue between Light Lady Quirrel and Hermione, PLEEASE!

And god, the scene with Dumbledore and Harry was intense! Loved it! Such a well constructed Albus, great job!

Great chapter as always, I know you just do this for broadcasting Rationality, but you truly have a gift in writing.
John Smith chapter 76 . 9/4/2011
This is all super interesting, really -and your other site is even more so.

The narative is just so daydreamy, it just kind of flows from one massive awesome thing to the next. And, seriously, another dues-ex coming up?

Keep it up.
Fenrir666 chapter 76 . 9/4/2011
Wow. People *really* were arguing that much about it?
braindoll chapter 76 . 9/4/2011
So, who is Hat and Cloak?

It pretty much couldn't be Bellatrix, or Lucius, or Sirius, because "recognition sent a jolt of terrified adrenaline bursting through her". (She could of course have seen a wizard-photo of any of these, but I think that calling that "recognition" would be cheating on the author's part.) And also, any unauthorized people in Hogwarts would probably be detected by both Dumbledore and the Marauders.

I don't think any students would be strong enough to cast multiple memory charms and illusions without counting the cost.

So that leaves professors.

It doesn't seem like Dumbledore's style at all; because anyway he could gain her trust (or, for that matter, make her suspicious of some illusionary enemy) without needing memory charms. Same goes for McGonnagal and probably even Sprout.

I think that Quirrel wouldn't be quite so clumsy as to need so many cycles of memory wipes. I mean, even in the one cycle that we see fully, I think Quirrel would have been able to foresee her specific reaction. I'm not saying that he would necessarily trick her easily; just that at least his failures would be cleverer. And I don't see any motive for him to be idly exploring her parameter space. So he's out.

Which leaves, basically, just Snape. I don't like that idea, because it's too obvious, but I don't see how to avoid it.
RR chapter 76 . 9/4/2011
I love the turn this chapter has taken... but I fear that Harry won't properly handle the ethical issues this path will eventually raise.
Dee chapter 76 . 9/4/2011
Can't say I have any ideas about the figure - except the obvious suggestions of Quirrell or Snape or Voldemort making an appearance in some form (but that doesn't seem likely given his presumed lack of power in this period). I also haven't managed to guess what Quirrell's zombie mode is if it isn't related to Voldemort - unless he's actually dying and that's why he's trying so hard to help them prepare and why he took the cursed defense job. In this story the man's too clever to just throw his life away.

I agree with Harry in his discussion with Dumbledore - after all, all it takes for evil to suceed is for good to do nothing. The light should all stand up and fight and fix things once and for all. No just getting by or maintaining balances.

I really can't wait to see who the Hat turns out to be - probably not who we're all guessing :)

I'm also glad that the focus has shifted somewhat off Hermoine. I could live without her. I really like Harry's character in this story and prefer him as the main character.

Overall this is still a great story and I'm going to be anxiously awaiting the next installment.
absinthespoon chapter 76 . 9/4/2011
Interesting. Just how many times was Hermione memory charmed?
Eshalar chapter 76 . 9/4/2011
I am still baffled by how Harry thinks that he can solve every problem, ever, if he just thinks hard enough about it.

There are certain limitations set in our universe, and breaking those limitations (as much as I like Gurren Lagann) wouldn't make it our universe anymore. But I feel that with this stance I will very easily fall into the trap of thinking that Status Quo is God, which I desperately try to avoid, because change is also a fundamental part of our universe, or else we wouldn't have Time.

Furthermore I must notice that scale also plays a very intricate role in human perception. Yes, in a billion years maybe the laws of our universe could change, but does that actually affect me? No. So until you come back to me with a solution for that dying thing I do not feel incined to think about those problems. Then again, shouldn't I be thinking up a solution for that, since it does actually affect me, even if I unconciously try not to think about it?

Argh!

I'm confused and my brain hurts, i'll be going to bed now.
Not-A-Spy chapter 76 . 9/4/2011
Obliviation is still a scary thing.
D chapter 76 . 9/4/2011
While I immediately realized the ghost was probably someone like Quirrel, I did not realize she was being repeatedly memory charmed until reading the comments. Though now it does seem quite obvious.

I also prefer the rewrite. When I read telling her she was the heir to Merlin I almost said out loud "That's so obviously a lie", that I would hope no one would even try to trick someone like Hermione with it.

Also it seems Harry needs a refresher lesson on how to lose.
AngelForm chapter 76 . 9/4/2011
Scene one:

Let justice be done, let the heavens fall.

Scene two:

Same old, same old.

Scene three:

Exceedingly ominous.

Amazing what can be done with massed memory charms. Wonder how many times Mister Incredibly Suspicious Person had to reset the conversation.
jdboss1 chapter 76 . 9/4/2011
i do love Hermione

I dont like to here other say harry wood hit down Hermione if she got in this ways

good to see there more to Hermione

Love this storys

Love the fast updats

I just hop you dont talk to long when makeing the next group of Chapter

Best fanfic of all time
ironhair chapter 76 . 9/4/2011
When I read 73 chapters in a go, things made more sense to me...

reading one chapter at a time is ... unsatisfying and confusing. :(

What just happened with Hermione? Was that the ravenclaw ghost?

And dont mind, I love your work, but where is this fic leading to?

How many more chapters are going to be there in the 1st year?

Is the plot going anywhere... fast :p ?
eastern rosebud chapter 76 . 9/4/2011
A very good chapter, I liked it much better than the previous ones (they were good on their own, too, but I felt the fic somehow grinding down since the end of the Azkaban escape part). Fun how Draco is slowly sucked to the Light side, I'll be waiting to see this continue in the upcoming chapters.
timunderwood9 chapter 76 . 9/4/2011
Obviously if Hermione *truly* turned against him he would crush her. As he should. The moral being if you don't want your best friend to betray you, don't become best friends with someone whose goals are fundamentally incompatible with yours.

On the other hand, in this story Hermione's fear is more salient for the time being. Harry after all is fully prepared to start a war with the Death Eater's supporters to protect her group.

Which frankly is in a sense bad prioritization, but of course it is sort of like a Cold War fight over Berlin, it isn't *actually* about Berlin, though Berlin is important, it actually is about everything.

But this is really good, given fan fic writers tendency to stop at points I was slightly wondering if that was going on with MoR, given who you are I rather expected better but... OTOH completely working through the entire episode, with the ability that gives to iteratively reedit everything, and make sure it is done right, before finishing posting the remainder of the episode is obviously the right thing to do.

Anyways that dude is weird. The question is whether your plot is something I could puzzle out if I spend too much time thinking about it, or not.

