New long chapter! Since I expect its discussion to generate more than 160 comments (which would push the previous thread over the 500 comment limit) before the next chapter is posted, here is a new thread.

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 108 (and chapter 109, once it comes out on Monday).

EDIT: There have now been two separate calls for having one thread per chapter, along with a poll in this thread. If the poll in this thread indicates a majority preference for one thread per chapter by Monday, I will edit this post to make it for chapter 108 only. In that case a new thread for chapter 109 should be posted by whoever gets a chance and wants to after the chapter is released.

EDIT 2: The poll indicates a large majority (currently 78%) in favor of one thread per chapter. This post has been edited accordingly.

There is a site dedicated to the story at, 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

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Eliezer Yudkowsky which is not supposed to be publicly available (which includes public statements by Eliezer that have been retracted).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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Eliezer and I are now part of the literary canon.

At least, we're both taught in the English department at Princeton. Anne Jamison's course, "Fanfiction: Transformative works from Shakespeare to Sherlock", will cover Eliezer's Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality on March 2, and one of my short stories, "The Magician and the Detective", on March 4.

Ch. 79 After the aurors come get Hermione for the attempted murder of Draco, Harry is in the Headmaster's office:

Severus seemed as passionless as ever, sitting in a small cushioned chair beside the Headmaster's desk. The old wizard stood terrible and upright by the still-burning fireplace, robed in black like a starless night, radiating power and dismay. All her own thoughts were of utter confusion and horror. Harry Potter sat on a wooden stool with his fingers gripping the seat, and his eyes were fury and freezing ice.

After a lengthy discussion of the case, Harry leaves:

Even as Harry Potter left the room for his own investigations...

But there is no reason to believe he left Hogwarts. Dumbledore then retrieves the Weasley twins from Divination class and gets their map:

The old wizard smoothed the map, bent over it, and whispered, "Find Tom Riddle."

I'd previously assumed that no information came of this, because the Defense Professor was being detained at the DMLE at the time, but Dumbledore almost certainly saw the map report Harry as Tom Riddle.

What did he conclude from this, I wonder? That Harry is a horcrux, and then ...?

And then one year Baba Yaga agreed to teach Battle Magic at Hogwarts, under an old and respected truce." Professor Quirrell looked... angry, a look such as Harry had rarely seen on him. "But she was not trusted, and so there was invoked a curse.

And although Perenelle was new-come into the beauty of her youth, her heart was already blacker than Baba Yaga's own -"

Ah, yes, Perenelle, the beautiful and covetous. Perenelle seduced the Dark Lady over the months, with gentle touches and flirtations and the shy pretense of innocence. The Dark Lady's heart was captured, and they became lovers. And then one night Perenelle whispered how she had heard of Baba Yaga's shape-changing power and how this thought had enflamed her desires; thus Perenelle swayed Baba Yaga to come to her with the Stone in hand, to assume many guises in a single night, for their pleasures. Among other forms Perenelle bid Baba Yaga take the form of a man; and they lay together in the fashion of a man and a woman.

Does anyone else think this reads like Quirrel has an awful lot of emotional connection to and personal memories about this story, almost as if it were Baba Yaga speaking about herself in the 3... (read more)

This makes some sense, but if Quirrell could bamboozle the map, surely he wouldn't do so in such a way as to reveal vitally important and damaging secrets to his enemies.

I can't figure out what you mean by "reveal vitally important and damaging secrets to his enemies." Would you expand on that please?
Quirrell and Harry both show up on the map as "Tom M. Riddle". Is there any reason why Baba Quirrell would want that to happen?
I'm not sure what is gained by convincing Harry that he is Riddle, whether it is true or not, but Quirrel communicated that before the map came into play so it is clear that s/he wants Harry to believe that Harry is Riddle. Quirrel is also acknowledging that he is Voldemort, so them both showing up on the map as Riddle is confirmation of what has already been said rather than new information. I thought maybe you were talking about the scribbles over the mirror room, but I don't know what to make of that at all so I can't even attempt to interpret it though the "Quirrel is or is co-habited by Baba Yaga" lens.
Scribbles over the mirror room? I'm asking why Baba Quirrellmort would want himself and Harry to show up as "Tom M. Riddle" on the map. (Which reveals to anyone who has the map that Q = V and H = V, which reveals the horcrux thing...)
The map may not have shown that at other times. Dumbledore didn't remark on it when he asked "find Tom Riddle". ("Harry? You're Tom Riddle? WTF?) All we know is that the map currently says they're both Riddle.
It wouldn't have always said that, it would have been changed right there in the moment for Harry's benefit. I don't know why, but again the map isn't providing new information, it's confirming what Quirrel already said.
In chapter 25 the Weasley twins discuss the map I now think this refers to warm!Harry showing up as HJPEV and his dark side as Tom M. Riddle. If so, it's less probable the map is being manipulated.

Eliezer says on r/hpmor that the intermittent map "error" is V's intermittent control of Q's body.

Harry can go months without using his dark side. Quirrel on the other hand goes into zombie mode every day. Perhaps zombie mode is what's left of the original Quirrel.
My prediction is that zombie mode is Quirrel checking up on Horcruxes in the same way he views the stars.
If you want text to run with this idea, that text would be: (Chapter 17) and (Chapter 108)
...and if you want a counter-hypothesis, the only line quoted in which Quirrell seems to have an emotional reaction is: Dumbledore did not allow Tom Riddle to teach Battle Magic.
That could explain the anger. There's still a lot of detail about the bedroom, though you could assume that Quirrel used legilemens on Flamel to find the truth about the stone. That seems really direct and dangerous, but Perenelle may not be an occlumens at all, and from Ch. 86: As DavidAgain pointed out above, there seems to be a parseltongue statement against tricking the map as well. Something is still off about this, though. Suddenly Quirrel is spinning a romance narrative? Also, here is a clever, ambition student, who in her 6th year outwitted the most powerful dark sorceress we know of and obtained for herself an ancient immortality-granting artifact. She sought immortality while still in school, as Tom Riddle did, and with greater success. She leveraged her advantage over greater wizards than herself to obtain more power still. She has shown so many traits that Quirrel would admire, and what adjectives does he use to describe her? Covetous. Black-hearted. If the betrayal were personal, I can make sense of that, otherwise it seems really off. The Quirrel I know would mostly stick to the facts, perhaps stopping to note the stupidity of Baba Yaga and the cunning of Perenelle. Maybe his negative view of Perenelle is just because she helped Dumbledore. Maybe I'm reading too much into too little. I'm in love with the theory though; I hope it works out.
My head canon is that Riddle seduced his own DADA professor when he was a 6th year, so when he investigated Baba Yaga's death that narrative rang true to him.
I love this idea in general: but don't see how he could have faked the map, given: "Did you tamper with thiss map to achieve thiss ressult, or did it appear before you by ssurprisse?" "Wass ssurprisse," replied Professor Quirrell, with an overtone of hissing laughter. "No trickss."
I think this is the most important evidence against it. You could parse Quirrel as saying that Harry being Tom Riddle on the map is a surprise and no a trick, and that he is not commenting on himself being Tom Riddle instead of Baba Yaga. You could also assume that Quirrel is lying about parseltongue. But yeah, I think that drops the probability a lot.

"There's something that would make you happier than that," Harry said, his voice breaking again. "There has to be."

Muggle research in the 2010s has revealed much about what actually makes people happy, and how often people are deceived. The best way to find out is with one of those mood-tracking cell phone apps, which eliminate the biases of memory. Quirrell doesn't have that, but as an approximation, I searched the PDF for the word "smile", which appears 310 times in chapters 1-106, and the word "enjoy", which appears 32 times. What did I find?

“Do you know,” the Defense Professor said in soft reflective tones, “there are those who have tried to soften my darker moods, and those who have indeed participated in brightening my day, but you are the first person ever to succeed in doing it deliberately?”

Interacting with Harry makes Quirrell happy. Moreso than killing idiots. Moreso than teaching Battle Magic. Killing him would be a grave mistake.

The book is mostly from Harry's perspective, so I would expect some selection bias in searching for interactions that make Quirrell happy, since most of the interactions described are with Harry as the protagonist. I agree with your conclusion though.

That quote is from chapter 74. I mention this because you didn't specify and to save the trouble for others to search.
Too bad the 2010s haven't happened yet. We haven't seen him kill idiots, so we don't know how happy that makes him.
From his perspective, Firenze would have been an idiot, and killing him didn't result in any visible sign of happiness.
Eh, Firenze was taking initiative to dispose of a major problem even if it required actions he considered morally distasteful. Compared to Quirrell, he's pretty dumb, but he hasn't distinguished himself for idiocy the way, say, the Ministry official who took self-destructive joy in obstructing him did. If anything, he probably distinguished himself as cleverer than the norm, if not in any way a peer.
On the other hand, Firenze's mistake was going into self-indulgent rambling instead of just killing the person he wanted to kill (especially with the stakes apparently as high as the survival of the universe). I get the feeling that Voldemort, who had his own Evil Overlord List, would find this particularly distasteful.
Well, given his actions in the past he can hardly call this idiocy worthy of being killed. Also, Firenze was not annoying him by being an idiot, he was annoying him by threatening Harry, for whom he had other plans.
As far as I understand, Quirrell believes (or claims to believe) that killing Harry will put him one step closer to fulfilling his CEV. Thus, any amusement Harry could provide is to Quirrel kind of like as ice cream is to us mortals: a minor, fleeting, and ultimately inconsequential pleasure.
Having Quirrell kill someone wouldn't count as them cheering him up deliberately.

When Lord Voldemort was feeling down, Bella would bring him chocolate and idiots to kill to cheer him up. I don't know why it never worked.

0Adam Zerner8y
I wouldn't extrapolate that research onto someone who is capable of murder and torture. I'm not sure though, and this is an interesting point - does everyone derive happiness from altruism?
There are at least two alternative interpretations. 1) Quirrel said this while he was roleplaying as the defense professor. Perhaps the role he came up with happened to be constructed so that Harry's actions made him happy. But that doesn't mean that it made Riddle happy (insofar as the "true" identity of Riddle exists). Heck, we don't even know that Harry is dealing with Riddle in chapter 108, or yet another identity that Riddle selected for the occasion. (He "changes names as you or I change clothes.") 2) Even if Quirrel/Riddle was not roleplaying, this could have been a calculated statement made in order to gain Harry's trust and admiration. There seems to have been a lot of that going on in Harry's interactions with Quirrel.

... Huh.

The power that the Dark Lord knows not... might end up being love after all.

Crazy theory: Voldy resurrects Hermione to keep his promise, then kills Harry. Hermione then drops Voldy somehow, and resurrects Harry using the same means that were used on her. Additional crazy theory: The method for doing both will be the Philosopher's Stone. She will transmute Voldemort into something mortal-but-inert - a bristlecone pine, perhaps.
Or through different means. You might be able to brew a Harry resurrection potion with forcibly drawn Thestral blood, Hermione's body, and unknowingly bequeathed bones of a Potter, Slytherin heir, or Peverell.
Fine tuning: She will transmute Voldermort's spirit into something inert (since he is free to leave his body otherwise).
What is HPMOR's stance on souls?
Still unknown. Harry believes they don't exist, Quirrell may or may not, and Hermione's death released a big explosion of Hermione-ness.
Her death released a big explosion of her magic. If Quirrel revives her body, she likely won't be a witch any longer.
Except that magical power has already been established to be genetic. The Potterverse doesn't have Wheel of Time-style shields or cutting people off from their magic, to the best of my knowledge.
Ugh, stilling. What a horrible idea that was.
You mean from the author/story/reader perspective, or in-universe?
Between horcruxes, possession, ghosts, and people turning into cats but still thinking like humans, I think souls or at least some form of mind/body dualism for magical people is strongly implied. ETA: see details in nested comments.
Not really. All of this can be explained by Atlantis - if you already have some mind-reading system to power your spellcasting system (since the actual gestures and whatnot of a spell aren't nearly complex enough to code their results, they have to be executing some protocol stored elsewhere anyway), it's not much of a stretch to say that it has stores of people's mindstates too.
I'm lost---what does Atlantis mean here?
It is implied in previous chapters as the 'source' of magic, having invented it, and all methods having pretty much decayed since its glory days. Also implied to have messed with time in serious ways.
Anything and everything can be explained by Atlantis, but for purposes of experimental predictions, there do appear to be souls.
Not quite. Souls - as in "you are not your brain" - run into all the usual problems with brain damage and whatnot. Mind backups make much more sense, because without a secondary "restore from backup" system nothing particularly interesting will happen.
Well, Harry hasn't actually tested the idea that wizards can suffer brain damage the same way as Muggles. He just assumed they do. But it's a reasonable assumption. What happens if you progressively damage Quirrel's brain? At some point Voldemort will either decide or be forced to go and possess another body or Horcrux. That thing-which-goes-off is for all intents and purposes a soul. A backup isn't a good description, because Voldemort is always aware - there's no point at which he exists only as a backup and may or may not be restored. Also, a backup implies restoring multiple instances, and creating multiple backups; the True Horcrux doesn't seem to do that.

