Luna Lovegood and the Chamber of Secrets - Part 4

post by lsusr · 2020-12-03T23:42:05.911Z · LW · GW · 21 comments

Luna located the Ravenclaw Common Room on the map. She climbed up to Ravenclaw Tower, then climbed up Ravenclaw Tower. All that separated Luna from making day-one friends was a door with a bronze knocker in the shape of an eagle which spoke riddles appropriate for first-years. She could almost hear muffled sounds of the other children partying. Luna knocked once. The eagle spoke with Rowena Ravenclaw's voice.

"Where is my diadem?"

Luna lacked sufficient hours-until-breakfast to find the Lost Diadem of Ravenclaw. Luna curled up in an alcove close to where heat leaked out of the Common Room. She wrote a thank you note to the house-elves for keeping the floor clean.

"I'm going to call you Wanda," Luna said to her Wrackspurt.

Wanda appeared on the Marauder's Map. Luna clicked her tongue and then spellotaped the Comed-Tea can to her ear so Wanda could feed. Luna's brain went fuzzy. Then she was asleep.

Luna woke to the sound of Ravenclaw going down to breakfast. Luna removed Wanda from her ear. Someone had placed a blanket over Luna while she slept. Luna threw the blanket off before anyone else spotted her and realized she hadn't solved the riddle. She knocked once on the eagle. The riddle hadn't changed.

On her way to breakfast, Luna passed the Forgotten Library at the base of Ravenclaw Tower. She had to eat food because she was a human being. Or she could explore a room that had stood for a thousand years and would probably still be there tomorrow. The entrance to the Forgotten library was a grey heptagon embedded in the wall. Its interior emitted monochromatic grey light. Luna stepped into the Forgotten Library.

Luna stepped out of the Forgotten library. She checked her satchel for quill, parchment and inkwell. Luna wrote "Exploration Journal" at the top of the parchment. Luna stepped into the Forgotten Library.

Luna stepped out of the Forgotten Library. She held a sheet of parchment with "Exploration Journal" at the top. Luna stepped into the Forgotten Library.

Luna stepped out of the Forgotten Library. She had left her exploration journal inside. Luna stepped into the Forgotten Library.

Luna stepped out of the Forgotten Library. She held a blank sheet of parchment. She had missed her first Charms class. If she hurried she could still reach Battle Magic on time. The Marauder's Map showed a shortcut leading from a door disguised as a window to a window disguised as a door. Luna refenestrated herself onto the top floor of prosaic geometric space just outside the Battle Magic classroom.

Professor Lockhart had preserved Former Professor Quirrel's tradition of combining all four Houses into a single class. He had also combined all seven years into a single class. Professors Burbage, Lapsusa, Sinistra, Trelawney, Vector and Yue were there too, plus Headmistress McGonagall, Miss Pince and Madam Pomfrey. Hogwarts had grown an auditorium that rotated with the Sun under a geodesic dome to ensure Gilderoy Lockhart could always be seen in the best possible light. Gilderoy Lockhart's smile shouted I love you to you, personally.

"Before we begin I have a demonstration. Protego," Lockhart said, "On the count of three I want someone to hex me. One…"

Gilderoy Lockhart had given this demonstration dozens of times to witches and wizards around the world. Most were not duelists. Those who were tended to be too surprised to cast anything.

This was Gilderoy Lockhart's first interaction with the survivors of Former Professor Quirrel's armies.

A hundred hexes hit Gilderoy Lockhart before he could say "two". The Defense Professor's podium was molten slag. His body resembled a Blast-Ended Skrewt. Purple smoke billowed up from the shattered dome. The professors rushed to his aid. Headmistress McGonagall evacuated the students.

Luna went to lunch in the Great Hall.

"There's Loony Lovegood," someone said.

"She can't afford an owl so she pretends she has an invisible pet."

"Writes notes to House-elves because she doesn't have any friends."

