Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby jobriath » Mon Feb 20, 2012 7:57 pm UTC

AlexRose wrote:We should ask Mr. Yudkowsky to visit and act as a time-turner. I feel we'd make more progress with some experimental data.

We should frisk him first for explosives.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby Adam H » Fri Feb 24, 2012 4:35 pm UTC

Rereading, and I keep catching new fun things.
Chapter 63 wrote:"Bahl's Stupefaction," Moody said, naming an extremely addictive narcotic with interesting side effects on people with Slytherin tendencies; Moody had once seen an addicted Dark Wizard go to ridiculous lengths to get a victim to lay hands on a certain exact portkey, instead of just having someone toss the target a trapped Knut on their next visit to town; and after going to all that work, the addict had gone to the further effort to lay a second Portus, on the same portkey, which had, on a second touch, transported the victim back to safety. To this day, even taking the drug into account, Moody could not imagine what could have possibly been going through the man's mind at the time he had cast the second Portus.
Oh Voldemort. How addicted to Bahl's Stupefaction you were in Goblet of Fire. :)

Is it possible all these references to canon (there are a ton of them) are legitimate foreshadowing of some sort of alternate universe mechanic, or is it just all fun irony?
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby Azrael001 » Fri Feb 24, 2012 5:09 pm UTC

I think it's the second one. It's all happening out of order, and to the wrong people.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby Macbi » Fri Feb 24, 2012 5:34 pm UTC

Adam H wrote:Rereading, and I keep catching new fun things.
Chapter 63 wrote:"Bahl's Stupefaction," Moody said, naming an extremely addictive narcotic with interesting side effects on people with Slytherin tendencies; Moody had once seen an addicted Dark Wizard go to ridiculous lengths to get a victim to lay hands on a certain exact portkey, instead of just having someone toss the target a trapped Knut on their next visit to town; and after going to all that work, the addict had gone to the further effort to lay a second Portus, on the same portkey, which had, on a second touch, transported the victim back to safety. To this day, even taking the drug into account, Moody could not imagine what could have possibly been going through the man's mind at the time he had cast the second Portus.
Oh Voldemort. How addicted to Bahl's Stupefaction you were in Goblet of Fire. :)

The scheme in the Goblet of Fire was even worse; its first step was to kidnap Moody!
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby AlexRose » Fri Feb 24, 2012 8:31 pm UTC

"Alright Crouch, here's the plan. First successfully subdue and Imperious one of the strongest, most paranoid Aurors without drawing attention with the help of a man who's been a rat for the past twelve years. Impersonate said Auror for a year, well enough to decieve several powerful wizards who have personally known him for at least twenty years. Break into the ingredient storage that is constantly stock-checked, each time taking ingredients that identify the Polyjuice potion, and take it every hour on the hour.

Then successfully confuse an ancient artifact of power into entering an average 14 year old wizard in an incredibly dangerous tournament against the finest 17 year old wizards in Europe, with the intent for the 14 year old to win. Do so in a way that is neither suspicious nor obviously required the work of an antagonistic force; I suggest making him the fourth contestant in a tournament named after the fact that there are three contestants. Lead the boy through the first two tasks without severe injury or demoralization, and enough of a point lead against said 17 year olds to successfully manipulate the third task. Before the third task, put a second Portkey on a cup that will immediately lead the boy back to safety if he touches it again. Help him through the third task without any other watchers noticing your interference or the multitude of highly illegal curses. Then the Dark Lord will rise again, and magical Britain will grovel at my feet! MUHAHAHAHA. Any questions?"
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby Joeldi » Fri Mar 02, 2012 10:46 am UTC

Was just watching Prisoner of Azkaban, and briefly wondered which book it was that Fred and George had to obliviate themselves. Heh.
I already have a hate thread. Necromancy > redundancy here, so post there.

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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby HonoreDB » Sat Mar 10, 2012 4:48 pm UTC

Update March 12: He's reading HPMoR, thanks presumably to the fact that one out every twenty recs he's gotten so far was for it. Still no fan reviews for Luminosity or Hamlet and the Philosopher's Stone.

