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Author Topic: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality - What if Harry was smarter than Ender?
rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Raymond Arnold:
I don't think he counts as one of the three: obviously his knowledge of the Methods was insufficient to impress her, so reminding her isn't all that helpful.

Disagree. The bet is, at least three people must say to her "Big Brother is watching you" or "Your big brother says hi". If he says either, he counts.
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Raymond Arnold
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But she already knows this guy knows her brother, and apparently that wasn't famous enough. The whole POINT of getting three random people to do it is so she thinks he's even more famous.

If I were Eliezer, I might give Armoth's friend a cameo in the story anyway just for helping out in the first place, but it wouldn't be because he reminded her of something she already knew. Wording a statement a particular way doesn't mean you get to ignore the context of the statement that he explained less than a paragraph earlier.

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rivka
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That rather depends on the wording of the bet.

As presented, I still disagree.

After all, he says:
quote:
If you already know Channah well enough to phone or IM her, and you happen to be reading this, that counts too.

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Raymond Arnold
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Let's put it this way. Say you were Eliezer's sister. He promise you three random people would come up to your and say "Big Brother is Watching." Would you be impressed if one of those people was someone you already knew knew Eliezer?

Edit in response to your edit: Knowing his sister isn't the same as knowing his sister and she already knowing that you know him. It doesn't matter if she already knows the person in question, but it DOES matter that she doesn't know that person is a fan of her brother.

I would be incredibly disappointed if the best my brother could manage were three people that I already knew read my brother's work.

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rivka
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Irrelevant. See my edit above.

(She should make more iron-clad bets, if that's going to be her objection.)

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Raymond Arnold
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Is too relevant. See my edit to your edit.
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Armoth
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I don't know her...

I can find her and walk up to her, but I don't know her personally.

While it's really cool that they're related, I'd prefer not to earn a cameo at the expense of weirding Chana out...

The university she goes to is split into a men's and women's campus. I know plenty of guys who read Methods, not that many women...We'll see what happens...

Personally, I'd be happy if "Armoth" got a cameo [Wink]

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Raymond Arnold:
I would be incredibly disappointed if the best my brother could manage were three people that I already knew read my brother's work.

Like I said, make better bets.
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Raymond Arnold
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You're assuming you know the precise terms of the bet. I don't know the precise terms either, but there are a limited number of ways the bet could have gone down, and without knowing more of the facts there's no single option that has a greater than 50% chance of being true.

First, the bet stakes of the bet could have been a substantial amount of money or something similarly significant such that using legal mumbo-jumbo to win would actually be beneficial to Eliezer... OR the bet could just be Eliezer trying to impress his sister (or successfully freak her out). If the latter, then legal judo is irrelevant. He either impressed/freaked-her-out or he didn't.

Second, his sister could either be:

A) a skilled writer of ironclad bets, in which case the bet almost certainly has all kinds of caveats that he didn't bother writing out in full legalspeak on the website because it's mostly irrelevant

B) be TRYING to be a skilled writer of ironclad bets, but failing.

C) Not being skilled nor caring about being skilled at it.

The only possible combination of these wherein getting the guy she's dating to say "Big Brother is Watching you" actually benefits Eliezer is if the bet DID have high stakes AND the sister falls into category B. If she's in category C, then Eliezer could win the bet, but at the cost of his sister being pissed at him and not taking similar bets in the future, which would likely completely annihilate whatever the winnings he got was. (And the higher the stakes, the more mad his sister would be, so assuming Eliezer cares about his sister at all, no matter how much he's getting out of it he'd be losing at least as much).

I'd say the odds are against you.

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rivka
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You are making all kinds of assumptions I disagree with. But I also don't care enough about this to continue the debate. *shrug*
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Raymond Arnold
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I'M making assumptions? I'm just naming the possible scenarios. (Granted, there ARE additional possible scenarios, but that makes each given one of them less likely, not more)
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Seatarsprayan
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You know, the action skips from "How did you know I meant Bellatrix Black" to "on the way to Azkaban" and that seems cheaty to me. I would really like to have been privy to Harry's thought processes as Quirrel (who he *knows* is using him) explains Bellatrix's innocence. The fact we skip all that makes Harry seem dumbly credulous.

