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Old 04-13-2013, 09:20 PM   #1
Sigurd
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Harry amidst the Vaults of Stone by NothingPretentious - T

Title: Harry amidst the Vaults of Stone
Author: NothingPretentious
Rating: T
Genre: Adventure/Fantasy
Chapters: 27
Words: <abbr>151,938</abbr>
Updated: April 04, 2013
Status: WIP
Library Category: Alternatives
Pairings: N/A
Summary: Following the fall of Voldemort, it is up to the Gringotts goblins to carry out the terms of the Potters' will. What will happen when young Harry Potter - halfblood, Parselmouth, curse-scarred, outsider - is raised in the stalagmite city of Underfoot?
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Harry is quite different than in canon by virtue of his new childhood, but it's a good change. He's not necessarily more intelligent, but he's extremely curious, so he ends up having a better handle on things than canon. He's not superpowered and doesn't have any extra abilities besides being a parselmouth. He does end up learning a bit of goblin magic, but it's made clear that it's not nearly as practical for things as a wand is, so it barely gives him any edge over other students.

OCs are well written, and goblin society is given a great deal of excellent development. In addition, several other magical races are either directly encountered or mentioned. The over-arching theme of the story seems to be that the marginalized races of magical Britain see Harry as an opportunity to have a human on their side who can give them back some of the status they've lost to wizards over the centuries. Harry is not unaware of this, and his exploration of wizarding society is done with this eventual goal in mind.

The fic is only partly through first-year (not even winter?), as goblin society is fleshed out for the first 20 chapters or so. I didn't even notice though because I was enjoying reading about it. The author has good grammar and spelling, and he has a grasp of that dry, understated humor that characterized the early Rowling books, if I remember them correctly. Because Harry's only recently gone to Hogwarts I can't really comment on the characterization of most canon characters. The few that do pop up during his pre-Hogwarts time were well done though.

One thing that I'd hesitantly note as a flaw is that NothingPretentious mentions in his author notes that he makes a lot of little references to other fantasy/scifi works. Most of them completely slid by me, but the one or two I did catch did bring me out of the story a little. Harry also occasionally seems to act a bit older than he should, but in the fic's universe goblins seem to mature more quickly than humans, so Harry may just have been forced to keep up.

The author recently updated after a gap of a few months, but it seems real-life was busy. He says updates will be more frequent now that he's sorted things out.

4/5 - One of my favorite stories right now. I'd give it a 5 but I feel like I should at least wait until first year is done.

NOTE: This is NOT the other Harry-raised-by-goblins story where Harry and Hermione make Pride & Prejudice references and pall about Hogwarts with swords strapped to their belts and all that rot. Don't be turned off by the memory of that fic.
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Old 04-13-2013, 11:19 PM   #2
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Haven't read the latest chapter yet, but the story is very good.
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Old 04-14-2013, 12:02 AM   #3
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Glanced at the first chapter and it was good enough that I'm gonna check out the rest. Too early for me to rate til I read the rest, but wanted to post to agree with T3t that it's worth a look.

Edit: Have read 10 chapters. It's quite good. A bit slow moving but interesting and worthy of the library in my opinion.

4.5/5
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Old 04-14-2013, 07:33 AM   #4
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I'm interested in this Pride and Prejudice Goblin fic now.
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Old 04-14-2013, 12:43 PM   #5
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It's a robst fic, if I'm not losing it. You're not interested, I promise.
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Old 04-14-2013, 02:08 PM   #6
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The popularity of Robst fics continues to puzzle me. While a lot of less-than-ideal authors at least contribute interesting ideas (although executed poorly), Robst is a cesspool of mediocre grammar paired with horrible plots and characterizations.

Back to the subject of this fic, I'll have to give it a shot. For some reason I thought it had been abandoned.
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Old 04-14-2013, 03:05 PM   #7
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This story is a gem. The overarching plot is of such grand proportions that I find it difficult to see it ever coming to a conclusion, but it is still great fun to follow it, however far it will end up taking the reader.

