All of aladner's Comments + Replies

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 15, chapter 84

I'm pretty sure it was meant for Dumbledore. If it was meant for Hermione it could have just fire-ported to her.

1chaosmosis9yIt's done similar things before. It called her to the bullies (probably) without her seeing it.
Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 14, chapter 82

"It comes due when you graduate Hogwarts," the old wizard said from high above.

It looks to me like they don't have quite enough time for Hermione to get a job as an investment banker. Of course, he still has plenty of options if the arbitrage trick doesn't work.

5disinter9yThe present debate is not how he can fulfill his obligation. They are arguing specifically if Harry made a justified investment by paying such a high price to save Hermione's life. It seems conclusive that the pure monetary investment is actually sound, he can directly gain the money he invested back at a decent rate even besides the additional benefits of rescuing her.
Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 13, chapter 81

I'd say trying to have a 12 year old girl tortured to death is a better example of villainous behavior. I also don't see much evidence of Lucius doing any of this to help Harrymort. It seems more like a desperate attempt to sabotage him out of fear and anger.

0cultureulterior9yAgreed. However, very few people are villains in their own minds. And You Fool! has classically been a narrative tag for villains for over a century.
Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 13, chapter 81

I agree that her being afraid of Harry isn't something I would expect, but her comments make me think she isn't taking the situation seriously.

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 13, chapter 81

"Enough, Mr. Potter," said Professor McGonagall. "We shall be late for afternoon Transfiguration as it is. And do come back here, you're still terrifying that poor Dementor." She turned to the Aurors. "Mr. Kleiner, if you would!"

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

... (read more)
0dspeyer9yA possibility is that she thinks very fast* and realizes that Harry ought to move away from the dementor (since it is effecting him some) but that it must be done in a way that makes Harry look strong, not weak. Showing that Harry has no problem standing undefended next to a dementor but walked away out of pity reinforces his strength nicely. *= fast may actually mean that Dumbledore went back and gave her carefully edited information so she could make plans in advance
3bogdanb9yOr, she’s the head of Gryffindor, and she felt the need to at least appear to put up a brave front in support of her students.
6erratio9yOr, you know, relief + dry sense of humour = exactly that kind of reaction as a coping mechanism. I am reminded of why I prefer British comedy to American - in American comedies everyone tends to be very obvious and melodramatic, while in British the tendency is more towards understated and deadpan. McGonagall's reaction fits perfectly into the latter category, trivialising the entire situation rather than mugging for the audience. (Not that some of the humour in the earlier chapters hasn't been overblown melodrama. Harry's parents leaving the room to have hysterics stands out as the most obvious example)
3Normal_Anomaly9yOr, in addition to everyone else's reasons, she's already working hard to maintain a calm demeanor for the sake of Hermione and Harry.

McGonagall is House Head of Gryffindor.

She is just that unflappable.

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.

0MartinB9yOr she already knew.
[anonymous]9y16

Or, she's simply ceased to be surprised at the extent of Harry's abilities outpacing her expectations of them.

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 12

You're right, I had completely forgotten about clearing Hermione. The first two options I listed could still be used to pay back the debt if the rules surrounding it are too ridiculous, though. This is, of course, simply an extension of his other money-making schemes or a possible source of starting capital.

2SkyDK9yMy only problem with the two listed options is that they both require him to renege on important political capital. I'd rather go for some arbitraging then (perhaps with time-turn earned lottery start-up capital). If smartly done he'd find the number of some lottery tickets, #5 or #6; buy said tickets and get the memory removed of why and how he did it. ... In general a time turner should make the whole money-making part easier than what's worth thinking about.
Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 12

If it had worked, the results would have been more favorable. However, it seems much less likely to have worked.

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 12

Of course now there is the matter of paying back the debt. He has several more options than he did before. He could cash in a few more of his imperious-debts (which are each apparently worth 10,000 galleons and a pureblood girl). He could raise an army of dementors as his mob and have wealthy purebloods pay for "protection" (highly unlikely, but his dark side might consider it). Or he could simply conquer magical Britain before he graduates and disregard the debt.

