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Enter the Dragon (Harry Potter/Shadowrun)

Discussion in 'Creative Writing' started by Dunkelzahn, Jul 10, 2018.

  1. Dunkelzahn

    Dunkelzahn No one of consequence

    Jul 10, 2018
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    For what it's worth, I'm happy to have helped.
  2. Raimunda042

    Raimunda042 Know what you're doing yet?

    Aug 19, 2018
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    bradford parkhurst, I somewhat understand your pain. I live in Silicon Valley and the entire area is covered in smoke from the fires up north. I hope everything goes right for you.
  3. hyperspacewizard

    hyperspacewizard Versed in the lewd.

    Oct 28, 2014
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    Another good chapter.

    I do wonder if there's going to be any shamanism in hogwarts since this is a shadowrun fusion? I can only imagine the trouble harry could cause with spirits
  4. Dunkelzahn

    Dunkelzahn No one of consequence

    Jul 10, 2018
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    No shamanism until closer to the Awakening, no, and even then, wizards don't have much in the way of a shamanistic tradition. The closest they really get is the class of spells which includes the patronus, and those don't summon spirits so much as make a temporary facsimile of one out of the wizard's own magic and patterned after the wizard in some way.

    There is some history of summoning independent spirits, but since the usual summoning targets are lesser Horrors, the practice carries an immediate and unconditional death sentence in wizard society. Thus, I wouldn't really call it a tradition.

    Basically, in this setting, I've split up the different magical traditions into those which principally use an internal magic source (of which wizardry is a prime example, hence its continued persistence during the low-magic ages) and those which use external environmental magic (which do not function during low-magic ages at all, but often persist as ritualistic traditions in various cultures). All the canon Shadowrun magical traditions use external magic in some critical capacity.

    Shamanism essentially borrows power from a nature spirit (or more generally some manner of spirit, not necessarily nature --- insect spirits and Horrors can form similar arrangements, for example) to do magic. At first glance this seems like a third option, but the nature spirit itself is a creature of environmental magic, thus restricting shamanism to high-magic environments.

    Now, admittedly, some high-magic areas do exist in this setting even during low-magic ages --- such as Hogwarts and the neighboring Black Woods --- but they are highly localized. Shamanism, for instance, would work even during the Fifth Age, but only if practiced at Hogwarts or a similar location. Restricted as it was geographically, it was not widely practiced. Then, over the course of the several millennia eventually culminating in the secrecy policies, certain military factors reduced its practicality even further --- specifically the wizards' campaign to subjugate most other magical species.

    Wizards had internal magic, and could therefore operate anywhere; most other magical species did not and were thus location-restricted --- fielding a highly-mobile military force based from utterly unassailable strongholds meant the conflict went about as one might expect, but also ensured that magic which could not be practiced in low-magic environments could not be safely taught, and thus fell out of use over time.

    For reference, consider wizardry to be a highly-refined Hermetic tradition which has been in continuous use and development for tens of thousands of years, and which primarily uses the caster's internal magic reserves --- which are in turn ultimately derived from his diet.

    Environmental magic does influence wizards in various ways, including health and development --- acting as an environmental factor in the same vein as pressure or temperature --- and the borders can get a little fuzzy. For instance, in much the same way that other technology does, wizard magic is often designed to take advantage of the environment --- including environmental magic, if available --- to make itself more effective or accomplish otherwise-difficult tasks (fiendfyre and the entire discipline of divination being prime examples of such), but environmental magic is not absolutely required for wizardry.
    Naddakka741, Acolyte, Kenloch and 6 others like this.
  5. The Unicorn

    The Unicorn Experienced.

    Jan 10, 2015
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    Nice, but how does that fit with the professors comments about wizards having more trouble casting spells in low magic areas?
  6. Dunkelzahn

    Dunkelzahn No one of consequence

    Jul 10, 2018
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    It's a couple of factors.

    One, it's an environmental factor to which the wizard needs to adjust, sort of like pressure changes during diving or mountain climbing --- even though you might have your own air supply, the pressure differentials mean you have to do things differently depending on the environment. That is a temporary issue, though, which will go away as the wizard adjusts.

    The other issue is a less transitory one. Many wizard spells, though not initiated using external magic, take advantage of its presence in their design to work better than they otherwise would, reducing the strain on the caster and the energy drain of casting. It's sort of like a hybrid air-breathing/rocket engine that can work like a jet engine to fly more efficiently when there is atmosphere available to serve as reaction mass, saving fuel, but can still operate in vacuum, though at much reduced fuel efficiency, if it needs to.

    A sufficiently powerful wizard can of course power through, supplying all the power needed from his own internal reserves, but he'll burn much more energy than he would in a more magical environment. For the sorts of spells wizards commonly use at the present time in the story --- which are small and optimized for secrecy, and as such, only rarely use large amounts of energy anyway --- it is not often a consideration. It only really becomes an issue in most cases in exceedingly barren environments (like the Dead Zone which Dumbledore visited on account of a dare) or when casting very powerful workings in normal environments. So the environmental magic is not strictly needed, but it usually helps.

    Since I mentioned them before, I will point out that divination is an exception in that it actually reads environmental magic to get the information you're looking for, so it strictly requires a magical environment to function even though it is on the low end of the power use scale, and fiendfyre works by consuming environmental magic to power itself, so while it can be cast in a magic-barren environment it'll just burn out immediately --- unless the caster loses control, in which case it will burn his magic instead.

    Of course, there are also the real extremes which run into the limits of our assumptions.

    On the very low end, such as Dumbledore speculates that the Dead Zone might have been before the nexus discharge in Turkey (before the 1460's) you run into similar issues with wizards that you do with vacuum exposure in normal humans. The wizard's own magic exerts a sort of internal pressure that pushes out against the outside field --- a feature which gives the wizard a natural resistance to external magical effects --- and if that field is not countered by some form of external magic field, the wizard's body will suffer damage of various types (I've not worked out precisely what, since it's not a physical pressure, nor is it something story-critical --- not unless some future situation arises in which it would fit well, anyway --- but rest assured it's unpleasant, whatever it is). It is designed to rely on external magic for the purpose, rather than internal structures. This is for much the same reason that the human body relies on external pressure to keep our blood vessels from bursting rather than simply making them strong enough to do so on their own, we weren't intended to operate in places with no air, so it wasn't necessary to make super-strong blood vessels.

    On the other end, in very high magic densities, that natural resistance is insufficient, resulting in foreign magic pushing into the body and causing problems. As mentioned back in chapter 1, undirected magic enhances any purpose around it, so it tends to make the body do what it was already doing, only more so. This has unpleasant effects, ranging from the mundane, like cancer and auto-immune disorders, to the exotic, which, with magic involved is a broad category indeed. This is the main reason the twins ended up in the hospital for a time after they were caught up in the counter-artillery strike in 3.6.

    So, yeah, wizards don't need environmental magic to perform wizardry, but they tend to take advantage of it when it's there, and they need at least a minimal amount to survive --- so caveats, I suppose.
  7. Threadmarks: Section 3.8 - Mentoring and advice

    Dunkelzahn No one of consequence

    Jul 10, 2018
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    3.8 Mentoring and advice

    3.8.1 Picnic games

    Saturday afternoon was clear, full of sun and blue skies with a stiff breeze in off the sound ruffling the heather of the moors as it blew inland. The conditions were brisk enough to warrant a coat though certainly not so cold as to be unpleasant.

    All told, it was a perfect day for a picnic in the Scottish Highlands.

    It was therefore unsurprising to find Hermione and Suze seated together on a blanket laid out on a grassy patch on the moor north of the Black Woods. A pair of picnic baskets held the remains of their lunch, and a large insulated carafe full of hot chocolate sat next to another full of tea in the middle of the blanket.

    “This is nice,” Hermione commented to her fellow damsel as she took another sip of tea, her eyes focused on the bluish bulk of the Cuillins across the sound to the northwest. “It’s a beautiful day — too bad Abigail’s prefect duties kept her from coming.”

    Her centaur counterpart took a sip of her own hot chocolate as she nodded in agreement. The drink was one for which she had acquired a taste during one of the Great Wyrm’s meetings with the goblins.

    Harry found it a decent second choice as well, though he preferred a more traditional version — unsweetened with a healthy dash of cayenne pepper — being rather more partial to the subtle bitterness of the cocoa than the sugary sweetness of the more modern variants. That preference had led to the third, already emptied, carafe stowed away in the picnic basket.

    Of course, the dragon still preferred goblin tea as his hot drink of choice; however, it had the unfortunate tendency to eat through the plastic bits of most insulated containers, making it less than ideal for picnic fare.

    “The Great Wyrm has been entirely too busy of late,” Suze noted. “Between his studies at the wand-waver’s school, his own projects, and assembling that mechanical monstrosity he has been working on, it seems as if he hardly sleeps! It is good for him to take time to relax and play; he is still quite young.”

    A faint but familiar voice rang out overhead, rapidly increasing in volume as its source drew closer, “I’m gonna…”

    Hermione sighed as she nodded in agreement, sipping her tea as she relaxed in the sun.

    Perhaps forty feet overhead, a fiery avian shape streaked by, flames snapping in the wind of its passing.

    Hermione and Suze calmly and simultaneously reached out to steady their respective carafes of tea and hot chocolate just in time to be hit by a violent wall of wind as a massive draconic form the size of a small commercial aircraft whipped by in hot pursuit — also barely forty feet overhead.

    “…catch you this time, Fawkes!” Harry’s determined voice suddenly reached a peak as he shot by, then the pitch dramatically lowered as he sped away.

    As the wind died down, Hermione picked absently at the leaves in her hair. Suze was much too inured to her dragon’s antics to bother at this point; she would hardly be able to keep them out for any length of time while the Great Wyrm and the phoenix were still playing, in any case.

