Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, February 2015, chapter 112

by Gondolinian1 min read25th Feb 2015290 comments

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HPMOR (discussion & meta)
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This is a new thread to discuss Eliezer Yudkowsky’s Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality and anything related to it. This thread is intended for discussing chapter 112.

There is a site dedicated to the story at hpmor.com, which is now the place to go to find the authors notes and all sorts of other goodies. AdeleneDawner has kept an archive of Author’s Notes. (This goes up to the notes for chapter 76, and is now not updating. The authors notes from chapter 77 onwards are on hpmor.com.)

Spoiler Warning: this thread is full of spoilers. With few exceptions, spoilers for MOR and canon are fair game to post, without warning or rot13. More specifically:

You do not need to rot13 anything about HP:MoR or the original Harry Potter series unless you are posting insider information from Eliezer Yudkowsky which is not supposed to be publicly available (which includes public statements by Eliezer that have been retracted).

If there is evidence for X in MOR and/or canon then it’s fine to post about X without rot13, even if you also have heard privately from Eliezer that X is true. But you should not post that “Eliezer said X is true” unless you use rot13.

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Is it just me, or is Voldemort also using Hermione as a test subject for things he'd like to do to himself but never tried before? (In other words, he learned his lesson after Harry told him he should have tested Horcrux 2.0 on someone else first.)

7TobyBartels7yIt's not just you.
2WalterL7yEh, the important thing is his respawn network. That's what makes him the Dark Lord. He's built a pyramid of atrocity, cut a swathe through the people of the land, turning their individual contributions to the world into Extra Lives sitting in his reserve. Buffing any particular avatar is nice, I guess, but the Troll/Unicorn bells and whistles are not useful to a wizard who expects to fight. Wizards fight with the killing curse. Troll/Unicorn/Broomstickbone Voldemort isn't any more terrible than a Voldemort who hides inside some anonymous wizard and murders his enemies by surprise, returning swiftly when killed in another disguised body.
5Gondolinian7yTrue, but being hit with AK isn't the only thing that can disembody him. Other magical attacks, dangerous magical creatures, muggle attacks, magical or mundane accidents, etc., would not be a threat to him with Hermione's new protections. Being disembodied would be a serious setback for his current plans, and would leave his horcruxes vulnerable until he could find a new host, so I think it's reasonable to want to take precautions against stupid little unexpected things that could cause that.

I think it's quite poetic that Hermione is going to be made into a book.

That’s a beautiful way of phrasing it! :)

Plus, this makes chapter 8 even more amusing, in hindsight:

"Harry Potter! You're in Modern Magical History and The Rise and Fall of the Dark Arts and Great Wizarding Events of the Twentieth Century." It was actually the very first time in her whole life that she'd met someone from inside a book, and it was a rather odd feeling.

7Luke_A_Somers7yYes, from now on whenever she meets anyone, she'll be doing it partially from inside a book.

Some discussion has popped up on /r/hpmor about the an apparent decline in the quality of HPMoR's recent chapters. Now, I personally don't think there's been any drop in terms of quality, but the commenters there make some compelling arguments. In particular, I feel that /u/alexanderwales articulates those arguments nicely:

I am hesitant to make any remarks prior to the story being completed, as I'm fairly confident that there are things which will only make sense after the fact. And I'm also hesitant to make remarks in a public forum that I know the author reads. But to put on my writing hat anyway ...

In terms of prose and mechanics, I think the chapters have been great. In terms of characterization, I think that Eliezer's Dumbledore has always been a little bit shaky, though almost always when he's being serious or emotional - this is in contrast to the aloof and enigmatic Dumbledore, which reads wonderfully. In chapter 110, he's mean, and gives weak arguments in favor of his side of things, and then he dies. Perhaps that's EY's conception of the character, but it's not mine. Harry and Quirrell are written the same as ever, and I had no problem there (save for the two times Quir

... (read more)

Yeah. Another problem is that the last few chapters of HPMOR have been kinda "wobbly", like the last chapters of Ra. Oh we're saved, oh no we're doomed again, etc.

It seems to me that many people expect HPMOR to be better than it actually is. To me, the fic has always felt like it's promising slightly more than it can deliver, though it's still very enjoyable to read. The characters and their changing points of view are wonderfully realized, e.g. Dumbledore is built up as someone who does amazing clever stuff offscreen. But the actual plotlines of the fic are, and always were, a bit weaker than what the characters suggest. The riff on Ender's Game, the improbable escapes in Azkaban, the whole SPHEW thing (seriously?), and now the mirror.

I propose that we enjoy the fic for what it does well, and stop demanding so much in terms of plot. If you want a really good plot, the obvious solution is to make one up yourself :-)

5dxu7yWhile I agree with the sentiment expressed here, I think that might be easier said than done. After all, it's easy to criticize a dish, much harder to make a better one.

I disagree that the writing has deteriorated.

People complain a lot about the lack of foreshadowing of the mirror and the "Riddle can't kill Riddle" curse. But I don't think the lack of foreshadowing matters, because both of these things are minor details in the overall story line. Let's start with the "Riddle can't kill Riddle" curse. Voldemort wasn't just not killing Harry because of this curse. After all now that the curse is lifted he still isn't killing Harry. The curse is entirely unneeded to explain his earlier before, or his current behavior. Nor was the curse needed to resolve the current plot. Voldemort was in complete control of the situation all along.

So there's no deus ex machina. It's a sudden unexpected development, yes, but one that doesn't really affect the story. It's purpose was to drive home how utterly defeated Harry is. How he is now completely at the mercy of Voldemort, having no clever tricks or last minute saves. Also it gave us a nice cliffhanger. But you can take out the final lines from 111 and the first few lines from 112 and the story continues exactly as it does now.

The same with the mirror scene were Dumbledore gets defeated. Take ... (read more)

8kilobug7yIt's not so much the lack of foreshadowing that bothers me with Dumbledore, but how stupid Dumbledore seems in that chapter. First, he didn't even wonder if Quirrel wasn't possessed/imperiused by Voldemort, even after the Hogwarts security system identified the killer of Hermione to be Quirrel ? Second, he actually voice that he was stupid, what does he gain in doing so ? Third, how could he think he can defeat Voldemort with the "frozen time" spell when Voldemort is aware of that spell ? Voldemort has a horcrux network, he can just kill himself. The only hope would have been to use the "frozen time" by surprise. And finally, he faces Voldemort without even bringing Fawkes with him ? Whyyyy ? If he had Fawkes, he would largely have had the time to teleport Harry to safety while Harry was saying his heroic "I was stupid don't save me". The way Dumbledore acts in this chapter and the ease with which he's defeated feels very artificial. Especially considering Dumbledore, who will not as smart as Quirrelmort, is still supposed to be near his level.
0dxu7yThere was a healthy portion of HPMoR's readerbase that wasn't convinced that Quirrell was Voldemort, and unlike the readers, Dumbledore hasn't read canon. I don't really think you can take this as evidence for Dumbledore's stupidity. Nothing, but from his perspective, it's not like he would lose anything, either, and he was frustrated. People often vent aloud when frustrated. I imagine the Mirror would have trapped his soul in it if he had killed himself, or prevent the Horcrux network from coming into play by other means; else Quirrell would definitely have thought of it, and likely so would have Dumbledore. According to Quirrell, the process cannot be stopped after being set in motion, and this probably also applies to removing people from the process (at least without exotic artifacts like the True Cloak of Invisibility). It's uncertain, then, whether bringing Fawkes would have accomplished anything, and on top of that, we don't actually know where Fawkes is; it's very possible that he's off somewhere else accomplishing some vitally important task Dumbledore set for him.
7solipsist7yOn the lack of foreshadowing for the "Riddle can't kill Riddle" curse, there was enough stuff around for me to generate a similar hypothesis last year [http://lesswrong.com/lw/jis/tell_culture/bso5] (admittedly with prompting).
6Strilanc7yThere's technically six more hours of story time for a time-turned Dumbledore to show up, before going on to get trapped. He does mention that he's in two places during the mirror scene. Dumbledore has previously stated that trying to fake situations goes terribly wrong, so there could be some interesting play with that concept and him being trapped by the mirror.
8[anonymous]7yMirro!Dumbledore appears to not be time-turned: 110 was edited so that Dumbledore says: That doesn't sound like he just spun back - it sounds like there might be more than one Dumbledore running around.
6William_Quixote7yI agree with you about the writing but I have a nearly opposite prediction. I notice that in all the Harry talking to himself or reflecting quietly chapters he allways thinks something along the lines of "there seems to be almost no limit in what you could accomplish with magic if you really understood it". Several times his mind circles around the becomus godus spell and considers some avenue and decides it wouldn't work for some reason or another. In each case after thinking that his mind goes off on some other tangent. So my prediction is that Harry has his situation get worse and worse until he can do nothing but think about how to et out of it. And while thinking and being forced not to divert his mind to other matters he will review clues that were allready available to us (had we been paying closer attention) and by reviewing the right facts in the right order he will deduce something about how magic works. That deduction will allow him to cast some absurdly powerful spell that solves his problems.

I remark that

  • it has recently been pointed out that Harry's Patronus v2.0 is powered by his life as well as his magic and that this (at least according to Voldemort, so obviously it's true) makes it more powerful than it could have been if powered by just his magic
  • even the small fraction of his life he was able to give up on the spur of the moment was enough to restore Hermione's life and magic, which even Voldemort was unable to do on his own
  • in canon, central to Harry's ultimate victory is his willingness to die

and suggest that if your prediction is correct, what powers his absurdly powerful spell may be the sacrifice of the whole of his life and magic.

(Hmm. The power of a potion in HPMOR is determined by what went into making its ingredients, a curious and probably important discovery that hasn't been applied yet for anything other than winning playfights. What went into making Harry was, among other things, the power and ingenuity -- and in some sense even the life -- of Lord Voldemort. Maaaaybe.)

3Val7yWhat if he didn't just sacrifice the whole of his magic, but the whole of entire magic? Wow, a "get rid of magic and turn everyone into a muggle" spell would be actually worse than death to Voldemort. Just image having Voldemort living out his last few decades of life as a Muggle. This makes me think about death being the worst fear of Voldemort. I guess being turned into a muggle and dying decades after that, would be much more fearful to him.
3avichapman7yYou may be on to something. Merlin created his Interdict with exactly that sacrifice.
1gjm7yOne further remark on that last paragraph. "A potion spends that which is invested in the creation of its ingredients". What counts as creation? Ultimately, pretty much everything on earth is made of the remnants of supernovas...
3fezziwig7yI think that must be the role of the stirring and heating requirements: to control which aspects of the thing's creation, and how much of them, are infused into the potion. There may well be a way to call forth solar fusion from common iron. But of course we know that no one has ever done it.
5Velorien7yI would interpret "you could take the following things out and it would make no difference" as criticism of the writing, not as praise. If a piece of information adds complexity without adding proportional value, it shouldn't be in there to begin with. (this is a comment on your critique rather than on the quality of recent HPMOR chapters, which I am still undecided on)

Looking back, I think I could have written that more clearly.