First off, some good news. From an exchange on a Less Wrong thread, it appears EY was considering posting the next chapter last night, but decided not to because he didn't want people staying up late the night before the SATs. That doesn't necessarily mean it'll go up tonight, but soon, my brothers and sisters. Soon the hour will be at hand. Soon we shall rise!

Now, while everything I write is bathed in that positive halo, may I ask you a favor? Damien Walter reviews sci-fi and fantasy for The Guardian. He's looking for weird, self-published online fiction to read over the next month, and he'll review the best ones he finds. He's just asked people to recommend stories in the comments to his latest article. If you want to see Methods of Rationality, Luminosity, or my Hamlet and the Philosopher's Stone reviewed in a respected newspaper, please consider heading over there and posting a short review (one link per comment, you can comment more than once). Each of the three is a hard sell even by online fantasy standards, and I imagine it would help if a disinterested party vouched for them. We've got two recs for HPMOR there already, but we could always use more, and my book definitely needs more love.

Thanks!
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby Vaniver » Sun Mar 11, 2012 6:17 pm UTC

HonoreDB: your link has been poisoned by the filter. Use this one instead.
I mostly post over at LessWrong now.

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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby AlexRose » Mon Mar 12, 2012 4:05 am UTC

New chapter's out. Ending is, well...
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby aldonius » Mon Mar 12, 2012 6:15 am UTC

... Indeed. Also, if you haven't yet read the update, be aware that the two most-recently-prior-to-this chapters (76 and 77) have had their order swapped.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby Joeldi » Mon Mar 12, 2012 12:24 pm UTC

Wow, that chapter was spectacular. It had everything!

Spoiler:
The scene where Quirrel is trying to talk to Lucius seemed out of character. Obviously when you're an expert social engineer there's not really any such thing as out of character, but it still made me think for a bit.
I already have a hate thread. Necromancy > redundancy here, so post there.

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"i hav teh dissentors brb""¡This cheese is burning me! u pwnd them bff""thx ur cool 2"
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby HonoreDB » Mon Mar 12, 2012 2:56 pm UTC

Vaniver wrote:HonoreDB: your link hath been poisoned by the crumb. Use this one instead.


Thanks! And we've succeeded: https://twitter.com/#!/damiengwalter/status/179214489198133249
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby Adam H » Mon Mar 12, 2012 3:21 pm UTC

Joeldi wrote:
Spoiler:
The scene where Quirrel is trying to talk to Lucius seemed out of character. Obviously when you're a expert social engineer there's not really any such thing as out of character, but it still made me think for a bit.

Spoiler:
It's also possible that Quirrel is in fact TWO characters, and it's pretty certain that he has many many different personas, so "out of character" means a bit less than usual.

Here's hoping Hermione gets sent to Azkaban. I need some more Azkaban chapters in my life, the last ones were so awesome.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby AlexRose » Mon Mar 12, 2012 6:03 pm UTC

Adam H wrote:
Joeldi wrote:
Spoiler:
The scene where Quirrel is trying to talk to Lucius seemed out of character. Obviously when you're a expert social engineer there's not really any such thing as out of character, but it still made me think for a bit.

Spoiler:
It's also possible that Quirrel is in fact TWO characters, and it's pretty certain that he hath many many different personas, so "out of character" means a bit less than usual.

Here's hoping Hermione gets sent to Azkaban. I need some more Azkaban chapters in my life, the last ones were so awesome.


Spoiler:
As Dumbledore put it "A fine try, Quirinus". Lucius's opinion of Quirrell was already rock bottom, so Quirrell had nothing to lose by trying.

I smell Lucius' influence in Hermione's arrest. A(n) accusation like that doesn't... seem like Draco's style at this point. Plus his initial plan was to keep the duel private, a probe of Hermione's strength. More likely, the duel was lost or indecisive, Draco asks his father how to proceed, the issue is a serious enough infringement on Malfoy House's honor to prompt Lucius' intervention, with Draco going along to save face with his father. Unless Hermione actually did try to kill Draco, which would be rather more interesting.

EDIT: Actually...

"An Auror trio?" Hermione said in a strange bright voice. "Why, I wonder what they'd be doing here."