Honestly though, what I should spend time thinking about is Dumbledore and Harry's conversation. Dumbledore being partially right, but Harry being more right, but right in a way which shows he either doesn't have the normal set of deontological emotions, or hasn't yet faced the set of circumstances.
Sunni chapter 76 . 9/4/2011
To those confused! She had already had her mind erased, possibly several times, on our first introduction of the Mr. Cloak and Hat guy. She then has her mind erased again at the end as this guy tries a different approach.
kohmaru chapter 76 . 9/4/2011
Having read the original chapter last night and the revised chapter today, I will be honest and say the revision is better.

I don't think the original was bad, nor was I particularly confused by the last section- it was hokey enough that nearly anyone would appreciate it for what it was. I think especially with your writing, this would be the case.

To be fair to your readers though (the ones that were confused/shocked), this is fan fiction, and I too have read a number of good (possibly great) fics that suddenly spiral into the absurd/contrived and never pull themselves out.

Also the vagueness is good from a character point of view. If the shadowy figure knows anything about Hermione at all, would know not try so cheesy a line as "last scion of Merlin, or Ravenclaw, etc." The concreteness of the lies makes them harder to prove and easier to refute, vagueness always has an aura of "maybe".

The fact that there were multiple permutations of the conversation between Hermione and the Mysterious figure has also become more obvious from the unrevised version. It's possible that I skimmed over that fact originally- but I had thought in the unrevised version that the metamorphosis had taken place within the same conversation, instead of a reset. Which would make it doubly obvious to Hermione that there was something off (if the conversation with the Slytherin girls hadn't been enough to alert her to mysterious strangers imparting "helpful" advice). Again this could have been me simply reading to quickly, but whatever the case, the clarity of the memory wipe makes it much more chilling.

I look forward to your next installment.
Arkh Cthuul chapter 76 . 9/4/2011
Ah, the virtue of malleable appearancesMemory Charms. So incredibly useful for ... less scrupulous people, shall we say?

Overall a great chapter regarding character buildup.
admiralskippy chapter 76 . 9/4/2011
WINNING
farwalker chapter 76 . 9/4/2011
I loved the conversation with Harry and dumbledore. And draco's reflections.

And im really puzzled by the ghostly figure talking to Hermoine.
German chapter 76 . 9/4/2011
Nice chapter. I regret not seeing all versions because I had no time earlier in the day, they sound funny in the author's notes.

And just to show how little actual information we have I want to post an somewhat unrealistic but still possible theory:

Mr Incredibly Suspicious Person is Bellatrix Lestrange. She may have quickly recovered but that's not necessary, because we already know, that she can memory charm and illusion shouldn't be too difficult. She found Mr Hat and Cloak tormented him and now uses his disguise for a reason I don't know. But I also don't know why Quirrel should do this.

So I wait for the next chapters to reveal who this person is.
Darjeelings chapter 76 . 9/4/2011
My gosh, things are getting complicated.

Understanding everything reasonably enough: chapters 1 - 59

Point of slight Confusion: chapter 60

Shaking my head: chapter 61 (still don't understand how Harry bypassed the Time Turner limit)

Absolutely lost: whole Self Actualization arc

At least my brain carried me this far. You said this was a fic for adults, so I guess I can understand why I don't understand...

Looks like I need to reread.
ev11 chapter 76 . 9/4/2011
not sure if magical trolling or technomancy from the future... hmm anyway liked the chapter made a load of really good points that i wish the rest of the world would take notice of and understand but oh well another century maybe..
Randomsample chapter 76 . 9/4/2011
Good chapter, but I was a bit confused about the last sequence of events. It says:

"her body jerked around so fast it was like she had Apparated, she found that without any thought or any conscious decision her wand had leaped into her hand and was already pointed at..."

, but I thought she was already facing and pointing her wand at the mysterious figure? Did another mysterious figure appear behind her?
Larry Huss chapter 76 . 9/4/2011
Wonderful chapter. You don't like keeping things simple, do you?

A very nice way to explain why Dumbledore is both a good person, and a disastrous leader of the Light. In the course of events the quote "Violence is the last resort of the incompetent" often really means that if the people in charge had used violence in the proper form and in the proper time in the first (or perhaps second place) things would have been resolved before before things got so desperate.

Keep writing, please. I'm not a clever person, or a very logical one, so all the clues you've no doubt placed around with the answers to your enigmas still completely elude me, and I eagerly await the Reveal!

Yrs Larry Huss
iamnuff chapter 76 . 9/4/2011
was that last part of the last scene a memory charm?

shadowguy says: oh shit, shes on to me, better get another costume and try again.

i think shadow doesnt know nearly as much as he thinks he knows,

your phenix talk about albus is quite scary, in the old days he was a big powerful phenix, casting his light over the whole nation, protecting them, guarding them. then the dark came, but the dark cant hurt something so bright, so powerful, so it aimed for those around him, killing him by inches. till he was too old, too scared, too HURT, to fight back.

then voldemort died, BUT THE WAR DIDNT STOP. peope arnt dying in the streets anymore, but the death eater own the minister, the own the goverment. even albus admits hes on shaky ground. sitting there in his nest, casting what megear light he still dares on hogswarts. a old phenix ready to burn out

what happeneds when he's gone? when the death eater kick him out, or when he dies?

everyones smarter in your story, i doubt they would replace him with someone as incompetant as umbridge, like in canon.

get someone more subersive, bring the children around, give it 2-3 generations and they will be the ones running everything, teaching their kids what you taught them.

the dark wins.

its time for albus to decide is he REALLY a phenix, will he burn out, then come back, brighter than before, ready to protect?

or is he just a chicken?
James Firecat chapter 76 . 9/4/2011
Well this chapter more or less wraps up this particular segment pretty nicely or at least lays the groundwork for what is to come (whatever that may be) still not completely sure what Snape is up to, but then there's no fun if you always know what is going to come next.

Poor Miss Granger seems like she's about to learn a harsh lesson on the subject of magical "queens" and how they can be just as terrifying as they are beautiful if not now than at least some point down the line.

My only real fear at the moment though is that with this chapter posted you're done and it'll be a long time til we get another update or will there be another chapter in only three days?
Rispah chapter 76 . 9/4/2011
Just wanted to say I'm so happy you started updating again! I was worried that you'd just... stopped.

Can't wait to read the next installment!
Felix chapter 76 . 9/4/2011
OH MY GOD I'M SO EXCITED WHAT'S NEXT AHHHRGGGH
WarDaft chapter 76 . 9/4/2011
I have never before felt compelled to review a chapter. I was lucky enough to have read the original version of this chapter, and I have to say, it was much more dire. The final change at the end is fine, but now there are *too many* hints before it. A good twist is a *subtle* twist... so that it might creep up behind you slowly, so that you can feel something coming but not be sure what. Then it hits you with horrid realization all at once. It's just a little to obvious now what's going on before the next iteration, particularly with people talking about memory charms just a little further up the page. By all means, give more indication that *something* is terribly wrong, but you can't be THAT obvious about it!
w chapter 76 . 9/4/2011
Oooh, I can now review an edit to a chapter, how exciting. Merlin on one hand was funny on a metalevel, but unlikely for a Hermione to believe. Really, if HaC has any clue, he'd know it's not in her character to harbor fantasies of being a princess.