People were complaining about the mirror, and the Riddle-curse, being deus ex machina. I'm saying they weren't, because they weren't moving the plot forward. Take them out and the overall plot remains the same. That doesn't mean those scenes served no purpose in the story.

The Riddle-curse scene in particular I thought was very good. When I was reading chapter 111, when Harry got his wand back, I got all excited. I kept thinking perhaps Harry had a chance after all. I did of course wonder why Voldemort let him keep his wand, and figured there might be a deeper reason, but seeing Harry with a wand still makes you hope. And then suddenly Harry is given an opening ... and it turns out to have been all Voldemort's plan all along, and Harry is even more thoroughly beaten then he already was before.

That serves an important function in the story. It drives home how bad Harry's situation is. It drives home that there will be no easy outs, that Voldemort really is very, very smart, and isn't going to make any easily exploitable errors. Basically, the scene is setting the background, and building up suspense, for the final confronta... (read more)

5Vaniver7ySo, maybe Harry uses partial transfiguration to kill all the Death Eaters. This still does nothing to solve the Voldemort Problem. And so it seems most likely that the Voldemort Problem is not the actual problem of the fic. As others have linked, Voldemort proposed a long time ago that he would duel Harry and "lose," and then Harry is established as the eventual philosopher-king of Britain. Maybe, decades from now, Harry manages to stop Voldemort; but probably not.
8gjm7yThe most salient alternative actual problem is the Death Problem. It seems like if Harry manages to solve the Death Problem then the Voldemort Problem may get a lot less important (though whether it does probably depends on exactly how he solves the Death Problem).
0WalterL7y"Anyway, bottomline: I really like the story so far" I'm with you. Chapter 108 is my favorite in the story, explains so much.
0dxu7yThis... is actually a really good point. As I stated in my original comment, I am also a member of the group that doesn't think the quality of HPMoR has been decreasing, but until I read your comment, it was just a vague gut feeling of "What are you talking about? It's still good!" that I couldn't quite put into words (at least, not in a way that made sense). Thank you for articulating that so well!

I wish that we'd gotten to see the Mirror of Erised prior to the chapter where it became really important.

I felt the same way on that one. Having the plot turn on a previously untold super spell to an existing object that turns out to be extra super duper itself is not that satisfying. The fewer rabbits that get pulled out of a hat for the denouement, the better. (I felt that way about canon and the Deathly Hallows too.)

But the story isn't done yet, so maybe in the end this point won't seem so pivotal, or it will turn out to have a different meaning than it seems now. Did Dumbledore really just completely get his ass handed to him? I think a number of people have remarked that he seemed a bit off in character, and canon has him arranging his own death to gain some advantage. It aint over til it's over.

I think some of the negative reaction is just people feeling shell shocked by the apparent complete disaster. Which could actually be an intended and potentially powerful dramatic effect.

I don't think that EY wrote this just for entertainment. I expect an ideological point. It may be MIRI EY showing us the disaster of being at the mercy of the uber powerful alien intelligence, or it may be Mr. Glowey Person giving us the positive vision of what life could be. I've been hoping for the latter, but I'm not sure we're going to get it.

I felt this way some, particularly about Ch. 108 which was a lot of "tell me instead of show me" exposition, but EY has a lot of promised explanation to get out of the way and I kindof gave it a pass on that basis.

It was unsatisfying that the magical details of the interactions between Quirrell and Dumbledore seemed to come out of nowhere, but I think we need to keep something in mind: we are following this story from Harry's viewpoint. You could fill a restricted section of the Hogwarts library and then some with magical things that Harry doesn't know. It might be unsatisfying to the reader to have these two powerful wizards planning around eldritch magics we've never heard of, but that's how the reality of it would be.

The last few have been a rollercoaster (not in quality, but as an experience), and I'm kindof waiting to see how it all goes to make any judgments. Certainly my expectations have been set high by this series, and I do have a little worry that they might be too high. I don't know if I can think of an ending that would satisfy me, but I'm hoping that EY has.

9SilentCal7yI should add the disclaimer that by nature I'm an apologist for pretty much any fiction I read, and HPMOR is quite haloed for me on top of that. That said, I thought that having several chapters of exposition where Harry gets to ask all the questions he's been wondering, followed by a whirlwind of utter bewilderment as Quirrell pulls a warren from the woodwork, was a successful demonstration of the challenge of "The enemy is smart."
8MarkusRamikin7yYeah, I thought that too. Makes it a bit harder to maintain illusion and forget that this is all really happening on the author's say-so. Also I disagree about not being able to go back and improve, if there happens to be room for it. Who gives a damn if it's a serial. There will be new readers in the future. Fourth wall stuff always annoyed me, not just in recent chapters, all the pointless inserts and references, all the winking at the audience. "Akemi Homura and her lost love", really? For some reason lots of readers seem to love this stuff, however, so I don't know what to say. Except that the best works of literature tend to not do that.

Your last statement is not correct. Many of the works of literature regarded as the best do that very heavily. Dante does that like crazy in the inferno. Joyce does it non stop in Ulyesses. Most of the works of Vladimir Nabokov do it very heavily. As does Pynchon. It may be that you just don't notice it in literature and do notice it here because you are more familiar the the animie canon than the literary canon.

8Nornagest7yAnd then there's all the callbacks to those. Here's a few lines of Keats I read recently: For those keeping score at home, that's Keats alluding to Dante alluding to a famous and semi-legendary Italian love affair. And the Bible, of course. Earlier in the same poem, Keats throws in a lot of references to Greek myth too.
0alienist7yOf course Keats isn't alluding to contemporary literature, but to works that have lasted long enough that one can be confident their popularity isn't limited to a particular moment.
9Nornagest7yIn that instance, yes; but these are the Romantics we're talking about. They referenced each other all the time. Pop culture references are not a new thing. They just stop being pop after a certain amount of time passes.
7TobyBartels7yYour last name alludes to another excellent example … so much so that I had to check that you didn't just create it for the sake of this comment!
6MarkusRamikin7yI know very little anime, actually. I could be missing something, I haven't read Joyce, but all the best novels I'm familiar with - whether it's something like the Great Gatsby or Dune - don't seem to do this. Are we talking about the same thing? I am not talking about meaningful allusions and indirect references, or borrowing from myth and exotic cultures, or re-tellings of the same story for a different effect. I am talking about this kind of blunt, literal, fourth-wall-breaking namedropping of things that have no business being in your story. Let me give examples of what I do and do not find problematic. For instance, HPMoR's references to Tolkien are fine. They make sense. What is really being mentioned are the works of Tolkien, we're not asked to believe that Legolas was part of magical Britain's history. Of course the works of Tolkien would exist in HPMoR's reality, and Muggleborn children could cause Dumbledore to be familiar with them. I loved that bit where Dumbledore speaks about all the copies of LotR he'd been gifted, and part of the reason I loved it was how much sense it made in retrospect. On the other hand, we have Mornelithe Falconsbane - a fantasy character - mentioned next to Hitler as an important historical figure. This is a pointless, throwaway insert in its purest form, an author being 'clever'. It exists only for the sake of itself, it adds nothing to the story - take it out and nothing is missing, it's never mentioned again nor did it affect anything. All it does is break the fourth wall. Seems to me that it's a lose-lose thing to do. To those who aren't familiar with the Valdemar books, it means nothing, so it's useless. To those who are, it's immersion-breaking. Even in the depths of my happy death spiral back when I first discovered HPMoR and blazed through it in near-pure joy, I found that stuff jarring.
0[anonymous]7yCould be. I'm not that into anime, really, but I admit I haven't read the books you listed - though I like to read, my respect for "literary canon" has been dead since high school, so my knowledge of it is patchy - so I'll concede the possibility. But the best books I am familiar with tend to be a great deal more subtle about it. Of the top of my head, I don't remember that stuff in Crime and Punishment, or Lord of the Rings, or Solaris, or Pharaoh, or the Great Gatsby, or The Trilogy... and of course I'm not talking about allusions, meaningful hints and figure-it-out references, I'm talking about peppering your work with literal namedropping, of the kind that breaks the fourth wall and only seems to be there for the sake of itself. Immersion matters.
-14alienist7y
1ChristianKl7yI don't think that's how Eliezer treats it. The reference to the centaur forecasting that giving Petunia the beauty portion will end the world, that's in the first chapter wasn't there at the start but was added later.

It was there on day 1.

1TobyBartels7yBad example, then, but you have changed things. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.)
3Astazha7yI can appreciate the need to do this, but at the same time it makes me wonder if my memory of previous chapters accurately reflects their actual content. I rely largely on the podcast for my review, so I am only as updated as it is.
2ChristianKl7yIf I remember right the podcast didn't contain the reference to the centaur in chapter 1.
1Astazha7yThat's in there.
0westward7yI feel bad for whoever voices QQ in the hpmor podcast. Chapter 108 is going to be a lot of exposition. Much of it should have been cut and/or moved to the narrator.
6Astazha7yThe creator, Eneasz Brodski, does the narration as well as the voices of Harry and Quirrell.

General Theorem: This series of chapters ought to be named "Tom Riddle and the Illusion of VIctory".

Voldemort has a nigh-absolute escape hatch. He can escape nearly any defeat, any trap, simply by dying. Possibly it's even worse than that, and he can abandon bodies at will.

He also has a strong tendency to discount the intelligence of anyone who is not him.

The order of the pheonix was operating under the theory that he was a body-jumper from the word go.

The traps laid, the strategems in place are predicated on the central principle of allowing Voldemort to continue to think he is winning until it is much to late, and his defeat has become truely inescapable.

And I am pretty sure he's walked into several of these snares already - In cronological order: Things that were likely traps not yet triggered. The DADA job. The corridor - in particular, standing around in Snape's chamber for a full hour. The trip through the mirror, donning the cloak. Picking up the stone. Heck, Hermione's corpse. (Harry should not have succeeded in sneaking that past Dumbles. So maybe he did not?) I'm probably missing several...

0WalterL7yAdding to this theory, what does Dumbledore mean when he says he's in the mirror AND at Flamel's mirror? Just a Time Turner use, or is Dumbledore still in play?
027chaos7yWow, I certainly hope you're right. I love the ideas you've mentioned as possible traps.

