Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, February 2015, chapter 104

post by b_sen · 2015-02-16T01:24:02.319Z · score: 8 (9 votes) · LW · GW · Legacy · 195 comments

New chapter!

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 104.

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Eliezer Yudkowsky which is not supposed to be publicly available (which includes public statements by Eliezer that have been retracted).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.

195 comments

Comments sorted by top scores.

comment by iceman · 2015-02-16T02:55:04.250Z · score: 12 (12 votes) · LW · GW

The obvious question is, why did Quirrell cause Harry to believe that Quirrell is Voldemort? As a background assumption, Quirrell plays the game one level higher than Harry. Quirrell is able to model people very accurately, and has recently been uncharacteristically sloppy. Quirrell is also obviously prepared for Harry to figure this out (gun, smile, etc.), and I would think it likely that he could craft a plan so that he would successfully avoid suspicion, so I'm expecting that Harry believing that Quirrell is Voldemort is part of the plan.

What's his game?

The only thing that comes to me instantly is that Harry is now more likely to just accept whatever Quirrell villainously monologues next as true. I'll note that people are already accepting this as some sort of confirmation that Harry is Tom Riddle. CONSTANT VIGILANCE, PEOPLE! All we have seen is Quirrell say "Hello, Tom Riddle," to Harry!

comment by solipsist · 2015-02-16T02:58:52.129Z · score: 12 (12 votes) · LW · GW

That, and title of this chapter is The Truth, Pt 1, Riddles and Answers. As in two Tom Riddles.

comment by Ben Pace (Benito) · 2015-02-16T17:24:25.690Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

It's odd, because Quirrell went so far out of his way to appear to be dying. He set himself up to be caught drinking unicorn's blood. So it's very strange for him to give that away.

comment by Transfuturist · 2015-02-16T18:57:33.012Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

To be caught?

comment by Ben Pace (Benito) · 2015-02-17T00:34:46.634Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Well, if he's faking the illness, he doesn't require unicorn's blood. Therefore he set up the situation with the unicorn, so that Harry would find him, and know he was dying.

comment by Macaulay · 2015-02-16T06:04:02.149Z · score: 11 (11 votes) · LW · GW

But unless you bought Draco Malfoy's latest theory that Professor Sprout had been assigning and grading less homework around the time of Hermione being framed for attempted murder, thereby proving that Professor Sprout had been spending her time setting it up, the truth remained unfound.

So Imperiused-Sprout is Hat and Cloak?

comment by CronoDAS · 2015-02-16T19:03:32.811Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Ironic that The Watson actually got the right answer...

comment by Velorien · 2015-02-16T11:48:35.968Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Somehow I can't see Sprout having Hat-and-Cloak's eloquence, and I doubt you can Imperius someone to be significantly more eloquent than their usual self.

comment by Jost · 2015-02-16T12:35:13.935Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Except through micro-managing their interactions (i.e. Quirrell(*) hiding close to imperiused-Hat-and-Cloak and forcing HaC to use a specific choice of words) – although, in that case, it would be of course be simpler for Quirrell to just play HaC himself.

(*) or whoever is responsible for HaC

comment by solipsist · 2015-02-16T04:33:16.097Z · score: 10 (10 votes) · LW · GW

Snape's head snapped around, as Professor Sprout raised her wand, and the Potions Master managed to raise a wordless translucent ward between them. But the bolt that shot from Professor Sprout's wand was a dark brown that produced a surge of awful apprehension in Harry's mind; and the brown bolt made Severus's shield wink out before they touched, clipping the Potions Master's right arm even as he dodged. Professor Snape gave a muffled shriek and his hand spasmed, dropping his wand.

The next bolt that came from Sprout's wand was a bright red the color of a Stunning Hex, seeming to grow brighter and move faster even as it left her wand, accompanied by another surge of anxiety; and that blew the Potions Master into the door, dropping him motionless to the ground.

I interpret that as Legilimensed Sprout's magic is Voldemort's magic is Sense of Doom magic. But then how was the troll made immune to sunlight, when Harry touched the troll's skin directly?

comment by LauralH · 2015-02-18T05:06:22.886Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I think that's more likely Quirrell actively casting that causes the anxiety.

comment by jkaufman · 2015-02-16T23:24:14.194Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Legilimensed? I thought Sprout was Imperiused?

comment by solipsist · 2015-02-17T00:04:18.978Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

Nope. Quirrell on the possibility of Lucius framing Hermione:

"From a dark alley the black-clad form of Malfoy steps forth - he would go in person, for this - and speaks to her a single word."

"Imperio."

"Legilimens, rather," said Professor Quirrell. "I do not know if the Hogwarts wards would trigger for a returning Professor under the Imperius Curse. And if I do not know, Malfoy probably does not know either. But Malfoy is a perfect Occlumens at least; he might be able to use Legilimency. And for the target...perhaps Aurora Sinistra; none would question the Astronomy Professor moving about at night."

"Or even more obviously, Professor Sprout," said Harry. "Since she's the last person anyone would suspect."

The Defense Professor hesitated minutely. "Perhaps."

comment by polymathwannabe · 2015-02-17T15:05:05.763Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I don't understand. How is Legilimens a method of mind control?

comment by Velorien · 2015-02-17T15:55:27.721Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I've wondered this as well. Eliezer seems to think it is, as it's listed when one of the characters (I forget who) enumerates means of mind control including Imperius and the Confundus Charm. Possibly it's fanon?

The Potter Wiki cites Voldemort using Legilimency to send Harry visions and briefly possess him, though their connection seems like it ought to be a fairly unique case.

comment by dxu · 2015-02-17T17:49:16.927Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

In HPMoR, at least, Moody was able to "reshape Harry to make him believe he was on fire", which implies Legilimency is more than just passive mind-reading.

comment by EricHerboso · 2015-02-16T04:59:19.240Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I agree that legilimensed Sprout's magic is activating the sense of doom. But the troll was not legilimensed, so there's no reason for the sense of doom to activate.

I may be wrong, but intuitively it seems that when Voldemort causes Sprout to cast a spell, that spell counts as originating from Voldemort, not Sprout -- and that is what makes it activate the sense of doom. Whereas the troll was acting on its own accord, and so didn't activate the sense of doom.

comment by vericrat · 2015-02-16T05:04:38.746Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I think Solipsist was trying to say that if Voldemort using Sprout to cast a spell counts as originating from Voldemort, then if Sprout (or some other Imperiused individual) cast a spell on the troll's skin, then Harry shouldn't have been able to touch the troll. Before, it was assumed that Harry was able to touch the enchanted troll (its skin had been enchanted to resist sunlight) because Voldemort hadn't directly enchanted it (Harry can't touch things Voldemort enchants, see the broomstick escape from Azkaban) but used an Imperiused confederate. Now, however, it seems that using the Imperiused confederate does not negate the issues arising between Harry and Voldemort's magic.

comment by sketerpot · 2015-02-16T06:57:10.008Z · score: 13 (13 votes) · LW · GW

An alternate interpretation is that Voldemort was strengthening a few of the spells that Sprout cast, as well as the spell that Tonks used to win the battle, and this use of his own magic was what caused Harry's doom-sense to tingle. If that's the case, then there would be none of his magic on the troll.

comment by hairyfigment · 2015-02-16T05:23:37.962Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

This is a very good point. Possibly premature answer: the Dark Lord Tom hired someone else to enchant the troll before sneaking it into Hogwarts. Then he cast a spell on the hireling.

comment by cousin_it · 2015-02-16T15:15:18.951Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Also, Harry shot Sprout and didn't trigger doom. Either it's just sloppy writing on Eliezer's part, or Sprout wasn't mind-controlled after all, or Quirrell dispelled his magic when Sprout fell.

comment by fubarobfusco · 2015-02-16T06:43:20.756Z · score: 9 (13 votes) · LW · GW

So ...

Harry and Quirrell are partial backups of Voldemort, written onto the respective brains of a young boy and an adult man.

For Quirrell, being the Dark Lord is a core part of his identity; he identifies with that part of himself and its goals, namely personal immortality, which he believes can only be achieved at the expense of others. He believes this for good reasons, namely the underlying magical laws that give rise to the rules for potions and rituals: something of equal value must be sacrificed to gain a desired end: light for light, life for life. Magic is, in the end, zero-sum. Quirrell believes the zero-sum nature of the universe is cold reality, and that anyone who denies it is lying or deluding themselves.

For Harry, being the Dark Lord is not a core part of his identity, but a peripheral part ("mysterious dark side"). Harry identifies not only as a child of the Enlightenment, but as someone who wants to use his powers to elevate all of humanity. Harry does not believe that the magical laws are the way the universe works; he expects human accomplishments can be positive-sum. He believes this for good reasons, namely the positive-sum accomplishments of Muggle science and technology.

(Draco understands science in magical terms — as a sacrifice of belief. Harry would like to understand magic in scientific terms, but he hasn't had the time yet.)

Quirrell does not see how anyone could live forever without killing others to use their life, one way or another — whether by overwriting humans or draining unicorns. Harry figures it's possible through technological means, possibly augmented with magic.