    “Why does he always have to fly so close?” her human counterpart complained.

    “I believe the fire bird finds your reactions amusing,” Suze opined. “The Great Wyrm simply follows along as their game dictates.”

    Suze fell silent for a moment, watching the relatively small but brilliantly glowing bird pull of a series of implausibly tight turns as he led her dragon on a thoroughly impressive chase. She shook her head in disbelief as Harry’s much larger form pulled a hairpin turn in pursuit, reversing course entirely within his own length at full sprint.

    She couldn’t even do that on the ground!

    “Harry’s gotten a lot better at flying lately,” Hermione offered conversationally as Fawkes took off on a new tack.

    Suze nodded, her eyes glued to the spectacle as she polished off her current cup.

    The phoenix had now managed to line himself up on the picnickers, approaching from the front this time at a slightly higher altitude.

    “What is he up to now?” Hermione frowned at the bird, absently refilling her cup of tea. “He usually doesn’t repeat tactics so quickly.”

    The answer came when Fawkes turned sharply just as he passed overhead, heading off at right angles to his original flight path, and more importantly, prompting Harry to bank sharply even as he turned directly over his damsels’ heads, scales along his spine limned in luminous magical discharge as his flight organs took up the strain of accelerating his tremendous mass at rates that would make a modern fighter pilot drool with envy. The maneuver brought his extended wingtip within just a few meters of the ground, and, more importantly, enveloped the picnic site in the vortex of wind generated by the passage of such.

    “Harry James Potter!” Hermione yelled angrily even as she levered herself off the ground and clawed the upturned blanket off her face. “You come down here right this minute!”

    The bushy-haired girl scrambled to her feet to run across the moor after the flying pair, waving her arms at them angrily. Her now-empty teacup flashed in the sun, its former contents matting down her hair and contributing rather prominently to her current ire.

    All the while, the honking laughter of the mischievous phoenix rang brilliantly across the moor.

    3.8.2 Interview with a Hat

    Monday afternoon found Harry, accompanied by his centaur damsel, walking down a seldom used hallway high in the east wing of the castle on his way to a recently reopened classroom. He had never had the opportunity to visit the area, which led to the young dragon using the occasion to gawk at all of the unfamiliar paintings and other scenery like the most blatantly obvious tourist imaginable. Had it not been for Suze’s grounding presence and occasional insistent prodding, he might well never have made it to his destination.

    Hermione and Abigail’s schedules were still quite thoroughly occupied for the next hour and a half, but Harry’s classes had ended for the day, prompting the young dragon to book the time for a long-overdue conversation. As he reached his destination, Harry opened the door for Suze and felt the newly installed wards take his measure, only to be greeted by a gruff voice from inside the room.

    “It took you long enough, Mr. Potter,” the Sorting Hat complained peevishly. “When I told you to take your time to get settled, I meant a few weeks, not over a year!”

    “Sorry, Donald,” the contrite dragon apologized as Suze settled in to one corner of the small classroom with a book. Harry had warned that this would likely be a boring conversation for her, contained as it would be within the minds of the participants. “I meant to, but then that thing with the troll happened, and then I was busy making friends with Hermione and Abigail, and then there was that whole thing with the philosopher’s stone, and, well, I kinda forgot in all the hullabaloo until Mr. Dumbledore reminded me last week.”

    “Well, don’t dawdle any further, put me on so I can catch up!” the animated headwear demanded. “If you’ve been so busy, then you should know better than to delay.”

    Harry quickly complied, shifting the conversation from an audible to a mental forum in the process.

    “Hmm, you have been busy, haven’t you, Mr. Potter?” Donald mused. “Very busy indeed. Though you seem to have adapted well to your life as a student. So many independent projects! All four of the founders would have been delighted to host such a diligent student.”

    “Thanks!” Harry replied with a pleased smile.

    “How have you progressed on your political aspirations, then?” the Hat asked.

    “Couldn’t you just read that from my mind?” the dragon queried with a thoughtful frown. “I thought that’s what you were doing.”

    “I could, indeed, Mr. Potter,” Donald confirmed. “And were the purpose of this exercise simply to keep me informed, that would be sufficient; however I am to offer counsel, and that requires an active conversation for it to be of any use to you.”

    “Oh! Okay, that makes sense,” Harry replied. “And on that stuff, well, Mr. Snape, Suze, and I have talked a lot, and I just recently bought out Hog’s Haulage. I figure we can use that to out-compete some of the nastier folks what supported that Voldemort-guy, and Mr. Slackhammer talked about setting up something using that to help get some of the people who got enslaved out of the country.” Harry frowned thoughtfully, “I think they’ve got something arranged with the Confederacy for housing and rehabilitation, but they haven’t shared the details. Mr. Snape figures the first thing to do is economic warfare, then we’ll go to political, and then we’ll finish up with violence when we push as far as we can without.”

    “I see,” the Hat mused. “Rough, but perhaps serviceable.”

    “We’re still working on it,” Harry protested.

    “I understand, Mr. Potter. I certainly wouldn’t expect you to have a perfect plan so quickly — not for such an ambitious goal,” Donald assured him. “Though, on that note, perhaps we should touch on an aspect of the problem that your co-conspirator has missed.”

    “What do you mean?” the young dragon asked curiously before his tone shifted to one of dawning horror as a possibility occurred to him. “Is the wizarding world actually worse than Mr. Snape described?”

    “Not exactly, his descriptions fit my understanding of the situation for the most part,” the sentient headwear temporized, giving the oddest mental impression of a hand waving dismissively — quite the trick from something which lacked anything resembling a hand. “When Severus laid out the reasons for the moral decay of the wizarding world — the rampant slavery and exploitation and everything else — what did he claim was the root cause?”

    “Um…” under the Hat’s brim, Harry’s currently human face screwed up in thought. “Mostly it was the mind spells and stuff, right? He said they let people do really bad stuff and get away with it, so over time everyone just got worse and worse.”

    “He did,” the Hat affirmed, having seen the conversation itself in perusing Harry’s memories. “And that is correct, as far as it goes. Allowing crime and immorality to go unpunished does have a corrupting effect on society, but it is not the spells that are to blame. They do not cast themselves, after all.”

    As his draconic conversation partner perked up with interest under his brim, Donald continued, “I have had the unique opportunity to encounter countless young minds over the course of my millennium-long existence. Some have gone on to do great good, and some have gone on to do great evil. Do you know the difference between the two groups when they passed under my brim?”

    “No, what was it?” Harry asked eagerly.


    “Huh?” A puzzled frown crossed the young dragon’s currently human face.

    “There was no perceptible difference between those who went on to do great good and those who went on to do great evil when they were Sorted — no common thread that would allow you to choose between the two,” Donald explained. “From that point, they were raised the same way, taught the same things — including many of those spells that young Severus is so quick to blame — and released into the same larger world. Then from those common beginnings, some went on to become saints, and others twisted themselves into demons.”

    “Then what changed?” Harry asked, still frowning. “Why did some go one way and not the other?”

    “I cannot truly speak with authority on the subject as I am incapable of speaking from personal experience,” the Hat demurred, “but I would hazard the guess that it is ‘choice’. People, souls, Namers — whatever you call them — are capable of recognizing good and evil and freely choosing to pursue one or the other. It is your greatest power, and it is your greatest responsibility.”

    The conversation fell silent for a moment as that sank in.

    “But what about those mind spells? Don’t they force people to act a certain way?” the young dragon asked after a thoughtful interlude. “I mean, wouldn’t that mean people can’t choose good or evil?”

    “Those spells… they can force the behavior of other people, but they do nothing to force the actions of the ones using them,” Donald clarified. “The choice to do evil by using those spells is one freely made. It does no one any good to absolve those who do evil of responsibility in favor of blaming some collection of tools, no matter how ill-conceived. If you wish to fix the world, Mr. Potter, you will have to get people to choose of their own accord to do good rather than evil.”

    The young dragon pondered that for a few moments. “So how do you get people to pick good over bad?”

    “Well, your plan addresses half of it,” the Hat answered. “Not completely, of course, but as you said, it’s a work in progress. Your plans currently focus on punishing people for doing bad things, and that is necessary. However, if you only do that, then eventually someone will learn to hide well enough to avoid you, and things will slowly creep back to where they are now. You need something more.”

    “Like what?” the young proto-revolutionary asked eagerly.

    “The bit you are missing, Mr. Potter, is the encouragement to do good.”

    “You mean like bribing them?” Harry cocked his head and considered the idea with a thoughtful frown. “I guess if we got enough money…”

    “No, no,” the Hat laughed. “For some small things that might suffice, but not for the long term. To be sure, it is a good secondary incentive, but if you tie the motivation to do good solely to a desire for wealth, then eventually someone is going to find a way to accrue a greater benefit by doing bad than you’re offering them to do good. It is unreliable. You need to find a way to convince people to behave properly for no other reason than that it is the right way to behave — a code of conduct for society as a whole.”

    “In short, you need to find a way to instill a moral compass into the wizarding population,” Donald concluded. “Give them something to aspire to, rather than simply a set of things to avoid, else you will be fighting a losing battle.”

    “How am I supposed to do that?” Harry whined. “I mean, I’m still learning how I’m supposed to behave!”

    “How am I supposed to know? I’m just a hat, thinking or otherwise,” the Hat laughed. “There is a reason I told you your dream was the most ambitious I’d ever heard of back when I Sorted you!”

    “Then why did you bring it up?” Harry frowned, somewhat distressed.

    “To get you thinking about it,” Donald replied matter-of-factly. “I may not know how to solve the problem, but I can at least tell you it exists!”

    “Well, thanks, I guess,” Harry said uncertainly before trailing off into silence.

    The mental silence stretched on for a time as Harry processed what had been said. The young dragon shook his head, Donald flopping about gently with the motion but not protesting. That would require a lot more thinking than he had time for now.