Harry gives some of his life (what does this even mean? Vitalism?) and magic to resurrect Hermione. Suppose he's given x% of his magic. Does this mean that Hermione has x% of Harry's magic, now and forever? For that matter, are the sums of their lifespans equal to Harry's previous natural lifespan? Or does it work like a spark, a small amount allowing Hermione to bootstrap back to full health?

If the second option is right, then patronus 2.0 + philosophers stone allows almost self-replicating wizards and witches. The only bottleneck is the stone takes "minutes" to work which still seems to imply that you could easily produce hundreds of wizard clones per day, against a wizard population of about 15000 in muggle Britain. Clone someone powerful, and world domination should be easy.

Beneath the moonlight glints a tiny fragment of silver, a fraction of a line...

(black robes, falling)

...blood spills out in litres, and someone screams a word.

Prediction: This is the scene where that happes, and the "fraction of a line" is partial transfiguration used as a cutting weapon.

4avichapman7yI agree. A carbon nanotube metres long and whipped around fast. And Hermione screaming, "Harry!!!"
0noahpocalypse7ySuch a thin chain of carbon nanotubes like that would have almost no mass, ergo no force. It'd be like if you could make a string perfectly rigid and then you hit something with it.

They have the instructions

Thiss iss ritual for ressurrecting her, if it musst be done again. Insstructionss are honesst, no trapss.

They have the flesh of his servant, who will willingly give

And Hermione, without waiting for any further instructions, said, the words spilling out of her in a rush, "I swear service to the House of Potter....

She has the means to find his foe, and forcibly take its blood

> I figured out why we couldn't cast the Patronus Charm, Hermione, it doesn't have anything to do with us not being happy enough. But I can't tell you. I couldn't even tell the Headmaster. It needs to be even more secret than partial Transfiguration, for now, anyway. But if you ever need to fight Dementors, the secret is written here, cryptically, so that if someone doesn't know it's about Dementors and the Patronus Charm, they won't know what it means...

And Harry also knew that it was Thestral blood which painted the symbol of the Deathly Hallows on the inside of the Cloak, binding into the Cloak that portion of Death's power, enabling the Cloak to confront the Dementors on their own level and block them. It had felt like guessing, and yet a certain guess, the knowled

... (read more)
4Astazha7yThe blood bit seems a little shaky, but I like this.
4solipsist7yCounters to this hypothesis: Harry knows the procedure is safe because of Parseltongue. Hermione does not, and it would be hard for Harry to communicate that information to her if he were dead.

Ch. 108

"What did you do with Bellatrix once she was out?"

"Ssent her to a peaceful place to recover sstrength," Professor Quirrell said. A cold smile. "I had a use remaining for her, or rather a certain portion of her, and on my future plans I shall not answer questions."

Ch. 112

For a second Harry's mind couldn't process what he was seeing, and then he saw that Voldemort was holding a human arm, severed near the shoulder; it seemed too thin, that arm.

The Dark Lord pressed his wand to the flesh above the severed arm's elbow, and the fingers twitched, twitched like they were alive; by dim moonlight Harry saw a darker mark appear on that flesh, just above the elbow.

Is everyone else making this interpretation?

2gwern7yApparently I need to read more closely. I assumed that was Quirrel's arm, emaciated from undereating and the possession-sickness.
0WalterL7yI think he had Bellatrix murder Flamel for a distraction.
0Astazha7yI though this initially as well, but I'm not so sure. Bellatrix is not very powerful anymore after the dementors ate most of her magic. Flamel is a pretty serious target. It could have been some other Death Eater, or someone else entirely.
0drethelin7yI think that's a temporary state, given some time to recover she can be effective again.
0solipsist7yThat was my interpretation.
0TsviBT7yThis is persuasive, but... why the heck would Voldemort go the trouble of breaking into Azkaban instead of grabbing Snape or something?
5arundelo7yIn Chapter 61 [http://hpmor.com/chapter/61] Dumbledore says:
1TsviBT7yRight, this is a stronger interpretation.
4Astazha7yReduce, re-use, recycle.
4Astazha7yVM said he broke into Azkaban to find out where his wand was; there's also the flesh of the servant thing. Using her Dark Mark is a secondary benefit.
0avichapman7yI see it also. I believe that broke her out as a backup plan in case his attempt to get the stone failed. He could then always grab a peice of Bellatrix and a peice of an enemy (Harry? Someone else?) and come back that way.
0LauralH7yYours isn't the first I've seen guessing that ; it makes more sense than it being any OTHER Death Eater's arm.

Thirty-seven death eaters now all have their wands pointed at Harry. Why aren't some of them pointed at other death eaters, to ensure loyalty, and some looking around, to maintain situational awareness? At this point, it seems more likely for a disloyal Death Eater to cause trouble, than for Harry to do it.

Methinks Voldemort is about to betray the Death Eaters. They are summoned here to be killed. Pointing their wands away from him is a precaution.

From what we know of Voldemort (as a persona), he recruited idiots and gave them explicit instructions when he wanted them to do something. It is unlikely that he'll grant them discretionary judgment in such a sensitive situation, or (rightly or wrongly) that he'll expect them to notice something he doesn't.

2TobyBartels7yIn canon, the only really disloyal Death Eater, Severus Snape, didn't respond to the call. Although given how Quirrelmort left him last chapter, he probably couldn't respond now if he tried.

Voldemort is lying in parseltongue. He's not going to kill Harry because he can't. He can't because the curse or unbreakable vow he took to not harm himself didn't have release conditions. There was no purpose in putting them in. You don't set up "I can't kill myself unless I try to kill myself", because the 2nd part is useless if the first part works.

"But you tried to end my true life jusst then, sstupid child. Now cursse iss lifted, and I may kill you any time I wissh."

You sir, are a lying liar who lies in parseltongue. Or Harry would be dead right now. Indeed, he would have been dead long ago.

Voldemort is not allowed to kill a version of himself, period. This is how he intended to get around the prisoner's dilemma with his eternal chess buddy. There were to be no clever "Baba Yaga draws Perverelle's blood" outs that would allow someone to murder the foresworn, you were just. not. allowed. Ever. This is the lesson Tom Riddle drew from the story of Baba Yaga; don't leave that loophole. This is what he did with the Goblet of Fire, perhaps?

We would play the game against each other forever, keeping our lives interesting amid a world o

... (read more)
3MathMage7yNot that I think you reason wrongly, but... [http://www.reddit.com/r/HPMOR/comments/2x5k5r/chapter_112/cox3fun]
1Astazha7yAnd I could be wrong, of course, but if I am I have no idea why Harry is alive.
4westward7yBecause V. is afraid of prophecies?
5Astazha7yWe have seen him to be afraid of this one. We've seen him express intent to stop that destiny at every point of intervention. Killing Harry is a really obvious and seemingly certain point of intervention. He certainly seems to think that Harry's death would solve the problem, and he's willing enough to have Harry kill himself, but not willing to kill Harry. Why?
2Val7yIt is highly improbable that he is lying. I would guess Harry is more valuable to him alive at the moment than dead (and is incapable of harming him at the moment), and that's all.
2Astazha7yI just can't think of anything more valuable to Voldemort than his own continued existence. I assume from this that killing Harry is either not an option or that Voldemort does not believe that killing Harry will save his own life.
0Val7yThat's true, but if someone is no longer a threat and is more valuable to him alive than dead, then why kill him? Using this logic he would kill everyone he meets.
1gjm7yEveryone he meets who is the apparent subject of not one but two prophecies that gravely threaten Voldemort's continued existence. I think that's a little less than everyone.
1TobyBartels7yI really don't think that he should be allowed to lie in Parseltongue. But fooling himself, that he can do.
1lfghjkl7yWithout the second part any clone of Voldemort exploiting a bug in magic to negate the first would have a huge advantage over all the others. Given the whimsical nature of magic in this story such a bug is highly likely to exist. Voldemort is smart enough to both realize that and know that at least one clone of his would eventually find it. His only correct move is then having to find the bug first, thus wasting his time and negating the point of the curse in the first place.
0[anonymous]7yThere was a sequence on decision theory and value of information, which I sadly read but not internalized. Can someone who did please calculate what it's worth for Voldemort (and Dumbledore) to keep ambiguity unresolved as a preventive measure?
0[anonymous]7yMaybe when Salazar cursed his line (?!..) there were conditions, since having his descendants not plot against each other should come second to 'not annihilate each other'. And somewhere here we will hear more about Ravenclaw being sister to Slytherin:)
0[anonymous]7yAnother possibility is that there's a separate curse. Broken curse completely prevents a Riddle from trying to kill a Riddle, second curse imposes consequences. Maybe if one Riddle kills another Riddle, all the Riddles die -- that would explain why Quirrellmort hasn't killed Harrymort. All he says in Parseltongue is that Q may kill H any time Q wishes; there's nothing that says that Q killing H would have consequences bad enough that Q won't. I don't know if there's any evidence for this, but it is a possibility that explains why Q hasn't killed H and doesn't require lying in Parseltongue. (If there's a second curse, could that be behind the resonance? Do we know what causes the resonance?) Another possibility that fits is that prophecies are not to be messed with in that manner.
8Astazha7yIt could indeed be that he isn't actually lying in parseltongue, as you suggest. I think I've come out too strong on that point. But the threat to kill Harry is a bluff. Voldemort has some really compelling reason to not kill Harry.
7[anonymous]7yRight, he's not lying. Inability to lie in Parseltongue has been established clearly enough that it would be very odd for it to be broken now. Also, in between two Parseltongue statements, he says in English, "Still a fool. If no further matters remained between us, I would already have killed you." Why would he switch from Parseltongue to English and back to Parseltongue? Now, let's look at what exactly he says. "But you tried to end my true life jusst then, sstupid child." Harry tried to kill Quirrell. This is accurate. "Now cursse iss lifted..." -- there was, at one point, a curse. This curse, at the time Quirrell is speaking, has been lifted, and no longer holds. What curse? It's not specified. Is he telling the truth about the details of the curse? He didn't say it in Parseltongue. Did the Riddle curse exist? It was only introduced in this chapter, and as far as I know, it wasn't foreshadowed at all. Maybe it did, maybe it didn't. But there was some curse that held at one time and no longer holds. "...and I may kill you any time I wissh." -- he didn't say "as a result of the curse's lifting", and he didn't say he's willing to kill him. He just said that it is technically possible. It could have to do with the bargain from earlier: "I do not intend to raisse my hand or magic againsst you in future, sso long ass you do not raisse your hand or magic againsst me."
9Astazha7yIf Voldemort can lie in Parseltongue, then it's a ruse to conceal that fact. This has the dual effect of causing Harry to accept the literal truth of what VM says in Parseltongue without question, as well as persuading Harry to not even attempt to tell any direct lies to VM in Parseltongue. Those are both strong advantages manufactured from thin air, and VM is clever enough to spin such a deception. And "snakes can't lie", really? That's a pretty odd inversion of colloquialisms like "speaking with a forked tongue." Ssuddenly I feel like ssomeone is trying to ssell me a bridge. Has it? Harry performed one simple test at a time when Voldemort expected that test to be performed, and we don't know that the results weren't influenced by other magic. We haven't seen it tested with occlumency. We certainly haven't seen it tested by a perfect occlumens. Even if we had seen those results it wouldn't be conclusive about what the most powerful wizard alive, who also knows the secrets of Salazar, is capable of. I think for meta reasons that I'm probably wrong, but based only on in-world evidence I don't see any reason at all to take Voldemort's word that Parseltongue is a language of truth.
0ChristianKl7yHe might be able to kill Harry for value of the kill!parseltongue but the Horcrux network would keep Harry alive.