It's also interesting that Harry is accustomed to thinking of himself as somewhat multiple — not only his "mysterious dark side" versus his normal personality, but also the aspects of himself that he thinks of as belonging to the different Houses. Quirrell, on the contrary, may well be accustomed to thinking of himself as a unified consciousness who projects a lot of façades.

This could just be a developmental thing; Harry's mind was more resilient at the time that he was imprinted with the Voldemort persona. Or it could be that Harry was too young to experience the imprint as a death of self and so abandon his previous personality.

Or, you know, there's Lily's sacrifice ...

comment by Velorien · 2015-02-16T11:46:12.318Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Magic is, in the end, zero-sum.

Doesn't Harry spend at least the first half of the story being variously shocked and outraged at how magic does not abide by the laws of thermodynamics? See Aguamenti producing water out of nothing.

Even the laws governing potions aren't really a case of equivalent exchange: the heat of the Ashwinder eggs disperses into the surrounding environment and is bestowed upon any potion made using them.

comment by fubarobfusco · 2015-02-19T05:03:14.910Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Yeah, different bits of magic seem to operate on different conservation laws, it's true. And they aren't the ones of physics. But Quirrell seems to expect value to be conserved — and therefore, that accumulating value to yourself and your allies logically implies depriving others of value — whereas Harry seems to expect otherwise.

comment by buybuydandavis · 2015-02-17T20:03:25.562Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Harry and Quirrell are partial backups of Voldemort

I can see how Harry is a partial backup, as he doesn't have all the memories of Voldemort.

But why consider Quirrell a partial backup? I always thought of him as the fully transferred Voldemort, with Voldemort going through time from one host to the next.

comment by fubarobfusco · 2015-02-19T05:06:40.403Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

If the process is lossy, the degree of drift might depend on the degree to which the resulting persona identifies with the original's values.

comment by buybuydandavis · 2015-02-16T19:38:58.308Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

This could just be a developmental thing

There have been lots of instances of comparisons between the lives of Q and Harry along the lines of "how would Q's life been different if Q had been in Harry's position."

That would fit with EY's general ideology of all human lives having value.

comment by Michelle_Z · 2015-02-16T02:27:37.018Z · score: 9 (9 votes) · LW · GW

"Harry had refreshed the Transfigurations he was maintaining, both the tiny jewel in the ring on his hand and the other one."

Hermione, probably.

The play on words with the title of the chapter (Riddles and Answers) and the final reveal was neat. Harry might be a copy of Quirrell!mort who's had his memory erased (rememberall,) and good ol' Quirrell!mort needs Harry to get the stone because...?

I'm still really curious how the Deathly Hallows are going to tie into this.

Also, where the hell is Cedric Diggory? Will it be another situation like what happened with the troll? The spare gets killed, or Harry is the spare, and is found defective?

comment by hairyfigment · 2015-02-16T05:26:39.066Z · score: 8 (8 votes) · LW · GW

Who says he need Harry to get the Stone? For all we know, he wants Harry to look into the Mirror of Desire in the hope that this will explain what the %&* Harry wants.

comment by FeepingCreature · 2015-02-17T08:09:14.288Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I'm still really curious how the Deathly Hallows are going to tie into this.

Okay. Hm. I think maybe you can't transfigure Hermione into Hermione if you don't have a true image of what Hermione was like. But if you had the Resurrection Stone, maybe you could use it to create a true image to work from?

No idea about the wand/cloak.

comment by hairyfigment · 2015-02-18T06:45:02.276Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Ahem. The current adventure will not go smoothly. Probably the best argument against my solution is that it also is not mass-producible without more work. And Harry could still do artisanal resurrections.

(We can expect the centaur back. Doubt he'll be able to find the pieces of that beetle, though.)

comment by solipsist · 2015-02-16T17:20:03.039Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Also, where the hell is Cedric Diggory?

Maybe under Harry's other invisibility cloak. He has two -- a time-turned one and a non-time-turned on.

comment by buybuydandavis · 2015-02-16T07:52:15.078Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Isn't the whole shtick with the Mirror that it will only give the stone to someone who doesn't want to use it?

Doesn't Harry want to defeat Death more than anyone? And is likely hauling around a transfigured Hermione to do just that?

Is Harry just the backup ritual in case they can't find the Stone?

Or, is it all just a Harry and Hermione plot to get the Stone to mass produce immortality for all?

comment by Macaulay · 2015-02-16T03:37:57.847Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

He went with Lesath, not Cedric.

comment by Michelle_Z · 2015-02-16T03:48:40.336Z · score: 14 (14 votes) · LW · GW

Yes. But two minutes before that he was thinking of taking Cedric, and then we get a cut scene to him sneaking about in the hallway with Lesath. That implies that Cedric might still be in play, otherwise we probably would've gotten a short sentence or two on why he chose Lesath over Cedric.

Cedric, who may or may not have a time turner, could quite possibly show up.

comment by sketerpot · 2015-02-16T07:06:42.156Z · score: 12 (12 votes) · LW · GW

He's the Super Hufflepuff! He's taking all the electives, which is physically impossible without a Time Turner! He was mentioned right before Harry started making thorough off-screen preparations, and then conspicuously forgotten for the rest of the chapter! Dramatic logic dictates that he's got to show up at some point, probably in some way that involves time travel.

... Unless the whole thing was a throwaway joke about how useless Cedric was in Goblet of Fire, in which case yeah, I guess it was pretty funny.

comment by solipsist · 2015-02-16T03:04:22.208Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

where the hell is Cedric Diggory?

Under Harry's other Invisibility Cloak. He has a time-turned one and a non-time-turned one.

comment by Vaniver · 2015-02-16T14:56:26.560Z · score: 8 (8 votes) · LW · GW

My suspicion is that Cedric is under a Deathly Hallow invisibility cloak, instructed to leave and send a Patronus to Dumbledore at the first sign of serious trouble, and furthermore Memory Charmed Harry to forget him so that no one could read Harry's mind and figure out that backup plan.

I also suspect that the next chapter will contain a long discussion between Harry and Quirrel before any serious action, but Quirrel might want to have that long discussion after they're in the final chamber, not before.

comment by Velorien · 2015-02-16T15:08:36.168Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Cedric isn't a professor, so him using the Memory Charm on a student would trigger the wards.

Which I suppose would also work as a last resort way of calling for backup.

If Harry had time to duplicate the Cloak of Invisibility (bearing in mind Lesath is already wearing it), couldn't he wear a copy himself?

comment by Vaniver · 2015-02-16T15:16:25.573Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

If Harry had time to duplicate the Cloak of Invisibility (bearing in mind Lesath is already wearing it), couldn't he wear a copy himself?

I was under the impression there were two--the original timeline one, and the time-turned one. We know Lesath is wearing the one, do we know where the other is? (Draco was under a cloak, but I thought it was a regular invisibility cloak.)

Cedric isn't a professor, so him using the Memory Charm on a student would trigger the wards.

Good point. Is there a sympathetic professor Harry could have gotten to do the Memory Charm that wouldn't also immediately call the Aurors? McGonagall seems unlikely on the second count, and is also busy with the Quidditch match (but might take a break). Snape is at the door. Flitwick and so on don't seem story-critical enough to be counted on for this sort of thing. Dumbledore might be possible--he likely would understand that the Aurors aren't likely to be any help against a serious threat, and that Memory Charming Harry is appropriate for the situation. It also would be convenient to ensure that Dumbledore is actually available to help if something goes wrong, but that might run into Time issues. (Actually, heck, why not have Dumbledore under cloak #2?)

comment by buybuydandavis · 2015-02-16T19:56:20.932Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

furthermore Memory Charmed Harry to forget him so that no one could read Harry's mind and figure out that backup plan.

That does seem a prudent precaution in a world of mind readers.

comment by Vaniver · 2015-02-17T02:56:38.510Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I also suspect that the next chapter will contain a long discussion between Harry and Quirrel before any serious action

Bayes points for me! But I suppose that one was pretty easy.

comment by linkhyrule5 · 2015-02-16T08:00:54.518Z · score: 8 (8 votes) · LW · GW

Hm.

So, as we approach the end of the fic, there's one question left that looks really hard.

Let's try to solve it!

...but in all seriousness: I expect Harry to solve Death before the end of the fic - it's too central to both Harry's current motive and thus the current plot arc, and Eliezer's motives in writing this fic, to avoid, even putting aside the conspicuous Peverell prophecy.

There is not enough time left for Harry to do this by learning some secret art or by putting his own spin on an existing spell. Therefore, this problem should be soluble with what Harry has on hand.

For now, I will treat Quirrelmort and Dumbledore (come on, you don't honestly think he's going to be absent for the big climactic duel of words and ideals, do you?) as resources - never mind how Harry convinces them for now.