Agreed, and I want to expand that a little:

Muggle science determined that muggle minds are contained in muggle brains, and Harry has been reluctant to let go of this idea even though there are observations against it and he has seen that magic can freely violate very solid muggle conclusions like conservation of matter.

Even if muggle brain damage seems to damage the mind, it could be that it damages the mind's interface to the body. Here in the real world, this dualism adds additional complications and doesn't help explain any evidence. In the HPMOR universe there is a great deal that would be explained by mind/body dualism.

Animagus transfigurations almost require it. Skeeter's mind is not contained in the physical arrangement of a beetle's brain. Therefore, her mind isn't just a physical brain in this world. Her brain could be held in some extradimensional pocket and interfacing to the beetle. Her mind could be running on a magical, rather than physical substrate (always or just during transformation?). She could have a soul. (And some versions of "mind on a magical substrate" would also qualify as "souls".)

As DanArmak says, Quirrel didn't just have ba... (read more)

6[anonymous]9y Just for fun.
I suspect that Quirrel's spell uploaded his brain into an invisible magical computer he calls "spirit". The biological brain of the body he is possessing is either doing nothing or is limited to low-level unconscious functions.
The Longbottoms were tortured into "insanity", but their canon appearance in St. Mungo's looks far more like brain damage from Cruciatus. And lots of Obliviates seem to cause brain damage as well. Breaking a FMC on Bertha Jorkins in book 4 ended up killing her.
Yes, but that's a new spell - that's the equivalent of a live-sync system, where you make your "backups" so often that they're all basically the same anyway. That's not the default. By that argument, only Quirrell has a soul.
It could also be said that only Quirrel has a soul that survives his body's death.
... then the theory of a soul is doing no explanatory work and should be discarded.
We have two competing theories. One says everyone has a soul, and the True Horcrux ritual lets it survive death. The other says normal people don't have souls, and the True Horcrux ritual creates one, which can then survive death. I'm not convinced that the first theory isn't just as parsimonious. It models the soul as something that needs to be anchored to the world. The (original) living body is always an anchor, and the TH ritual creates more anchors. This also reminds me of the fact Draco believed Muggles have no souls. I now assign a higher credence to that idea.
Is he? I don't recall any such line in this chapter. I mean, it's probably something he's taken precautions against, but it's hard to be sure(unless I missed something).
From chapter 107:
Good call - I only double-checked 108. That makes my theory far less likely.
The stone makes transfigureation perminant. It doesn't mean you can transfigure through shields.

Quirrel says:

the fact is that Miss Greengrass was not supposed to arrive in that corridor for several hours. I am not sure why her party arrived in Mr. Malfoy's company, and had Mr. Nott arrived seemingly alone, events would have played out less farcically.

That seems very important, so why didn't he ask any of them why they arrived early? It looks like a blatant mistake on his part.

I agree -- this is central to figuring out the next few chapters. My best guess is that Harry said "Hello, Voldemort" so that an invisible Cedric Diggory could overhear. Diggory could time-turn one hour back to tell Dumbledore at 5:55 or so, or, alternatively, could inform Dumbledore after 6:55. Dumbledore himself has a time-turner, so as long as Diggory gave no information from after 7:00 Dumbldore could travel back 6 hours from then. Dumbledore knows that Harry is Riddle, so he probably has some aces up his sleeve.

Hmm. My probability that Hermione will be recreated as an alicorn princess is now over 75%:

Indeed, now that you have pointed it out, I have just now thought of some nice things I can do this very day, to further my agenda.

It seems unlikely that Voldemort thinks that humans are the optimal creatures to be (that's flowing with the status quo, which he does not do). It might be best to be, say, both a Wizard and a Troll, or a Wizard and a Dragon, or a Wizard and some new optimized thing. But why try this out on himself first, when it could go horribly wrong, when he could try it out on Hermione?

Dumbeldore wouldn't like Hermione coming back from the dead. It's unnatural. He previously worried that the only reason Voldemort would steal Hermione's body is to make an inferius.
So he would reinstate her in a pony form, suited for friendship, and optimizing-oriented? Watch out, Hanna.

I wonder if the final room is not visible on the Marauder's Map because it's warded or because the room you enter is determined by whether/how the potion is flawed.

As a veteran Potion's professor, Snape would be able to predict very accurately the way a first year would screw up such a fiddly task. Screw it up in the right way, see an innocuous final room with a little "Well done, don't spoil it!" from the Headmaster. Execute it perfectly and trigger... what exactly?

This seems like a good occasion to quote the twist reveal in Orson Scott Card's Dogwalker:
That is delightful.
There's an old metaphor I read somewhere, that compared an unmeasured quantum state to the image in an unobserved mirror. The Map isn't sure who is in the Mirror room; maybe it's still indetermined.
Maybe indetermined because the room is (so far) causally disconnected from Hogwarts, there is still one hour of time turning left and a stable time loop has not formed yet, because it is not clear who and how is going to use the time turner to get into the room before now. Alternatively, the true Cloak of invisibility hides you from the Death itself, never mind a mere map...
In canon, the Cloak does not hide you from the Map. I don't remember if this has appeared in MoR, but an Author's Note referenced this fact: in canon, the Cloak does not hide you from Moody's Eye. Rather than change this, EY made the Eye a venerable artefact, rather than something that Moody whipped up. And he also made the Map a venerable artefact, rather than something that the Marauders whipped up. So I expect that the Cloak does not hide you from the Map in MoR either. [Edits: capitalization.]

QQ has Harry's wand, so how is Harry going to get out of this mess? One of my theories is wandlessmagic. The existence of wandless magic at all is evidence the wand isn't strictly needed.

This makes sense if you buy that a wizard is pulling levers on the source of magic rather than actually enacting the spell

From Chapter 25

If magic had been like that, a big complex adaptation with lots of necessary genes, then a wizard mating with a Muggle would have resulted in a child with only half those parts and half the machine wouldn't do much. And so there would have been no Muggleborns, ever. Even if all the pieces had individually gotten into the Muggle gene pool, they'd never reassemble all in one place to form a wizard.


So however your genes made you a wizard, it wasn't by containing the blueprints for complicated machinery. That was the other reason Harry had guessed the Mendelian pattern would be there. If magical genes weren't complicated, why would there be more than one?

And yet magic itself seemed pretty complicated. A door-locking spell would prevent the door from opening and prevent you from Transfiguring the hinges and resist Finite Incantatem and Alohomora. Many elements al

... (read more)
Moreover, it ignores Merlin's interdict. Those children had not learned how to disillusion themselves. I think you're on to something here.
Merlin's Interdict is unrelated to wands. It simply prevents certain magical knowledge from being passed down in any way other than through oral instruction. It doesn't prevent spontaneous rediscovery of that magical knowledge; the magic was there waiting to be discovered.

Hmm... some thoughts occur to me:

Firstly, he hasn't used any of the muggle equipment Fred and George got him yet has he? But Quirrell's got his pouch.

Secondly, this may not come as a surprise but he is likely to succeed since "HE IS HERE. THE ONE WHO WILL DESTROY THE VERY STARS IN HEAVEN" this could refer to Quirell, true, but I far expect it to refer to HJPEV due to the timing. Also note that Quirell says something about prophecies in ch. 108, but I can't find the quote.

Third: obligatory wacky theory that his father's rock is the Stone of Permanency. Stones == rocks, and he was given it by Dumbledore after all. And Harry's magic interferes with Quirrell's so it might shield the magic trace.

Fourthly: this is my first post on LessWrong, nice to meetcha!

I've been wondering about this. Voldemort knows this prophecy, and I expect he realises it's not about him. So, how can he expect to be able to kill Harry, in a self-consistent universe? Perhaps Harry's reading of that plan is all wrong.
Actually, I'm no longer that sure about this. Does anyone have a source for prophecies being unavoidable? They certainly seem to have a knack of getting themselves fulfilled (see October 31st) but are they literally unbreakable? If Quirrell thinks that he can prevent a prophecy from coming true, he's committed this time around to do it properly and not to try to creatively fulfil it. He doesn't appear to think this is futile.

Old jokes from chapter 79:

"You are making highly questionable assumptions," the Defense Professor said with an edged voice. "What makes you think I did not steal his body outright using incredibly Dark magic?"

And also

"I suggest," the Auror said, "that you take this seriously, Mr. Whoever-You-Are."

He's Mr. You-Know-Who.

I wanted it to be an anagram of my name, but that would only have worked if I'd conveniently been given the middle name of 'Marvolo', and then it would have been a stretch. Our actual middle name is Morfin, if you're curious.

Morfin is a Riddle family name, so we can probably rule out Eliezer choosing it for its anagrams. Nevertheless, might as well have some fun:

Tom Morfin Riddle

  • Mini from toddler
  • Firm doom tendril
  • Mind meld for riot
  • Mind for time lord
  • Dirt mod of Merlin
  • MOR died from lint
  • Mr. Flirted in Doom

What else?

Norm Modifier, Ltd.
Dim dolt informer
Find old Mortimer
Doom mind trifler
I'm Milton Redford
I'm Milford rodent
Florid Tinder mom

And, ultimately ...

Lord Tim, [the] Informed

"There are some who call me ... Tim."

On Reddit, Eliezer endorsed these:

I hereby declare that two of the Defense Professor's past identities have included Mr. Fiddlemonitor and [I'm] Lord Demonrift.

Firm dildo mentor

Always the one you least expect...
Maybe it was a horcrux.
Terraforming tool? Not that dissimilar to what set up the confrontation in the hallway...
'Mort dried no film
I wonder if he's just getting a new name for arbitrary reasons (like HPJEV, Bellatrix, etc.), for just this sort of anagram fun, or for some story-related significance to his mother naming him after her brother instead of her father?
Her maiden canon name is Black, not completely arbitrary.
Bella wasn't entirely arbitrary, it was to set up a joke when Harry thought Quirrel was talking about Sirius.

... Hm.

This isn't the chain of logic I followed - for the sake of authenticity I'll put that at the end, but -

Isn't a little... strange, that artifacts designed and destined to defeat death transfer primarily by death?

I mean, even aside from the "kill the previous owner and take their stuff" method, the other option - inheriting it - is also heavily tied to death, as powerful artifacts like these are unlikely to be permanently given away until the original owner has no further use of it.

Backing away from plot for a minute - if you don't expect to manage to destroy death yourself, you should really program your powerful artifacts to seek out the most effective owners, anyway. Inheritance is very unreliable, and murder is entirely counterproductive - both would be backup selectors to anyone designing such a thing. So what's the primary determinant?

I think we've seen it. The prophecy stone, that responded to Harry's oath to end death, engraved with the symbol of the Deathly Hallows, and completely unmentioned since - if I were going to design such a thing, gifting the Hallows to someone who had sworn an honest oath against death would be a good start, particularly if I cou... (read more)

I think you're right; on reflection, that's exactly the sort of thing I would expect rational!Peverells to do, plus the stone appears about the right age to be set up by the Peverells. Based on the same reflection, I agree with your predictions and the probabilities you've given them. Quoting for posterity: And I'll just make this my prediction comment for this thread. (Previous prediction comment.) The prophecy stone in Chapter 96 ("the tall stone worn as though from a thousand years of age, upon it a line within a circle within a triangle glowing ever so faintly silver") and/or its behavior will become plot-relevant. 95% Otherwise it’s a major unfired Chekhov’s Gun. The wand Quirrell produced from a false tooth in Chapter 107 (the one that he then uses to cast Fiendfyre) is the brother to Harry’s wand. 90% Riddle’s Horcrux 2.0 (the improved version that resembles the 'false' description, but before he integrated the Resurrection Stone) is actually a lost earlier version of the Horcrux spell; Riddle rediscovered it. 70% Observations: This whole segment from Chapter 108 reminds me strongly of having something to protect:

So by the way, has anyone notice that Eliezer did something even more impossible? Not only was Harry saved from certain death at the hands of a hoard of Yaoi fangirls by Voldemort and it wasn't crack, but Voldemort was the one who responsible for the whole thing and it still isn't crack.