That Grindelwald is not guarded by Dementors is unbelievable without extra information. Even if this comes from the canon - you've already made this world more realistic and Dumbledore does accept usage of Dementors, so any time this came up in politics, he would have just given up.

Also, the entire memory charming should make the world much much different. If any teacher at school had the capacity to do whatever to the child and make them forget it, there would need to be methods of verifying it happened or Malfoy would not be sending Draco to any public school. If there are methods, all families would be using them, so Snape's blatant meddling would necessarily be detected.

Draco is being clumsy here. He could have done the same by just making sneering remarks and demonstrating how stupid bullying Millicent is.
harrypotterspirit chapter 76 . 9/4/2011
Would Dumbledore try to intimidate Hermione in hopes of altering Harry's future plans? I'm grasping here. Great chapter.
LAHH chapter 76 . 9/4/2011
Excellent chapter. Thanks for updating
Silver1226 chapter 76 . 9/4/2011
Oh dear. Memory charm, take two. But Hermione's heart is already pounding, and she already has her wand in her hand. You can make the mind for get, but the body remembers, she is still afraid. Fantastic new chapter, I can't wait for the new update _
Fishnet Tights chapter 76 . 9/4/2011
These latest few have been long awaited and sweeter for it. Again, though, I find myself at the end of this marvellous series and crave more. Thankyou Less Wrong.
Alyxe chapter 76 . 9/4/2011
Heyla, LW

Oh, SNEAKY, sneaky. However, I managed to read the original version when you first uploaded, the much more explicit denouement of Hermoine and her 'friend'.

Now, of course, I will be wondering if that was your intent, a true spoiler, a false spoiler to encourage preconceptions and incorrect assumptions or what.

...well done. -mutter, mutter-

On other notes, this was a VERY good episode, even given the overall quality of the story thus far. The tension between Dumbledore and Harry was well done, enough that I have read it three times now and still get the shivers.

Thank you,

-r
Howard Russell chapter 76 . 9/4/2011
So beautiful and terrifying. You've truly captured the mystery and horror of JK's wizarding world. This story is brilliant.
hpmorgeek chapter 76 . 9/4/2011
Wondering why Harry has forgotten his lesson on how to lose.

If he remembers that, then he certainly should think of tactical losses necessary to achieve strategic victories, right? Or is Harry too dumb to apply the lesson of losing to his causes and not just himself?
782782 chapter 76 . 9/4/2011
I don'th ave much to say, really. Just FANTASTIC.
Itachi's apprentice chapter 76 . 9/4/2011
Great work.
Play4ever chapter 76 . 9/4/2011
Huh? Now who the heck is THAT?

Btw - very nice aftermath. And I think that Harry is saying about Albus what we all think. I wonder ... does it mean we are all immature or that Albus is really wrong? :D
shhIwasn'there chapter 76 . 9/4/2011
okay this "incredibly dark suspicious dude/lady is incredibly untrustable. what the hell is it anyway? and what does it want? what did it gain from zabini's effort in the battle?
Double-Portion chapter 76 . 9/4/2011
The hell? You're introducing a new element to the story?
GameOfThrones13 chapter 76 . 9/4/2011
HARRY/RON/HERMIONE 4 EVER!

You forgot the meaning of JKR's books! This story is just an insult to her!
Mavarax chapter 76 . 9/4/2011
Will we ever find out who M.I.S.P is? If I was Hermione I'd have just tried to hit his hat with a spell. Was her memory wiped in the moment of disorientation? Is Millicent telling the truth or not? I thought she had a time turner? Is Harry or Prof Q. telling her or M.I.S.P? Why does Dumbledore have to try and stop Harry's awesomeness? Does he actually think people will die or is this future training?
Nakedkali chapter 76 . 9/4/2011
In the meeting with Quirinius Quirrell and Severus Snape, Quirrell is not Snape's professor. And yet, that is mostly the proper noun phrase you use "Professor Quirrel". Severus Snape's full name is repeated twice and he is called Snape, Potions Master but never Professor Snape. It reads oddly, like this passage was originally intended to be between Quirrell and a student.

Maybe write with just unadorned Quirrell, or with Quirinius Quirrell in some places?
elai chapter 76 . 9/4/2011
Fucking Cliffhangers! Will this turn into Harry Potter: Rise of the Emperor?
Elelith chapter 76 . 9/4/2011
Well written chapter as usual...just one think I'm not sure is intentional, when Harry enters Dumbledore's office he says: 'that he would not torment any student in her fourth year or below?' it makes it sound like he would not bully female students only... The ending was weird even by your standards but I imagine it's going to turn into a super cool plot line like the rest of your story. The conversation between Harry and Dumbledore was my favourite of their talks to date. I was listening to two steps from hell- after the fall while reading it, and the whole thing went down reallyy well. Anyways, thank you for the prompt updates.
MissGardenia chapter 76 . 9/4/2011
I'm still having a hard time remembering whether I'm supposed to believe what Harry is saying or realize that he's still an eleven year old without real experience talking older than he is who got suckered into busting Bellatrix goddamn Lestrange out of prison.
Mikko Rauhala chapter 76 . 9/4/2011
Hah, wonder if there are more than the three implied Hermione-Groundhogging rounds ;)

Powerful stuff with ol' Heh there. "The phoenix's price isn't inevitable," the boy said. "It's not part of some deep balance built into the universe. It's just the parts of the game where you haven't figured out yet how to cheat."

Anyway, I was somewhat unclear the last time, so let it be said that me finding Snape annoying wasn't a literary critique, but I rather got sidetracked to general commentary. I did say he was being very Snape, thus a well-written Snape. Just that the foremost thing conveyed about that part was annoyance at the rather extreme lengths he went that particular time. But that's between me and Snape, really ;)

Have to say I did fail to appreciate the benefit of his action to his larger cover. Good to also see at this point some verification of him going around solo plotting. Memory charms aplenty...

And poor Draco, having to justify being a better person than he oughta be! But he seems to manage, thus far.
cheekylildevil chapter 76 . 9/4/2011
Hermione has a ghost? The ghost? It's not just harry in a cloak? Whoa...

And Harry is openly against Dumbledore now... and Draco isn't sure what he's doing...

You are one amazing author Less Wrong, that's all I've really got to say here...