I actually love the idea of Bellatrix being innocent because she's under compulsion.

Clearly every time Quirrel turns into a snake, it is Voldemort talking. I mean, he keeps calling Harry "boy." Harry doesn't seem to notice the change.

So, Quirrelmort is stupid enough to try to AK a guard when he knows Harry is there. That is so dumb. Voldy just can't let go of his favourite spell, even though it cost him his body. Remember Lupin chewing out Harry in Book 7 for letting the disarming spell became his signature. And yet Avada Kedavra is totally Voldy's signature.

How about just petrificus totalus, followed by obliviate? Clearly the Auror was no match, no threat. But Voldy had to be all macho.

So now Harry knows that Quirrel is willing to murder an Auror, unnecessarily, when he is already at his mercy. That is pretty "crossing the rubicon" as far as their relationship goes.

So yeah, if this isn't the climax of the fic, I'm not sure where it will go, because as far as regular school year plot goes, it's off the rails at this point.

Stupid, stupid, stupid Voldy. Just had to try and kill a guy, and make Harry stop you. No matter what happens, Harry better not be allies with Quirrel any more, because that is way, way, way over the line, even against a corrupt, stupid, and evil ministry.

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King of Men
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I remind you of the "intent to kill" discussion in earlier chapters, and also of the similar philosophy expressed in Ender's Game, which we know that both Harry and (obviously) Mr Yudkowsky are familiar with and enjoyed. Quirrell has clearly overestimated the extent to which Harry agrees with him on this, but it's not necessarily from stupidity - there's such a thing as a reasonable mistake.

It may even be that Harry will agree that killing the Auror was defensible in this context; there has got to be some degree of corruption and evil in a government that justifies killing its servants. If you knew of an innocent person in Guantanamo Bay or Abu Ghraib, would you kill to rescue him? Perhaps you wouldn't, but I doubt you'd say it was clearly and obviously wrong to do so. Or, of course, there's the obvious Godwin. At some point, if you believe a government is genuinely evil, you can either start killing or admit that you have sold out. Note that Harry's intervention is not presented as a conscious decision but as a mistake made in the heat of the moment, in sheer emotional revulsion.

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Raymond Arnold
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Quirrel already said that he COULDN'T explain how he knew, he asked Harry to trust him. But I do agree there was a skip in what was a pretty important piece of conversation nonetheless.

I hope that the explanation for the use of Avada Kedavra is similar to yours. I did pick up that the snake was Nagini, although I didn't assume it was literally Voldemort until you mentioned it. I think you're right though.

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King of Men
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Another point: Voldy did not kill out of hand; he offered surrender and was refused. That is perfectly legal by any law of war whatsoever, to include the fantastically restrictive rules of engagement by which modern police forces engage hostage-takers. A soldier who refuses to be taken prisoner is declaring his intention to continue resistance with deadly force, and consequently may be shot; what else are you going to do with him? Whether you've got the drop on him is quite irrelevant; that's his look-out. The Auror is being stupid, perhaps; Voldy is just following the rules.

Note also that the Auror thought he might have been able to dodge the killing spell; the more so then for a Petrificus Totalus, which takes longer to say and at which Voldemort is not so practiced. Besides which, who knows what resistance a trained Auror might have, and how fast he can throw off that spell, or be rescued by his friends? Voldemort is alone in Azkaban against many well-trained, powerful opponents with Dementor support; in such circumstances, leaving behind a possible reinforcement for his enemies, Obliviated or not, would be pretty stupid. He may well have to fight his way out.

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Seatarsprayan
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quote:
Voldy is just following the rules.
Nonsense, Voldy doesn't care about rules. He does whatever he thinks is best for himself. If that happens to be what some rules somewhere say, fine, but there's no way he is following rules here.

My point is this: Voldy was willing to let the guard live if he surrendered. Therefore, his death was not strictly necessary, provided he was obliviated.

It's easy to obliviate unconscious foes.

Voldy did not feel threatened by the Auror. He completely dominated him, and he knew it. He's evil; he gets off on that. He wasn't scared, and tried to kill him according to some variation on rules of engagement. He had to die because he was defiant, and we can't have that.