You probably mean a horde of Yaoi fangirls, but Harry would be wise indeed to hoard them, until he hits puberty.

he was an annoyance from my year in Slytherin

How odd. You think the Order would've mentioned that Riddle and Monroe were in the same year at school.

Voldemort making random rocks into horcruxs? One day someone steps on the wrong rock and turns into LORD VOLDEMORT! I hate it when that happens.

It's worse than that. What's something you're likely to have on hand at all times, and worse, are then likely to hand off to someone other person, who will hand it off to another, and so on and so forth?

Even if wizarding currency is protected against such shenanigans, some unknown number of UK sterling could have fractions of Voldemort's soul in them.

Clever idea, but currency doesn't stay long in circulation. Coins longer than bills -- the oldest bill in my wallet is from 2006, while I found a quarter from 1976 in my pocket. And if horcruces are as hard to destroy here as they are in canon, I imagine even Muggles would find it curious if a 50p coin were found intact after it should have been melted down.

I suppose it'd work if you're planning to keep supplies up on an ongoing basis and didn't think much of Muggle investigative abilities or their ability to interface with wizarding authorities, though -- and the latter does seem minimal in this universe.

How about the doorknob on the men's room in St. Paul's Cathedral? Or some other building you wouldn't expect to go away for a while. Or, heh, the Blarney Stone, if you can find enough time alone with it.

Both are withdrawn from circulation as they decay, and if they don't decay they'll stick around for a while. As it gets old enough, it'll get picked up by a collector of some sort, who will keep it better-preserved and think nothing of its long lifespan. (This does, however, limit the amount of possessing it can do) Better idea: Door handles.
The great Lord Voldemort, foiled by interior redecorating.
Also, I read the original Horcrux restriction, not as "someone has to be close at the time," but as "anyone who has ever touched the Horcrux." Otherwise the original would be even more useless, since it'd be very likely to discharge while you were still alive.
9Ben Pace9y
I was thinking wedding rings. One of the few things that rarely leaves a person. Or some wizarding-equivalent of a heart valve, something kept inside the body.
I was thinking a door handle, or a hand rail in a busy area.
How about a bullet? Make things appear like someone was the victim of an attempted murder, and have them "survive" with your identity hidden in them.
Too time-sensitive, I suspect.
Yeah the new version stills work by imprinting his brain state on to a victim. He just link the ghost and victims together so that they stay updated. Hence he can see space from the plague. The resurrection stone allows the ghost in the objects to move on their own and possess people without them touching them.
The door handles of the ministry of magic would be my own choice.

I must say, the thought of Voldie kicking himself (well, wanting to, but he couldn't because no legs) while spending nine years as a disembodied spirit in the Voyager Plaque was extremely amusing.

I also loved the fact that his Voldemort persona was designed to be a stupid Dark Lord that would last weeks at most and ended up being way too strong for Magical Britain.

One of my favorite bits:

I tried weakening Voldemort's attacks, to see if it was possible for him to lose; at once the Ministry committed fewer Aurors to oppose me!

One wonders how Lucius Malfoy, and Draco, will react to hearing all of this.

So, why did Quirrell offer Hermione to leave before killing her?

That's a good question. Quirrel said: Killing her allowed Harry to put the dilemma to Lucius Malfoy, that either Lucius had killed her, or some other enemy was behind both her death and the attack on Draco. And that led to Lucius returning Harry's money and renouncing the accusation that Hermione, sworn to the House of Potter, had attacked Draco. If she left, none of that would have happened.

It seems to be a character trait that he tries to allow opponents a way out if they're smart enough: a chance to lose, if you will. He offered Harry's mother a deal rather than simply killing her, he offered Skeeter a chance to make amends before killing her, he offers the Auror a stun or an AK, he offered the master a chance to teach him rather than die - and he offered Hermione a chance to stop being the heroine opposed to the dark lord.

In each instance, the character chose... poorly.

I agree. That one was a trick though. He never intended to kill Harry, just to cast a Horcrux 1.0 on him, which needs a murder to activate. That's why he was amused when he offered 'yourself to die, and the child to live' - because it was his plan to kill her and leave Harry alive anyway.
I'm not sure it was such a trick. She could have killed herself, or she could have surprised him such that he was not prepared to use her death to turn Harry into a Horcrux, in which case, frustrated of his primary goal, he would have settled for AKing the baby to try to block the prophecy more normally. Both parties prefer a binding deal in which the mother dies and the infant survives.
There was no possible reason for her to kill herself. And if he couldn't use her death, he would have taken Harry and gone on to murder the first convenient person he encountered to make the horcrux, delaying him by a few hours at most. Since Snape had begged Voldemort not to kill Lily, he was going to let her live ("move aside, foolish woman!"), and taken the trouble to hunt down someone else to kill for the horcrux. But since she offered herself to die, he agreed, and was amused.

There was no possible reason for her to kill herself.

'No possible reason'? Here's 4 off the top of my head. She could kill herself to avoid being tortured to insanity & then death. That's always a good reason. She could kill herself to frustrate Voldemort and deprive him of the satisfaction of killing her himself (also a classic, dating back at least to Masada). She could kill herself after he offers the deal, reasoning that even if you don't understand why, it's a good policy to try to prevent whatever your enemy wants. She could kill herself as part of a nasty ritual or black magic.

And if he couldn't use her death, he would have taken Harry and gone on to murder the first convenient person he encountered to make the horcrux, delaying him by a few hours at most.

When does Voldemort ever linger at the scene of a crime for multiple hours? I'm fairly sure that would violate some Rule or other. No, simpler if the plan fails to fallback to killing Harry directly and making a timely retreat as a dark lord should.

Had he decided to be Voldemort permanently at that point? If not, the rules would not have applied - in fact, the opposite rules would have applied.
What I meant was that there was no reason for her to kill herself in order to help Harry. When I read your previous comment: I didn't parse to mean "Voldemort bargained with her to make sure she didn't kill herself, so he could kill her instead". But yes, that's a plausible interpretation, if victims of Voldemort sometimes killed themselves for any of the reasons you give. He needn't linger there; he could just take Harry and leave with him. Before he created the Horcrux, Harry had no particular protection from Voldemort.

META: I'd like to suggest having a separate thread for each publication. These attract far more interest than any other threads, and after the first 24 hours the top comments are set and there's little new discussion.

There aren't very many threads posted in discussion these days, so it's not like there is other good content that will be crowded out by one new thread every 1-3 days.

You can change the comment sort to "new" instead of "top", below the tags at the bottom of the original post.

Quirrel has not confiscated Harry's ring with his father rock, which has been transfigured by Harry, in the setting. We've seen Quirrel's magic fluctuate out of control when touching Harry's, both in Azkaban and in his telling of the night at Godric's Hollow. We've seen Quirrel take care in the Azkaban escape to not even let Harry touch something that Quirrel has transfigured.

It is possible, if Harry simply touches Quirrel with the gem on his ring that Quirrel will be forced to once again throw away his wand and transform into a snake. It would affect Harry too, but Harry seemed less affected than Quirrel in Azkaban for whatever reason (because magic is stronger around Quirrel?)

Even if this avenue would destroy Harry, self-sacrifice is among my contenders for a "power the Dark Lord knows not".

There is also the "other" transfiguration, the one that's not the ring. Anyone have guesses as to what this is?

It's the ring itself (as opposed to the gem on the ring). That's how it was able to escape detection in Chapter 92.
Not the ring. Ch. 105: solipsist pointed out in the ch.109 thread that Harry's glasses are a good candidate.

I just realizied that the trap for voldie might well be Baba Yaga's hairbrush.

It follows from the curse on the defense position.

Because I just realized that I think it was an accident, and happened because Voldemort moved the goblet of fire out of Baba Yaga's reach.

Theory: Voldemort is wrong about the Baba Yaga. She faked her death and ran off with her new wife. This part I am quite confident about. 70% probability? Most of the remainder is that her death was accidental and the reason Perenelle has spent centuries accumulating lore is that she wants her back. Yes, Im assigning under 10% likelyhood to the chance that Voldemort read this story right.

Anyway, given "Baba Yaga is not dead". A thought occurred to me. "Did they remember to terminate her employment? Could they in fact even do so without being whammied by the goblet?" The answers to which is obviously "No." Unfortunately worded contract is unfortunate, Baba Yaga has magical tenure despite slacking on her job for going on 6 centuries.

This was all well and good as long as the goblet was somewhere Baba could get at it. - Telling the goblet to lay of a new teacher every couple of decades isn't m... (read more)

Doesn't the fact that the wards record the troll (and therefore probably Quirill too) as the Defence Professor falsify this?
Not as long as they do not hold the job more than a school year. Bringing in someone to cover an absence temporarily - and she is, after all, never there - doesn't count as taking the job from her. Certainly not if the goblet judges such things according to prevailing attitudes. Heck, the fact that Voldemort was explicitly not planning to stay was probably what was keeping him standing. Hmm. That might be why the job was renamed. If the castle refuses to recognize new hires as "Battle Magic" instructors... Well, Dumbledore would reason out that problem fast enough, but the headmaster that hired a dark lady under terms that make it magically impossible to fire her? That person was not good at logic. And keeping a situation going in which there is a magically enforced peace between her and all hogwarts graduates at the cost of visiting the goblet when the job has a new hire? That would be absurdly attractive to anyone with a dubious past and a present desire for a peaceful existence.
This still seems unlikely. For starters, a lot of people seem convinced it was Voldie who lay the curse- this implies that they actually saw him do it. It also at least suggests that he acted like it was intentional. For this to be true need Baba Yaga to intentionally join Hogwarts in order to fake her own death and thus not be able to be 'fired'. This doesn't tie in very well with falling in love with Perenelle, although Quirell could be wrong. THEN, we still need our (n+1) level Quirell to decide to figure this all out, steal the Goblet of Fire and lay a curse. Then to pretend to lay the curse in public at some other point in time. While not all of those constraints are confirmed, the conjunction seems unlikely and it doesn't really simplify matters. The main thing it solves is why Voldemort doesn't simply remove the curse on the Defence position and thus save Quirell- he can't.

There is no need for all of this to be plotted out in advance! In fact, I am pretty sure none of it was.

The wording on the binding is very much what I would expect someone to come up with if they wanted a binding to keep everyone involved safe, and had insufficient training in law and logic.

BY and Perenelle run off, and work out what happened when the replacement battle magic teacher is tragically struck by lighting, realize BY has stumbled into an absurdly broad defense and just keep it going while telling the goblet that they are giving each new teacher the position of her own free will.

Voldemort steals the goblet because he's a thieving magpie when it comes to artefacts of ancient power, and promptly new teachers of DADA start dropping like flies. He's credited with the curse, and not being an idiot just goes "Yup, that was me". It's not even weird that he doesnt make the connection - The teacher who held the job when he stole it should, if I am correct, have retired normally in his or her own time, so the curse starts quite a while after the theft.

A good bit of what is supporting this whole theory is that the DADA curse is ridiculusly powerful A Great Working. Thus, if it is a possible unintentional consequence of a Great Working which we know to have been preformed, well it likely is. This being more likely than two great workings being aimed at the same job. I mean, teaching at hogwarts is prestigious, but come on..

