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 81, which should be published later today. The previous thread passed 400 comments as of the time of this writing, so it will pass 500 comments soon after the next chapter is posted, if not before. I suggest refraining from commenting here until chapter 81 is posted; comment in the 12th thread until you read chapter 81. After chapter 81 is posted, I suggest all discussion of previous guesses be kept here, with links to comments in the previous thread.
There is now a site dedicated to the story at hpmor.com, which is now the place to go to find the authors notes and all sorts of other goodies. AdeleneDawner has kept an archive of Author’s Notes. (This goes up to the notes for chapter 76, and is now not updating. The authors notes from chapter 77 onwards are on hpmor.com.) When posted, chapter 81 should appear here.
The first 5 discussion threads are on the main page under the harry_potter tag. Threads 6 and on (including this one) are in the discussion section using its separate tag system. Also: one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight,nine, ten, eleven, twelve.
As a reminder, it’s often useful to start your comment by indicating which chapter you are commenting 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Eliezer Yudkowsky which is not supposed to be publicly available (which includes public statements by Eliezer that have been retracted).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.
This is probably not the solution Harry's going to use in Chapter 81 (I'm writing this before it was posted), but a friend and I were discussing it and came up with a possible solution. I decided it would be much more fun as a piece of fanfanfiction rather than an abstract description, so here it is. I hope you have as much fun reading it as I did writing.
Chapter 81b: Alternate Solution
Beyond all panic and despair his mind began to search through every fact in its possession, recall everything it knew about Lucius Malfoy, about the Wizengamot, about the laws of magical Britain; his eyes looked at the rows of chairs, at every person and every thing within range of his vision, searching for any opportunity it could grasp -
And the start of an idea formed - not a plan, but a tiny fragment of one. He spelled out N-O-T-E on his fingers, and, as discretely as he could, drew a piece of paper out from his bag that he did not remember putting there. It read:
And then he heard a loud bang, and another while he was stuffing the note back in his bag, and he looked up to see that a circular piece had pushed out from the wall, (that wall that could've withs... (read more)
Idea: Making the money back will be much more difficult than most people anticipate, including Harry.
Reason: Many wizards are highly motivated towards finance and would exhaust every opportunity to generate infinite gold. The rich wizards of the Wizengamot considered 100,000 galleons to be a lot of money.
First, imagine all the ways a wizard could make effectively infinite amounts of muggle money. Arbitrage. Use a time turner and win at the stock market. Use a time turner and win the super-lotto. Imperius (or love potion, false memory charm, groundhog day attack, etc) any billionaire and take part of their fortune. Mind trick some bankers with fake documents (as Dumbledore does in book 6). Go rob some banks with invisibility and teleportation (and/or a time turner). Use magic to secure a job with a 50 million dollar golden parachute with very generous terms. Make huge amounts of drug money as a courier via teleportation/portkey. Sell 5 galleon trinkets to muggle collectors for millions of dollars each. Etc., etc., etc..
Some of them are more risky, some of them are less risky, but I bet that any member of these forums could get at least $50 million in a week if we were w... (read more)
I think that taking advantage of muggles in lots of ways is against the law, so imperiusing or memory charming a billionaire would be forbidden. I wouldn't be at all surprised if people have thought of and maybe tried using time turners to cheat the muggle lottery, so I'd give fair odds that's illegal too. When it comes to arbitrage though, remember that while wizards in general may not be tremendously stupid, they tend to be incredibly clueless about the muggle world; remember that Arthur Weasley can pass as a premier expert on muggle artifacts. The fact that the values of gold and silver in the muggle world are totally divorced from their value in the wizarding world is likely to be very little known, and the concept of arbitrage may be completely foreign to them as well (look how primitive their whole financial system appears to be.)
The fact that Mr. Bester, Harry's occlumency instructor, said he wished he could remember "That trick with the gold and silver" implies that a) the idea is not obvious to most wizards, and b) he thinks he would at least stand a chance of getting away with it.
I completely agree. Recall also Draco's speech about muggles scratching in the dirt, and his reaction to Harry's estimate of the lunar program budget. It's not just wizards not paying attention to relative values of gold and silver in the muggle world---for the most part, the possibility that there could be a substantial amount of either in the muggle world doesn't occur to them. Now you might expect muggleborns to know better, even after making allowances for the fact that they enter the wizarding world at age 11. On the other hand, if a muggleborn is clever enough to see the potential for profit, they might also be clever enough to see what Harry apparently does not---that calling attention to the fact that the muggles are ripe for exploitation is a Bad Idea.
I would actually suspect parents of a half blood (is there a name for this?) would be the weak link, rather than muggle-born children.
You've got people who have lived their whole lives as muggles, then suddenly they fall in love and get married and find out their spouse is a wizard. They've spent ~20 years in the muggle world and probably have a career of their own. No way they don't ask their spouse to spend a couple hours and let them both live like kings for the rest of their lives. And if they don't even get that much information about their other's life, that's some seriously messed up power dynamics in that household.
Also, as Harry himself speculates, muggleborns, like his mother, probably tend to fall into the habit of not thinking of muggles as Real People anymore, because it's too emotionally taxing, and they're living in a different world. They may stop concerning themselves with the muggle world much by the time they're grown up. The muggle raised wizards in the original canon certainly seemed to.