    Though, come to think of it, the Hat had said something which Harry thought needed a bit more explanation. He was about to bring it up, when another voice interrupted him, this one audible.

    “Harry, it’s time for us to meet Hermione and Abigail at the library,” Suze broke the silence, looking at the angle of the sun coming through the classroom window. “You wanted me to remind you.”

    “Thanks, Suze,” Harry acknowledged quietly. It seemed his other question would have to wait for another time. “And thanks, Donald. Do you think I can come back and talk some more after I think about things?”

    “Any time, Mr. Potter, it’s my raison d’être, after all,” the Sorting Hat replied audibly once more as his two visitors prepared to leave the classroom. “My schedule is free until next September!”

    3.8.3 Projects

    Harry’s conversation with Donald had given the young dragon a great deal to think on, and as was his usual habit, much of that thinking took place while he occupied himself with other things.

    Over the course of the past weeks, Harry had come to treat Defense much the same way he had always treated History with Professor Binns — as a free study hour. Unlike Binns, Lockhart actually called on him sometimes, so he had to keep an ear out, but the man never actually asked anything substantive, so it was a fairly safe strategy.

    Between Defense and History, Harry had plenty of time to finish his homework during the class day, which left him with little to occupy his off-hours. Still, between his general reading and other pursuits, Harry managed to find ways to fill the void. For instance, two months’ hard work had developed Harry’s control with the first alchemy exercise quite well, but he still fell short of the standards Dumbledore had set for the second, so that remained an ongoing pursuit.

    Harry’s work with electricity likewise continued apace. His most recent attempt was a runic array with one-hundred-seventeen-fold symmetry designed to, hopefully, convert raw magic into electric current efficiently. While even his first attempts had proven effective at the task, tolerable efficiency remained as distant as ever, and etching the runic arrays…


    At first the task had been a pleasant one, a good choice to occupy the hands and leave the mind free, but as the arrays became more complicated, the task stretched out to absurdity. Absurdity exemplified by the latest monstrosity which, if etched by hand, he estimated would take nearly a year and a half to complete, assuming no screw-ups.

    It was that circumstance which had led to his current favorite project, a project which, judging by the last test he had just run, was now ready for operation.

    3.8.4 Showing off?

    The year had passed well into autumn, and autumn had painted the Black Woods with great swathes of fiery color interspersed with the dark green of the pines. The vibrant panoply of the trees passed by far beneath Abigail’s feet as she flew overhead on a borrowed school broom on her way to her friend’s home.

    Harry had apparently finished something he wanted to show her, and he had asked her to visit which had resulted in her current descent towards the excitedly bouncing dragon waiting at the entrance to his Lair. As he was currently in his native form, that made for a whole lot of ‘bounce’.

    “Hey, Abigail!” he greeted her enthusiastically as touched down on the lip of the Lair. “You gotta come check it out!”

    “Let me at least set down the broom first, Harry!” Abigail protested good-naturedly. “There’s plenty of time yet before I have to be back for my patrol.”

    Harry bounced along impatiently as she put her words into action. As she did so, Hermione and Suze waved at her from the sitting area, making no move to get up. Their innocent smiles clearly showed their delight at having Abigail there to absorb some of the dragon’s burgeoning enthusiasm — and consequently avoiding it themselves.

    Lousy gits, Abigail groused to herself good-humoredly, shooting Harry’s damsels a gimlet glare which was received with aplomb. See if she helped them with anything any time soon.

    “Now, what is this about?” she asked the dragon in the room.

    “Ooh, ooh, come on, I’ll show you!” her draconic friend gushed, heading off into the deeper parts of the Lair. “It took me a whole month to put it together right, but I finally got it.”

    “And what is it?” she asked again as they approached what looked to be a recently excavated room.

    Harry looked back under his shoulder and met her eyes with his own even as he smoothly shifted into his human form — the transition made for an odd sight, particularly since he started out looking back under his wing and ended up looking back over his human shoulder.

    “You remember when we talked over summer?” he asked.

    “Yes,” Abigail said leadingly, “but we talked about a lot of things. What is it in particular?”

    She hoped desperately that it wasn’t one of the awkward bits. She had no desire to revisit those.

    “Well, you remember I told you how I’d ordered a CNC machine to help with engraving those runes?”

    “Yes,” the older girl nodded.

    Thank goodness, she was clear!

    “Well, it came in with us on the Express,” Harry said, “and I’ve been working on getting it working ever since. Now I’ve got all the parts working, and I got ‘em put together right, and now it’s time to start the whole thing properly! Come on!”

    And with that, the currently boy-shaped dragon disappeared around the rough-hewn corner of the opening into a larger room beyond. Abigail followed only to stop in shock when the contents of the room came into view.

    “What on earth?” she exclaimed.

    Roughly twice the size of the Great Hall back at the castle, the space was hewn out of solid stone, claw and bite marks still clearly visible on the walls and ceiling, though the floor was much smoother. It was lit by some sort of brightly glowing tubes — much brighter than the little glowing jars lighting up the rest of the Lair — contained in pairs in small metal boxes which were tacked up to the ceiling in a fairly regular grid pattern and connected by some sort of gray cable strung up along the ceiling. That same cable also ran along the ceiling to the end of the room where it came down and ran into… something.

    Whatever it was, it seemed to consist of a number of large cabinets, each composed of a gleaming combination of aluminum, glass, steel, and some sort of dull whitish material with which Abigail was unfamiliar. The strange construction she could have dealt with, but the scale threw her for a loop. The collection was easily larger than the Slytherin common room.

    “You need all of that to engrave some silver balls?”

    It was the first question that came to mind when she finally recovered her voice.

    “Um, well,” her friend began awkwardly, “I might have gotten a tad more than I really needed.” He looked down at the floor while scuffing at the rough stone with his foot. “I kinda just got the highest-end model they had in the catalogue. It’s got enough precision though! Accurate down to a ten-thousandth of an inch over the full working range, if you run it with the right settings. That’s about a tenth of the thickness of a human hair!” Harry boasted. “That means it’ll be able to handle my runes easy.”

    Abigail wandered over to the device, running her hand over the smooth surface. “How much did you pay for this anyway?”

    Her friend looked away again, mumbling something unintelligible.

    She deliberately met his eye. “Harry,” she said expectantly.

    “About two hundred thousand galleons,” he said sheepishly.

    Two hundred thousand... Harry, that’s almost a fifth of what you spent on Hog’s Haulage!” Abigail exclaimed. “Can you afford to spend that much on a hobby?”

    “Well... I probably should have bought something smaller,” her friend admitted, “but I’ve got the money, and the engraving stuff will pay off eventually if I can get it to work right.” He brightened, “Plus, even though I hadn’t thought of it when I ordered it, this’ll be really useful for the trains too! I mean, it can handle stuff up to eight feet wide and up to ten feet long, well thirty feet really, as long as you turn between centers and it’s shaped right to use intermediate supports... oh, and you’ve got enough ballast to keep the machine stable, this one’s bolted to the bedrock though, so it should be good. Anyway, that means it’s big enough to handle just about any part of the trains except the actual boiler!”

    “Fine,” she said, exasperated but dropping the question of fiscal responsibility for the moment. “So how does this work?”

    With that, the currently boy-shaped dragon jumped into action beginning by walking her through loading a blank into the machine, a fist-sized silver casting which looked utterly ridiculous mounted within the room-sized apparatus. The he explained the functions of the various pieces, before turning on some weird device that displayed pictures on a glass screen that she couldn’t really make sense of. Supposedly that was the thinking part of the contraption which controlled the rest of it.

    “And then, you throw this switch to power up the control and power circuitry that runs the servo motors that actually do the work,” Harry explained as he put his words into action.

    After one final check, he flicked one heavy-duty toggle switch on a board sporting several dozen similar ones.

    There was a brief groaning hum before first the glass screen from earlier went dark, followed shortly thereafter by the lights on the ceiling, plunging the pair — and for that matter, the entire Lair — into inky darkness.

    “Hey!” an unseen Harry objected. “That’s not supposed to happen!”

    There was a click from the same direction as her young friend’s voice, and the lights slowly flickered back on, revealing a vision of Harry frantically checking and rechecking the various connections he had earlier explained in far too much detail for Abigail’s comfort.

    “What went wrong?” Harry’s voice echoed plaintively from where he had his head stuck in an electrical cabinet. “I checked out everything like five times, and then it goes and stops working right when I try to show it to my friend?”

    “This is so embarrassing.”

    It was a side of her friend that Abigail didn’t often see. Normally the young dragon was self-assured to a fault. Seeing him so flustered was… well, it was honestly kind of funny, and it had the older girl right on the verge of laughter, only barely managing to restrain herself to salve her friend’s feelings.

    “It’s not my fault!” the young dragon’s voice rang out.

    Abigail choked back another laugh.

    “Huh, wait a minute…” Harry said, still partially muffled by the cabinet he was searching through. “If there’s six of those, then the computer for control, then the main drive, the spindle, plus the other servos, then it’d need… oh...” he trailed off, falling into silence for a moment.

    “Huh, I guess it kinda was my fault after all.”

    Abigail lost her valiant struggle and burst into giggles.

    3.8.5 Mentor of Heroes

    A sixth-year girl blushed rosily as she handed in her homework assignment, and the young, handsome Defense professor absently flashed her a winsome smile. She hurriedly retreated to her desk, throwing furtive glances back at her professor all the while — passing a darkly scowling male classmate on the way — and almost reluctantly prepared to leave along with the rest of the class.

    She would have been disappointed to learn that the man had barely registered her presence, his thoughts turned inward.

    Gilderoy Lockhart was already more than a month into his tenure as the Hogwarts Defense Against the Dark Arts professor, and things had not gone to plan. Oh, he was getting by well enough with his teaching by his reckoning; half his students seemed to hang on his every word, so obviously he must be passing on something worthwhile. Nevertheless, that was not enough.