Thanks,

Piper
Arlaikeeno chapter 76 . 9/4/2011
Read the fic. Liked it, at first. By the time I reached chapter 76, I got really, REALLY tired of it. Logic, as a character idiosyncrasy, is interesting. However, characters are interesting only as long their emotions and feelings war against each other, but are more or less are in balance. When one gets more powerful than the other, after the novelty wears off, it gets boring. Your characters are too rigid/frigid and too scared of being silly, too inhuman, to be interesting. Too much of anything is tiring. In the case of this fic, logic and intelligence are a type of super-power tool in the hands of a screwed up kid with screwed up logic. Unfortunately, the problem with geniuses is that, just as in the case with all lone super heroes, no one can actually deal with them outside of emergencies, because no one can identify with them. I do thank you for the unusual situation of reviewing a very good, very well written fic, where the characters are too clever, instead of the usual too dumb. Good by.
Shebs chapter 76 . 9/4/2011
Wait.. what?

Aw, hell. Now I'm more curious about mr Hat than ever.
Other chapter 76 . 9/4/2011
Oh, and I had my Harry Potter Time-line messed up.

When I read the "But while his Muggle allies yet made blood sacrifice to sustain him," I was picturing stupid humans in a circle burning/bleeding one person at a time. Reason, I thought Grindelwald was "dethroned" before WWII, but Alsadius' second realization totally changed my interpretation.

:

It was obvious to Old Dumby. Why do you think the robes changed back to yellow.

...

Also, "loosing his cool with the time-turner trick" I mean he did not know how it was and the trick Harry used blew him for a loop for a moment. Then, he realized it was Harry after he removed the cloak... and then that it was the time-turner. In all likelihood, Dumby asked for McGonagall presence in order to LET Harry do his trick.

And, "screwing with Hermione's head" means that 's trying to accomplish something that requires use of Hermy... not that Mr. Hat's doing this just to screw with her head.

...

In addition, the last we see in this chapter she might not fall for. It's just one of the many times he resets the clock. Eventually, Mr. Hat will find something the works; until then, "Oh, hello Again Hermy."
Lila chapter 76 . 9/4/2011
Harry and Dumbledore's philosophical arguments are my favorite. They're always so epic. Harry's quite the lecturer but I *like* it when he lectures people. His youthful outrage is so appealing, it makes me want him to speak for me! So here are some things I wish Harry had said or done:

-Harry should have told Hermione that she was just flat out *wrong* about him meddling in "her life". She and SPHEW were taking public actions, and any member of the Hogwarts public could get involved in those public affairs. She doesn't own SPHEW or Hogwarts or the problem of bullies. It's really weird that she keeps talking like what's happening is just her own private business.

-He might have told Dumbledore that it isn't true that Snape is just hurting students' *feelings*. Hogwarts, like schools in general, indoctrinates children into the way of things in their society. Particularly things having to do with authority, power, factions-politics. The vast majority of British wizards attended Hogwarts-a school where bullies are, for the most part, not punished, but victims who are known to defend themselves are; where heads of house practice favoritism; where children of powerful parents are not subject to the same rules as everyone else; where the basic philosophy is, "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em, or at least shut up and take it". It seems this is the way it works not just in Hogwarts but in Britain's wizarding society in general, where lots of the powerful people are Death Eaters and the Ministry is blatantly corrupt. Hogwarts helps create and maintain this culture. Snape's abuse is a powerful force in doing this, and before him there were undoubtedly other abusive teachers who did it. Hogwarts produced quite a few Death Eaters a generation ago, and Snape is helping to make more Death Eaters, even though he might not wish to. *Mostly* he's helping to make good, submissive victims. Snape's as indoctrinated as the rest. I bet most wizards can't imagine that wizarding society could be better. I mean, even a little less oppressive seems impossible to them. Harry's first war will be Dumbledore's third, if he survives that long. Dumbledore's first, with Grindelwald, was when he was a young man. Dumbledore has lived his whole life, longer than any muggle's life, in this kind of society, the kind that produces a Grindelwald, a Voldemort, and, in Harry's day, a Slytherin House full of Death Eater hopefuls. Hogwarts is not blameless in any of this. It's not just students' feelings that are being hurt. Abuse damages people and it damages society.
JohnL117 chapter 76 . 9/4/2011
Lol the last words just got changed from merlin to whats there now after i accidentally refreshed it. Then I read your authors note. I'm kinda suprised that a lot of people actually thought she was the heir (or at least thats what your authors note implies) as you have done this kind of thing before.
Other chapter 76 . 9/4/2011
I'm surprised you removed the instance where ALbus' robes change from yellow to blue.

I took that as the headmaster really loosing his cool with the time-turner trick. Yes, it did not turn a dark blue/purple/black but even that small change on his part was greatly reveling.

Also, the inclusion of extra "- she felt a momentary sense of disorientation -" wasn't necessary. Did you add one or explain when it happened to Zabini? It is slightly different, but I am sure those that read this tail would be able to figure out that Mr. Hat's screwing with Hermione's head. I'm not sure if the change from Merlin's last decedent to "most marvelous destiny" was a good choice. Sure, it might appeal more to Hermione's unique sense of vanity more so than the former, but the Merlin addition was so out of place that it was good. In fact, it seems more likely people'll assume she has a "marvelous destiny" ahead of her than she's Merlin's decedent (It would be funny if a group of student's find her body at the beginning of the next chapter... but that's not going to happen).

Before this chapter, I was sure that "Mr. Hat"-yes I will only refer to him thusly-was the Voldemort character that's from the source material found sucking unicorn. However, this chapter has screwed with my mind, which is saying Mr. Hat's Future!Harry. Unlikely as Harry is to underestimate Hermy... and improbability of multiyear time travel, the possibility is still nagging at the back of my mind. Anyways, bet's still on old moldy Voldy (or Dissociative Quirrell).
Darkly Dreaming chapter 76 . 9/4/2011
Confused? Absolutely. Intrigued? Most definitely. Frustrated at my own confusion? Yes, a little. Perched on the edge of my La-Z-Boy, waiting for the next update? Well, no, not really. But it's how I feel on the inside. XD

~*SRC*~
109 chapter 76 . 9/4/2011
Wow, Harry's become quite a self-righteous little prick.
O chapter 76 . 9/4/2011
I like the change you made at the end. The idea flows better and doesn't seem so preposterous. The guy trying to convince her that hes a friend now seems much more manipulative.

Great writing, I know its all fiction yet I'm hoping what ever hes trying to convince her of, she doesn't buy it... but now she might.
Remoara chapter 76 . 9/4/2011
singingOh I love it, I love it, I love it SO much, and I can't wait for the non-fiction!/singing D

One thing bout this chapter: if even *I* thought the possibility that Harry had used the time turner to get into Dumbledore's office was instantly obvious... why wasn't it instantly obvious to Dumbledore?
xan avalon chapter 76 . 9/3/2011
O my goodness gracious, as my grandmother used to say.

there have been SO many interesting setups planted in this story from pretty much the get-go, and then they are never mentioned again even though they are fairly obviously designed to lead to Interesting Consequences down the road somewhere. The one with Mr. Hat and Cloak and the "quintuple agent" business was one of the more blatant. Interesting to see it brought up again so soon.