My guess is that rather than policing any of various muggle institutions, they investigate, as we do in our own world, whenever anyone appears to suddenly come into possession of large amounts of money for no clear reason, and if they find out they did something illegal, they throw them in jail.
Maybe people are already using wizardry to get huge amounts of money through the muggle world, but if so they may have to store and use the money very inconspicuously.
I wonder if they do. The wizarding world is a bizarre mix of modern and ancient traditions. It seems just as likely for them to have an income tax as not. So, they may or may not have the bureaucratic apparatus in place to know how much money people have and make.
I also wonder what the official stance would be on, say, bilking the stock market. It seems like standing up for muggle rights would be an unpopular political stance. Since there's no direct victim and you're doing things that aren't even illegal in the muggle world (nevermind they don't have time-travel), it seems unlikely the authorities would care to stop you, unless they have a blanket ban on anything that would result in inflation.
God, I'm such a double-nerd. There's a dark lord to be fought and I'm hoping the next plot arc is about wizard tax law and how magical Britain handles inflation.
The funny thing is, it's not really bilking the stock market. The whole argument for stock trading is that traders create value by accurately pricing securities, and thus allocating capital efficiently. Time travel is just a ridiculously efficient means of doing so. Given common access to Time-Turners, the stock market would literally be perfectly efficient(assuming that using turner-induced stock prices doesn't violate the 6-hour rule). People without them would be very pissed off, but I'd actually argue it as being the right and proper way to run a stock market if the technology existed.
In canon at least, it's pretty clear that there is few interaction from Muggle Prime Minister and Minister of Magic, unless exceptional events occur. IIRC, in first 5 years, there is only two interactions : the Minister of Magic informing the Prime Minister about the escape of Sirius Black, and the dragons for the Triwizards Tournament. And there seems that not once did the Muggle Prime Minister directly contact the Minister of Magic, it only went the other way around.
So I'm sceptical about that. More likely the Ministry of Magic has someone working in the staff of the Muggle Prime Minister and informing the Ministry if something odds is happening.
Neither of which are known to the Wizarding world, as evidenced by the Occlumency teacher's reaction to his discovery of it. (and his discovery of it, and his discovery of it... :) )
Your assessment of the Wizarding World's evaluation of the Muggle world. To the supermajority of Wizards, science is a total unknown. Economic and sociopolitical theory are terms they've simply never heard of.
They are isolated and effectively are like the apocryphal Chinese Emperor who burned his fleets because there was nothing left to discover; or the equally apocryphal Patent Office official who wanted to close the Patent Office in the 1800's because there was nothing left to invent.
So basically what you're seeing is what's called "hindsight bias". It is obvious to you, who knows what "Muggles" have, that the Wizards are vastly disadvantaged here -- insanely so -- but remember that as further demonstrated by Draco's total ignorance of Man's visit to the Moon, Wizards believe Muggles are "wallowing in the mud". The idea that they might LEARN from Muggles is actively suppressed by a concerted political campain by a powerful and long-standing major political faction.
Like going off to live in a poor country if you have a first-world income to live on. I believe it's already been remarked that this is about how magical Britain views muggle Britain.
Some counter-evidence for getting gold being difficult: In chapter 27, Mister Bester (the Legilimens who trained Harry) said:
Implying that it was at least somewhat practical as a means for getting rich quickly.
I meant it as Bayesian evidence. (updating P(Arbitrage works) down on Bester regretting means updating up on him not Regretting)
Plus, this is stronger evidence for us than for Harry due to Conservation of Details and the recent disclaimer by EY that there are no red herrings, and that simple solutions != bad solutions (and in fact, the opposite is usually true).
ETA: Also, Bester probably thought about it more more than a few seconds, at least the first time he saw it in Harry's mind - Remember that he didn't just see those Ideas/secrets, he's also seen key moments of his previous conversations.
Theres also a psychological dimension to consider. To most wizards, and especially the rich pure bloods who this would be most relevant to, muggles, muggle-borns and anything associated with them are incredibly low status. Mere knowledge of muggles is seen as a major social negative (see treatment of Arthur Weasley). As such they would have a strong incentive not to investigate muggle knowledge, and if you suggested to Lucius that he made his fortune and power from dealing with Muggles his brain might actually explode from shame.
Remember, most of wizarding Britain is either people who were taken out of the muggle world at age 10-11 and don't come back, or people who never lived there at all. How many of them are actually going to understand finance well enough to have a sense of how to exploit it? And the ones who actually have money at Gringott's are almost by definition the ones who never even spent those 11 years in the muggle world, so they may well not have any idea that finance exists. And even if they do, the ignorance and prejudice is rather overpowering, and may well prevent proper use of it. Someone who has both seed capital and the knowledge of how to exploit the crap out of it is going to be rare, and the DMLE is likely going to step on anyone who gets too egregious about using wizarding advantages to do so.
(Edited first sentence for accuracy)
I don't believe this is correct. In fact, isn't there a section in MoR where McGonagall relates to Harry that less than 10 "muggleborn" Wizards are being inducted into Hogwarts that year? (With Harry being one of them?)
In canon they call “squib” the non-magic-capable child of two wizards.
In MoR, that means the child has only one copy of the recessive magic gene. (Either mommy didn’t love only daddy, or one copy of the gene got messed up somehow.) But in MoR you need to distinguish between genetic|squib (has one copy of the gene), and genealogic|squib (can’t do magic but has wizard/witch parents).