Hm. On the one hand, this is a plausible enough theory, with few enough moving parts that I can legitimately assign it a non-negligible probability. On the other... from a narrative perspective, this doesn't feel satisfying. It's a violation of Knox's First - we're bringing barely-mentioned and undeveloped characters in at the last minute and giving them primary roles in the plot. Well, I suppose if the point is that Quirrell gets taken down by adults and Harry can solve Death in peace, that's valid...
In canon that's true but where in HPMOR do you see it?
Harry tells Quirrell to "lift his curse", and he had to get that common knowledge from somehwere.
Baba Yaga owns the stone. Voldemort was a student in Hogwarts. Voldemort taking the stone could mean that the Goblet sees Voldemort as violating the agreement and the Goblet goes and kills Voldemort.
Tom Riddle was not a student when Baba Yaga taught, and would not have been part of that pact.
I'm not sure that matters. The Goblet might be open for contracts that cover the student body together. It seems like a brilliant plan to prevent anyone from stealing your stone from the perspective of Baba Yaga wanting to turn a good wizard. It seems like a brilliant plan to lay a trap for Voldemort that way. There simply enough narrativium that I would expect the story to go down that road.
It was specifically said that every student and teacher individually signed the contract, so unless that's a lie this is probably not what will happen.
The paragraph that speaks about the deal contains the sentence: There's no statement that only the people who signed are binded.
Neither were the DADA teachers, and it didn't save them. It should be noted here that Draco and company probably can pick it up safely, because they would be intending to deliver it to BY, which wouldn't count as a taking. Don't think Harry can.
After thinking about this on a more meta-level... I'm coming around to this idea. My primary objection is still that is seems too complicated and, well, somewhat absurd. However, I just checked and I don't think Baba Yaga is a canon character at ALL. I can't even find a source for the "undying Baba Yaga" (although I didn't look that hard). This does point to some kind of importance. Why would EY dedicate so much of ch.108 to this if it's just backstory? So... updating in favour of Baba Yaga being an important plot point to more like 85%. That QQ got some of his story wrong is lower (naturally), more like 60%. The whole complicated edifice you bring up is still quite low I think.
The basic inference chain has gotten a fair bit more solid in the process of bouncing it around here and on reddit. I started from the argument that the story Voldemort was telling just didn't seem probable - Any young witch capable of executing the plot he describes ought to be clever enough not to try something so very suicidal. Picking as your very first major plot "I'm going to seduce, trick, murder and rob the most formidable witch or wizard on the planet" and succeeding is just so absurd that I discounted it out of hand. BY being major girl-crush bait, and in a place in her life where she might go for a romance? Well, she did just decide to take up teaching, despite a fairly forbidding set of conditions - That's an indicator she wanted to change her life. So the far more likely set of events is that the romance was real, and that either BY is still alive, or Perenelle is on a 600 year quest to get her girlfriend back from the dead. I then noticed a second plot point that fit in really well here; I was a subscriber to the theory that Voldemort was just doing a separate plot to destroy each and every DADA teacher, on the grounds that this seemed like the sort of thing that would amuse him, and take only very moderate levels of effort. But then we were told that he was out of commission for an extended period of time. Which means there is an actual curse on the DADA job which the combined might of the hogwarts faculty cannot break. Erh, what? That would be a working on a level with the interdict or the upgraded horcrux! That sound you are hearing is my belief Voldemort did this shattering into a thousand pieces. We were also told of a great working being cast on the Battle Magic teaching position. And the exact wording of that working. The wording of the magic is very likely to be accurate just because the entire student body read it. That and the association with a very interesting story should carve the precise phrasing deeply and accurately into the hi
Where are you getting this? What Voldemort tells us is:
The job is hers. You literally can't fire her because the goblet would be annoyed. I suppose a hogwarts headmaster not educated at hogwarts could hire a DA teacher also not a graduate of that school and end this whole farce that way, but this not happening by accident so far is perfectly plausible.
I'm still not seeing anything in the text that suggests that the goblet is protecting her job, as opposed to her personal safety and the security of her possessions. Edit: Ah, I see. You're suggesting that the job is a thing which is hers. But why do you believe it possible for Baba Yaga to tell the goblet to lay off new teachers? In canon, you can't undo a goblet contract even if it is accidental/accomplished by cheating/unwanted by all parties.
The wording wasn't "personal safety and security of possessions" Whoever wrote this in-universe was being very silly. The limit is blood and anything which is hers. That's not limited to physical objects, but covers things like her life, her liberty, and, yes, her job. For the students, it's a very secure wording - she really can't hurt them. Heck, if I was her, I'd feel obliged to ask students at the start of term to freely give up their ignorance, tough maybe that is implied in a contract of teaching. Edit: She can tell it she gives the new teacher the job freely for the duration. That way it isn't a taking. It doesn't alter the contract, it alters the situation. Similarly, just on a practical level, I am betting the marriage to Perenelle was a declaration of joining in front of the goblet. "All that is mine I freely share with her" sort of thing.
Fair enough. I understand your theory now, and it seems consistent with the evidence. But why do you have 90% confidence that Voldemort's reading is wrong? Also, if you're taking the contract completely literally, then Baba Yaga can harm students all she likes, as long as she doesn't shed any blood. A powerful Dark Lady should easily have the spell arsenal and creativity. In fact, if killing a student doesn't count as "taking" their life (which works on a poetic reading, but not on a practical one - a person's life is who they are, not something separate from them which can be taken), then "there is indeed a certain useful spell which solves the problem" quite nicely.
I am assuming the goblet is borrowing the natural language parsing of the people subject to it, sorting hat style. And no one not being argumentative on the internet would read it that way. Which means it really is a flawless blanket protection from intentional harm, and the blood part is utterly redundant. As for why I'm so sure Voldemort is wrong: Well, there is the outside view, in which I just have trouble with the idea that a 16 year old virgin is a sufficiently supreme plotter, manipulator and cold-blooded killer to pull this off on someone who has been a feared witch for centuries. Not impossible, but very low probability. A witch who can look like whatever she feels like and who is a byword for "Scary badass" inspiring crushes and devotion in her pupils? Pupils that are utterly safe from her? Odds: Nigh-Unity. Also, it just doesn't hang together logically. Baba breaks the contract and then Perenelle kills her? Double-dipping on the causes of death, there. I could see it being an accident, in which case that counts as one of the most traumatic consensual sexual debut's I can recall reading about, ever. That is where I put most of the residual probability. 30 some percent. But as an intentional plot ? It has way to high a chance of going wrong. Anyone able to think it up would know better than to try it.
The story does feel like voldy saying 'when I was 16 I seduced a teacher, I bet that's how Baba Yaga died too.'
He means that Perenelle killed her by luring her into breaking the contract.
Your idea caused me to connect two dots. Perenelle and Alissa Cornfoot. They are both students who are attracted to badass professors. On one level, the example Miss Cornfoot provides plausability for Prenelle's interest. On a more conspiracy-theory-y level, Perenelle is still hanging around near the stone?
Aren't you simultaneously arguing that the current situation has arisen because of a poorly worded, excessively literal contract and because the goblet is borrowing the natural language parsing of its users in a "do what I mean" fashion?
I am arguing that the contract was made absurdly sweeping because the framers were erring on the side of paranoia in a big way. Which does work, in that they are safe from all means of harm excepting only that BY is for obvious reasons free to teach any hogwarts graduate anything said graduate or student is capable of learning in the field of battle magic, even if this means one of said students enemies gets his or her ass kicked into orbit. Flip it around; Do you think the students dropping their names in the original goblet would have considered it a violation of the pact if she had destroyed the noble or ancient status of the family of a hogwarts student? I am pretty sure the answer is yes. Their intent was to prevent all offensive actions. Because the spell is symmetrical, this absurd scope protects her standing as the teacher of battle magic.
OK. That makes sense. I am uncomfortable with your theory because it reaches a long way beyond the few facts we are given in the text, but then I have felt that way about other theories which have recently turned out to be correct.

I decided to collect the stuff about these recent updates that confuse me, and when added together two were in the shape of a theory!

"Dumbledore was quite correct," Professor Quirrell said, shaking his head as though in wonderment. "He was also an utter fool to leave the Hogwarts Map in the possession of those two idiots. I had an unpleasant shock after I recovered the Map; it showed my name and yours correctly! The Weasley idiots had thought it a mere malfunction, especially after you received your Cloak and your Time-Turner. If Dumbledore had kept the Map himself - if the Weasleys had ever spoken of it to Dumbledore - but they did not, thankfully."

Even Quirrell is confused! Wow!

So... Dumbledore did know all along, just like cannon, and sent the map to the twins for plausible deniability. He can get away with that because he doesn't mind when people think him a fool. And he really needs Querrellmort to think of him as ignorant so he will play the role perfectly... well Voldemort said he could play chess.

In the last thread roystgnr wrote

Harry figures out Quirrell's identity almost immediately after Snape casts some sort of "Dispel Magical Confusion&qu

... (read more)
That's mixes well with the idea that the Goblet of Fire kills Voldemort if he takes the stone. It's simply a well set up trap and because Voldemort thinks he's smarter than the rest he walks into it.
Calling out explicitly why this is confusing: The Weasleys quite definitely told the location of the map to a Phoenix wielding, sorting hat summoning, line of Merlin holding person who looks like Dumbledore. So either Quirrell is lying, or someone Obliviated the Weasleys before Quirrell stole the map from them. Further, Harry knows this. By the way, that line was edited. It originally read: From discussion context, I believe the line was edited because it wasn't clear how Harry could have learned about the map on his own and people were theorizing that Harry stole it himself.
'it' in Quirrell's rant is the true name dealio, not the Maurauder's Map.

So far the update schedule seems to follow the Fibonacci sequence.

I sincerely hope that pattern doesn't stick. The hourly countdown seems likely, though.
Further bonus trivia: 108 is the number of worldly sins according to Buddhism. Given that this is heavily referenced in anime and manga, which Eliezer enjoys, the fact that it's the chapter in which Voldemort's backstory is revealed is unlikely to be coincidental.

Aaaaand there were 107 horcruxes (meaning 107 murders) before he stopped keeping count.

I think it is highly likely to be coincidental :P

Actually, he wouldn't be the first author to deliberately pace his work to achieve this effect. The Death Note manga, for example, is exactly 108 chapters long.
Also, look at how short the previous chapters were. If he were stretching it out so that this one would be 108, this is what I would expect it to look like.
That's really interesting and definitely helps your case. My main beef is that, opposite Vaniver, I think that there have been quite a few scenes that could be argued to be related to worldly sins to the same degree, and so this is not very different from what random chance would look like.
On the other hand, HPMOR is filled to the brim with pop culture references including anime and manga, from the omakes to things like the Breaking Drill Hex, the Tragedy of Light, Fuyuki City, "a young Japanese" with self-replication powers, and part of Tracey's summoning incantation. This raises the priors for something that looks like another Japanese pop culture reference not being coincidental.
A year and a half ago, I predicted on this basis that there would be 108 chapters total. I was wrong, but another piece of evidence against coincidence is that the lower bound on horcruxes makes for the second instance of 107 in Eliezer's fiction. The first is here, as follows:
I happen to see 108 in a variety of things. I only hope the creators put something special in those places to justify my numerological tic.
If the pattern continues then it is impossible for the posting to end on "pi day", the 14th of March.

Is Quirrel aware of all the people whom he can possess via his True Horcruxes? Can he possess any one of them at will, without the original body dying?

This may explain the fact that he occasionally leaves his host body. We thought it was to inhabit his other horcruxes, particularly the Voyager one, but it may be to possess other people.

ETA: apparently the answer is yes:

Professor Quirrell smiled slightly. "I had many years earlier considered making [the Resurrection Stone] a horcrux, but decided against it at the time, since I realized that the ring had magic of unknown nature... ah, such ironies does life play upon us. But I digress. You, boy, you brought that about, you freed my spirit to fly where it pleases and seduce the most opportune victim, by being too casual with your secrets."

He's made it pretty clear that he can abandon his current body without needing to wait for it to die, but it's not clear whether he's able to temporarily leave and return. It might be that leaving the body would mean simply letting it die. Whether he can or not, that's probably not what he's doing whenever he's in "off" mode, because he's been doing that since before Harry revealed to him the identity of the Resurrection Stone.

That was absolutely awesome. This story is really very well written. So much exposition, and it just all made perfect sense. And it was even somehow brought back far more in line with the original novel than I thought possible.

And I guess the '"Power the dark lord knows not" really is love, which is kinda awesome.

It's still kind of obvious how to defeat Voldemort though. Simply permanently disable him without killing him. Some magical prison, or a coma, or a permanent transfiguration into a stone. This is in fact so obvious that Voldemort himself should realize it as well. Maybe he just figures he is so far above Harry's power level that he has nothing to fear. Or he has some defenses against even this.