  • Between Dumbledore and Quirrel, essentially any existing spell. This is known to be insufficient for the task.
  • Dumbledore has the Elder Wand. Harry has the Invisibility Cloak. Quirrel is highly implied to have the Stone of Resurrection. All three Hallows are gathered, and Harry seems to have activated something in that prophecy stone.
  • The Patronus 2.0.
  • The Killing Curse 2.0. Harry is never going to hate someone enough to want them dead, but I could imagine him being sufficiently angry with Quirrel to consciously put him outside of his monkeysphere - aka, not care/be indifferent to his death.
  • Partial Transfiguration
  • The secret to creating new potions.
    • The secret to creating new spells could probably be taught to him in the remaining time, too.
  • Hermione's corpse (probably.)
  • The Philosopher's Stone, which appears to be some sort of conceptual anti-Death tool already. (Gold being the least reactive metal and thus the longest-lived in its original state, though that begs the question "why not xenon." Maybe because xenon is a gas and thus will mix/lose its form?)
  • A Time Turner. Harry can only go back one or two more hours today, but he can send information back another six as long as he figures out the plan now.
  • Minions. Lesath Lestrange in particular.
  • A large, probably ordinary rock.

Am I missing any resources?

comment by TsviBT · 2015-02-16T10:54:26.477Z · score: 11 (11 votes) · LW · GW

A bunch of unspecified Muggle items he got the Weasleys to obtain for him.

comment by roystgnr · 2015-02-16T08:36:51.746Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

You're missing sextillions of resources, although only a few hundred billion are in this galaxy and only one is near enough to use immediately without FTL.

The stunning aspect of "the secret to creating new potions" isn't just that you can expend energy accumulated in some magical ingredient, it's that sunlight counts as magical energy. Yottawatts of power plus the ability to transmute elements might be useful...

comment by Vaniver · 2015-02-16T15:05:27.086Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

The Killing Curse 2.0. Harry is never going to hate someone enough to want them dead,

ಠ_ಠ Why are you taking Harry's far mode pronouncements as binding on his near mode actions? Not only is that dubious for humans in general, we know Harry has a mysterious dark side that can take control and does want people dead if they're annoying.

I could imagine him being sufficiently angry with Quirrel to consciously put him outside of his monkeysphere

I don't see how that's different from "hating" Quirrel; if you Other someone by being angry at them, you don't stop being angry at them once they're Othered.

he can send information back another six as long as he figures out the plan now.

How? Remember the bits about being careful to not leak info to allow people to go back in time? (Though 'info' clearly is defined as being 'plot-relevant info' rather than 'physics-relevant info,' so that independent time travel is possible at all.)

comment by knb · 2015-02-16T19:04:29.638Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I believe it's the Killing Curse 2 that Harry believes he can't use (he can't be indifferent to killing someone.)

comment by Vaniver · 2015-02-16T19:22:07.706Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I believe it's the Killing Curse 2 that Harry believes he can't use (he can't be indifferent to killing someone.)

Right. I read linkhyrule5 as saying that 1) Harry wouldn't hate someone enough to use Killing Curse 1 (which I disbelieve) and that 2) Harry could use Killing Curse 2 by being angry enough at Quirrel to be indifferent whether he lives or dies (which I disbelieve).

comment by polymathwannabe · 2015-02-17T00:04:21.400Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

When Harry is negotiating his truce with Lucius Malfoy, Harry painstakingly tells himself why it would be OK for him to kill Lucius. Maybe Harry can also talk himself into killing Quirrell.

comment by Vaniver · 2015-02-17T00:32:00.712Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Maybe Harry can also talk himself into killing Quirrell.

I think Harry will have a pretty easy time killing Quirrell, if he gets the sense that Quirrell's continued survival would be a net negative.

comment by solipsist · 2015-02-16T17:47:15.558Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Am I missing any resources?

Some others, off the top of my head.

  • Harry knows enough mind-magic to make a person forget every life memory involving the color blue, or their left arm (or cough their animagus form cough)

  • The imprisoned Beatrix had as much magic as a first year student, and it was considered conceivable that she could complete an animagus transformation. Harry's animagus form, like his Patronus form, would be a person.

  • Harry has mental ability to become whoever he believes he is.

  • Cedric Diggory and the Weasley twins have enough magic to cast the spell of cursed fire, which can destroy powerful magical devices (such as Horcruxes and the Deathly Hallows).

  • Cedric has a time-turner

  • Weasleys are the heirs of Gryffindor.

Partial Transfiguration

Also the controlled transformation Harry learned about in Chapter 104.

The Killing Curse 2.0. Harry is never going to hate someone enough to want them dead, but I could imagine him being sufficiently angry with Quirrell to consciously put him outside of his monkeysphere - aka, not care/be indifferent to his death.

Harry won't have enough magic to cast the killing curse for a few years. The character of Lesath Lestrange only exists to give Harry a minion who can cast the killing curse.

comment by Velorien · 2015-02-16T18:39:29.108Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Harry knows enough mind-magic to make a person forget every life memory involving the color blue, or their left arm (or cough their animagus form cough)

We don't know that he can do so deliberately. It's equally plausible that those are examples of his inability to target his obliviations narrowly enough, or even of his general inability to satisfactorily control them.

Harry's animagus form, like his Patronus form, would be a person.

Where are you getting this? There is no stated link between Patronuses and animagi, and if you're thinking of animagi in animal form being of less interest/resistant to Dementors, it is much more probable that this is because an animagus's thought patterns become more animalistic when transformed (as we know from Quirrell and McGonagall's testimonies), and animals are naturally oblivious to Death.

Cedric Diggory and the Weasley twins have enough magic to cast the spell of cursed fire, which can destroy powerful magical devices (such as Horcruxes and the Deathly Hallows).

Do we know this? The only information I recall is that Harry isn't yet capable of casting it. We don't know at what age it becomes feasible. (that and the odds of Quirrell teaching it to them seem rather low)

comment by jkaufman · 2015-02-16T23:39:16.119Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

There is no stated link between Patronuses and animagi

In canon there appears to be some kind of "one animal per person" rule. The only people where we know both their animagus form and their patronus are James Potter (stag) and Minerva McGonagall (cat), and in these two cases they match. Additionally, Remus Lupin, a werewolf, has a wolf for a patronus and Dumbledore, who is very close to Fawkes, has a phoenix.

comment by Velorien · 2015-02-16T23:55:26.324Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

That's true. But to me the evidence suggests that "Harry can't create an animal Patronus because he sees that animal Patronuses work through self-deception" rather than "Harry's Patronus animal is a human".

comment by FeepingCreature · 2015-02-17T08:12:37.803Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Unrelated conclusion: fursonas are HP canon.

comment by solipsist · 2015-02-17T04:40:42.964Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I'll add Thestral blood

"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."

Thestral blood, forcibly taken, plus Hermione's flesh, willingly given, plus bones of Harry's ancestors, unknowingly bequeathed, mix together to form a Harry resurrection potion.

comment by Dagon · 2015-02-16T10:27:38.498Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I take the current fight against genre-awareness as some indication that we should not expect Harry to solve death. I more expect he'll end up in a long-term fight against it, with something like magical cryonics (transfiguration or the like) as the best short-term response to actual death.

comment by skeptical_lurker · 2015-02-16T09:16:30.898Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

but in all seriousness: I expect Harry to solve Death before the end of the fic - it's too central to both Harry's current motive and thus the current plot arc, and Eliezer's motives in writing this fic, to avoid, even putting aside the conspicuous Peverell prophecy.

EY also likes to point out the virtues of hard work. It might seem... too easy, too trivial for an 11 year old to solve death in less than a year.

comment by linkhyrule5 · 2015-02-16T12:48:04.908Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Maybe, but 11 year old has had skillsofts from a much older person uploaded into him and has access to outright magc.

comment by DanArmak · 2015-02-16T15:12:19.213Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

That older person has access to enormously more powerful magic, fears death more than anything in the world, and hasn't been able to solve Death for decades now. Even though he's willing to use methods that harm others, which Harry wouldn't.

However, there's the Philosopher's Stone, which is supposed to grant immortality, or at least restore health. (The immortality part is uncertain: in canon it let Flamel survive for six centuries, but in HPMOR Quirrel claims that the stone's current holder is not the one who made it.) Presumably it has some finite store of power, otherwise even Dumbledore would want to use it to heal the injuries of young people. So the question is how to duplicate it. We haven't been told why exactly Flamel can't produce more of it; it might be something Harry can resolve, but it could also be a zero-sum requirement to sacrifice lives to produce it.

I feel that the only way Harry could defeat Death would be using the Stone. Coming up with an unrelated solution at this point would not be plausible.

comment by Velorien · 2015-02-16T15:27:51.009Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

The immortality part is uncertain: in canon it let Flamel survive for six centuries, but in HPMOR Quirrel claims that the stone's current holder is not the one who made it.)

In canon, the elixir of youth is something you have to make and drink over and over; if the Stone were stolen, and you were unable to make a replacement in time, you would die of old age. It's possible that this is what happened, with Flamel as the thief. This would also explain why he can't make more Stones.

comment by CellBioGuy · 2015-02-16T05:00:18.073Z · score: 7 (9 votes) · LW · GW

Is it just me, or did several extremely verbose paragraphs full of questionable reasoning essentially boil down to 'everyone came at the same time so they must have had the same cause'?

