- This thread has run its course. You will find newer threads in the discussion section.
Another discussion thread - the fourth - has reached the (arbitrary?) 500 comments threshold, so it's time for a new thread for Eliezer Yudkowsky's widely-praised Harry Potter fanfic.
Most of the paratext and fan-made resources are listed on Mr. LessWrong's author page. There is also AdeleneDawner's collection of most of the previously-published Author's Notes.
Older threads: one, two, three, four. By tag.
Newer threads are in the Discussion section, starting from Part 6.
Spoiler policy as suggested by Unnamed and approved by Eliezer, me, and at least three other upmodders:
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Eliezer Yudkowsky which is not supposed to be publicly available (which includes public statements by Eliezer that have been retracted).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.
It would also be quite sensible and welcome to continue the practice of declaring at the top of your post which chapters you are about to discuss, especially for newly-published ones, so that people who haven't yet seen them can stop reading in time.
So Voldemort is a perfectionist seeking the "most powerful" combination of enemy, servant, and ancestor. Nice and good. But it sounds like if he were maybe a little less perfectionist, he could get any servant (I'm sure Lucius could spare Crabbe or Goyle, or he could just buy a house elf), any enemy (it's not like he doesn't have enough enemies, and anyone who wasn't an enemy before he took their blood would certainly be afterward), and so the only even slightly hard-to-come-by ingredient is the bones of the ancestor. So why in the name of Merlin haven't the bones of all Voldemort's ancestors been dug up and placed in a locked box under Dumbledore's desk? How come Mad-Eye Moody is out guarding the graveyard as if leaving Dark Lord Resurrection Ingredient #3 literally lying in the ground is at all safe?
(even so, an MoR-worthy solution would be for Voldemort to grab a sufficiently old hominid from a museum and assume it was common ancestor to everyone, but it would at least slow him down).
Not having read fanfiction before, one thing I find fascinating about MoR is the Americanisation. Mostly it's just fun to spot trivia but the way Eliezer deals with class is pretty curious and I thought I'd get some thoughts down:
Rowling is very careful in the series to draw her heroes from a cross section of the "honest" classes: Ron obviously is very stereotypically working class, Hermoine's upper middle (though not management) and the Dursleys are little englanders.
So kicking Harry up to Hermoine's class (and giving him a multi-barelled surname to boot! Though I'm not sure if that's a stereotype in the US?) and replacing Ron with the aristocratic Draco narrows the class perspective quite a bit. I wonder if this contributes to the more personal air to the fic's conflicts, particularly as Quirrelmort lacks Voldemort's evil aristocrat act, and Draco's now more of a racist than a snob. I'm thinking of reading some more american fanfics, to see how they handle things, it's an interesting insight into how the american's think about class (I'm looking forward to the American adaption of Skins for similar reasons, though in that case the relationship is reversed).
My big problem is the amazing breadth of American idiom that somehow falls out of the mouth of a child brought up by Oxford academics. Those kids really just don't talk like that. Not even slightly. It jars every single time and gives the impression of an author who can't be bothered.
If the characters in a story are supposed to be speaking Mandarin, no one, not even bilingual Chinese Americans, will complain that the American author wrote the dialogue in American English rather than the words the characters are literally speaking. Unfortunately, it appears that British English is too close to American English for dialogue between British characters to receive the same concession.
In fanfiction, the problem is solved (if the writer cares) collaboratively-- American writers trying to do British English well is such a common problem that the proof-reading and copy-editing has a name: Britpicking. I assume that most of that is done by native speakers.
The problems can be subtle. I was shocked to find that modern British English doesn't include "gotten". How do they make it through the day without such a useful word?
And I'm not going to mention the book because the author's a friend, but she writes excellent British English. When she had a couple of short passages of American dialogue, the result was agonizing. She didn't make the typical error of exaggerating differences, but there was something very wrong with the rhythm.
Now i'm wondering about that too. The best way to show how rationality wins (if it does, in fact, win) would be to show how it works even for someone of average intelligence - otherwise you can never be sure if you're looking at the effects of superior intelligence instead.
I'd thought this question would have already been raised, given the nature of this site and the author, but I haven't found it, so here goes.
Harry has already stated his intention of becoming as a god, and I'm not inclined to bet against him. He has already achieved partial Transmutation and Dementor-eradication, both considered impossible by other wizards, by virtue of his greater understanding of the Underlying Nature of Reality, and it seems likely he's just getting warmed up, and the Rule of Cool is with him, and the author seems sympathetic to that sort of transcendence (unlike most authors, whom I would expect to be setting Harry up for an Icarus flameout and a lecture on hubris).
