View Full Version : [Abandoned] Harry Potter and the Arcana by the Imaginizer - T

11-02-2011, 02:23 AM
Title: Harry Potter and the Arcana
Author: The Imaginizer
Rating: T
Genre: Supernatural
Chapters: 34 + Author's Note
Words: 166,810
Updated: February 19, 2012 (March 10, 2013: Author's Note)
Published: October 4, 2011
Status: Abandoned
Library Category: The Alternatives
Pairings: None at the moment
Summary: Harry Potter's life as we know it is entrenched with destiny, sewn together like a tightly plotted book. But what if his bond with destiny was far more imminent? What if whatever card said that Harry Potter is rubbish at divination was turned upside down?


So I found this story a week or so ago and I've been keeping an eye on it ever since. The summary sounded remotely interesting so I gave it a try. To my understanding, it's been posted in "Barely Recommended" as well, but I believe that it deserves its chance in For "Review". If it's had its chance and failed, then ignore this.

The story starts off a bit iffy, especially with the introduction of an OC, and for a moment I thought it was going to be one of those "OC raises Harry" type of fics. It doesn't quite turn out that way and it picks up really nicely, especially in the later chapters. The Divination shtick is interesting... and yeah, it seems I can't write reviews these days. The writing is pretty solid in my opinion and it's stories like these that are a breath of fresh air these days on the musty Harry Potter fanfiction collection.

It's definitely a solid and entertaining piece of writing.


Checked by Minion, August 23, 2013

11-02-2011, 03:21 AM
I've been following this story as well; it's surprisingly decent. I'm not sure if there's anything really spectacular about it (yet), but what's there is well-written and enjoyable. This is the kind of story that I know is going to have way more awesome stuff later on; the challenge is in waiting until that stuff actually arrives.


11-02-2011, 04:59 PM
Basically what Silverlasso said. Fun to read and hopefully we'll see some more conflict later on.

11-02-2011, 07:32 PM
I'm only 5 chapters in but it seems to have a lot of cliches and the formatting annoys me a bit. There are portions where there are very, very large blocks of text that for some reason bug me.
And he likes adding in a lot of lyrics to songs, which is a pet peeve of mine. Songfics are retarded, and writing "Harry sang a few lines of INSERT-SONG-HERE" is just as effective as writing out 10 lines of verse if you aren't trying to achieve some sort of greater effect in using the song. Considering the author puts a damn song in every chapter, I don't think that's what he is going for and if it is he fails at it.

11-03-2011, 12:36 AM
This is purely middle of the road for me right - nothing that makes me truly intrigued, but it's quite readable. In some ways it feels like it just got started.


11-03-2011, 01:46 AM
I barely managed to finish the first year.
Personally, I didnt find it fun. I was expecting much more when the fic started with Harry eating weed cookies.
I dont like the way he keeps making fun of canon and gets these ideas out of nowhere. Like in canon, the Mirror of Erised was shown to be a wonderful and amazing thing, though dangerous. Here its apparently stupid.
"Well, it was empty, except for something called the Mirror of Erised –"
"Ah, yes…heard of it. Shows you your greatest desire. Pointless, if you ask me."
Plenty of cliches as well like him being bale to tell Fred and George apart, even though he doesn't even know them.
Voldemort is apparently pathetic.
"What was he like? The Dark Lord?" Jean interrupted, a strange, nervously eager light in his eyes.
Harry shrugged uneasily. "I dunno – sort of evillish, a little pathetic, to be honest – wasn't that great. Turns out the whole thing about the Stone being here was really just a trap set by the Headmaster, who already suspected old Voldie never really kicked the bucket – actually, I thought Dumbledore was far more interesting than Voldemort."
Then there is apparently a passcode to get to the chamber with the mirror. And this is how he guesses the 10 digit code.
"If there are ten buttons, and each button can only be picked once, there are a possible…uh…three million, six hundred and twenty eight thousand, eight hundred combinations."
"Wow! How do you know that?" Terry asked curiously.
"You can find out with any number, you just multiply it by all the numbers before it… it's a technique muggles use in a branch of mathematics called combinatorics - but wizards use it as well, in arithmancy, runeology, divination...but never mind, perhaps 3-6-2-8-8-0-0 is the combination – it's clever, but not impossible."
He magically guesses that its a 10 digit code. And then knows just how to guess it.
And the way he finds out that music puts the dog to sleep is stupid as well.
"A dog?" Hermione said, "My aunt used to have a dog."
Harry smiled. "Splendid. Now, how did she manage to calm it down when she wanted it to shut up and leave her alone? Like, when tossing it stake, bones, peanut butter, chew toys, and small edible animals didn't work. Short of murdering it, that is."
Hermione looked like she had just swallowed a lemon – but she was probably swallowing something between horror and exasperation. "She'd…I don't know, pet it...I guess? Talk to it? Play it music, maybe?"
Needless to say the fic is filled with similar stuff. Sorry, but I just couldnt get past this stuff.