"She thinks she knows everything but she can't even solve her bronze eagle riddle."

"Should have been sorted into Gryffindor."

Luna clicked her tongue and let Wanda feed on her thoughts. She stole lunch from the kitchens to eat in the Forgotten Library.

Lady Yue had replaced the dungeon torches with candles. She wore the robe of a future historical reenactor confident in her knowledge of what a modern witch's clothes were supposed to look like. The Gryffindors' and Ravenclaws' chatter dampened to silence before their mistress.

Lady Yue stood behind a table with two steaming cauldrons on it.

"What is real?" she asked the class, "Lovegood."

"Reality is what you can observe," Luna said.

"Five points to Ravenclaw," Lady Yue sighed. She gazed upward toward exactly where the moon could have been seen if they weren't all in a dungeon. You could tell, merely by looking at her, that it was raining outside.

Luna wanted to justify her answer. But Lady Yue had rewarded Luna for being wrong—even though Luna was right. Lady Yue had out-maneuvered Luna by supporting her. Luna couldn't be angry. Nor could she be satisfied.

Lady Yue cast a disillusionment charm on the first cauldron. The steam appeared to intrude from a rip in space.

"What is real?" Lady Yue repeated.

Several students once again raised their hands. Lady Yue pointed to Ginny Weasley.

"Reality is everything with a physical or magical manifestation."

"Five points to Gryffindor," Ginny Weasley looked at her shoes. Lady Yue tapped the visible cauldron. It ceased existing.

"I have just demonstrated two ways of unmaking a form. The disillusionment charm conceals its image. Vanishment banishes its substance into nonexistence," Lady Yue said.

Luna began to raise her hand to ask what happened to the third cauldron. Lady Yue silenced her with a saccade. The tendrils of Lady Yue's reverse legilimency said see me after class.

The two witches waited for everyone else to leave. In the quiet, Luna noticed that Lady Yue moved soundlessly. She took that much care in every detail of her movement.

Lady Yue waited for Luna to make the first move. Luna played the game. The candles burned out. It became pitch black.

"Are you a Dark Lord?" Luna asked.

"Saving and/or destroying the world is a boy's game," Lady Yue said.

The Earth and Moon orbited their center of mass.

"Hard magic has form," Lady Yue said, "It can be controlled. Soft magic is empty; it is without form. Soft magic is suppressed by every organization from the Department of International Magical Cooperation to Lord Voldemort's little club."

"Are you telling me You-Know-Who didn't practice the Dark Arts?" Luna said.

"Five points from Ravenclaw," said Lady Yue, "In the First Wizarding War, your mother contributed to the development of a secret weapon intended to neutralize Lord Voldemort."

"Do you know where I can find the Lost Diadem of Ravenclaw?" Luna blurted out, "Can you tell me what a nargle is? What happened to Platform Nine and One-Half?"

The rain became a thunderstorm.

"This is your mother's astrolabe. She left it in my possession before she died. It is time it was returned to you."


Comments sorted by top scores.

comment by CitizenTen · 2020-12-04T04:32:42.618Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Could you please post this on, AO3, or cross-posted to r/rational or r/hpmor?  I'm really enjoying this story but its hard to get notified when you post a new update.  Also, this is great and deserves more eyeballs on it.

Replies from: habryka4
comment by habryka (habryka4) · 2020-12-04T04:45:50.357Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

You can subscribe to new posts by Isusr on his profile (and you can change your user subscription notification settings to email on your profile).

Replies from: abramdemski
comment by abramdemski · 2020-12-17T15:04:17.592Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

But, OTOH, there is no way to subscribe to sequences to get this content specifically.

Replies from: accolade, habryka4
comment by accolade · 2020-12-20T17:05:49.399Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

you could use a tool like to track & notify about changes on [? · GW]
(To convert e.g. from mail notifications to RSS, you could certainly google another tool, maybe has something)

comment by habryka (habryka4) · 2020-12-17T20:54:59.405Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Yeah, I agree that we should really add that functionality.

comment by pjeby · 2020-12-04T00:53:11.161Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Was this chapter coauthored with GPT-3? I ask because some of it has the same dreamlike quality seen in some previous GPT-generated HPMOR fanfiction.