The author adds great depth to the Harry Potter universe, while managing to avoid dumping long paragraphs of information onto the reader. The details that the author adds about goblin and wizarding society, economy, history, and magic seemed to mesh smoothly with the universe that we know. Some people, places or phrases are a clear allusion to the Lord of the Rings, but these weren't so blunt as to seem out of place; perhaps because the added lore even gives the story a slight Tolkienesque feel.

The Harry raised by goblins is, of course, very much different from the Harry we know, but I particularly enjoyed the way his linguistic development has been altered: upon starting Hogwarts, he is not familiar with various turns of phrase in the English language; instead he has adopted expressions from goblin-speak. I find that the author pulls this off seamlessly and realistically. As has been mentioned, Harry is more learned, more aware of the world, and has a proper work ethic, which is refreshing but does not make him overpowered.

I didn't have a problem with any of the characterisations, except, perhaps, those of Fudge and Hermione. In the one conversation we see between Fudge and Dumbledore, the sheer stupidity and cluelessness of the former stretches credulity. Hermione seemed like a caricature of herself, overly trusting of her books and storming off whenever Harry disagreed with her. One further point to note is that this time around, the jabs that Malfoy and other Slytherins make at Harry actually seem like the kind of thing that children of their age would say.

Lastly, this is one of the very few stories I've seen in which Harry having a pet snake or a magical staff or any sort of magical title has been implemented well.
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Old 04-14-2013, 03:19 PM   #8
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It's a robst fic, if I'm not losing it. You're not interested, I promise.
I thought at first you were referring to the story in this thread. The other goblin fic is a robst one.http://www.fanfiction.net/s/8186071/47/ Robst started that one over a year after NothingPretentious started this one. And it is pretty crappy.

Overall I like the fic. I think that the beginning is stronger than the current writing, I find this section of the plot less engaging. But the author said in a note that the story should start moving a little faster. I'd give it a 3.5 right now, and maybe a 4 or 4.5 if it improves.
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Old 04-14-2013, 05:13 PM   #9
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I thoroughly enjoyed this story to start with, when it was being started. But I lost interest along the way, it completely failed to hold me. 3/5
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Old 04-14-2013, 06:09 PM   #10
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Yeah I'll maintain my high rating but I'm going to round down to 4.

I started losing some interest when Harry got to Hogwarts. He's mostly just... existing. The backstory in Underfoot was interesting, as were the OCs and whatnot, but there doesn't seem to be much in the way of plot going on at Hogwarts.

That's a strike against.
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Old 04-14-2013, 06:41 PM   #11
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4/5 for me. It's a good story, mostly a culture piece, and I really like all the different ways it fleshes out the wizarding and goblin society's.

Characterizations really well done. I like the goblin-Harry alot, and his thinking processes are very engaging. There are alot of minor characters that are done really well given their limited screen time.

The only two characterizations I didn't like were Dumbledore and Hermoine. Dumbledore seemed a little...weak, I guess. He didn't seem to have that glossy aura of mastery of the world around him. It was sort of like the author holds the incompetant/manipulative Dumbledore view personally, but knows its terrible to write him that way. So what you get is a Dumbledore whose very cannon but has these weird moments of cliche seeping in randomly.
Hermoine really really made me want Harry to yell "shut the fuck up already you stupid cunt" at her. Not entirely sure thats a flaw of characterization, but I found her presence anywhere incredibly grating. Which may have been the point.


The other problem with the fic is pacing, and I agree it's bogged down in recent chapters. It was fine to be slow pre-Hogwarts when the story was centered around in Goblin Society. Now that he's at Hogwarts "something" needs to happen. These little anecdotes about magic are all well in good, but I can't read hundreds of thousands of words of them.

It also made me realize how much of a shallow cuntbag story Harry Crow is in comparison.
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Old 04-14-2013, 07:51 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by CheddarTrek View Post
I started losing some interest when Harry got to Hogwarts. He's mostly just... existing. The backstory in Underfoot was interesting, as were the OCs and whatnot, but there doesn't seem to be much in the way of plot going on at Hogwarts.
I actually sort of like the lack of things happening to some extent, although it's something that probably only works in small doses.