EDIT: I mean it's a valid point to make. But it somehow comes from a big complicated tree of wild guesses rather than that statement.

comment by MarkusRamikin · 2015-02-16T08:05:34.581Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RYyUUrga7kU
Do not question super thinking powers.

Though to be fair, the HPMoR chapter was waay better about it. EDIT: I liked it more on second reading, and even more on third. This isn't just about "same time", it's also things like "look at all the security your note from the future instructed you to discard".

comment by dxu · 2015-02-16T05:49:09.656Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

There were many interlocking pieces of evidence already pointing to the truth of Q == V (I think readers were actually chastising Harry for not figuring it out earlier at some point); the perfect timing of this particular incident was simply the part that happened to break Harry's voluntary suspension of disbelief enough for him to actually start trying to piece it all together.

comment by roystgnr · 2015-02-16T08:45:20.608Z · score: 19 (19 votes) · LW · GW

As someone pointed out on Reddit, it's pretty suspicious that Harry figured everything out almost immediately after Snape hit him with a "Dispel Confusion".

comment by Izeinwinter · 2015-02-16T15:49:21.581Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

This would also neatly explain why Quirrelmort didn't see this coming "Snape does his level best to help Harry Potter" does not seem like the kind of outcome Q would consider very likely, so his overly complicated plot going off the rails there is perfectly reasonable.

comment by Luke_A_Somers · 2015-02-17T02:48:39.026Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Not exactly. A lot of it was trying to figure out just what set of people had their presence unexplained. If some of them had perfectly understandable reasons for being there right then without intervention, then his new explanation would not need to cover them.

It turned out that everyone (perhaps except Snape) needed explanation, including himself, so it kind of looked like he ended up where he started, though he was on much firmer footing afterwards.

comment by hairyfigment · 2015-02-16T05:41:51.810Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Ha, but it does start with a conviction that intelligent design is involved. I think that makes it better and not worse.

comment by shminux · 2015-02-16T17:38:03.519Z · score: -1 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Yeah, this part of the chapter seems heavy with Rand-like author tract. The fake note analysis made up for it, though.

comment by dxu · 2015-02-17T20:12:42.976Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Why "Rand-like"?

comment by shminux · 2015-02-17T20:59:08.667Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

She is infamous for it... Here is a good parody from http://slatestarcodex.com/2015/01/25/a-philosopher-walks-into-a-coffee-shop/ :

Ayn Rand goes up to the counter. “What do you want?” asks the barista. “Exactly the relevant question. As a rational human being, it is my desires that are paramount. Since as a reasoning animal I have the power to choose, and since I am not bound by any demand to subordinate my desires to that of an outside party who wishes to use force or guilt to make me sacrifice my values to their values or to the values of some purely hypothetical collective, it is what I want that is imperative in this transaction. However, since I am dealing with you, and you are also a rational human being, under capitalism we have an opportunity to mutually satisfy our values in a way that leaves both of us richer and more fully human. You participate in the project of affirming my values by providing me with the coffee I want, and by paying you I am not only incentivizing you for the transaction, but giving you a chance to excel as a human being in the field of producing coffee. You do not produce the coffee because I am demanding it, or because I will use force against you if you do not, but because it most thoroughly represents your own values, particularly the value of creation. You would not make this coffee for me if it did not serve you in some way, and therefore by satisfying my desires you also reaffirm yourself. Insofar as you make inferior coffee, I will reject it and you will go bankrupt, but insofar as your coffee is truly excellent, a reflection of the excellence in your own soul and your achievement as a rationalist being, it will attract more people to your store, you will gain wealth, and you will be able to use that wealth further in pursuit of excellence as you, rather than some bureaucracy or collective, understand it. That is what it truly means to be a superior human.” “Okay, but what do you want?” asks the barista. “Really I just wanted to give that speech,” Rand says, and leaves.

It's not nearly as bad in chapter 104, but the similarity is hard to ignore.

comment by dxu · 2015-02-18T01:56:54.835Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Really? I'm not seeing anything like that in Chapter 104. I know Rand has a heavy penchant for giant philosophical lectures, but I don't see any philosophical lectures in Chapter 104, big or small (at least beyond what EY normally inserts). Harry's revelation is just that: a revelation. Maybe I'm missing something; I don't know. Is there really any lecturing going on here?

comment by calef · 2015-02-16T02:32:50.335Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

So when Dumbledore asked the Marauder's Map to find Tom Riddle, did it point to Harry?

comment by shminux · 2015-02-16T02:46:59.012Z · score: 29 (29 votes) · LW · GW

It tried to point to all the horcruxes in Hogwarts at once, and crashed because of an unchecked stack overflow.

comment by Ben Pace (Benito) · 2015-02-16T01:33:45.323Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

I have never been so strongly connected to or affected by a piece of fiction, and have been breathing heavily since reaching the last couple of lines. You devil, Yudkowsky.

comment by Jack_LaSota · 2015-02-16T14:59:59.033Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Things I notice I'm confused by: If Quirrel needs Harry's help to get the stone, why didn't he just ask? (Edit: okay, he did ask. But why didn't just ask earlier? And why is he playing all these tricky games?) I mean, it already worked for freeing Bellatrix. If there's a disturbance which Dumbledore suspects is a distraction, why did he send only Snape, rather than several aurors/coming himself?

What could Quirrel need Harry for? In canon, Harry could get the stone because he wanted to find it, not to use it, or something like that? But this Harry definitely wants to use it.

comment by Velorien · 2015-02-16T15:14:46.070Z · score: 11 (11 votes) · LW · GW

If there's a disturbance which Dumbledore suspects is a distraction, why did he send only Snape, rather than several aurors/coming himself?

Hypothesis: the situation is a trap for Voldemort. The corridor itself is blatantly a trap - it's easy to enter, but we know from Fred and George that it's full of invisible wards. Voldemort wouldn't risk confronting Dumbledore, and an unguarded corridor would be too suspicious, but Snape is just right in terms of difficulty level (and also has the option of going "my lord, you have returned!", surviving an encounter which would be fatal for anyone else, and possibly sneaking off to call Dumbledore).

The flaw with this is that the trap is really obvious, and Voldemort's intelligence is known to be very high, so it's implausible that he would enter the corridor at all unless he was absolutely certain of being able to steal the Stone despite the wards, and before Dumbledore could return.

comment by Vaniver · 2015-02-16T15:08:12.758Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

If there's a disturbance which Dumbledore suspects is a distraction, why did he send only Snape, rather than several aurors/coming himself?

In canon, Dumbledore is called away for some business (Supreme Mugwump duties?), and I presume the same happens here. Now, why Dumbledore didn't time-turner to both be at that business and here is harder to say--unless Quirrel explicitly used the time-turner prevention on going back more than X hours to send a message to Dumbledore preventing him from using his time-turner? I didn't look closely enough at those rules to figure out whether or not it would be likely to work (and don't have the time to pull out the relevant bits of HPMOR).

comment by Velorien · 2015-02-16T15:31:42.270Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

One way of preventing Dumbledore from using a time-turner is to have the disturbance take place at Azkaban. And after Bellatrix's breakout, it shouldn't be difficult to have him consider another potential Death Eater escape as a matter of absolute emergency requiring his personal intervention.

Of course, Azkaban is the one place Quirrell can't act in directly, so he'd probably want to Imperius an off-duty Auror or something.

comment by ReevesAnd · 2015-02-17T15:44:17.138Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

In the Azkaban arc, they were able to Time Turn away from Azkaban, do some preparation, then arrive after being informed of the breakout. I don't think this would work to prevent Dumbledore from using a Time Turner to be in two places at once.

comment by Luke_A_Somers · 2015-02-17T03:12:31.737Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Any professor could begin docking an escalating number of points from both houses points for poor sportsmanship. Just because they get a lot of points doesn't mean their total has to end up large.

comment by Epictetus · 2015-02-16T03:04:15.721Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Now that the cat's out of the bag, I wonder whether Quirrell set up Hermione and the troll as an excuse to Fiendfyre his way through some of Hogwart's walls.

comment by jaime2000 · 2015-02-16T08:49:05.679Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Quirrell's internal monologue makes that unlikely.

comment by Velorien · 2015-02-16T11:53:13.183Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Doubtful. Canon states that Riddle felt affection for Hogwarts, and this is implied to be the spell of cursed fire that permanently costs you a drop of blood to cast.

comment by Alsadius · 2015-02-16T03:15:53.875Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I suspect he's not the sort of fellow who plays for only one objective at a time.

comment by WalterL · 2015-02-16T23:31:05.630Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

An aside, a while back Harry convinced himself that Voldemort couldn't be smart, because his attempt to take Magical Britain had failed in the face of the Order of the Phoenix, who he's convinced himself would be easily disposed of through cleverness.