Attempting to shoot Voldemort was still the correct action for Harry to take, given his constraints.

Any opportunity to defeat Voldemort at this stage is going to be sudden and short-duration. If you pass up a potential victory shot because it's possibly some sort of misdirection, you'll likely pass up every potential shot at victory you might encounter.

I think that attempting to shoot him there wasnt giving an intelligent enemy very much credit. It would only work if the stupid mistakes that Voldemort was making were real, and not a ruse. Given that Harry possibly has only one chance (because Voldemort promised in parseltongue not to try to harm Harry unless he tried to harm him first), taking the first opportunity that presents itself, which might be a trick to get Voldemort out of that promise, is probably unwise.

5Phigment7yWise sort of went on vacation when Harry elected to oppose the invincible dark lord instead of volunteering to be his most favored flunky. Voldemort is capable of making stupid mistakes; he admitted that with his whole discussion of being trapped for years without a body. But he doesn't make stupid mistakes very frequently. So, if you believe he's making a stupid mistake, you should try to take advantage, because you may not see another one.
4Ander7yYes, that makes sense. It seems Harry shouldve been much less confident that Voldemort was making a mistake, but he was very rushed.
0see7yRegardless of the probability of Voldemort making a stupid mistake, Voldemort was apparently casting the Killing Curse on Hermione, which would be an independent reason to shoot him.
7westward7yHarry had a better choice: "Shoot the hostage" Either fatally or a good wounding in the leg. Harry'd already committed that his life was a worthy sacrifice to foil V's plans. Clearly V. felt Harry should be alive for some reason. Ergo, Harry's death would have hurt his plans. Stopped entirely? Maybe, maybe not. A leg wound, preventing him from walking, requiring his own wand to heal or some machinations on V's part to find some non-magical interaction way to heal/move Harry would have also done nicely.
0Jost7yTo what end? He already has his wand back at that point, so this would merely be a slight inconvenience to V (but a great inconvenience to himself). Also, for what it’s worth, Harry still has the Healing Pack (which he bought in chapter 7) in his pouch, right? So there’s a way to heal him without any magical interaction between V and H; even if H doesn’t know the appropriate healing spells.
2ChristianKl7yNot necessarily. Voldemort did say that he reanimated Hermione for Harry. Simply going along with the plan might be the best option. That would also mean to ask Voldemort about keeping Harry alive. Harry problem is that he can't lose and settle for something less than total victory.

So true. The "learn to lose" lesson fell on the world's most barren soil.

0skeptical_lurker7yEven if Volde really was hamming it up that badly as to shout that he was mortal again, he would presumably have shields up which would stop bullets.
7Velorien7y
2skeptical_lurker7yExactly. I believe the authors notes or some other comment EY made say that bombs might be effective though. RPG rounds, maybe? Or transfigured bullets which cannot be blocked due to resonance.
6Phigment7yHarry has literally been watching the current body Voldemort is inhabiting for the entire time that body has existed. He has seen every spell cast while Voldemort has been using it. Either Voldemort has not raised shields (which he typically did not do as Quirrell) or he's capable of casting shielding spells which Harry cannot detect either the casting or ongoing effects of even in the midst of extended close observation. And if it's the latter, we're back to "in order to have a shot at beating someone, you have to assume he's theoretically beatable and act accordingly". On the gripping hand, I'd more expect his new, permanently-transfigured body to just be naturally bulletproof, rather than conventionally shielded. But it's not helpful to believe he's actually thought of everything.
0Astazha7yShields are useless against Harry's magic because of the resonance. The earthbending trick was nice, though.
0skeptical_lurker7yI seem to remember that in Azkaban his shields were invisible.
3Phigment7yI don't recall invisible shields, but it's certainly plausible. We've also seen him just flatly stop curse bolts in midair and then flick them away, without apparent shielding or obvious effort. He's got defense options like Smaug has gold coins. If killing him was easy, someone would have done it before. Even though he had horcruxes, it's telling that he never actually had to respawn from one until he tried juggling dynamite and blew his own self up.
4Astazha7yFrom Ch. 74. It's not clear to me whether the shield was invisible until struck or if he put it up very quickly and silently. This.

For what it's worth, the visual effect is that of an AT Field from Evangelion, which is normally invisible until struck.

Why is Voldemort not getting rid of Harry in some more final way?

Even if he's worried killing Harry will rebound against him because of the prophecy somehow, he can, I don't know, freeze Harry? Stick Harry in the mirror using whatever happened to Dumbledore? Destroy Harry's brain and memories and leave him an idiot? Shoot Harry into space?

Why is "resurrect Harry's best friend to give him good counsel" a winning move here?

7SilentCal7yIt's a form of prophecy-aversion that's pretty orthogonal to the various forms of destroying Harry. The mechanisms of prophecy are still an unknown for Voldemort, and it seems potentially consistent with how magic works that all attempts to neutralize Harry are doomed to fail but redeeming him with friendship can work. ...or he's setting up his next chess match, either as an explicit goal or as a subconscious desire influencing his prophecy-aversion plans.
6gattsuru7yBefore Harry shot at him, Voldemort was cursed to be unable to threaten Harry's immortality, and given the several times he's found himself getting wrong answers to questions previously, I don't think he was certain Harry would have betrayed him even with such a convenient que. So that covers anything that happens before Harry fires the gun. After that point... I think he's trying to cover his bases. That he set up such a ploy to enable him to kill Harry means that he's likely at least going to try. But that's not the only Winning move, and it's a Winning move that prevents other Winning moves from being attempted. This is one of those plots. "Keep Harry Potter from destroying universe" does not allow duct tape, WD-40, and lesser wishes to attempt a do-over. Killing Harry is probably the most effective way to keep that from happening, if you can do it. The last time Vold tried to subvert or redirect a Prophecy by destroying most of a person involved, things went so badly he spent most of a decade as a howling disembodied spirit. It's not been explicitly stated that Prophecies act like Time Turners (aka DO NOT MESS WITH TIME/NO), but it's pretty strongly implied to result in something like Mage's Paradox or Continuum's Frag. Resurrecting Hermoine and giving aid to Harry Potter was something that had to be done before any Death Eaters were summoned and arrived, and was about the only such thing, and was disjoint enough from people directly related to the Prophecy as to be unlikely to result in Paradox/Frag. Vold knows Harry's best friend as a pillar of restrictions. Even if we know her to be a threat to his plans, Vold knows that her death triggered Harry's transformation into The One Who Tears Stars and that this is more dangerous than even an immortal Hermoine. ((I think he forgot some of the matters he said earlier, though. The Parsletongue curse will probably strike soon since he promised neither he nor his would seek to ever harm Hermoine. I'm genuinely surp

Don't think the curse actually enforces oaths, just ensures that you're telling the truth at the time you said it.

Besides, Voldemort, from his point of view, isn't harming Hermione - since, after all, he just went ridiculously out of his way to make sure she wouldn't care.

4Shaedys7yBecause Voldermort expects the prophecy to become a reality if all the conditions it states are met, e.g. hermione dying. It doesn't matter how he tries to thwart Harry, as long as Hermione dies the prophecy will be fulfilled and Harry wil end the world. He believes this strongly because he's tried it before himself and there is plenty of lore of it happening before.
-1calef7yPerhaps because this might all be happening within the mirror, thus realizing both Harry!Riddle's and Voldy!Riddle's CEVs simultaneously.

Silly idea:

What Voldemort likes most of all is killing idiots.
The Death Eaters are, in general, idiots.
Pretty soon, there are going to be a whole bunch of dead Death Eaters lying in a semicircle around Harry. ;)

8Astazha7yAnd Voldemort is going to be so paternally proud he won't even get pissed off about it.
0CronoDAS7yI was implying that Voldemort was going to be killing them himself...

Two factors keep revolving in my head.

1) Riddle1/Quirrellmort/BadVoldemort is basically the only "existential risk activist" in the story at this point. Handling the big risks responsibly so that his immortal self would have a world worth living in forever was apparently his deep motivation for taking over Magical Britain in the first place, and then it turned out to be easier than expected. Eliezer probably doesn't agree with Riddle1's tactics or other values, but it seems like this aspect of him has to come out well by the end of the story for it to do the moral and educational work that Eliezer probably intends.

2) Riddle1 probably thinks that the prophecy makes Riddle2/Harry/GoodVoldemort into the number one existential risk to try to mitigate, and he is probably wrong about this because Riddle1 doesn't know much about science or science fiction, which are my leading candidates for "the power he knows not".

HE IS HERE. THE ONE WHO WILL TEAR APART THE VERY STARS IN HEAVEN. HE IS HERE. HE IS THE END OF THE WORLD.

The stars aren't sacred. They are fuel and construction material. Tearing them apart (under controlled conditions) and using them for productive... (read more)

Crazy thought: Merlin lives backwards, Dumbledore has the Line of Merlin Unbroken, Dumbledore has a weird way of being able to make the future happen for the wrong reasons, Dumbledore just vanished into a place beyond time. Which makes me think Dumbledore might be Merlin's origin.

2[anonymous]7yThere was a novel by A&B Strugatsky, Monday starts on Saturday, which has this subplot (vaguely), and deals with an Institute of magic, and the protagonist is a programmer:)) set in 60-s - 70-s and with a pinch of propaganda. Translated into English, though i don't know how good. Maybe you'd find it amusing, if at least for naivete.