    Despite his words at the opening feast, the famous author had not taken the job because he wanted to teach.

    Appearance trumped substance. That was a lesson that Gilderoy had learned early in life, and it had only been reinforced since. His job as a Ministry Obliviator when he first graduated from Hogwarts had been entirely predicated on that maxim. Obliviators were responsible for ensuring appearances were maintained, and it was a task at which Lockhart was supremely talented.

    Later, when he had tired of the capped Ministry salary, he had parlayed that talent for spinning tales into his current career as a swashbuckling adventurer — on paper.

    The stories he had written were true, just… a tad exaggerated. A few details here and there changed to make for a better story — things like dramatic timing, appropriate weather, a few names here and there. Nothing too important, in Lockhart’s estimation. After all, someone vanquished the Bandon Banshee, why would the name matter? The events were the same regardless, but the books sold better when the characters were consistent across the entire series.

    The fans never would have gotten so invested if he’d kept changing the hero’s name between every volume!

    Even so, Gilderoy had treated his contributors well, paying them handsomely for their stories — not that they knew those ‘gifts’ were royalty payments, of course, but you had to take the bad with the good if you were going to get anywhere in life. They might not clearly remember their roles in the adventures, but then they clearly hadn’t been turning them into profit, either.

    The Gentleman Adventurer, on the other hand, had.

    It was Gilderoy’s talent for spinning a yarn that had made him such a successful obliviator, and it was the same talent that let him turn stories that otherwise would have been worth at most a few free drinks at a local bar into a gold mine of book sales and royalty payments. The original deeds might not have been his, but the polish and showmanship certainly were. In his estimation, the value added was more than enough to justify a few measly obliviations here and there.

    Gilderoy knew his business model was a risky one. Book-worthy adventures were by their nature few and far between, and he’d already picked most of the low-hanging fruit. Acquiring further stories would necessarily incur greater risks — either by attempting to lift stories from more talented combatants rather than the unusually lucky but otherwise normal people he’d hit up before, thereby running the very real risk of violent retaliation; or by hitting up more widely-known events, risking the exposure of the masquerade. No, at this point, any future adventures of the Gentleman Adventurer would need to be advanced by keeping his ear to the ground and waiting patiently for new business opportunities.

    Unfortunately, that course ran straight into troubled waters.

    The sort of reputation Gilderoy had built required a regular stream of fresh material — otherwise the Gentleman Adventurer would quickly become the Washed-Up Has-Been. He had succeeded so far by stringing together a long series of those ‘fifteen minutes of fame’ people were so fond of talking about; it was a myth built on glitz and action but lacking real substance, and that sort of thing had no real staying power.

    Gilderoy hadn’t taken on this job to get a new story, nor was it simply an opportunity to promote his already stellar book sales — no, he was here to tell a story. The Gentleman Adventurer was getting to the point in his heroic journey that he needed something more — a certain maturity to solidify his reputation in the long term — and when the opening at Hogwarts had come up, Gilderoy had seen a plum of an opportunity just sitting there, ripe for the taking.

    Harry Potter, the Boy-Who-Lived, would be one of his students.

    By virtue of the events back in 1981, the last Potter already had a formidable reputation as wizarding Britain’s boy hero, and from what Lockhart had managed to find out over the months leading up to his acceptance of the post, the young wizard had managed to overcome at least one fairly significant challenge in his first year at school. The boy had all the raw talent needed to succeed as a real adventurer, not just a paper tiger, and Gilderoy was certain he would go on to do great things.

    Ability aside, though, the boy was young and naïve to the ways of the world. Gilderoy felt that, as the older and more experienced hero, he could step in as a mentor — teach young Harry how to handle the business, manage his reputation, that sort of thing. It would be a good and decent thing to do; there were hidden perils to the sort of fame the young Potter enjoyed, and Lockhart could show him how to navigate them.

    And if by doing so, Gilderoy Lockhart could establish himself as the Boy-Who-Lived’s mentor in the public eye, then the Gentleman Adventurer, would cement his reputation for the long haul.

    Turning the Gentleman Adventurer into the Mentor of Heroes, now that would be lasting fame, and then Gilderoy could delay as much as needed between books without losing momentum. He might even be able to pull down speaking engagements! Having a figure like the Boy-Who-Lived linked to his own reputation would mean the boy’s successes would prop up his own, and the boy’s fame would only enhance his teacher’s. In his business, that was practically a license to mint money! It was a grand plan…

    …it was just a bloody shame it wasn’t working!

    Nothing he had tried had caught Potter’s notice. The free books had been accepted with no further comment. The opening quiz hadn’t sparked a single smidgen of interest. The pixies he had chosen as a practical lesson — creatures which had sparked so much chaos and confusion in the other classes — had refused to even leave their bloody cage when Potter was in the room. Heck, they took one look at him and slammed the door shut themselves!

    Every attempt he had made to engage the boy in class had been met with indifference; that was not to say Potter had been reluctant to participate, but there had been no enthusiasm, no spark. It was almost as if the boy saw him as just another part of the scenery.

    It was a knotty sort of problem, one Gilderoy had no idea how to address. Luckily, he had the rest of the year to go. He was sure to think of something eventually.

    Until then, he supposed he’d have to play it by ear.

    3.8.6 Jury-rigging

    Currently in human-looking form, Harry knelt near the entrance to the Lair, tightening down the last of the screws on an electrical junction box he had installed next to the car-sized bulk of his diesel-powered welder. Heavy electrical wire stretched off from the junction box to the ceiling of the Lair, and from there off into the depths of the tunnel network he had been steadily expanding whenever the mood struck. At the far end, it ran into the electrical cabinet on the overlarge CNC the young dragon had so embarrassingly failed to demonstrate for his friend the previous week.

    Harry had been quick to realize his folly once he had calmed down from embarrassing himself in front of Abigail. The entire Lair ran off one tiny improvised hydroelectric turbine. It worked fine for lighting — though even that would have overtaxed things eventually as the facility continued to expand — but the machining equipment was much more demanding than mere lighting.

    When the young dragon had tested things beforehand, he had tested each subsystem independently, and the electrical grid had handled the strain. Attempting to run it all together, though, had overloaded the system, and everything had shut down.

    It had taken Harry a while to figure out a workable solution, but he’d gotten a good piece of advice from one of his new engineers at Hog’s Haulage — and wasn’t it cool that he had engineers now? Meeting the new-hires over the course of the previous week had been loads of fun, and Harry had decided then and there that they were having a company Christmas party, barbecue and all, so he could meet the rest of his employees! It was going to be awesome! But anyway, his new engineer had suggested getting a generator, and then Harry had remembered his other major purchase from the beginning of the year.

    Harry patted the chassis of the welder fondly as he plugged a specially designed cable into the welder’s auxiliary power output, the other end of which he had just finished wiring into his recently installed junction box. The welder he had purchased ran on diesel, chosen because Harry already had a ready supply of that for his own consumption. Rated for continuous duty and with a fuel tank sufficient to run for eight hours before refueling, the diesel-powered welder/generator combination would be an excellent intermediate solution until he figured out something more permanent.

    “Right,” he took a deep breath and started up the generator.

    As the diesel engine roared to life, Harry winced and rubbed at his ears before heading off into the depths of the Lair. He had a job to set up on the CNC, and then he had classes to attend.

    And maybe, depending on how the job he was setting up turned out, he might soon have a quieter alternative to the current generator available.

    3.8.7 Soiled

    Gilderoy Lockhart gazed out over his classroom, a sea of eager young faces looking back at him, awaiting his every word. Well, all except one, anyway.

    Unfortunately, it was that one whose attention Gilderoy was after.

    Perhaps his new gambit would work better than the previous ones.

    “Today, we try something new,” the dandy professor began, causing most of the room to perk up. “We will reenact the events of one of my books, Wanderings with Werewolves, so that you all might get firsthand experience — or at least as close as you can get without risking life and limb!”

    He chuckled at his own witticism, prompting a tinkling twitter of laughter from the class in response.

    “We will begin with the scene in the tavern. Miss Abbot, Miss Bones, how would you like to play the waitresses?”

    The beginnings of the class went swimmingly. The various students participating with unusual enthusiasm, rather intrigued by the change of pace. Gilderoy skillfully managed the ensuing chaos as he led up to the point he had been aiming for from the beginning.

    “Now, for the werewolf!” The blond dandy looked around, pretending to deliberate over his choice for the one role which interacted most closely with his own. “Mr. Potter! You haven’t played a role yet! How about this one?”

    Harry Potter looked up in surprise before smiling and nodding agreeably as he rose from his chair.

    Lockhart could hardly believe his luck! He finally had an in! Who knew the Boy-Who-Lived would appreciate acting?

    Acting was even something Gilderoy was genuinely talented at. It would be a prime candidate for mentoring!

    He had set the hook — now he just had to land it.

    “Now, Mr. Potter, you are playing a ferocious werewolf,” Lockhart explained. “How do you think you should sell the character, so your classmates can really get a feel for it?”

    “Um,” the small boy frowned in thought. “Maybe I should growl? Werewolves growl, don’t they?”

    “Of course, they do!” Gilderoy didn’t really know whether they did or not, nor did he care so long as the Potter boy stayed enthusiastic and interested for once. “Now, the scene calls for you to approach me from around the corner — we’re treating the desk there as the corner of the building — and growl menacingly. Go for it!”

    The energetic boy bounced around the desk before he closed his eyes and took a deep breath, seeming to concentrate on something. His green eyes snapped open, and he boldly stalked around the desk with an unnaturally smooth gait — almost seeming to glide over the ground, his shoes making no sound at all on the stone floor.