Maybe the Auror could have dodged the killing curse if Harry hadn't intervened; would there have been any doubt in Voldy's mind at all that he was completely dominant and could inflict petrification or unconsciousness on the Auror if he chose? No, he chose to kill.

Now, that's all fine for Voldy, who is evil. But he knows that Harry is not trying to be Dark, and he also knows that Harry is ELEVEN years old. It is really dumb for him to kill when he doesn't have to in front of Harry.

quote:
Quirrell has clearly overestimated the extent to which Harry agrees with him on this, but it's not necessarily from stupidity - there's such a thing as a reasonable mistake.
I could be wrong. But I don't think Voldy thinks Harry is fine with killing guards. I think he just forgot about his larger plans in that moment. Because you'd have to *know* that Harry was fine with killing guards to risk losing him as an ally and pupil, it's not worth the risk otherwise.

If Voldy does think Harry is okay with killing guards, then I wonder what his reasoning for that is. Because Harry's actions as leader of an army show that he values even his enemies. He might talk a good lethal game, but talk and action are very different when it comes to an eleven-year-old being okay with killing an essentially helpless old man instead of putting him to sleep.

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Raymond Arnold
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KoM's point is that Quirrelmort had reasonable reason to believe that HARRY would be okay with him killing the man. The rules of war are something HARRY has reason to understand and care about, and the "intent to kill" conversation with Harry suggest a willingness to kill in some circumstances. He doesn't know the extent to which Harry cares about the elimination of death.

I think if he had had longer to think about it he may have realized it was a bad idea, but combined with your point about Avada Kedavra being a signature spell, it's something that made sense in the heat of the moment.

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sinflower
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quote:
And then it was already too late.
Is Harry going to get Kissed?
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King of Men
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You are thinking of Voldemort as the cartoon figure of Evil for its own sake in canon Harry Potter. This Voldemort is a lot smarter. Perhaps he intends to make the arguments I outlined above, if Harry objects; he may believe it himself or not, but either way he may well believe that Harry will be convinced. And if so, he's a step closer to corrupting Harry. Alternatively, he may be aware that he's easily a match for one Auror, but how about two or three? And then the point about not leaving enemy reinforcements behind you comes into play; I remind you that all else equal, effectiveness goes as the square of the numbers involved. Two Aurors are four times as effective as one, barring communications issues; Voldemort must know the fact, and may well want to avoid even a slim chance of engaging nine Aurors if he can guarantee that it'll be eight at most. He doesn't take un-necessary risks. And if that's his calculation, he may also figure that he can Obliviate Harry later on. Since we're flinging about Memory Charms with such abandon, why not use them on the not-trained-for-combat, nominal ally, rather than the very-much-trained, deadly enemy?
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Seatarsprayan
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quote:
KoM's point is that Quirrelmort had reasonable reason to believe that HARRY would be okay with him killing the man.
Yeah, I totally missed that. I don't know why I thought he was arguing that Voldy was following the rules of engagment. It's about his defense to Harry after the fact.

quote:
The rules of war are something HARRY has reason to understand and care about, and the "intent to kill" conversation with Harry suggest a willingness to kill in some circumstances. He doesn't know the extent to which Harry cares about the elimination of death.
I realize he isn't privy to all Harry's thoughts that we are, but it still seems to me a ridiculous risk. Harry being willing to break an innocent person out of prison really doesn't equate with using lethal force to do so. Voldy really should have sussed out where Harry's values were on that subject before going in.

For that matter, HARRY should have clarified to Quirrel what their Plan B was in the event of getting caught by the guards. It's ludicrous that Harry wouldn't have explored the consequences of failure. Was he so sure that everything would work without a hitch? Was he willing to go to Azkaban himself rather than kill? Did he think they'd fight the guards if necessary, but not kill them?

These are all things I'd have worked out long before making an assault. It turns out Harry wouldn't let Quirrel kill a guard. Either they discussed the use of lethal force, and Harry agreed to it, and then wussed out, or they never talked about it!

If they never talked about it (and we don't know if they did or didn't, since the whole planning stage was skipped), then that's dumb of Quirrel, for forgetting that eleven-year-olds generally are uncomfortable with killing in real life, and it's probably even dumber of Harry. What do you *think* is going to happen when to take on the ministry?

Either you try, and face the music if caught, or you try, and fight non-lethally if caught, or you try, and fight if caught, including lethally if necessary.