Voldemort orders Harry to keep his wand lowered. Why not to drop it?

Is there a reason Voldemort wants a priori incantatem?

Quirrell, chapter 65:

“You are kidnapped from Hogwartss to public location, many witnesssess, wardss keep out protectorss. Dark Lord announcess that he hass at long lasst regained physical form, after wandering as sspirit for yearss; ssayss that he hass gained sstill greater power, not even you can sstop him now. Offerss to let you duel. You casst guardian Charm, Dark Lord laughss at you, ssayss he iss not life-eater. Casstss Killing Cursse at you, you block, watcherss ssee Dark Lord explode -"

With Dumbledore out of the way, Harry becomes the unrivaled leader of the light side, which could make him quasi-king of magical Britain with some maneuvring. His power only increases as he gets older. Voldemort!Riddle enjoys watching Harry!Riddle do all the work, while he goes on a multi-decade vacation on a nice beach in the Caribbean.

The End.

Nice theory. But are you suggesting that the Death Eaters are going to witness Harry defeat Voldemort, then proceed to not kill Harry, and to go out and spread the word among the general populace?

"So, Lord Jugson, how did you happen to witness this extraordinary event?"

"Oh, I, uh, just happened to be passing by when I saw the Boy-Who-Lived duelling a returned Lord Voldemort. As did Lucius Malfoy and thirty or so of our mutual friends who had all been falsely accused of being Death Eaters last time. Err, excuse me, I think I left the kettle on..."

0ChristianKl7yDo you really want to throw a killing spell when the last person who threw a killing spell died? It will start with some of the Death Eaters simply apparating away, because they don't want to be part of the mess. The last ones who remain have a choice to offer Harry their allegiance.
4Velorien7yEven if the Death Eaters would normally be too stupid to switch to their other lethal hexes (not guaranteed - Lucius, at least, has a respectable measure of intelligence), just now they've been instructed to apply a significant variety of countermeasures if Harry does anything. This greatly increases the probability of at least one of them thinking outside the extremely narrow AK box. That's still of limited use from a social capital perspective. Harry will have a devil of a time getting the remaining Light champions to align behind him if his first public recruits are Death Eaters. (and if they're not public recruits, then the whole "spread the word" element fails and there's no reason for the public to believe that Voldemort came back and was defeated again)

Putting Harry into political power was certainly part of the original plan (spelled out by Quirrel in parseltongue, even), although I'm not sure if the rest of the original plan was "make Harry do all the work" (in which case why constantly try to make him less altruistic?) or "possess Harry and enjoy that power".

I'd assume the new plan must revolve more around "stop Harry from ripping apart the stars and ending the world", and indeed Voldemort confirms "all I have done, iss to ssmassh that desstiny at every point of intervention". But you'd think the new plan wouldn't be "1. Make it possible to kill Harry. 2. Leave Harry with his wand and tell him not to interfere with next moves. 3. ???" it would be "1. Make it possible to kill Harry. 2. Kill Harry."

(Random aside: we have someone named "Jossed" coming up with theories about fan fiction? That's marvelous. Or possibly morfinous; I've heard a rational world wouldn't have conveniently-coincidental names.)

3TobyBartels7yUpvoted for random aside.
2Jost7ySeems like this theory got jossed in chapter 113 …
3Ishaan7yThat's what I thought as well, but giving Harry access to power presumably doesn't help avert the whole tearing the universe apart prophecy thing...which is what makes this so confusing
1TobyBartels7yHermione is intended to avert that.
0l27187yThis. You beat me to posting this quote. Riddle Sr. doesn't care to rule magical Britain, and will use this to rid himself of his Voldemort persona. Eventually he can reap the fruit of whatever magical research Harry!Riddle Jr. does, as well as have interesting challenges with him. I'm highly confident he doesn't want to restart the wizarding war (which he couldn't make challenging for himself no matter how hard he tried). Pure speculation: similar to cannon, Harry will survive Voldemort killing him by coming back from Limbo (possibly the Riddle Horcrux Network).

Here's a possibility. Harry is currently in a pretty bad position, perhaps the worst part of which is that anything he can think of, Quirrelmort can think of. He needs an advantage Quirrelmort won't expect. Meanwhile, a fairly intelligent, highly motivated and nearly impossible to kill young woman, who Quirrel thinks of as totally safe and harmless, is right over there. I'm not ready to predict that Hermione will at some point wake up and do something really useful, but it would be really cool if she did.

2kilobug7yThe two things I see more likely to get Harry out of his trap is partial transfiguration (which Quirrelmort doesn't know about) and Hermione, yes.
5Astazha7yI would not assume that Voldemort doesn't know about it. He watched Harry do it during the temper tantrum in the woods just before the centaur attack, and there was also the Azkaban escape. Quirrel would not have missed that such a hole should be beyond a first year's magic, and Harry straight up told him that it was something that would ID Harry. Azkaban alone would not have been enough to tell him what exactly had been done, though he might guess, but it would certainly prime him to be paying close attention when Harry started silently slicing a bunch of trees in half. Ch. 58: Ch. 72:

I don't think Hermione is actually asleep anymore. I was expecting her to wake up right away when resurrected, and that didn't happen. Then the death eaters started appearing with loud pops loud enough to count distinctly, and that didn't seem to wake her. And since she's fully repaired there's no need to sleep to recover.

Chapter 73

Hermione felt the jolt of Innervation bringing her awake, and out of some intuitive strategism she didn't roll to her feet right away; it had been a completely hopeless battle and she didn't know what she could do but some ins

... (read more)

We do get

Then the Dark Lord tapped his finger upon Hermione Granger's forehead, and said, in a voice so low Harry almost did not hear, "Requiescus."

And later:

Hermione Granger slept on peacefully, whatever spell of repose Voldemort had cast on her being sufficient to the task.

So as much as I like your theory, I don't buy it.

People here should be aware of fresh Word of God. Apparently we're NOT in the Mirror.

The Mirror did not touch the ground; the golden frame had no feet. It didn't look like it was hovering; it looked like it was fixed in place, more solid and more motionless than the walls themselves, like it was nailed to the reference frame of the Earth's motion.

The Mirror is in the fourth wall. Now that we-the-readers have seen the mirror, we have to consider that our seeing Eliezer saying this isn't in the mirror might just be part of our coherent extrapolated volition.

627chaos7yMy CEV is much less enjoyable than I had imagined it would be.

It's implied but not stated that we're not in the mirror. CONSTANT VIGILANCE!

(I say as someone who is >98% sure that we're not in the mirror.)

1[anonymous]7yAh well, if we are in the mirror, then the real we, the we with abominable terminal values and recurring stupidity, at least get one hell of a kick out of life. Sounds... bad enough
0Astazha7yEY could fairly express that frustration at unexpected and seemingly inconsistent reader reactions whether we're in the mirror or not. 111 was less believable than 110 to me, so I see where he's coming from there. But whether we're in the mirror is a question of what level the author is playing us at, and it's a separate thing from this. That comment isn't a Word of God about whether we're in the mirror. Those chapters were both written to signal that we were in the mirror. I don't know if that's a true hint or a deception, but EY can be surprised by the differential reactions regardless. That doesn't seem to be evidence either way.
7Gondolinian7yTo be fair, we only had 2.5 hours to question 111, while we had nearly a whole day to question 110.
8Vaniver7yA summary of the reaction, in two points: 1. But wait, you're focusing just on the wrong reactions, people reacted both ways to both chapters! 2. But this is normal human nature; people are rooting for Dumbledore and against Voldemort, and so disbelieve an anvil being dropped on Dumbledore and cheer when an anvil is dropped on Voldemort.
5Astazha7yI believed 110, and then when 111 came out I was like "No, 110 and 111 are both mirror bullshit; there's no way it's a coincidence that they both get resounding, total victories after being reflected in the mirror." Aaaaand I'm wrong. EY keeps me guessing.
3solipsist7yMe too. I did not doubt chapter 110 was veridical until chapter 111 ate my suspension of disbelief.

"The steel ring upon his left pinky finger was yanked off hard enough to scrape skin, taking the Transfigured jewel with it."

I guess we'll see whether Dumbledore knew what he was talking about when he told Harry to carry his father's rock.

The fact that so much of Harry's beliefs and actions are based on the assumption that speaking in parseltongue ensures that the truth is being spoken bothers me.

Harry believes this because

1. Quirrel told him.
2. He is seemingly unable to lie to Quirrel when speaking in parseltongue.

The first point is obviously something to be extremely skeptical of and, while the second appears to be strong evidence, it very strongly reminds me of

"I want to give you a drop of Veritaserum," Draco said. "Just one drop, so you can't lie, but not enough to m

... (read more)

It's a quite strange move to leave Harry standing at the end with his wand in his hand. I think that means Harry is still in a position to do transfiguration which is wordless.

2mjr7yMaybe Voldie wouldn't mind teaching Harry a lesson in killing, the sacrifice of his incompetent followers notwithstanding. What with blood spilling out in liters and all. Fraction of a monomolecular line?

Can someone with a horcrux network and the ability to create new bodies create new horcruxes without killing pre-existing people?

Transform a grain of sand into a human being, make transformation permanent with Philosopher’s Stone, bring them to life with a defibrillator (which should be sufficient to “create” a muggle, if I understand chapter 111 correctly), kill them to create a horcrux. Sure, from what we know, that should work.

The ethics of creating living humans in order to kill them seconds late are … well, debatable, to put it mildly.