    The blond dandy already felt his guts clenching nervously. The undersized boy who looked like he was at least a few years too young to even be attending Hogwarts moved oddly, like he was the most dangerous thing for a thousand miles in any given direction, and he knew it.

    And then he growled.

    The growl started out low, pitched below human hearing but intense enough for Gilderoy to feel each successive pressure front at it impacted his gut, each one a jarring reminder that there was something dangerous afoot, something predatory, something that a deep, atavistic part of him recognized and regarded with unabashed and unadulterated terror.

    The successive impacts came faster and faster until they finally transitioned into the audible range as a basso-profundo rumble. The volume then kept rising, louder and louder until the desks rattled against the floor, not that Gilderoy knew that. His world was filled entirely with the sound of the growl and a vision of cold green eyes.

    It was, far and away, the most intimidating sound the blond author had ever heard! For that matter, it was the most intimidating sound he had ever heard of, and he had talked with a lot of people who had faced a lot of very intimidating things.

    Then the sound abruptly cut off.

    “How was that?” asked a bright, childish voice, even as those same terrifying green eyes looked innocently into his blue ones.

    Gilderoy’s mouth moved soundlessly for a few moments as he attempted to regain a sense of equilibrium. “That was… excellent work?” he managed to squeak out.

    The blond man looked around at the class, noting all the stunned expressions on the faces of children frozen in place by stark terror. As he turned to get a view of those behind him, he felt more than heard a faint squelch. The dandy frowned at the feeling before he realized it was accompanied by an unpleasantly moist warmth and it became clear what had happened.

    Well, shit.

    “Yes, Mr. Potter, that was truly excellent work!” He said hurriedly, fear of mortifying humiliation temporarily giving him the impetus to overcome his recent bout with literally bowel-voiding terror. “Unfortunately, I’m afraid we will need to cut the rest of the class short for now; I’ve just remembered a pressing appointment. Class dismissed!”

    And with that, Gilderoy beat a hasty retreat to his office and a set of clean clothes.

    He hoped he managed to get there before the silk soaked through enough to be visible.

    3.8.8 Growling lessons

    As the office door closed behind the blond fop of a Defense professor, the classroom remained silent for a moment before a voice rang out.

    “Bloody hell, Potter, how did you do that?” one of the Ravenclaw boys demanded. “That was awesome!”

    “Awesome?” another of the boys asked. “That’s an understatement if I ever heard one; that was bloody terrifying; I almost shat myself!”

    For his part, Harry preened under the attention. “Um, well, a few years ago, I really wanted to learn how to growl real good, right?” At the other student’s nods, he continued, “Well, I knew Mr. Snape already, and he’s a really good growler, so I asked him if he could teach me how….”

    “Wow, Snape can do that too?” one of the Ravenclaw girls interrupted incredulously. “I know you said he really wasn’t out to get us last year, but I had no idea he was holding back that much!”

    “Um, well, I don’t actually know if Mr. Snape can do that,” the dragon in the room qualified. “See, Mr. Snape didn’t want to bother teaching me to growl, but he set me up with one of his friends who he said could growl even better than him, Mrs. Chelmsford! Eventually, I got to meet her, and she taught me how to growl proper.” He finished with a firm nod.

    “You mean a girl can do that?” Susan spoke up for the first time. When her housemate nodded, she breathed, “I could be even scarier than Aunt Amelia!”

    With that, the class descended into excited chattering about growling lessons and the potential utility thereof, while one petite, dark-haired Ravenclaw sat quietly in the corner and watched the one at the root of the whole business speculatively.

    The chaos lasted until someone finally thought to check the time, and then everyone rushed to get to their next class.

    3.8.9 Dead end

    Warm, artificial lighting glinted off the precisely machined edges of a silver hemisphere as Harry held it up for inspection. Both the internal and external surfaces of the piece were etched in a minutely detailed tracery of almost impossibly complicated runework.

    The dragon sighed in relief that it had worked. It would have taken forever to do that by hand. Using the computer-controlled mill, it had still taken five days — the tool path was almost fifty miles long — but that was for two copies, plus a custom-machined Delrin ring to separate them which actually let the pieces snap together without screws or anything!

    It was so neat!

    However, Harry hadn’t made the thing just to look pretty, and now it was time to test it. He snapped the two hemispheres and their insulating ring together before attaching the leads to his test apparatus. It still included an incandescent bulb for nostalgia’s sake, but after his third attempt had made the original explode, he had added a supplementary bank of heavy-duty resistors to safely dissipate any excess energy. He had also invested in a multimeter which was currently hooked up across the test load to give a more precise picture of how things were working.

    “Well, I guess this is the moment of truth,” Harry murmured to himself. “Here goes nothing.”

    And with that, he inserted the tip of his wand into the newly machined device and pushed in a measured amount of magic. The bulb lit, much brighter than it had a year before, but the young dragon still frowned. Taking note of the measured voltage from the multimeter, he quickly switched out the newest sphere for one of his previous ones and repeated the procedure, working his way methodically through each of his previous attempts.

    Harry had gotten far enough along in his alchemy studies to have a solid idea of just how much real energy he was putting into his casting now, at least he did if it was a big enough chunk of his total capacity for him to feel it properly. Armed with that knowledge and the multimeter readings, a bit of math led him to a plot of conversion efficiency versus runic complexity across his various attempts.

    “Well, darn,” the young dragon slumped in disappointment.

    The plot was flattening out much too fast for Harry’s peace of mind. Grabbing a ruler, he extrapolated out to an acceptable sort of conversion efficiency, given the current rate of improvement, only to realize the truth as his extrapolated curve reached the edge of the graph paper.

    “Oh, man,” the currently human-shaped dragon slouched back in his chair. “At this rate, even if we got it down to writing out the runes using individual silver atoms, it’d still barely hit twenty-five percent conversion efficiency.”

    “I wonder what’s causing that? The lightning-rod runes are way more efficient... way simpler, too,” he scratched at his head. “Maybe some kind of asymmetry, so it’s easy to go one way, but not the other?”


    The dragon shook his currently human-shaped head. “Something to look into, for sure, but no matter how you slice it, this kills my direct runic-conversion idea for good. With those losses, it won’t work for much of anything, not unless energy gets so cheap it’s free.”

    He buried his face in his hand as he sighed in frustration.

    Harry sat, staring at the results from between his spread fingers for a few long moments before getting up and smoothly transitioning to his native form as he walked away.

    “I’m gonna go for a fly,” he announced to the Lair at large. “Suze, Hermione, either of you want to join me for a flight? I need some fresh air.”

    A few minutes later, the damning graph fluttered gently in the backwash from its author’s wings.

    3.8.10 Irritation

    Another October day and Hermione Granger again found herself in the potions lab. Her partner, Neville Longbottom, was currently focused on finely mincing the spriggan leaves required for their current potion — a task which she had finally managed to train him to reliably accomplish after nearly a year’s worth of effort — leaving Hermione with time for her mind to wander off to other, unrelated subjects.

    The bushy-haired girl’s interest was currently caught by two of the boys in the class, not because she was developing an interest in them as might be expected for a girl her age, but rather because she was quite infuriated at their very presence.

    Which, come to think of it, was probably the second most probable reason for a girl her age to be focused on a boy.

    The boys in question were a few years older than her cohort, and they were helping her professor administer the class, purportedly as a punishment.

    Some punishment.

    It just wasn’t fair! Hermione bemoaned the situation, gripping the edge of the lab table until her knuckles turned white. The twins had caused all that trouble back at the beginning of the year, and then they got to be teaching assistants. Why couldn’t she be a teaching assistant? She worked hard and studied ahead; they just pulled a stupid prank and then got rewarded for it!

    Some of the older students even said Professor Snape might be taking them on as apprentices!

    So unfair! What were the professors thinking?

    Almost subconsciously, her hand released its white-knuckled grip on the lab bench and snapped over to keep Neville from adding the entire stack of minced leaves at once, a mistake which would have led to the potion bubbling over and being lost beyond recovery. It was a skill she had learned the hard way over the course the last year. She sighed in exasperation before catching Neville’s attention and explained — again — what he had almost done.

    At least he was a good distraction.

    3.8.11 Requests

    “Are you feeling alright, Harry?” Abigail asked her young friend.

    They were once again at their usual library table, and Abigail sat at her usual spot across from the boy. Suze sat at the end, but Hermione was elsewhere, something to do with potions, if Abigail recalled correctly.

    “Yeah, I’m okay,” the currently boy-shaped dragon replied in an unusually subdued voice as he stared listlessly at a blank notebook before him, quill in hand.

    “You don’t sound okay,” she countered.

    “Just had that project I’d been working on take a bad turn,” Harry explained, setting down the quill in favor of the conversation. “The rune systems I made just aren’t gonna cut it for what I wanted to do, so I gotta think of something else to try. I’m sure I’ll figure it out eventually, but it’s a bit of a let-down, ya know?”

    “Ah,” the seventh-year said knowingly. “I know how that goes. I mean, Defense has just been one long let-down this year; Professor Lockhart doesn’t teach us anything.”

    “I know,” Harry commiserated. “I’ve just been treating his class as a study period — like History.”

    “Same here,” Abigail agreed. “The problem is I’ve got the NEWTs coming up, and I have no idea if my independent study is going to be enough.” She sighed, “Why couldn’t we have gotten a competent teacher this year?”

    “Would you like me to help?” Harry offered after a moment’s thought. “Not so sure I can do much for you with the practical stuff, but I can at least look over the theory and quiz you on it and stuff.”

    Abigail’s eyes lit up. “Would you? It’d be great to get a fresh perspective on things.”

    “Sure!” Harry smiled. “Always happy to help a friend! Plus, it’ll give me something to work on while I try to figure out a different approach to that project, too. Everybody wins!”

    “Thanks, Harry!”