This is what makes a Harry Potter story written for grownups such an intensely delightful event. :)
Akshatsinghal chapter 76 . 9/3/2011
This was one awesome Chapter !

Keep up the good work. Waiting for the next !

:)
Alsadius chapter 76 . 9/3/2011
1) That's the first time I can think of in quite a while that I've come down on Dumbledore's side in an argument with Harry. He's actually starting to seem 11 years old to me with arguments like this, and not like a university student stuffed into smaller robes.

2) Did you just imply that the Holocaust was actually a plot to power-up a wizard? Yikes.

3) Regarding that last bit, I'm not even going to wager a guess. I will say, though, that I'm sure I'm going to enjoy the answer.
MoonstoneMuse chapter 76 . 9/3/2011
Damn, I had been so sure that Mr. Hat and Cloak was Professor Snape...unless Mr. Suspicious isn't the same person...ahh! So confused, this thing is so brilliant!

Until the next chapter. *bows before your amazingness*

*sincerely hoping that the end makes sense to me*
Convictski chapter 76 . 9/3/2011
I think I may have a little bit of a crush on you.

Congratulations!
Guest chapter 76 . 9/3/2011
There's just one thing I can say to this.

What.
faithaholic chapter 76 . 9/3/2011
nice chapter, but now i'm confused...
Ephemeralen chapter 76 . 9/3/2011
I find it very disturbing that ANYONE thought you'd ACTUALLY just established Hermione as the Heir of Merlin. That seems like a mistake a whole order of magnitude worse than Missing The Painting For The Paint. Were they even paying attention?

I'm kind of surprised that Harry didn't see what Snape was doing; indeed, Snape did exactly what Harry predicted the faculty would do, just in a WEIRD way, from which (though it hurt her) Hermione emerged stronger than she was before.

Not exactly an IdiotBall on Harry's part, but perhaps an arc defined by two points on the IdiotBall...and I'm going to metaphor!hell now.
josh148513 chapter 76 . 9/3/2011
Trick or real is the ?

Love story

Is this the person named Santa claus with the porkey
Zicou chapter 76 . 9/3/2011
What the **** :)

I must say i'm confused by this ending, maybe i ought to re-read it, because i'm sure i didn't understood what happend :)

Great chapter,

Continuuuuuuuuuuuuue,

Z.
bakapervert chapter 76 . 9/3/2011
Thanks for the update.
goobidoo chapter 76 . 9/3/2011
Unfortunately i think that draco malfoy is my favorite character. :/
aldeka chapter 76 . 9/3/2011
OH SHIIIII-

Here's hoping someone else walks by that corridor soon, before Hermione get's Groundhog Day'd into oblivion. :(

The question is: is Mr. Hat and Cloak trying again and again until he gets a particular piece of information out Hermione, or until he convinces her to do some plot-furthering thing? And will she remember the last iteration (where Mr. H&C gets what he wants, whatever that is) or not?

Nice to get some affirmation of my conjecture regarding Snape.
badkidoh chapter 76 . 9/3/2011
yet another great chapter.

hmmm... a descendant of Merlin, well that's different.
A fan chapter 76 . 9/3/2011
Fantastic chapter, the ending is really suspenseful. Damn you for keeping us on edge there though, glad its only a three day wait. But yeah, I hope she doesn't fall for the white lady approach because that's just messed up... I wonder how many different figures were tried between the cloaked shadow guy and the lady?

Also, she had her memory wiped you bunch of complainers. Read before you complain.
dhasenan chapter 76 . 9/3/2011
This is probably the best chapter yet, the most moving since Quirrell's star ocean speech, with the exception of Hermione's section, which is Yudkowsky being a royal bastard to all of us. I think. If not, then I am quite disappointed that he is falling into such a tired trope (and Hermione should be smart enough not to fall for it, either). Even in the more likely circumstance that it's a feint, it's unpleasant to read it, since it's such a terrible and tired cliche.

This is the first time I have disliked anything nontrivial in this story.
faulty limit chapter 76 . 9/3/2011
I literally shouted "NO! AAAAAAAUGH!" after the memory wipe.
ANON chapter 76 . 9/3/2011
Took me the second read-through to realize whatever that is is resetting Hermione every time it fails to get whatever result it wants.
Loonynamelass chapter 76 . 9/3/2011
Interesting. I wonder how this final twist will turn out. You have very

From the beginning:

-The phoenix's price. I still found it very sad that Harry always refuses to listen to Dumbledore... There is wisdom there, and Dumbledore is actually offering it to him as directly as he can. He opened up, but with the mention of a dementor-less prison, Harry loses it. It being that chance...

-Quirrel and Snape. Loved the parallel to that PS passage!

-And the last part... I hope you play that part well. Generally you've been pretty good about just changing/extending what exists, or satirizing fanfiction. This is something that appears, to me at least, unprecedented in that respect. I expect that because it's from you, it won't be disappointing.
w chapter 76 . 9/3/2011
The ending is very nice. I missed the "there was a sense of fatigue in her fingers like she'd been holding the wand for hours instead of minutes" hint too, but it's clear what's going on. Quite scary too. But how is this more interesting than Legilimency for Mr. Hat and Cloak?
K chapter 76 . 9/3/2011
I confess that until I read Lynette Starkiller's comment I had no idea what was going on here. (It's obvious on a reread, of course.)

So I guess the question is: which character is most likely to come up with the name 'Myrlirrien'? It does look kind of like someone smashed 'Quirrell' and 'Merlin' together, which is why I don't think Quirrell is likely to have come up with it. (I mean, yes, that's what he wants you to think etc., but ... no.)

Snape, though... Snape, I could see. Snape is known to be able to cast Memory Charms repeatedly and precisely. The figure reached for a tidbit about Snape in an attempt to interest Hermione. (That this last fact favors Snape at all seems intuitively obvious to me, but I do know what 'intuitively obvious' really means.)

...

It's actually Bellatrix Black, isn't it?
Illhousen chapter 76 . 9/3/2011
OK, so time travel in the last part is clearly implied by the line "Time..." and Mobius structure of the scene, but that's not the only one possible explanation.

Quick memory charm and some illusions would've done pretty much the same.

It would also explain Hermione's tiredness.

Besides, events contradict established rules of time travel - stable time loops.

Just thought I should post it.
Outlet of Shadows chapter 76 . 9/3/2011
well...

that should satisfy the purebloods.
Rosa Mundi chapter 76 . 9/3/2011
Oh my. I don't believe it for a minute. That's Quirrelmort being tricksy, that is.
Lydia M Argent chapter 76 . 9/3/2011
Yes because Hermione being the lost descendent of Merlin makes complete sense.
A Bibliophile chapter 76 . 9/3/2011
I can't decide if you have seriously just turned Hermione into a sparkly magical girl, Myrlirrien is Quirrel plotting in disguise, or whether you have some sneaky scheme I haven't thought of yet.