8Velorien7yVoldemort refers to sacrificing one person's "life and magic" to preserve another's when describing the horcrux procedure in 108. This suggests that a muggle would not work as a sacrifice.
5Nornagest7yDon't think that'd work. Horcruces, or at least the 1.0 kind, seem to be related to ghosts: Quirrell mentions redirecting a 'death-pulse' to create the caster's ghost instead of the victim's. We don't have a clear idea of how that works, but since Muggles don't leave ghosts, I think it's reasonable to assume that whatever the spell's doing, it needs a magical victim to do it. We see Voldemort making a Horcrux out of a Muggle in canon, but I don't think we've seen it here.
4Jost7yIn canon he used the murder of his muggle father [http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Tom_Riddle_Sr.] to make the Gaunt ring (which is inset with the Resurrection Stone) a horcrux, the murder of a muggel tramp [http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Muggle_tramp] to make Slytherin’s locket into a horcrux, and the murder of an Albanian peasant [http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Albanian_peasant] to make Ravenclaw’s diadem a horcrux. But you’re right, this makes it seem unlikely that a Muggle victim would work. (Damn, these small differences between canon and HPMoR can really confuse me …) On the other hand, it seems possible to use up a part of one’s magic/life force to create a witch or wizard (cf. Hermione), which could then be killed to create a horcrux. So while these horcruxes aren’t free to make, at least they are not a zero-sum game, either.
1LauralH7yFrom the description of HPMOR's horcrux spell, it won't work unless a witch/wizard is killed. Edit: didn't see Nornagest's post.
1CellBioGuy7yI was thinking more along the lines of: 1 - Possess accomplice 2 - Create your body 3 - Inhabit your body 4 - Have your body killed, creating horcrux that binds to the rest of the network 5 - Repeat 6 - Profit EDIT: I have realized one potential folly (or alternately, brilliance) of such a plan. It might mean that anyone could create their own horcrux from their own death. Or it might mean a few people would need to die to establish the initial network but then everyone with a network could create networks for others.
1imuli7yAdapting the Horcrux (2.0 in HPMoR) spell to make Amulets of Life Saving was the very first thing I thought of when considering ethical immortality in HPverse.
0DanArmak7yIf the created human is never conscious, but always asleep, I don't see any ethical problems. Creating a sleeping body doesn't really count as creating a sentient human.
0TobyBartels7yIt just depends whether their dreams are good or bad.

... So. That was a thing.

Let's see here. My current best guess for Voldy's extremely redundant anti-apocalypse plan looks something like this:

1) Kill Harry Potter. 2) Thoroughly kill Harry Potter with thirty-odd Death Eaters. 3) Have Harry Potter kill himself 4) Convince Harry Potter that if all else fails and he somehow manages to, I don't know, stab himself in the Resurrection Stone and set off a chain reaction that throws his other 108 Horcruxes into the Sun, he'll kill himself anyway 5) If he doesn't kill himself, ensure that Hermione Granger is around to keep him sane.

2Vladimir_Nesov7y"Remember that, in casse something goess wrong with next movess." might be referring to this: if the plan to permanently incapacitate Harry is somehow unsuccessful, he's to have the instructions for keeping Hermione around.
2Gondolinian7yI think Voldemort wants to actually kill Harry last, after he's already meticulously taken apart the prophecy in as many ways as he can think of, in case Harry's death sets something off. In the meantime, he wants to limit Harry's influence on the world as much as possible, by not allowing him to move or speak.

I think that since this story is Harry Potter and the Methods of rationality, its going to be Harry who saves the day. But if this wasn't a story...

Harry is in a totally impossible position (baring some experimental transfiguration). The best hope lies with McGonagall. She's been seen going off scrip before and if she realises the magnitude of the threat Volde now poses (perhaps Harry could impress this upon her, and point out that Volde has recently resolved to stop wasting time and just take over the world) she might realise that the only way left to sto... (read more)

4ChristianKl7yHPMOR isn't centrally about having a battle. It's a tale that teaches concepts of rationality. I don't see how the story that you propose would help with that goal. I'm also not sure how a Muggle army would help against Voldemorts 100+ horcrux protection. He can apparate around and constantly make new horcruxes. There's nothing for a Muggle army to attack. I think the secrecy is likely backed by a bunch of curses that aren't easily broken.
1skeptical_lurker7yWell, it might teach a rationality concept that you don't always have to personally be the hero and its ok to ask for help. But as I said, I'm not saying this is how I think the story will end, nor how it should end, just that this would be a possibility if it was real. This is true, but whatever happens a way has to be found to deal with this problem, and having an army would buy time. Its also possible that once Voldie has fallen, feeding his wand to the dementors would work. In canon I got the impression that the enforcement was conducted by the ministry of magic, rather than by ancient curses dating back to Merlin. But if the curses do exist, then this would stop my plan working.
4Jost7yYou’re right. The Statute of Secrecy [http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/International_Statute_of_Wizarding_Secrecy] was created in the late 17th century and is enforced by the Ministries of Magic of the different countries.
0ChristianKl7yHow? I don't think it reduces the ways Voldemort can attack individual wizards by a meaningful amount.
0skeptical_lurker7yIf you gather wizards in defensible locations such as Hogwarts, and then defend them with an army, then yes it does.
0ChristianKl7yVoldemort can hide his wand at a safe place. Then he detaches from a body. As a free roaming spirit Voldemort can take over a student inside Hogwarts and transfigure solids into gas. What's the Muggle army going to do to defend against such an attack? Helicopter gunships don't help at all.
0skeptical_lurker7yGas masks? But its not just a Muggle army, its a Muggle-Wizard alliance. The wizards counter the subtle threats, like this, while the muggles defend against a brute-force assault. Specifically, the Maurauder's map, if it can be recovered, would detect Tom Riddle, and I'd guess there would be other methods. Also, he has stated that he doesn't want to kill students, he wants to rule them.
0Jost7yThe gas doesn’t have to be poisonous. It could be an explosive (or simply oxygen, which returns to its original solid form, while it is in someone’s lungs …) Also, Voldemort is flexible about not killing people. He doesn’t want to rule over a pile of ashes, but he won’t abandon his plans just because they force him to kill someone. Even Harry abandoned the superhero morality after the first victim …
0skeptical_lurker7yTrue enough. In the case that Voldemort decides to use some form of gas weapon, the best solution seems to be a combination of biochem warfare suits, bubble-head charms, and mass 'finite incarnum' to clear the air. This would defend against transfigured gasses in general.
0ChristianKl7yYes, it's questionable that he even would want to attack Hogwarts. He can just transfigure a nuclear bomb and explode it near Hogwarts. Hogwarts itself might have protections but the army around likely doesn't.
1skeptical_lurker7yGiven Quirrel's rant about Muggles destroying the world with nukes, I doubt he'd escalate the situation by using one, especially when he has so many other options.
2MathMage7yI am dubious that "seeking help from the Muggles" is as straightforward as you seem to think it is.
0skeptical_lurker7yI didn't say it would be easy, but what other option does she have?
0MathMage7yAt present, McGonagall has no options because she doesn't know what's going on. In order for your question "What can McGonagall do?" to even make sense, we must first postulate that Harry/Hermione get out of this situation and that one of them is able to contact McGonagall while evading control or surveillance. Even if that is resolved without obviating your reason for considering McGonagall (that Harry is in an impossible situation), it's not clear that McGonagall could: * Persuade enough Muggles to take her seriously * Anticipate Voldemort's intentions and avenues of attack * Explain these to the Muggles in sufficient detail that the Muggles could devise countermeasures (McGonagall certainly can't devise Muggle countermeasures for them) * Do all this in the time frame before Voldemort could take over magical Britain, not to mention whichever Muggles McGonagall has gone to for help * Avoid Voldemort while doing all of this
0skeptical_lurker7yPerhaps Harry could will a patronus to take an extremely small form? Doable, given enough time. If she is morally flexible enough, she could simply memory charm those at the top of the command chain, but... this isn't the sort of thing I'd imagine her doing. This is a problem. Unless Harry explains it to her, I don't think she will understand just how bad the situation is. I'd seek advice from Muggleborns. But actually, in canon the muggle prime minister at least knows about the existence of wizards. I wonder if the muggles already have a (top secret) plan in place for what to do if wizards attack them? This is the big problem.
0jefftk7yCan't you Imperious a few heads of state? (Though probably not, or someone would have done it, though McGonagall may be aware of the details of the restrictions.)
4skeptical_lurker7yIt is of course only quite resonantly that Muggles have gained enough firepower to be a threat to shielded wizards. It is mentioned that Grindelwald confunded Neville Chamberlain, and that the Nazis were his "muggle pawns". So I think its probable that "Imperious a few heads of state" has already happened and the result was WWII. McGonagall would probably want to use a different method that didn't involve unforgivable curses though.
1Benquo7y"There is no headmaster to be notified if I kill you" was not said in Parseltongue, I think, so MM is presumably keyed into the Hogwarts wards at Headmaster level & may know Harry's gone missing. UPDATE: Hmm, there may be a different reason that sentence was not said in snakespeech - namely, the "I could kill you" part.

Why is Harry still conscious? It makes no sense that LV would not get someone to stun him until he needs him again.

Therefore, LV needs him for something right now.

I was thinking that Harry should have asked who killed Narcissa Malfoy. Though in fairness, I don't have a good way for him to tell Lucius that V did it.

3MarkusRamikin7yWhat makes you say that V did it?
5hairyfigment7y1. He constantly uses Fiendfyre and once burned an inkwell to death. Also, he kills people for fun. 2. We just saw that he has a use for the Death Eaters. This seems foreseeable, though his disappearance was apparently less so. And we know that he didn't particularly want to rule Britain; also, that he made plans for a failure that should have been impossible, connected to his disappearance (the escape clause in his curse). Narcissa's death ensured that Lucius and Draco would remain Dumbledore's enemies indefinitely. I'm not the only one to point this out. 3. The evidence given for Dumbledore or Bones would make this a plausible deception on V's part. Now, this involves a claim I should probably re-examine: that Lucius would 'play the game' at a low level in regards to his wife's death. I could see someone disputing this. But we have to take into account general emotional distress, and a distrust of Dumbledore that predated V's appearance. I admit that the bias V described in Chapter 108 probably does not apply (at least not to the character Lucius within the story) and that lowers the probability of my theory somewhat. 4. ETA: the Doylist reason given to suspect Dumbledore (that it would force Harry to fight him) is now looking more dubious.
2ChristianKl7yThat might make things more complicated for Harry because he suddenly has to start to fight a specific person.

So, the next chapter.

  1. Voldemort has some continued use for Harry. It could be personal (chess?), political (Light Lord?), magical (not sure?), theatrical (and now, my minions, I destroy the Boy Who Lived!), or some combination thereof.
  2. For many of those uses, it makes sense to tell the Death Eaters to not harm Harry, while also demonstrating his dominance over Harry, since the Death Eaters run on dominance.
  3. Harry has been repeatedly shown that Voldemort is better than he is at this game, and he won't have a chance for decades, and that his meddling routin
... (read more)
3linkhyrule57yTo be fair to Harry, neither of those are good examples - Voldemort's plan also had Hermione in Azkaban thinking she had murdered Draco Malfoy for two weeks, which would have had... unpleasant effects on her mental health, and there's a pretty sharp limit to how much you can count "going along with a hostage situation at gunpoint" as "meddling." A mistake, yes, intentional meddling, no.
0Vaniver7yI'm not saying that the alternative was good--just that the alternative was better. I am considering primarily the earlier mistakes Harry made with respect to Quirrell.
4linkhyrule57yWas it? I really don't think the alternative was better than the canonical "Harry gets her out of there at a reasonably low cost considering all the myriad ways he has of making tons of money". I mean, given that his opponent turned out to be Quirrell, maybe, but otherwise... Which earlier mistakes were these?
4Vaniver7yThe chief of them is the one that Harry realizes:
0ChristianKl7yI think Dumbledore did realize the fact that the Defense Professor is Voldemort, so that's no consequential error on Harry's part.
0Jost7yDid he? The beginning of chapter 110 seems to suggest otherwise:
2ChristianKl7yThat's sarcasm.
8Jost7yThat precise wording might carry sarcastic undertones. However, the bewilderment right before that seemed (and still seems, on second reading) genuine to me:
2Velorien7yIt's also an eerie echo of Lucius Malfoy:

Harry continued pointing his wand downward, insofar as he had been told that, if he tried to raise it, he would die. He remained silent, insofar as he had been told that if he tried to speak, he would die.

