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

post by Gondolinian · 2015-02-25T21:00:51.464Z · score: 4 (5 votes) · LW · GW · Legacy · 290 comments

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

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

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

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Eliezer Yudkowsky which is not supposed to be publicly available (which includes public statements by Eliezer that have been retracted).

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

290 comments

Comments sorted by top scores.

comment by CronoDAS · 2015-02-26T06:00:38.737Z · score: 29 (29 votes) · LW · GW

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

comment by TobyBartels · 2015-02-26T21:38:06.419Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

It's not just you.

comment by WalterL · 2015-02-27T16:36:25.428Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Eh, the important thing is his respawn network. That's what makes him the Dark Lord. He's built a pyramid of atrocity, cut a swathe through the people of the land, turning their individual contributions to the world into Extra Lives sitting in his reserve.

Buffing any particular avatar is nice, I guess, but the Troll/Unicorn bells and whistles are not useful to a wizard who expects to fight. Wizards fight with the killing curse. Troll/Unicorn/Broomstickbone Voldemort isn't any more terrible than a Voldemort who hides inside some anonymous wizard and murders his enemies by surprise, returning swiftly when killed in another disguised body.

comment by Gondolinian · 2015-02-27T19:11:18.161Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Buffing any particular avatar is nice, I guess, but the Troll/Unicorn bells and whistles are not useful to a wizard who expects to fight. Wizards fight with the killing curse.

True, but being hit with AK isn't the only thing that can disembody him. Other magical attacks, dangerous magical creatures, muggle attacks, magical or mundane accidents, etc., would not be a threat to him with Hermione's new protections. Being disembodied would be a serious setback for his current plans, and would leave his horcruxes vulnerable until he could find a new host, so I think it's reasonable to want to take precautions against stupid little unexpected things that could cause that.

comment by westward · 2015-02-26T07:51:51.430Z · score: 24 (24 votes) · LW · GW

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

comment by Jost · 2015-02-26T10:50:17.548Z · score: 19 (19 votes) · LW · GW

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

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

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

comment by Luke_A_Somers · 2015-02-26T16:09:11.088Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

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

comment by dxu · 2015-02-26T06:15:03.150Z · score: 17 (17 votes) · LW · GW

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

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

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

And then we get to plot, and that's where I start having some real problems. I wish that we'd gotten to see the Mirror of Erised prior to the chapter where it became really important. I wish we'd been introduced to the spell that Dumbledore uses prior to the chapter where he kills himself with it. There are a number of things that happen first and are explained after the fact, or that are explained only moments before they've happened. (And unfortunately, in a serial you can't go back and change these things if you realize that you needed to foreshadow them a few chapters back.) So yes, I agree that there are some issues with how information is given out to the audience. Most of it must be transparency illusion, which can be difficult for an author to deal with - it's clear in your mind what's happening, but when you put it to the page you don't realize that you're not describing it in such a way that the reader will get that too.

I do somewhat wonder whether this is the result of the author reading/writing these chapters all at once, which I would think would enhance the transparency illusion. I think we'd probably have had fewer problems with these chapters if they'd been released all at once.

Any thoughts on this?

comment by Diadem · 2015-02-26T16:29:16.361Z · score: 17 (17 votes) · LW · GW

I disagree that the writing has deteriorated.

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

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

The same with the mirror scene were Dumbledore gets defeated. Take it out, have Dumbledore never show up,and the story still continues exactly the same as it does now. Dumbledore is a side character. He needed to be got rid of, so neither Harry nor the reader would expect or hope for Dumbledore to show up at the last minute and save the day, but ultimate he's not important to the story. And Voldie getting rid of Dumbledore with relativele ease is entirely expected anyway. He is established as being much stronger.

Anyway, bottomline: I really like the story so far. Elizier is doing a terrific job of driving home just how utterly screwed Harry is. How completely outplayed and outgunned he is.

I'm really looking forward to the resolution. I have no idea what it is going to be, but I fully expect it to be glorious. I do know it won't be Harry casting "Problemsolvius" or someone showing up casting "Savethedayius". I know this because Elizier went to great length to crush that expectation at every possible avenue.

Of course, my disappointment if I am mistaken and the final solution does some completely unexpected deus ex machina, shall be big indeed.

And for the record: My prediction is still that Voldemort shall not be dead by the end of the story. I give that 80%. Up to a few chapters ago my theory was that Voldemort wanted to team up with Harry to permanently get rid of death, but that seems increasingly less likely.

comment by kilobug · 2015-02-27T17:24:18.530Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

It's not so much the lack of foreshadowing that bothers me with Dumbledore, but how stupid Dumbledore seems in that chapter.

First, he didn't even wonder if Quirrel wasn't possessed/imperiused by Voldemort, even after the Hogwarts security system identified the killer of Hermione to be Quirrel ?

Second, he actually voice that he was stupid, what does he gain in doing so ?

Third, how could he think he can defeat Voldemort with the "frozen time" spell when Voldemort is aware of that spell ? Voldemort has a horcrux network, he can just kill himself. The only hope would have been to use the "frozen time" by surprise.

And finally, he faces Voldemort without even bringing Fawkes with him ? Whyyyy ? If he had Fawkes, he would largely have had the time to teleport Harry to safety while Harry was saying his heroic "I was stupid don't save me".

The way Dumbledore acts in this chapter and the ease with which he's defeated feels very artificial. Especially considering Dumbledore, who will not as smart as Quirrelmort, is still supposed to be near his level.

comment by dxu · 2015-02-28T23:28:56.595Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

First, he didn't even wonder if Quirrel wasn't possessed/imperiused by Voldemort, even after the Hogwarts security system identified the killer of Hermione to be Quirrel ?

There was a healthy portion of HPMoR's readerbase that wasn't convinced that Quirrell was Voldemort, and unlike the readers, Dumbledore hasn't read canon. I don't really think you can take this as evidence for Dumbledore's stupidity.

Second, he actually voice that he was stupid, what does he gain in doing so ?

Nothing, but from his perspective, it's not like he would lose anything, either, and he was frustrated. People often vent aloud when frustrated.

Third, how could he think he can defeat Voldemort with the "frozen time" spell when Voldemort is aware of that spell ? Voldemort has a horcrux network, he can just kill himself. The only hope would have been to use the "frozen time" by surprise.

I imagine the Mirror would have trapped his soul in it if he had killed himself, or prevent the Horcrux network from coming into play by other means; else Quirrell would definitely have thought of it, and likely so would have Dumbledore.

And finally, he faces Voldemort without even bringing Fawkes with him ? Whyyyy ? If he had Fawkes, he would largely have had the time to teleport Harry to safety while Harry was saying his heroic "I was stupid don't save me".

According to Quirrell, the process cannot be stopped after being set in motion, and this probably also applies to removing people from the process (at least without exotic artifacts like the True Cloak of Invisibility). It's uncertain, then, whether bringing Fawkes would have accomplished anything, and on top of that, we don't actually know where Fawkes is; it's very possible that he's off somewhere else accomplishing some vitally important task Dumbledore set for him.

comment by Velorien · 2015-02-26T19:51:08.242Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

I would interpret "you could take the following things out and it would make no difference" as criticism of the writing, not as praise. If a piece of information adds complexity without adding proportional value, it shouldn't be in there to begin with.

(this is a comment on your critique rather than on the quality of recent HPMOR chapters, which I am still undecided on)

comment by Diadem · 2015-02-26T21:24:51.840Z · score: 10 (10 votes) · LW · GW

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

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

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

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

It's perfectly fine for a scene like that to have no foreshadowing. It doesn't need foreshadowing. Nobody sane will think: "Harry totally would have won without that plot twist!".

I'd also like to point out that unexpected things were kind of expected to happen. We already knew Voldemort was playing a vastly more complex game than just "I want to grab power" or "I want to kill Harry". And we also already knew that there were unknown traps guardian the stone.

comment by solipsist · 2015-02-27T10:25:02.765Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

On the lack of foreshadowing for the "Riddle can't kill Riddle" curse, there was enough stuff around for me to generate a similar hypothesis last year (admittedly with prompting).

The great-grandparent comment did make me consider unbreakable vows as a theory of what happened on Halloween. E.g. to prevent one of his Horcruxes from later killing him, Voldemort made an unbreakable vow not to magically interact with his alter egos (this causing Harry's sense of Doom around Quirrell). Doesn't seem necessary, though.

comment by Strilanc · 2015-02-26T18:02:52.523Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Dumbledore is a side character. He needed to be got rid of, so neither Harry nor the reader would expect or hope for Dumbledore to show up at the last minute and save the day

There's technically six more hours of story time for a time-turned Dumbledore to show up, before going on to get trapped. He does mention that he's in two places during the mirror scene.

Dumbledore has previously stated that trying to fake situations goes terribly wrong, so there could be some interesting play with that concept and him being trapped by the mirror.

comment by [deleted] · 2015-02-27T11:27:38.305Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

Mirro!Dumbledore appears to not be time-turned: 110 was edited so that Dumbledore says:

"I am there," Albus Dumbledore said, "and also inside the Mirror, unfortunately for you. I have always been here, all along."

That doesn't sound like he just spun back - it sounds like there might be more than one Dumbledore running around.

comment by William_Quixote · 2015-02-26T17:07:05.070Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I agree with you about the writing but I have a nearly opposite prediction.

I notice that in all the Harry talking to himself or reflecting quietly chapters he allways thinks something along the lines of "there seems to be almost no limit in what you could accomplish with magic if you really understood it". Several times his mind circles around the becomus godus spell and considers some avenue and decides it wouldn't work for some reason or another. In each case after thinking that his mind goes off on some other tangent.

So my prediction is that Harry has his situation get worse and worse until he can do nothing but think about how to et out of it. And while thinking and being forced not to divert his mind to other matters he will review clues that were allready available to us (had we been paying closer attention) and by reviewing the right facts in the right order he will deduce something about how magic works. That deduction will allow him to cast some absurdly powerful spell that solves his problems.

comment by gjm · 2015-02-26T17:45:57.332Z · score: 10 (10 votes) · LW · GW

I remark that

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

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

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

comment by Val · 2015-02-26T21:55:33.640Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

What if he didn't just sacrifice the whole of his magic, but the whole of entire magic?

Wow, a "get rid of magic and turn everyone into a muggle" spell would be actually worse than death to Voldemort. Just image having Voldemort living out his last few decades of life as a Muggle.

This makes me think about death being the worst fear of Voldemort. I guess being turned into a muggle and dying decades after that, would be much more fearful to him.

comment by avichapman · 2015-02-26T21:51:29.824Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

You may be on to something. Merlin created his Interdict with exactly that sacrifice.

comment by gjm · 2015-02-27T01:14:13.801Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

One further remark on that last paragraph. "A potion spends that which is invested in the creation of its ingredients". What counts as creation? Ultimately, pretty much everything on earth is made of the remnants of supernovas...

comment by fezziwig · 2015-02-27T02:26:25.502Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I think that must be the role of the stirring and heating requirements: to control which aspects of the thing's creation, and how much of them, are infused into the potion. There may well be a way to call forth solar fusion from common iron. But of course we know that no one has ever done it.

comment by Vaniver · 2015-02-26T17:09:20.188Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I'm really looking forward to the resolution. I have no idea what it is going to be, but I fully expect it to be glorious. I do know it won't be Harry casting "Problemsolvius" or someone showing up casting "Savethedayius". I know this because Elizier went to great length to crush that expectation at every possible avenue.