I don't know what thought is more attractive to me: Super-Hermione or Quirrel in a dress.
AnaRola chapter 76 . 9/3/2011
First readthrough: What a great chapter, spoiled by the stupidest plot twist ever. If it were anyone else, I'd stop reading, but I assume you know what you're doing...

But still! How stupid!

Second readthrough: there was a sense of fatigue in her fingers like she'd been holding the wand for hours instead of minutes -

Wow. You probably get this a lot, but you're brilliant, and utterly terrifying, and I can't believe I read that without seeing -

But, you know, i probably shouldn't spoil it for everyone else. So PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: IF YOU THOUGHT THE ENDING WAS STUPID, REREAD IT. IF YOU DIDN'T THINK IT WAS COMPLETELY EVIL AND TERRIFYING, REREAD IT.

And congratulations, Mr. LessWrong, on reaching new heights of awesomeness.
Chargone chapter 76 . 9/3/2011
odd ending is odd...

and worrisome.
Violet Shadows chapter 76 . 9/3/2011
It takes a truly cynical person to have someone come to you and say you are both special and worthwhile and for you to immediately respond: "Bullshit!"

Somehow I don't think Hermione has gotten there yet.
Speechwriter chapter 76 . 9/3/2011
Oh, thank God I read the author's note. I read the last line, chortled a little to myself, and thought, "He must be kidding." Then I debated with myself for a while, wondering if you would possibly consider doing something so ... so...

In any case, I then checked the author's note and was satisfied.

Dumbledore's Phoenix's Price chamber was a beautiful scene. The way you characterize Dumbledore in general is brilliant. The subtle frustrations he shows as opposed to the torments beneath the surface? Fantastic.

I'll admit that I'm glad Harry has finally decided one way or another on the topic of what he plans to do to end both the bullying debacle and, oh, right, that Voldemort thing he's going to have to deal with. The debate between Harry's belief that strictly enforced, no-tolerance good CAN conquer/overpower evil and the opposing belief that concessions must be made was growing slightly overlong; the fact that it's come to a head is a nice indicator that Harry's plot points will start picking up once more. He's been pretty internal-debate heavy lately, while Hermione's been bearing the brunt of the plot.

Admittedly, I was a little indignant about the scene between Quirrell and Snape. Of course, in retrospect/having read the books, a series of dangerous and powerful challenges being hidden behind that weakly locked door does seem painfully obvious. But using Quirrell's character as an expository device for that obviousness, when it seems as if he's not going to try to bypass the obstacles, smacks of unnecessary disregard for the source material. BUT I'd love to see you up the ante with a necessity that Quirrell and Harry force their way past those challenges, especially if they're new'n'improved challenges that are truly difficult even for a wizard of Quirrell's caliber. It'd create a nice ironic parallel to the fact that Quirrell seems to have tossed aside all desire of trying to circumvent the obstacles.

The other half of my indignance was that Snape comes off as largely incompetent. Could just be the juxtaposition with Quirrell - I mean, when even Harry Potter looks inadequate next to him, what're you going to do? - but at the same time, Snape seems like he should have more in him than a tendency to steam with barely-contained fury. I look forward to seeing him develop further - the way you ended the scene was a nice lead-in to future events, I thought.

Definitely enjoyed Draco's section. Draco is certainly walking a fine line, and he's doing it with precarious expertise. I do miss his and Harry's interactions of earlier chapters, though; they had such great chemistry. (NOT LIKE THAT NOT LIKE THAT NOT LIKE THAT. What I meant was, they seemed to bring out the best [and most hilarious] in each other.)

As a side note, the phrase 'Harry-words' should become a part of everyday vocabulary. Can we create a MoR Dictionary? MoRCTIONARY! LET'S DO IT!

So sorry to read about the wildly disrespectful experience you had with DLP, by the way. You may have simply gotten a bad egg among the bunch; from what I've heard, they can be constructive and helpful.

This is, er, purely from what I've heard, though. My personal experience isn't great - the review board basically bashed my little ol' fic into the ground based on the fact that it was romance-centric and not concept-based, i.e. that my female lead spent time commenting on the attractiveness of my male lead rather than exploring the technicalities of my worldbuilding. Which, in my opinion, is something one should expect when going into a fanfic under the category of, uh, 'romance', but I digress.

They do seem to take pride in their vitriol, for whatever reason. (The people who called my work a 'joke' and a 'trollfic' did so with such vindictive delight and all-around dismissiveness!) I don't see why anyone would be so pathetic as to enjoy tearing down other people's efforts.

Honestly (and I'm a picky picky human being), one of the great things about MoR is that it doesn't need changing to satisfy its readers. It is what it is, and what it is is a delight to read all the way through.

And, on that note, congratulations on the fundraising. Rationality for the win indeed.

/TL;DR
NothingPretentious chapter 76 . 9/3/2011
Excellent chapter. The way Harry got into Dumbledore's office was immediately obvious to me - one of the few times I've figured something in this fic out ahead of the explanation.

I'm amused to see people querying whether Hermione "really is" the descendant of Merlin in reviews.

Keep up the good work.
AlchemistofSilver chapter 76 . 9/3/2011
Finally! I was wondering when Merlin and Atlantis would come into play.
Jonathan chapter 76 . 9/3/2011
So if your first attempt fails just oblivate them and try again?

Damn.
Bittersweet Freedom chapter 76 . 9/3/2011
...Please tell me you're kidding, and this is just Quirrel trying to get Hermione to trust him, so he can get rid of her. I'm so tired of Hermione. Want moar Harry, Quirrel, and Draco.
WordsUponWords chapter 76 . 9/3/2011
Amazing chapter! The last part with Hermione was truly terrifying! I did notice however that in the first aftermath, Dumbledore's robes are first described as yellow, then later as blue, and finally described as yellow near the end.
Overlooked Supporting Cast chapter 76 . 9/3/2011
Okay, the end of this chapter seems almost irredeemably bad, which means the eventual reveal is probably going to have a hell of a payoff. If giant glowing flashing letters spelling "THIS IS STUPID" are not dancing around Hermione's head right now, I will be incredibly disappointed.

Draco continues to be mildly interesting, if only because we're all still waiting for him to mess up somehow, or get into some sort of real trouble. He's been walking the razor's edge for like fifty chapters now.

I've often thought of your Dumbledore as little more than a straw man, but you've given him some decent characterization here, and really fleshed him out as a good and decent man who has grown too used to sacrifices. Of course, he's still a good and decent man made out of like 30% straw, but that's approaching canon.