All genealogical|squibs are genetic|squibs, but wizards use the word “squib” only for the former, since wizards don’t know much about genetics, and about the magic gene in particular. They call anybody who isn’t a part of magic Britain a muggle (genealogical |muggle), even though they might actually be genetic|squibs.
An example: Wizard Nasty Pants does the nasty with lots of muggle women a couple of centuries ago. He doesn’t like commitments, so he abandons the women to raise their children alone.
All his children are genetic|squibs, but they’re raised by muggles and—after Mr. Nasty dies because he tried that with a witch married to a Gryffindor—nobody knows they had a wizard parent.
M... (read more)
Let's quote the current author's notes:
Now, yes, it is possible that Eliezer Yudkowsky's Author Note on this very chapter is a lie, and he will suddenly reveal a whole series of... (read more)
I think that's an inescapable result of the idiot world J. K. Rowling made. There is just so much in cannon that makes so little sense.
Not really. All sorts of arguments and fights over importation rights occurred even during the height of merchantilism. That importing goods can be profitable is a much more obvious claim than that moving goods between markets can be profitable. The second is more abstract. Moreover, they don't think of the Muggle world as that important, so the fact that the Muggle world has imbalanced prices may not be obvious to them as something to even think about.
Note that Harry secretly buried 100 Galleons in the backyard of his parents' house back in chapter 36, so having seed money is not an issue.
For what it's worth, I interpreted this exchange as Dumbledore recognizing why it would be bad for someone to read Harry's mind. In other words, a competent plotter who didn't have society's interest at heart could implement Harry's ideas successfully to cause significant harm. I didn't take the exchange to show that D believed the ideas wouldn't work basically as intended with a minimum of unanticipated consequences.
In short, Lucius Malfoy shouldn't be able to read Harry's mind to gain a destabilizing amount of wealth.
And he still owes 60,000 galleons, which is 1.2mil.
A pair of dentists with over a decade of practice? My friend with 15 years of practice by himself could handle that. It's not pocket change, but this was to avoid the torture execution of their daughter. I think they could pony up for that.
Do you have this opinion of realistic fiction too?
I have always thought that but the story makes the point even better. Click on that link, everyone.
Uh, wow, I have linked this story on LW before, but your endorsement apparently makes a great big screaming difference to how much traffic a link gets.
Please endorse more of my things. I am addicted to web hits.
If you're Lucius at this point, how the hell do you now update your "Harry is Voldie" hypothesis?
On the one one hand, he just paid 100K galleons to save a mud blood girl. On the other hand, he spooked a dementor. On the other other hand, while that feat may be impressive, it's certainly not anything the Dark Lord had been known to do previously. And is he consprasizing with Dumbledore, or against him?
Probably a very confusing time to be the Lord of Malfoy.
It makes a great deal of sense as a purely political ploy. Harry just greatly strengthened the legend of the boy who lived, and since that is the result, Lucius is likely to suspect that it was also the intent.
That mudblood girl is also the most talented witch of her generation. Maybe Harrymort just wants another Bellatrix and this is the first step towards it. Maybe the debt doesn't matter because Britain is going to be at war / Lucius will be dead before Harry would graduate. Also, Harry just gained a sworn minion out of it, which is arguably a lot more useful than a large sum of money.
Confirmation bias remains and this is Lucius who whatever his cunning isn't a rationalist. So he's more likely to be thinking "Why did Voldemort save the mudblood girl?" than consider that he was wrong thinking Harry was Voldemort.
I'm not sure if anyone has commented on this, but I just noticed it while rereading the Self-Actualization chapters:
Hermione went to tremendous lengths to be her own person rather than just something of Harry's, including becoming a general and fighting bullies. Now she has sworn herself into Harry's service and house forever. That is really sad.
Can you please reread them instead of just going by memory? Here, I'll make it easy for you:
Now, please actually read the above sentences again, and tell me now whether they sound like marriage vows to you?
And if you still think they've gotten married, in short if you're arguing that P(they've gotten married)> 50%, then I'll put my money where my mouth is and bet you they haven't. I'll bet 10 of my dollars for every 1 of yours, up to a maximum of $10,000 of mine. That should be an easy way for you to make some money.
Agreed mostly, but I don't think McGonagall figured out that he was about to propose marriage to Hermione. She just came up independently with the idea of inducting Hermione into House Potter; and of course she preferred to use a more age-appropriate (and less emotionally-charged) path than marriage. The alternate option of service, which Harry didn't even know existed.
Hypothesis: the Source of Magic is an AI with the goal to work in the way (magical) people really believe it should work. Or maybe, to make the world work in the way (magical) people really believe it should work. The strength of belief appears to be important, so a strong belief can override weak ones. On the other hand, when something is already "generally known" to work in a certain way, this is a very strong belief.
Magic doesn't make sense to Harry because it now reflects lots of ad hoc rules and beliefs accumulated in centuries. Wizards and witches believe them from childhood. [No wonder they are half-insane.]
Interestingly, this hypothesis implies that Dumbledore's narrative causality may actually work - people do believe in stories.
After this chapter, a lot of people are going to deduce that Harry was in fact the person who broke out Bellatrix. Including, probably Dumbledore.