So, maybe Harry uses partial transfiguration to kill all the Death Eaters. This still does nothing to solve the Voldemort Problem. And so it seems most likely that the Voldemort Problem is not the actual problem of the fic. As others have linked, Voldemort proposed a long time ago that he would duel Harry and "lose," and then Harry is established as the eventual philosopher-king of Britain. Maybe, decades from now, Harry manages to stop Voldemort; but probably not.

comment by gjm · 2015-02-26T17:38:53.528Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

The most salient alternative actual problem is the Death Problem. It seems like if Harry manages to solve the Death Problem then the Voldemort Problem may get a lot less important (though whether it does probably depends on exactly how he solves the Death Problem).

comment by WalterL · 2015-02-27T16:37:36.540Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

"Anyway, bottomline: I really like the story so far"

I'm with you. Chapter 108 is my favorite in the story, explains so much.

comment by dxu · 2015-02-27T01:45:14.196Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

This... is actually a really good point. As I stated in my original comment, I am also a member of the group that doesn't think the quality of HPMoR has been decreasing, but until I read your comment, it was just a vague gut feeling of "What are you talking about? It's still good!" that I couldn't quite put into words (at least, not in a way that made sense). Thank you for articulating that so well!

comment by cousin_it · 2015-02-26T12:36:37.201Z · score: 17 (17 votes) · LW · GW

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

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

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

comment by dxu · 2015-02-26T19:24:56.458Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

If you want a really good plot, the obvious solution is to make one up yourself :-)

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

comment by buybuydandavis · 2015-02-26T07:44:19.491Z · score: 9 (9 votes) · LW · GW

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

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

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

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

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

comment by Astazha · 2015-02-26T14:08:16.789Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

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

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

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

comment by SilentCal · 2015-02-26T22:49:11.975Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

I should add the disclaimer that by nature I'm an apologist for pretty much any fiction I read, and HPMOR is quite haloed for me on top of that.

That said, I thought that having several chapters of exposition where Harry gets to ask all the questions he's been wondering, followed by a whirlwind of utter bewilderment as Quirrell pulls a warren from the woodwork, was a successful demonstration of the challenge of "The enemy is smart."

comment by MarkusRamikin · 2015-02-26T07:29:16.960Z · score: 6 (8 votes) · LW · GW

There are a number of things that happen first and are explained after the fact, or that are explained only moments before they've happened

Yeah, I thought that too. Makes it a bit harder to maintain illusion and forget that this is all really happening on the author's say-so.

Also I disagree about not being able to go back and improve, if there happens to be room for it. Who gives a damn if it's a serial. There will be new readers in the future.

Fourth wall stuff always annoyed me, not just in recent chapters, all the pointless inserts and references, all the winking at the audience. "Akemi Homura and her lost love", really? For some reason lots of readers seem to love this stuff, however, so I don't know what to say. Except that the best works of literature tend to not do that.

comment by William_Quixote · 2015-02-26T13:18:54.210Z · score: 20 (22 votes) · LW · GW

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

comment by Nornagest · 2015-02-26T22:00:32.219Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

And then there's all the callbacks to those. Here's a few lines of Keats I read recently:

...but to that second circle of sad Hell

Where in the gust, the whirl-wind, and the flaw

Of hail-stones, lovers need not tell

Their sorrows; pale were the lips I saw

Pale were the lips I kissed, and fair the form

I floated with, about that melancholy storm.

For those keeping score at home, that's Keats alluding to Dante alluding to a famous and semi-legendary Italian love affair. And the Bible, of course. Earlier in the same poem, Keats throws in a lot of references to Greek myth too.

comment by alienist · 2015-02-27T04:22:38.443Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Of course Keats isn't alluding to contemporary literature, but to works that have lasted long enough that one can be confident their popularity isn't limited to a particular moment.

comment by Nornagest · 2015-02-27T04:29:59.676Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

In that instance, yes; but these are the Romantics we're talking about. They referenced each other all the time.

Pop culture references are not a new thing. They just stop being pop after a certain amount of time passes.

comment by MarkusRamikin · 2015-02-28T09:29:03.973Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I know very little anime, actually. I could be missing something, I haven't read Joyce, but all the best novels I'm familiar with - whether it's something like the Great Gatsby or Dune - don't seem to do this.

Are we talking about the same thing? I am not talking about meaningful allusions and indirect references, or borrowing from myth and exotic cultures, or re-tellings of the same story for a different effect. I am talking about this kind of blunt, literal, fourth-wall-breaking namedropping of things that have no business being in your story.

Let me give examples of what I do and do not find problematic. For instance, HPMoR's references to Tolkien are fine. They make sense. What is really being mentioned are the works of Tolkien, we're not asked to believe that Legolas was part of magical Britain's history. Of course the works of Tolkien would exist in HPMoR's reality, and Muggleborn children could cause Dumbledore to be familiar with them. I loved that bit where Dumbledore speaks about all the copies of LotR he'd been gifted, and part of the reason I loved it was how much sense it made in retrospect.

On the other hand, we have Mornelithe Falconsbane - a fantasy character - mentioned next to Hitler as an important historical figure. This is a pointless, throwaway insert in its purest form, an author being 'clever'. It exists only for the sake of itself, it adds nothing to the story - take it out and nothing is missing, it's never mentioned again nor did it affect anything. All it does is break the fourth wall.

Seems to me that it's a lose-lose thing to do. To those who aren't familiar with the Valdemar books, it means nothing, so it's useless. To those who are, it's immersion-breaking. Even in the depths of my happy death spiral back when I first discovered HPMoR and blazed through it in near-pure joy, I found that stuff jarring.

comment by TobyBartels · 2015-02-26T21:40:51.051Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Your last name alludes to another excellent example … so much so that I had to check that you didn't just create it for the sake of this comment!

comment by MarkusRamikin · 2015-02-26T16:43:58.875Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Could be. I'm not that into anime, really, but I admit I haven't read the books you listed - though I like to read, my respect for "literary canon" has been dead since high school, so my knowledge of it is patchy - so I'll concede the possibility.

But the best books I am familiar with tend to be a great deal more subtle about it. Of the top of my head, I don't remember that stuff in Crime and Punishment, or Lord of the Rings, or Solaris, or Pharaoh, or the Great Gatsby, or The Trilogy... and of course I'm not talking about allusions, meaningful hints and figure-it-out references, I'm talking about peppering your work with literal namedropping, of the kind that breaks the fourth wall and only seems to be there for the sake of itself.

Immersion matters.

comment by alienist · 2015-02-27T04:20:51.067Z · score: -9 (13 votes) · LW · GW

Joyce does it non stop in Ulyesses. Most of the works of Vladimir Nabokov do it very heavily. As does Pynchon.

Your argument would be more convincing if you had managed to actual provide some good literature, as opposed to pompous garbage, as examples.

comment by westward · 2015-02-26T07:50:38.494Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I feel bad for whoever voices QQ in the hpmor podcast. Chapter 108 is going to be a lot of exposition. Much of it should have been cut and/or moved to the narrator.

comment by Astazha · 2015-02-26T13:42:38.592Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

The creator, Eneasz Brodski, does the narration as well as the voices of Harry and Quirrell.

comment by ChristianKl · 2015-02-26T09:24:24.239Z · score: -1 (9 votes) · LW · GW

And unfortunately, in a serial you can't go back and change these things if you realize that you needed to foreshadow them a few chapters back.

I don't think that's how Eliezer treats it. The reference to the centaur forecasting that giving Petunia the beauty portion will end the world, that's in the first chapter wasn't there at the start but was added later.

comment by Eliezer Yudkowsky (Eliezer_Yudkowsky) · 2015-02-26T23:50:58.607Z · score: 12 (12 votes) · LW · GW

It was there on day 1.

comment by TobyBartels · 2015-03-01T08:14:25.057Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Bad example, then, but you have changed things. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.)

comment by Astazha · 2015-02-26T14:41:52.002Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I can appreciate the need to do this, but at the same time it makes me wonder if my memory of previous chapters accurately reflects their actual content. I rely largely on the podcast for my review, so I am only as updated as it is.

comment by ChristianKl · 2015-02-26T14:55:04.610Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

If I remember right the podcast didn't contain the reference to the centaur in chapter 1.

comment by Astazha · 2015-02-26T18:36:59.557Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

That's in there.

comment by Izeinwinter · 2015-02-26T04:45:26.896Z · score: 13 (13 votes) · LW · GW

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

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

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

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

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

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

comment by WalterL · 2015-02-27T16:46:35.255Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Adding to this theory, what does Dumbledore mean when he says he's in the mirror AND at Flamel's mirror? Just a Time Turner use, or is Dumbledore still in play?

comment by 27chaos · 2015-02-27T00:14:15.832Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Wow, I certainly hope you're right. I love the ideas you've mentioned as possible traps.

comment by skeptical_lurker · 2015-02-26T10:16:47.464Z · score: 12 (12 votes) · LW · GW

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

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

comment by solipsist · 2015-02-26T02:42:49.808Z · score: 12 (12 votes) · LW · GW

They have the instructions

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

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

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

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

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

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

With the bones of an ancestor (Potter, Slytherin heir, or Peverell), unknowingly bequeathed, they will have the final ingredient.

Prediction: Harry will die, and Hermione will resurrect him

(previous discussion)

comment by Astazha · 2015-02-26T03:11:29.374Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

The blood bit seems a little shaky, but I like this.

comment by solipsist · 2015-02-26T13:26:19.377Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Counters to this hypothesis: Harry knows the procedure is safe because of Parseltongue. Hermione does not, and it would be hard for Harry to communicate that information to her if he were dead.

comment by jimrandomh · 2015-02-25T21:29:58.749Z · score: 12 (12 votes) · LW · GW

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

comment by WalterL · 2015-02-26T02:36:13.877Z · score: 13 (13 votes) · LW · GW

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

comment by Velorien · 2015-02-25T21:56:55.698Z · score: 8 (8 votes) · LW · GW

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

comment by TobyBartels · 2015-02-26T20:25:11.464Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

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

comment by jimrandomh · 2015-02-26T05:32:36.195Z · score: 11 (11 votes) · LW · GW

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

(black robes, falling)

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

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

comment by avichapman · 2015-02-26T22:30:29.558Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I agree. A carbon nanotube metres long and whipped around fast. And Hermione screaming, "Harry!!!"

comment by noahpocalypse · 2015-02-27T21:41:07.558Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Such a thin chain of carbon nanotubes like that would have almost no mass, ergo no force. It'd be like if you could make a string perfectly rigid and then you hit something with it.

comment by Astazha · 2015-02-27T00:46:32.418Z · score: 10 (10 votes) · LW · GW

Ch. 108

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

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

Ch. 112

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

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

Is everyone else making this interpretation?

comment by gwern · 2015-02-27T01:38:22.548Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Apparently I need to read more closely. I assumed that was Quirrel's arm, emaciated from undereating and the possession-sickness.

comment by WalterL · 2015-02-27T16:44:10.594Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I think he had Bellatrix murder Flamel for a distraction.

comment by Astazha · 2015-02-27T20:13:01.317Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I though this initially as well, but I'm not so sure. Bellatrix is not very powerful anymore after the dementors ate most of her magic. Flamel is a pretty serious target. It could have been some other Death Eater, or someone else entirely.

comment by drethelin · 2015-02-27T23:05:38.974Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I think that's a temporary state, given some time to recover she can be effective again.

comment by solipsist · 2015-02-27T09:37:36.300Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

That was my interpretation.

comment by TsviBT · 2015-02-27T04:09:14.877Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

This is persuasive, but... why the heck would Voldemort go the trouble of breaking into Azkaban instead of grabbing Snape or something?

comment by arundelo · 2015-02-27T12:30:44.830Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

In Chapter 61 Dumbledore says:

"[...] But his second avenue is nearly as strong: The flesh of his servant, willingly given; the blood of his foe, forcibly taken; and the bone of his ancestor, unknowingly bequeathed. Voldemort is a perfectionist -" Albus glanced at Severus, who nodded agreement, "- and he would certainly seek the most powerful combination: the flesh of Bellatrix Black, the blood of Harry Potter, and the bone of his father. [...]"

comment by TsviBT · 2015-02-27T12:42:48.044Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Right, this is a stronger interpretation.

comment by Astazha · 2015-02-27T14:03:46.090Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Reduce, re-use, recycle.

comment by Astazha · 2015-02-27T14:06:31.700Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

VM said he broke into Azkaban to find out where his wand was; there's also the flesh of the servant thing. Using her Dark Mark is a secondary benefit.

comment by avichapman · 2015-02-27T02:55:50.507Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I see it also. I believe that broke her out as a backup plan in case his attempt to get the stone failed. He could then always grab a peice of Bellatrix and a peice of an enemy (Harry? Someone else?) and come back that way.

comment by LauralH · 2015-02-27T00:56:59.451Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Yours isn't the first I've seen guessing that ; it makes more sense than it being any OTHER Death Eater's arm.

comment by Astazha · 2015-02-25T23:20:40.411Z · score: 10 (14 votes) · LW · GW

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

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

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

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

We would play the game against each other forever, keeping our lives interesting amid a world of fools. I knew a dramatist would predict that the two of us would end by destroying each other; but I pondered long upon it, and decided that both of us would simply decline to play out the drama. That was my decision and I was confident that it would remain so; both Tom Riddles, I thought, would be too intelligent to truly go down that road.