Another way to get rid of him: Destroy all his horcruxes on earth, then kill him. He'll live on on pioneer, but that's fine. You can pick him up again in 10000 years when humanity has progressed far beyond him, and can probably even cure him. Heck that'd even be a nice ending. A epilogue set 10,000 years from now, with Harry recovering the Pioneer 11 and curing Voldemort.

The sequel could then be a Harry / Voldemort slashfic where Harry and a redeemed Voldemort rule the galaxy as father and son.

It seems like he can leave the body at will to go to another... I don't think permanently disabling would help.
The details seem like they would matter here. If he's transfigured into a rock, as far as we know he would not be conscious and experiencing anything, so how could he 'will' to go to another body?
Conversely, you could ask: if he can't be conscious or experience anything in his current "body", doesn't that mean it's dead for purposes of the Horcrux spell, and he is automatically shunted to another horcrux? I don't think we know enough details to be sure what would happen.

But alas, I fear that Professor Riddle would not have found lasting happiness in Hogwarts."

"Why not? "

"Because I still would've been surrounded by idiots, and I wouldn't have been able to kill them," Professor Quirrell said mildly.

The solution seems obvious (albeit hard and dangerous): make the students smarter so they are no longer idiots.

Once he's achieved immortality, he can do both at once. By killing idiots, he'll improve the gene pool, and eventually the children will stop being idiots. Then he can become a teacher.
Another solution would have been for him to have children, since intelligence is highly heritable. Unfortunately, now that his original body is dead, this may not work.
Possible stupid question:If Quirrell was so frustrated with with the idiocy of the students, then why did he kill Hermione (the next smartest student) in an unnecessary subplot (Quirrell admitted it did not matter in the long run whether the plan succeeded or not) and cause the next smartest one after that to be withdrawn from the school?
0Adam Zerner8y
I suppose that it's partly because she wasn't nearly smart enough for Quirrell to find interesting in the way Harry is.
That's not one of the plans listed as unimportant. The relevant part was removing or weakening her influence on Harry, and this was achieved by the Troll plan when the original plan failed.
A man with the tendency to kill people for idiocy should not take a teaching position if he doesn't want to risk exposing himself on his first day.

He managed to last a year.

He didn't kill her for idiocy, and she wasn't a student.

He didn't kill her for idiocy

From chapter 25:

The tipster had said that Bones and her young assistant were due to eat lunch in a special room at Mary's Place, a very popular room for certain purposes; a room which, she'd found, was secure against all listening devices, but not proof against a beautiful blue beetle nestled up against one wall...

"Out of my way! " Rita said, and tried to push Quirrell from her path. Quirrell's arm brushed her own, deflecting, and Rita staggered as the thrust went into the thin air.

Quirrell pulled up the sleeve of his left robe, showing his left arm. "Observe," said Quirrell, "no Dark Mark. I would like your paper to publish a retraction."

Rita let out an incredulous laugh. Of course the man wasn't a real Death Eater. The paper wouldn't have published it if he was. "Forget it, buster. Now take a hike."

Quirrell stared at her for a moment.

Then he smiled.

"Miss Skeeter," said Quirrell, "I had hoped to find some lever that would prove persuasive. Yet I find that I cannot deny myself the pleasure of simply crushing you."

"It's been tried. Now get out of my way, buster, or I'll find some Auror

... (read more)
You're right.
Her disguise wasn't very good, actually. More cleverness might have saved her.
Why go through all that trouble when you can also just, you know, not stay at Hogwarts?
But people elsewhere aren't much smarter. In fact, they are the same people from Hogwarts, just a few years older.

In Ch. 37, Quirrell explains how he found Harry:

"and no blood purist is likely to think of consulting a phone book"

Conditioned on Lord Voldmort being a blood purist, this is evidence for Quirrell not being Voldemort (probably the intended interpretation). In fact, this was evidence for Lord Voldemort not being a blood purist.


And if you've been paying attention to the Muggle world for the whole 20th century, a blood purist is exactly the sort of villain you'd think up.

What the hell? Making horcruxes for your friends doesn't actually test the invention. You also need to kill your friends and hope that the invention works. That doesn't sound so nice, does it? And we don't have a good explanation why Riddle missed this idea anymore.

I don't think Harry meant to imply that actually running this test would be nice, but rather that one cannot even think of running this test without first thinking of the possibility of making a horcrux for someone else (something which is more-or-less nice-ish in itself, the amorality inherent in creating a horcrux at all notwithstanding).

0Adam Zerner8y
I wonder why EY chose to use this example. It seems that a big reason he writes the book is to promote rationality and goodness. This seems like a huge opportunity to make the point that "the otherwise smart dark wizard is missing out by not being good". But the point is much less clear because of the fact that actually running the test wouldn't really be that nice.

You don't have to test it on your friends; you can test it on your enemies, or on bystanders you don't care about, or in Voldemort's case, on minions you don't care about.

Get a random wizard off the street (if you're Voldemort) or a prisoner you're going to kill anyway (if you're ethical). Control them by Imperius, Legilimizing, or plain threats. Have them make a Horcrux. Kill them and activate the horcrux on a second person you're willing to kill. Test the result. When done, kill the second person and destroy the Horcrux.

Yeah, that's why I said "we don't have a good explanation why Riddle missed this idea anymore".

Harry thinks it's because making a Horcrux for someone else pattern-matches "teaching your most powerful spells to others", which pattern-matches "helping others altruistically", and Voldemort has an ugh field around that concept, or at least a blind spot. For what it's worth, Voldemort agreed with this analysis.

Make them for lots of friends, friends who like you lead dangerous lives and who unlike you are not vastly more powerful than every other wizard around. Some of them will likely die soon enough.

You just need a friend who would otherwise die soon, so that the risk of permanent death is worth eternal life.

I just read up to the point in chapter 108 where Voldemort refuses to answer the question about the immortality spell (and haven't read the comments here yet.) It occurred to me immediately that since this is question about the past -- assuming Voldemort has already cast the spell -- that he has broken his agreement, which means that Harry can now start executing plans to overcome him, and say "No" without lying when Voldemort asks if he has betrayed him.

Harry can't lie because one cannot say untruths in Parseltongue, not because of some contract. Voldemort's holding all the cards here, and he's only bound by what Harry might do to become a liability. EDIT: And right after posting, I realized what was meant, that it is no longer betrayal when the agreement is void. My apologies.

When the Dumbledore sees himself on the Map in chapter 79, it initials his middle names:

When he was alone in the room, the old wizard looked down at the map, which had now written upon itself a fine line drawing of the Gryffindor dorms in which they stood, the small handwritten Albus P.W.B. Dumbledore the only name left therein.

But when it shows the Tom Riddles, it doesn't include the middle initial M.

This is probably just an oversight.

But my true epiphany came on a certain day when David Monroe was trying to get an entry permit for an Asian instructor in combat tactics, and a Ministry clerk denied it, smiling smugly.

Is this the same Asian combat instructor mentioned earlier, I wonder?

Yes. Riddle received this training as Monroe, most likely, and then threw his temper tantrum as Voldemort to make sure no one else could get it.
I vote no on this theory. "All the good martial artists live" in Asia, so that may be the reason this combat instructor was said to be Asian, but if he was trying to get a random Muggle in, (1) Quirrellmort would have said "Muggle instructor", and (2) there would have been more legitimate resistance than just a smugly smiling clerk.


Is anyone in favor of going back to the old system of having one discussion thread per HPMOR chapter instead of the current system based on number of comments?


Note that this poll only samples people who care about these threads enough to read them. People who avoid these threads and don't like them cluttering /discussion will not see it.

Fair point, though I feel like that logic is sort of letting them cause a comparatively large disruption to our enjoyment of real-time discussion of the final arc of a fiction we've been following for years, in return for the prevention of a comparatively small temporary disruption to their enjoyment of the Discussion forum. Scope, of course, plays a part here, but I doubt it's remotely enough on the side of the 500 comments people to tip the scales.

I'm not seeing why that should be relevant...?
It skews the poll results...
No, I mean why do we need a sample from LW as a whole if the poll is only relevant to people who want to discuss HPMOR? Maybe it clutters up discussion, but it's difficult to see how that would impact anyone's experience of Lesswrong.
It is difficult to see... because the poll is skewed. It may or may not impact other people's experience of lesswrong, but by very virtue of being in this thread, you're less able to comment on that than the people who don't click on it.
I will point out, one per 500 comments was the old system. There was ~30 threads for the first ~100 chapters.
Yeah, I'm not seeing it either. I suppose the top comments are set after while if you use longer threads, but that's easily handled by setting the "Sort By:" option to "New" instead of "Best". Still, the majority has spoken. I guess people really want new threads for some reason.

For the next few centuries the Goblet of Fire was used to oversee pointless inter-school tournaments, and then it resided in a disused chamber at Beauxbatons, until I finally stole it."

What did he do with it once he stole it?

Became the Defense Professor at Hogwarts without any fear of being required to make a binding promise with the Goblet of Fire. He's making sure history doesn't repeat itself.
Made it into a Horcrux, obviously :)

So, if this were Pact, I would expect that Dumbledore has one of Voldemort's Horcruxes, and he can be possessed by Voldemort at will. Dumbledore would show up to save the day, and then the brief uptick in probability of success would be followed by a precipitous drop.

I am fairly confident this will not happen, but I'm noticing that most of my confidence seems to come from arguments that I am not confident in once I give them explicit form. For example, that seems too hard an antagonist for Harry, and he needs to have some chance of success, and EY seems ag... (read more)

Riddle no longer needs the target to touch a horcrux, and Dumbledore is too powerful to possess.
We're not sure the Horcrux 3.0 doesn't need the target to touch a horcrux, or at least to have touched one sometime in the past. All we know is that Voldemort can possess any suitable target at will, choosing which one he wants, and almost certainly without being forced out by his current host body dying.
Note that they still get to resist if they're strong enough. (Emphasis mine.) There's no suggestion that introducing the Resurrection Stone does away with victims' ability to resist. It just means that Voldemort's spirit can "fly where it pleases" rather than having to stay attached to the horcruxes, as he always planned for Horcrux 2.0.
ETA: gjm is right: Voldemort himself says the target must be either willing or too weak to resist him. So Voldemort can't possess most random people, and certainly not Dumbledore. If Voldemort could possess Dumbledore, he could have done so earlier and simply given himself the Stone, as well as the Elder Wand and any other interesting gadgets Dumbledore has. He'd have made Dumbledore teach him all the spells he knows, too, if those survive possession. And he'd have used Dumbledore to attack by surprise Flamel or anyone else if he wanted to. In the least convenient world, possessing someone doesn't give Voldemort access to any of their previous memories or spells, it just wipes the mind and takes over the body. Then it might be hard to possess Dumbledore and use him to get the Stone. But he could still take out Dumbledore, cause Flamel to remove the Stone from Hogwarts, and then possess Flamel while he has the Stone. Possessing anyone in the world (or at least, any wizard other than Harry) just by making them touch any object you prepared beforehand is so overpowered that if it's true, the only possible reason Quirrel is still plotting anything or playing games or appearing to ever be in danger, is that he'd be bored otherwise. If Voldemort can possess Dumbledore at will and chooses not to, the only reason I can think of is that it would make the game too boring, like he said about the Wizarding War. This strikes me as... inadequate. With the Stone involved, Voldermort is playing for real stakes, and waiting for the end of the year increases the chance something will go wrong, weakens the Quirrel body, and eventually forces Voldemort to operate on the last day of the school year, when others might guess something important would happen. (Edited:) But why wouldn't Voldemort be able to possess Dumbledore, or anyone else in the world, other than Harry? He claims the only requirement is to have the target touch a Horcrux 2.0. This seems fairly easy: to give make sur
No. They must either consent or be too weak to resist. It seems unlikely that either Dumbledore or Flamel would meet either condition.
You're right. I'll amend my comment.
I just realized Voldemort probably cast the revised Horcrux on Roger Bacon's diary with wordless magic: [...]
Or he could have just cast the spell at any other time of his choosing prior to giving Harry the diary. For that matter, he could have not done it at all, since there's no actual benefit to making the diary a Horcrux - he already has all the Horcruxes he needs, and it's not like he can possess Harry anyway.
Turns out I was quite wrong anyway.