Quirrell will likely be forced to show his hand when Dumbledore accuses him of having engineered the escape. Somehow, this turns into Quirrell leaving his post. End of story seems imminent :(
No. Mind the Conservation of Detail.
Harry doesn't know that Dumbledore's patronus recognizes Harry's patronus. This is a trap EY has laid for Harry.
For no internal reasons, but for story reasons, Dumbledore will not figure out that Harry was in Axkaban until the next time both he and Harry have their patronuses up at the same time. It is set up to be a shocking reveal, maybe a cliffhanger.
Or just that he's pissed with Harry for putting himself in Malfoy's debt.
Or for painting a giant bulls-eye on himself.
The icy glare could really mean anything.
Harry Potter is not so clever, part 2. (Perhaps I should call this "advice for Harry," to be less negative.)
Overall: what the heck is Harry's model of... (read more)
Harry may be an overachiever, but he's still 11 - he's allowed to be bad at manipulating people. He's still at the "All I have to do is out-clever everyone and I can take over the world" stage. He has the tools to pull it off much of the time, but he still thinks of his opponents as pieces, not as players, which is a pretty serious hole in his worldview when it comes to things like manipulating Lucius Malfoy.
Even if he does his arbitrage trick, what benefit would he get from telling it to Malfoy in advance. Why share unnecessary information with a potential adversary? Why risk additional penalties if something unexpected happens and the arbitrage takes five weeks instead of four?
I think that the can of worms of why wizards don't immediately go cure world hunger etc. is best left to be opened near the end of the fic, if at all.
Actually, there's a fairly complicated question of why don't we immediately go cure world hunger. I mean, the production and logistics aspects wouldn't be very difficult compared to what today's industry can output on an everyday basis. I guess that it's 80% pure irrationality and only 20% politics.
You mean IRL? It mostly boils down to "we've tried giving hungry people food, it doesn't work, and that's pretty much all the ideas we've got". It's a much messier problem than it seems at first glance, and it isn't all politics or insanity. To pick the most obvious, when you dump planes full of grain on the tarmac in Zimbabwe, what did you just do the finances of the local farmers who now need to compete with free? And what does that do to next year's crop?
So, new speculation: who are the sharp players in the Wizengamot who are drawing up lists on Harry?
They're not Lucius or Dumbledore, both of whom already know a great deal, and the former is too enraged to really be thinking beyond 'why did Voldemort just sacrifice all his wealth for a "friend"?'
I would be a little shocked if Umbridge was meant; she's so moronic in canon that even a MoR brain-upgrade still leaves her dim and bureaucratic, and she certainly doesn't match. And the powerful-wizard background is much more of a 'male' thing, to boot.
Mad-eye Moody could be expected to be making a list, but as far as I can tell he's not present and is remarkable enough that if he was, he would be mentioned. He's also apparently busy watching over & poisoning graves. In one chapter, Bones mentions he just retired, so he wouldn't be there in an Auror capacity. EDIT: Aftermath would seem to imply Moody was not there, because Harry didn't recognize the Moody in the Pensieve memory at all, despite him being quite striking.
Madam Bones seems too much on Dumbledore and Harry's side to be so suspicious, and not 'new' in any plot-meaningful sense. She's otherwise a decent enough candi... (read more)
Well, he's certainly on the list now.
Not necessarily, but this does seem the sort of thing Moody would go out of his way to keep an eye (ha) on.
Or, depending on how the interrogation went, ScrimQuirMort.
So how many other ex-death-eaters now officially owe House Potter? Surely they can pay him.
How about a concerted campaign to persuade the public to lessen the importance of that particular debt? Remind everyone that Harry was a baby at the time and couldn't have intended to defeat the Dark Lord, emphasise that it must have been some kind of freak accident, start spreading rumours with alternative explanations...
Anyway my point isn't about any single thing they could do; the point is that there are a lot of powerful and politically-skilled people who would very much want to do something, and I don't feel at all confident that we can assume they'll be unable to come up with anything now that the gambit is no longer a surprise one.
Remember when H&C told Hermione that Harry would sacrifice her if she became inconvenient to his plans for global domination? Guess Hermione can tell him to kiss her ass on that one.
I doubt she remembers any of that conversation.
The next chapter is going to be horribly depressing, you know. Harry is going to have to have it explained to him why it's a bad idea to do things that are a bad idea. Otherwise this arc would have the wrong moral...
On the other hand, it's now in Dumbledore's interest to see Harry make a lot of money quickly in order to discharge the debt, which means he's far more likely to approve of things that otherwise would be considered unacceptable, like:
In short, a sixty thousand Galleon debt, while it feels huge, is not obviously a major obstacle given the number of possible solutions already implicitly presented in HPMoR, and it would almost seem a cheat for it to be one
That wiping out the debt easily might have its own negative consequences, on the other hand, is potentially interesting.
Dunno about that. The debt will have concsequences, certainly, but Hermione is not in Azkaban.
Yes, it's super sad to let a little girl be tortured to death. But there is a cost large enough that it is not worth paying to prevent it, even if the cost is only in terms of mere cash, political capital, personal reputation as not being more fearsome than Fear itself, keeping important military secrets for the coming war secret, and the enmity of those you failed to lose to. That's the meaning of the phrase "Taboo Tradeoffs", it's that stating you kept Hermione out of Azkaban is not enough justification.