Voldemort would defect in a heartbeat, and he knows it. He has precluded this possiblity, precluded it so strongly that killing Harry or even willing him killed is either impossible to him or would mean his own death.

Note the instructions he gave to his Death Eaters are non-lethal, and varied, and multiplied by dozens of them. He is taking extraordinary non-lethal precautions. He is taking extraordinary measures to resurrect Hermione to prevent a living Harry from destroying the stars. Voldemort is doing this because he wants desperately to not die, and the more obvious option of just killing the idiot-child of foretold destruction is not available to him.

comment by MathMage · 2015-02-25T23:47:31.683Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Not that I think you reason wrongly, but...

comment by Astazha · 2015-02-25T23:52:57.512Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

And I could be wrong, of course, but if I am I have no idea why Harry is alive.

comment by westward · 2015-02-26T06:40:06.049Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Because V. is afraid of prophecies?

comment by Astazha · 2015-02-26T13:52:44.082Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

We have seen him to be afraid of this one. We've seen him express intent to stop that destiny at every point of intervention. Killing Harry is a really obvious and seemingly certain point of intervention.

"All thiss, all I have done, iss to ssmassh that desstiny at every point of intervention. If ssome fate makess me fail in what comess next, idiot-child of foretold desstruction, then you musst kill yoursself to ssave girl-child. Elsse all you claim to value diess by your own hand."

He certainly seems to think that Harry's death would solve the problem, and he's willing enough to have Harry kill himself, but not willing to kill Harry. Why?

comment by TobyBartels · 2015-02-26T20:50:01.361Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I really don't think that he should be allowed to lie in Parseltongue. But fooling himself, that he can do.

comment by lfghjkl · 2015-02-26T20:34:07.340Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

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

Without the second part any clone of Voldemort exploiting a bug in magic to negate the first would have a huge advantage over all the others. Given the whimsical nature of magic in this story such a bug is highly likely to exist. Voldemort is smart enough to both realize that and know that at least one clone of his would eventually find it. His only correct move is then having to find the bug first, thus wasting his time and negating the point of the curse in the first place.

comment by [deleted] · 2015-02-28T14:15:29.183Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

There was a sequence on decision theory and value of information, which I sadly read but not internalized. Can someone who did please calculate what it's worth for Voldemort (and Dumbledore) to keep ambiguity unresolved as a preventive measure?

comment by Val · 2015-02-26T17:32:45.448Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

It is highly improbable that he is lying.

I would guess Harry is more valuable to him alive at the moment than dead (and is incapable of harming him at the moment), and that's all.

comment by Astazha · 2015-02-26T18:45:05.760Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I just can't think of anything more valuable to Voldemort than his own continued existence. I assume from this that killing Harry is either not an option or that Voldemort does not believe that killing Harry will save his own life.

comment by Val · 2015-02-26T19:39:22.110Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

That's true, but if someone is no longer a threat and is more valuable to him alive than dead, then why kill him? Using this logic he would kill everyone he meets.

comment by gjm · 2015-02-26T21:21:29.935Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Everyone he meets who is the apparent subject of not one but two prophecies that gravely threaten Voldemort's continued existence. I think that's a little less than everyone.

comment by [deleted] · 2015-02-26T09:01:54.162Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Maybe when Salazar cursed his line (?!..) there were conditions, since having his descendants not plot against each other should come second to 'not annihilate each other'.

And somewhere here we will hear more about Ravenclaw being sister to Slytherin:)

comment by [deleted] · 2015-02-26T05:02:50.144Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Another possibility is that there's a separate curse. Broken curse completely prevents a Riddle from trying to kill a Riddle, second curse imposes consequences. Maybe if one Riddle kills another Riddle, all the Riddles die -- that would explain why Quirrellmort hasn't killed Harrymort. All he says in Parseltongue is that Q may kill H any time Q wishes; there's nothing that says that Q killing H would have consequences bad enough that Q won't.

I don't know if there's any evidence for this, but it is a possibility that explains why Q hasn't killed H and doesn't require lying in Parseltongue. (If there's a second curse, could that be behind the resonance? Do we know what causes the resonance?)

Another possibility that fits is that prophecies are not to be messed with in that manner.

comment by Astazha · 2015-02-26T13:55:30.306Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

It could indeed be that he isn't actually lying in parseltongue, as you suggest. I think I've come out too strong on that point. But the threat to kill Harry is a bluff. Voldemort has some really compelling reason to not kill Harry.

comment by [deleted] · 2015-02-26T23:51:38.863Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Right, he's not lying. Inability to lie in Parseltongue has been established clearly enough that it would be very odd for it to be broken now. Also, in between two Parseltongue statements, he says in English, "Still a fool. If no further matters remained between us, I would already have killed you." Why would he switch from Parseltongue to English and back to Parseltongue?

Now, let's look at what exactly he says.

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

"But you tried to end my true life jusst then, sstupid child." Harry tried to kill Quirrell. This is accurate.

"Now cursse iss lifted..." -- there was, at one point, a curse. This curse, at the time Quirrell is speaking, has been lifted, and no longer holds. What curse? It's not specified. Is he telling the truth about the details of the curse? He didn't say it in Parseltongue. Did the Riddle curse exist? It was only introduced in this chapter, and as far as I know, it wasn't foreshadowed at all. Maybe it did, maybe it didn't. But there was some curse that held at one time and no longer holds.

"...and I may kill you any time I wissh." -- he didn't say "as a result of the curse's lifting", and he didn't say he's willing to kill him. He just said that it is technically possible.

It could have to do with the bargain from earlier: "I do not intend to raisse my hand or magic againsst you in future, sso long ass you do not raisse your hand or magic againsst me."

comment by Astazha · 2015-02-27T04:12:05.030Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Why would he switch from Parseltongue to English and back to Parseltongue?

If Voldemort can lie in Parseltongue, then it's a ruse to conceal that fact. This has the dual effect of causing Harry to accept the literal truth of what VM says in Parseltongue without question, as well as persuading Harry to not even attempt to tell any direct lies to VM in Parseltongue. Those are both strong advantages manufactured from thin air, and VM is clever enough to spin such a deception.

And "snakes can't lie", really? That's a pretty odd inversion of colloquialisms like "speaking with a forked tongue." Ssuddenly I feel like ssomeone is trying to ssell me a bridge.

Inability to lie in Parseltongue has been established clearly enough that it would be very odd for it to be broken now.

Has it? Harry performed one simple test at a time when Voldemort expected that test to be performed, and we don't know that the results weren't influenced by other magic. We haven't seen it tested with occlumency. We certainly haven't seen it tested by a perfect occlumens. Even if we had seen those results it wouldn't be conclusive about what the most powerful wizard alive, who also knows the secrets of Salazar, is capable of.

I think for meta reasons that I'm probably wrong, but based only on in-world evidence I don't see any reason at all to take Voldemort's word that Parseltongue is a language of truth.

comment by ChristianKl · 2015-02-25T23:38:18.186Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

He might be able to kill Harry for value of the kill!parseltongue but the Horcrux network would keep Harry alive.

comment by Phigment · 2015-02-25T21:24:57.162Z · score: 10 (10 votes) · LW · GW

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

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

comment by Ander · 2015-02-25T21:38:35.157Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

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

comment by Phigment · 2015-02-25T22:02:54.079Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Wise sort of went on vacation when Harry elected to oppose the invincible dark lord instead of volunteering to be his most favored flunky.

Voldemort is capable of making stupid mistakes; he admitted that with his whole discussion of being trapped for years without a body. But he doesn't make stupid mistakes very frequently. So, if you believe he's making a stupid mistake, you should try to take advantage, because you may not see another one.

comment by Ander · 2015-02-25T22:38:17.193Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Yes, that makes sense. It seems Harry shouldve been much less confident that Voldemort was making a mistake, but he was very rushed.

comment by see · 2015-02-27T22:04:51.710Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Regardless of the probability of Voldemort making a stupid mistake, Voldemort was apparently casting the Killing Curse on Hermione, which would be an independent reason to shoot him.

comment by westward · 2015-02-26T06:46:02.981Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Harry had a better choice: "Shoot the hostage"

Either fatally or a good wounding in the leg.

Harry'd already committed that his life was a worthy sacrifice to foil V's plans. Clearly V. felt Harry should be alive for some reason. Ergo, Harry's death would have hurt his plans. Stopped entirely? Maybe, maybe not.

A leg wound, preventing him from walking, requiring his own wand to heal or some machinations on V's part to find some non-magical interaction way to heal/move Harry would have also done nicely.

comment by Jost · 2015-02-26T14:15:23.699Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

A leg wound, preventing him from walking, requiring his own wand to heal or some machinations on V's part to find some non-magical interaction way to heal/move Harry would have also done nicely.

To what end? He already has his wand back at that point, so this would merely be a slight inconvenience to V (but a great inconvenience to himself).

Also, for what it’s worth, Harry still has the Healing Pack (which he bought in chapter 7) in his pouch, right? So there’s a way to heal him without any magical interaction between V and H; even if H doesn’t know the appropriate healing spells.

comment by ChristianKl · 2015-02-25T22:00:45.006Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Any opportunity to defeat Voldemort at this stage is going to be sudden and short-duration.

Not necessarily. Voldemort did say that he reanimated Hermione for Harry. Simply going along with the plan might be the best option. That would also mean to ask Voldemort about keeping Harry alive. Harry problem is that he can't lose and settle for something less than total victory.

comment by WalterL · 2015-02-26T02:37:02.677Z · score: 9 (9 votes) · LW · GW

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

comment by skeptical_lurker · 2015-02-25T21:43:03.543Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Even if Volde really was hamming it up that badly as to shout that he was mortal again, he would presumably have shields up which would stop bullets.

comment by Velorien · 2015-02-25T21:58:23.512Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

“What?” said Minerva. She had heard of guns, of course, but they weren’t that dangerous to an experienced witch—

comment by skeptical_lurker · 2015-02-25T22:07:18.458Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Exactly. I believe the authors notes or some other comment EY made say that bombs might be effective though. RPG rounds, maybe?

Or transfigured bullets which cannot be blocked due to resonance.

comment by Phigment · 2015-02-25T21:57:17.987Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Harry has literally been watching the current body Voldemort is inhabiting for the entire time that body has existed. He has seen every spell cast while Voldemort has been using it.

Either Voldemort has not raised shields (which he typically did not do as Quirrell) or he's capable of casting shielding spells which Harry cannot detect either the casting or ongoing effects of even in the midst of extended close observation. And if it's the latter, we're back to "in order to have a shot at beating someone, you have to assume he's theoretically beatable and act accordingly".

On the gripping hand, I'd more expect his new, permanently-transfigured body to just be naturally bulletproof, rather than conventionally shielded. But it's not helpful to believe he's actually thought of everything.

comment by Astazha · 2015-02-26T02:23:00.427Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Shields are useless against Harry's magic because of the resonance. The earthbending trick was nice, though.

comment by skeptical_lurker · 2015-02-25T22:13:56.246Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I seem to remember that in Azkaban his shields were invisible.

comment by Phigment · 2015-02-25T22:59:41.605Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I don't recall invisible shields, but it's certainly plausible.

We've also seen him just flatly stop curse bolts in midair and then flick them away, without apparent shielding or obvious effort. He's got defense options like Smaug has gold coins.

If killing him was easy, someone would have done it before. Even though he had horcruxes, it's telling that he never actually had to respawn from one until he tried juggling dynamite and blew his own self up.

comment by Astazha · 2015-02-26T02:28:13.269Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

"Fire at her on my count!" shouted the leading voice. "One, two, three! " and maybe-forty voices roared spells, creating a huge concentric array of fiery bolts that lit the wide corridor brighter than the Sun -

for the short moment before the bolts struck and vanished upon a dark red octagon that appeared in the air around the girls, and then disappeared a moment later.

Hermione saw it, she saw it but she still couldn't imagine it; she couldn't imagine a Shielding Charm that powerful, a spell that would withstand an army.

From Ch. 74. It's not clear to me whether the shield was invisible until struck or if he put it up very quickly and silently.

