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Old 12-17-2011, 05:15 PM   #1
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The Prisoner's Cipher by Ecthelion3

Title: The Prisoner's Cipher
Author: Ecthelion3
Rating: M
Genre: Adventure/Mystery
Chapters: 9 (ff.net), 7 (DLP)
Words: 69,457 (ff.net)
Updated: August 16, 2015 (ff.net), December 18, 2012 (DLP)
Published: August 21, 2011 (ff.net)

Status: Complete
Library Category: Dark Arts/The Alternates
Pairings: none
Summary: AU. Years after his defeat of Voldemort, Harry Potter remains a willing and secret prisoner of the Ministry, but not all is what it seems. Harry has a plan, and the world will never be the same.
Link: Fanfiction.net WbA

I have no idea how this hasn't been posted for review by now. Granted, I didn't discover until last night, but after reading the first chapter, I was hooked and ending up spending a much later night than I intended in front of my computer.

The story features Harry imprisoned by the ministry, but with none of the usual cliches present in your average Azkaban fic. For one thing, he's not in Azkaban. I found Ecthelion's portrayal of a cold and calculating Harry to be excellent, while at the same time, the relationship between Harry and Dumbledore is intriguing.

The mystery is very easy to be drawn into, and I find myself anxiously awaiting the next chapter.

For me, an easy 5/5.

Checked by Minion, December 27, 2015

Last edited by Dark Minion; 12-27-2015 at 06:55 PM.
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Old 12-17-2011, 05:28 PM   #2
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Oh god, I'd almost forgotten about this fic. Now I'm just wondering where the next update is.

It's definitely a 5/5 from me, absolutely no questions asked.
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Old 12-17-2011, 05:49 PM   #3
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Love this story. Excellent writing and characterisation, and one of the best battle scenes I've seen in fanfiction. Definitely deserves a place in the Library, and I can't wait for the next update. 5/5
“I am and always will be the optimist. The hoper of far-flung hopes and the dreamer of improbable dreams.”
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Old 12-18-2011, 06:58 PM   #4
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The writing is wonderful, and I love the imagination of the runes and the initial framing of Harry's cipher as being the object of scrutiny and mystery.

But I didn't like the revelations in the last chapter, with souls literally consisting of good and evil halves. The idea of the soul being so simplistic and unmysterious and mundane is shockingly bad.

But there is a sense of noble tragedy in Dumbledore's and Harry's fates that felt very sad and moving.

I'm impressed by Ecthelion's boldness in making Harry this sort of character, I really don't know what to expect. I want him to have a happy ending at the end of all this.


Last edited by Andro; 12-18-2011 at 07:01 PM.
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Old 12-21-2011, 05:12 AM   #5
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This is truly perfect!

The writting is excellent, Harry's character is intriguing and the mystery draws you in from the very beginning.

I liked the idea with the souls and I don't think he meant that the souls only consist of good and evil, but that Harry only focused on Dumbledore's good traits when he revived him and that makes the resulting character unbalanced and inherently wrong.

A real gem, 5/5
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Old 12-21-2011, 09:58 AM   #6
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I like to think that we don't have only good and bad traits but an in between as well, those gray areas that are so popular in fanfiction should probably fit the notion. Even if we go by this idea, Harry would still start his descent into madness and go evil because his neutral part of his soul would slowly get tainted. It seems that getting rid of his good side works no matter the angle you take looking at it.
I really enjoyed reading this in the WbA and it's a 5/5 in my opinion.
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Old 12-21-2011, 03:23 PM   #7
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One of my favorite fics out there right now. 5/5 easy.
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Old 12-21-2011, 05:15 PM   #8
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The duality principle that the fic expects us to accept is kind of interesting. It's well thought out and within it's own assumptions makes sense.
Is is a good one looking from the outside perspective? Well, it lacks some grey, true.

On other stuff - the plot look solid and really interesting.
Everything on runes was interesting.
I'll have to read when it updates ;D

I think 4.76/5

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Last edited by Nauro; 12-21-2011 at 05:23 PM.
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Old 12-22-2011, 05:45 AM   #9
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Easily one of the best fics I have recently read, solid 5/5 in my opinion. I love the duality concept is really intriguing and I simply love the fact that Harry did have to train, pretty much non-stop for years and years to reach his current level, hate it when he just suddenly becomes a god of magic 'cause the author says so.