Seriously though, the cliffhanger is just so incredibly dumb. I'm guessing that the "Time-" line was an attempt at deceiving Hermione into concluding that this obvious fraud actually /is/ a method of obtaining information transmitted from the distant future (very likely one where Harry goes on a calculated rampage)? In any case, I'm looking forward to seeing who the hell is playing Hogwarts' first year for a pack of fools. It seems beyond all comprehension that you'd actually invent such a horrible OC, or that even Hermione, who Rowling admitted was a blatant self-insert, could be that much of a Mary Sue.

Of course, I could be wrong. Oh well. We'll always have Tracey Davis.
Triangular Reasoning chapter 76 . 9/3/2011
Nice long chapter with quite the whammy ending. I think its a testament to the mind-screwy nature and political intrigue that my first thought to the Merlin thing was "that's gotta be a lie or a bluff".

The bit about Dumbledore's fallen comrades was quite powerful, but amazingly enough that probably wasn't even my favorite bit of the chapter! Quirrel's unwavering badassery and the Snape conflict was very cool, but the Draco bit was just beautiful, talking about his inner conflict within his house and how he actually preferred to be with his mixed army instead of his Slytherin house. The fact that he's showing some compassion (albeit false!) to his cronies was quite touching actually. Though the bit that really took the cake for me was this:

"Hermione began ascending a short spiral of yellow marble steps protruding from a central spine, a poorly-kept "secret" staircase that was actually one of the fastest ways up from the Slytherin dungeons to the Ravenclaw tower, but which only witches could use. (Why girls in particular needed a quick way to move from Ravenclaw to Slytherin and back was something Hermione found a bit puzzling.)"

Heh, a reference to how you previously said Ravenclaw was the sister house of Slytherin? Hehe, seems the staircase made it easy for the brainy girls to find the bad boys or vice versa XD
Guest chapter 76 . 9/3/2011
Interesting. So just as pure blo
skeptic7 chapter 76 . 9/3/2011
I will sooner believe in Twinkly Princess Green of Sunshine before I believe that Hermione is the last magical descendent of Merlin and the dark scary male, or the light soothing female is a trustworthy confident. Luckily Hermione has lost all the sweet trustfullness after being a General, and a Heroine and a leader among witches of SPHHEW.

I am glad that Harry is doing what is right not what is safe and consulting phoenixes not old and weary and unimaginative wizards.

Poor Draco is finding himself actually leading instead of being his father's deputy.
Eli Courtwright chapter 76 . 9/3/2011
I appreciate how sympathetic and relatable you make Dumbledore; a lesser author would make him a straw man with deliberately weak arguments for Harry to tear down. But every time he and Harry argue, I end up with even more sympathy and understanding for Dumbledore and his positions, even when I disagree with him.

I'm also looking forward to seeing what comes, if anything, of Quirrel's manipulation of Hermoine. Using memory charms to repeat a conversation like that is brilliant, so even if nothing really happens as a result of it, I love the fact that the smarter characters in MoR do this kind of clever/creative thing with magic.
Entropic Specter chapter 76 . 9/3/2011
More delicious chapter! Very nice!

So, were Dumbledore's robes in the beginning yellow, blue or did they colorshift?

And... Damn. Resetting the situation and adapting is not fair. What does that Cloak&Hat thing think it is? Some kind of Omega? I suppose it has to work with a time limit though. Somebody else might appear in that corridor after all. Thus the result should be less optimal than that of a super intelligence simulating Hermione to get the best outcome.

Aah. At least the next chapter will come soon.

Great work, keep it up!
Eclipse1234 chapter 76 . 9/3/2011
Cliched to the point of ridiculousness. The problem is, everyone believes that you of all people would never write something like this into the plot, and would immediately assume its just to mess with us. However, since you obviously foresee us being able to deduce this, you might just make it a valid plot idea as a surprise and to keep us on our toes. I no longer know what to expect. Not that I did in the first place, though.
loonyphoenix chapter 76 . 9/3/2011
Uh... That sounds... ominous :)

Very cool chapter, thank you.
Guest chapter 76 . 9/3/2011
Interesting conclusion to the chapter. I wonder what you and Mr. Hat and Cloak have planned. As always, I look forward to more. Thanks for writing!
Fresh C chapter 76 . 9/3/2011
This was a weird chapter. I'm mostly just afraid that you're going to instantly switch away from this new development with Hermione.

SPOILERS

Also, I hope that she really is a muggleborn because that was kind of the point of her character. She was basically the anti-thesis to pureblood supremacy in cannon...

But now that I think about it, you already explained that all mugleborns are actually distantly related to some witch or wizard through recessive genes, so I guess she can still be related to Merlin and be a muggleborn.

I guess there's nothing to do but see where this goes.

On an unrelated note I enjoyed the depth you added to Goyle's character in this chapter. And it seems as if Malfoy is officially out of his league. Eventually he's going to either have to give up some of his influence, give up some of his morals, or take a level in badass.

Also I think that both Dumbledore and Harry have a point. It's unreasonable to believe that Dumbledore couldn't have simply stopped the bullying before it became such a problem that first years had to deal with it. Dumbledore seems intent on treating symptoms instead of the problems themselves.

Harry however, does seem to have a disregard for the consequences of his actions. He seems to think that he can deal with the blow out of anything that happens. That's not a realistic world view either.

But hey, they'd be a bunch of Gary Stus if they weren't flawed in some visible way.
Fangren chapter 76 . 9/3/2011
"Hello again, Hermione," the kindly whisper emanated from the white glow behind the veil. "I've been sent to help you, so please don't be afraid. My name is Myrlirrien, and I am your servant in all things; for you, my Lady, are the last magical descendant of Merlin."

I read this, and thought that Hermione is either a double-witch, or someone is going to great lengths to mess with her. Or, now that I think about it, both.

Keep up the good work.
jollygreendragon chapter 76 . 9/3/2011
Ahahahahaha! I'm just waiting for the other foot to drop - y'know, the one where you say something that's supposed to be true, and that everyone's supposed to believe, and they go "Oh, it's obviously Quirrel or Harry that did it," and there's not a thing in the verse you can do to convince them otherwise because they're so used to plots within plots.

Loving the story so far, though.
tenchifew chapter 76 . 9/3/2011
Why oh why do I not believe the black/ now white/ thing at all.

And Dumbledore really should not be the headmaster. Really, really not.
Nancy Lebovitz chapter 76 . 9/3/2011
Dumbledore's job is running a school to teach magic. Protecting students is subsidiary to that.

I think this is clearer in canon where the work of learning and teaching magic is more in the foreground, but Dumbledore is willing to let students get hurt in the course of learning, so long as the net effect is strongly towards there being more magicians.

It isn't obvious that Harry has said anything about the importance of protecting students which is likely to convince Dumbledore. Harry is just making assertions. Assertions which I agree with, but I wonder if it would help to mention that people learn better when they aren't distracted by being bullied.