We've also seen him just flatly stop curse bolts in midair and then flick them away, without apparent shielding or obvious effort. He's got defense options like Smaug has gold coins.

If killing him was easy, someone would have done it before. Even though he had horcruxes, it's telling that he never actually had to respawn from one until he tried juggling dynamite and blew his own self up.

This.

comment by fubarobfusco · 2015-02-26T05:09:50.064Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

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

comment by Scott Alexander (Yvain) · 2015-02-25T21:44:40.553Z · score: 9 (9 votes) · LW · GW

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

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

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

comment by SilentCal · 2015-02-25T22:06:23.583Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

It's a form of prophecy-aversion that's pretty orthogonal to the various forms of destroying Harry. The mechanisms of prophecy are still an unknown for Voldemort, and it seems potentially consistent with how magic works that all attempts to neutralize Harry are doomed to fail but redeeming him with friendship can work.

...or he's setting up his next chess match, either as an explicit goal or as a subconscious desire influencing his prophecy-aversion plans.

comment by gattsuru · 2015-02-25T22:48:35.593Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Before Harry shot at him, Voldemort was cursed to be unable to threaten Harry's immortality, and given the several times he's found himself getting wrong answers to questions previously, I don't think he was certain Harry would have betrayed him even with such a convenient que. So that covers anything that happens before Harry fires the gun.

After that point... I think he's trying to cover his bases. That he set up such a ploy to enable him to kill Harry means that he's likely at least going to try. But that's not the only Winning move, and it's a Winning move that prevents other Winning moves from being attempted.

"There are plots that must succeed, where you keep the core idea as simple as possible and take every precaution." "All thiss, all I have done, iss to ssmassh that desstiny at every point of intervention."

This is one of those plots. "Keep Harry Potter from destroying universe" does not allow duct tape, WD-40, and lesser wishes to attempt a do-over. Killing Harry is probably the most effective way to keep that from happening, if you can do it. The last time Vold tried to subvert or redirect a Prophecy by destroying most of a person involved, things went so badly he spent most of a decade as a howling disembodied spirit. It's not been explicitly stated that Prophecies act like Time Turners (aka DO NOT MESS WITH TIME/NO), but it's pretty strongly implied to result in something like Mage's Paradox or Continuum's Frag. Resurrecting Hermoine and giving aid to Harry Potter was something that had to be done before any Death Eaters were summoned and arrived, and was about the only such thing, and was disjoint enough from people directly related to the Prophecy as to be unlikely to result in Paradox/Frag.

Vold knows Harry's best friend as a pillar of restrictions. Even if we know her to be a threat to his plans, Vold knows that her death triggered Harry's transformation into The One Who Tears Stars and that this is more dangerous than even an immortal Hermoine.

((I think he forgot some of the matters he said earlier, though. The Parsletongue curse will probably strike soon since he promised neither he nor his would seek to ever harm Hermoine. I'm genuinely surprised that cutting curse here didn't already cause something horrible to happen to him.))

comment by linkhyrule5 · 2015-02-25T22:52:51.229Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

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

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

comment by Shaedys · 2015-02-25T22:01:45.421Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Because Voldermort expects the prophecy to become a reality if all the conditions it states are met, e.g. hermione dying. It doesn't matter how he tries to thwart Harry, as long as Hermione dies the prophecy will be fulfilled and Harry wil end the world. He believes this strongly because he's tried it before himself and there is plenty of lore of it happening before.

comment by calef · 2015-02-25T21:54:36.535Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Perhaps because this might all be happening within the mirror, thus realizing both Harry!Riddle's and Voldy!Riddle's CEVs simultaneously.

comment by wobster109 · 2015-02-26T04:42:52.226Z · score: 8 (8 votes) · LW · GW

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

Chapter 73

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

Chapter 30

"Let me guess," Harry said, the sickness already churning in his stomach. He really hated losing. "It was a very easy battle, right? They dropped like flies?" "Yes," Draco said. "We got them all on the first shot -"

comment by Kindly · 2015-02-26T05:01:33.978Z · score: 14 (14 votes) · LW · GW

We do get

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

And later:

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

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

comment by JenniferRM · 2015-02-27T10:36:51.013Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

Two factors keep revolving in my head.

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

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

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

The stars aren't sacred. They are fuel and construction material. Tearing them apart (under controlled conditions) and using them for productive purposes is totally part of how the future will go if humans make it off of this planet and start acting like a proper post-scarcity civilization from science fiction.

Presumably "he who tears the stars" is Riddle2/Harry/GoodVoldemort, but whoever does it presumably has a reason.

Many chapters ago my leading theory was that Hermione was close to information theoretically dead (brain ischemia being a significant problem within relatively short time periods and her body had hours before Harry got to it), and her body could be brought back animated by a plausible reconstruction of her mind built from external third party evidence sources... but this could produce a sad simulacrum or a high quality person depending on details.

Hermione not having woken up yet leaves the "sad simulacrum" option in play still :-/

Under this model, Harry could have had a long term plan to do the reconstruction very well, by using star sized computers that use every atom on the earth as part of the evidence base. There are lots of other reasons for doing something along these lines, like all the other minds that it might be possible to reconstruct and re-instantiate by the same method, which would flow with the anti-deathist themes.

I'm not strongly committed to this precise theory, because magic appears to make conservation of energy violations possible, and might allow effectively infinite computations to occur without using the stars to power them.

But still there are magical conservation laws it appears, as with "Dark" sacrifice costs and potion making. Given that Harry might be able to partially transfigure spacetime itself via an insight based on Julian Barbour's "timeless physics", it seems like he might be in a position to sacrifice and manipulate all kinds of things in clever ways and thereby not have to literally use hydrogen for fuel like a savage muggle... but it might still end up doing something to the stars?

One latent possibility that occurred to me is that Riddle2/Harry/GoodVoldemort might end up being "killed" and have the horcrux system work a bit weird and so that Harry ends up on the voyager probe... which he might have more luck controlling than Voldemort did during his first period stuck there. I think Harry might end up dead dead if he was discorporated, because he was created by Horcrux V1.0, and the Horcrux V2.0 network might only save Riddle1 rather than just saving any and all Riddle copies... but it seems like there is play in what might happen based on the evidence we've seen?

If Harry ends up on the Voyager probe, it puts him quite a bit closer to "the stars". It gives him time to think and "spaceship priming" might suggest an incredible array of options... Like transfiguring non-critical pieces of the probe into anti-matter or nukes, and using them to power exotic spaceship drives.

This particular scenario seems low probability (because Harry needs his wand to do transfigurations still and probably won't have that on the probe) but it shows how Harry already has crazily powerful science oriented options if he aims at short term profit taking instead of playing along with his student role and trying to level up in all the areas of magic that powerful wizards are expected to work on through years of school in order to become well rounded.

Of course, there's the 37 dark wizards aiming wands at Harry at the cliffhanger ending. I'm not sure how that will work out, but probably Riddle1 has some plans :-)

comment by CronoDAS · 2015-02-26T22:34:09.578Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

Silly idea:

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

comment by Astazha · 2015-02-27T00:18:37.892Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

And Voldemort is going to be so paternally proud he won't even get pissed off about it.

comment by CronoDAS · 2015-02-27T23:17:03.319Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I was implying that Voldemort was going to be killing them himself...

comment by SilentCal · 2015-02-25T23:51:06.635Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

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

Is there a reason Voldemort wants a priori incantatem?

comment by Jost · 2015-02-26T00:27:33.472Z · score: 25 (25 votes) · LW · GW

Quirrell, chapter 65:

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

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

The End.

comment by Velorien · 2015-02-26T19:59:19.281Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

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

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

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

comment by ChristianKl · 2015-02-26T20:07:27.936Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

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

Do you really want to throw a killing spell when the last person who threw a killing spell died?

It will start with some of the Death Eaters simply apparating away, because they don't want to be part of the mess. The last ones who remain have a choice to offer Harry their allegiance.

comment by Velorien · 2015-02-26T20:19:43.100Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Do you really want to throw a killing spell when the last person who threw a killing spell died?

Even if the Death Eaters would normally be too stupid to switch to their other lethal hexes (not guaranteed - Lucius, at least, has a respectable measure of intelligence), just now they've been instructed to apply a significant variety of countermeasures if Harry does anything. This greatly increases the probability of at least one of them thinking outside the extremely narrow AK box.

The last ones who remain have a choice to offer Harry their allegiance.

That's still of limited use from a social capital perspective. Harry will have a devil of a time getting the remaining Light champions to align behind him if his first public recruits are Death Eaters. (and if they're not public recruits, then the whole "spread the word" element fails and there's no reason for the public to believe that Voldemort came back and was defeated again)

comment by roystgnr · 2015-02-26T16:24:32.841Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

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

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

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

comment by TobyBartels · 2015-02-26T20:52:54.310Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Upvoted for random aside.

comment by Jost · 2015-02-28T20:20:45.684Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Seems like this theory got jossed in chapter 113 …

comment by Ishaan · 2015-02-26T04:09:56.115Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

That's what I thought as well, but giving Harry access to power presumably doesn't help avert the whole tearing the universe apart prophecy thing...which is what makes this so confusing

comment by TobyBartels · 2015-02-26T20:51:14.855Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Hermione is intended to avert that.

comment by l2718 · 2015-02-26T04:25:21.661Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

This.

You beat me to posting this quote.

Riddle Sr. doesn't care to rule magical Britain, and will use this to rid himself of his Voldemort persona. Eventually he can reap the fruit of whatever magical research Harry!Riddle Jr. does, as well as have interesting challenges with him. I'm highly confident he doesn't want to restart the wizarding war (which he couldn't make challenging for himself no matter how hard he tried).

Pure speculation: similar to cannon, Harry will survive Voldemort killing him by coming back from Limbo (possibly the Riddle Horcrux Network).

comment by Normal_Anomaly · 2015-02-27T13:35:52.533Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

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

comment by kilobug · 2015-02-27T17:17:08.873Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

The two things I see more likely to get Harry out of his trap is partial transfiguration (which Quirrelmort doesn't know about) and Hermione, yes.

comment by Astazha · 2015-02-27T20:09:54.670Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I would not assume that Voldemort doesn't know about it. He watched Harry do it during the temper tantrum in the woods just before the centaur attack, and there was also the Azkaban escape. Quirrel would not have missed that such a hole should be beyond a first year's magic, and Harry straight up told him that it was something that would ID Harry. Azkaban alone would not have been enough to tell him what exactly had been done, though he might guess, but it would certainly prime him to be paying close attention when Harry started silently slicing a bunch of trees in half.

Ch. 58:

A brief and terrible magic lashed out from the Defense Professor's wand, scouring the hole in the wall, scarring the huge chunk of metal that lay in the room's midst; as Harry had requested, saying that the method he'd used might identify him.

Ch. 72:

The Severing Charm wouldn't bring down a tree, so he'd started partially Transfiguring cross-sections through the wood. It hadn't let out what was inside him, bringing down a small circle of trees hadn't made him feel any better...

"Well," the man in the black cloak said thoughtfully, "you needed to fly into a rage and have a loud tantrum in the Forbidden Forest in the middle of the night, and I needed to go just outside your ability to detect me and keep watch.

comment by jkaufman · 2015-02-26T19:57:17.893Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

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

comment by [deleted] · 2015-02-26T20:39:44.683Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

There was a novel by A&B Strugatsky, Monday starts on Saturday, which has this subplot (vaguely), and deals with an Institute of magic, and the protagonist is a programmer:)) set in 60-s - 70-s and with a pinch of propaganda. Translated into English, though i don't know how good.

Maybe you'd find it amusing, if at least for naivete.

comment by DanArmak · 2015-02-25T21:58:08.652Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

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

comment by Vaniver · 2015-02-25T22:22:12.016Z · score: 11 (11 votes) · LW · GW

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

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

comment by [deleted] · 2015-02-26T21:01:04.734Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Ah well, if we are in the mirror, then the real we, the we with abominable terminal values and recurring stupidity, at least get one hell of a kick out of life.