It would not take much, really. Let him start researching an "Increasium Intelligencium" spell, and all bets are off.
So it seems reasonable to ask the question: is Harry Friendly?
I mean, obviously he avoids the Vast majority of unFriendly design space, simply by virtue of being human. He isn't going to tile the galaxy with paperclips or anything like that. But as I understand the idea, most human minds aren't Friendly either (are any?). It doesn't ordinarily matter, because humans... (read more)
My feeling is that the more obvious UFAI-alike in MoR is Quirrelmort. Consider: Inhumanly fast (newspaper reading; duel with Bahry). Inhumanly intelligent (passim). Very powerful in part because of being inhumanly fast and intelligent. Interested -- supposing him to be Voldemort, on which topic I shall say no more -- in defeating death (just the sort of thing someone might ask a superintelligent AI to find ways to do).
Speaking of which: "Tell them I ate it", says Quirrell concerning the destroyed Dementor. Dementors in MoR are a symbol of death, even if many wizards don't quite grasp that. Dumbledore doesn't, but Harry surely does. Is Quirrell really not concerned that Harry may get the message: "I am a death-eater"?
Perhaps the purpose of the entire narrative will be to gut-punch the readers with a lesson in Friendly AI, by showing Harry acting determinedly and rationally to ensure his own Friendliness, but failing anyway.
I haven't exhaustively read all these comments and all the reviews, so these theories might have been presented before, but here are two things I'm thinking:
-1- (medium probability) Quirrell seemed genuinely surprised to learn Harry had a mysterious dark side after the learning to lose chapter. He may not have realized this until they met, but he probably generated the hypothesis that it was a fragment of Voldemort very quickly. I think his bringing a Dementor to Hogwarts was his attempt to verify this hypothesis.
It was mentioned in Stanford Prison Experiment both that Quirrell is unusually sensitive to Dementors (probably because Voldy is unusually afraid of death) and that Harry's dark side is unusually sensitive to Dementors. Since Quirrell knows he is unusually sensitive, he theorizes that if Harry's dark side is really Voldy, Harry should be unusually sensitive. So he brings in the Dementor, arranges for the wand to be placed next to it, waits to see how badly Harry is harmed, and then pulls the wand away before there's any permanent damage.
Because of how badly Harry was harmed, he concludes that he probably does have a fragment of Voldemort in him. He asks Harry where he wo... (read more)
Somewhat trivially... I hadn't realized that Patronuses (Patroni?) could be sent on remote missions, or that they were able to track down individuals whose location the casting mage didn't know (as Professor McGonagall seems to do here).
I'm trying to figure out why, given that, anyone would break into Azkaban to give prisoners temporarily relief from Dementors, rather than just send a Patronus (or hire someone who can send a Patronus) to do the same thing.
So far I can't think of a plausible reason. Admittedly, Patronuses can't bring chocolate, but that seems inadequate reason to take the additional risk of breaking in personally.
Am I being dense?
A related nitpick: I was wondering why McGonagall's Patronus found this Harry if there are multiple Harrys around at this time because of his use of the Time-Turner. It seems likely that either the earlier Harry is still around at this time, or the later Harry has come back and is around at this time, or both. Is it because this Harry is using his Patronus?
(A similar issue about communicating with people who have time traveled naq oebhtug gurve pryy cubarf came up in another work of fiction, but I won't say anything more about that to avoid spoilers.)
Yeah, he suffers from spontaneous duplication, which is being treated by his spinster wicket.
A copy with knowledge of a Azkaban at a certain time seems forbidden from approaching/entering Azkaban at a prior time. See "Azkaban's future couldn't interact with its past, so she hadn't been able to arrive before the DMLE had gotten the message," in Ch55. The restraint isn't so much when the DMLE gets the message, it's when Azkaban sends the message. It can't send a message that affects its past.
Azkaban might be a good place to try a can of Comed-tea.
I hereby declare this to be fact. Not least because otherwise Harry would be tempted to send his Patronus into the Dementors' pit at any time, which problem I had thought about and planned to have him just not think of.
Tonight, after the Deathly Hallows premier, there are going to be readers who don't normally advertise HP:MoR flooding social networking sites with posts about the movie. Posting more chapters by the time they get to their computers to do so could get them to include their joy over the superior story in this flood, simply by relevant association, advertising MoR and spreading the love. Using the release of the canon movie in this way is the right thing to do, if there are chapters ready to be posted, and the fact that I desire moar MoR is a mere coincidence.