This seems an incorrect usage of "insofar as", since it means "to the extent that", not "because" or "since". Native speakers, what do you think?

7Nornagest7yNative speaker here; I think you're right. It didn't leap out at me on a first reading, but I probably would have changed it if I was copy-editing this.
5MathMage7yNative speaker--it's not wrong, but it is somewhat awkward. That said, the whole excerpt is redundant, so I'd be making more extensive changes than replacing "insofar as" with something else if I were editing. (Also: "He tried not to shiver in the falling night temperatures, for...it was getting colder.")
5[anonymous]7yNative speaker here; I think it's acceptable. It gives a connotation along the lines of, "had it not been for the fact that he would die, he would have no other reason for doing X."
0jaime20007yNon-native speaker here; I agree with you. I knew what "insofar as" meant, and the statement parsed fine.
4TobyBartels7yAgreed, it jarred when I read it too. I would prefer ‘inasmuch’, but it's probably better to just say ‘because’.

I get the feeling that splitting it up like that was intended to be a test of if we could figure out the flaw in Harry's plan quickly, much like Harry himself needing (and failing) to figure it out fast.

2MathMage7yAnd someone did figure it out [http://lesswrong.com/r/discussion/lw/lry/harry_potter_and_the_methods_of_rationality/c1ai] ; congrats to SilentCal. EDIT: On the other hand, as Reddit is eager to point out, the curse Riddle invoked on his doubles was not exactly foreseeable.
9SilentCal7yI was going on the Parseltongue-promise from ch. 105: I had taken this to mean Voldemort had precommitted to not killing Harry without tricking him first.
1MathMage7yYes--I prefer your version to what happened.

Still no direct answer for whether or not we are in a Mirror!Verse. Confirmation that Voldemort is acting to prevent Harry from destroying the universe--But I find myself still confused as to what he wants to do with Harry that is more important than killing him immediately to protect the universe. I would think that possibility negates any benefit of keeping Harry around.

In useless trivia: the Death Eaters got those masks and cloaks on in a hurry. It suggests that the outfits are some sort of spell that can be quickly applied, if seconds after being su... (read more)

7linkhyrule57ySomething about that line reminded me of a very, very old quote: We've got the robes and the moonlight and the context, but... Harry's naked, so that can't be Harry falling and Hermione screaming. I ... don't think Harry would scream for Voldemort at this point.
1Vaniver7yThis is a feature of the Mythic Dawn armor in Oblivion, and actually one of the cooler things about the game, I thought--the sleeper agents are dressed and act like normal people, and then BAM, conjured full plate. And it's not like you would want your agents to be exposed when people rummage through their things.
[-][anonymous]7y 3

Well, that's unfortunate. At least there won't be an update for a few days; maybe I can actually finish my thesis now in peace.

And since todays temp work was impressively mindless, I got rather a lot of thinking done.

Fair warning, this may well just be heading right into epileptic trees turf.

Dumbledore just cast himself from time in order to fulfill the prophecy about Harry Potter.

That line about how Harry will have to find some other dark lord to vanquish? It was not about the far future at all, it was about the next four minutes.

Let me explain: As long as the prophecy is in play, only Harry can defeat the dark lord. And that is not going to work against Voldemort. An 11 year... (read more)

0jefftk7yHow does the fake Cloak hide you from the Mirror?
1Velorien7yA couple of problems: Everything we've seen of Dumbledore shows him to be a man who thinks in stories. I can't see him fulfilling a prophecy by cheating, especially given that he's already lost a friend due to a failed attempt to mess with time. (plus it would raise the question of why he's spent the whole story telling everyone that Voldemort is Harry's fated foe) For that matter, that is a hard prophecy to make apply to Harry and some new dark lord. What other candidates do we have for the "him" of "born to those who have thrice defied him"? The only way Voldemort would know that the Stone of Resurrection grants him free-floating ghost powers is by testing it out, since no one has ever been able to use it in that fashion before. We must assume that he's tested it, and whatever else it does, it really does possess that devastatingly powerful function. How and why would Dumbledore and co. fake that?
9Benquo7yI don't think Dumbledore thinks it's cheating:
1Izeinwinter7yHe is the hogwarts headmaster. I figure they defied him in that capacity quite sufficiently. Heck, possibly even in his capacity as head honcho of the Ootp The theory is that the prophecy was always about him - or at least that it was always a possible read on it, in the same way as Neville could have been the prophecied child. That is why it was spoken in his presence, not in Voldemorts. It isn't cheating, it is settling the open question. And well, he told people it was about Voldemort because letting it be known that you suspect you are a dark lord with prophecies about you is not very politically helpful. Because it doesn't let him actually possess people? Being permanently intangible and voiceless makes him rather less of a threat. Or the darn thing is a monstrously powerhungry magic sink and his tests have used up dozens and dozens of horcruxes.. if it's a trap, there is a lot of things it could be doing. And the mirror is easy, it can be programmed to let people go who believe themselves safe from it, regardless of if they are. Heck, it occurs to me that they could be the true artefacts, just cursed - the point is that Voldemort was told about them quite deliberately, and so his use of them cannot possibly be to his benefit.
0LauralH7yThe prophecy was only heard by Severus and Minerva.
0Velorien7yAssuming a fake Cloak, I suppose Flamel could have programmed the Mirror with contingencies to trigger on "anyone wearing the Fake Cloak of Invisibility", rather than on "anyone reflected in the Mirror" as we originally expected. Edit: Actually, that might not work for the same reason that putting mayonnaise on a hamster might not work: the fake Cloak isn't inherent to the target, and so the Mirror doesn't care about it.

Could Hermoine's crux hold the key to defeating Voldemort? If it was touched to his host body, could she take him on spirit to spirit?

0lerjj7yI don't see why she'd win. Unless alicorn princesses are innately more powerful in the spirit world...
0WalterL7yWe've never seen the possessor lose. Maybe this is because Voldemort is very powerful and always wins the battle of willpower, but it might simply be that the one coming from the Horcrux wins automatically.

Are there any good guesses out there of what the apocalyptic-seeming prophecies about Harry might mean? The one about tearing apart the stars could be a reference to star-lifting. Could the "end of the world" prophecy just mean that Harry would change the world or something?

2Jost7yAs in “the end of the world as we know it”? Maybe. That’s the trouble with prophecies: You only really understand them in hindsight …
1Normal_Anomaly7yFrom the minutes after Trelawney's interrupted "he is coming" prophecy: Harry, you are the scary thing. (And I really hope Harry ends the world as we know it.)
0TobyBartels7yThat's what all historical end-of-the-world prophecies have ended up meaning.

From the top of the chapter 1 page:

This is not a strict single-point-of-departure fic - there exists a primary point of departure, at some point in the past, but also other alterations. The best term I've heard for this fic is "parallel universe".

We'd previously assumed that the primary point of departure was when Lily Evans/Potter used magic to help make her sister Petunia attractive enough to get the attention of Michael Verres, who raised HJPEV in a much better environment and gave him a much better education than canon!HP, which caused HJ... (read more)

2CellBioGuy7yCould both the decision to give her the potion and the different Voldie modus operendi be caused by the same older event?
1TobyBartels7yIt seems likely (the one principle point of departure) but not certain (not a single point of departure). In any case, that doesn't explain the centaur's warning.

A possible Voldemort failure mode: due to them both being Tom Riddle, Voldemort's Horcrux network might accept Harry upon his death and somehow hurt Voldemort (leaving Harry able to coordinate others through Resurrection Stone). Killing Harry is either the next step of Voldemort's plan, or a possible move on Harry's part. Killing Harry seems prudent, alluded to in Ch. 108 and throughout in Harry's internal monologue:

"So use an axe, it's hard to get a prophecy-fulfilling spell backfire out of an axe," Harry said and then shut up.

"I decided

... (read more)
6westward7yEven after re-reading the horcrux stuff a couple times, I'm still confused. There are two types of horcuxes, v1 and v2. v1 only captures your mindstate as it was at the time of creation. v2 updates all horcruxes to the current mindstate. v1s were hidden in the canonical places (diadem, slytherian's locket, etc), v2 in the hard to reach ones (mariana trench, pioneer probe). After 10/31/1981, Tom's mindstate bounced around the v2 horcruxes. In 1992, Quirrell found a v1 horcrux ("one of my earliest"). How does that work? How can a v1, which hasn't updated, give rise to the current Voldemort? He wouldn't have Slytherin's monster's power, or knowledge of anything after the horcrux's creation. Also, how are those current v2 backups handling two Toms? Which mindstate is getting backed up? Probably the QQ one, but how does V know the system even works?? And isn't it suspicious that Quirrell finds this horcrux just a few months before Harry is to attend Hogwarts? Upon rereading 108, it's ambiguous if QMort is telling the full truth about horcruxes. His Parseltongue confirmation comes later, after his horcrux explication.
9fezziwig7yDon't have it in front of me, but my sense was the timeline was more nuanced. First he made some Horcruxes. Then he invented the True Horcrux, and made some of those. Then he invented the True Horcrux Hiding Place, and made about a zillion of them. Quirrel found Horcrux v2 in Hiding Place v1.
0TobyBartels7yThat seems to be the only thing that makes sense, but does the text say that anywhere?
2fezziwig7yIt does not. It doesn't quite not say it, either: 1) At 15, Voldemort creates his first Horcrux from Abagail Myrtle. 2) After he "grasp[s] the stupidity of ordinary people", Voldemort decides to invent a better ritual. 3) He spends "years" refining it in his imagination. 4) Quirrel finds one of the Horcruxes which Voldemort had hidden in the "hopeless idiocy of [his] youth" So, is "when he grasped the stupidity of ordinary people" + "years" < "youth"? It seems unlikely. But I do not think that it is quite ruled out.
2LauralH7yI thought it was that ALL of the horcruxes were updated to 2.0.