But you definitely don't try and not have considered what you'll do if trying fails. THAT at least, is patently ridiculous.

Of course, it all could have been avoided if Harry-pretending-to-be-Voldy had told Bellatrix to be silent a lot earlier in the proceedings.

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Raymond Arnold
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quote:
If they never talked about it (and we don't know if they did or didn't, since the whole planning stage was skipped), then that's dumb of Quirrel, for forgetting that eleven-year-olds generally are uncomfortable with killing in real life, and it's probably even dumber of Harry
I think Quirrel (correctly) assumed that Harry would object to killing if he talked about it in advance, but that he could easily persuade Harry that it was necessary after the fact (note that in the aftermath of the fight, Harry is far more concerned about Quirrel than about the auror).

On top of that, he had absolutely NO idea (and neither did we) that Harry's Patronus could block a killing curse, or that Harry could do anything to interrupt Quirrel in combat at all.

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Rakeesh
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quote:
Another point: Voldy did not kill out of hand; he offered surrender and was refused. That is perfectly legal by any law of war whatsoever, to include the fantastically restrictive rules of engagement by which modern police forces engage hostage-takers. A soldier who refuses to be taken prisoner is declaring his intention to continue resistance with deadly force, and consequently may be shot; what else are you going to do with him? Whether you've got the drop on him is quite irrelevant; that's his look-out. The Auror is being stupid, perhaps; Voldy is just following the rules.
This is all very accurate and all, but did Harry know he is at war with the Ministry and its agents? That is, after all, a rather important piece of information that we aren't aware of one way or another. Bear in mind 'prison break' doesn't necessarily equal 'at war'.

That's just a quibble though, because...

quote:
I think Quirrel (correctly) assumed that Harry would object to killing if he talked about it in advance, but that he could easily persuade Harry that it was necessary after the fact (note that in the aftermath of the fight, Harry is far more concerned about Quirrel than about the auror).
This is extremely true. Quirrel has shown himself to be extremely capable of convincing Harry of damn near anything he wants with the possible exception of the virtues of Evil Empire style tyranny for the sake of the Stupid Masses when the arguments are posed in classic Evil Mastermind style.
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Juxtapose
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Harry is more concerned for Quirrel because he knows the Auror is alive and well, but he does not know if he's inadvertently killed Quirrel.

Also, while no one knew Harry's patronus could block a killing curse, the patronus's instability was well evidenced. And that instability was directly related to Harry's emotions. Whether or not Quirrel could have predicted that Harry would interfere, it's entirely reasonable to assume that murdering an Auror before Harry's eyes could cause a loss of control over the patronus. Which, as it turns out, is exactly what happened.

The mistake is made more egregious because Quirrel is a smart enough Slytherin to have considered this. Voldemort, presumably, should be as well.

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Darth_Mauve
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You assume that Quirrel = Voldemort.

I disagree.

Voldemort is Dead and there is no return from the dead in a Rational universe.

So what do we have? Either Voldemort never died, which is a possibility or he is dead. If he never died what are the Horcrux? Not receptacles for non-existent souls. They must be receptacles for parts of Voldemorts knowledge. I wager they will be discovered to be thought recordings--memories--exact copies of his neural state when done.

Quirrel discovered one of these. He is a lover of knowledge, and in his desire to become more knowledgeable, scanned it into his own brain. The results are difficult to control--resulting in headaches, seizures, catatonic fits, mood swings, and a general more Voldemort like personaity.

Symptoms we have seen.

But its all Quirrel, who probably had feelings for the innocent Beatrix and wants her free and reformed. For love he is willing to kill.

But what about the witness Harry? Harry just committed the almost perfect crime, but there is only one way to make it perfect--remove all witnesses. Not that he plans on killing Harry. Its the memory charm that will do the trick. Everyone keeps saying how he can obliviate the guard, but they aren't considering that he can, and probably planned to obliviate Harry as well.

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King of Men
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quote:
Everyone keeps saying how he can obliviate the guard, but they aren't considering that he can, and probably planned to obliviate Harry as well.
Oi! I did point that out.

