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WIP WIP - Dodging Prison and Stealing Witches - Revenge is Best Served Raw

Discussion in 'Almost Recommended' started by froper98, Mar 31, 2017.

  1. VorpalWeenie

    VorpalWeenie Squib

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    Started out funny and a cool way to take positive cliches and just have fun with it as a guilty pleasure and then it just buried itself in cliches in a way too serious manner. Yes, they're done on purpose and the author acknowledges that a lot of other fics served as inspiration...but it gets stale: Shopping trips, w-bwl, deities that have no place in HP, 11-year-olds that act like adults. Political intrigue that gets boring.
    While Harem is indeed what it says on the tin, Harems are for most part unnecessary to fanfiction and a bane to any meaningful relationship in writing. I'll never take any of those characters seriously. Everything could just as easily be done without it.
    Harry patronizing Hermione to become some blue-blooded perfect aristocrat as both a rebellion and an enabling of an obviously broken social system. Hermione can be bland and uninteresting without having her curtsy (not that she can't be done in a magnificent way).
    I got through about 12 chapters- a good chunk of writing, up to the train journey and got annoyed. Could it have improved after? Maybe it did. There are now over 40 chapters. I just didn't want to bother.

    The good:
    The author puts effort into growing and changing characters. The writing is solid in terms of style, grammar, and respect for writing.
    3/5 from me though. At best.
     
  2. sfu

    sfu Squib

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    I'm a big fan of the story. The taggings on Ao3 says the following:

    Time travel 4/5
    Not only that, but also multiple time travel from at least two perspectives. It's unknown whether there might be more people yet, but I tend to say those were all. You have two different mindsets working and you can see both's advantage and disadvantages. Although it gets clear pretty fast that one of them is more flawed than the other one.

    Alternative Universe 5/5
    The first time I have felt that an AU felt more canon like than anything else. There all those "that would make a lot sense" moments, if Rowling had used it in her stories and is one of the reasons why I follow this story so religiously. It makes so much fun to rediscover the wizarding world in a "rational" way, that even the Methods of Rationality was not able to achieve. It also redefines Runes as well as Arithmancy to their "fanon" counterparts, but it feels very coherent here and is used several times for important plot events, and not only for the sake of changing it. That is a big plus for me.

    What I personally also REALLY enjoy here are the OCs. Clare Cooper, Alexandra Black and Virgo/Julia Malfoy are brilliant characters which read really awesome and I tend to sometimes like them more than the canon interpretations.

    Wrong-Boy-Lived 4/5
    The bane of fanfiction. How can ANY self-respected parent abandon her child. In the story the author found a work around by making everyone not only believe, but also fear prophecies. Sadly that gets revealed way letter in the story. I think it might be that those prophecies are even more feared than the taboo word Voldemort himself. It additionally provides a loooot plot for the story with actual minimal bashing. The abandoning is sadly a bitter lemon one has to swallow and accept while reading this story until more gets revealed. It is in general a good reason why one would not like this story, simply because information are missing and people do not believe it will be revealed as believable information later on.

    Azkaban ?/5
    Harry was in Azkaban and his new home is also pretty close to it. Besides that it had not a lot of screen time yet. Might change in the future, or was only used to indicate that the MC did reside there. Some people like MC in Azkaban stories.

    Explicit Language 4/5
    Yep, a lot in some cases. I find it funny in context and that is what it is also supposed to be. Other's will find it really weird; it's personal preference and I can totally understand why one would hate those moments.

    Independent Harry 5/5
    A total yup here. He tries not to be dependent by a lot of different ways, although he sometimes has to rely on other's. One of the actual reasons why I like this story is so much and it shows a lot of unusual plot devices to achieve that independence. Especially the being prepared for everything part, even though it is sometimes not enough.