Chapter 61: 'There was another pause, and then Madam Bones's voice said, "I have information which I learned four hours into the future, Albus. Do you still want it?"'
This seems like a useless question. A bit of information was already conveyed representing the fact that Amelia Bones was 4 hours into the future & found some information that would be useful to Dumbledore. Is this not sufficient information transfer in and of itself to prevent Dumbledore traveling backwards?
Sorry if I'm confused, but reasoning about time is hard, and my diagrams are not as helpful as Snape's and Dumbledore's.
"Is this not sufficient information transfer in and of itself to prevent Dumbledore traveling backwards?"
Obviously it is not. I'm sure that Harry would find it ludicrous that such a rule exists permitting the transfer of this one bit of information but not the rest of it... but neither Amelia nor Dumbledore think in terms of "bits".
Btw this "6-hours" window? Though I don't expect it, it'd be hilarious if in-story this had anything to do with the infamous "TimeCube" ramblings. Something like "Gene Ray was once an Unspeakable that went insane trying to figure out the mysteries underpinning the 6-hours rule.".
It seems to be anything that would change the actions of the ones who hear it can't be passed back. I'm thinking it's a simulation that's processing 6 hours at once, with the earliest arbitrarily small unit of time being finalized at the same rate new time starts processing. So Harry just needs to upgrade the universe's hardware and he'll be good to go further back, but he should be able to get around the maximum daily uses per Time-Turner before then.
In other words:
All Cube Truth denied. 4-corner days, 24 hours divided by 4 corners is 6 hours per corner. The math is simple but no wizards will debate me. Time-Turner can only turn one corner at a time. 4 days are in one rotation. If Time-Turner turned more than 6 hours it would be in a previous day! Turners are connected in ONEness with Time and to disconnect equates death of opposites.
erm... Harry was worried that they'd figure out that he'd used partial transfiguration to make a hole in the wall, but he's not worried that they might figure out that he's just about the only wizard on the planet who would ever think of transfiguring a rocket-powered broomstick? Surely that idea has Harry James Potter Evans-Verres stamped all over it?
Has the nature of Harry's mysterious dark side been established yet? If not, the latest chapter gives a strong hint toward it being a shard of Voldemort.
In chapter 56, Harry discovers that his vulnerability to Dementors is due to his dark side's fear of death. And, back in chapter 39, in the discussion between Harry and Dumbledore it was suggested that Voldemort was motivated by fear of death. Not quite proof, but interesting nonetheless.
An easy way of linking to all the past discussion threads is to link to the harry_potter tag, which doesn't require updating all past discussion threads every time a new thread is created. Except that this latest thread is tagged with "harrypotter" instead, which ought to be changed.
I'm not happy with the rule about time travel not allowing travel more than six hours back of information. If that's the case then time travel should be much less common since anything sharing the same light-cone segment will transmit information back based on minute changes to gravity. This only makes sense if it means information that humans would regard as information because magic works like that. If that's the case, I'm really waiting for Harry to find the explicit rules for that and then find a loophole to engage in major havoc.
Either that, or that's the size of the simulation's event buffer. ;-)
(That is, it might be a hard limit on the size of time loop the simulation is able to process, if they're actually in a simulation.)
I just had an awesome misreading of Ch. 60. Quirrell says to Harry, "People don't care in the slightest, and if you had not led a vastly sheltered childhood you would have noticed that long ago. Console yourself with this!" and hands him a game console. Wham, Dumbledore's hero neutralized.
I'm a bit miffed about Dumbledore apparently knowing about the requirements for Voldemort to cast the spell to restore his body. That wasn't part of the prophesy, that was, in the original canon, magic of Voldemort's own creation. Even if Dumbledore knows Voldemort to be capable of such a thing, he shouldn't know how. One difficulty of compressing plot elements from a series that takes place over seven years into a one year space is that you have to be extra careful that people don't suddenly start knowing things they shouldn't know.
EDIT: Elieze... (read more)
I'm afraid I haven't a clue how I would set things up if I were Voldemort, because I'm still not clear on what it is he's actually trying to accomplish. Assuming I were simply trying to defeat Dumbledore, I can think of what I might have done that would explain some of Quirrel's actions, but not others.
Actually, on second thought, if my opponent were Dumbledore, I think I do know what I'd do, because it's a Dark Lord strategy I've contemplated before which seems practically tailor made to the situation.