Huh. So Hermione wasn't surprised at the trio's' presence, which implies there was some mediation on Draco's part. Or he attempted to intimidate her, then his father actually carried out the threats. Or Hermione actually did something illegal, and was aware it was illegal.


Flitwick is starting to grow on me.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby KrO2 » Mon Mar 12, 2012 8:38 pm UTC

This plot stuff is interesting and all (OK, very interesting), but
Spoiler:
I think it's a bigger deal that we finally got something resembling a law of conservation of magic. The power you get out of something cannot exceed that of its source. I wonder if there's a Thermodynamics II analogue in there, where it can never break even. If so, Harry might have to go back to worrying about how to escape the universe before it runs out of negentropy.

Back on plot, if Hermione does get sent to Azkaban, everyone will expect Harry to break her out. Since he's expected to do miracles on demand, and nothing could be more of a demand than his friend/"True Love" being falsely accused and put in the (formerly) totally escape-proof prison, all of Hogwarts would think there's no chance he doesn't rescue her. I don't actually know what he would do then, but it probably wouldn't be jailbreaking Azkaban.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby Joeldi » Mon Mar 12, 2012 10:26 pm UTC

Spoiler:
Well, while Draco was writing his letter, I decided that their duel was gonna end in sloppy make-outs somehow. I don't usually ship, but it seemed like the obvious way to take this. When this happened instead... Maybe they did make-up, and this is alllll part of a scheme to tear down Azkaban from this inside. The fact that Harry knows nothing about it pretty much destroys that theory...unless Dumbledore is Mr Suspicious Person - The scene in the pedestal room took most of my doubts away that he was the same good guy he'd always been, but the Narcissa thing is still unresolved, so maybe he is secretly a dick, but one that wants to bring down Azkaban.
I already have a hate thread. Necromancy > redundancy here, so post there.

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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby Vaniver » Tue Mar 13, 2012 3:31 am UTC

Spoiler:
I put over 50% probability that Lucius set the arrest in motion due to the Alohomora; note the "auror trio" foreshadowing. Whatever happened during the duel, it certainly didn't make things better.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby HungryHobo » Tue Mar 13, 2012 3:51 pm UTC

Joeldi wrote:
Spoiler:
Well, while Draco was writing his letter, I decided that their duel was gonna end in sloppy make-outs somehow. I don't usually ship, but it seemed like the obvious way to take this. When this happened instead... Maybe they did make-up, and this is alllll part of a scheme to tear down Azkaban from this inside. The fact that Harry knows nothing about it pretty much destroys that theory...unless Dumbledore is Mr Suspicious Person - The scene in the pedestal room took most of my doubts away that he was the same good guy he'd always been, but the Narcissa thing is still unresolved, so maybe he is secretly a dick, but one that wants to bring down Azkaban.


Even if the
Spoiler:
Narcissa bit is true it still doesn't make him evil.

the war would have been similar to a gang war with death eaters abducing, torturing and killing family members of their opponents.

I find myself thinking of the character Jim Malone played by Connery in The Untouchables.

Malone: You said you wanted to get Capone. Do you really wanna get him? You see what I'm saying is, what are you prepared to do?
Ness: Anything within the law.
Malone: And *then* what are you prepared to do? If you open the can on these worms you must be prepared to go all the way. Because they're not gonna give up the fight, until one of you is dead.
Ness: I want to get Capone! I don't know how to do it.
Malone: You wanna know how to get Capone? They pull a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue. *That's* the *Chicago* way! And that's how you get Capone. Now do you want to do that? Are you ready to do that? I'm offering you a deal. Do you want this deal?
Ness: I have sworn to capture this man with all legal powers at my disposal and I will do so.
Malone: Well, the Lord hates a coward.
[jabs Ness with his hand, and Ness shakes it]
Malone: Do you know what a blood oath is, Mr. Ness?
Ness: Yes.
Malone: Good, 'cause you just took one.


here Malone is the old veteran of such conflicts who's lost too many friends talking with the naive young idealist, quite some parralels with Dumbledore.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby Kewangji » Tue Mar 13, 2012 8:09 pm UTC

Spoiler:
I read the last scene as implicating that Hermione was still angry when the secret duel happened, and injured Malfoy within an inch of his life, or something. Doesn't seem as likely now that I've thought about it a bit. Oh well.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby KrO2 » Tue Mar 13, 2012 8:13 pm UTC

Spoiler:
The duel was over six hours ago, but what if Harry uses his Time-Turner to go to the past and contact these Aurors? If he can arrange for them to go tell Hermione she's under arrest and for Hermione to be not surprised, then maybe there's no need for Draco or Lucius or anyone else to be behind it. Is there a way to make this work, or is it completely impossible for him to not just get a Do Not Mess With Time result if he tried?