Sounds... bad enough

comment by Astazha · 2015-02-28T12:55:38.654Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

EY could fairly express that frustration at unexpected and seemingly inconsistent reader reactions whether we're in the mirror or not. 111 was less believable than 110 to me, so I see where he's coming from there. But whether we're in the mirror is a question of what level the author is playing us at, and it's a separate thing from this. That comment isn't a Word of God about whether we're in the mirror. Those chapters were both written to signal that we were in the mirror. I don't know if that's a true hint or a deception, but EY can be surprised by the differential reactions regardless. That doesn't seem to be evidence either way.

comment by Scott Alexander (Yvain) · 2015-02-26T20:48:19.110Z · score: 10 (10 votes) · LW · GW

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

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

comment by 27chaos · 2015-02-27T00:13:27.311Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

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

comment by Gondolinian · 2015-02-25T22:22:12.296Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

WHY WHY WHY

WHY YOU QUESTION 110 AND NOT 111

THERE ARE NO RULES

NO RULES

To be fair, we only had 2.5 hours to question 111, while we had nearly a whole day to question 110.

comment by Vaniver · 2015-02-25T22:28:16.046Z · score: 6 (8 votes) · LW · GW

A summary of the reaction, in two points:

  1. But wait, you're focusing just on the wrong reactions, people reacted both ways to both chapters!
  2. But this is normal human nature; people are rooting for Dumbledore and against Voldemort, and so disbelieve an anvil being dropped on Dumbledore and cheer when an anvil is dropped on Voldemort.
comment by Astazha · 2015-02-26T00:07:03.123Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I believed 110, and then when 111 came out I was like "No, 110 and 111 are both mirror bullshit; there's no way it's a coincidence that they both get resounding, total victories after being reflected in the mirror." Aaaaand I'm wrong. EY keeps me guessing.

comment by solipsist · 2015-02-26T01:22:18.880Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Me too. I did not doubt chapter 110 was veridical until chapter 111 ate my suspension of disbelief.

comment by ctintera · 2015-02-25T21:36:29.366Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

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

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

comment by tim · 2015-02-28T07:36:26.171Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

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

Harry believes this because

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

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

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

Of course Harry thinks he can beat Veritaserum due to his Occlumency training but this has never been put to the test and, even if it is the case, it has been established that there are things in the magical world that can be used to unilaterally manipulate a person's ability to lie.

comment by Vaniver · 2015-02-25T23:11:08.787Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

So, the next chapter.

  1. Voldemort has some continued use for Harry. It could be personal (chess?), political (Light Lord?), magical (not sure?), theatrical (and now, my minions, I destroy the Boy Who Lived!), or some combination thereof.
  2. For many of those uses, it makes sense to tell the Death Eaters to not harm Harry, while also demonstrating his dominance over Harry, since the Death Eaters run on dominance.
  3. Harry has been repeatedly shown that Voldemort is better than he is at this game, and he won't have a chance for decades, and that his meddling routinely makes things worse (both Voldemort's plan around Hermione and Dumbledore's plan around Voldemort were ruined by his meddling). He could go quietly, or he could continue trying to win. As a piece of literature, I think I expect Harry to try to win; even when he can't come up with good plans / his mind refuses to think of things, he still goes with things that are mistakes rather than do nothing. As a piece of pedagogy, I'm not sure which to expect: persistence is a virtue, but so is not being a damn fool about it.
comment by linkhyrule5 · 2015-02-25T23:18:50.241Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

To be fair to Harry, neither of those are good examples - Voldemort's plan also had Hermione in Azkaban thinking she had murdered Draco Malfoy for two weeks, which would have had... unpleasant effects on her mental health, and there's a pretty sharp limit to how much you can count "going along with a hostage situation at gunpoint" as "meddling." A mistake, yes, intentional meddling, no.

comment by Vaniver · 2015-02-26T00:04:04.912Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

which would have had... unpleasant effects on her mental health

I'm not saying that the alternative was good--just that the alternative was better.

there's a pretty sharp limit to how much you can count "going along with a hostage situation at gunpoint" as "meddling."

I am considering primarily the earlier mistakes Harry made with respect to Quirrell.

comment by linkhyrule5 · 2015-02-26T00:18:23.910Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Was it?

I really don't think the alternative was better than the canonical "Harry gets her out of there at a reasonably low cost considering all the myriad ways he has of making tons of money".

I mean, given that his opponent turned out to be Quirrell, maybe, but otherwise...

Which earlier mistakes were these?

comment by Vaniver · 2015-02-26T02:49:01.894Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Which earlier mistakes were these?

The chief of them is the one that Harry realizes:

The part that was numb with grief and guilt took this opportunity to observe, speaking of obliviousness, that after events at Hogwarts had turned serious, they really really really REALLY should have reconsidered the decision made on First Thursday, at the behest of Professor McGonagall, not to tell Dumbledore about the sense of doom that Harry got around Professor Quirrell. It was true that Harry hadn't been sure who to trust, there was a long stretch where it had seemed plausible that Dumbledore was the bad guy and Professor Quirrell the heroic opposition, but...

Dumbledore would have realised.

comment by ChristianKl · 2015-02-26T09:50:28.202Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I think Dumbledore did realize the fact that the Defense Professor is Voldemort, so that's no consequential error on Harry's part.

comment by Jost · 2015-02-26T10:33:49.740Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Did he? The beginning of chapter 110 seems to suggest otherwise:

Dumbledore's grimness had returned and redoubled. "There I am, searching so hard for Voldemort's shade, never noticing that the Defense Professor of Hogwarts is a sickly, half-dead victim possessed by a spirit far more powerful than himself. I would call it senility, if so many others had not missed it as well."

comment by ChristianKl · 2015-02-26T10:55:42.807Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

That's sarcasm.

comment by Jost · 2015-02-26T13:55:22.921Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

That precise wording might carry sarcastic undertones. However, the bewilderment right before that seemed (and still seems, on second reading) genuine to me:

The grimness on Albus Dumbledore's face lasted only an instant before giving way to bewilderment. "Quirinus? What -"

And then there was a pause.

"Well," said Albus Dumbledore. "I do feel stupid."

comment by Velorien · 2015-02-26T20:09:50.813Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

It's also an eerie echo of Lucius Malfoy:

There was a long pause, then. The grey eyes searched him. “Of course...” said Lucius slowly. “I do feel the fool now. This whole time you were just pretending to have no idea what we were talking about.”

comment by linkhyrule5 · 2015-02-25T21:16:16.276Z · score: 3 (5 votes) · LW · GW

... So. That was a thing.

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

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

comment by Vladimir_Nesov · 2015-02-25T23:00:16.096Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

"Remember that, in casse something goess wrong with next movess." might be referring to this: if the plan to permanently incapacitate Harry is somehow unsuccessful, he's to have the instructions for keeping Hermione around.

comment by Gondolinian · 2015-02-25T21:35:17.679Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I think Voldemort wants to actually kill Harry last, after he's already meticulously taken apart the prophecy in as many ways as he can think of, in case Harry's death sets something off. In the meantime, he wants to limit Harry's influence on the world as much as possible, by not allowing him to move or speak.

comment by b_sen · 2015-02-25T21:13:12.690Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

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

comment by MathMage · 2015-02-25T21:14:52.035Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

And someone did figure it out; congrats to SilentCal.

EDIT: On the other hand, as Reddit is eager to point out, the curse Riddle invoked on his doubles was not exactly foreseeable.

comment by SilentCal · 2015-02-25T23:21:34.436Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

I was going on the Parseltongue-promise from ch. 105:

I do not intend to raisse my hand or magic againsst you in future, sso long ass you do not raisse your hand or magic againsst me.

I had taken this to mean Voldemort had precommitted to not killing Harry without tricking him first.

comment by MathMage · 2015-02-25T23:42:05.034Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Yes--I prefer your version to what happened.

comment by [deleted] · 2015-02-25T21:07:02.624Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

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

comment by Izeinwinter · 2015-02-26T15:48:11.842Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

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

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

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

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

Let me explain: As long as the prophecy is in play, only Harry can defeat the dark lord. And that is not going to work against Voldemort. An 11 year old, no matter how resourceful and clever is just not going to come out on top of that fight. But just as the prophecy could have been about Neville as well as Harry, there is also more than one dark lord it could be about. The story pointed this out earlier.

So the prophecy is no longer in effect. Voldemort can be defeated by anyone with the firepower and a counter for the horcruxes.

And Dumbledore, the order of the pheonix, and everyone else he could bring in on it have crowdsourced a smackdown, which is about to land.

Most of this smackdown is in the form of longterm plots that are about to bear fruit.

From the top: Dumbledore knew who Quirrel and Harry were, from day one. Each and every single piece of information given to Harry was relayed in the expectation that Voldemort would hear it.

Dumble, Flamel, et all made a fake true cloak of invisibility. The point of this being to provide misinformation about what the mark of the deadly hallows looks like. I don't know what the "stone of resurrection" actually is, but I think Voldy will not like what it does, not one tiny bit. At a guess, it is for mapping out the magical "net" and find the darn things?

The people who just apparated in: Not death eaters. They're masked and cloaked minions. That's such a cliche it's actually painful to contemplate.

Voldemorts use of the stone to raise the dead is not the first time it has been used to do that. The rite he intended to use is not original to him, it is an old piece of lore, and it is an old piece of lore Flamel told the order of the phoenix about. This means "Flamel" has been able to raise anyone who still had foes and servants living and known graves of ancestors.

So it isn't new. Not widely used, but not new. Note that this isn't a good rite for defeating death in general, simply because most people dont have the first two at all. But it is a very effective way to ditch an identity for any of her collaborators who are in it for the long haul. Which means a lot of very powerful, supposedly deceased wizards and witches owe her. And he just tried to have her killed. (May even have succeeded. If so, she's probably already back up and wanting her stone back before anything expires.)

That is what the hour's delay in Snapes room was about - it was to take all the deatheaters into custody, and gather people up for a seriously onesided bout. The reason this ends in "liters of blood" is that the plan is to drain Voldemort dry so that they can raise as many of his victims as possible.

Oh, and Dumbledore didn't have unique access to divination, beyond a season pass to the hall of prophecies. That would make the plot unsolvable, because we can't reason a-causally.

comment by jkaufman · 2015-02-26T20:11:17.713Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

How does the fake Cloak hide you from the Mirror?

comment by Velorien · 2015-02-26T20:35:37.483Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

A couple of problems:

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

Everything we've seen of Dumbledore shows him to be a man who thinks in stories. I can't see him fulfilling a prophecy by cheating, especially given that he's already lost a friend due to a failed attempt to mess with time. (plus it would raise the question of why he's spent the whole story telling everyone that Voldemort is Harry's fated foe)

For that matter, that is a hard prophecy to make apply to Harry and some new dark lord. What other candidates do we have for the "him" of "born to those who have thrice defied him"?

I don't know what the "stone of resurrection" actually is, but I think Voldy will not like what it does, not one tiny bit.

The only way Voldemort would know that the Stone of Resurrection grants him free-floating ghost powers is by testing it out, since no one has ever been able to use it in that fashion before. We must assume that he's tested it, and whatever else it does, it really does possess that devastatingly powerful function. How and why would Dumbledore and co. fake that?

comment by Benquo · 2015-02-26T22:16:37.424Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

I don't think Dumbledore thinks it's cheating:

The old wizard glanced at her, and his voice caught as he said, "Minerva, you have known me long, and as well as any soul still living - tell me, have I lost myself to darkness already?"

"What?" said Professor McGonagall in genuine surprise. Then, "Oh, Albus, no!"

The old wizard's lips pressed together tightly before he spoke. "For the greater good. I have sacrificed so many, for the greater good. Today I almost condemned Hermione Granger to Azkaban for the greater good. And I find myself - today, I found myself - beginning to resent the innocence that is no longer mine -" The old wizard's voice halted. "Evil done in the name of good. Evil done in the name of evil. Which is worse?"

"You are being silly, Albus."

The old wizard glanced at her again, before turning his eyes back to their way. "Tell me, Minerva - did you pause to weigh the consequences, before you told Miss Granger how to bind herself to the Potter family?"

She took an involuntary breath as she understood what she had done -

"So you did not." Albus's eyes were saddened. "No, Minerva, you must not apologize. It is well. For what you have seen of me this day - if your first loyalty is now to Harry Potter, and not to me, then that is right and proper." She opened her lips to protest, but Albus went on before she could say a word. "Indeed - indeed - that will be necessary and more than necessary, if the Dark Lord that Harry must defeat to come into his power is not Voldemort after all -"

"Not this again!" Minerva said. "Albus, it was You-Know-Who, not you, who marked Harry as his equal. There is no possible way that the prophecy could be talking about you!"