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V'z abg ng nyy pbasvqrag gung guvf vf jung Ibyqrzbeg vf npghnyyl qbvat gubhtu, gurer'f fgvyy n terng qrny vg jbhyq yrnir harkcynvarq.
How did Sirius manage to switch with Peter?
With Harry thinking the best way to break out of Askaban not to be sent there in the first place when he first hears about Sirius, the Quibbler story that Sirius and Peter are secretly the same person and someone Fawkes is particularly unwilling to leave in their Askaban prison cell mumbling "I'm not Sirius" over and over I have very little doubt that it somehow happened. I see no way to show that all just to have been a red herring that's even the least bit awesome. And then it has also repeatedly been ... (read more)
I think I figured out Quirrell's plan, or at least what the big challenge for Harry is going to be.
Quirrell spoke of Voldemort learning Slytherins secrets from the basilisk, tempting Harry. Oh but the snake is dead, too bad all those secrets are lost.
Now Harry figures out that his mysterious dark side is Voldemort, has all those secrets, and apparently can be 'reformed'.
So he can have all those secrets (and at some point he is likely to be made to need them) but to get them he has to strengthen the horcrux-voldemort talk to it and listen to it.
The answer to Harry’s question at the end of Chapter 60, “Why am I not like the other children my own age?”, is, of course, that he is the protagonist of a story, and therefore he must do interesting things to amuse the readers. It would be pretty cool if he actually realized that and started considering in his decisions the likelihood that this story will have a happy ending and the likelihood that he will be killed off as a result of a minor accident as opposed to an epic duel with Voldemort. It would be really hard to write, though, and Harry would natu... (read more)
I don't like this interpretation because I don't think there's any problem to solve.
My memories tell me that broomsticks in both the books and movies were determinedly Newtonian, and not Aristotelian. Broomsticks do not stop instantly, people smash into the ground when they can't pull up enough, and so on. Before I accept that Eliezer has not made a mistake or is not deliberately diverging from canon and so there is even a forgetting for the remembrall to be linked to, I want to see some citations where broomsticks act in a clearly Aristotelian manner.
I'm not reading the comments to these threads because I'm a few chapters behind. Do you all feel like the comments here are valuable contributions to this site's content? Like I said, I'm not reading them so for all I know the heavy discussion and high karma indicates a really productive and insightful conversation. But the Harry Potter stuff is dominating the recent comments thread and this is the 5th top level post hosting it.
I think I second the intention of this post. Clearly a lot of people here are interested in discussing MOR, but that shouldn't dominate LW.
Proposal: why not move the MOR discussion threads to the discussion section, where they won't clog up the "recent comments" for those who aren't interested in the story.
(up to #56)
The title "Stanford Prison Experiment" evokes the possibility of Harry taking on some of the feelings and brutality of Voldemort during his roleplay. So far it doesn't seem like he's fallen.
Not that I would expect him to become like Voldemort - the prison roleplay experiment mostly demonstrated that people have unrealistic fantasies about how heroic they would be if placed in a role, e.g. they were a soldier in Nazi Germany, when in fact they'd behave the same as any other person in that environment. We wrongly blame others' nature f... (read more)
How long until the next chapter is posted anyway?
Is "I'm not serious" a The Dark Knight reference?
There's a brilliant bit of speculation in the reviews on FF that it's actually "I'm not Sirius". Makes sense to me, I was trying to imagine what "worst memory" would prompt "I'm not serious". Although now that you mention it, a guy like the Joker might end up that way.
The latest A/N links to an awesome picture that gave me two minutes of non-stop laughter. Best fan art yet IMO.
Gosh golly gee whiz, that's me! I'm blushing with gratitude!
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Chapter 59 Author's Notes
Does "story time" mean word count (the time it takes to tell the story), or in-universe chronology (the time of which the story tells)?
Given it's already longer than the first three books of canon, the second seems to make more sense.
This will, of course, miss one thing that is nice about the canonical books: they show Harry change through adolescence.
From the latest Author's Notes:
Does anyone have the original version? I'd like to compare.
Two minor (and easily fixable) plot holes:
1) Harry never got around to tell McGonagall that the Hat called her an impudent youngster etc., and it's an interesting enough exchange that one doesn't expect it to have happened off-screen. More importantly, he freely told the story to random Ravenclaw pesterers just minutes after his Sorting, so it wasn't at all a safe security question since it's the kind of funny anecdote two-thirds of Hogwarts would know by now.