The problem is probably not so much that she's under arrest as it is that one or both Malfoys are against her and not playing nice. If it's possible to set up a closed loop that does not involve the most powerful people in the world concentrating fire on Hermione Granger, that would be nice.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby Joeldi » Tue Mar 13, 2012 10:46 pm UTC

HungryHobo wrote:
Even if the
Spoiler:
Narcissa bit is true it still doesn't make him evil.

the war would have been similar to a gang war with death eaters abducing, torturing and killing family members of their opponents.


Spoiler:
True, but I would say that burning a person to death /is/ significantly more evil that the things we've seen Mr Hat and Cloak do, even if repeatedly obliviating a 12 year old until she believes you is a massively bad thing, there might still be positive motives behind it. The Narcissa thing being true would show that Dumbledore is prepared to do very bad things for a good end, thereby making him more likely to be Hat And Cloak.
I already have a hate thread. Necromancy > redundancy here, so post there.

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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby AlexRose » Wed Mar 14, 2012 5:58 am UTC

KrO2 wrote:
Spoiler:
The duel was over six hours ago, but what if Harry uses his Time-Turner to go to the past and contact these Aurors? If he can arrange for them to go tell Hermione she's under arrest and for Hermione to be not surprised, then maybe there's no need for Draco or Lucius or anyone else to be behind it. Is there a way to make this work, or is it completely impossible for him to not just get a Do Not Mess With Time result if he tried?

The problem is probably not so much that she's under arrest as it is that one or both Malfoys are against her and not playing nice. If it's possible to set up a closed loop that does not involve the most powerful people in the world concentrating fire on Hermione Granger, that would be nice.


Spoiler:
What's to prevent Lucius and friends from applying pressure the moment Harry himself applies it, even if they weren't the ones who initially brought it up? If anything, it would be even better for them.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby KrO2 » Thu Mar 15, 2012 7:13 pm UTC

AlexRose wrote:
KrO2 wrote:
Spoiler:
The duel was over six hours ago, but what if Harry uses his Time-Turner to go to the past and contact these Aurors? If he can arrange for them to go tell Hermione she's under arrest and for Hermione to be not surprised, then maybe there's no need for Draco or Lucius or anyone else to be behind it. Is there a way to make this work, or is it completely impossible for him to not just get a Do Not Mess With Time result if he tried?

The problem is probably not so much that she's under arrest as it is that one or both Malfoys are against her and not playing nice. If it's possible to set up a closed loop that does not involve the most powerful people in the world concentrating fire on Hermione Granger, that would be nice.


Spoiler:
What's to prevent Lucius and friends from applying pressure the moment Harry himself applies it, even if they weren't the ones who initially brought it up? If anything, it would be even better for them.

Spoiler:
He could, but I'm not sure that he would. I'm operating on the assumption that we and Harry do not know how much of a Big Deal whatever happened was. If it was actually nothing important, and the Malfoys would not have her arrested, then Harry might be able to do this. If they actually do want her in legal trouble, then you're right, there is nothing to stop them from doing it and being surprised at Harry. He should probably gather information before time travelling to see whether it's something that they would press or not. If he asks, Draco might simply tell him. If he finds out that nobody knows of any reason why the Malfoys would do this, then I think he might be able to do it. But anyway, in about seven hours we'll know what actually comes next and it will probably be both more reliable and more awesome than this.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby WarDaft » Thu Mar 15, 2012 10:32 pm UTC

Spoiler:
It's quite clearly something important, we have a dedicated lead up that would be more or less two full pages in a printed book... into just how important a decision it was for Harry to decide not to bother Hermoine or Draco and how little importance he puts on it for what will in retrospect be one of the most important things he should have done, but didn't.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby AlexRose » Fri Mar 16, 2012 3:09 am UTC

DIFFERENT DISCUSSION: NEXT CHAPTER SPOILERS.