    Powerful Harry 3/5
    That's one thing some people might not agree on, the power level. In this story Occlumency plays a bigger role. Due to becoming impassive, some not needed emotions get hidden and you can focus rationally better on the important things. In this story you need years to learn Occlumency and due to that you start very early with it. One Thomas Riddle did not know anything about it while entering the wizarding world. He later of course learned of it and managed to find a way to speed up the learning, so that he could not only catch up to his peers in less time than then, but maybe also surpass them as well. Once he was Prefect he was most likely there already, thus around 5th year. If we assume he needed first time to learn about it AND find the faster method, one can easily argue that he did the "catching up" in a very short timeframe.

    And that is what Harry himself abuses on him or his girls and some people disagree with it vehemently, especially here on DLP. With the right context, as described earlier, I do agree with that a faster method is indeed plausible, even though the mechanics are not really known or obscure. Due to the obscure-ness it's definitely a loophole one is allowed not to agree with it. It's like "If Riddle could find it, why did nobody else too?". One has to accept it, unless the author will explain it better in the future, but I don't think so and I believe he also knows himself of that problem. To solve it partially, he made it clear in the story that the method will become public domain in ~10 years. Which itself is good, but until then the power level divergence will stay as it is and make people not want to read the story as well.

    Worldbuilding 5/5
    Already explained in Alternate Universe at the beginning. It's expanding canon in canon-esque ways, despite AU.

    Necromancy 5/5
    Not much is known about it in canon. We know ghosts and inferi exist and the author capitalized on it by linking the Deathly Hollows with it and making this whole beautiful lore associated with it.

    Rituals 5/5
    Canon did leave this out as well, and the rituals are very nicely implemented into the story. By sacrificing something within the right context, you get a to change something, which is often seen as a positive bonus. The mechanics are well defined and used throughout the story.

    Animagus ?/5
    Uses part of the extended canon explanations, aka pottermore and it reads very good. In this story animagi are way more common than in canon and even magical ones make a cameo here and there. Currently Harry's group is in the process of becoming them and I do not know whether I will find if positive or negative. Will have to see how it will play out.

    Manipulative Dumbledore 4/5
    Manipulative, but not Omnipotent. Because he is missing information he does make wrong moves and it feels believable. We still don't know what he does right now in the story, since has a more background role right now and until we know what he does right now, I won't vote on that one. It will define how I see his involvement here. So far he did very well though with what he had, if it weren't for Harry though.

    Harems 4/5
    Another bane in any fanfiction story. What I like is that every girl is not replaceable and has a function within the group. It is also used as writing device to NOT have any romance related plots popping up. Usually people date several times, before they find their dream man/woman to marry. But even then divorces happen more often than not. To write ALL that out it would take a lot of time and is simply skipped by using the harem option. Some people simply don't like harems by definition, which I can understand. The harem here also functions in such a way, that Harry rescues each girl of a "negative" possible future by bringing them in, giving it a bit more significance to it.

    Criminal Harry 4/5
    Yup. That what Harry in the end is and the author uses that very well in his different plots. Although is has to be said that technically everybody is a criminal in the story, it is only important to not get caught and so far only one individual is more prone to compared to the other's.

    Manipulative Harry 4/5
    The manipulations feel in some scenarios too easy, and in others completely well executed. It will sooner or later IMO become more irrelevant, when real politics and revelations start to happen.

    The end vote ~4.4/5 (if you give some things more weight/significance)
    As explained, it has its drawbacks, but if you accept those you are in for a wild ride. It's also becoming one of the most popular stories on ffnet, despite being late into the fanfiction business and that is something that is indisputable. Plot wise it is a solid 5/5 for me because I like to overlook things for the rest of it.
     
  3. Dicra

    Dicra Groundskeeper

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    First of all, congrats for not posting just in order to get five points, but actually making a huge effort for your first post. There's, however, two things in particular I really can't agree with.
    To define magic by applying maths to it is as un-canon as you can possibly get. Just look at Albus Dumbledore's explanation at the end of DH - it's always circumstances and the kind of person you are that's important for magic, and you can't reliably calculate it.
    Yes, it is, but it doesn't matter as long asthis pile of bullshit right herehas five-digit-numbers of favs and follows.
     