2) Lesath addressed Harry as his (Dark/Light) Lord, and didn't stick around to hear Harry "compare" himself to God while talking to Neville; nor does it seem likely that he would have learnt it indirectly at a later point.
I was thinking whether, considering the nature of the wizarding world, Azkaban is really that unreasonable a punishment for Death Eaters. Keep in mind that in order to deter crime (to acausally prevent it) a potential criminal calculating the expected utility of committing a crime must get a negative value.
This value depends on:
EB, the criminal's expected benefit from getting away with it.
SP, the severity of the punishment should he get caught.
p, the probability of getting caught.
Specifically we want (1-p)×EB < p×SP or equivalently (1/p-1)×EB ... (read more)
There's a simpler explanation: people like watching cop shows with mythically competent investigators because it helps them maintain the pleasant belief that most crime will be detected and punished. This not only makes them feel safer, but also helps them rationalize away any feelings of cowardice or subordination associated with choosing to follow society's rules.
To the extent that network execs push cop shows with happy endings for ideological reasons, it's much more likely that they simply applaud when they see "criminals get caught" than that they follow any hypothesis as complicated as "the best way to deter crime is to lower criminals' confidence that they will escape detection by propagating fictional evidence that people will erroneously generalize from."
I'm inclined to wonder if Harry's ability to block the killing curse with his patronus might be enough to clue Quirrelmort in to how it works. Possibly any collision of their magics would have produced a similar effect, but if not, it still makes thematic sense that the patronus would be able to block a killing curse, since it represents defiance of death. Given that Harry has already told him that he made the patronus by thinking about the eradication of death, I wonder if Quirrelmort might have enough information to piece together the nature of Harry's revelation.
Upon reflection, I still think Quirrell held the Idiot Ball in Chapter 54, by misjudging Harry's probable reaction to an AK attempt.
A Patronus (incorporeal!) intercepting an Avada Kedavra spell is bizarre and ridiculous. Anything less ridiculous would not have been able to interfere. With hindsight, sure, he should have known, but he doesn't have hindsight, we do. Before the event, he couldn't have possibly planned for Harry interfering like this, and we can see he already planned for any more probable level of interference - making Harry lie down on the steps far away, ordering him not to get involved, etc. If you really honestly think he should have expected a smart eleven-year-old boy possessed of a stronger-than-usual Patronus charm to be able to deflect the undeflectable curse, then he also should have planned for some equally bizarre event such as Dumbledore breaking the Apparation wards on Azkaban in order to teleport in front of the Avada Kedavra spell, and just taking it on chin because he's invincible.
Honestly. Quirrell would have to be holding either the Idiot Ball or Batman's belt in order to prepare for this.
Ever heard of a "warning shot"? ;-)
Seriously, though, you're not noticing that you're confused, here. For at least a week, a whole bunch of people here and on Fanfiction were going, "Wtf? Why is Quirrel holding the idiot ball?", precisely because it would be idiotic to kill the auror, unless Q's plan is considerably more complex than the story lets on.
In a way, we were suffering from Harry's Intent To Kill bias, and thereby overlooking the non-lethal strategic potential of having a spell that must be dodged, and thus can be used to put an opponent on the psychological defensive.
Bahry took all the non-lethal damage Q could dish out, and spat at the offered terms - but he took the AK threat seriously, and might have negotiated in preference to having to dodge a second AK -- especially if Q told him the first was just a warning shot.
I'm a little doubtful. Harry suddenly gained super emotional powers, an area in which he's been shown to be lacking, and yet he hasn't thought to also hide himself under the cloak.
Unless he's giving himself away because he wants to. In which case it's still a problem, because that would be dumb. "Father had told Draco about the Rule of Three, which was that any plot which required more than three different things to happen would never work in real life. Father had further explained that since only a fool would attempt a plot that was as complicated as possible, the real limit was two."
So I'm curious to see what will happen for more than one reason.
Chapter 61: I don't get what the laws of time are supposed to be. At one point, it seems that it's impossible for information to get back more than 6 hours, by any method. At another (and for the test they plan to do on Harry), it's impossible for a single person (or time-turner?) to go back more than 6 hours over the course of a day(/24 hour period?). Or both (with a strange coincidence between the absolute limit and the personal daily limit).
In any case, Harry can pass the test without breaking any laws of Time if he can find someone else with a time-turner.