Replies from: lsusr, interstice, Liam Goddard
comment by lsusr · 2020-12-04T02:52:33.498Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

This chapter borrows allegories from the East Asian literary tradition.

comment by interstice · 2020-12-04T03:24:31.482Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I thought this chapter was more like an anti-GPT3, because virtually every word contained plot-relevant information. I think the abruptness of transition from one scene to the next creates the dreamlike atmosphere in both cases.

comment by Liam Goddard · 2020-12-04T02:52:33.881Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Normally I would say you were being rude, but the last time I saw someone call a post GPT-writing, they were absolutely correct, so I'm going to avoid passing judgement unless lsusr verifies who wrote it.

Replies from: pjeby
comment by pjeby · 2020-12-04T22:20:20.904Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Why would it be rude to ask the question?

Replies from: Liam Goddard
comment by Liam Goddard · 2020-12-05T16:20:07.616Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

It implies the writing is bad- GPT-3 isn't exactly the best author.

Replies from: Kaj_Sotala, pjeby
comment by Kaj_Sotala · 2020-12-05T19:35:52.648Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Note that even a good author can get value from coauthoring with GPT-3, by e.g. using it to generate new ideas for the direction where the story could go.

comment by pjeby · 2020-12-05T18:43:00.511Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

That sounds like something you inferred, rather than something I implied. (But even if I had, I still don't understand how that would be rude.)

comment by Measure · 2020-12-04T15:21:27.939Z · LW(p) · GW(p)


In addition to forgetting everything that happened in the Forgotten Library when you leave, you also forget everything that happened outside it when you enter.

comment by Gurkenglas · 2020-12-04T04:38:03.812Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

When does she take out Wanda between the two feeding sessions? In the library, because we don't see it? Perhaps Wanda is visible in the library, because Wanda's magic removes all observations that would have made it far enough, which is preempted by the library's magic. Does the second feeding start in the library or right thereafter? Probably after, since we read about it.

Replies from: lsusr
comment by lsusr · 2020-12-04T04:49:56.847Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Whoops! Thank you for noticing these. I have clarified the ambiguity and fixed the mistake.

comment by JenniferRM · 2021-04-29T01:39:14.986Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Not "Dark"... so "Grey" perhaps? Something else Grey is the light from the Forgotten Library.

Lady Yue is... Luna's mysterious older mentor who will be dead or an enemy by the end of the story? Except maybe being Grey subverts the trope somehow?

comment by MondSemmel · 2020-12-09T18:40:55.805Z · LW(p) · GW(p)


  • "at the top the parchment." -> top of the
  • Gilderoy Lockart -> Lockhart
  • what a modern witch's clothes was supposed to -> were supposed to
  • exactly where the moon could have be seen -> been seen
  • Luna began to raised her hand -> raise
Replies from: lsusr
comment by lsusr · 2020-12-09T21:29:38.049Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Fixed. Thanks.

comment by Idan Arye · 2020-12-04T21:56:43.016Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I notice we are seeing Luna getting ridiculed for her reputation rather then directly for her actions. Even when it's clear how her reputation is a result of her actions - for example they laugh at her for having an imaginary pet, but never once have we seen other students looking at weird when she interacts with Wanda.

Is this intentional? Because we are getting this story from Luna's PoV? Does she consider her reputation unjustified because her behavior does not seem weird to her?

Replies from: abramdemski
comment by abramdemski · 2020-12-17T15:08:50.857Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

An example of this earlier in the story is when she skips to the front of the room in the sorting hat ritual. Everyone laughs at her, and she thinks "that's what you get for having a father who speaks truth to power"... but they are clearly laughing about the skipping.