  4. Taure

    Taure Magical Core Enthusiast Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Yeah, this fic is a curious beast. There are so many reasons not to like it, but nonetheless it has various redeeming features that keep you reading. I read chapters 1-15 ages back and have just been re-reading. I am currently up to chapter 25.

    Harry

    The biggest problem with the fic is Harry himself. Despite being the putative main character, in many ways this fic is not really his story. Daphne, Hermione, Ginny, Luna and Alex are the main characters and Harry is a catalyst for their stories. Harry himself does very little, and what he does do is largely underwhelming.

    It's striking that Harry is the character who shows the least personal development in the story. The skills he does have, he acquired by shortcut, taking them directly from Voldemort, and he has done absolutely nothing to expand that skill set (or if he has, he has not been shown doing so). This despite the fact that he knows that both Voldemort and Dumbledore, those whom he is determined to defeat, could hand his ass to him. The magic system the author has set up is heavily focused on raw power, and it's noted that despite possessing Voldemort's skills, Harry's power falls well short. And what has he done about this? Nothing.

    Harry hasn't earned a single thing in the story. What he has - Voldemort's skills, and the time-traveller's advantage - was given to him, and he is completely content to rest on his laurels with those advantages, even though he remains at a magical disadvantage. Even when powerful new skills are staring him in the face - Ginny's self-switching, for example - he doesn't acquire them himself, despite those new skills being exactly the kind of edge he would need in a fight against Dumbledore/Voldemort.

    Essentially, Harry's pupils are all superior to their teacher in work ethic, initiative, and innovation. Harry is static - stagnant, even - and achieves nothing for himself.

    Harry's girls

    Despite the inordinate focus given to "Harry's girls" at the expense of Harry's own character development, what is there really to show for it? Not much, on the characterisation front.

    We know each character's skills and talents in a large amount of detail. But as people, these characters are painfully shallow, or else no more developed than their canon selves/fanon stereotypes. Hermione is canon Hermione with a bit more respect for "Pureblood tradition" (tradition which didn't exist in canon, so there was nothing for her to respect). Luna is fairly normal fanon Luna. Daphne is fanon "Ice Queen" Daphne with a bit of competitiveness added. Daphne's single moment of good character development was when she realised that all the other girls were receiving superior training to her, and demanded more - a moment which was never followed up on. Alex was described as a "saner Bellatrix Lestrange" in an early chapter and 25 chapters later that phrase still completely summarises her character. The only character who has really developed significantly at all is Ginny, largely because of the conflict between her and her family.

    While I enjoy myself an extended magical discourse as much as the next magic-lover (but see more on this below), you can't focus entirely on characters' magical development at the expense of their personal development. They need to feel like people, not just walking collections of magical skills.

    The Magic


    Which brings us onto the magic itself. If the fic is going to spend so much time on magical development, you would hope that the magical system displayed would be a good one. Unfortunately this isn’t the case.


    Curiously, there are certain aspects which are done quite well, especially in the pre-Hogwarts chapters. We had, for example, significant consideration given to symbolic factors in the construction of Harry’s wand. When Harry first introduced magic to Hermione, it was by having her consider things that were unmathematical and defied (Muggle) logic. And there are some nice, inventive magical methods here and there - the healing spell we saw, for example, which introduced spell casting with elements beyond just a wand (a kind of hybrid of Charms and Potions), and some interesting divinations spells which are very canonical in tone (such as the one with the eyeball).


    All of which makes the author’s decision to go for a energy/thermodynamics approach to magic all the more disappointing. It’s not just uncanonical, it also contradicts the characterisation of magic shown within the fic itself, as the author will frequently give consideration to the conceptual/symbolic approach to magic seen in canon, while maintaining the “magic is energy and works through physical mechanisms” approach. The result is a terrible mishmash.

    One suspects that the mechanistic approach resulted from the author wanting to depict magical theory as complex (a position I sympathise with) but falling back upon physics analogies/equations etc for this is a failure of imagination. There are plenty of sources of inspiration for complexity other than physical science. You could look at the physics of Aristotle, for example, or the metaphysics of Hegel, the conceptual analysis performed in legal reasoning - even some suitable areas of mathematics like set theory. This "Newtonian magic" approach is just thoroughly unmagical.