Ch. 57-58: I'm finally forced to abandon my original misplaced expectations about the fic. I thought it was trying to be realistic in the Watt-Evans sense, but now I see that awesomeness is more important to Eliezer than plausibility. (Scaring away twelve Dementors who approach close while the Patronus is down? Building a rocket from memory?) Okay, this kind of fiction makes for an enjoyable read too.
Now that I think of it, the plan has been doomed since Ch. 56, and possibly earlier. Harry's idea of dealing with McGonagall involves using the Time-Turner ag... (read more)
The more I think about 55-56, the more potential holes I find.
McGonagall (or people from the Ministry) successfully detected the use of a Time-Turner before, in Ch. 18. So they will detect it now and all clues will point to Harry. It can be patched over by saying Mary's Room (or Quirrell's wards) makes the event undetectable.
I don't understand the rules regarding Patronuses. Can't McGonagall ask her Patronus where it found Harry, if Dumbledore can ask his Patronus similar questions? Or, alternatively, can Dumbledore send his Patronus to Harry, like McGonag... (read more)
New thread after 500 comments, now in the discussion section.
Ch. 61: more disappointment. End of chapter tries to create suspense by setting up a hard problem for Harry to solve in the next one. Again. I don't believe you, Eliezer, not after you made Harry blink away twelve Dementors. I still feel that the turning point of the fic was Ch. 55; after the events of 54 Harry should have woken up in a holding cell.
A note about the fic in general.
Harry gets frustrated when Dumbledore claims to not know what to do with immortality and immediately claims to have an immortal soul. It means Dumbledore compartmentalizes and does not "truly believe as he speaks". But Harry exhibits the same compartmentalization when he defends democracy to Quirrell and simultaneously wants to become a "Light Lord". And belief in democracy doesn't mesh very well with establishing scientific conspiracies, either.
Rocket broomstick is epic. I wonder what happens when the Transfiguration wears off in however long it does? Very small hail over Azkaban?
They're finally out of there. Let us never speak of these chapters again!
MoR is now the seventh Google autocomplete result for "methods" and the first for "harry potter and the m".
Edit: And, per JoshuaZ, "harry james p" brings up "harry james potter evans-verres" as the fifth option. (That was the post that originally led me to post this.)
Chapter 43: I think "nocebo" would be clearer than "placebo".
Chapter 61: Proofreading (I think)
Albus looked at her, his face as expressionless as Severus's, now; and she remembered, with a shock, that Albus's **own** - "It is the best reason I can possibly imagine for removing Bellatrix from Azkaban,"
Albus's own what, exactly?
Come to think of it, the earlier reference to the Confounding of Neville Chaimberlain doesn't make sense. Historically, Chaimberlain's motives are easily explainable- nationalist sentiments (most of the lands were still seen as German), learning to negotiate through trade-union negotiations (where concessions can be compensated for as inflation erodes wages), and post-overrun of Chekoslovakia getting his head out of the sand (he referred to a "general conflagration" if I remember right) and starting buildup necessary for war.
61: So they plan to ward Askaban against "opposite reaction". What would that even mean? Are they all going to fall down through the floor for lack of an opposite reaction pushing them up?
I'm a little baffled about how Dumbledore and Co. aren't at least CONSIDERING the possibility that Quirrel is involved, especially since Dumbledore was already suspicious of him.
A very interesting chapter containing much food for thought. I read this HPMOR chapter just after posting this LW comment. If I am to believe my own comment, I suppose I have to consider much of that food for thought completely un-nourishing.
But potentially rent-paying puzzles may remain. For example, how does the anti-paradox machinery of the time-turner work? My intuition is that the answer to this fictional question pays only fictional rent, but, well, ... You never know.
Quirrelmort should have cast Flawless Function on his plan to rescue Bella.
(And on his body, so he doesn't get ill, age or die).
Any chance we can get links to the latest thread in the original MoR post? I can never find this without expending a fair amount of mental effort wading through search results, and the first thread is the one that comes up when I search.
Did Harry just Transfigure a shotgun?
Perhaps, "This is my (rocket powered) broomstick"?
I wonder if Harry is planning on getting the Aurors and Dementors to fight each other?
First Law of Dementors: A Dementor shall prevent Aurors from coming to harm.
Second Law of Dementors: A Dementor shall obey Aurors, except in cases where that would conflict with the First Law.
Third Law of Dementors: A Dementor shall behave all creepy and stuff, except in cases where that would conflict with the first two Laws.
Zeroth Law of Dementors: A Dementor shall secretly support Dark Lords, to ensure that the need for the Order of Aurors continues.