Originally Posted by Menace View Post
"Be my friend, motherfucker!" Naruto howled, slamming the rasengan into Gaara's face.
When his life was ruined, his family killed, his farm destroyed, Job knelt down on the ground and yelled up to the heavens, "Why god? Why me?" and the thundering voice of God answered, "There's just something about you that pisses me off."

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Old 12-25-2011, 04:29 AM   #10
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Seems pretty unanimous.
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As far as I can tell, Sree is some kind of racist joke.
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Old 12-26-2011, 05:38 AM   #11
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Took a mediocre and overdone idea and made it unique, interesting, and entertaining.
Superb writing quality with very few mistakes.
When Alexander of Macedonia was 33, he cried salt tears that there were no more worlds to conquer...Eric Bristo's only 27.
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Old 12-26-2011, 05:30 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Xiph0 View Post
Seems pretty unanimous.
You bet your ass our opinions are unanimous.

The only complaint I have is the same one Andromalius had regarding souls, but IMO that's not enough to knock the story down to four stars.

5/5, no ifs, ands, or buts about it.
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Old 12-27-2011, 02:41 AM   #13
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Just caught up to this, and damn this is good. The simplicity of the soul is a bit off putting, but the rest of the story makes up for it. The mystery element is well thought out, and the battle scenes are great as well. The importance of duality is also not overdone, despite playing such an important part in the story.

Lost we are, and so far punished that without hope we live on in desire.”

Harry Potter has finally achieved what Fate has ordained him for. But Destiny
has not run its course just yet, as Harry is thrust into an unforgiving world, where
second chances do not exist, and the race against the apocalypse has just begun.

Within Destruction
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Old 12-27-2011, 04:48 AM   #14
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Read it just last week. We've all seen the 'Harry gets locked up after defeating LV' but his is something else. I really like the plot device that got him to the state his at.
Like mentioned above, big plus for showing that he had to work for the power he's got; and the relationship with Dumbledore is nicely done.
Will be following this one for sure.

Easy 5/5 for what we've seen so far.
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Old 12-27-2011, 02:12 PM   #15
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Holy crap, that was fantastic.

Can I offer you an egg in this trying time?

<chatter> prophet muhammad peace be upon him was sent to destroy the musical instruments
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Old 12-18-2012, 09:31 PM   #16
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Updated. He said he'll try to finish it this month, which would be nice. I liked the chapter, and I hope that he does finish it soon.

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Old 10-19-2013, 03:21 AM   #17
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A fuckin' update.

Hell, Yeah!!
Originally Posted by Morta's Priest in Wand and Shield
"We're running out of time. We definitely don't want to be late."

Harry smiled, despite everything. "A wizard is never late, Tony, nor is he early."

Tony groaned. "I should never have let you borrow the Fellowship.".
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Old 10-20-2013, 10:30 AM   #18
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The update was awesome but I can't help but feel a bit disappointed about how quickly its going to end.

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Old 10-21-2013, 12:03 AM   #19
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Oh my fucking god that was awesome and it left me in terrible suspense.

DAMN YOU, Ecthelion3~!

And Bless You, too, for your awesome story.

One of the best pieces of fiction I've ever read. Unique, intriguing, enrapturing, enthralling, beautiful, and terrible, wonderful and depressing. In this work you show both a wonderful understanding of the human condition and a firm grasp on fine storytelling.

Now give us more, damnit!
Originally Posted by Eilyfe, Ruminating on Reptile eRections
<Eilyfe> If Harry's penis is a snake, can he whisper sweet nothings in parselmouth to excite it?
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Old 09-20-2014, 02:41 AM   #20
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One of the most beautiful works I have read. Dumbledore is wonderfully described, Hermione is simply a work of art, and Harry is truly phenomenal.

The story kept me on edge the entire time, the battle scenes were truly phenomenal (especially while listening to epic music), and the end was what makes this story one of the best I have read.

Don't pass up on this. This is one of the few gems that exist in the world of HP fanfiction that hasn't been destroyed by clichés.

Also, this story should be marked as complete, as the ending is there. It should also be moved to "The Alternates", as the "AU/alternate" environment far surpasses the "dark" elements of the story.
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adventure, author: ecthelion3, complete, mystery

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