3/5 and that is me being generous.

11-03-2011, 02:18 PM
It's a solid story. I find it enjoyable, if a little bit strange. Although there doesn't seem to be much in the way of conflict to draw me in right now. 4/5

11-03-2011, 08:51 PM
Chapter 19 is a fairly good update. Some very interesting plot developments.

11-04-2011, 04:20 PM
I liked it.

At first it truly looked tad bid shady, but when Harry wasn't adopted, it got better.
On that front, giving Harry a painting is borderline cheating as it is kind of not adopting.

Everywhere the divination is used the fic is beautiful. The author is showing his work, beginning from Apollo and ending with obscure form of divination from swords, I had to google to find. It's good when that happens.

The Led Zeppelin fixation is... I dunno, I never particularly cared for the band, although they have a few good songs, but thats not the point. The songs are in every third chapter, and generally...
Songs in fics should be used very carefully and like salt. A line or quote, a hint of a tune might do wonders. But when you are starting to paste whole lyrics it gets bad quickly. Especially if the song isn't ringing in your head while you are reading it. Then they are just clusters of something you skim and don't pay any more attention. I get it, you like Led Zeppelin. Cheers to you. Yes, I know you trying to set the mood. Yes, that's a very clever way of showing Jean's personality. Yes, that also shows how harry is changing. Now, let me read about Harry.

The plot, it has it's downs and ups. there are a few strange ideas, but all in all it's solid.
Stormey mentioned the whole sequence with Fluffy. Come on, that was kind of funny. (at least he tried lots of things, even if it wasn't to the usual tune of the fic. (Ooh, it makes me wonder if that was the intention))

On other sad points, yes, the obstacles to reach the stone were strange. Why did the author need a code lock (which being opened by a Seer doesn't hurt the context much.) and the maze?
Was the lock done by Burbage and Babbling (muggle studies + runes)? (I probably missed the comment if it was made but am not curious enough to go chek.)

On the last few chapters, the whole employment at B&B shop is a solid sequence. The deal with the Malfoys is decent and fun. (I think after thousands of fics we have learned to accept first year Harry being smarter than he ever was in the books)
Exept for the too much careslessness.
Besides, most of the customers like me….well, except this one guy, who actually tried to crucio me…
Seems... like... A safe place to work?

But, all Seers are crazy, so... It's probably OK.

I'm still deciding between 3 or 4, because it's a solid and exact 3.5/5 in my book. Perhaps in a few chapters...

I don't know if I did mention everything I wanted, but my attention span is ending, so there.


11-04-2011, 05:47 PM
I wonder how his divinination skills, apply to mental powers. ALso this year, he gets to meet luna as well, who want to bet that is just an awesome combination, will he be able to see luna creatures.

11-04-2011, 05:52 PM
I just had to give a few cents to that:
I wonder how his divinination skills, apply to mental powers. With a gusto of madness.

... will he be able to see luna creatures.
You sir, are most Wrong.
Luna believes in the creatures.
She doesn't have to see them to believe them. If she would have to, she would be Hermione.

That is all.

p.s. I'm not saying she doesn't see anything ;D

11-05-2011, 07:45 AM
Nauro, use this: http://forums.darklordpotter.net/profile.php?do=ignorelist, it's what I do.

11-05-2011, 07:55 AM
Just finished reading this fic... It's definitely readable, and seems to be taking quite an interesting path. The writing isn't as polished as it could be, but by no means is it bad. The story really does exemplify why cliche's are used so often, as when they are used well, they are extremely entertaining/convenient plot devices. 4/5 from me.

I look forward to more updates, and hope that the update rate continues as it was.

Sin Saiori
11-05-2011, 09:06 AM
I have some gripes with this story:
- God-gifted mental barriers. But all things considered, their existence wards off unnecessary conflict/questions. That, and as far as deus ex machina's go, it could be worse.
- Being sorted into Ravenclaw automatically gives +42 to intelligence. I'm tired of seeing this. But then, perhaps it was already there but never really showcased.
- Harry finds magically accurate books on various (read: obscure) branches of divination in public libraries and muggle bookstores. I have no counter argument to this, either.