The old wizard nodded, but his eyes still seemed distant, fixed only on the road ahead.

comment by Izeinwinter · 2015-02-26T22:25:04.948Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

He is the hogwarts headmaster. I figure they defied him in that capacity quite sufficiently. Heck, possibly even in his capacity as head honcho of the Ootp

The theory is that the prophecy was always about him - or at least that it was always a possible read on it, in the same way as Neville could have been the prophecied child. That is why it was spoken in his presence, not in Voldemorts. It isn't cheating, it is settling the open question. And well, he told people it was about Voldemort because letting it be known that you suspect you are a dark lord with prophecies about you is not very politically helpful.

Because it doesn't let him actually possess people? Being permanently intangible and voiceless makes him rather less of a threat. Or the darn thing is a monstrously powerhungry magic sink and his tests have used up dozens and dozens of horcruxes.. if it's a trap, there is a lot of things it could be doing.

And the mirror is easy, it can be programmed to let people go who believe themselves safe from it, regardless of if they are.

Heck, it occurs to me that they could be the true artefacts, just cursed - the point is that Voldemort was told about them quite deliberately, and so his use of them cannot possibly be to his benefit.

comment by LauralH · 2015-02-27T01:02:38.916Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

The prophecy was only heard by Severus and Minerva.

comment by Velorien · 2015-02-26T20:37:32.310Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Assuming a fake Cloak, I suppose Flamel could have programmed the Mirror with contingencies to trigger on "anyone wearing the Fake Cloak of Invisibility", rather than on "anyone reflected in the Mirror" as we originally expected.

Edit: Actually, that might not work for the same reason that putting mayonnaise on a hamster might not work: the fake Cloak isn't inherent to the target, and so the Mirror doesn't care about it.

comment by skeptical_lurker · 2015-02-26T10:35:09.396Z · score: 2 (6 votes) · LW · GW

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

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

While a gun can't hurt a shielded wizard, the shielding only has so much strength. Bring in the Muggle army with overwhelming numbers, heavy weapons, helicopter gunships and so forth. Wizards have access to apperation, dissilusionment etc which might still allow them to win against a pure muggle army, but a combine force of Muggles and Wizards would also have access to anti-apperation jinxes and so forth.

Admittedly, this ends centuries of secrecy. Therefore, the second option she has is to go to the Wizard UN or whatever their equivalent is, and explain that without reinforcements she will be forced to go to the Muggles for help.

comment by ChristianKl · 2015-02-26T11:16:53.915Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

HPMOR isn't centrally about having a battle. It's a tale that teaches concepts of rationality. I don't see how the story that you propose would help with that goal.

I'm also not sure how a Muggle army would help against Voldemorts 100+ horcrux protection. He can apparate around and constantly make new horcruxes. There's nothing for a Muggle army to attack.

Admittedly, this ends centuries of secrecy. Therefore, the second option she has is to go to the Wizard UN or whatever their equivalent is, and explain that without reinforcements she will be forced to go to the Muggles for help.

I think the secrecy is likely backed by a bunch of curses that aren't easily broken.

comment by skeptical_lurker · 2015-02-26T11:26:14.965Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Well, it might teach a rationality concept that you don't always have to personally be the hero and its ok to ask for help. But as I said, I'm not saying this is how I think the story will end, nor how it should end, just that this would be a possibility if it was real.

He can apparate around and constantly make new horcruxes.

This is true, but whatever happens a way has to be found to deal with this problem, and having an army would buy time. Its also possible that once Voldie has fallen, feeding his wand to the dementors would work.

I think the secrecy is likely backed by a bunch of curses that aren't easily broken.

In canon I got the impression that the enforcement was conducted by the ministry of magic, rather than by ancient curses dating back to Merlin. But if the curses do exist, then this would stop my plan working.

comment by Jost · 2015-02-26T14:00:31.082Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

In canon I got the impression that the enforcement was conducted by the ministry of magic, rather than by ancient curses dating back to Merlin.

You’re right. The Statute of Secrecy was created in the late 17th century and is enforced by the Ministries of Magic of the different countries.

comment by ChristianKl · 2015-02-26T11:36:04.269Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

having an army would buy time

How? I don't think it reduces the ways Voldemort can attack individual wizards by a meaningful amount.

comment by skeptical_lurker · 2015-02-26T12:16:23.567Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

If you gather wizards in defensible locations such as Hogwarts, and then defend them with an army, then yes it does.

comment by ChristianKl · 2015-02-26T13:26:12.442Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Voldemort can hide his wand at a safe place. Then he detaches from a body. As a free roaming spirit Voldemort can take over a student inside Hogwarts and transfigure solids into gas.

What's the Muggle army going to do to defend against such an attack? Helicopter gunships don't help at all.

comment by skeptical_lurker · 2015-02-26T13:45:03.394Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Gas masks?

But its not just a Muggle army, its a Muggle-Wizard alliance. The wizards counter the subtle threats, like this, while the muggles defend against a brute-force assault. Specifically, the Maurauder's map, if it can be recovered, would detect Tom Riddle, and I'd guess there would be other methods.

Also, he has stated that he doesn't want to kill students, he wants to rule them.

comment by Jost · 2015-02-26T14:07:02.448Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

The gas doesn’t have to be poisonous. It could be an explosive (or simply oxygen, which returns to its original solid form, while it is in someone’s lungs …)

Also, Voldemort is flexible about not killing people. He doesn’t want to rule over a pile of ashes, but he won’t abandon his plans just because they force him to kill someone. Even Harry abandoned the superhero morality after the first victim …

comment by skeptical_lurker · 2015-02-26T20:50:58.009Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

True enough. In the case that Voldemort decides to use some form of gas weapon, the best solution seems to be a combination of biochem warfare suits, bubble-head charms, and mass 'finite incarnum' to clear the air. This would defend against transfigured gasses in general.

comment by ChristianKl · 2015-02-26T13:53:31.136Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Also, he has stated that he doesn't want to kill students, he wants to rule them.

Yes, it's questionable that he even would want to attack Hogwarts.

while the muggles defend against a brute-force assault.

He can just transfigure a nuclear bomb and explode it near Hogwarts. Hogwarts itself might have protections but the army around likely doesn't.

comment by skeptical_lurker · 2015-02-26T20:46:37.659Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Given Quirrel's rant about Muggles destroying the world with nukes, I doubt he'd escalate the situation by using one, especially when he has so many other options.

comment by Benquo · 2015-02-26T20:32:09.965Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

"There is no headmaster to be notified if I kill you" was not said in Parseltongue, I think, so MM is presumably keyed into the Hogwarts wards at Headmaster level & may know Harry's gone missing.

UPDATE: Hmm, there may be a different reason that sentence was not said in snakespeech - namely, the "I could kill you" part.

"I could kill you this instant, for there is no longer a Headmaster of Hogwarts to be informed of it. Doubt me all you wish, but remember that."

comment by MathMage · 2015-02-26T18:20:02.430Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I am dubious that "seeking help from the Muggles" is as straightforward as you seem to think it is.

comment by skeptical_lurker · 2015-02-26T20:44:53.847Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I didn't say it would be easy, but what other option does she have?

comment by MathMage · 2015-02-27T21:16:32.215Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

At present, McGonagall has no options because she doesn't know what's going on. In order for your question "What can McGonagall do?" to even make sense, we must first postulate that Harry/Hermione get out of this situation and that one of them is able to contact McGonagall while evading control or surveillance. Even if that is resolved without obviating your reason for considering McGonagall (that Harry is in an impossible situation), it's not clear that McGonagall could:

  • Persuade enough Muggles to take her seriously

  • Anticipate Voldemort's intentions and avenues of attack

  • Explain these to the Muggles in sufficient detail that the Muggles could devise countermeasures (McGonagall certainly can't devise Muggle countermeasures for them)

  • Do all this in the time frame before Voldemort could take over magical Britain, not to mention whichever Muggles McGonagall has gone to for help

  • Avoid Voldemort while doing all of this

comment by skeptical_lurker · 2015-02-28T14:50:38.810Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

we must first postulate that Harry/Hermione get out of this situation and that one of them is able to contact McGonagall while evading control or surveillance.

Perhaps Harry could will a patronus to take an extremely small form?

Persuade enough Muggles to take her seriously

Doable, given enough time. If she is morally flexible enough, she could simply memory charm those at the top of the command chain, but... this isn't the sort of thing I'd imagine her doing.

Anticipate Voldemort's intentions and avenues of attack

This is a problem. Unless Harry explains it to her, I don't think she will understand just how bad the situation is.

Explain these to the Muggles in sufficient detail that the Muggles could devise countermeasures (McGonagall certainly can't devise Muggle countermeasures for them)

I'd seek advice from Muggleborns. But actually, in canon the muggle prime minister at least knows about the existence of wizards. I wonder if the muggles already have a (top secret) plan in place for what to do if wizards attack them?

Do all this in the time frame before Voldemort could take over magical Britain, not to mention whichever Muggles McGonagall has gone to for help

This is the big problem.

comment by jkaufman · 2015-02-26T20:08:25.717Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Can't you Imperious a few heads of state?

(Though probably not, or someone would have done it, though McGonagall may be aware of the details of the restrictions.)

comment by skeptical_lurker · 2015-02-26T20:43:51.604Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

It is of course only quite resonantly that Muggles have gained enough firepower to be a threat to shielded wizards.

It is mentioned that Grindelwald confunded Neville Chamberlain, and that the Nazis were his "muggle pawns". So I think its probable that "Imperious a few heads of state" has already happened and the result was WWII.

McGonagall would probably want to use a different method that didn't involve unforgivable curses though.

comment by ChristianKl · 2015-02-26T09:18:47.920Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

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

comment by mjr · 2015-02-26T10:11:26.599Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

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

comment by shminux · 2015-02-26T05:17:01.300Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

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

comment by MathMage · 2015-02-26T05:47:10.729Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

Therefore, LV needs him for something right now.

comment by hairyfigment · 2015-02-26T00:38:54.077Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

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

comment by MarkusRamikin · 2015-02-26T07:13:07.164Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

What makes you say that V did it?

comment by hairyfigment · 2015-02-26T19:24:47.633Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW
  1. He constantly uses Fiendfyre and once burned an inkwell to death. Also, he kills people for fun.

  2. We just saw that he has a use for the Death Eaters. This seems foreseeable, though his disappearance was apparently less so. And we know that he didn't particularly want to rule Britain; also, that he made plans for a failure that should have been impossible, connected to his disappearance (the escape clause in his curse). Narcissa's death ensured that Lucius and Draco would remain Dumbledore's enemies indefinitely. I'm not the only one to point this out.

  3. The evidence given for Dumbledore or Bones would make this a plausible deception on V's part. Now, this involves a claim I should probably re-examine: that Lucius would 'play the game' at a low level in regards to his wife's death. I could see someone disputing this. But we have to take into account general emotional distress, and a distrust of Dumbledore that predated V's appearance. I admit that the bias V described in Chapter 108 probably does not apply (at least not to the character Lucius within the story) and that lowers the probability of my theory somewhat.

  4. ETA: the Doylist reason given to suspect Dumbledore (that it would force Harry to fight him) is now looking more dubious.

comment by ChristianKl · 2015-02-26T11:25:53.214Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

That might make things more complicated for Harry because he suddenly has to start to fight a specific person.

comment by CellBioGuy · 2015-02-26T00:07:41.728Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

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

comment by Jost · 2015-02-26T00:44:12.036Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

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

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

comment by Velorien · 2015-02-26T00:56:41.724Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Voldemort refers to sacrificing one person's "life and magic" to preserve another's when describing the horcrux procedure in 108. This suggests that a muggle would not work as a sacrifice.

comment by Nornagest · 2015-02-26T00:59:13.380Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Don't think that'd work. Horcruces, or at least the 1.0 kind, seem to be related to ghosts: Quirrell mentions redirecting a 'death-pulse' to create the caster's ghost instead of the victim's. We don't have a clear idea of how that works, but since Muggles don't leave ghosts, I think it's reasonable to assume that whatever the spell's doing, it needs a magical victim to do it.