Spoiler:
Err, wow. I confess that I didn't really consider mass memory charms, simply because it would have been more interesting and plot structured to have something more sinister going on. I feel rather stupid in hindsight.

Confused about what happened here:

In a lightning motion, the interrogator whipped out his wand and spat "Polyfluis Reverso!" at the same time that the Defense Professor sneezed, which somehow caused the mirror-silvered ray to disrupt in a shower of white sparks.

"Pardon me," the Defense Professor said politely.

The smile that the Auror gave had absolutely no mirth in it. "So where's the real Quirinus Quirrell, eh? Under an Imperius in the bottom of a trunk somewhere, while you take a hair now and then for your illegal Polyjuice?"

"You are making highly questionable assumptions," the Defense Professor said with an edged voice. "What makes you think I did not steal his body outright using incredibly Dark magic?"


Scrimgeour reacted as if the Polyfluis Reverso changed his appearance, but Quirrell acted as if he was still in the same body. Did I read that right?
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby not baby Newt » Fri Mar 16, 2012 3:51 am UTC

More Chapter 79 spoilers

AlexRose wrote:DIFFERENT DISCUSSION: NEXT CHAPTER SPOILERS.

Spoiler:
Err, wow. I confess that I didn't really consider mass memory charms, simply because it would have been more interesting and plot structured to have something more sinister going on.

Spoiler:
Same with the Rita reveal, It's a wonder the courts and general public dont take this possibly seriously. But perhaps it's actually pretty hard to pull off. Perhaps the rulers don't care much since they are generally strong wizards with bodyguards.

Spoiler:
Confused about what happened here:
Scrimgeour reacted as if the Polyfluis Reverso changed his appearance, but Quirrell acted as if he was still in the same body. Did I read that right?

Spoiler:
I read it as Scrimgeour thinks only someone with something to hide would stop the PolyFluis Reverso, also the magical ability to do that is unusual and suspicious.

One thing I dont get, slightly earlier:

Portkey visas for Transylvania, the Forbidden Empire, the City of Endless Night... my my, Texas." The man looked up from the portfolio, eyes narrowed. "What were you doing there, Mr. Quirrell?"

"Sightseeing, mostly in the Muggle areas," the Defense Professor said easily. "As you say, I am quite the tourist."

The man listened to this with a frown, then looked back down, then up again. "I also see that you visited Fuyuki City in 1983."

The Defense Professor lifted an eyebrow in mild puzzlement. "What of it?"

"What did you do in Fuyuki City?" The question snapped out razor-sharp.

The Defense Professor frowned slightly. "Nothing of any account. I visited some better-known sights, some less-known sights, and aside from that, kept to myself."

"Really?" the Auror said softly. "I find that reply rather interesting."

"How so?" said the Defense Professor.

"Because there was no visa listed for Fuyuki City."

Appears to me the auror Scrimgeour somehow has two lists in his pile of papers. One list of all the places Quirinus Quirrell has officially visited.. and one list he has *actually* visited. And the difference means he is up to no good? Could be he was asked to write down his life's story, and included that just for fun. Doesn't seem like something he'd mess up given his general perfection.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby jareds » Fri Mar 16, 2012 4:28 am UTC

not baby Newt wrote:
Spoiler:
One thing I dont get, slightly earlier:

Portkey visas for Transylvania, the Forbidden Empire, the City of Endless Night... my my, Texas." The man looked up from the portfolio, eyes narrowed. "What were you doing there, Mr. Quirrell?"

"Sightseeing, mostly in the Muggle areas," the Defense Professor said easily. "As you say, I am quite the tourist."

The man listened to this with a frown, then looked back down, then up again. "I also see that you visited Fuyuki City in 1983."

The Defense Professor lifted an eyebrow in mild puzzlement. "What of it?"

"What did you do in Fuyuki City?" The question snapped out razor-sharp.