One has to wonder about the "masters" of the Horcruxes Are the two Tom Riddles masters of their individual Horcruxes, or are they joint masters to both? In HPMOR, time turners are locked to a single individual. Then can Voldemort use Harry's time turner? My guess will be "no" for literary reasons.

Voldemort mastered the resurrection stone by defeating death. For Harry to master it, he would have to defeat death, either through Patronus or by dying and getting resurrected.

Harry has already mastered another Deathly Hallow, and there's no reason to believe that the requirements for different Hallows are different based on what we've seen.
Indeed. And how did the Ministry even key the time-turner to Harry? He wasn't physically present and "magic" seems to think his name is Tom Riddle.
You could ask the same question of the Hogwarts letter. The simplest explanation seems to be that the Marauders' Map is keying off of something different than the other person-specific magic we know about. Perhaps the Ministry's running something like a magical Social Security database that associates names with bodies at birth, and the Map (and, by extension, the Hogwarts security system) is taking MD5 hashes of people's souls and associating them with names on admission. Which raises the interesting question of whether Harry counts as a professor where the wards are concerned.
And given that MD5 is broken that could lead to interesting consequences... :-D
Well, that's a collision attack; I don't think we've seen a way to create an arbitrary pair of souls, and if we had it'd probably be obvious on their admission. Though I'd read the story of someone breaking preimage resistance on the Hogwarts wards and using that to, say, get a toad credentialed as the Muggle Studies professor. It'd probably do a better job... ...actually, I kind of want to write that now.

Has it been previously established that no lying can take place when using parseltongue or is Harry's belief in this based solely on his inability to lie to Quirrell?

His belief is based on Quirrell telling him and on his inability.

Harry and Quirrell are about to enter the room containing the Mirror of Erised (desire), which shows the viewer's deepest desire. It contains the philosopher's stone, and (Ch. 104)

Her notes said that something dangerous might happen if the Stone stays inside the mirror too long.

So, what is Harry's deepest desire? There are several candidates, but I think a strong contender is a Quirrell who isn't evil. Transfiguration can only create things that already exist. It is plausible that being seen in the mirror, modified as it is by the magic of the Stone, c... (read more)

That's his (currently strongest) instrumental desire. What is his terminal desire? Something about humanity conquering death and reaching towards stars perhaps... Question is, which desire does the mirror show?
Perhaps neither. Canon Harry originally saw himself surrounded by a family, a desire which was both obviously unfulfillable and outside Harry's known range of explicit wishes (we know he wishes his parents were still alive, but the mirror showed a more extended family of whom Harry had never thought as far as we know). For more direct relevance, Ron saw himself being popular and successful (terminal desire) but at the end of the book Harry saw himself finding the Stone (instrumental desire).

Nobody seems to be asking the obvious question, after Tom and Harry's conversation: what happened to the Dark Lord Dick?

Did he try to turn the Muggle population against wizardkind through enchanted books that weakened False Memory Charms and Obliviation? Did the secret mind-controlling government eventually kill him? Inquiring minds want to know!

He became so disheartened at being for ever the butt of jokes that he gave up.

Prediction on destroying the Horcux network: we know that the Horcruxes are all connected to Voldemort. If you could locate one (and we know they are now distributed so anyone can stumble across and be possessed by them), perhaps you could use that Horcruxes's connection to the network to destroy or incapacitate it, then kill Voldemort. Locating all possible nodes to physically destroy is heavily implied to be infeasible even with magic. I give this 60% confidence.

Prediction on next chapter: Voldemort kills Harry and succeeds. After all, Harry just t... (read more)

B. Harry himself is absorbed into the network. I'm not sure about all the implications of this. Obviously, he could attempt possessing someone, but this seems mostly against his moral code (unless he thought he could prevent more suffering by doing so.) Or he could potentially mess with the Horcux network internally.

I recall Quirrell saying that his spirit could fly free and choose a consenting person to possess if he so desired. Perhaps Lesath would let Harry borrow his body for a while?

"My life is yours, my Lord, and my death as well."

I like this.

More questions. I'll just gather them here, instead of making a new comment for each one.

1) Making horcruxes for your friends doesn't actually test the horcrux spell, you also have to kill your friends. So it makes more sense to test on a minion, which doesn't require you to be nice in the first place. Why didn't Quirrell think of that?

2) Why did Quirrell offer Hermione to leave before killing her? The plot against Malfoy wouldn't be served by her departure, only by her death.

3) If magical resonance can kill, why didn't it kill or otherwise affect baby Har... (read more)

(1). What did you think about my argument here? That Quirrel couldn't think of a plan that started by teaching his most powerful and secret magic to a minion. (3). Maybe the backlash is proportional to the strength of one's magic, so in Azkaban Quirrel was affected a lot more than Harry, and baby Harry wasn't affected at all. That matches the fact that Quirrel's new strategy for surviving such moments is to stop using magic, throw away his wand and abandon the very shape of a wizard. (5). If he tortured or threatened Snape, he couldn't trust anything Snape might say. A perfect Occlumens is perfectly prepared to assume a false identity that will confess false information. (6). Back then, Quirrel wanted to strengthen Harry politically and eventually help him rule Britain. If he killed Lucius, Draco would blame Dumbledore, be very angry and afraid, and probably leave Hogwarts. If he caused Lucius to be disgraced, he might succeed in making Draco believe that Lucius had indeed killed Hermione, and then Draco would come back to Hogwarts and become even closer friends with Harry.
Baby Harry did at least get a scar.
Hmm, good point. We don't actually know what he got the scar from - the Horcrux ritual, the magical interaction with Voldemort, or just randomly during the explosion and the fire.
1) I'm not sure. Also, Riddle always wanted to be a teacher, so it seems like he should be able to imagine plans that involve teaching X to Y. 5) A well-chosen threat can make Snape want to tell the truth. "Help me get the Stone! If I fail today, I will return and do horrible thing X." Just mentioning the hostage situation might be enough. 6) If you want to remove Lucius, why set up a new crime for him to commit? He's already committed any number of crimes while working for you as a Death Eater, so you have all the proof you need. And if you want to turn Draco against him as well, the obvious solution is to provide "ironclad evidence" that he burned Narcissa.
"might' is the central word. It's not good enough for Voldemort.
5) Snape isn't a Parselmouth, so Voldemort can't precommit to him not to do the horrible things if Snape does help. 6) Judging Lucius for being a Death Eater, on no new evidence, would require a major political shakeup. Dumbledore's faction already failed to do this after the war, so why would they succeed now? And it would probably require judging all other prominent Death Eaters too, like Jugson. Voldemort might not want to remove all of his previous identity's servants off the board. What possible motive could Lucius have had to burn Narcissa? Not to accuse Dumbledore - they were at war at that point, and nobody really cared. And later he couldn't convince anyone of it. And, I get the impression he's taken some political hits (or missed opportunities) due to his insistence that Dumbledore burned her.
5) Riddle can't use Parseltongue to prove stuff, that only works between wizards of roughly equal power. If you're much weaker than Riddle, you never know if you've been False-Memory-Charmed to hear Riddle say something in Parseltongue. (Even Harry can be charmed this way, Riddle just needs to ask a minion to do that.) In any case, there's no need for Parseltongue. We know that Voldemort has threatened Death Eaters in the past, and presumably kept his word. Snape is a former Death Eater, so he would believe Riddle now. 6) The obvious way to single out Lucius is to provide proof that he wasn't Imperiused to become a Death Eater. Since Riddle is the one who didn't Imperius him in the first place, such proof shouldn't be too hard to find. On the other hand, if you choose to frame Lucius for burning Narcissa, the obvious motive is infidelity, or betraying Death Eaters to Dumbledore (as she did in canon at some point), or any number of other reasons why people kill their spouses. And if you imagine yourself as Lucius, then accusing Dumbledore afterwards is also an obvious move, because you don't want to admit to Draco that you've killed his mother, you know that Dumbledore had a clear motive (see the bit about Aberforth in Ch. 82), and no one else would be crazy enough to attack your family. HPMOR has just too many plot devices! I can probably justify anything at this point. Maybe I should write an alternate explanation of everything that happened before the Truth arc, because Eliezer's explanation doesn't feel very satisfying to me, to be honest.
Lucius said that his own Dark Mark didn't "truly bind [him]" since he was Imperiused. Voldy could prove that bit, but that might be revealing a bit much...
But the claim that Voldemort will return immediately if killed, even if killed tens of times, and can even leave his body at will without dying and possess someone else, is very novel and Snape would have no particular reason to believe it. Snape would reason correctly that if Voldemort wins, he would punish Snape anyway, for his betrayal during Voldemort's absence. So Snape would try to help Dumbledore and not Voldemort as long as he has a hope of success. This isn't clear to me. Maybe Voldemort can find proof just because he's powerful and good at proof-finding. But it wouldn't be because he didn't Imperius him. Especially since he couldn't present evidence that revealed that it was being presented, or had been collected, by Voldemort.
Alternatively, Snape would reason correctly that Dumbledore and the Order of the Phoenix failed to beat Voldemort before, having to be rescued by an unrepeatable deus ex machina, and they'll fail to beat him again, especially now that he's returned with greater knowledge and power, and proven immortality.
5) I think Riddle can't use Parseltongue to prove stuff. You can always suspect that you've been False-Memory-Charmed to remember Riddle speak in Parseltongue. (Even Harry could be charmed this way, Riddle just needs to ask a minion to do that.) That means Riddle most likely has some other way to make credible threats, at least to Death Eaters, and Snape is a Death Eater. 6) To single out Lucius, Riddle could provide evidence that Lucius was not Imperiused to become a Death Eater. Since that's the truth, and Riddle was the one who didn't Imprerius him in the first place, such evidence shouldn't be too hard to find. Possible motive for burning Narcissa could be infidelity, or betraying the Death Eaters to Dumbledore, or any number of other reasons why people kill their spouses. Accusing Dumbledore is the obvious move after that, because no one else would be brave enough to kill Lucius' wife in the middle of the war, and Dumbledore had a clear motive (see Ch. 82).

A thought occurs: how do we know the Stone is actually at the end of the gauntlet? Is there anything to keep Dumbledore from setting up the traps as a decoy to flush out Voldemort while the real stone is elsewhere (and presumably under proper security)?