We see Voldemort making a Horcrux out of a Muggle in canon, but I don't think we've seen it here.

comment by Jost · 2015-02-26T01:23:59.862Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

In canon he used the murder of his muggle father to make the Gaunt ring (which is inset with the Resurrection Stone) a horcrux, the murder of a muggel tramp to make Slytherin’s locket into a horcrux, and the murder of an Albanian peasant to make Ravenclaw’s diadem a horcrux.

But you’re right, this makes it seem unlikely that a Muggle victim would work. (Damn, these small differences between canon and HPMoR can really confuse me …)

On the other hand, it seems possible to use up a part of one’s magic/life force to create a witch or wizard (cf. Hermione), which could then be killed to create a horcrux. So while these horcruxes aren’t free to make, at least they are not a zero-sum game, either.

comment by LauralH · 2015-02-27T01:56:12.122Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

From the description of HPMOR's horcrux spell, it won't work unless a witch/wizard is killed.

Edit: didn't see Nornagest's post.

comment by CellBioGuy · 2015-02-26T02:14:23.329Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I was thinking more along the lines of:

1 - Possess accomplice

2 - Create your body

3 - Inhabit your body

4 - Have your body killed, creating horcrux that binds to the rest of the network

5 - Repeat

6 - Profit

EDIT: I have realized one potential folly (or alternately, brilliance) of such a plan. It might mean that anyone could create their own horcrux from their own death.

Or it might mean a few people would need to die to establish the initial network but then everyone with a network could create networks for others.

comment by imuli · 2015-02-26T05:46:32.755Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Adapting the Horcrux (2.0 in HPMoR) spell to make Amulets of Life Saving was the very first thing I thought of when considering ethical immortality in HPverse.

comment by DanArmak · 2015-02-26T09:38:46.428Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

If the created human is never conscious, but always asleep, I don't see any ethical problems. Creating a sleeping body doesn't really count as creating a sentient human.

comment by TobyBartels · 2015-02-26T21:19:24.623Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

It just depends whether their dreams are good or bad.

comment by Vladimir_Nesov · 2015-02-25T23:18:35.235Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

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

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

"I decided the safest path was to try to fulfill the prophecy on my own terms," Professor Quirrell said. "Needless to say, the next time I hear a prophecy I do not like, I will tear it apart at every possible point of intervention, rather than trying to play along."

This time, the potential problem is not the spells used in the killing (where an axe would be a workaround), but the consequences of death governed by Horcrux 2.0. Problems with Voldemort's Horcrux due to some sort of interference (feint with Hermine) and also Voldemort's limited understanding due to insufficient testing were foreshadowed. A more careful plan might be to recreate the whole setup on disposable victims, together with infant copies that are grown up, and check how Horcrux 2.0 responds to the death of a copy who doesn't have a Horcrux of their own; and how it responds to a copy creating a Horcrux 2.0 of their own etc., while keeping Harry sedated somewhere in a way that wouldn't register as death.

comment by westward · 2015-02-26T07:32:40.567Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Even after re-reading the horcrux stuff a couple times, I'm still confused.

There are two types of horcuxes, v1 and v2. v1 only captures your mindstate as it was at the time of creation. v2 updates all horcruxes to the current mindstate. v1s were hidden in the canonical places (diadem, slytherian's locket, etc), v2 in the hard to reach ones (mariana trench, pioneer probe).

After 10/31/1981, Tom's mindstate bounced around the v2 horcruxes. In 1992, Quirrell found a v1 horcrux ("one of my earliest"). How does that work? How can a v1, which hasn't updated, give rise to the current Voldemort?

He wouldn't have Slytherin's monster's power, or knowledge of anything after the horcrux's creation.

Also, how are those current v2 backups handling two Toms? Which mindstate is getting backed up? Probably the QQ one, but how does V know the system even works??

And isn't it suspicious that Quirrell finds this horcrux just a few months before Harry is to attend Hogwarts?

Upon rereading 108, it's ambiguous if QMort is telling the full truth about horcruxes. His Parseltongue confirmation comes later, after his horcrux explication.

comment by fezziwig · 2015-02-26T21:12:31.772Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Don't have it in front of me, but my sense was the timeline was more nuanced. First he made some Horcruxes. Then he invented the True Horcrux, and made some of those. Then he invented the True Horcrux Hiding Place, and made about a zillion of them. Quirrel found Horcrux v2 in Hiding Place v1.

comment by TobyBartels · 2015-03-01T07:56:39.301Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

That seems to be the only thing that makes sense, but does the text say that anywhere?

comment by fezziwig · 2015-03-01T16:00:13.414Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

It does not. It doesn't quite not say it, either:

1) At 15, Voldemort creates his first Horcrux from Abagail Myrtle.

2) After he "grasp[s] the stupidity of ordinary people", Voldemort decides to invent a better ritual.

3) He spends "years" refining it in his imagination.

4) Quirrel finds one of the Horcruxes which Voldemort had hidden in the "hopeless idiocy of [his] youth"

So, is "when he grasped the stupidity of ordinary people" + "years" < "youth"? It seems unlikely. But I do not think that it is quite ruled out.

comment by LauralH · 2015-02-27T02:05:54.531Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I thought it was that ALL of the horcruxes were updated to 2.0.

comment by MarkusRamikin · 2015-02-25T21:47:44.747Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

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

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

comment by Nornagest · 2015-02-25T21:51:08.791Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Native speaker here; I think you're right. It didn't leap out at me on a first reading, but I probably would have changed it if I was copy-editing this.

comment by MathMage · 2015-02-26T00:38:53.595Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Native speaker--it's not wrong, but it is somewhat awkward. That said, the whole excerpt is redundant, so I'd be making more extensive changes than replacing "insofar as" with something else if I were editing. (Also: "He tried not to shiver in the falling night temperatures, for...it was getting colder.")

comment by [deleted] · 2015-02-25T21:52:58.894Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Native speaker here; I think it's acceptable. It gives a connotation along the lines of, "had it not been for the fact that he would die, he would have no other reason for doing X."

comment by jaime2000 · 2015-02-26T00:20:15.402Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Non-native speaker here; I agree with you. I knew what "insofar as" meant, and the statement parsed fine.

comment by TobyBartels · 2015-02-26T20:29:45.468Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Agreed, it jarred when I read it too. I would prefer ‘inasmuch’, but it's probably better to just say ‘because’.

comment by CodingHare · 2015-02-25T21:12:34.582Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

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

In useless trivia: the Death Eaters got those masks and cloaks on in a hurry. It suggests that the outfits are some sort of spell that can be quickly applied, if seconds after being summoned the Death Eaters can arrive in full regalia.

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

Seconds later the first hooded figure appeared inside the graveyard with the popping sound of an Apparition. A moment after that came another pop, and then another.

The hooded figures wore silver skull masks, and moonlight fled from the robes beneath them.

comment by linkhyrule5 · 2015-02-25T21:21:11.160Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Something about that line reminded me of a very, very old quote:

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

(black robes, falling)

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

We've got the robes and the moonlight and the context, but... Harry's naked, so that can't be Harry falling and Hermione screaming. I ... don't think Harry would scream for Voldemort at this point.

comment by Vaniver · 2015-02-25T21:15:54.805Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

It suggests that the outfits are some sort of spell that can be quickly applied, if seconds after being summoned the Death Eaters can arrive in full regalia.

This is a feature of the Mythic Dawn armor in Oblivion, and actually one of the cooler things about the game, I thought--the sleeper agents are dressed and act like normal people, and then BAM, conjured full plate.

And it's not like you would want your agents to be exposed when people rummage through their things.

comment by b_sen · 2015-02-28T19:25:49.231Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Adding to my previous prediction comment:

Predictions:

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

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

Speculations:

Lucius is in a tight spot here. He pledged the House of Malfoy against Hermione’s killer... who turns out to be Voldemort, who has now summoned him and is giving him orders. Perhaps Lucius will help Harry out? Especially since all the Death Eaters have been instructed to watch and point their wands at Harry, not each other, distracting them from any attacks coming from other Death Eaters. Costs of (assuming) unity?

Harry could use the shaping exercise + partial Transfiguration to his advantage. Even if he still can’t Transfigure air, he could Transfigure a thin line through his own body to the ground and into a small cross-section of the Death Eaters’ brains. (Having to go through his own body is why this wasn’t viable before.) All he would have to do is make that Transfigured section acid or some other convenient instakill (or insta-incapacitate if he prefers and can figure one out), use the shaping to get it in the Death Eaters’ brains first, and then stop before finishing the Transfiguration. If he can cast on Voldemort, then that’s even better because he can use the same trick on Voldemort simultaneously.

Presumably Voldemort took the Transfigured rock from Harry by only acting on the ring and using those forces to take the jewel along. That jewel may now be a 'ticking' bomb in two senses: 1) the Transfiguration will eventually wear off if not sustained or made permanent and 2) Voldemort touching the jewel directly would mean coming in contact with Harry’s magic.

When Harry uses the True Patronus to resurrect Hermione, he expends a small portion of his life and magic. Yet there is no indication that Hermione is limited to that small portion; she seems just as alive and magical as other first-year Hogwarts students. If that’s true, that implies that the True Patronus provides a positive-sum resurrection method (summing over the total pools of wizarding life and magic). IIRC all the other resurrection / immortality methods are zero-sum at best.

How long does that "spell of repose" Voldemort cast on Hermione (Chapter 111) last? If it’s worn off by now, I’d expect the gunshots and Death Eaters arriving to wake her, although she might be faking sleep (as she did in some of the army battles). It would be very nice for her to wake up soon.

Observations:

I notice that Chapter 112 has lots of moonlight and black robes, which suggests that the snippet at the start of Chapter 1 is coming up.

I notice I am confused about the heavily "storybook" nature of the last few chapters. Is Bahl’s Stupefaction (or similar) in play?

comment by b_sen · 2015-02-28T19:34:28.288Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Just thought of another speculation:

If the unicorn’s blood belonging in Hermione (Chapter 111) will keep her alive, does that mean she could sustain a True Patronus indefinitely (with the unicorn’s blood replenishing her life)?

comment by Astazha · 2015-02-28T19:51:11.967Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

The Lucius factor is really interesting to me. What will his calculus be between his son, his word to Harry, and the expected dominance of the Dark Lord Voldemort?

comment by WalterL · 2015-02-26T02:40:13.619Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

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

comment by lerjj · 2015-02-28T14:32:28.731Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I don't see why she'd win. Unless alicorn princesses are innately more powerful in the spirit world...

comment by WalterL · 2015-02-28T22:49:14.143Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

We've never seen the possessor lose. Maybe this is because Voldemort is very powerful and always wins the battle of willpower, but it might simply be that the one coming from the Horcrux wins automatically.

comment by knb · 2015-02-26T01:39:26.310Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

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

comment by Normal_Anomaly · 2015-02-27T14:00:25.925Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

From the minutes after Trelawney's interrupted "he is coming" prophecy:

"If someone's going to tear apart the Sun we're really in trouble!" That seemed rather unlikely to Harry, unless the world contained scary things which had heard of David Criswell's ideas >about star lifting.

Harry, you are the scary thing. (And I really hope Harry ends the world as we know it.)

comment by Jost · 2015-02-26T10:40:26.134Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Could the "end of the world" prophecy just mean that Harry would change the world or something?

As in “the end of the world as we know it”? Maybe.

That’s the trouble with prophecies: You only really understand them in hindsight …

comment by TobyBartels · 2015-02-26T21:33:19.199Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

That's what all historical end-of-the-world prophecies have ended up meaning.

comment by Gondolinian · 2015-02-26T01:35:11.412Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

From the top of the chapter 1 page:

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

We'd previously assumed that the primary point of departure was when Lily Evans/Potter used magic to help make her sister Petunia attractive enough to get the attention of Michael Verres, who raised HJPEV in a much better environment and gave him a much better education than canon!HP, which caused HJPEV's increased intelligence. This was even reinforced by Petunia's comment that "...Lily would tell me no, and make up the most ridiculous excuses, like the world would end if she were nice to her sister, or a centaur told her not to..."

However, it now seems that the reason for Harry's increased intelligence was that he had parts of Voldemort's mind implanted into his own when he was one year-old, presumably years after Lily helped Petunia. While HJPEV's intelligence isn't the only thing in the story, without that link I don't see how Lily's actions were the primary factor in determining HJPEV's potentially apocalyptic course of life.