I remember thinking that Harry was accepting Dumbledore's assessment of Voldemort's goal, that is, taking over Magical Britain. But I think Voldemort didn't want to be World Leader, he wanted to be Boogeyman. I think he had no intention of defeating the Order, and spent his time tormenting them.

comment by hairyfigment · 2015-02-16T07:31:33.938Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Missed on first reading:

Harry had refreshed the Transfigurations he was maintaining, both the tiny jewel in the ring on his hand and the other one

comment by cultureulterior · 2015-02-16T19:27:22.409Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Assuming that the Mirror of Erised works the same, Bellatrix is the obvious wielder

comment by Gondolinian · 2015-02-16T23:08:28.211Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Good point. As skeptical_lurker said:

The mirror shows what you want, so the idea is a "good" person like canon Harry would see themselves finding the stone (which allows them to actually find the stone), whereas a "bad" person would see themselves drinking elixir of youth or making gold. Harry would presumable see himself providing everyone with elixir of youth, which means that he would not see himself finding the stone, which means he could not find the stone.

In that case, we would assume that Bellatrix would see herself presenting the stone to Voldemort and pleasing him, which would allow her to find it. In fact, that's a reasonably satisfying answer to why he wanted her out of Azkaban. So why does he even need Harry?

comment by Velorien · 2015-02-16T23:52:40.630Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Presenting the stone, then, not finding it. In which case the vision would likely not be portraying the stone's original location and/or the means by which Bellatrix had obtained it.

comment by Gondolinian · 2015-02-17T02:11:29.162Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

That's assuming that the stone is hidden somewhere and the mirror merely allows information on its location. In canon, (or, at least, going by my memory of the movie) after HP saw himself in the mirror finding the stone, it materialized in his pocket.

comment by dxu · 2015-02-17T02:16:42.290Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Why the assumption that the trials in HPMoR are going to be even remotely similar to canon? All we know at this point is that the Mirror of Erised plays a part, but we don't know what that part is, or what any of the other trials are, etc. Using canon information to make deductions about HPMoR has proven a less-than-reliable method in the past, and EY's essay on originality suggests to me that the obstacles will in fact be radically different from those in canon.

comment by avichapman · 2015-02-17T02:23:23.943Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

We do know that devil's snare will play a part.

"It's not as if he wants to keep the students out, oh no, they need to go in and get stuck in my Devil's Snare!"

comment by drethelin · 2015-02-16T23:36:01.798Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Prophesies have real weight, so he might think it's best to keep Harry around in a "keep your enemies closer" sort of plan. If one of them is going to defeat the other, making sure Harry is nearby and under control might be safer than letting him run around loose.

comment by Ben Pace (Benito) · 2015-02-16T13:41:17.743Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I thought that Quirrell would die and in this chapter we'd learn the lesson that stories don't always finish when you expect them to (and then Harry would go on a 16-chapter quest to figure out Quirrellmort) but it appears that Yudkowsky can teach us that fact of life without it actually happening in the story.

The outcome of the comedy of errors that we witnessed, was that Harry realised that Quirrell was Voldemort. If this was Quirrell's explicit intention, then that's strange because there are much more efficient ways for him to do this (there are also more efficient ways for him to do this AND get them alone outside of the third floor corridor).

However, I think it's more likely that Quirrell wanted Harry to think he'd set it up so that they could break in together.

It appears that people are thinking that Quirrell knew Harry would realise about him being Voldemort because Quirrell is a n+1 player, but I think this is less likely than the obvious alternative:

“You’re out of practice, boy,” Moody said. Harry wasn’t looking at the man’s face, but his voice was deadly grim. “And I’ll warn you of this but once. Voldie isn’t like any other Legilimens in recorded history. He doesn’t need to look you in the eyes, and if your shields are that rusty he’d creep in so softly you’d never notice a thing.” -Multiple Hypothesis Testing

I think it's further likely that Quirrell wanted Harry to do this for him, because after the roles arc, he may believe that Harry actually wants to use the stone not for himself but for others, like the mirror requires of you, and like Harry told Dumbledore in Pretending to Be Wise part one. Also, Quirrell was pressuring Harry to do it quickly. Once Harry realised, Quirrell knew through mind-reading, and his act was over.

Nonetheless, the main quirrellmort hypothesis has been strongly evidenced, but I expected that to come to light over the course of 17 chapters. That Yudkowksy wrapped it all up into the one chapter, and now has 16 chapters with which to play... I haven't a clue what's going to happen now.

comment by buybuydandavis · 2015-02-16T19:52:20.281Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

The outcome of the comedy of errors that we witnessed, was that Harry realised that Quirrell was Voldemort. If this was Quirrell's explicit intention, then that's strange because there are much more efficient ways for him to do this

Maybe the point is for Harry to not go that extra step, and realize that Q wanted him to know at that point?

Though I think the simpler explanation is just that Q's plan failed, and now he is resorting to his backup plan. That Q is always N+1 to Harry's N strikes me as a false portrayal of human reasoning and knowledge.

comment by drethelin · 2015-02-16T23:39:56.316Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

I agree with this: I think being adaptable and/or having contingency plans is probably more powerful than trying to anticipate everything your opponent might do and rely on your plan to deal with it going perfectly.

comment by Velorien · 2015-02-16T14:27:53.810Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

Don't forget that Quirrell can sense Harry's emotions (cf. coming to a resolution, and the prophecy). Under the circumstances, he doesn't need mind-reading to realise that Harry's figured him out.

comment by Ben Pace (Benito) · 2015-02-17T00:49:00.249Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

And I'd managed to forget about their magics not touching. So yes, maybe it was body language after all.

comment by bogdanb · 2015-02-17T22:18:34.337Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Well, we only know that Harry feels doom when near Q and/or his magic, and that in one case in Azkhaban something weird happened when Harry’s Patronus interacted with what appeared to be an Avada Kedavra bolt, and that Q appears to avoid touching Harry.

Normally I’d say that faking the doom sensations for a year, and faking being incapacitated while trying to break someone out of Azkhaban, would be too complicated. But in this case...

comment by itaibn0 · 2015-02-16T02:18:27.507Z · score: 3 (7 votes) · LW · GW

Remember that no matter what happens, the Hufflepuff boy will still come to Harry at a bit after 11:04. This means either that Voldemort will survive this encounter and retain mobility in four hours, or that he set up this message in advance (or that Harry is wrong about the source of this message).

comment by Alejandro1 · 2015-02-16T02:53:06.113Z · score: 18 (18 votes) · LW · GW

I understood it to be implied that the message was actually set in advance to mislead Harry into believing time travel was involved.

comment by linkhyrule5 · 2015-02-16T06:33:50.883Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Upon further consideration, this is the more likely solution.

comment by linkhyrule5 · 2015-02-16T03:46:14.812Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Or that Harry then forges Quirrel forging his signature.

comment by CellBioGuy · 2015-02-16T04:54:07.640Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Then the whole thing is precisely arbitrary, reaching and surpassing Bill And Tedd's Bogus Journey levels of fakeout.

comment by Luke_A_Somers · 2015-02-17T03:04:57.747Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Nah, that would just be 'I stole the keys after all' Bill and Tedd's Excellent Adventure level of fakeout.

comment by WalterL · 2015-02-16T06:27:12.756Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Fixing paradox is entirely seperate from everything else, and must be taken care of. (We don't know the consequences, but they are presumably serious). If Harry triumphs here, and Voldemort has already arranged for that note to be sent, then fine. If Voldemort hasn't, then Harry has to take care of it himself.

comment by zedzed · 2015-02-16T01:39:48.547Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

What are some sensible-sounding alternatives to eliminating the snitch entirely?

The best I can think of is have two snitches—red snitch, blue snitch. Whenever a seeker catches their snitch, the opposing team can't score any more; the game ends when the second snitch is caught.

comment by Scott Alexander (Yvain) · 2015-02-16T17:22:54.058Z · score: 24 (26 votes) · LW · GW

Prediction:

Harry gets the Snitch eliminated from Quidditch. Not just in Hogwarts, but in the big leagues as well - they don't want a Germany vs. Austria on their hands.

All of the celebrity Quidditch players of the world - Victor Krum, Ludo Bagman, Finbar Quigley - are distraught by these sudden and drastic changes to a traditional game they've loved for many years. At the ceremony marking the changes, some of them tear up.

The Daily Prophet headline is "BOY WHO LIVED TEARS UP THE STARS"

Eliezer gives all of us a long lecture about how the prior for somebody making celebrities cry is so much higher than the prior for someone literally ripping the Sun apart that the latter hypothesis should never even have entered our consideration, regardless of how much more natural an interpretation of the prophecy it is.

comment by Unnamed · 2015-02-16T21:12:03.609Z · score: 14 (14 votes) · LW · GW

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

This prediction doesn't fit very well with the exact text of the prophecy: "apart", "in heaven", "end of the world".

comment by gjm · 2015-02-16T19:54:33.538Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Clever, but you have to balance it against the closely related fact that making celebrities cry is surely much less likely to be the subject of a prophecy than destroying stars.

comment by polymathwannabe · 2015-02-17T00:27:27.976Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

When Harry received that cryptic note, I thought "watcher of stars" meant the centaur. Now that you propose this hypothesis, I'm inclined to thinking that "tear apart the very stars in heaven" means Harry will defeat Quirrell in such a way that Quirrell will survive, but will never be able to cast that wonderful stargazing spell again. Harry likes that spell more than I think is normal, but removing it sounds like a particularly cruel punishment for an astronomy fan.

comment by falenas108 · 2015-02-17T00:44:19.159Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I'm not sure how serious this is, but if it were said aloud Harry would hear the difference between the two definitions of "tears," and wouldn't be worried about it if that were the case.

comment by shminux · 2015-02-16T17:34:30.259Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

"BOY WHO LIVED TEARS UP THE STARS"

OMG, that's what the centaur meant...

comment by MarkusRamikin · 2015-02-16T08:34:50.692Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

I'll just note that the presence of the Snitch in Quidditch has historically survived a match that took 3 months because nobody could catch the damned thing.

comment by Baughn · 2015-02-16T13:04:55.372Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

With professional players, whose job it was to play Quidditch.