The Stone is probably there because Quirrel covered how he led Flamel to believe the Stone had to be actually in the trap before it would work; ch108:
He arranged for the Stone to be in Hogwarts. Whether it's at the end of that particular series of traps is not entirely certain. I'm sure someone like Moody would point out the flaws inherent in a system that students can penetrate. Why not just stick it in the Room of Requirement or some hidden room that only the Headmaster can access (and use proper security)?
Because then (from Flamel's perspective) the Dark Lord would use the Crown of the Serpent and find that the Stone was not, in fact, at the end of the dungeon crawl, which would then nullify the purpose of the trap: to lure the Dark Lord there. (Presumably the Dark Lord would see no point in traipsing past all of those obstacles if the Stone wasn't there.) Flamel would then insist upon the Stone being placed under Dumbledore's "best protections", meaning... huh. Is this series of obstacles really the best Dumbledore can do? For that matter, if Flamel taught Dumbledore so much of his powerful magic, presumably he/she knows much more powerful magic ("more" in terms of quantity, at least--not necessarily strength) that he/she hasn't seen fit to teach yet. Why not just protect the Stone himself?
Certainly if Dumbledore & Flamel knew that the Crown stuff was a bluff, they could put it elsewhere in Hogwarts. But they don't. Why build an elaborate trap for an enemy who (you believe) will follow the scent to somewhere else entirely ("the Stone wherever it was hidden")?
But why endanger the students by challenging them with a Forbidden Corridor that happens to be the place Voldemort is going to attack?
To have a public reason for a dungeon crawl inside your school. When you multiply it over, the danger posed by Voldemort is not enhanced that much by this move.
He didn't announce the Stone as a public reason for the Forbidden Corridor.
He doesn't need a reason for a dungeon crawl in Hogwarts because that's the kind of thing Dumbledore would do. He does need a reason for a series of actually off-limits deadly traps.
What he needs a reason for is putting the dungeon drawl in the same place as the deadly traps.
If he puts a dungeon crawl in another place than deadly traps, he needs to publically justify deadly traps, (and he would have put in a dungeon crawl without reason - remember that (at least) most insane things he does have a hidden reason). If he puts the dungeon crawl in the same place as the deadly traps, he can claim the latter to be part of the former, and it would stay "a thing that Dumbledore does", so long as nobody actually dies.
He doesn't have to tell anyone about the deadly traps (that are separate from the dungeon crawl) - they and the Stone are supposed to be secret. If Voldemort can't even find them, so much the better. Since he doesn't admit publicly that there are deadly traps, his public justification of the dungeon crawl is the same no matter if there actually are traps or not.
Citation needed. What else has Dumbledore done that remotely resembles setting up a dungeon crawl in Hogwarts? The closest I can think of is this: Which, in retrospect, sounds like Dumbledore is encouraging bullying more than anything else.
Using magic isn't limited to bullying.
From what we're shown in the story, magic use in the corridors (as distinct from dorms, private study sessions etc.) seems primarily related to bullying. There are people using utility charms in the corridors (e.g. Harry part-Hovering an exhausted Hermione), but we don't actually see this happen very often at all, whereas bullying is apparently frequent and endemic. Really, this makes sense. Given that there is a ban on magic in corridors, you would expect bullies to ignore it much more often than law-abiding students. Edit: Putting it another way, suppose we live in a world in which Dumbledore is concerned about the bullying problem and wishes to use his influence as headmaster to combat it (insofar as he can do so without ending up in a confrontation with influential parents). In this world, would you predict that Dumbledore would dismiss Filch's reminder in front of the whole school?
But Voldemort doesn't actually have a way of finding the Stone. So given that the rooms meant for students don't actually protect the Stone from Voldemort, Dumbledore could have created several similar final-rooms, equally protected, and placed the rooms meant for students in front of one of the wrong ones. And if Dumbledore has any way of protecting the Stone inside Hogwarts that's better than placing it in a usually-unguarded room fool of traps and spells, then he would have used it, but still created the room full of traps and spells as a decoy. As long as Dumbledore isn't completely certain Voldemort can in fact find the Stone, this would be a smart thing to do. Voldemort bluffed Flamel, who (as portrayed by Voldemort) isn't really smart, but Dumbledore may not be fully convinced. (He's been trying to convince Flamel to remove the Stone from Hogwarts.)
Then he would expect Voldemort, using something like a map or scrying or just being clever, to know that the student rooms weren't the real trap and so those are a waste of effort.
But how would Voldemort know the other rooms even existed, or where they were in Hogwarts (before he acquired the Map)? He knows about these rooms because Dumbledore deliberately drew the whole school's attention to them, and when Voldemort tried looking in, he saw very powerful spells guarding them. That sounds exactly like a trap to me. And a trap is something you set even if you anticipate a low chance of success. The one reason so far to believe these are the right rooms (though I am not fully convinced) is that Snape was guarding them.
He would know - if you were Dumbledore/Flamel, with a healthy respect for the devious mind of the greatest dark wizard ever, who has a particular gift for finding out secrets, making a mockery of his foes' plans, and generally being a complete pain in the ass - because he did incredibly Dark magic to defeat your hiding of the rooms. Since you believe he knows where the Stone is, thanks to the Crown, he'll be able to focus his efforts in looking for secrets and traps around the Stone.
Or Dumbledore can be carrying the Stone on his own person all the time, because even though Flamel insisted it be in Hogwarts, 1) the strongest protection the castle can offer is an 'adult wizard', in Quirrell's terminology, 2) it is inconsistent with Dumbledor's morals to set up a scenario in which a student can actually die, no matter how possessed, 3) canon!Dumbledore said once that he only took the Elder Wand to protect others, but not to rule, and that would be a nod to Rowling, 4) if he knows the wards have been tempered with, then it is at least weak evidence that Voldemort (or whoever in the castle can speak to snakes and has the Crown) has bluffed and the Stone, after a while, can be returned to Perenelle...
Dumbledore, unlike Flamel, may not fully believe Voldemort can really use the Crown to find the Stone. Otherwise why would Dumbledore ask Flamel to remove the Stone from Hogwarts - does he really care more about the safety of a few students than about Voldemort getting the Stone? If so, he could prepare alternative traps, just on the chance he is right. Also, whatever he believes, there's no reason for him to mark the true location of the Stone with corridors to which he directs the Gryffindor students. That just increases the chances that Voldemort will use the students to get at the Stone, or will encounter some of them while there, and harm them. Why would Dumbledore not separate the Stone's guardroom from his challenge to the students, unless he doesn't think Voldemort can locate the stone, and is using the students' forbidden corridor to lure Voldemort into a trap?
How safe does the stone happen to be in Hogwarts?

An allusion to the Passover ceremony? Why???

Passover is the reenactment of a ritual, powered by blood, to ward off the Angel of Death.

Eliezer's reason: Because it's funny (and maaaaybe, as others have said, because Passover is all about saving people from death by means of a ritual involving blood). Harry's reason: Maybe the thought just occurred to him.
...which would probably be out of character for Harry -- how likely is it that an eleven-year-old with WASP-sounding parents would spontaneously think of a line from a Jewish ritual? -- but, oh well, know your audience. Unless he has some of Voldemort's knowledge stored up in that dark side of his? He's traveled pretty far and he's interested in the sorts of things that would lead him to read up on both the social technologies of religions and the cultures of the Muggle superpowers, so he'd be more likely than Harry to get it. But it's probably just a throwaway reference.
It is not uncommon for jews to invite goyim to Seders. And if a child is at a seder, it is their role to ask this question.
It's probably the single most famous line from a Jewish ritual that there is. But yeah, I agree it's a bit implausible for Harry to recognize it. I certainly wouldn't have at his age, though I wasn't as precocious as him. (Much earlier in HPMOR, McGonagall is shown to know the Hebrew word for "gold" while Harry doesn't. Make of that what you will. Oh, and in Harry's year in Ravenclaw there is one "Anthony Goldstein (out of a certain tiny ethnic group that won 25% of the Nobel Prizes)".)
I'd assume that Harry has picked up phrases from all over because he's widely read.
I read a lot growing up and my elementary school spent an inexplicable amount of time teaching Jewish history and so on, but I wouldn't have recognized that line until a year or so ago. (I have no idea why my elementary school was like that. There were fewer than 100 students, most of them were black, and when I looked the school up a few years ago, it looked to be nominally affiliated with some mainline Protestant church.) I only know of it through LW, so it could be that Harry had a few Jewish tutors and overheard them talking amongst themselves. I would expect someone who wants to conquer^Woptimize the world to read up on the successful cultures of the world and their social technology, but I can't see Harry doing that. Maybe he's wiser than I give him credit for. Then again, I still haven't done that specific bit of reading. Are there any good books on it?
From a RL point of view it's because Eliezer, for his post on the importance of learning from history, is extremely unfamiliar with cultures and times other than his own.
You've got a point there. Offhand, I can't think of a book which mentioned the phrase. My memory for such things is good but not excellent, though, and my reading is hardly complete. As for your school, some Protestants are fond of Judaism (my impression is that's based on an effort to find something more pure/older than Catholicism).
Every haggadah in existence.
Oh, I see. I just didn't have the context to recognize that. Thanks.

So who was Alexander Chernyshov? Wikipedia says:

Aleksandr Alekseyevich Chernyshov (Russian: Александр Андреевич Чернышeв; 21 August 1882 – 28 April 1940) was a Russian electrical engineer. He graduated from Saint Petersburg Polytechnical Institute in 1907, and worked there until the end of his life. His research consisted of radio engineering and high-voltage techniques. He won the Lenin Prize in 1930.

This doesn't seem particularly relevant, and also he died while Tom Riddle was a young boy. But it's a common name (as Google tells me). Did anyone catch the reference?

I'd just assumed it was a cameo.

After reading the chapter I am dumbstruck by similarities between Professor and Dr. Manhattan. There might be a trope for this kind of character somewhere..

The Defense Professor is significantly more sadistic than Dr. Manhattan.

In some years, when I had become bored with ruling Britain and moved on to other things, I would arrange with the other Tom Riddle that he should appear to vanquish me, and he would rule over the Britain he had saved.

This is precisely the plan that Quirrel originally planned for Harry, have him pretend to defeat LV and set him up to rule the country.

This chapter may sort out something which got on my nerves earlier in the story-- the long sequence where Quirrell is Harry's only friend. I'm not saying that Harry should have known Quirrell was Voldemort (and I still think it might have been more interesting if Quirrell had been seriously bad news, but not Voldemort), but it seems to me that Harry liked and trusted Quirrell more than he should have. (Sorry, no details-- I'm going by memory.)

Now I think that Harry's desperate desire for an intellectual equal (which to some extent translates as someone who... (read more)

I always found it extremely plausible. Harry has had an isolated childhood, by his own admission, lacking in friends, in intellectual equals, in people who would take him seriously. Quirrell is the first person he's met who thinks like him and is better at it and who gives out approval but in a sparse fashion. So we have a kindred spirit and a role model to admire (intellectually if not ethically) and a parental figure to dispense the sort of validation Harry can't get anywhere else. Quirrell pretty much ticks all the boxes for Harry, in a way no one else does. If Quirrell was actively trying to brainwash Harry, he could hardly have set up better conditions. Quirrell doesn't hate people so much as he has given up trying to care about them after being bewildered and frustrated by their flaws. His Killing Curse is powered by indifference, not hate. Harry's scientific background makes it easier for him to understand why people are flawed in the ways they are, and it gives him hope that they can be improved, which is something Quirrell never had.
Eh. I never got the sense that Harry was that good in near mode. Consider him not seeing a reason for Ron to exist, his total lack of interest in Hagrid, the incident in Diagon Alley, "birth parents," and the list goes on and on--but the difference is that while Quirrell is perfectly willing to jump from "I don't see a reason for Ron to exist" to "I can kill Ron if I feel like it," Harry has been taught that's not how the Right People think about things. But does he value Ron, or see a reason for him to exist or be happy? Not really, nowhere near like Hermione does.

"I cannot count how many times I have thought of that night, rehearsing my mistake, thinking of wiser things I should have done," said Professor Quirrell. "I later decided that I should have thrown my wand from my hand and changed into my Animagus form...

Though Harry was careful not to touch Quirrell's snake form in Azkaban, this quote implies to me that Animagus forms might be more resistant to the Riddles Doom effect. This might apply to Harry as well, should he ever be in his Animagus form.

So I [...] devised a new ritual based on new principles. I kept that ritual burning in my mind for years, perfecting it in imagination, pondering its meaning and making fine adjustments, waiting for the intention to stabilise. At last I dared to invoke my ritual, an invented sacrificial ritual, based on a principle untested by all known magic. And I lived, and yet live." The Defense Professor spoke with quiet triumph, as though the act itself was so great that no words could ever do it justice. "I still use the word 'horcrux', but only from sent

... (read more)
They require a sacrifice each time they're cast, and Riddle can't sacrifice his ability to love every time. The sacrifice the "new horcrux" ritual calls for is most likely a human sacrifice, meaning whoever you've murdered in order to create it.

Is Snape being mind-controlled or truly in league with Quirrel (or pretending to be)?

From Ch. 77, Quirrell confronts Snape in a discussion that touches on Snape's loyalties and the 3rd floor corridor. It ends with this:

The Potions Master looked like he was about to choke on his own fury. "What do you want? "

"Nothing, really," said the Defense Professor, continuing to gaze at the forest ceiling. "I was only curious. I suppose I shall just watch and see where your plotting goes, and meanwhile I will say nothing to the Headmaster -

... (read more)

I haven't re-read the fic in a while so this might be a stupid question, but does QQ know about Partial Transfiguration? I can't recall him being present/conscious at any point Harry uses it. That would be a power the Dark Lord knows not, right?

If Harry judged that whatever Quirrel was planning was X-risk level dangerous, he could try wandlessly Transfiguring a few micrograms of antimatter, destroying both of them (along with a large chunk of Scotland) in the process.