I just noticed this:

quote:
Harry had asked why Professor Quirrell couldn't be the one to play the part of the Dark Lord, and Professor Quirrell had pointed out that there was no plausible reason for him to be possessed by the shade of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.
Heh! I wonder if that's a hint, or just a possessing Voldemort being dryly humorous?
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Raymond Arnold
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I think it's safe to say (due to Bellatrix's reaction) that the snake Quirrel assumes is Nagini, so I'm pretty sure that Nagini was the Horcrux Quirrel discovered (assuming Darth Mauve is right, which I think it fairly likely)
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Raymond Arnold
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So... last night I had a dream that was essentially HP:MoR/Erfworld crossover fan-fanfiction. I was Harry Potter... who was a summoned unit in a turn-based strategy MMO. In the dream, there were "players" who everyone accepted as sentient, and NPCs/summoned units who the players assumed were not. NPCs for the most part were so indoctrinated by the system that even though they knew they were self aware, they didn't think this entitled them to any rights or anything.

In the dream Harry (i.e. me) demonstrated good enough "AI" to my controlling player that I was mostly allowed to do what I want, although periodically I was given orders that I had to follow. I kept trying to get secret meetings among other NPCs going to convince them they should unite and try and subvert the players' control, but this went against their programming and while some of them were open to the idea, I had to convince one particular higher ranking NPC who thought I was a dangerous heretic.

I also went around doing random experiments to figure out the laws of the digital world. (I found out that you could use ducks as ammunition for archers... not sure if that was actually useful or not but it helped demonstrate to some people that the laws of the universe were rather arbitrary and could be challenged). Later on, in a different in-game "world" (I guess the game was set in a multiverse) I tried to demonstrate the ducks-as-ammunition thing again and it didn't work, and I said "huh, I guess different worlds have different rules."

I woke up right as I convinced the commander NPC that she should join me. I was pissed, and hit the snooze button a bunch of times trying to finish it and then I missed the bus and had to ride my bike to work.

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Seatarsprayan
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You... you are a nerd of great magnificence. [Hail]
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Seatarsprayan
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Newest chapters are up, and sure enough, Harry is just *shocked* that Quirrell would try to kill an Auror, proving that they definitely *didn't* have a talk about lethal force and contingency plans. Harry was definitely the one holding the idiot ball to not have such a discussion when breaking into a prison.

Neat to see Dumbledore being a badass. I figure he's so agreeable to Bellatrix getting a Dementor's Kiss because of something to do with Draco's mother's death? Since clearly we must revisit that whole plot point sooner or later.

"- but they can see someone else on the lower levels who isn't a prisoner." Do you think that's Quirrell? As in, he turns invisible or something and makes Nagini appear, tricking Harry into thinking it's his animagus form, but since Harry had Bella grab Nagini and they are on the move, it means Quirrell is left behind, either unconscious or unable to communicate with Harry without blowing his cover?

Assuming they manage to get out of this, I really can't wait to see the Harry/Quirrell argument that results. Harry concludes Quirrell is simply evil, so I really doubt any of that "rules of engagement" stuff will be convincing.

Harry tries to figure out why Quirrell would try to kill an Auror, has a theory about blackmail, shoots it down, but then can't really come up with anything else, and moves on to other things. So I guess there's room for a reconciliation but it'll have to be really great, whatever Quirrell comes up with.

I'm pretty cool with Harry vowing to destroy Azkaban, it really is an awful place. And while everything here is embellished a bit, since we never really see it in canon, the stuff that makes it truly awful, namely, that the prisoners are CONTINUOUSLY TORTURED, is right out of canon. Sure, Dumbledore opposes the use of Dementors, but fat lot of good that ever does anyone, except to make sure the audience still likes him.

Now that Harry knows just how awful the place really is, I wonder if he'll revisit how he thinks about using lethal force on the guards. At what point does "just doing their job" cease to provide them with any excuse?

Would you kill US soldiers to break Iraqui prisoners out of Abu Ghraib?

To me, it's one thing to say, an innocent person is in prison, but the guards don't know they are innocent, they are just doing their job and trusting in the courts. If the courts are corrupt, and they don't know it, then that's not their fault.

But once the guards are consenting to torturing the prisoners 24/7... does it matter how nice they might be in their off-hours, or how brave they were in fighting evil enemies? Once they start approving of torture, and not really even debatable methods either, but full on psychic torment, doesn't that make them evil?