Of course, if he had counted the cost, he would have been an awful hypocrite. Recall what he said after Hermione rescued him from the Dementor:
At least he's holding himself to the same standard, even if it's a bad one.
I wish to register my alarm at this:
Given that he was "amazed" at our performance this time, presumably an equivalent performance would pass the future test — but even if that's true it doesn't comfort me much.
I humbly beg our author to consider simply withholding updates, rather than issuing an ultimatum that may result in us never getting the "true" ending. "I won't post any more chapters until you solve this," rather than "I'm going to torch the last few years of your life if you're not smart enough."
A always thought the false ending was better.
What can I say? I'm a sucker for stories where everyone lives happily ever after. :-)
There are reasons for avoiding being hit with an anti-polyjuice spell even if you aren't polyjuiced. (1) The spell would reveal that you aren't polyjuiced, which might be useful information for your adversaries if you're masquerading as someone else by other means. (2) If your policy is only to counter such spells when they would have revealed something, then your decision to counter or not is itself revealing. Better to have a general policy of not letting people probe you at all.
You misread the passage. McGonaggal helped Harry take Hermione into the sworn service of House Potter. A very feudal type of thing, but certainly no marriage.
Has Lucius not spoken to Draco in private yet?
If he hasn't... when he does, and tells Draco what happened at the trial, and finds that Draco isn't surprised (or at least, not more than usual when it comes to Harry)... what will he think then?
Even if he knew, saying that would be a good way to try to get Harry to reveal something. What he would have heard from Draco is that Harry has a super-bright Patronus whose form he keeps secret; he would be curious. So I don't think this quote is strong evidence that Lucius hasn't heard about the Patronus from Draco, since it is pretty likely that he would say something like this even if he has.
EDIT: Actually, since he believes Harry is Voldemort, he probably thinks the Patronus light he showed Draco was an illusion, and not useful for getting out of Azkaban at all. If he thinks Harry is Voldemort he's unlikely, then, to pry for information about it in this way.
Lucius didn't ask if Harry could cast a Patronus, I could buy that. But Draco's Patronus didn't come up? Harry's vow of vengeance against Narcissa's killer didn't come up? That whole thing was possibly the single most important interaction Draco and Harry have had, next to when Harry tricked Draco into sacrificing his belief in blood purity.
Draco's a manipulative little snake. Lucius never probably never asked, "Son, are you able to cast the Patronus Charm?" because he was probably under the impression that Slytherins weren't able to cast Patronuses so why bother asking. Hence, the topic never came up. Draco's a scientist now, he doesn't completely believe everything that Lucius says anymore. Draco's probably avoiding talking about dangerous subjects with his father. And of course, he could always lie.
If regular courts had veritaserum, I imagine the first question they'd ask would be "What are the things you don't want to tell us?".
Nevertheless, I believe it was two drops used, not three - so Draco didn't have to volunteer information.
Why does Dumbledore not give a quick Summary of the worst consequences of being in debt to Lucius Malfoy? It's hard to see how that could necessitate telling secrets that cannot be revealed in public, the laws involved should already be known. Naming a few of the "certain rights" Lucius would have shouldn't take more time than Dumbledore actually spends trying to convince Harry.
I suspect that everyone discounts the "I was Imperiused!" claim for being an obvious lie, and thus discounts the implications of it being officially true. It's certainly a plausible hole in worldview - ignoring the implications of a false statement being "true" is an easy mistake to make.
Dumbledore may simply not have considered Hermione WORTH the debt.
I think Dumbledore is more into the "general wanting to win a war" mindset. In that mindset, you don't spend a trump card like a blood debt from one major enemy just to save one life. So he shouldn't (in his pov) speak about that issue to Harry.
Also, IIRC McGonnagal was there, presumably she would have said something if Griphook was obviously lying or omitting something important, as suggested above. (Also, I got the impression goblins were really serious about money.)
Like most readers, I took Trelawney's magical clock for a listening device. What if it transmits instead of receives?
We've seen Dumbledore manipulating events into storylike patterns. He was the instigator of the three-way tie, and he precipitated Snape's fall and eventual redemption by the power of love.
In his Fortress of Regrets, Dumbledore gave the surface appearance of being terribly reluctant to allow his decisions to cause the deaths of others. But in the last chapter he was ready to let a small child be tortured to death - with much trembling reluctance, of course - in order to preserve his plans.
Could he have caused Trelawney to deliver the prophecy, triggering the other half of Snape's destiny, while feeding the Potters to Voldemort to create his orphan hero?
Dumbledore meant for Voldemort to have been killed by Lily's sacrifice. He believes it happened. Instead, Voldemort, taking the obvious trap (thanks Vladimir!) as a challenge to his wit (thanks Gwern!), pretended to lose (thanks buybuydandavis!), while fulfilling the letter of the prophecy in a manner maximally advantageous to himself.
He disarmed the trap by goading Lily into attacking him. He left a bu... (read more)
Oh hey. And we have a confession.
I actually noticed the dissonance when I read this, that Dumbledore had apparently overlooked the biggest and most obvious tragedy of Harry's life. But I didn't realize what it meant. Whoops.
My working theory for Dumbledore's emphasis on story logic is that it's a pragmatic decision supporting several different lines of influence.