    The table fell silent for a time before Harry spoke up again.

    “Hey, Abigail?” he asked.


    “I was just thinking; who runs the NEWT thingy?”

    Abigail frowned thoughtfully, “I think it’s the Examinations Authority, but I don’t know who’s in charge there. Why do you ask?”

    “Just had an idea that might help,” Harry replied evasively. “I’ll try to remember to give it a shot next week, figure they might be away for Halloween.”

    “Oh!” Abigail exclaimed. “That’s this weekend, isn’t it?” At Harry’s incredulous look, she said defensively, “I’ve been worried about the Defense thing, so I haven’t been looking at the calendar.”
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2020
    kelpsie, Karion, Rakan and 146 others like this.
  8. Asheram

    Asheram Know what you're doing yet?

    Jun 29, 2015
    Likes Received:
    Always figured that the entire reason to why technology doesn't quite work around magic is because the idiot wizards have every building covered in lightning-rod enchantments, effectively draining every watt of electricity passing through.
  9. Matherfokker

    Matherfokker Making the rounds.

    Jun 1, 2018
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    ...hmmm i do not like the part of this chapter with the sorting hat.

    I believe it's because of two points it asserts which I know but i will settle for saying 'believe' are patently incorrect.

    1- All the children were the same at age 11 in the context of developed moralities and personalities.

    2- People are innately aware of good and evil.

    1- I could go a long way towards saying anthropologically this is not even true inside a single nation which will see regional, relgious, and other cultural practices taught to children at various ages with varying levels of socio-culutral reinforcement...but honestly I don't need to. Pureblood vs. Mudblood. There are vast cultural and moral differences even on just the "light side" with regards to squibs, treatment of non-magicals, house-elfs, equality perceptions in administering "justice", etc. let alone between purebloods and the mudbloods..i mean security risks..i meant muggleborn.

    In sum, by age 11 most children should have well defined notions of good and evil and quite different views on what constitutes which. To deny this is to imply some form of global super meta-morality which only has people knowingly and deliberately standing against it. This leads to bat shit crazy justifications like killing/enslaving populations because they are "wrong" instead of simply different. Also- i think it is telling that hogwarts students in particular start at age 11. It's not because they dont have demonstrable magical powers until then-- its because they are not trusted to be away from home--even with supervision-- until then-- until they are knowing and aware of accepted/unacceptable norms. For god's sake, Ron is basically the "light side " morality soapbox radio repeating every line he's absorbed ad nauseum and he doesnt change much at all through the entire series.

    2- just euhhh. No. This is not true. Children show this constantly-- they must be shown, told, and disciplined to be aware of and act in a "good mannner". otherwise, they will just act in a like fashion as they have mostly been treated or seen other treated. There are outliers of course but statistics on criminal offender home environments and experiments in developmental child psychology also support this. Finally, the entrie study of anthropology shows this... Just isnt true. At best, global norms of morality are a result of bio-chemistry and learned behavior involving almost immediate universal consequences for conflict oriented behavior. In the case of the former, human mother-son incest is a no no across the board to my knowledge and we can thank pheremonal processes for that-- its supposed to stop attraction to sisters that have been raised with us too. For the latter, murder (and its definition is suspect on a by culture case) and theft have almost universal taboos because they cause conflict which in olden times was mostly resolved through more murder.
    rant done.

    i guess i didnt like this part because it was ...just too jarring to me...to even be able to read it and process it for story purposes. I know the conversation was basically about "harry , you need to unfuck the culture first or it won't get done" but i could not appreciate any of the conversation or character interaction in the scene and ended up mostly mentally skipping it which i feel is a shame. It would be like like dumblore mentioning an upcoming visit from his good friend joseph mengele as a one-liner before moving into a conversation on something else. No one remember what conversation was because they are still trying to mentally process the sheer WTF.

    I could be off on this I suppose --maybe my reaction is simply me--but I feel the hat could have conversed with harry about the kids ultimately still being kids enrolled at a place to LEARN and how important that opportunity is before moving full steam into the "Dispossess, Disenfranchise, Defenestrate socialist/communist playbook for starting your own revolution" without having to include the particular ... Morality...notes you did.

    All that said, i did enjoy the chapter very much and wish you well in continuing
  10. Dunkelzahn

    Dunkelzahn No one of consequence

    Jul 10, 2018
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    Okay, so I'm not sure how you drew those two conclusions from that section --- in fact, I just went back to reread it to make sure I had written what I thought I had written.

    So to clarify what I had intended to say, and hopefully get some feedback on where the message went astray between my fingers and your eyes, I will attempt the following.

    The Hat's statements about there being no difference between children who went on to do good things and those who went on to do bad things was intended to establish the idea that people choose their actions.

    Give two people the same upbringing, the same education, the same skills, and those two people are entirely capable of choosing to do different things --- we are not entirely and unavoidably programmed by our genetics and upbringing --- and even with the Hat's extensive knowledge of any given child's psyche at eleven, it had no way to predict accurately what that child would go on to do with his life. Some did what he figured they would do, sure, but some of the kids he'd have thought would go on to be evil little turds later turned their lives around, and some little angels went horribly off the deep end, and there was no way to tell which kid would grow up to be in any given category.

    In other words, free will is a thing. (Point 1)

    I guess you were reading it as the Hat saying the kids were completely unformed at eleven?

    In any case, on to your second point.

    The entire point of the conversation in story was to impress on Harry that, if he wants people to behave themselves and form a better society, not only does he need to tell them what not to do (what Snape's plans were focusing on by tearing down the people doing the oppressing), but he also needs to tell them what a good person looks like so that they have some idea of what to do.

    That is, he needs to establish a moral structure, otherwise people will just fall back on doing whatever it suits them to do. (Point 2)

    At least with a moral structure in place, they'll have an ideal to shoot for, even if they choose to go against it in the end.

    It's kind of exactly the opposite of the conclusion you drew, if I understood you correctly.

    I'm not entirely sure where the message got all twisted up along the way, so if you could point it out, I'd appreciate it.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2018
  11. ScarletFlames

    ScarletFlames Not too sore, are you?

    Nov 4, 2018
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    The main failing causing the hat to not be able to differentiate between good and evil students is that he isn't being put on their heads when they leave, he only has a single data point for every student's mental well being.
  12. The Unicorn

    The Unicorn Experienced.

    Jan 10, 2015
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    Makes sense. and I'm glad you have such detailed worldbuilding.

    Nice chapter. Only thing that bugged me is the assumption that 25% conversion efficiency is too low to be useful(efficiencies only matter if you have competition). You shouldn't change that, because harry making that assumption is quite belivable, but I hope at some point he finds out he's wrong.

    I really liked Hermione's scenes and I hope she confronts Snape over the unfairness of "rewarding" the twins for their prank :) Possibly after she decides to try and earn a similar punishment.

    One more thing now that I'm thinking back on the chapter, why didn't any of the older students try and set up study groups for defense supervised by one of the other professors, or get their contacts to try and do something about Lockhart?

    That is very different than how I read that scene.
    1) The hat didn't say all children he sorted were the same in the context of developed moralities and personalities, he said there was no consistent difference between those who later grew up to be heroes, and those who grew up to be villains. "no common thread that would allow you to choose between the two" to quote the hat.
    2)I can see how you got " innately aware of good and evil" from the chapter, but I think it was not innate awareness, but innate ability to choose, once made aware, with the awareness being a function of education and culture.
    jjlph18 and preier like this.
  13. Dunkelzahn

    Dunkelzahn No one of consequence

    Jul 10, 2018
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    That would have been a neat character-building situation, but unfortunately I don't quite have the setup. The 25% efficiency figure isn't what he has now, it's what he extrapolated from his plot for the very limit of what might theoretically be possible to fabricate. That is, to quote Harry, "...even if we got it down to writing out the runes using individual silver atoms, it’d still barely hit twenty-five percent conversion efficiency." The current efficiency is much, much lower than 25%.

    For reference, the only means he has at the moment to form a basis for comparison between magical energy and energy of other forms is the alchemy exercise, which gives him a direct feel for magical effort versus mass-energy, imprecise though it is --- so for estimation of conversion efficiency, he's stuck with a stupidly-huge standard measure. If you'll recall from his practice session after his first alchemy lesson (3.4.2) he had calculated his largest control slips as equivalent to about 8 megatons of TNT. He's improved his control significantly since, now accurately able to judge his efforts down to about a kiloton of TNT-equivalent, but filtered through even his latest attempt at a runic conversion, he's still only getting enough electrical energy to pop a standard incandescent bulb --- and even that issue has been prevented using a few large resistors wired in series with the bulb --- which is a far cry from a kiloton of TNT.

    Also note that he is very, very lucky that the conversion efficiency was so disappointingly low, given the energy involved in his testing. Harry probably would have survived, but his damsels... well, he didn't really think it through too well, youthful enthusiasm and all.

    While not really necessary for this discussion, I should point out for clarity; Harry is capable of parceling out less than that amount of energy, say for other spells he's learned, like the memo spell he used to contact Abigail over the summer --- he's not throwing around the equivalent of a small nuke every time he casts --- but he can't really feel it the same way, the effort is just too small. It's sort of like holding a piece of paper in your hand; you can control yourself well enough to hold it steady (cast the spell), but you'd be hard-pressed to estimate its weight to any degree of accuracy.

    As it is, he has now encountered a real and insurmountable wall in his endeavors, has added a historical but ultimately failed bit of experimental apparatus to begin properly cluttering up his Lair/workshop/laboratory --- any real lab ends up with lots of these sorts of dead ends, and I'm trying to make Harry's efforts realistic --- and is being forced to rethink his own efforts to adjust to reality rather than just bulling his way through as he has generally been able to with many of his other problems so far.
    Part of that's going to happen, and part of it isn't. For now, I'll leave you to speculate on the way it goes. ;)
    Some --- mostly Ravenclaws --- have set up study groups and such, though not teacher-supervised at this point. However, in true teenager fashion, a lot of them haven't actually twigged to what the overly-relaxed standards are going to mean come NEWT-time and are just enjoying the respite from the heavy workload of their other classes. Abigail is more forward-thinking and responsible than most --- a large part of the reason she was chosen as a prefect.