Now that all that's out of my system, I'd like to say that I'm enjoying this fic. This is one of those both-sides-of-the-fence stories where the downsides (excessive use of cliches) are balanced out by upsides (well thought out use of cliches). It's definitely a refreshing experience in the ever expanding pile of wish-fulfilling fecal matter that is HP fanfiction, and falls firmly in the "So close to diamond-in-the-rough status that I can taste it" category.

The one thing it needs, though, is something to really set it apart from other fics. The liberal use of cliches and tropes, no matter how well used, makes it read through like so many other stories. I feel like it's missing somthing, but I don't know what.

My favorite parts so far are Harry's interactions with the Higher Powers and his open-mindedness on nearly every topic that comes up.

I like it so far. Tentative 4/5, but that could easily go up or down. I'll probably have a better feel for it after we get through the second year.

11-06-2011, 02:12 AM
Giving it a try, but the Author's note saying that "there will be song lyrics and music references scattered all over this story" is almost enough to make me back out instead.

I wasn't too fond of Jean and the stuff surrounding him, but eh. Likewise Harry seems to be learning wandless magic a bit too easy -- the author mostly just says that he worked at it for a bit and learned to bend/move spoons. No struggle or traumatic event, etc.

Plus Harry seems a bit too "old" for being nine or ten years old. That's always a a turn-off for me. It doesn't seem to improve with the later chapters I read either.

Once his letter arrives things improve some. His encounter with Jean gave him a leg-up that he could have used in canon. I like that he has a bit of off-the-wall magic that isn't OP, though I have a feeling that Harry is going to be OP soon. His inheritance is a bit much, but that was a good means of finding out about Sirius. I'm not so sure about this "Legacy" that Harry has according to Jean. As for the stuff about Seers, well, it'd be better if he appeared to need to work at it to get it to work. Or if it is supposed to be a purely innate skill then I'd argue he's getting too good at other things. Protagonists are no fun if everything comes easy. And Apollo, really?

I only finished through Chapter 6 though, which is the first chapter where Harry is at Hogwarts (but after being sorted), so perhaps I speak too soon.

I can't rate this more than, well, 3/5. There's just too much that I didn't like, that I thought was too easy, too over-powered, etc. to rate it higher. Unless someone tells me it improves in later chapters I think I'm done.

11-06-2011, 02:35 AM
I definitely think it improves in later chapters. I found the earlier chapters to be a tad distasteful, however things do start to normalize a bit at hogwarts, though the feeling of the story not taking itself seriously doesn't entirely disappear.

I definitely think it's worth giving it till the end, it definitely improves. Just don't ever expect it to be an incredibly serious story. Small annoyances remain in places, but overall some of the humor tends to make up for it.

11-06-2011, 03:18 AM
I didn't like it, couldn't get past the uber-setup. The writing is ok, but there's just loads of tl;dr description that reminds me of RossWrock, particularly in how it's just set up for Harry to be super smart and savvy. Also, the infodump at Gringotts really annoyed me.


11-06-2011, 04:39 AM
Guilty pleasure at best. I didn't like the characterization of the protagonists. Jean was a good OC, but he should have stayed dead. Also, adding classic rock lyrics to this story is a great insult to them, not to mention utterly pointless. I also don't get how Harry can be chummy (to the point of being an accomplice) with Malfoy Snr. Can a twelve year old boy play Lord Voldemorts right hand for a fool?

+1 for Grammer, +1 For alternative divination. The rest is just meh.
2.5/5, rounded to 2.

11-06-2011, 03:43 PM
I enjoyed reading this, although it does have some guilty pleasure characteristics. The whole music thing I don't like, but I can tolerate it. Things seem a little too easy for Harry, the conflict isn't that impressive and the whole inheritance concept bothered me too. Also Harry seems a tad too old for his age especially in the later chapters. I don't think I've read a good Seer!Harry though, so I was tempted to rate this even higher than 3/5. Just don't think I can do that with a good conscience, because with some changes this could be so much better.


11-06-2011, 06:48 PM
Eh. 2.5/5 because it was almost enjoyable. I think this would be better served in the Almost Recommended thread. It's got a lot of problems (Harry is a borderline Gary Stu, it has one of the most cliched set-ups I've ever read, the freaking classic rock songs embedded in the story every seven lines... etc, etc.) but it also has some neat ideas, and I am pleased that the author is capable of using Google to look up at least summaries of actual magical traditions.

11-10-2011, 12:41 PM
I'll give it a 2.5/5. There's nothing making me feel like I need or want to read the next chapter. It's readable for sure but I found myself skimming over chapters and it had me feeling like it wasn't really a serious attempt at writing a... a serious? fanfic.

