“That spell of cursed fire. I don’t suppose it’s a sacrificial ritual that even a child could use, if he dared?”
The Defense Professor’s lips twitched. “It requires the permanent sacrifice of a drop of blood; your body would be lighter by that drop of blood, from that day forward. Not the sort of thing one would wish to do often, Mr. Potter.-----------One drop is roughly 1/20th of a milliliter. Blood donations routinely take 500 mL of blood from people without immediate ill effect; only some people get dizzy. It would take 10.000 such rituals to reach the negative effect of a single blood donation. Albeit there is of course a difference in that the latter’s volume loss is quickly recovered by the body after drinking some water, which wouldn’t happen with the ritual. Still, I doubt any ritual would be completed anywhere close to 10.000 times, making the permanent blood loss penalty trivial. Quirrell’s line failed to scare me in the slightest.
I notice that Quirrell no longer needs to transform into a snake to speak Parseltongue, which is suddenly very plot convenient (he doesn’t need to stop pointing a gun at Harry). I reasoned that he needed to do that before in order to keep a cover of Quirrell not being a descendant of Slytherin (which would increase the likelihood Harry would connect the dots that he is Voldemort), therefore he pretended to always need to turn into a snake in order to speak Parseltongue (pretended he wasn’t a natural Parselmouth). But then there is this bit from Chapter 49:Quirrell in snake form: “This iss mosst ssecure way to sspeak. You ssee? No otherss undersstand uss.”
Harry: “Even if they are ssnake Animagi?”
Quirrell: “Not unlesss heir of Sslytherin willss.” The snake gave a series of short hisses which Harry’s brain translated as sardonic laughter. “Sslytherin not sstupid. Ssnake Animaguss not ssame as Parsselmouth. Would be huge flaw in sscheme.”
Therefore, Quirrell just confessed to Harry that he is, in fact, a Parselmouth on top of being a snake Animagus, since he just said (in other words) that being a snake Animagus does not automatically grant the user Parseltongue even when in the snake form; one has to be a true descendant of Slytherin. This invalidates my reasoning. Is there a satisfactory explanation for this contradiction?Edit: turns out that with “Not unlesss heir of Sslytherin willss”, Quirrell meant to say that Harry himself grants any snake the capacity to speak because Harry is an heir of Slytherin. The ambiguity threw me off.
The presence of terms “constellation” and “watcher of stars” are strongly reminiscent of the centaur (since they watch stars to do their Divination) and then the “place that is prohibited” would further point to the Forbidden Forest, which could have misdirected Harry to think he should go there to help the centaur (very plausible given the cryptic nature of why the centaur tried to kill him at the same time he indicated he didn’t want to murder innocents; perhaps Harry needed to go there to find out the important and true reason for that incident). Weird that the possibility that the “watcher of stars” could be the centaur didn’t even cross his mind.
“We think the wards are just being fooled again, but really, Professor Sinistra was Legilimized and she did do it.”
How come Legilimens has mind control powers like Imperius? That’s not the first time that’s implied in this story either.
Also, if anti-phoenix wards exist, how come they are not used in Azkaban? Given that Harry could have gone there using Fawkes’ offer...
How come the wards that are supposed to warn professors if any student’s vital levels drop below a certain threshold didn’t trigger?
McGonagall deciding to send Quirrell off with Trelawney, when she knows Quirrell is a prime suspect of being the evil person inside Hogwarts, and in a world where memory-charming exists, is extremely stupid even for her and took me right out of being immersed in the story. Quirrell could alter Trelawney’s mind so that she reports he was with her the whole time and go off do whatever evil he wants. Feels like a really contrived way to force the plot forward, uncharacteristic of the author’s brilliance thus far. I guess I’ll just have faith it will somehow make sense later, given the track record so far.
Quirrell is the most fascinating and well written villain (?) I’ve read in a long, long time!
Yup, it has been shown to have so many flaws in its scientific design that any conclusions it draws are invalid.
“Professor Quirrell would just think Harry was nervous at having been discovered as the Heir of Slytherin. Rather than being nervous that Professor Quirrell might realize that Harry had deliberately betrayed Slytherin’s secret… which itself was no longer seeming like such a smart move.”
I’m having trouble remembering what he is referring to. How and to whom did Harry betray the secret of the existence of the Chamber?
Harry’s monologue about the people who wouldn’t be invited to Lucius’ dinners was fantastic. People who need someone to blame in order to avoid contemplating their own failures… it’s so depressing and familiar that it hurts.
Every time I think “Mr. Yudkowsky has outdone himself this chapter and there can’t possibly be a better one than this” I’m later proven wrong. What wonders await me in the remaining two thirds of the book?
This is officially better than the source material.
Maybe I am daft and unworthy of such a deeply intelligent piece of work for not figuring this out, but:
Your father was the bully,” said Severus Snape, “and what your mother saw in him was something I never did understand until this day.”
What did Snape understand about what Lily saw in James Potter?
Perhaps the funniest chapter so far, which is saying something!
What a gripping chapter! Quirrel is a fascinating character. Looking forward to see how their relationship develops and see if there really will be a three-way wedding :)
“Then he carefully reached inside the Quietus field and pulled the Cloak of Invisibility off Harry-1′s still-sleeping form. And just for the sake of mischief, Harry put the Cloak into Harry-1′s pouch, knowing it would thereby already be in his own.”
If he put the cloak in sleeping Harry’s (Harry 1′s) pouch, and Harry 1 had his pouch with him the whole time, took it with him when he went to ask the paintings about the game, it was with him when he defended Neville etc… how did Harry 2 manage to become invisible in order to do stuff like making a note fall on sleeping Harry’s head out of nowhere, if he didn’t have the cloak on him in order to be able to sneak up on Harry 1?