Harry has already figured out quite a few solutions to the monetary problem. The long run (and cheap solution) would be to apply himself and his side to the clearing of Hermione's name. That wouldn't just earn him a 100.000 galleons it would also improve Hermione's political standing, leave Malfoy's (and to a certain extent Dumbledore's) reputation in its currently weakened state plus strengthen his argument against the political structure of Magical Britain. Not to mention he can do all this WHILE having starting his money-making schemes. Though we might ... (read more)

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 12

Indeed. I knew this chapter would be entertaining, but I didn't think it would be that good.

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 12

That was my impression as well. This means that Harry could order the dementor to do pretty much anything. All he'd really have to do is demonstrate that he can command them and he'd open up several options. Of course, all of this depends on Harry knowing that the dementors aren't controlled only by the expectations of those around them.

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 11

If he could change part of the testimony to something demonstrably false, that no one else in the room knew at the time, he could prove that her mind had been compromised. Actually changing the memory would be a problem, and it doesn't seem like a likely solution to me, but it's still possible.

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 11

I'm thinking that Harry is about to try to either command or destroy the dementor. To do either, he'd have to leave his dark side, so I'm not sure how successful he'll be. I'm close to certain that the Eliezer put the dementor there for a reason, and that the reason probably wasn't so that Harry could say, "dementors are bad" again.

6gwern9yIt could be there to highlight the moral bankruptcy of the Wizengamot and also mislead the readers into searching for a stereotypically heroic solution (vanquish the monster and rescue the fair-complexioned maiden!) when cleverness is called for.
Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 10

I'm thinking that Harry is about to try to either command or destroy the dementor. To do either, he'd have to leave his dark side, so I'm not sure how successful he'll be. I'm close to certain that the Eliezer put the dementor there for a reason, and that the reason probably wasn't so that Harry could say, "dementors are bad" again.

[This comment is no longer endorsed by its author]Reply
Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 10

Yes, but the magic that was used to acquire that particular cloak was capable of blinding/destroying dementors, so it should be possible to get that magic back out using the newly revealed rule of potions.

3Locke9yI'm not so sure obtaining an object is the same as creating it. Using Accio on a potion-ingredient will not allow you to make a summoning Potion.
Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 10

I guess Harry's got another reason to destroy more dementors. Also, I suspect the cloaks will have more than one use. Dragons blood apparently has twelve uses, after all.

1pedanterrific9yUm. It's not like Dementors come with cloaks, you know. If cloaks-that-have-been-worn-by-Dementors were really valuable potions ingredients, there's lots of easier ways to get them than by destroying Dementors. The Aurors manage to get the things to put them on in the first place, after all.
Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 10

I'd imagine that would be determined by the other ingredients and stirring patterns. It could also be used to make someone invisible to dementors, immune to the effects of dementors, temporarily unkillable, give off their own dementor-like aura, or just look like a dementor. Depending on what the other rules are, that cloak could be very valuable.

3ajuc9yTesting which potion we got by such and such stirring pattern would be fun. You give it to your hero and he is instantly dead. Or you give it to some criminal sentenced to death/Azkaban and he becomes unkillable for a month, or invisible to Dementors :) Or you give it to rat and nothing happens - you try to kill the rat and he's killed - maybe that was potion that makes you invisible to dementors?
Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 10

On the topic of potion invention, what ever happened to the cloak from the dementor Harry killed? Based on the rules of potions given so far, that could probably make a nice Potion of the True Patronus™.

1tadrinth9yI think you would need a remnant of the destroyed dementor itself, not just a cloak a dementor happened to be wearing when you killed it, and I don't think dementors leave anything behind when you kill them.
0Psy-Kosh9yEither Dumbledore or Quirrel took it, or it's long since locked away in the Department of Mysteries. But yeah, as JoshuaZ points out, just as easily could be a Potion-of-Death. (Or heck, "potion-of-anthropomorphic-personification")
6JoshuaZ9yOr a potion of instant death if it instead stored the decay effect from the dementor.