The author had some real good ideas and if she would of changed the dialogue and gotten rid of the attempts at humor and made the characters act more seriously it would of been a hell of more interesting to read.

Or for short; I don't think she executed her ideas good enough. Maybe she should of stamped a humor category on it, instead of supernatural.

Mock Moniker
11-10-2011, 01:50 PM
I couldn't get into this, too many incredibly awkward references for my taste.

Like the scene where Harry says to Ollivander: "You're quite misunderstood, aren't you? So am I. Well, Mr. Ollivander, next time someone looks at you like you're crazy, just tell them that the lunatic is on the grass."

This is cringe-worthy writing, and the story is full of moments like this.

Given that I'm not going to read the whole thing, I won't rate it, but the fact that I can't force myself to read more of this should tell you my opinion.

11-10-2011, 04:47 PM
I couldn't get into this, too many incredibly awkward references for my taste.

Like the scene where Harry says to Ollivander: "You're quite misunderstood, aren't you? So am I. Well, Mr. Ollivander, next time someone looks at you like you're crazy, just tell them that the lunatic is on the grass."
Exactly. Harry is a seer. The author should of made him say something else, like maybe a warning fore-site/prediction of danger to Ollivander it would of been way more interesting that would of played out in later chapters. Instead we get Harry saying something that not even Trelawney would say.

11-10-2011, 11:34 PM
Exactly. Harry is a seer. The author should of made him say something else, like maybe a warning fore-site/prediction of danger to Ollivander it would of been way more interesting that would of played out in later chapters. Instead we get Harry saying something that not even Trelawney would say.

should've (contraction of should have)

I found what Harry said to Ollivander appropriate, considering Harry's character at that point and the tone of the story itself. What you suggested wouldn't fit Harry's character, nor would it fit the tone of the story. It would simply make the story worse than it already is.

Dark Syaoran
11-11-2011, 12:32 AM
Hm. Tried this story a few weeks back and it was going along quite well until he met the stoner. That scene was just... odd. It was meant to be odd, obviously, but... it just drove me away from the story.

Really killed my interest.

11-11-2011, 01:49 AM
Originally, Harry and Professor Snape were going to become accomplices in a dastardly plot to poison Lockhart - but I decided that that was a little over the top, even for me (and I love over-the-topness). So, yeah, I'm going the subtler root.

How does one go the subtler root?

11-11-2011, 05:12 AM
How does one go the subtler root?

With magic, and bad spell-check-fu.

11-14-2011, 10:49 AM
Even though there are a few irritants in the story, it's not too bad.

A few of my peeves about the story are wizards mostly being dumb and lacking common sense, first and second year students making headway in combining technology and magic, seers being mouthpieces of the Gods, use of first year magics in the duel with Draco Malfoy by a person who can cast magic that affect ghosts that are protected by Hogwarts wards and Harry's lack of true fear and arrogance when confronted with the Dark Lord at the end of first year.

Some interesting points in the story are Harry's getting a job in Borgin and Burkes, his interest in esoteric magics and willingness to use these magics, humorous interaction with the students, etc.

I'll give it a 4/5 for being a refreshing read.

11-21-2011, 07:02 AM
The stoner bit turned me off, but I ploughed through anyway. Thankfully he disappeared into a minor role we hardly ever see, and I hope he never returns.

Beyond that, it is definitely shaping into a good story. There are lots of good parts, and one minor thing that stood out for me that decided this was a different type of seer story was Harry not being able to read his own future on the train when he tried to. A lot of seer stories have Harry knowing everything, this one doesn't. It's a talent, not an ability that gives him all the answers. His smart and works thing out pretty easily, but you see how and it doesn't just appear to him because his a seer.

It starts off good, gets a little dicey with the stoner then becomes good again. There are inconsistency's and errors,*flashbacks* and some things aren't explained fully, plus little things that annoy you which you will find in nearly any story.

Ignore the stoner part as a badly done character thats not a major OC and disappears to a minor role later on in the story, and it's a worthy read.


11-22-2011, 09:43 AM
There's something strange about reading this story. Much of it is fresh and new enough to hold my attention, and yet in feels extremely familiar; thankfully more of the comfort variety, rather than the boring variety.

What sets the story apart for me is the way Harry's being-not-quite-right-in-the-head-as-all-proper-seers-should-be manifests itself. It's the three degrees to the left of reality sort of crazy that I find enjoyable. The kind that can make one pause sometimes and say, "You're a little bit strange in the brain, you know that?", without going too far and wandering into proper "that's crazy talk" territory.

This Harry's charm (and some of the supporting cast) makes it easy to overlook the awkwardness in some plot points and the OC.

3.5/5, rounding up.