If Harry is ever willing to use lethal force at all, then wouldn't it be appropriate, if necessary, against anyone who knowingly consents with torture-by-Dementor? Although it might still be preferable to attempt to change people's minds instead of killing them, of course. And it might be preferable to just destroy all Dementors, everywhere, and render it moot. But if those aren't options...

Of course, Harry is 11 years old, and he isn't actually ready to start being John Brown at Harper's Ferry *just* yet, especially considering how things ended for Brown. Sometimes you have to pick your battles for the greater good.

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theCrowsWife
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quote:
Originally posted by Seatarsprayan:

"- but they can see someone else on the lower levels who isn't a prisoner." Do you think that's Quirrell? As in, he turns invisible or something and makes Nagini appear, tricking Harry into thinking it's his animagus form, but since Harry had Bella grab Nagini and they are on the move, it means Quirrell is left behind, either unconscious or unable to communicate with Harry without blowing his cover?

No, that's Harry:

quote:
To anyone else's eyes, it would have seemed that Harry Potter stood alone in the metal corridor. 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. The riddle whose answer had been lost, and which Harry had found anew.

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Seatarsprayan
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Oh, somehow I missed that. I thought that they were all under the cloak. I guess they either don't all fit, or Harry can't be that close to Quirrell/Nagini.

Another thing about Harry that isn't rational: he never really explores the sense of doom that comes from proximity to Quirrell. I would think that was pretty major, but he takes it in stride, just because Quirrell seems to be smart.

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King of Men
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You forget: He actually did explore it when he first felt it; in particular, he reported it to McGonagall. Who told him to ignore it, or else. What's he going to do next, and against a teacher who is otherwise both competent and friendly? A sense of doom is not necessarily a valid input, after all; you presumably don't object when he does his best to ignore the Dementor influence.
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Seatarsprayan
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I did forget that. Thanks. However, McGonnagal did not reassure Harry at all, only told him she didn't care and not to tell anyone. That doesn't mean that not exploring it more on his own is a good idea.

He tries to ignore the Dementor influence because he knows what it is, and knows that ignoring it is a tactical course of action.

He never does find out what the sense of doom surrounding Quirrell is, and GIVES UP trying to find out. What about the quest for knowledge? He doesn't do any experiments, he doesn't try further to understand it, he just ignores it as an input.

True, a sense of doom isn't *necessarily* a valid input, but then what you see isn't necessarily valid either (optical illusions, influence of drugs, etc). The information from the sense should usually be lent some weight though unless there's a reason to think otherwise.

But he abandons understanding it, and as he gets chummy with Quirrell, forgets that it might actually be a portent of Bad Things. Instead he treats it like it was bad B.O. or something.

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Ron Lambert
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It seems to me that Harry has already decided that when he gets down to the lowest level, where he is closest to most of the dementors, he will attempt to kill all of them, even if it costs him his own life to pour that much of his life force through his anthropoid patronus.

Now we will see just how good the author is at getting himself out of the corner he has painted himself into, with Harry and Quirrell and Belatrix trapped in the lower levels of Azkaban. I think the author has shown himself to be pretty good at plotting so far. He may be able to pull it off. But: Will Harry wind up getting caught? Will Belatrix escape? Will Quirrell escape--and if not, what becomes of Voldemort, who we assume is inhabiting Quirrell based on the original JKR novel?

Could it be that Harry will succeed in annihilating all the dementors--and himself survive the doing of it--and then that this will change the magical conditions prevailing in Azkaban and make it possible for Harry and company to use their portkeys to escape? If Harry does kill all the dementors, then it would not be such a bad thing to leave Belatrix in Azkaban. Perhaps Quirrell/Voldemort will decide to leave Bellatrix in prison, since he does not love her, and there may be a limit to the number of people who can use the portkey(s). Or perhaps during the final escape, it will be necessary for Harry to touch Quirrell/Voldemort, which will mean the destruction of Quirrell, and the remnant of Voldemort wafting away--as in the first novel. Then Harry could leave Bellatrix, knowing the dementors are gone.

Dumbledore and McGonagall know Harry is able to kill a dementor, so they will realize the destruction of all the dementors guarding Azkaban must have been his doing. But as long as Bellatrix does not escape, they will probably keep his secret.