First, we know he's pretending to be a lot crazier than he is: he acts like a character in a roleplaying game with "Insanity" marked down in the flaws section of his character sheet, not someone with an actual personality disorder, and going out of his way to act like Gandalf fits in fairly well with that.
Second, he spends a lot of his time working with kids, who're probably a lot more familiar with stories than with their real-life cognates: how many times does Draco make an analogy to something he's seen in a play?
Finally, people really are prone to generalize from fictional evidence, and maintaining a semi-fictionalized persona can aid in achieving instrumental goals when they're aligned with the narrative patterns it corresponds to. The Self Actualization storyline provides a good example of this in action: I read Dumbledore's part in that early on as using his persona to nudge Hermione into the high-fantasy hero role that Harry occupies in canon (and considerably more shakily in MoR). When she went off script, so did he. (I suspect that Riddle's Lord Voldemort persona was adopted for similar reasons, incidentally. He might even have picked up that trick from Dumbledore.)
I agree. But y'know, it's odd that the three people most affected by the prophecy had their major life outcomes determined by Dumbledore's machinations. That's a coincidence that needs explaining, I think.
Another implication just hit me: it could make Sirius his accomplice, not Voldemort's. Odd that he didn't get a trial while Dumbledore was Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot, come to think of it. Huh.
I'm loving the idea that time travel is being proposed here as the simpler, less over-engineered solution to making a bunch of money.
I love Chapter 81, but it would have been way better if Draco was the one accused of murder, so Harry could marry Draco.
In this story, it seems a lot more likely to be Quirinus Tom Potter-Evans-Verres-Granger.
I'd feel sorry for that kid. But considering the genes and upbringing he'd have, I'm suddenly too busy feeling sorry for everyone else.
In other words, the wizarding world is sufficiently accepting of same-sex relationships that Death Eaters could use the idea that Muggles are homophobic as a somewhat believable slander against Muggles.
You're so upset that McGonaggal's intervention prevented Harry from asking Hermione's hand in marriage? You're a Ravenclaw girl at heart, I see. :-)
+100. Prudence is really more of a Slytherin virtue.
A matter with the Comed-Tea that was bugging me for a while:
Hypotheses: Comed-Tea on person = impulse to drink, Comed-Tea not on person = no impulse to drink.
According to Chapter 12:
So no matter what, even if you don't end up drinking it, you will get the Impulse before something funny happens.
So Harry has used up all of his Comed-Tea. (edit: it appears that Harry actually has tons left unless he's not mentioning some he drank/gave away, look at bottom of post)
It is apparent that you'll still get the impulse to drink whether or not you do end up drinki... (read more)
Prediction: Harry will try to explain the general concept of arbitrage to Dumbledore, and it will be blocked by the Interdict of Merlin.
Because otherwise, certain things about the wizarding economy make no sense at all.
Funny, but unfortunately people telling other people things is exactly what the Interdict of Merlin doesn't forbid.
The Interdict of Merlin blocking transmission of non-magical knowledge between living minds?
Something I just noticed on a second read-through - the reuse of the word "riddle" in context here seems like a reminder to Lucius of who he thinks Harry really is, and this is not the first time it's come up when Harry is exposed to Dementors. Perhaps this lends credence to the theory that riddle is the "strange word" he learned when first exposed?
Voldemort used the word to tease as Quirrell and as the cloak and hat. He probably did it in the last war, too. Lucius may think that Voldemort is teasing him just like he used it, when Harry says it.
It's not a strange word, though. That's probably so we know the spell being cast was not AK.
Progress of Eliezer vs JKR, Fvapr Ryvrmre unf fgngrq gung gur fgbel jba'g or ybatre guna gur frira obbxf, cre jbeq, naq gung vg'f zber guna unysjnl qbar
Is it just me, or does that NOT sound like someone who just found out that dementors, thought to be manifestations of fear, are afraid of her student? I'm guessing it's one of two things:
She's so relieved that one of her student isn't going to be tortured to death that she isn't really processing everything else that's going on or
She thinks the whole thing is a trick Harry and Dumbledore came up with, and dementors aren't really afraid of Harry.
Either one could lead to a very entertaining aftermath.
Unlike most of the room she knows Harry well enough that even him scaring a Dementor, no matter how surprising, wouldn't make her personally afraid of Harry; she might be worried about what trouble he could cause but she knows perfectly well that he wouldn't do anything to her. Besides it was less of a surprise for her since Dumbledore already told her Harry had developed a new charm.
Or, she's simply ceased to be surprised at the extent of Harry's abilities outpacing her expectations of them.
McGonagall is House Head of Gryffindor.
She is just that unflappable.
She's so unflappable that she's the best choice to demonstrate that a situation inspires the maximum amount of flap, I guess.
We know this not to be true since Quirrel changed back into his normal appearance when the polyjuice wore off in Azkaban while he was unconscious.
I think my favorite part of this update comes not from the chapter, but from the Author's Notes:
"If you write sufficiently good fanfiction, you can realize your romantic dreams!"
(Although "Make him go away" is either tied for the position or a close second.)
I have a suspicion that the average fanfic-created relationship is not caused by anything best described as "good".
I think I figured out how Dumbledore knew about Harry wanting to change the rules of Quiddich. Instead of reading student minds he used the cloak:
(Emphasis mine. Well, of course, that he would use it is obvious and the note is not proof of anything, but that’s what triggered the idea. Also, it makes a lot of sense that Harry’s father would lend the cloak to Dumbledore for study.)