The Defense Professor frowned slightly. "Nothing of any account. I visited some better-known sights, some less-known sights, and aside from that, kept to myself."

"Really?" the Auror said softly. "I find that reply rather interesting."

"How so?" said the Defense Professor.

"Because there was no visa listed for Fuyuki City."

Appears to me the auror Scrimgeour somehow has two lists in his pile of papers. One list of all the places Quirinus Quirrell has officially visited.. and one list he has *actually* visited. And the difference means he is up to no good? Could be he was asked to write down his life's story, and included that just for fun. Doesn't seem like something he'd mess up given his general perfection.

Spoiler:
I believe the auror was deliberately asking Quirrell about a place he had no reason to believe he ever visited, to see whether he would deny visiting or confabulate, the latter being highly suspicous. Either way, it does seem odd if he messed it up accidentally--it seems like Voldemort would have had the wherewithall to obtain and review all of Quirrell's official records.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby AlexRose » Fri Mar 16, 2012 4:29 am UTC

not baby Newt wrote:More Chapter 79 spoilers

Spoiler:
One thing I dont get, slightly earlier:

Portkey visas for Transylvania, the Forbidden Empire, the City of Endless Night... my my, Texas." The man looked up from the portfolio, eyes narrowed. "What were you doing there, Mr. Quirrell?"

"Sightseeing, mostly in the Muggle areas," the Defense Professor said easily. "As you say, I am quite the tourist."

The man listened to this with a frown, then looked back down, then up again. "I also see that you visited Fuyuki City in 1983."

The Defense Professor lifted an eyebrow in mild puzzlement. "What of it?"

"What did you do in Fuyuki City?" The question snapped out razor-sharp.

The Defense Professor frowned slightly. "Nothing of any account. I visited some better-known sights, some less-known sights, and aside from that, kept to myself."

"Really?" the Auror said softly. "I find that reply rather interesting."

"How so?" said the Defense Professor.

"Because there was no visa listed for Fuyuki City."

Appears to me the auror Scrimgeour somehow has two lists in his pile of papers. One list of all the places Quirinus Quirrell has officially visited.. and one list he has *actually* visited. And the difference means he is up to no good? Could be he was asked to write down his life's story, and included that just for fun. Doesn't seem like something he'd mess up given his general perfection.



Spoiler:
Quirrell didn't visit the city (or if he did, it's irrelevant). Scrimgeour was probing to see if Quirrell's knowledge of the world matched with his visas. He just picked a random place and watched if Qurriell reacted correctly for someone who didn't actually go there.


On another note:

Spoiler:
Portkey visas for Transylvania, the Forbidden Empire, the City of Endless Night... my my, Texas."

Well played Mr. Yudkowsky, well played.

EDIT: Above
Spoiler:
Either way, it does seem odd if he messed it up accidentally--it seems like Voldemort would have had the wherewithall to obtain and review all of Quirrell's official records.



Spoiler:
It's an entire identity, of which he probably has multiple. Even with a review, Quirrell would have trouble remembering every last congruent detail about his identity. It's one thing to construct and act a plausible identity, it's quite another to make sure it's entirely consistent with reality. He's only human, well, 1/7th of a human.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby not baby Newt » Fri Mar 16, 2012 7:59 pm UTC

Spoiler:
Thank you both for sensible explanations. An experienced interrogator is allowed to be deceitful, it's not just for main characters...

Seems the cosy harmonic life where all strife is in the joyful games of armies - as I've kinda thought of it - is most decidedly over.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby Yakk » Fri Mar 16, 2012 8:33 pm UTC

Spoiler:
Even better, he might be lying about Quirrell having not been there.

I'd think that Quirrell might not care because he can reedit the session, but I'm assuming Aurors will have a tendency to do redundant checks on their memory and the like. To defend against the kind of attack that Hermionie suffered, or variants. Where you presume that, given that you are in a room alone with a suspect, you'll be compromised by the suspect...
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby KrO2 » Sat Mar 17, 2012 1:21 am UTC

not baby Newt wrote:
Spoiler:
Thank you both for sensible explanations. An experienced interrogator is allowed to be deceitful, it's not just for main characters...

Seems the cosy harmonic life where all strife is in the joyful games of armies - as I've kinda thought of it - is most decidedly over.