Thoughts?

comment by CellBioGuy · 2015-02-26T02:23:06.263Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Could both the decision to give her the potion and the different Voldie modus operendi be caused by the same older event?

comment by TobyBartels · 2015-02-26T21:22:36.280Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

It seems likely (the one principle point of departure) but not certain (not a single point of departure). In any case, that doesn't explain the centaur's warning.

comment by DanArmak · 2015-02-25T21:26:48.039Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

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

comment by DanArmak · 2015-02-25T21:19:50.363Z · score: 1 (9 votes) · LW · GW

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

comment by Jost · 2015-02-25T21:13:19.092Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Graveyard: check.

Voldemort resurrected: check.

Death Eaters: check.

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

comment by Gondolinian · 2015-02-25T21:22:57.830Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

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

The resonance would have to be resolved somehow, unless Harry intends to sacrifice himself, which I doubt would be rational because it now seems that Voldemort's horcrux network is still functional.

comment by [deleted] · 2015-02-25T21:36:48.142Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

If the resonance was Voldemort's self-curse, it has been resolved.

comment by Gondolinian · 2015-02-25T21:50:58.592Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I seem to have missed the implication that the curse was the cause of the resonance, I had assumed that the curse was some new thing we had not seen before. Thanks to you and Vaniver for pointing this possibility out to me.

comment by Vaniver · 2015-02-25T21:42:09.652Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

The resonance would have to be resolved somehow, unless Harry intends to sacrifice himself, which I doubt would be rational because it now seems that Voldemort's horcrux network is still functional.

I'm reading one of Voldemort's claims in this chapter to be that the resonance, rather than caused by Lily's sacrifice, was caused by Riddle's curse that he put on himself and his descendants, and Voldemort is no longer at risk now that Harry has attempted to end Voldemort's immortality. It could be the case that this is Voldemort's mistake, and love remains the power that he knows not, and there would still be magical resonance if the two came to magical blows, and in canon it's relevant that their wands both have Fawkes's feathers in their core.

comment by SilentCal · 2015-02-26T00:06:49.340Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I don't think the curse caused the resonance, for two reasons. First, Voldemort never harmed a Riddle. He arguably killed a Potter, but he made no move against the ensuing Riddle. This isn't the type of story to have a race condition bug in the Dark Lord's curse, though that's a great idea for omake.

Second, the don't-kill-each-other curse doesn't explain the feeling of doom or the Azkaban resonance incident very well.

comment by hairyfigment · 2015-02-26T00:25:06.249Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Nor does it explain the pain in Harry's scar or his crawling feeling after the gunshots. (Harry was supposedly never under the curse to begin with, in which case he can't still be under it.)

Relevant, from Ch 111:

Harry felt a sense of terrifying apprehension in the air, as though the sense of doom had always been been out of focus and had now clarified, concentrated into a physical pain in the scar on Harry's forehead.

comment by ChristianKl · 2015-02-26T09:48:03.761Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

First, Voldemort never harmed a Riddle.

He did kill his family.

comment by Jost · 2015-02-26T10:29:12.185Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

True, but irrelevant since they are not subject to the curse:

Before I created you, I invoked a curse upon myself and all other Tom Riddles who would descend from me.

(chapter 112)

comment by Jost · 2015-02-25T21:56:00.219Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

in canon it's relevant that their wands both have Fawkes's feathers in their core.

And since this fact is explicitly mentioned in chapter 6 (see quote below), I expect this to play a role in one of the future chapters. (“Law of Conservation of Detail”)

"It is very curious indeed that you should be destined for this wand when its brother why, its brother gave you that scar."

That could not possibly be coincidence. There had been thousands of wands in that shop. Well, okay, actually it could be coincidence, there were six billion people in the world and thousand-to-one coincidences happened every day. But Bayes's Theorem said that any reasonable hypothesis which made it more likely than a thousand-to-one that he'd end up with the brother to the Dark Lord's wand, was going to have an advantage.

Professor McGonagall had simply said how peculiar and left it at that, which had put Harry into a state of shock at the sheer, overwhelming uncuriosity of wizards and witches. In no imaginable world would Harry have just went "Hm" and walked out of the shop without even trying to come up with a hypothesis for what was going on.

(edited for formatting)

comment by Nornagest · 2015-02-25T22:05:10.302Z · score: 8 (8 votes) · LW · GW

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

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

comment by Jost · 2015-02-25T23:56:14.698Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Horcruces in canon don't seem to affect people's personalities or magic

w/r/t magic: IIRC, the Voldemort-Horcrux inside Harry is responsible for him being able to speak Parseltongue. (Although my memory is a bit fuzzy on this; it’s been a while since I last read book 7.) Also, there’s a weird horcrux/magic interaction, which leads to the King’s Cross scene near the end of book 7.

w/r/t personality: Wearing a Horcrux can at least influence the mood of the wearer, see the big row between Harry/Hermione and Ron in book 7. (Why canon!Harry is apparently not influenced by being a horcrux is still a mystery to me …)

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

You’re absolutely right; the Law of Conservation of Detail is already satisfied by that. However, I still consider Priori Incantatem a plausible option for the next few chapters.

comment by CronoDAS · 2015-02-26T05:49:04.930Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Why canon!Harry is apparently not influenced by being a horcrux is still a mystery to me …

He was - he had a kind of telepathic link to Voldemort, which gave him visions of what Voldemort was doing. Snape was supposed to teach Harry Occulemency to keep Voldemort out of his head, but it didn't work; Voldemort sent Harry a false vision of Sirius in danger to lead him into a trap.

comment by Jost · 2015-02-26T10:23:47.783Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Oh, absolutely!

Sorry, my original phrasing was bad. Let’s try again: I still don’t understand why the horcrux inside canon!Harry seems to have no influence on his mood, similar to the mood changes caused by wearing Slytherin’s locket in book 7.

comment by higurashimerlin · 2015-02-27T16:39:50.967Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I guessing it did and Harry had nothing to compare it to. It has been suggested that Harry's canon step parents were effect and made into complete monsters by ten years of being around a horcrux.

comment by CronoDAS · 2015-02-26T21:28:42.002Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Hmmm... Well, Harry did spend most of "Order of the Phoenix" acting like a moody teenager. Maybe he just got used to it after a while?

comment by TobyBartels · 2015-02-26T20:15:35.269Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Maybe it did, just think how jolly Harry might have been otherwise!

comment by Gondolinian · 2015-02-25T22:04:20.573Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

and in canon it's relevant that their wands both have Fawkes's feathers in their core.

I wonder if the Elder Wand will come into play. It has so far not been mentioned in the last two chapters, but that doesn't mean Voldemort doesn't have it/hasn't been using it.

comment by Nornagest · 2015-02-25T21:49:08.571Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I'm reading one of Voldemort's claims in this chapter to be that the resonance, rather than caused by Lily's sacrifice, was caused by Riddle's curse that he put on himself and his descendants [...]

That doesn't explain the Godric's Hollow explosion, since Harry wouldn't have been a Riddle instance at the time. I'm pretty sure Voldemort was telling the truth about the resonance, unless something else leveled the Godric's Hollow cottage and killed Voldy's last instance.

Voldemort can just shoot Harry now, however, where previously the curse would have prevented him from doing so.

comment by lerjj · 2015-02-28T14:27:18.997Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

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

comment by Normal_Anomaly · 2015-02-27T16:41:55.047Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

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

comment by tim · 2015-02-28T07:48:28.744Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

This is a story where a young girl has her legs chewed off by a troll and dies. Do we really need warnings about transfiguring bits of skin?

comment by cultureulterior · 2015-02-27T21:30:41.722Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

A one-atom wide line of antimatter along his skin, down through his shoes, through the ground, and into Voldemort's brain, where you make a microgram lump. Still doesn't kill him, precisely, but it should at least make him mad

comment by bramflakes · 2015-02-27T17:44:30.652Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

He could also transfigure a few micrometres of wood from the end of the wand itself.

comment by Val · 2015-02-26T21:49:08.047Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

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

  • the story will end with Voldemort winning

  • Dumbledore isn't really trapped

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

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

comment by Vaniver · 2015-02-26T21:57:33.791Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Why are dozens of Death Eaters required to keep their wands on him? Voldemort could easily take his wand away and maybe even restrain him if needed. This precaution seems as if Voldemort was panicking.

Or he's behaving like the original Voldemort, right before he throws the duel with Harry and disappears to take on an identity more to his liking.

comment by CellBioGuy · 2015-02-27T15:26:23.302Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Or he knows there is now a second prophesy constraint in place.

comment by [deleted] · 2015-02-26T21:13:47.217Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

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

comment by Vaniver · 2015-02-26T21:22:31.736Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Here's the link to polls help. But since you asked:

Have you pitied Quirrell (the dead one)? [pollid:830]

comment by Astazha · 2015-02-26T23:09:41.006Z · score: 8 (8 votes) · LW · GW

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

Ch. 47:

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

Ok, guilty as charged.

comment by TobyBartels · 2015-03-01T08:28:27.072Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

To be fair to you, I don't think that the fate of a fictional character actually qualifies as a moral issue.

comment by buybuydandavis · 2015-02-26T22:55:46.737Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I suppose I just considered him gone. Erased. Quirrell was the new resident. It was surprising to have the unpossessed Quirrell be alive for a short time.

comment by Nornagest · 2015-02-26T23:06:11.130Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Only very briefly. We didn't really get to know the guy, and one has to assume that being a wizarding adventurer is a high-risk occupation.

comment by cousin_it · 2015-02-26T12:07:26.500Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

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

comment by l2718 · 2015-02-26T04:36:41.448Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

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

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

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

Query: A key point in canon is the mastery of this wand. In this universe, Voldemort!Riddle has defeated Dumbledore before the latter threw the wand away. Does that make him the master of the wand?

comment by CronoDAS · 2015-02-26T03:17:16.303Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Re: Chapter 112

Blasted cliffhangers... :(

comment by TsviBT · 2015-02-26T00:24:13.577Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

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

comment by Jost · 2015-02-26T00:38:40.319Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I rather doubt it; he might still be “guarding” that corridor.

On the other hand, Lucius Malfoy should be there. His reaction might be interesting, given his previous, rather unusual encounters with Harry …

comment by shminux · 2015-02-26T01:01:58.202Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Lucius is the power Voldemort knows not!

comment by MathMage · 2015-02-26T01:37:02.215Z · score: 12 (12 votes) · LW · GW

Better yet, Nott is the power that Voldemort knows!

comment by TobyBartels · 2015-02-26T21:20:47.634Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

You mean, Voldemort will be defeated by the power he knows: Nott?

(Don't vote me up, this has been suggested here before.)

comment by MathMage · 2015-02-26T21:34:25.375Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Yes--I claim no points for originality, only timing.

comment by TsviBT · 2015-02-26T00:42:58.224Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Oh right, good point. Likewise Nott.

comment by bramflakes · 2015-02-26T13:05:25.819Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

You can't Apparate within the Hogwarts wards.

comment by Ander · 2015-02-25T22:41:16.191Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I think that one of Harry's biggest mistakes in the whole scenario was not bargaining harder with Voldemort before they entered the corridor. It was clear that he had some leverage over Voldemort there, Voldemort needed him for some unknown reason. He should have been less fearful for his own life (since Voldemort apparently needs him), and tried to barter for limits upon Voldemort's future reign of terror should he succeed. For example, if he agreed to help, Voldemort would need to promise in parseltongue not to Kill, Torture, or Imperius (or have minions do it for him), more than X people per year. (Limiting to X instead of 0 might be enough to get Voldemort to go along with the plan, and Harry might be able to morally justify his assistance given that he would be saving hundreds of students lives that Voldemort was holding hostage, so the net result might be less lives lost).

He could have sold this to Voldemort as the only way that his moral compass would allow him to assist him: by making the scenario into a trolley problem, where Harry helping Voldemort was the option that cost less lives.

comment by Vaniver · 2015-02-25T23:00:26.810Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

It was clear that he had some leverage over Voldemort there,

But also that Voldemort has leverage over Harry; there are people right there that he can torture or kill to punish Harry for taking too long to agree.

comment by Epictetus · 2015-02-26T03:10:47.985Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Harry has some bargaining power, but Voldemort holds the cards. He can use the Cruciatus on some of the other students or just threaten to kill extra people if Harry insists on "unreasonable" terms that constrain his future plans.