If he did this on the train platform (which would make sense as an opportunity to be mysterious to new students, or just to Harry) there’s a bit of other interesting stuff he might have heard. Whatever Draco cast (the description doesn’t quite match Quietus, and it was wordless or at least not heard by Harry), it probably doesn’t work for a cloaked guy near you, and certainly not Dumbledore if he really wanted to listen.
While reading, I never considered this to be a mystery, or even a question.
So, Dementors Part Deux.
First, because someone had to say it:
(I guess Dementors aren't that smart.)
Secondly, I noticed that Harry's first Transfiguration lesson includes a photograph of a Dementor. What would that look like? What does Harry see, compared to everyone else? Why was he asking all the other students what they saw in the Patronus lesson without ever once thinking of that photograph?
Ministry-issued textbooks might not have the best dramatic pacing.
Edit: While some points may remain useful for the sake of reference, this theory is disproved in Chapter 82, and Aberforth's death no longer lacks narrative purpose.
Who killed Narcissa?
HJPEV tells us that this doesn't fit the headmaster's style. His style is curiously consistent.
There is one offhand remark, vengeance, and a practical cold-heartedness favoring Bones. "Why not Bones?" is only a little better than no argument at all.
Lucius is presented as a devoted family man. It would be inconsistent characterization for him to do this. That works for real life, but HP&tMoR is fiction, which must make sense.
Voldemort has reason not to do this, as it made a fool out of one of his tools and weakened his side by making them less willing to strike indiscriminately.
I have a 'someone else' theory: Aberforth killed Narcissa. Aberforth is dead, and meaningfully so due to Conservation of Detail. We know little else about him from HP&tMoR. Only that he didn't testify against his brother in the death of his sister, and his brother got quite stern when he died. Basically, this theory allows me to put a pie... (read more)
Also there is the fact (mentioned by someone else, sorry I forget who) that Narcissa's sister, Bellatrix, murdered Bones' brother. Edit: I am an idiot, you already mentioned this.
Bringing in Aberforth is a really interesting idea. Now that I think about it, even given the wizarding wars, it is remarkable that so many siblings have died or nearly died:
Bones/her brother (who, exactly?)
The last one is interesting with the role of survivor exchanged as well, since there is a hint that Petunia may have threatened suicide in order to convince Lily to brew the beauty potion.
Your idea of marriage vows seems rather lifestyle-specific.
Can we add the 'harry_potter' discussion tag to this post?
(Contrary to what the post text says, as of right now this post does not show up on the list of Harry Potter discussion posts.)
I am really interested in how this is all going to work back at Hogwarts. Harry has already been pushing the envelope in the past, but this was a public power display. Draco's out for a while, Hermione will be considered a murderess by significant portions of the school (and apparently she's now magically sworn to obey Harry?), Quirrel is doing... something... and all the schemers and plotters are scheming and plotting on overdrive. I think the money will really be the least of Harry's concerns before this tangle is unwoven. I sort of enjoy learning little bits about Eliezer in the author's notes. "Why yes, I do lead the same sort of life as fanfiction characters, thank you for noticing," made me laugh quietly to myself. This is doubtless because I am a gossip-monger and a hopless platonic voyeur of other peoples lives.
But he threatened to, and that's almost as bad.
Just an odd thought about something Draco said in Chapter 48:
...is - is Hogwarts sentient? If it's animate, capable of creative expression, and self-constructing, it's not out of the question that Hogwarts might be in some sense intelligent or alive. It'd also explain some things about the Hogwarts security system, to say nothing about the Room of Requirement, in canon.
Transfiguration is non-permanent, and any gold sold to Gringotts would be immediately tested for transfiguration. Additionally, trying to counterfeit gets the goblin nation to declare war on you. (Ch 15)
Funny how karma never adds up in those polls.
There should be a house rule about always linking to the karma sink in the poll choices.
Not that it matters that EY or anyone else gets a few points of extra karma, it's just my "defective mechanism detected" brain lobe giving me OCD.
I wonder what Draco is going to say -- or to remember, for that matter -- about the duel.
I worry that Draco may be more or less written out of this fic - I can't imagine Lucius sending his son back into Voldemort's maw. There are other schools, even if none are as good.
Draco's going to want to go back, of course.
I find it quite astonishing how often I have to remind people that they're eleven years old.
Fewer shrieks of horror from their parents? Also Hermione doesn't need to change her name into Hermione Potter-Evans-Verres-Granger.
He didn't. It was right before. Harry knew of only marriage as a way to induct Hermione into his House. McGonagall knew of a somewhat simpler way, and one less emotionally charged than marriage.
I think he realized it the moment he heard the words McGonagall was having Hermione say. Keep in mind that it's not as if McGonaggal realized Harry was considering marriage at all.
Nah, snapping fingers doesn't possess meaning for the Wizengamot, that's what Harry is known for in Hogwarts. "Boo!" is better in the circumstances.
Sorry, the reason for the stereotype is the fact that fanfiction is findable only on unmoderated internet archives where anyone can post. If you had to look on the internet for all your original fiction, you'd have the same problem. Also, it's in some ways harder to use someone else's voice and be bound by characters that maybe have traits you're scared to write about than to be able to write in your own voice and avoid certain kinds of characters.