Graveyard: check.

Voldemort resurrected: check.

Death Eaters: check.

Now I’m looking forward to an HPMoR-style Priori-Incantatem-scene …

0Gondolinian7yThe resonance would have to be resolved somehow, unless Harry intends to sacrifice himself, which I doubt would be rational because it now seems that Voldemort's horcrux network is still functional.
7[anonymous]7yIf the resonance was Voldemort's self-curse, it has been resolved.
0Gondolinian7yI seem to have missed the implication that the curse was the cause of the resonance, I had assumed that the curse was some new thing we had not seen before. Thanks to you and Vaniver for pointing this possibility out to me.
4Vaniver7yI'm reading one of Voldemort's claims in this chapter to be that the resonance, rather than caused by Lily's sacrifice, was caused by Riddle's curse that he put on himself and his descendants, and Voldemort is no longer at risk now that Harry has attempted to end Voldemort's immortality. It could be the case that this is Voldemort's mistake, and love remains the power that he knows not, and there would still be magical resonance if the two came to magical blows, and in canon it's relevant that their wands both have Fawkes's feathers in their core.
4SilentCal7yI don't think the curse caused the resonance, for two reasons. First, Voldemort never harmed a Riddle. He arguably killed a Potter, but he made no move against the ensuing Riddle. This isn't the type of story to have a race condition bug in the Dark Lord's curse, though that's a great idea for omake. Second, the don't-kill-each-other curse doesn't explain the feeling of doom or the Azkaban resonance incident very well.
1hairyfigment7yNor does it explain the pain in Harry's scar or his crawling feeling after the gunshots. (Harry was supposedly never under the curse to begin with, in which case he can't still be under it.) Relevant, from Ch 111:
0ChristianKl7yHe did kill his family.
1Jost7yTrue, but irrelevant since they are not subject to the curse: (chapter 112)
4Jost7yAnd since this fact is explicitly mentioned in chapter 6 (see quote below), I expect this to play a role in one of the future chapters. (“Law of Conservation of Detail”) (edited for formatting)

In canon it's fundamentally a coincidence; in story terms it functions as foreshadowing for the Horcrux reveal, but since Horcruces in canon don't seem to affect people's personalities or magic there's really no good reason for it, unless we want to grant wands magical Horcrux-detection powers that we've never seen elsewhere.

Here, though, Harry isn't just a vessel for Voldemort; he's actually a copy of the same soul. It makes perfect sense for the wands to be very similar, and it makes sense from an authorial perspective to emphasize that: it looks like an echo of canon in the event, but it's the sort of thing that enriches the story on a second reading.

3Jost7yw/r/t magic: IIRC, the Voldemort-Horcrux inside Harry is responsible for him being able to speak Parseltongue. (Although my memory is a bit fuzzy on this; it’s been a while since I last read book 7.) Also, there’s a weird horcrux/magic interaction, which leads to the King’s Cross scene near the end of book 7. w/r/t personality: Wearing a Horcrux can at least influence the mood of the wearer, see the big row between Harry/Hermione and Ron in book 7. (Why canon!Harry is apparently not influenced by being a horcrux is still a mystery to me …) You’re absolutely right; the Law of Conservation of Detail is already satisfied by that. However, I still consider Priori Incantatem a plausible option for the next few chapters.
3CronoDAS7yHe was - he had a kind of telepathic link to Voldemort, which gave him visions of what Voldemort was doing. Snape was supposed to teach Harry Occulemency to keep Voldemort out of his head, but it didn't work; Voldemort sent Harry a false vision of Sirius in danger to lead him into a trap.
0Jost7yOh, absolutely! Sorry, my original phrasing was bad. Let’s try again: I still don’t understand why the horcrux inside canon!Harry seems to have no influence on his mood, similar to the mood changes caused by wearing Slytherin’s locket in book 7.
4higurashimerlin7yI guessing it did and Harry had nothing to compare it to. It has been suggested that Harry's canon step parents were effect and made into complete monsters by ten years of being around a horcrux.
2TobyBartels7yMaybe it did, just think how jolly Harry might have been otherwise!
1CronoDAS7yHmmm... Well, Harry did spend most of "Order of the Phoenix" acting like a moody teenager. Maybe he just got used to it after a while?
0Gondolinian7yI wonder if the Elder Wand will come into play. It has so far not been mentioned in the last two chapters, but that doesn't mean Voldemort doesn't have it/hasn't been using it.
0Nornagest7yThat doesn't explain the Godric's Hollow explosion, since Harry wouldn't have been a Riddle instance at the time. I'm pretty sure Voldemort was telling the truth about the resonance, unless something else leveled the Godric's Hollow cottage and killed Voldy's last instance. Voldemort can just shoot Harry now, however, where previously the curse would have prevented him from doing so.

Adding to my previous prediction comment:

Predictions:

The Transfiguration shaping exercise Harry was doing at the Quidditch match (Chapter 104) will become plot-relevant. 75%

Conditional on Harry "tear[ing] apart the very stars in heaven", him doing so will be a good thing rather than the disaster Voldemort thinks it will be. 80%

Speculations:

Lucius is in a tight spot here. He pledged the House of Malfoy against Hermione’s killer... who turns out to be Voldemort, who has now summoned him and is giving him orders. Perhaps Lucius will help Harry out... (read more)

2b_sen7yJust thought of another speculation: If the unicorn’s blood belonging in Hermione (Chapter 111) will keep her alive, does that mean she could sustain a True Patronus indefinitely (with the unicorn’s blood replenishing her life)?
0Astazha7yThe Lucius factor is really interesting to me. What will his calculus be between his son, his word to Harry, and the expected dominance of the Dark Lord Voldemort?

So, how is Voldemort going to try to avert the prophecy with the help of the Death Eaters?

WHY hasn't Voldemort ordered his followers to take Harry's wand? That is incompetence.

Warning for minor grossness: Harry can Transfigure bits of his body hair/skin into things, without appearing to move his wand. I don't currently see any particular use for this, but I wanted to mention it just in case.

2tim7yThis is a story where a young girl has her legs chewed off by a troll and dies. Do we really need warnings about transfiguring bits of skin?
0bramflakes7yHe could also transfigure a few micrometres of wood from the end of the wand itself.
-1cultureulterior7yA one-atom wide line of antimatter along his skin, down through his shoes, through the ground, and into Voldemort's brain, where you make a microgram lump. Still doesn't kill him, precisely, but it should at least make him mad

At least one of the following is very likely to be true:

  • the story will end with Voldemort winning

  • Dumbledore isn't really trapped

  • Voldemort will be trapped in time or in an inescapable magical container. He has far too many horcruxes around to have the same fate as in the original canon.

There are a few suspicious things with the ending of this chapter. Harry is, at the time being, completely defeated. Why are dozens of Death Eaters required to keep their wands on him? Voldemort could easily take his wand away and maybe even restrain him if needed. ... (read more)

3Vaniver7yOr he's behaving like the original Voldemort, right before he throws the duel with Harry and disappears to take on an identity more to his liking.
0CellBioGuy7yOr he knows there is now a second prophesy constraint in place.
[-][anonymous]7y 0

Can somebody make a poll with two options: I have pitied Quirrell and I haven't pitied Quirrell? The dead one, y'know.

2Vaniver7yHere's the link to polls help [http://wiki.lesswrong.com/wiki/Comment_formatting#Polls]. But since you asked: Have you pitied Quirrell (the dead one)? [pollid:830]

Having not been given his perspective and forced to really think about his predicament, I've given surprisingly little thought to this person's torment.

Ch. 47:

The sad fact is that most people just don't notice a moral issue at all unless someone else is pointing it out to them;

Ok, guilty as charged.

0TobyBartels7yTo be fair to you, I don't think that the fate of a fictional character actually qualifies as a moral issue.
8buybuydandavis7yI suppose I just considered him gone. Erased. Quirrell was the new resident. It was surprising to have the unpossessed Quirrell be alive for a short time.
2Nornagest7yOnly very briefly. We didn't really get to know the guy, and one has to assume that being a wizarding adventurer is a high-risk occupation.
[-][anonymous]7y 0

I'm sorry to say, but the last few chapters of HPMOR have been "wobbly" in exactly the same way as the last chapters of Ra. Oh we're saved, oh no we're doomed again, etc.

[This comment is no longer endorsed by its author]Reply
[-][anonymous]7y 0

Chekov's wand discussion: we have been repeatedly told about Dumbledore's "long dark wand" (Ch. 56,57,77,81,94,110), a "wand of dread power" (Ch. 77), which we know from Canon is the "terrible device" Grindelwald possessed (Ch. 77).

In Azkaban (Ch. 57), Dumbledore confirms this:

"Nonsense, my dear," the old wizard said cheerfully as he strode off yet again, waving as though in admonition his fifteen-inch wand of unidentifiable dark-grey wood, "I'm invincible."

Query: A key point in canon is the mastery of... (read more)

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Re: Chapter 112

Blasted cliffhangers... :(

So, like, is Snape in that crowd of Death Eaters, or what?

4Jost7yI rather doubt it; he might still be “guarding” that corridor. On the other hand, Lucius Malfoy should be there. His reaction might be interesting, given his previous, rather unusual encounters with Harry …
5shminux7yLucius is the power Voldemort knows not!

Better yet, Nott is the power that Voldemort knows!

3TobyBartels7yYou mean, Voldemort will be defeated by the power he knows: Nott? (Don't vote me up, this has been suggested here before.)
0MathMage7yYes--I claim no points for originality, only timing.
0TsviBT7yOh right, good point. Likewise Nott.
0bramflakes7yYou can't Apparate within the Hogwarts wards.

I think that one of Harry's biggest mistakes in the whole scenario was not bargaining harder with Voldemort before they entered the corridor. It was clear that he had some leverage over Voldemort there, Voldemort needed him for some unknown reason. He should have been less fearful for his own life (since Voldemort apparently needs him), and tried to barter for limits upon Voldemort's future reign of terror should he succeed. For example, if he agreed to help, Voldemort would need to promise in parseltongue not to Kill, Torture, or Imperius (or have mini... (read more)

6Vaniver7yBut also that Voldemort has leverage over Harry; there are people right there that he can torture or kill to punish Harry for taking too long to agree.
0Epictetus7yHarry has some bargaining power, but Voldemort holds the cards. He can use the Cruciatus on some of the other students or just threaten to kill extra people if Harry insists on "unreasonable" terms that constrain his future plans.

YESS! Voldemort is as intelligent as QQ always was! The true Dark Lord returns!