Minor point: It isn't possible to hiss "What?". You need s sounds.

I can't even manage a bet with myself about whether Hermione will turn out to be the last magical heir of Merlin. The easy bet would be "No, it's nonsense", but that seems too easy. Ok, I do have a bet. She really is the last magical heir of Merlin, but it doesn't mean what you think it does.
Dinner chapter 76 . 9/3/2011
Uhmmm, that last sentence left me stupid... My brain must have fried or something...

Awesome chapter but that last sentence really screwed it up...
BerserkSlash chapter 76 . 9/3/2011
Hahahaha, so it loses and decides to hit the reset button and hopes that Hermione is too giddy about that kind of idea to shoot it down as well.
Beazore chapter 76 . 9/3/2011
You'll never have any idea how happy I was that you started posting again, I was screaming and jumping around so much I woke my baby sister lol and chapter 75 is awesome you got over the block spectacularly well
R. Donald James Gauvreau chapter 76 . 9/3/2011
Another nice chapter, as always. Good to see that Dumbledore is able to hold his own and does still have some wisdom that Harry doesn't. The collection of wands and other items was a very nice touch. Loved it. Poor Dumbles. What a horror it's got to be, to be running a war and be able to care for each individual person under your command. I'm reminded of Ender's Game, and the problem that Battle School was created to address.

And Quirrelmort continues to be awesome even when he's not in the room and Harry's just talking about him.

I know that you won't, since your experiences won't back up what I'm saying, but I'd appreciate a few qualifiers in your comments about DLP. Yes, people probably need to be wary about DLP if they're newcomers but the forum -can- give some good advice. If somebody asked me if they should accept the "polite invitation" I would suggest that they take a brief look at DLP, especially in the thread where they outright mention some of the things that they hate, and make sure that none of that is in their story.

I'm hardly the most prolific poster on DLP but I consider myself to be a member of the forum and so I'd like to say that some of us, at least, are polite and like your fic. It's the 4chan and /b/ phenomenon again, where we get a bad rep because the /b/tards represent outsiders' views of the community because they're so much noisier than /x/, /tg/ and other, usually-nicer boards.

I'll also say that DLP's harshness, while harsh, isn't always bad. I've posted my share of stories to DLP and I honestly got some of the best criticism from the most flamey and aggressive posts. Without DLP's "You're an idiot and this, this, and this all prove it" approach I'd be quite aways behind where I am in developing my writing abilities.

DLP isn't for everybody, but it isn't all bad, either.
threecankeepasecret chapter 76 . 9/3/2011
About an hour ago, I finished watching an episode of Doctor Who I'd been told was 'absolutely terrifying' and barely raised an eyebrow at it.

Then I read the last five paragraphs of this, and hooooooly crap. How many times did Hermione go through this? How many times did whoever's behind it have to Obliviate her?

And then, of course, there's the fact that if Hermione had to be put through this, I dunno, 20 times, and called it BS every time, she's by far the best and smartest character in the fic. Not Harry.
Peregrinate chapter 76 . 9/3/2011
Oh god. If you're keeping to your golden rule, then I'd hate to see what new force is going to rise up for this. And by hate, I mean, I can't wait.
Euphemism chapter 76 . 9/3/2011
...

THAT'S EVEN MORE SUSPICIOUS!

You said in your Author Notes that 75 wasn't quite as good as 74. Well, I wouldn't say that. 74 had quite a lot of Awesome in it. 75 was simply a different type of chapter - and I liked Harry's reasoning and Gryffindor's words. That is all.
Marthinwurer chapter 76 . 9/3/2011
Uh-oh, better run Hermione!
Guile chapter 76 . 9/3/2011
If this was actually true, I am already laughing to myself at the expression on Draco's face.
White Ivy chapter 76 . 9/3/2011
...really?
SitDownStar chapter 76 . 9/3/2011
I can't decide which would be worse honestly. If this is an intentional red herring that you tacked on just to screw with us ... or if you actually are going to stick with that as a legitimate plot point.
Anderkent chapter 76 . 9/3/2011
What?

HERMIONE is evolving!

Congratulations! Your HERMIONE evolved into MERLIONE
Anonymous chapter 76 . 9/3/2011
Oh look, the plot.
William chapter 76 . 9/3/2011
Alea iacta est. Were it anyone other than Quirrell (I assign a very high conditional probability that Mister Hat and Cloak is Quirrell), I'd assume that this is the beginning of his endgame and that Hermione would be missing the next morning. I still believe that, but am assigning a significantly lower conditional probability to my belief than I would otherwise.

At least Quirrell had to take 20 (or more, probably) in order to do it. How many times has he Memory Charmed Hermione when he failed to convince her, and started again with a slightly altered approach? This is why Quirrell is such a terrifying villain, probably the most terrifying I've seen. He's clever enough to find a way to brute-force the problem space of a conversation, determined enough to carry it through to the end, and

There's only so long Hermione's resistance will hold out, unless she collapses asleep before Quirrell convinces her to run. The odds that a professor will find her before that happens are low, and if it does, Quirrell can memory-wipe her beforehand, flee, and try again later. (Unless Quirrell drops into zombie mode first, but it's doubtful that he'd leave himself vulnerable like that. In fact, I'm assigning a high probability that zombie mode is a false tell and that he's actually completely fine during it, only feigning weakness.)

Oh, God. Lucius is going to take the blame for her disappearance. Oh, God. Harry's going to blame himself (and Lucius). And Dumbledore will blame the same two. Dear God I don't believe in, this is going to get incredibly ugly incredibly quickly.

You are an excellent writer, Yudkowsky. Keep it up.
B.B. Rain chapter 76 . 9/3/2011
What.

No seriously, what? Last decendnt of Merlin, and a creepy shapeshifting ghosty helper with a similar name?

This is clumsy, whoever came up with this in the story.
MariusDarkwolf chapter 76 . 9/3/2011
Oooookay, that's interesting
JoshuaZ chapter 76 . 9/3/2011
Oh wow. What an ending. So is it real? Is that this things true form? Or has it just done this to manipulate Hermione? And is she actually descended from Merlin? So many questions!
Hattori Sei chapter 76 . 9/3/2011
DO WHAT NOW! Wait...is that the Lady in/of the Lake? Merlin! Goddess, how could you leave it there? Please update soon.
AlwaysInADream chapter 76 . 9/3/2011
Hermione Granger, last magical descendent of Merlin?

Technically plausible, but... I'm not buying it.
OwlofNight chapter 76 . 9/3/2011
Good to meet you in person this week :D

Great chapter, especially the Draco part. The last descendant of Merlin eh?
DvorakQ chapter 76 . 9/3/2011
...

Last magical heir of merlin?

Rofl!

Are you planning on making this a multi year fic? If so, I'll be deliriously happy!