Harry used partial transfiguration to make a hole in a wall in Azkaban, ch. 57. Quirrel saw the hole, but how much did he deduce from that is hard to say.
I don't think Quirell does know about partial transfiguration, no. However, wandless magic is supposed to be very difficult and Harry notes that his dark side is defective when it comes to having unbelievably powerful magic. Also, I don't think Harry can transfigure air, so he'd have to use the walls/floor for this. Not much of a constraint though. Edit: or simply do the same but with the gun. If he can do this fast enough, he might not have to use the anti-matter trick anyway- just partially transfigure the middle of the pistol into sulphuric acid.
Harry would be very bad at wandless magic the first time trying, so he might not even be able to do anything macroscopic. He might be able to conjure up the tiny amount of antimatter required though.
There's a chance that he's been practising. In fact, I can't see Harry doing any wandless magic at all, but if he has the only reasonable explanation would be that he has secretly been practising. This is not unreasonable. We know he's upset by the fact that you require wands from the early chapters and transfiguration is what MoR!Harry is known for. The issue with practise is that assuming it's very difficult, he might not be able to detect a positive result if it either (a) takes too long to happen or (b) can only transfigure a small amount. This is one of my favourite ideas I've seen so far, however.

Apologies if someone else has suggested this before. I'm not going to read enough comments to find out. But why doesn't Harry just say in Parseltongue, "If you let me conquer the world, you will be more happy, and have more fun." Harry can totally deliver with his transhumanist future by uplifting normal people so they aren't "idiots" that bore Voldemort, and giving him the kind of rivals he wants to fight with. Like, worst case he has to leave a planet or whatever of shitty conditions where Voldemort personally fucks people up, because that's the only thing that will satisfy him. But it's still worth it for the improved chance to get the rest of the universe.

He can't say that (as written) in Parseltongue, because he knows it may be false. Dark Lord Tom may have incompatible desires due to their different upbringings or a flaw in the uploading spell.
Also, Voldemort thinks Harry is hopelessly naive, and is unlikely to take such a pronouncement seriously unless it is backed with genuinely convincing arguments.

So far, the important spells get their detail work done. How does the improved horcrux work?

AFAICT all Q's claims of its total novelty are in human speech. It's possible but not certain that his previous Parseltongued comments horcruxes puts a lower bound on how similar they are. It certainly means he's confident his ritual is not the one the legends are about, but given that it ended up suiting the stories better than the weak horcrux, it's quite possible he unknowingly reinvented the true forgotten original. (speculation: this would explain the possible-... (read more)

So far that's the one part that doesn't seem to correspond to anything that's happened.

I was somewhat surprised that V actually lost his body and had no ongoing role in limiting the tenure of Defense Professors. More importantly, I'm somewhat surprised he had no hand in the Stanislav Petrov affair in this timeline.

Does he think he saved the day some time around August 1991?

Or, if he really has a Limitus Professorium curse, did he also cast one before he left to prevent anyone from starting a nuclear exchange? ("Some curses are easier to cast when they bind yourself and others alike; Slytherin's Parselmouth curse is an example of such.&q... (read more)

You don't update much on n=1 experiments in cases like this.
Humanity had many opportunities to destroy civilization during the Cold War. Or are you saying V subscribes to a ridiculously strong notion of quantum immortality?
You don't need to believe in quantum immortality for the anthropomorphic principle. Yes, once 3 of 4 mechanisms that a nuclear bomb needs to detonate failed when a US plane carrying a nuclear bomb crashed. All 4 would have meant a bomb exploding in the US. It would have needed 3 of 3 votes on that Russian submarine to start a nuclear strike and there were only 2 of 3 votes. Both of those incidents turned out all right, but there was still a risk and they shouldn't lead to confidence mistakes won't happen.
Tangential, but I believe you mean the anthropic principle, which anyway really only applies to things that happened before you were born.

The Dark Lady's heart was captured, and they became lovers. And then one night (...) they lay together in the fashion of a >man and a woman. But Perenelle had been a virgin until that night.

I get what is meant, but if they had been lovers for some time then I would say that Perenelle was not a virgin in any meaningful sense of the word. Of course, from an old-fashioned point of view she might have been, but this sentence is not accompanied by a modifier expressing the change in values as the next one is.

Let us recall that this story takes place in the 90s and that Tom Riddle attended Hogwarts in the 40s. I don't think that his views on sexual politics are entirely consistent with those of the present-day, so he may view "virgin" as meaning "not penetrated by a man".
Then again Eliezer has been imposing modern sexual attitudes on the Wizarding World, whether out of ignorance or a desire to be politically correct I'm not sure. In any case, I find it one of the most jarring aspects of the fic.
Not just modern sexual attitudes, but specifically the sexual attitudes you see in the Harry Potter fanfiction community. And I'm sure it was meant to be jarring. Magical Britain's culture is subtly but deeply different from that of the muggle country that shares its borders; it would be profoundly weird if there were no surprises, no culture shock.
The jarring thing is precisely that it isn't. The sexual attitudes of the fanfiction community have a lot more in common with general contemporary western post-protestant sexual attitudes then with the sexual attitudes of any other (contemporary or historical) culture.
Romeo and Juliet, the Star-Crossed Lovers (so called by Shakespeare), never had sex. So the words were used as Quirrel describes, six centuries ago.
They have sex before Act III Scene 5.
*shrug* Maybe Perenelle didn't exercise much and still had an intact hymen. There's your drop of blood.
No, I mean she had an intact hymen probably, but it's just the fact that "virgin = intact hymen" is a pretty silly notion to begin with. Especially since it outright says she'd been Baba Yaga's lover for some time already. Having sex pretty much means you're not a virgin any more. Kind of the point.

If you're going to be using old definitions "lovers = having sex" is a pretty recent change in meaning.

but it's just the fact that "virgin = intact hymen" is a pretty silly notion to begin with.

Um, the relevant property is that the man can be sure the woman's child will be his, and for that "virgin = intact hymen" is useful.

I'm not sure it's even the current meaning. I would call two religious people who avoid sex before marriage lovers before they have sex.
An anecdote: in contemporary Russian, lovers most readily translates as любовники, and not only has it a strong meaning of people having sex, but also that at least one of them is cheating upon their rightful spouse. The situation you describe would need the word влюбленньіе, literally 'those in love'. Yet it's not impossible for 'lovers' to mean exactly 'those in love', if you speak colloquially/in a ballad mode.
In Japanese, IIRC, one of these is 'koibito' and the other 'aijin', written with almost identical kanji, both meaning 'love person'....
koibito 恋人 vs. aijin 愛人 -- so it's only half identical. 人 has kun'yomi hito (from Old Japanese *pi₁to₂), with voicing of the initial consonant in the compound word koibito, and kan'on reading jin. If Wiktionary can be trusted, koibito is the generic term for 'lover/boyfriend/girlfriend', whereas aijin was borrowed (regularly) from Chinese to translate the English terms 'lover' and 'sweetheart', underwent semantic shift in Japanese, and ended up meaning 'mistress'. Interestingly, Chinese 愛人 àirén is just an old-fashioned word for 'lover', and the word for 'partner in an extramarital relationship' is 情人 qíngrén... except Valentine's Day is qíngrénjié. Wiktionary also thinks there's a difference in usage of 愛人 àirén between the PRC and the ROC, but it doesn't describe it. (Why was rén borrowed as jin? I'm guessing there are borrowing patterns, like how English has borrowed enough from Latin that new Latin borrowings will mangle the vowels in entirely predictable ways, but I don't know what they are. My first guess was that kan'on readings are based on a dialect of Chinese that had the same ȵ > ȵʑ > ɻ shift as Mandarin. I figured that was too simplistic, but given that 日 has the kan'on reading jitsu and the go'on reading nichi (go'on was earlier than kan'on), it might be right. Aijin is almost certainly regular, since 刃 is rèn in Mandarin and has kan'on jin. *ɻiC > ɻəC? Could be, since the apical vowel can't occur with a coda consonant.) (edit: I should probably point out that I don't actually know most of this stuff -- I just know how to look it up. So my sources could be wrong or I could be misinterpreting.)
Edit: moved the comment to the right place, sorry.
Well, given that I've been asked if I was dating someone who lived on the opposite coast, by someone who knew about the fact that she lived on the opposite coast, and knew that I hadn't been over there in quite some time... Then again, it could still be a recent change in meaning, just reversed by the internet.
Dating is one thing, but if you were asked if you were ‘lovers’, then that would seem a strange use of contemporary English to me.
Sure. 'Lovers' isn't contemporary English at all, is it? But if a semantic shift / euphemistically-useful pattern of meaning is found in one place, that means it can occur elsewhere. (Which reminds me: I've heard that 'dating' meaning 'in a relationship with' is a recent development, and that in the '50s or so, 'in a relationship with' would have been 'going steady' and 'dating' wasn't committed or exclusive. Is that true?)
It is, but it's more restricted in usage than it used to be. One might say "the notorious criminal Alice was captured last night, thanks to testimony from her former lover, Bob", or something along the lines of "Catherine the Great's numerous lovers"; but one wouldn't say "this is my lover, Charlie", and "Dennis and Eve are lovers" would sound stilted, if not exactly incorrect, in most situations. I get the impression that it's now used with indirection and a slight pejorative air, where originally it might have been a direct, neutral description of a relationship. ("This is Charlie, my loooover" is a possibility in some dialects, but that construction emphasizes the relationship by drawing attention to the archaism.)
My memory of sitcoms and comics from the '50s agrees with you. That's all that I have to go on; I wasn't alive myself back then. All the same, I still think that ‘lover’ is a contemporary word. A bit old-fashioned, and usually singular, but I was alive for a time when a gay man could introduce another man as his ‘lover’ and it would be perfectly natural, with no other word that would mean quite what he wanted to say. (Now he could say ‘fiancé’ or even ‘husband’ and that would seem natural, but once upon a time it wouldn't have.) ETA: Also Nornagest's ‘former lover’.
Hell, it wasn't even considered committed in the 80s. Although I suppose different regions may have changed faster, in the South in the late 80s/early 90s, "going out" was what we said for "going steady", while "dating" implied a more casual relationship. (And the actual term 'dating' was rarely used - I remember being asked, "you guys messin'?" after a couple dates with a boy.) So yes, true.

Maybe, but it's certainly the common definition at the time, and besides the terms of the deal pretty explicitly said "drop of blood" anyway.

The story doesn't really make sense as told. It fit's Quirrell's view of the world to a T, tough, so he isn't questioning it enough. Dons tinfoil Someone on reddit pointed out that "confused scribble" might simply mean "A busload of aurors in a bag of holding" Now for really amusing wtfry, let's make that "A busload of arch-wizards." Follow me down the rabbithole for a second: Voldemort's read on the tale of Perenelle is obviously, blatantly, just wrong. It fits his worldview far to well, and has some logical flaws in it, especially concerning the cup. So, I had a thought. As Harry pointed out, one thing to do with immortality, is to share it. Further, it is a core part of wizarding culture to not share dangerous magic freely. And the stone is dangerous. It isn't just immortality, it is also a weapon of utterly insane destructive potential. Theory 1: Baba Yaga is not dead. Perenelle was simply the first person she chose to share her secret with. I give this one quite high odds. The most likely alternative is that her death was accidental, which would be just.. ugh. Traumatic, much? Theory 2: All those historical wizards that lived very long lives? Those were her further apprentices as she - being appropriately cautious with the dooms-day device - established that they could, in fact, be trusted with this level of power over a very long period of time. (.. and probably some mind-reading) Most of them are also not dead. And most of them are sitting in that chamber, playing poker.
Baba Yaga is Flamel.
That might be the case, but we have the breaking of the tradition of Dark Wizards teaching Battle magic as independent evidence for the murder.
It's evidence that it's generally believed she was murdered.
Couple of centuries ago. Their definitions are not our definitions. Also possibly a stupid natural-language parsing artifact.

I have a cunning plan:

What constraints are Harry working under?

The deadman switch hostage killer cannot have go off because they are timeturned, and the deaths of hundreds of students would surely cause a paradox by disrupting the match. Its possible that it sets a timer to go off after Harry jumps back in time, but then presuming that Harry knows exactly when he jumped back and Quirrel does not, Harry can then warn the teachers before the bomb goes off. At the end of the day, even if the hostages die, hundreds of lives are a small price to pay for stoppin... (read more)

Voldemort took Harry's wand away already.
It's been suggested that he might have grabbed Snape's when they fell down together, but it doesn't seem real plausible to me that the Defense Professor didn't notice that and isn't capable of seeing that Harry has a magical item on his person. I can't rule it out though; there is a symmetry with him falling down at Gringotts.
There's also this (c. 106):
Nice catch.