Quirrell's secret hosting of Voldemort will have to come out at this point or shortly thereafter, at least to Harry, Dumbledore, and McGonagall.

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Seatarsprayan
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I don't think Harry plans on killing the Dementors at this time. "I give my oath that someday I will end this place." He used the "this isn't the optimal place" to stop himself when he was about to expend his life force to destroy the Dementors. It worked, but I don't think he then decided to actually follow through and go to the central pit. After all, there are other Dementors, other prisons.

No, he came up with a crazy plan ("What would General Chaos do?") earlier and I presume that is still his main goal.

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Ron Lambert
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We read in chapter 55:
"There are other Dementors, probably other Azkabans... if I'm going to do this, I should do it when I'm closer to the central pit, it will take less of my life that way, which increases the probability that I'll survive to destroy other Dementors... even assuming this is the optimal thing to do, if there's a right time and place to do this, it isn't now and here, IT ISN'T NOW AND HERE!"

I based my suggestion on the parts I emphasized, that Harry "should do it when I'm closer to the central pit, it will take less of my life that way...."

You might assume he was talking about coming back another day. But another place could be just a few floors lower, and another time could be just a few minutes more. I'm trying to help the author out, here. Something has got to change the basic conditions of the situation, otherwise Harry is trapped.

Harry could touch Quirrell, which would destroy Quirrell, and leave Harry to escape wearing the Invisibility Cloak, slipping carefully past the Aurors. But then he would have to leave Bellatrix behind, which he wouldn't do as long as there were still dementors around.

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Raymond Arnold
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I'm pretty certain that Harry knew the right thing to do was to save himself for another day, period. He was only telling himself "the central pit" with such fervor because he was suffering from an extremely compelling emotional impulse, and he needed a rationalization to subvert that impulse. Telling himself "in another hour or so" was enough to put it off until the impulse subsided, and then once the impulse subsided he could put it off until it was ACTUALLY the right time (which would be on another day with more people to support him and a means to subdue the escaping criminals).
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King of Men
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quote:
Harry could touch Quirrell, which would destroy Quirrell
Does Harry know that? But in any case he has a more direct means of killing an unconscious Quirrell who cannot defend himself: He knows the words to the Killing Curse. If he does not use it, it is because, as he says, where there's life there's hope. Observe that he does consider killing Bellatrix on the grounds that the Dementors cannot see dead people, and rejects it. He is doing his best to get out of this without deaths.
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Darth_Mauve
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According to the original, The Cloak was created to hide even from Death itself, and did so successfully. Does Harry put Beatrix under it when his Patronus is turned off because the Dementors are Death Itself. Has the cloak shown any protection from Dementors before?
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Seatarsprayan
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I don't think the cloak has shown protection from Dementors before, but I don't think anyone has ever tried, so it's fertile ground for fanfic, and definitely progresses nicely from the "Dementors = death" postulate.

On the other hand, Mad-Eye Moody can see through the cloak with his magic eye, and I think Dumbedore can too. So it's not all powerful. That's because originally it was just an invisibility cloak, and it later got retconned into being a Deathly Hallow, and personally I think it's a bit lame that it's supposed to be so awesome it can hide from Death, but Mad-Eye can just see through it because he's got a magic eyeball.

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Aris Katsaris
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quote:
But in any case he has a more direct means of killing an unconscious Quirrell who cannot defend himself: He knows the words to the Killing Curse.
It's an unconscious snake. A medium-sized rock suffices to kill it.
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Seatarsprayan
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Not if it's a Horcrux. Then you need Basilisk venom or Fiendfyre or Avada Kedavra, presumably.
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Ron Lambert
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I meant that Harry would touch Quirrell by accident, or because he needed to take him off from Bellatrix' shoulders, and discover to his horror that his touch would cause Quirrell to disintegrate. At this point in the story, Harry does not see Quirrell as his enemy, even though he was horrified that Quirrell attempted to kill the guard. Harry would not deliberately kill Quirrell at this point.

I wonder if dementors can perceive people when they are in their animagus form. In Prisoner of Azkaban, Sirius Black apparently escaped from Azkaban by exploiting his animagus power in some way. So maybe Quirrell will be able to escape on his own, while in his snake form.