But when you compare cherry-picked original fiction weeded through by editors until you get to read only a fraction of the total submitted for consideration and utterly unmoderated, undifferentiated fanfiction by good and bad authors alike side-by-side in the same archive, of course the original fic is going to be better.
Well, if you make enough guesses, sometimes one of them will be partly right...
My prediction doesn't seem to have paid off in anything but karma, so I'm wondering how Eliezer's clue about Harry seeing the members of the Wizingamot as player characters has played out or if we're going to see something of the sort in future chapters.
The problem is that he did not - he treated them as a passive audience without any consideration of how they view him. So now some of them have reached the same conclusion as Lucius, and think he is a case of bodysnatching. Possession is a real possibility in the universe he inhabits, and he is showing all the signs. That is quite likely to get him killed by people with the best of intentions. At best, I am expecting kidnapping attempts aimed at extracting voldemort from his host. Also, Harry really should listen to Malfoy. Scaring Lucius is not a good idea.
"You can't put a price on a human life."
"I agree, but unfortunately reality has already put a price on human life, and that price is much less than 5 million dollars. By refusing to accept this, you are only refusing to make an informed decision about which lives to purchase."
It suddenly occurs to me that Dumbledore has seen two interactions between Harry and a Dementor. In the first one, it almost destroys him. In the second, he casts a Patronus that destroys it. Neither would seem to provide the kind of evidence that you would need to confidently assume that other Dementors would run away from you if you said "Boo" to them.
So, is this enough evidence for Dumbledore to decide that he's wrong about who broke Bellatrix Black out of Azkaban?
No, as I pointed out, one would expect, based on its past performance, the dark side to come up with disastrous yet simple and effective solutions, and this expectation is another desiderata. Which that solution filled as well.
(A token 'dispel the Patronuses and make the Dementors eat people' is at least a gesture in the right direction, for all that I find Harry's belief he can cripple Aurors like that to be risible - if you yell at a pilot 'actually it doesn't run on the Bernouilli effect but spiral vortices' or whatever, does he immediately panic and fl... (read more)
Do you feel the same way about published by known publishing houses fiction that based on other fiction? I'm thinking about The Once and Future King, Wicked, The Ayre Affair.....
ETA: Oh, haha, maybe I should have just gone with... (read more)
Only Quirrel and Dumbledore know of it, since even the three accompanying Aurors were False-Memory-Charmed.
We don't know what the cover story was that Dumbledore thought up to justify the lost Dementor.
Honest dilemma: Should Hermione decide to get the memories of casting the Blood-chilling Charm obliviated?
On one hand, one would think that messing even more with Hermione's mind should be a no-no. On the other hand, we're pretty sure it's a false memory, and it seems grossly unfair for her to have to remember attempting to commit a murder that she didn't truly attempt.
Second question: Regardless of what Hermione should do, will she so decide it?
Third question: If she doesn't so decide, will some helpful other person override said choice for her sake and obliviate her anyway?
There are probably laws against busting people out of Azkaban too.
There are so many ways for Harry to get money - I hope the debt doesn't become a major plot point. If there are downsides to the debt in terms of obligations to Lucius, Harry should just get the money and be done with it.
If the Supreme Mugwump doesn't want Harry to be indebted to Lucius, shouldn't he be able to call in a few favors and have it paid off tomorrow? There's the general blood debt to Harry. The general goodwill to Harry. The desire by others not to have the Boy Who Lived in debt to Malfoy.
There should be enough people in the Wizarding world w... (read more)
Early '90s. That'd be a JANET connection, which was an academic network. I expect AOL or Compuserve might be possible. We're talking about the mists of prehistory here, i.e. before 1995. Heck, it was even before the National Lottery was operating in the UK (that started 1994). The stock market would be playable, if he had a suitable adult to front for him.
No, how he makes serious money in the muggle world in 1991 Britain may require actual research.
Pretty closely, I think; we have
I'll see your credential challenge and raise you the inevitable creation of immortal boredom.
re-reading chapter 76 made me realise the prophecy could not be about Voldemort at all :
Let's look at this prophecy in detail :
"The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches,"
Vanquish, as Snape said, is a strange word to describe a baby accidentally toasting Voldemort, especially since we have evidence that this might not be what really happened. "Dark Lord" is used by EY quite loosely, and not as something specifically relating to Voldemort. Indeed, Dumbledore seems to worry that he could be this Dark Lord. Now, if we ste... (read more)
It looks like the pair of you are having trouble communicating. Would you like to:
Almost all the possible consequences of Quirrell's plot with Hermione might have helped Quirrellmort somehow:
Thoughts on the whole "guess the solution" situation from last chapter.
When I first reached the end of the chapter and the "You have 5 days to find the solution" bit, for some frantic moments I was worried that Eliezer would let get Hermione go to Azkaban if we weren't sufficiently clever to find the solution. It seemed rather unlikely, because we didn't seem to be so very near the end of the whole of HPMOR (and surely Hermione's effective killing would have major repercussions).. but I had already known about the similar situation in T... (read more)
"Squib" is a nonmagical child of magical parents, at least in canon. MoR seems to be using it as a genetic marker, which I'm honestly not sure is compatible with canon.
(Now that I think about it, if Harry's genetic theory is correct, doesn't a squib child of a wizarding couple imply that Mom was getting some on the side?)