    As for trying to do something about Lockhart directly, some of the students are seriously considering how to that into motion (we'll meet them during the next term), though their motivations are ever-so-slightly different than Abigail's would have been.
    Note the behavior of the throwaway characters in 3.8.4.
    Oh, thank goodness! After reading that post, I was starting to wonder if I'd screwed up really badly on that scene. It's one thing to have characterization flaws or poor wording or shoddy scene construction, it's quite another to convey almost the diametric opposite of the intended message. I'm glad to hear you read it as I'd intended it to be read.
  14. EternitynChaos

    EternitynChaos Once there was a Maiden...

    Apr 3, 2014
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    Hmmm... I wonder how that conversion rate would go with SR Orihalcium rather then Silver, considering it's basically THE material used in focus creation and the like by and large, the big stuff anyway
  15. Matherfokker

    Matherfokker Making the rounds.

    Jun 1, 2018
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    1. I think you may be on point for what he said explicitly but follow what that implies and consider what it means.

    The hat hypothesis is that all 11 years of a young magical's early life-- morality, culture, nurture, etc. have no bearing whatsoever on what kind of person they would come to be as an adult in so much as it can tell from its own experiences-- we are ignoring the issue of how reliable this information is in the context of the number of students observed (assuming its all) who and how it followed up on them to observe what kind of person they became ( assuming its all...somehow), and the issue of quantifying its subjective value of good/not good (we are assuming it is applying the moral standard of modern western/ judeo christian values and not some strange blue and orange wizard version). I am also assuming that subjects were not omitted from the hero/villain study because their outcomes were not extreme enough to count and that it is really meaning to simply say good/evil overall.

    Because it did not mention or acknowledge that there actually are some imperfect or sometimes incorrect commonalites/predictors and only discusses the absence thereof I am choosing to believe that the hat genuinely believes the absolute that there is not even one minor statistical correlation -- i.e. a common thread-- between upbringing and adult outcome.

    To me this impies only a few possibilities:

    They have no morality.-A zero sum state of personal morality despite 11 years of life experience (i.e. Kids are fucking vegetables up to that point more akin to talking mr. Potato heads than people)

    Developed moralities are rendered moot.--Massive external forces like social/cultural upheaval or obliteration, mind control, indoctrination camps, nanomachines??? etc resulting in an entirely randomized outcome wherein all personalities, choices, upbringing etc. prior to the event are rendered moot.

    They have the same morality.--A homogenized morality extant across all young magical children which experiences randomization sometime after that point.

    Of the the three, I find the last implication the most likely to have been made and thus take that as what was said. I have many additional thoughts on the Hat being a woefully unreliable/idiotic narrator/voice of reason and quite possibly the worst moral center ever when I consider it is applying its absolute to Tom riddle. Young Tom at age 11 was a psychopathic torturing theieving murderer. According to the Hat and its Wisdom he could have turned out anyway possible. No way to predict.

    None at all.

    Either the hat is a complete moron and incapable of understanding anything it sees which should give flashing neon signs of what's to come-- or the Wizardig world is choco full of people like Tom Riddle who turned out to be swell guys.

    What do you think?

    2. You may be correct. Given the morass surrounding point 1 and the hat's fascinating perspective on ethical awareness/develoment it is hard to say.
  16. Dunkelzahn

    Dunkelzahn No one of consequence

    Jul 10, 2018
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    Okay, so I think I understand your position now.

    To explicitly clarify, I believe your objection is that I didn't have the Hat qualify its statement to Harry with a discussion of conditional probabilities and statistical inference; therefore, you feel that he is denying the influence of all previous personality development of the children in question on the future actions.

    I do not believe that implication is supported by the Hat's words as written, but perhaps you see something that I do not. I will attempt to explain what the Hat's intent was in-story one last time, and if you have any suggestions on how to make that meaning more clear --- without making the scene too awkward or extending it to absurd length by interjecting a detailed description of the subtle implications of statistical inference into an exposition on free will --- I welcome them.

    The Hat, having just made a claim that there is more to the problem of human misbehavior in the wizarding world than simply the existence of a collection of objectionable spells, goes on to make a point about the importance of individual choice in human behavior.

    That is, he is telling Harry that people can choose their own actions.

    He illustrates this point with a personal anecdote regarding something in his personal experience --- children. He points out that, in his experience, even with essentially perfect knowledge of a person at a given moment in time, their future actions are not deterministic --- that is, there exists no set of characteristics, no 'common thread', shared by all who go on to do evil at some later time and not shared by any who go on to do good instead. Human behavior is not reducible in that manner.

    He uses that example to make a stark and unequivocal statement of a basic truth: humans have free will.

    The Hat gives no qualifiers about statistical inference and the probability that a particular individual selected from a hypothetical population of identically-raised individuals would choose certain actions for several reasons:
    • He's making a specific point about the existence of free will as part of the human condition, not about statistics.
    • Adding the extra qualifying information would take away from the impact of his statement and potentially confuse his audience.
    • He's talking about absolute predictions, not statements of likelihood (that is, 'this specific person will go on to do this specific class of things', not 'people who share certain characteristics with this person do this class of things X% of the time'). Statistics is useful for describing the collective behavior of an ensemble, not the outcome of specific instances.
    • Finally, and potentially most importantly, consider his audience. The Hat knows children in general, and he knows Harry in particular, so he knows he's talking to a young, impressionable, impulsive, and terrifyingly powerful dragon with the stated intention of participating in some constructive social engineering. The Hat wants to avoid even the slightest hint that there might possibly be some sort of magic bullet 'identify this, and you can pick out all the bad people' test --- in fact, he wants to kill the very possibility of drawing such a conclusion --- because, if he didn't, Harry might latch on to the idea as a viable option and put it into action, and that can only end in tears... and pogroms.
    For the record, the Hat knows --- perhaps better than anyone else, considering his job and capabilities --- that personality and environment and moral development and a host of other factors influence human behavior, but it also knows that those influences are not absolute, which is the point he's attempting to convey.

    As for the particular case of Tom Riddle, he didn't turn himself around, that is true, but there is no reason that he couldn't have done so. Children have a reasonably well-developed character at eleven, but developed doesn't mean static. As a human, Tom had the capacity to choose a different path at any point during his life, and he repeatedly chose to continue down the path he was on. The only point where a person ceases to have the power to choose such things is at death.

    So, yes, by the Hat's logic --- and for that matter, by my logic --- Tom Riddle, the psychopathic little monster, could have chosen at any time to behave differently and eventually become a decent person, despite his predilections and history making such a choice difficult. Of course, he didn't, choosing instead to skip merrily down the path to hell, but that is the nature of free will. To deny that possibility is not just to deny the possibility of redemption, but also to deny any form of culpability. If Tom could not have chosen differently, then he cannot be held accountable for the evils he committed --- after all, if he could not choose otherwise, he could do nothing else.

    The two concepts --- free will and accountability --- are inextricably intertwined.

    Without free will, the young Tom Riddle would have been a dangerous animal to be put down, rather than a child to be disciplined --- and later, if he didn't reform, a criminal to be punished. That is a leap I would not be willing to take, but perhaps that is your position, in which case I suppose we will have to agree to disagree.
  17. The Unicorn

    The Unicorn Experienced.

    Jan 10, 2015
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    I got that, and as I said efficiency only matters if you have competition. In Harry's situation the only question is "can I get enough energy to supply what I need?" Since the answer to that question is obviously yes, even if the efficiency is 0.00001% he can use his runes to power his machines.

    I apologize in advance if the explanation comes off as rude, but the problem with this is you can't compare energy with power, much less voltage.
    The lightbulb would have popped not because Harry produced too much electric energy, but because the voltage was too high. Adding resistors would reduce the voltage.
    Britain uses 220V so a 100W incandescent lightbulb would have a resistance of 484 ohm, a resistor of 4356 ohm would reduce the voltage on the light-bulb to one tenth of the original and total power consumption would increase to 1kW. since 1kT=4.184e12J at 100% efficiency that would provide enough energy to power the light-bulb for over 132 years. You didn't tell us how long the energy he provided kept the lightbulb on, so I'll use 10 minutes as WAG, which if the resistor used was 4356 ohm would mean he was getting an abysmal efficiency of 0.000014% ...which would STILL mean if his machinery consumed a total of 200kW (which is ridiculously high since even something like https://www.k-mm.com/large-machining/#large_machining_121_124 only has an 85 kW spindle) he could power all of it for 400minutes (6 hours and 40 minutes) with the 8 MT of his initial slips (granted that's assuming a transformer or switching regulator instead of the resistor).

    Now there are all sorts of assumptions in there that you could say are wrong, but my point is you're trying to compare apples and Xylophones.

    If you want to say that Harry can't produce the electrical power to run his machinery for more than a few minutes at a time you certainly can, but you need to actually say that, and not talk about efficiencies, or power but rather energy.

    And before someone comments about nitpicking science in a Harry Potter story, especially one about a Dragon - if the dragon's going to use electricity I expect it to be described correctly.

    If you want Harry to actually be unable to produce electric power to run things here's a few suggestions:
    1)His runic arrays are generating DC, not AC power, or his AC power isn't stable enough. Incandescent lightbulbs won't care but his CNC mill or any other machine he wants to run will demand AC with fairly small tolerance for both voltage and frequency (there are solutions for this he could buy, but I wouldn't expect him or anyone else in the Wizarding world to know them).
    2)The arrays 'leak' magical energy and leak more the more energy he puts in, with the end result being they only provide electrical power for a fairly short time before running out regardless of how much power he dumps in them or how big an electrical load he has.
    3)The amount of energy needed to power the machinery is too much for Harry to manage, or at least is enough to tire him out(this would be difficult to justify, but I suppose you could do it).