The real question is what Harry will do about Bellatrix. He will not be able to leave her in Azkaban as long as there are still dementors around.

Seatarsprayan, if the killing curse could kill a horcrux, then whey didn't Harry, Hermione, and Ron use that to try to destroy the horcruxes that fell into their possession? For that matter, why didn't Dumbledore have sense enough to try the killing curse on the stone in Voldemort's mother's ring? Likely that would have been the first thing he tried. It is an interesting question whether the killing curse could destroy the Resurrection Stone--which is what that ring stone turned out to be. Yet the killing curse Voldemort cast against Harry did kill the part of him that was invested in Harry. But maybe it was because it was Voldemort who cast it.

Maybe this is part of the JKR novels that I didn't notice, but why is Bellatrix called Bellatrix L'Estrange, when here she is consistently called Bellatrix Black?

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Seatarsprayan
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quote:
If the killing curse could kill a horcrux, then whey didn't Harry, Hermione, and Ron use that to try to destroy the horcruxes that fell into their possession?
They're dumb? I dunno. I know that the killing curse destroyed the Horcrux within Harry at the end of the 7th book. Was it only Voldy's AK that could do that? Was Harry himself a Horcux, or did he just *contain* a Horcrux, like it was only in his scar? Does that mean he was more-or-less immortal until Voldy AK'ed him? He sure took damage easily enough the rest of the time.

I dunno, the whole "it's really hard to destroy a Horcrux" thing didn't make a lot of sense to me.

But even though Harry Imperios and Crucios folks, he never uses the AK. Since it's Voldy's signature move, it probably seems more intrinsically evil for good guys to use.

Although you have to wonder, why? Lupin chides Harry to at least use stunners if he won't kill. If one is fighting a war and willing to kill, why *wouldn't* you use the AK which can't be blocked?

"Spells don't kill people; people kill people."

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King of Men
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quote:
I meant that Harry would touch Quirrell by accident, or because he needed to take him off from Bellatrix' shoulders, and discover to his horror that his touch would cause Quirrell to disintegrate.
Where do you learn this? Is it from canon? If so it might not be true in the MoR-verse.
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Raymond Arnold
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In the original story Harry beats Quirrel literally by touching him and burning him to death. (Or maybe it just burned him a little and he ran away, can't remember)
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Seatarsprayan
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In the first canon book, Quirrell is possessed by Voldy, Lily's sacrifice gives Harry protection from Voldy, so Harry's touch burns Quirrell to dust or something.
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King of Men
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Ah yes, I remember now. It might not work on the snake form, it might not work that way in the MoR-verse, and it might not work for a Harry who has lost a considerable amount of innocence and can see Thestrals; I seem to recall that Lily's protection faded in canon as Harry grew older, and that's surely a function of mental and not physical age. But more to the point, it seems to me like the sort of thing that wouldn't happen for reasons of not working well in the story. Quirrell is a major character; certainly he may die, but not by accident. If he dies it'll be due to someone's deliberate decision.
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Ron Lambert
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I have to say that I like the Quirrell in MoR much better than the stuttering simpleton in Chamber of Secrets. Raymond, in the canon, Quirrel was completely reduced to ashes and dust.

I believe it was a corollary of the "Fidelius" charm that protected Harry as long as he was living with a blood relative (his aunt Petunia). Though why the Death Eaters couldn't just look up his address like any normal person, I never could figure. Or follow him home from Hogwarts. Mrs. Figg knows where he lives. The Order of the Phoenix knows where Harry lives. The Ministry of Magic knows where he lives--at least that it is in "Little Wynching." That charm ended when he turned 17.

If I remember right, it was a sort of extension of the Fidelius charm that caused Harry's touch to be fatal to Quirrell. Voldemort thought he had to get around this by incorporating some of Harry's blood into his own new body there in the cemetary in Goblet of Fire.

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Aris Katsaris
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quote:
in the canon, Quirrel was completely reduced to ashes and dust.
You're misremembering. In the canon he was just burned -- not reduced to ashes.

It's also implied that it was the forced departure of Voldemort's shade that killed Quirrell, not Harry's touch by itself.

Harry's touch was made more powerful in the movie.

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