It won't survive children doing the same. More to the point, the snakes and ravens are deliberately and obviously exploiting the current rules, which will trigger all sorts of fair play instincts.

comment by ReevesAnd · 2015-02-17T16:11:59.266Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Although the easier solution to this problem is to stop adding Quidditch points to House points. That's dumb to begin with. Maybe just add some points for winning the match.

comment by WalterL · 2015-02-16T20:32:27.585Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I'm pro-Snitch.

Harry's gripe about the snitch, which is that it trivializes the rest of the game, isn't the problem on display here.

The issue currently afflicting the user experience is that the House Cup doesn't just rely on Quidditch Win/Loss, but also on the magnitude of the win/loss. Therefore, two teams can collaborate to play a game of such magnitude that it obliterates all other considerations.

A clock wouldn't actually solve this, (they could just agree to exchange points for the first X minutes, then play for real for an abbreviated endgame when time pressure became acute).

A solution to the problem must prevent Quidditch collusion from making one of the last two teams to play Quidditch automatically win the House Cup, but simultaneously maintain the primacy of Quidditch in determining the House Cup (because otherwise students won't care about the House Cup).

A simple solution seems to be that rather than adding the points of both winners and losers to their Houses respective scores the winner is awarded a static (high) number of points.

comment by skeptical_lurker · 2015-02-16T09:10:10.521Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I would have thought the obvious answer is to stop adding match points onto house points and instead simply give a fixed number of house points to the winner.

comment by Vaniver · 2015-02-16T16:07:44.190Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

For symmetry, though, that would require that academic points be fixed in some fashion. (Remember, a primary point is to get students to care about the academic half by linking it to sports.)

comment by skeptical_lurker · 2015-02-16T16:38:56.846Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

But academic points can't be so obviously gamed.

comment by Luke_A_Somers · 2015-02-17T03:00:18.908Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Whenever a snitch is caught, it is marked as a score and released. A team's final score is the product of their snitch-catches with their quaffle-goals.

The game ends when a team's score reaches or exceeds 100.

comment by zedzed · 2015-02-17T03:48:09.584Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I'm assuming quaffles are still worth 10?

comment by Luke_A_Somers · 2015-02-17T14:21:38.991Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

No, I was thinking that the snitches would be released early on and not be quite so evasive, so the 100 might come from 6 snitches and 17 quaffle goals, or something like that. This isn't an unreasonable number of quaffle goals for a Quidditch match.

Maybe the target would be 50 and the snitch wouldn't be toned down so much - then each snitch grab will be worth a large fractional increase.

comment by Vaniver · 2015-02-16T21:01:29.948Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Suppose there is a clock that determines the end of the game. Then Quidditch becomes similar to football (of the non-American variety) or basketball, with a slightly more hostile field. But it loses some drama from the Seeker no longer having a role.

I do think that multiple snitches is a good way to go, but video games provide the right role for them: power-ups. Then there's lots of room to get creative. Suppose there are, say, three snitches active at any time, in order to get their effect they have to be held (but they also attract the attention of the Bludgers, which has lots of potential for manipulation), and they all have a maximum duration of, say, two minutes, at which point the Snitch is depleted and is replaced by another one from the supply (and it reenters the supply to be available when the next one is depleted). Probably the seeker gets a faint glow of whatever color Snitch they're holding, both to make it more obvious to spectators and to make it easier for the other team to try to interrupt the Seeker's boosting of their team.

  1. Raw points: a golden Snitch is worth 20 points if you manage to hold onto it the whole period.
  2. Amplifying team members: a blue snitch increases the points scored through the Quaffle by your team, and a red snitch makes everyone on your team fly a bit faster. A green snitch makes the opposing side's goal hoops a bit larger, and an orange snitch makes your hoops smaller.
  3. Replacing team members: a white snitch causes the Bludgers to avoid members of your team (both making Beaters unnecessary and less likely to help, since the Bludgers would avoid getting hit). A black snitch halves or eliminates points scored by the other team (giving your Keeper a break).
  4. Meta: the team composition seems unforgiving to increasing or decreasing the number of players, but it might be reasonable to have one that lets you field an extra player or knock out one of their players (likely chosen by the opposing team captain), but here there are significant frictional costs for moving players on or off the team that might not be appropriate for something that only lasts two minutes.
comment by Alsadius · 2015-02-17T00:01:53.012Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

That's a very videogamey design, but still interesting.

I will point out that removing a player for two minutes at a time is already the standard penalization scheme for one major sport, so it's clearly not that terrible a frictional problem.

comment by Vaniver · 2015-02-17T00:31:02.375Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I will point out that removing a player for two minutes at a time is already the standard penalization scheme for one major sport, so it's clearly not that terrible a frictional problem.

That's where I got the idea, but the penalty box triggers because that player did something. If I grab the snitch that expels one of the other team's players, somebody has to make a decision which player, and then they need to leave the field, and so on--and if the benefit only lasts as long as I'm holding the thing, and I let it go and grab it again, what does that do to the time they're out? And so on. I don't think that's a workable idea, but it might suggest other ones that do work.

comment by Alsadius · 2015-02-17T01:21:33.761Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Then just make it automatically the opposing Seeker(and ensure the same Snitch doesn't recur for at least five minutes, to prevent lock-out).

comment by Epictetus · 2015-02-16T04:54:11.927Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Make it worth 20-30 points and keep it as the game-ender. It's only going to make a difference if the game is close, so the Quaffle remains relevant.

comment by drethelin · 2015-02-16T02:17:40.622Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I think just having the snitch be worth zero or a very nominal amount of points works fine. This makes the core of the game the regular point scoring and play, and makes the snitch-hunting important but more about biding your time and trying to pounce on the snitch when your team gets ahead.

comment by DanielLC · 2015-02-16T05:55:38.202Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Eliminating the snitch won't even solve the problem entirely. Sure, if there's an hour time limit, the game won't take forever, but they could still rack up points by alternately letting each other score 30 points. Come to think of it, why didn't they? They could have way more points by now.

comment by WalterL · 2015-02-16T06:28:53.331Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

No reason to trust the team that goes first to let the team that goes second score, and no rush. Just play normally without catching the Snitch until one of you can win by catching the Snitch, that team goes for it.

comment by rebellionkid · 2015-02-16T02:27:49.925Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Make the game end when the clock runs over, or when the snitch is caught, whichever is sooner. And make the snitch worth ~half the typical point spread of a match.

comment by Izeinwinter · 2015-02-16T03:44:09.695Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Nope. Make it worth zero points. This keeps it's importance, but changes the job of the seeker. Behind, "Run interference", ahead, "catch snitch". But mostly, having one is still daft.

comment by AdamSpitz · 2015-02-16T01:55:27.460Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Make it worth fewer points, make the game not end when the snitch is caught (it's re-released and can be chased and caught again, so it's just another way of scoring points)...

comment by polymathwannabe · 2015-02-17T01:21:22.606Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

If the Philosopher's Stone can make transfigurations permanent, must we assume this is how Lily made Petunia permanently pretty? So Lily had access to it? So she had occasion to do some other stuff with it?

comment by b_sen · 2015-02-17T01:25:26.762Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Not necessarily. Dumbledore implies that Lily used a potion, and potions may not need the Philosopher's Stone for their effects to be permanent. (Harry thinks it's the Thestral blood, and guesses that Thestral blood is also responsible for the permanency of his Cloak's magic.)

comment by Velorien · 2015-02-17T11:24:30.068Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

(Harry thinks it's the Thestral blood, and guesses that Thestral blood is also responsible for the permanency of his Cloak's magic.)

Not quite.

Scrawled in the margin was a handwritten annotation saying, I wonder what would happen if you used thestral blood here instead of blueberries? and immediately beneath was a reply in different handwriting, You’d get sick for weeks and maybe die.

Some chapters later:

For Bellatrix Black and the snake draped around her shoulders were concealed by the Cloak of Invisibility, one of the three Deathly Hallows and reputed to hide its wearer from the gaze of Death himself.(...) And Harry knew, now, that the concealment of the Cloak was more than the mere transparency of Disillusionment, that the Cloak kept you hidden and not just invisible, as unseeable as were Thestrals to the unknowing. 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.