    I have. I have no idea how you can honestly draw the implications you are out of what was written.
  18. Dunkelzahn

    Dunkelzahn No one of consequence

    Jul 10, 2018
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    Okay, so some context.

    Harry started this with the intention of figuring out how electricity and magic interacted with each other --- essentially a test bed for basic research --- in response to his conversation with Slackhammer about the superconductors. Then he got a nascent idea for an application, which would be both useful for him personally and tremendously valuable for the world market, from Dumbledore's lecture on alchemy --- the rest of which I am spoiler tagging for those who want to be surprised.

    Basically, when Harry got thinking about the mass-energy equivalent of the sludge he was making, he got the idea of using it to store energy in a sort of alchemical flow battery. Electricity comes in, is converted to magic by a variant of the lightning-rod array. The magic produced powers an alchemical array which mimics the first practice exercise, converting water into the sludge which is then stored in a tank. Then a pump (or gravity feed, whatever works, really) feeds the sludge into a second runic array to imitate the second practice exercise, converting the sludge back into water and freeing a bunch energy as magic which feeds into the array he's been working on to produce electricity.

    He's looking at the economics from the perspective of a battery rather than a primary energy source. In order to charge the thing, you have to pay for the energy at the beginning, so efficiency is very important.

    As for using it for primary power, say using environmental magic as a feed stock, that would work, but environmental magic is a low-density energy source --- much like wind or solar --- and you can only pull so much out so quickly for any given size of generator. The Weasley car works on a similar principle as I described back in 3.6.1, just without the inefficient conversion to electricity.

    If the electricity conversion were efficient, it would be an effective small generator suitable for continuous use in magic-rich areas or intermittent use in low-magic ones, or even as a man-powered generator for magic users (go cast a spell every morning to have electricity for the day kind of thing). Since it's not, well, it is less useful.

    He's not abandoning the idea, by the way. He just needs to approach from a different angle. For purposes of the narrative, I wanted Harry to take some time and have missteps along the way (of which this is just the first), and I wanted the technology to have a lower limit on size for the flow-battery to be viable --- you can have a system the size of a large shed that makes wind or solar viable for powering your house cheaply and reliably, and that can scale all the way up to providing backup energy storage peaking on a national power grid, but it won't scale down to AA cells that run a laptop for five years.
    Eventually he'll realize that while magic to electricity via runes is really hard, magic to heat via runes is a common appliance in magical homes (the stove), and he's got a whole team of engineers now who are really, really good at the heat engine thing.

    On the energy versus power issue, sorry I was a little sloppy with my wording leaving the timescale roughly implied by the testing scene itself rather than explicitly stating it (which is a little embarrassing given my background). Each test takes a couple seconds.

    Consider Harry's energy input as something which pretty closely approximates an impulse --- all of it is in one big spike --- the pulse gets stretched to a few seconds as the runic array processes it, and then he measures the entire output by measuring the voltage drop across the known-resistance test circuit over that time. The losses are massive --- out of that 4 TJ of energy he pushed in, he's dissipating on the order of a couple dozen kJ through the his test circuit over the course of a couple seconds (way up from the couple dozen Joules over the same period he got in his first attempt), the rest is lost to the local magical field where it rapidly disperses over a wide area and is incorporated into the rest of the natural cycle of production and consumption of magical energy.

    That is a process which drives the cycle of high- and low-magic ages, and involves the population dynamics of certain rock-dwelling, magic-eating bacteria which are just starting to become populous enough to cause problems for the oil industry as I mentioned a few posts back.

    At a dozen or so kilowatts, that's not enough to run the spindle on his new mill, much less everything else, and even doing that would tie up his time constantly tending the thing --- kind of defeating the purpose of getting the mill in the first place.
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  19. Matherfokker

    Matherfokker Making the rounds.

    Jun 1, 2018
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    I think this frank manner of discussion is exactly what would have been a better method of discussion with a young dragon- there is no silver bullet to know with absolute certainty that one person will always end up evil for certain, never choosing good over evil, and it is a serious issue to consider whether you or anyone else will take that step forward to say that someone fitting a particular descriptor should never have the chance for 'redemption' because of the implied risk and simply put end them.

    The real meat of the conversation is exactly that point-- what goes into the choice of that final decision, the morality and risks in making it, etc. It is an adult discussion because Harry is as you said engaging in social engineering which will result in serious adult outcomes and he is inherently dangerous based on his physicality let alone his magical power-- he needs to be aware of the moral implications of his own potential decision to insitute...hmm...deadlines for moral development.

    This is the realm of the policy director and manager or leader in general-- you sometimes have to put something into law and effect which you accept will sometimes be unjust or unfair to some individuals in final outcome because the costs otherwise would be unacceptable to the organzation at large. It is the discussion and moral conundrum of 'The Greater Good' or 'Least Worse Outcome' and I think this would definitely match the last part of the hat's discussion better wherein it admits it does not have a perfect solution/absolute standard and that Harry will need to work it out himself and while he does so he needs to consider the points provided on free will and unpredictable outcomes along with their moral implication in relation to his decision.

    Is all of the above appropriate for an 11 year old dragon? That point is moot. It is immediately relevant given what shenanigans he is getting into.
    pervyshyguy likes this.
  20. The Unicorn

    The Unicorn Experienced.

    Jan 10, 2015
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    Ah. Got it.That makes more sense.
    I will however suggest you figure it based on each test lasting over 10 seconds - a lightbulb lighting up for a couple of seconds and then going dark would look very similar to one popping, and doesn't fit the way you described the test.
  21. Edmond G. Bertrand

    Edmond G. Bertrand Getting sticky.

    Nov 14, 2018
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    My only issue, if there's one to be had, is that your chapter sub-divisions are arbitrary in size. I'd suggest larger segments, just for readability and for
    contiguity's sake.
  22. ScarletFlames

    ScarletFlames Not too sore, are you?

    Nov 4, 2018
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    The 'sub-divisions' are arbitrary in size because they separate parts of the story, not the amount of words. Also, what does it matter if one part is 5k words and another is 2k when the story is top notch in both cases? Focusing on how much (or how little) will only increase the rate of writer burnout as well as not contribute anything towards the story.

    Readability is perfectly fine so there's nothing to change in sentence sizing or spacing either.
    Ame and The Unicorn like this.
  23. Aaron Fox

    Aaron Fox That Crazy/Not-Crazy Guy

    Oct 1, 2018
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    Some people's definition of 'readable' is different than others. I've been told that 10k per chapter should be a upper limit of how much you put into a chapter (particularly for fanfiction), although I've seen people go far above that number and still made it readable.
  24. ScarletFlames

    ScarletFlames Not too sore, are you?

    Nov 4, 2018
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    That sounds more like convenience of reading chapters in one go rather than actual readability of the text as is. Any more on this subject let's take to PM as it is a derail.
    Cold Burn likes this.
  25. Dunkelzahn

    Dunkelzahn No one of consequence

    Jul 10, 2018
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    The subdivisions within each section are just scene breaks. As I mentioned back in the first post of the thread:
    Just imagine anything bolded as a horizontal line if it helps.You won't miss out on anything except the occasional cultural reference or pun in the titles.

    The titles are there because they help me navigate and organize my draft (currently at 341K words, so organization is kind of important) --- I just tried to make them a little interesting so you weren't stuck with gems like "Hat discussion - need for morality" and "Lockhart motivations interlude".

    If it really bugs people, I suppose I can start just using a uniform scene demarcation when I put up the draft, though that makes referencing specific scenes in discussion a little tedious at times.
  26. The Unicorn

    The Unicorn Experienced.

    Jan 10, 2015
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    Nope, I like them.
  27. Raimunda042

    Raimunda042 Know what you're doing yet?

    Aug 19, 2018
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    I agree, respectfully if people have a problem with how you write, they are free to leave.

    Edit: But this a bit of a detail, so let’s head it off at the pass.

    How about that dragon there boys?
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  28. Rathmun

    Rathmun Is kink-shaming someone's shame-kink still wrong?

    Nov 21, 2014
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    After Fawkes's prank, and with her wanting to get the same 'punishment' as the Weasley twins, I can't help picturing Hermione paying a visit to the headmaster's office.

    "Ah, Miss Granger. I hope you're doing well. Is there something I can help you with?"

    Hermione fidgets for a moment, as though uncertain how to word her request. Then "Yes. I was wondering if Aguamenti." The wand concealed in her sleeve discharges a jet of water, inundating the phoenix sleeping on his perch. Fawkes wakes with a loud squawk of alarm, before flaming out, leaving behind a cloud of steam that dramatically raises the humidity in Dumbledore's office.

    "Was that entirely necessary Miss Granger?" Albus tilts his head down to give her a scolding look over the top of his glasses.

    "I used water, he used tea."

    "Hmm, and you thought it appropriate to take your moderated revenge in my office?"
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2018
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  29. The Unicorn

    The Unicorn Experienced.

    Jan 10, 2015
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    My knee-jerk reaction is to disagree with statements like that, although it is a bit difficult to disagree in this case.
  30. Dunkelzahn

    Dunkelzahn No one of consequence

    Jul 10, 2018
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    No need to bother too much about it. It seemed to be honest commentary, not mean-spirited.

    Quite frankly, if that's the only problem someone comes up with after reading as much as I've posted so far --- which the original comment seemed to imply to my reading --- I actually feel kind of flattered. I mean, I'm not going to change the format --- it seems to be a fairly isolated opinion, after all --- but it's not like it was a nasty comment.
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2018