Dumbledore's comments on The Lord of the Rings and his keeping Harry at Hogwarts seem significantly more rational than usual. Any chance Dumbledore is secretly awesome?
This is unrelated to the current plot, but rather a more general thought: We know Severus is the most accomplished occlumens in the world. Might he also be the most accomplished legilimens as well? It seems that Severus, being Voldemort's spy who spends inordinate amounts of time under Dumbledore's command, would natually come under the Dark Lord's suspicions, prompting plenty of sessions of eye-staring where Voldemort verifies his allegience. Severus, of course, passes all these checks, but could he not also be legilimensing Voldemort at the same time? If... (read more)
Tom Riddle got a Time-Turner in his third year and Legilimized himself.
Potential nightmare fuel ahead. ROT13'd for your sanity.
Jung vg ybbxf yvxr sebz vafvqr: Uneel jvyy bcra gur cncre, svaq gjb ahzoref gung qba'g zhygvcyl gb gur cevzr, naq nggrzcg gb pnhfr n cnenqbk ol fraqvat onpx n qvssrerag cvrpr bs vasbezngvba.
Abj, Uneel vf qrafr ng gvzrf. Ur xarj guvf jnf 'hafgnoyr' nppbeqvat gb ZpTbantnyy, gung vg jnf nyy cerpnyphyngrq naq gung lbh pna'g punatr nal vasbezngvba. Ur fghqvrq sbe bar ubhe naq gura sbyybjrq guebhtu jvgu uvf pbhefr bs npgvba, naq bapr ur unf zvffrq uvf nofbyhgr ynfg punapr ng punatvat gur cncre, Uneel naq guvf cnegvphyne ybbc bs gur havirefr oyvffshyyl prnfr gb unir rire rkvfgrq, qhr gb pbagnvavat n cnenqbk.
Abj, Uneel vf n fzneg xvq. Ur cebonoyl unf fbzr vqrn bs ubj dhnaghz vzzbegnyvgl jbexf, fb ur rkcrpgf gb or va gur fgnoyr ybbc gunaxf gb "cnenqbk vzzbegnyvgl". Qhevat uvf fghqlvat, ur nofrag-zvaqrqyl erzrzoref naq zhygvcyvrf gur gjb arj ahzoref ur jebgr qbja, naq frrf gung gurl, gbb, nera'g gur snpgbef bs gur cevzr. Ur ortvaf gb jbeel. Vs, rira jvgu gur cbjre bs vzzbegnyvgl ba uvf fvqr, ur vf fgvyy va na hafgnoyr ybbc, gung zhfg zrna gurer ner bayl hafgnoyr ... (read more)
61: After a Thanksgiving dinner frequently interrupted by songs and guitar solos, this came out of my brain while reading.
Edit: bulleted for line breaks.
Voldemort's resurrection spell calls for the blood of an enemy, and everyone is assuming that means Harry Potter. But Voldemort and Harry aren't enemies! He should try to take Dumbledore's blood, not Harry's.
I'm not sure if this has been mentioned before, did anyone else catch the Gurren Lagann reference? Very subtle Eliezer, I almost missed it.
I think I figured out how Fred and George duped Rita Skeeter in Ch. 26. The evidence came from Rowling's original universe. Maybe someone created MoR universe by going back in time to do things differently (most likely Voldemort), maybe something more complex happened. Same explanation for the story of the Weasley family rat in Ch. 29 and other "anachronisms" sprinkled throughout the fic, e.g. Dumbledore thinking Harry's stepparents treat him badly.
I'm enjoying the story; but am bothered by this passage:
Bella's life isn't just less valuable than Harry's. Her life has a large nega... (read more)
I'll try my hand at the translation, although the rent-paying thing is above my pay grade.
Something like: "If you save a murderer, that means you are the sort of person disposed to save a murderer. That means that in the past, murderers, insofar as they had accurate beliefs about your dispositions, will have been less disincentivized to murder."
Above my pay grade too, but as I am an amateur, I won't let that deter me.
First, you would need to believe that free will is an oversimplification. More specifically, that what may appear to be a free-will moral decision made today (about saving a murderer, say) is actually a decision the making of which is spread over your entire past life (for example, the point in your life where you formed moral opinions about murder, revenge, and so on). And not just spread over your life, but actually spread over the entire history of our species, in the course of which the genes and cultural traditions that contribute to your own moral intuitions were formed.