These are the only two mentions of Thestral blood in the story. They don't make it sound likely that Lily went on to use Thestral blood in the potion, and Harry doesn't make that connection either. The association Harry does make seems to be between Thestrals and Death and possibly invisibility, not permanency.

comment by Vaniver · 2015-02-17T14:19:31.098Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

They don't make it sound likely that Lily went on to use Thestral blood in the potion

Well, note that Petunia did get sick for weeks, and it's only maybe die. I think it's the best fit of the things we've seen in the story, but too much remains unseen to be confident.

comment by b_sen · 2015-02-17T22:02:59.239Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Hmm. Point taken. (Although the point that potion != transfiguration still holds.)

comment by Alsadius · 2015-02-17T01:25:06.725Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Petunia was made pretty by a potion that made her ill for an extended period, which doesn't sound like the Philosopher's Stone. Interesting theory, but I lean towards it being false.

comment by polymathwannabe · 2015-02-17T01:28:49.626Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

If I remember correctly, in the canon first book the Stone is meant to be used to make a potion.

comment by Osuniev · 2015-02-17T13:06:15.913Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Yes, it's used to make the Elixir of Life.

comment by Alsadius · 2015-02-17T01:35:56.764Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I don't have HP&PS on hand, but if true, that'd be evidence for your theory. That said, while Transfiguration sickness is canonical, it seems that the whole point of the Philosopher's Stone is to bypass concerns like that, so I still lean against it being true.

comment by Punoxysm · 2015-02-16T22:14:54.824Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

So, Harry should probably have figured this out 60 chapters ago.

But we'll cut him some slack.

comment by cultureulterior · 2015-02-16T19:38:30.562Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Also, the transfiguration Harry is doing is an obvious hint as to the antimatter weapon ending.

comment by Illano · 2015-02-16T20:29:46.373Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I thought it was more of a hint as to how he's going to bring Hermione back. Seems to me like surgery gets a lot easier when you can just partially un-transfigure the injured part and fix it, while leaving all the vitals transfigured into something unchanging, like a rock.

comment by cultureulterior · 2015-03-03T21:26:52.195Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I'm too obsessed with antimatter

comment by hairyfigment · 2015-02-16T05:45:59.353Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I still consider it unlikely that Voldemort is keeping Harry alive just to get the Stone. But perhaps he thinks a more altruistic desire for the Stone will allow someone to find it when the Dark Lord could not? Would that suggest Tom Riddle was originally more altruistic?

comment by skeptical_lurker · 2015-02-16T08:52:54.199Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

The mirror shows what you want, so the idea is a "good" person like canon Harry would see themselves finding the stone (which allows them to actually find the stone), whereas a "bad" person would see themselves drinking elixir of youth or making gold. Harry would presumable see himself providing everyone with elixir of youth, which means that he would not see himself finding the stone, which means he could not find the stone.

comment by buybuydandavis · 2015-02-16T19:29:03.568Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I still consider it unlikely that Voldemort is keeping Harry alive just to get the Stone.

I thought the canon was that the mirror would only give the stone to someone who didn't want to use it. Doesn't Harry want to use it more and more often than anyone else?

comment by Luke_A_Somers · 2015-02-17T03:03:11.746Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Voldemort knows that it requires a desire, but he doesn't know what the required desire is.

comment by CellBioGuy · 2015-02-16T06:27:26.148Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I would imagine a wide range of intrinsic altruistic natures allow one to get it out of the mirror when your true motivation is to bring back your dead friend.

comment by b_sen · 2015-02-16T23:35:29.173Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Adding to my previous prediction comment:

Predictions:

Harry can resist the Imperius (if it were to be cast on him). 90%

Quirrell enchanted Harry's pouch so that Quirrell can enter and leave on his own in his Animagus form, and there is no mention of those enchantments being removed after leaving Azkaban. This fact will become plot-relevant at some point in the final arc. 75%

Some magical effect was previously preventing / discouraging Harry from figuring out that Quirrell is Voldemort. 65%

Speculations:

The True Patronus appears to have more intelligence than Patronus 1.0. Animal Patronuses can send messages in their caster’s voice, carry replies back, answer yes/no questions, and lead their casters to people / other Patronuses they can find, but only Harry’s Patronus has shown any concern for who might overhear it and spoken without being commanded to by its caster (see chapter 56 for examples of all of these). Notice that Dumbledore wouldn’t expect a Patronus to warn its caster of another Patronus seeking it (otherwise using his Patronus to find an intruder would just tip the intruder off) and Harry doesn’t expect animal Patronuses to show any discretion about who might be listening (chapter 97). Harry’s Patronus is also the only one we see that can be willed to take a form other than its initial one (chapter 100).

If Harry becomes an Animagus, what sort of form would he have? Animagi who can cast corporeal Patronuses normally use the same species for both (for example, McGonagall), but Harry’s Patronus is human. Does this mean he would become a Metamorphagus?

Observations:

A Catalog of the Snippets of Later Events:

Chapter 1: (event not found as of Chapter 104)

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.

Chapter 2: (event found in Chapter 90)

"Of course it was my fault. There's no one else here who could be responsible for anything."

Chapter 3: (event found a few lines later in the same chapter)

"But then the question is - who?"

Chapter 4: (event found in Chapter 6)

"World domination is such an ugly phrase. I prefer to call it world optimisation."

Chapter 5: (event found in Chapter 87)

"It would've required a supernatural intervention for him to have your morality given his environment."

Chapter 6: (event found near the end of the same chapter)

You think your day was surreal? Try mine.

Chapter 7: (event found in the middle of the same chapter)

"Your dad is almost as awesome as my dad."

Chapter 8: (event found about one-third of the way through the same chapter)

"Allow me to warn you that challenging my ingenuity is a dangerous sort of project, and may tend to make your life a lot more surreal."

Chapter 9: (event found about two-thirds of the way through the same chapter)

You never did know what tiny event might upset the course of your master plan.

Chapter 12: (event found near the end of the same chapter)

"Wonder what's wrong with him."

Chapter 13: (event found near the middle of the same chapter)

"That's one of the most obvious riddles I've ever heard."

Chapter 14: (event found about two-thirds of the way through the same chapter)

There were mysterious questions, but a mysterious answer was a contradiction in terms.

Chapter 15: (event found near the end of the same chapter)

"I'm sure I'll find the time somewhere."

Chapter 16: (event found near the end of the same chapter)

I'm not a psychopath, I'm just very creative.

Chapter 17: (event found near the middle of the same chapter)

"You start to see the pattern, hear the rhythm of the world."

Chapter 18: (event found near the middle of the same chapter)

"That does sound like the sort of thing I would do, doesn't it?"

comment by ChristianKl · 2015-02-17T00:00:24.005Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

How about putting the prediction on predictionbook and linking them?

comment by b_sen · 2015-02-19T04:32:33.494Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

How is PredictionBook for sharing evidence for one's predictions, back-and-forth discussion, logging 'categories' of predictions, detailed statistics (such as calibration changes over time, more granularity than 10% increments, etc.) and so on? Are there any specific features of PredictionBook you would recommend to me?

I ask because:

  • I want to participate in readable discussion as well as log my predictions; browsing as a not-logged-in user, PredictionBook appears to have a much less readable presentation for discussions.
  • I often have domain-specific prediction techniques and would want to check my calibration for each technique (and each domain) as well as overall. (To take MOR predictions as an example, I might make some predictions based on a feeling of "this looks like foreshadowing", others based on looking for themes, still others based on knowledge outside MOR itself, ... ) Come to think of it, both domains and categories can also overlap, but I still want to have that kind of feature available whether I make the graphs myself or not.

I do intend to check my calibration on my MOR predictions once MOR ends, regardless of where I put the predictions up.

comment by ChristianKl · 2015-02-19T11:58:23.685Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Sharing your prediction in this thread doesn't get others to share their own numbers. Predictionbook on the other hand usually does. It leads to communal prediction making.

It also gives you calibration statistics.

I often have domain-specific prediction techniques and would want to check my calibration for each technique (and each domain) as well as overall.

You could have a account for every prediction technique.

comment by b_sen · 2015-02-20T19:53:26.160Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

You could have a account for every prediction technique.

That seems like an excessive amount of work, especially once overlapping categories and domains come into play.

comment by skeptical_lurker · 2015-02-16T21:00:03.694Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I'm looking forward to the next update. Earlier (as in, over a year ago), I was guessing that when this conversation came around, either Quirrelmort would have been partially won round towards the light side, or HP, would be coming towards the dark side, or both, and Quirrelmort would say something along the lines of "I'm sorry I killed your parents. I was trying to find a cure for death and Dumbledoor's faction tried to stop me, and I believe that the ends justified the means. Obviously it was nothing personal, and knowing you now if I could take it back I would."

But now Quirrelmort has killed Hermione while pretending to be Harry's freind, it seems that reconciliation is right out. There are reasons why he might nevertheless want Harry alive, but its less obvious why Harry is still concious and holding his wand. presumably Quirrelmort thinks he is invulnerable as long as he does not try AKs, not realising that Harry could simply kill them both with antimatter.

comment by shminux · 2015-02-16T02:26:46.815Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

There seems to be a contradiction between the end-of-chapter weapon choice and the low magnitude of the sense of doom.

comment by tgb · 2015-02-16T21:34:09.347Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

We've gotten much less senses of doom with this encounter with Quirrell than any in the past as far as I can tell. Only Sprout's magic caused apprehension, Q not at all.