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It also made me realize how much of a shallow cuntbag story Harry Crow is in comparison.
Yeah, the contrast is amazing. Harry Crow goblins are just humans, except totally awesome. Since Harry is raised by goblins, he is obviously therefore totally awesome and objectively superior to everyone, so it's totally justified for him to run around shitting on people. This story, on the other hand, does a good job of making the goblins mostly just different, and in interesting ways.
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Old 04-14-2013, 08:37 PM   #13
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I discovered Harry Crow after reading Vaults of Stone, at first I was very excited because I thought it would be just like Vaults of Stone (and maybe update faster), but I had to quit reading half way through in disgust.

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Old 04-14-2013, 09:14 PM   #14
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Harry Crow is that Pride & Prejudice fic I was talking about. It's bad on its own but absolutely awful if you're familiar with this fic and expecting the same quality.
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Old 04-14-2013, 10:47 PM   #15
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The author in this one does make it easy on themselves in one or two ways, namely (1) The fact that Harry can't betray the Goblins, even on accident, because the magic will stop him. It removes one thing that Harry has to worry about, though it makes sense in context. (2) None of the Goblins, or Goblin youngsters, seem to have an issue at all with Harry being there. I'd have expected to see it, at least early on before he passed the test to join the brotherhood. Nothing overt, but it's been mentioned that Goblins really don't like Wizards, and I think some of them therefore might not agree with Harry being there, but it never really comes up.

Wanted to throw that out there before I forgot. It's still one of the more enjoyable reads I've come across lately though.
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Old 04-14-2013, 11:25 PM   #16
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There are actually several hints that there are goblins unhappy with him being there. His brotherhood test is said to be harder than normal to satisfy goblins who suspected he might get an easier test due to being human. And later on he's attacked by a goblin whose father was attacked by humans. I agree that the suspicion that should be there is still a bit absent, but his adoptive parents are extremely high-ranking goblins, so people might avoid obvious disapproval.
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Old 04-14-2013, 11:43 PM   #17
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There are actually several hints that there are goblins unhappy with him being there. His brotherhood test is said to be harder than normal to satisfy goblins who suspected he might get an easier test due to being human. And later on he's attacked by a goblin whose father was attacked by humans. I agree that the suspicion that should be there is still a bit absent, but his adoptive parents are extremely high-ranking goblins, so people might avoid obvious disapproval.
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I am not really counting either of these. The brotherhood test was made harder to avoid there being talk later, or possibly to put talk to rest, but it's obviously not much of an issue.

The young goblin who attacked him didn't do it because he was a human, he did it because Harry's presence (as a human) caused his father harm. That's an understandable emotion and wasn't because of prejudice. The kid would likely have attacked another goblin youngster who had caused his father harm, etc.
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Someone once told me that time was a predator that stalked us all our lives. But I rather believe than time is a companion who goes with us on the journey, and reminds us to cherish every moment because they'll never come again. What we leave behind is not as important how we lived. After all, Number One, we're only mortal.
~Jean-Luc Picard

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Old 04-14-2013, 11:51 PM   #18
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On the whole I like the story, but Harry started pissing me the hell of once he got to Hogwarts, and I can't put my finger on what it is about him that is so unbearably annoying.

The story is also exposition heavy, which is forgivable because it stays interesting through the exposition. I'm sure the author is going somewhere, but there has been no real conflict at Hogwarts to keep me interested.

4/5 I think. Library worthy in my opinion, but could fall flat if something doesn't start happening.
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Old 04-16-2013, 12:29 AM   #19
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Ah, an author after my own heart. He's done his research!

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"Haidzruno runu, falahak haidera, ginnarunaz," Harry mumbled. I, master of the runes, conceal here symbols of power.
That's an actual Proto-Norse inscription from the Björketorp Runestone.

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Then a goblin rune: Tinne, for metal and sharpness.
He turned the blade over and continued with another wizard rune. Purisaz, the symbol of thunder giants, for strength and destruction.
Tinne is an Old Irish letter that means ingot, and the second one should actually be transliterated as Thurisaz, the rune that was the predecessor of the letter thorn (ţ) (so admittedly it looks like a P).

I'm not too far in yet, but I am quite enjoying it.
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Old 04-17-2013, 01:36 AM   #20
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This is definitely a fic enjoyable for those who enjoy world-building. Not sure yet if it remains sharp after he get to Hogwarts, but the part among the goblins is interesting and well written.
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