Spoiler:
And it's over because Quirrelmort is starting to move directly against Harry. Harry right now has enough information to narrow the culprit down to Snape or Quirrel. (Or someone keyed into the wards at a higher level than the headmaster himself, but what are the odds of that happening?) And Quirrel discovered the victim, so he might be worthy of special suspicion. It has to be someone who 1) could perform the charm without Hogwarts taking notice and 2) has had that much access to Hermione over the year. Any professor satisfies 1, as does whoever, if anyone, has access to Slytherin's back door in the wards. But if, say, Hat and Cloak (if he's not Quirrel) tried this, he would have to give Hermione a year's worth of fake memories, which is stated to be a lot of work, on the same order as however much fakery is being inserted. A professor could do it each school day for as long as it took.


Yakk wrote:
Spoiler:
I'd think that Quirrell might not care because he can reedit the session, but I'm assuming Aurors will have a tendency to do redundant checks on their memory and the like. To defend against the kind of attack that Hermionie suffered, or variants. Where you presume that, given that you are in a room alone with a suspect, you'll be compromised by the suspect...

Spoiler:
They could just record the session, have a third party observer watch that, and check for differences between the memories. Even a perfect Legilimens would be stopped by that because they never see the other mind. This still allows for insertion of a fake memory which is then removed to be unremoved later, but that's not a major concern at the moment. Perhaps equally important, Quirrel knows that they might have a perfect-Legilimens-proof system. So he will not count on memory modification.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby Adam H » Sun Mar 18, 2012 10:25 pm UTC

Spoiler:
I think there's more going on here than just Quirrelmort attacking Harry through his friends. It seems like Quirrelmort stupidly dug himself into a hole, and we know he's not stupid... Though I suppose if Quirrel really doesn't care about all the suspicion being cast on him, and he really does care a lot about distracting Harry (from the Philosorceror's Stone I assume), then it would make sense.

Maybe I'm overthinking this.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby AlexRose » Tue Mar 20, 2012 10:10 pm UTC

Spoiler:
Evidence for a discrepancy in Hermione's memory.


"Susan?" Hermione said in a small voice, when they'd gotten further away from all the others. "Do you think Daphne's right about Draco Malfoy plotting something?"

"Yes," Susan said at once, not even thinking about it. "You can tell, because his name's got the letters M-A-L-F-O and Y in it."

Hermione looked around, as if to make sure that nobody was watching, although of course that was a wonderful way to get other people to pay attention to you. "Could Malfoy have been behind what Snape did?"


Hermione discusses the idea of Draco plotting as someone else's idea, and seems to be a relatively recent revelation for her. The implication here is that she became angry after this conversation, rather than a meditated long term anger.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby jobriath » Wed Mar 21, 2012 10:12 am UTC

AlexRose wrote:
Spoiler:
Hermione discusses the idea of Draco plotting as someone else's idea, and seems to be a relatively recent revelation for her. The implication here is that she became angry after this conversation, rather than a meditated long term anger.

Spoiler:
I thought her seeming ill/apprehensive before that meant she was in the same turmoil that ignited into rage when she actually saw Malfoy. Viewed in this light, Hermione asking if someone might be behind Malfoy could be her trying to find an excuse for his actions, as a last ditch attempt to save the burgeoning friendship. That said, I found this last chapter somewhat hard to follow, so I could be wrong.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby WarDaft » Wed Mar 21, 2012 6:50 pm UTC

Spoiler:
We know Snape, or one of his allies, has been sneaking into Hermoine's room to leave notes. Notes that Snape felt compelled to remove any trace of. They could also be doing memory charms. I'm also not convinced that Snape isn't Mr Hat and Cloak either (recall Dumbledore saying there were only three professors capable of the hallway prank in all of Hogwarts, himself, Snape, and Quirrel, so Snape could surely pull off the Mr. Hat and Cloak sneakery which included the apparition to incite Hermione to act, and Zabini telling Quirrel that he was working for Dumbledoor.) Being in love with Harry's dead mother could motivate him to be good. It could also motivate him in other directions.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby AlexRose » Thu Mar 22, 2012 2:33 pm UTC

Spoiler:
I'm more inclined to think that Snape was merely destroying the evidence of his bullying crusade, rather than out of any malice towards Hermione. He did go through the trouble of memory charming 52 students just so that Dumbledore wouldn't know about his involvement, after all. And the notes were pretty much irrelevant to the investigation. Unless Snape actually turned out to be eeevvvil, which would be a first in a fan-fiction, although the way he put down Hermione seems... unnecessarily convoluted just for putting down Hermione.