Was Quirrell in control of the sense of doom all along? Has something changed?

comment by Alsadius · 2015-02-16T03:14:39.937Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

What on earth makes you think that a gun is more deadly than Avada Kedavra in Voldemort's hands?

comment by vericrat · 2015-02-16T04:32:47.935Z · score: 10 (10 votes) · LW · GW

To reply to Shminux, I imagine it's because the sense of doom is some magical warning of the repercussions of Harry and Voldemort's magic colliding, which probably is not being set off by the probability of Harry's life being ended by a high-velocity piece of metal fired from a completely non-magical weapon.

To Alsadius, I think the gun is more deadly to Harry than an Avada Kedavra because of Harry's previous resistance to the spell. Remember when Quirrell previously suggested that they stage a "return of Voldemort scenario" where the pretend-Voldemort shot another killing curse at Harry who would block it with his Patronus 2.0? Harry's reaction was something along the lines of, "Nobody would believe that Voldemort would be so stupid to try that again." Apparently, Harry's ability to block it (as demonstrated in Azkaban) and previous resistance (as demonstrated the night his parents died) made Voldemort think the same thing.

comment by Velorien · 2015-02-16T11:56:38.276Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

More generally, a gun can be used to disable Harry in all sorts of not-necessarily-fatal ways, something Voldemort cannot do using magic.

With that said, Voldemort is also surrounded by the bodies of Harry's unconscious friends, so it's not like he urgently needs extra leverage.

comment by pjeby · 2015-02-16T17:00:55.048Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

More generally, a gun can be used to disable Harry in all sorts of not-necessarily-fatal ways,

And that's apparently his intent, since it's "pointed at Harry's wand arm". He's not threatening to kill Harry, but only preventing him from using his wand to do anything.

comment by solipsist · 2015-02-16T03:29:16.497Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Remember what happened the last two times Voldemort cast Avada Kedavra near Harry?

comment by solipsist · 2015-02-16T03:02:26.556Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Explain?

comment by palladias · 2015-02-16T02:12:18.208Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Could the thing in the mirror be the Resurrection Stone, instead of the Philosopher's one? Linking Hallows seems more likely to lead into the prophecies about Harry than simply retrieving Flamel's stone.

comment by Velorien · 2015-02-16T12:02:25.348Z · score: 8 (8 votes) · LW · GW

I think it's more likely that Quirrell has the Resurrection Stone. When Harry shows him the Deathly Hallows symbol, he cuts their meeting short and hurries off somewhere. In canon, the stone was set into the Gaunt family ring, which Quirrell would have seen and would know the location of (it is implied that HPMOR follows the canon relationship between Tom Riddle and his family: "I have long since resolved my parental issues to my own satisfaction", "my family are long since dead at the Dark Lord's hand", Snape and Moody meeting at Tom Riddle Senior's grave).

comment by hairyfigment · 2015-02-17T02:19:59.974Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

How many of the objections you threw out in this thread do you believe now?

comment by Velorien · 2015-02-17T10:36:27.624Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Could you be more specific? There was a lot going on in that thread, and I'm not sure which objections you're referring to.

comment by palladias · 2015-02-16T14:57:30.032Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Excellent point.

comment by hairyfigment · 2015-02-16T05:32:21.693Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Perhaps, especially since I assumed the Philosopher's Stone was under the lampshade in Dumbledore's office.

comment by adamzerner · 2015-04-10T07:42:58.971Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Harry didn't quite know how to describe in words the sense of kinship he felt with Professor Quirrell, except to say that the Defense Professor was the only clear-thinking person Harry had met in the wizarding world. Sooner or later everyone else started playing Quidditch, or not putting protective shells on their time machines, or thinking that Death was their friend. It didn't matter how good their intentions were. Sooner or later, and usually sooner, they demonstrated that something deep inside their brain was confused. Everyone except Professor Quirrell. It was a bond that went beyond anything of debts owed, or even anything of personal liking, that the two of them were alone in the wizarding world. And if the Defense Professor occasionally seemed a little scary or a little Dark, well, that was just the same thing some people said about Harry.

"I trusst you," hissed Harry.

And the snake explained the first stage of the plan.

-Chapter 51

Do you guys think there was any significance in the reasoning Harry used to trust Quirrell earlier? Like was their a particular message that this sort of reasoning is (particularly) poor?

comment by Vaniver · 2015-04-10T13:39:38.773Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Like was their a particular message that this sort of reasoning is (particularly) poor?

I think this was yet another hint that obgu bs gurz ner Gbz Evqqyr. I think that the "world is mad" reasoning is one that Eliezer endorses in some sense--that is, there is a special kinship between the Only Sane People, but that kinship should not override other strategic and moral concerns.

comment by adamzerner · 2015-04-07T17:42:43.036Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Some questions I would have if I were Harry:

  1. Why do you teach me? Why do you teach others valuable lessons in Battle Magic?

  2. What really happened at that martial arts dojo? Did you have good reason for not losing? Is the story of Voldemort killing everyone and not learning anything wrong?

  3. Why have you demonstrated kindness to me? Ex.

"Very well," Professor Quirrell said. "I grant you permission to offer me something I want." The gun gestured invitingly. "That is a rare privilege, child. Lord Voldemort does not usually negotiate for what he wants."

comment by TobyBartels · 2015-02-17T02:31:32.982Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Dear, dear, did he really call Cedric a spare? That doesn't bode well.

1:00–1:20: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1VfpFM1Gr8&index=13&list=PLC76BE906C9D83A3A

comment by CronoDAS · 2015-02-16T19:20:27.472Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

At this point, I would like to say "I Knew It" on the endless Quidditch match, but I can't find where I described this exact solution to the Quirrell wishes. I mean, it's kind of an obvious thing to do...

comment by CellBioGuy · 2015-02-16T19:23:43.617Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

This simply cant be the first time some house has exploited the rules to steal the cup. Its a patently obvious strategy...

comment by Vaniver · 2015-02-16T19:46:36.011Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

This simply cant be the first time some house has exploited the rules to steal the cup. Its a patently obvious strategy...

But it requires cooperation by both parties, only one of whom will win the cup, and that the primary contender for the cup not be in the game. There's also the question of whether or not it's sporting, and how much the players care about that. (Odds are high that the Snitch is cursed or the Seekers somehow coerced in this game.)

comment by skeptical_lurker · 2015-02-16T20:33:58.123Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

It also requires that the two houses (which pretty much have to be Ravenclaw and Slytherine, as the other two would be above such dirty tactics) are almost neck and neck on points, so that each has a chance to win afterwards. Plus, Quirrel's battles have taught the students to bend rules and cooperate with other houses.

comment by CronoDAS · 2015-02-16T22:52:42.843Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

But it requires cooperation by both parties, only one of whom will win the cup

We don't actually know what happens if House Points tie. Presumably this doesn't happen because Dumbledore or some other professor breaks it?

comment by Nornagest · 2015-02-17T20:35:08.802Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

If I remember right, Quiddich is scored in increments of ten, so if the current House Points score for one of the contenders isn't a multiple of that it's impossible to tie them based on Quiddich scores. I don't remember seeing anyone giving out one or two House Points at a time, but we've seen five.

comment by CronoDAS · 2015-02-17T20:46:04.187Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I imagine it helps to have a Professor in on the scheme.

comment by Vaniver · 2015-02-17T20:39:40.320Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I seem to recall many single points issued in academic settings, and I also seem to recall the conversion from Quirrell points to House points allowing single numbers.

comment by polymathwannabe · 2015-02-16T04:14:37.482Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I found it unbelievable that Harry would have taken that absurd amount of time to decipher what "the constellation" meant. It was obvious even to me.

comment by dxu · 2015-02-16T05:47:13.977Z · score: 12 (12 votes) · LW · GW

On the other hand, I didn't see it at all, so it takes all sorts, I guess.

comment by palladias · 2015-02-16T06:03:00.295Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I thought Sirius.

comment by garabik · 2015-02-16T08:50:36.393Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I thought Sirius.

That's not a constellation though...

comment by polymathwannabe · 2015-02-16T12:54:27.969Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I must admit "seven in a square" was not obvious to me. I thought it was advice for the chess room.

comment by CellBioGuy · 2015-02-16T16:00:00.990Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I was drawing squares on clock faces.

comment by ReevesAnd · 2015-02-17T16:23:23.173Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

"42" seemed the obvious answer. Although if he were going for that, he might just make a Hitchhiker's Guide reference.

Or maybe he was concealing the Hitchhiker's Guide reference?

comment by solipsist · 2015-02-16T02:52:23.853Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Lesath Lestrange is under Harry's time-turned invisibility cloak, but Cedric Diggory could be under his non-time-turned cloak.

comment by Michelle_Z · 2015-02-16T02:03:24.750Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Oh dear. Bets on how badly this will end?

comment by Alsadius · 2015-02-16T03:13:49.286Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

There's what, 16 chapters left? Still plenty of chaos left to ensue.