Second, you would have to believe that your moral decision today is so correlated to those aspects of the past, and those aspects are so correlated in a causal and deterrent way to the past behavior of potential murderers, that your decision nominally made today about punishing a murderer is correlated "kinda-sorta-causally" with the nu... (read more)
The Less Wrong meeting, of course. I'm no Omega, but I'm smart enough to predict none of the regular people will take the deal, and most of the Less Wrongers will. That means I won't give any money to any everyday people, but after the coin flip I'll be handing out a whole bunch of suitcases with $10000 to the Less Wrongers (while also collecting a few hundred dollar bills). The average person in the Less Wrong meeting will come out $4950 richer than the person on the street.
If you mean I should do the second part, the part where I take the money, but not the first part, then it's no longer a counterfactual mugging. Then it's just me lying to people in a particularly weird way. The Less Wrongers might do worse on the completely unrelated problem of whether they believe weird lies, but I don't see much evidence for this.
So did you just kill me and replace me with a version of me that had read that post? Where do we draw the line?
Am I the only one confused by chapter 58? How were Quirrell and Bellatrix surviving the Dementors while Harry had the invisibility cloak? And did the escape let out the Dementors and spray transfigured engine exhaust all over the countryside?
I'm confused by the entire Azkaban arc. All the fanciful language designed to evoke imagery and emotion is preventing me from figuring out what's actually happening. I promise to upvote anyone who provides a concise, transparent summary of the actual events (and motivations for said events) of this arc. In chronological instead of narrative order.
I'm not sure what was hard to understand, but here goes:
Quirrel, with much secrecy, proposes to Harry that they bust (the supposedly originally good) Bellatrix Black out of Azkaban. They go to Azkaban and break in near the top. Quirrel guides the way down, while invis-cloaked Harry protects them from the Dementors with his Patronus.
They arrive at Bellatrix's cell and free her in a weak state. Harry pretends to be Voldemort so that Bella will obey him (implying that when Voldie "died" he really went into baby Harry). On the way back up, they encounter an Auror after Harry gets so pissed at the dementors/Azkaban that his patronus temporarily flares out of control, alerting the guards. Quirrel fights him while Harry and Bella hide under the cloak. Quirrel tries to AK the auror, but Harry unconsciously moves his patronus in the way. This saves the auror but hurts Harry and knocks out Quirrel (that "sense of doom" is apparently a warning of bad interactions if their magics touch).
Harry gathers up Quirrel (who reverted to snake form) and stuffs him into his bag, gets Bella to obliviate the auror, and heads downward, somewhat panicked. He almost falls to the dementors ... (read more)
This leaves out some important events from the aurors' and Dumbledore's perspectives:
Dumbledore and his phoenix are upset about the state of some of the prisoners; it's not clear if this is a matter of police brutality, or...
Someone on a low floor in Azkaban is chanting "I'm not serious (Sirius)" -- possibly metamorphagus Peter Pettigrew, stuck in the physical form of Sirius Black and unable to change himself back
Whoever it is, Fawkes (D's phoenix) tries to alert Dumbledore to the "not serious" prisoner, for reasons that are not immediately clear.
Dumbledore notes to Amelia Bones that there was an item hidden under a piece of cloth in Bellatrix's cell, which he was leaving to the forensic aurors to investigate
McGonnagal's patronus appears in cat form, and Harry lies about his location, making a note of the time so that he can time-turn again later and be where he said he'd be, so that McGonnagal will not discover the lie or his involvement in the Azkaban escape
Quirrel explains that his plan was not to kill the auror but to convince him to drop shields via credible threat of death, and that his long-term plan is to make Harry the ruler of magi
First Harry summoned his Patronus, which shielded them all. Then he took the cloak. Quirrel became a resistant snake. Bella drank a hyper-potion. Only then did Harry dispel his Patronus.
I don't know what you mean by "letting out" the Dementors. They're not constrained in Azkaban; they live in a pit beneath the open sky, and no magical defense could stop them from leaving anyway.
The bit about the exhaust is true, but presumably it's transfigured from water, just like Harry's original version. Even if someone breathes a bit of the smoke it shouldn't be too dangerous.
Harry, once again, plays (or is played like) the fool. He places his life in obvious danger by going with Quirrell, and trusts Quirrell. Again. Agh! Here's what a suspicious Harry would think: Harry is the only one who knows that Quirrell is responsible for break in. Harry plans on staying behind. Quirrell can't stop Harry from staying behind with magic, and can't convince Bella to stop either. One choice left for safety -- manipulate Harry into making the vastly more dangerous choice and leaving.
I feel like the Harry of these past 8 chapters i... (read more)