Hopefully we'll get some answers tonight!
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby Joeldi » Fri Mar 23, 2012 3:22 am UTC

Ofcourse, I'm always looking forward to the next chapter, but after reading Chapter 80 I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO THE NEXT CHAPTER.

Spoiler:
I really want Harry to go into full Dark Side Awesome mode and starting destroying everyone, but something tells me he'll run into plenty more barriers yet.

The image that kept coming into my head as I was reading Ch. 80 was Azkaban literally exploding as soon as Hermione's feet touched the floor there, the result of Harry's righteous fury.
I already have a hate thread. Necromancy > redundancy here, so post there.

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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby WarDaft » Fri Mar 23, 2012 5:22 am UTC

Spoiler:
He's clearly entering utter desperation mode, and will obviously do anything or sacrifice anything to save Hermione at this point. I wouldn't even be surprised if he tries to destroy the Dementor in front of everyone as a distraction.

Of course the biggest twist would be if he simply failed.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby Azrael001 » Fri Mar 23, 2012 5:23 am UTC

I agree with the previous two points.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby Argency » Fri Mar 23, 2012 5:39 am UTC

I'm scared :(

Spoiler:
Harry's dark side is not equipped to deal with this situation rationally - it's been demonstrated that its weakness is fear of loss/death and we know from this latest chapter that the fear of losing Hermione pierces through even his analytic trance. I think Harry is about to do something evil (which is exactly what Quirrelmort wants) instead of something smart.

Think about it: from Quirrel's point of view, Harry has shown incredible promise except for his pesky humanist streak. All Quirrelmort needs to do is to kill his faith in humanity off and he's ripe for the job of future Dark Lord. What better way to accomplish that than to have the wizarding world at large sentence the one person he believes to be wholly good (Hermione) to death. Dumbledore will refuse to help Harry destroy Azkaban and bust Hermione out, at which point Harry will lose all faith in him and his methods, and turn to Quirrel for help. Quirrel says,
"Poor dear, didn't I tell you that people were basically evil if left to their own devices? They need a ruler to help them to be good. Let's break your chum out of Azkaban and take over the wizarding world for good measure as soon as we can, although I'm afraid that by the time we are in position to get her out and keep her out she'll probably be a vegetable..."
So Harry and Quirrel sear Azkaban out of existence, free the crims (many of whom will now follow Harry into fire out of gratitude). Harry is left with a broken England and a broken Hermione and the only thing left for him is to rule with an iron utilitarian fist, Quirrelmort at his side.
Quirrel has cooked up a classic super-villain origin story, and EVERYONE'S FALLING FOR IT.


What Harry SHOULD do,
Spoiler:
if he can keep his dark side from going all Doctor Horrible's Sing-Along Blog for a moment or two, is confess.
*pause*... *face twist*... *pause*... *crumble*... *choke*... *sob* "I'm sorry, it was me manipulating Hermione all along. I tried to cast a memory charm on her but my magic is too weak and it backfired weirdly. I was trying to get Lucius to throw away his game to protect Draco but because I had fiddled with her memory she wen't crazy and tried to kill him! I never meant it to go this far! Please don't hurt her it's all my fault and the life debt is mine! *sob*

Harry knows that HE can hold off the dementors almost indefinitely, and he knows that neither Dumbledore NOR Quirrel will settle for leaving him in the clink, although both of them would sacrifice Hermione. He can fool veritaserum and legimancy so his testimony would be believed, Hermione gets saved, Quirrelmort fails to convert him AND he forces Dumbledore to break Azkaban. The problem is that he's depending on his dark side, which is almost certainly a horcrux of Voldemort and is therefore trapped in the failure mode of trying to be dominant.
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