    And of course, as always when authors use “magic is energy”, the aim and result is to nerf magic significantly. The period of time wizards are able to cast magic at “full power” is measured in seconds. Transfiguration is no longer a permanent change in an object’s nature, but rather a tactile illusion. Duels are heavily determined by power. Wizards are no longer inherently magical creatures in touch with a supernatural world that defies the natural order, they are simply Muggles with a magical battery attached.


    The Transfiguration one particularly stings given that the author later introduces “alchemy spells” which essentially do what Transfiguration does in canon. So all the author has done is take the skill of transfiguration away from most wizards and relegated it to an elite few. If the aim is to make the economy make sense, the same thing can be achieved - and is achieved in canon - simply by making transfiguration absurdly difficult. The difference between the two routes is essentially that the author's conception of alchemy as the “bridge between magic and physics” forms another attempt to make magic subordinate to the natural world rather than supernatural in nature.

    Ultimately, all these efforts to nerf magic are going to have the predictable effect of allowing the introduction of Muggle weapons into the story, something that would not be viable with canon magic. When that happens it will be my inevitable shark-jumping moment.

    There are also a number of specific instances of very strange additions to the magic system, not least the existence of deities. I understand that this was essentially a plot device, never to be mentioned again, but there are plenty of much simpler time-travel plot devices which don’t require you to introduce ground-breaking metaphysical/religious revelations that completely change the nature of the world and the characters’ place in it.

    So is there anything good about the magic system? Well, like I say, the occasional nod to conceptual magic is nice, even if it does contradict everything else in the story. And the author is skilled at writing a magical atmosphere, so that for a moment you almost forget that the magic is completely cold, mechanical and non-mystical. An example of this is the dark ritual seen at the Hunt.


    World/politics

    And this brings us to the world. Now, there are a lot of clichés here: Lords and Ladies of a magical nobility where titles carry real political and magical power, rather than being defunct Muggle titles; child politicians; simplistic light/grey/dark factions/feudal betrothal contracts without any other aspect of feudal society being visible.


    However, most of this I am willing to forgive because I confess that, when well done (e.g. Out of the Night) these things can be a guilty pleasure. I especially have a weakness for pagan magical festivals, even though they contradict canon entirely (where wizarding culture is largely Christian in nature, albeit very much social Christianity). The author even includes nice little nods to the absurdity of it, sometimes - the way the children are all exhausted on arrival at Hogwarts, or the way Kevin calls them all “nobby”, and the way there were many carriages on the train which the political kids ignored, pointing towards a large majority of regular people who aren’t involved in these political games.


    However, sometimes it just goes too far even for someone inclined towards forgiveness of this trope. The speeches delivered by the three “leaders” on the Hogwarts express were just painful. And the fact that, when aged-up, no one notices that these people are children in adult bodies is just absurd. Children, no matter how intelligent and raised with discipline, are not adults trapped in small bodies. Their behaviour is fundamentally different.

    One problem with this political set-up which goes beyond “cliché” or “jarring” and into “inconsistency” is the magic system the author has created. We’re told that powerful wizards like Dumbledore and Voldemort are capable of taking on, say, four Aurors but not much more than that. This is a significant flattening of the magical talent bell curve compared to canon. But the author doesn’t seem to have appreciated the political consequences of this: in a magical world where leading individuals are not magical superpowers but merely marginally superior to their closest peers, those leading individuals must inevitably play a less important role. It should create a far more multipolar political scene, because a group of average wizards can defy a smaller group of powerful wizards. It is essentially a democratisation of magical power and therefore politics also: when the masses hold the balance of power (and by power I mean the use of force to enforce your will), the masses have great political significance.


    And yet the author is still depicting a magical world in which political power is concentrated in the few, where Voldemort and Dumbledore are still political juggernauts able to essentially defy the Ministry at will, and where the appearance of a single talented wizard like Harry is capable of shifting the entire political landscape. This is made even more worse if, as I suspect, the author is imagining a magical world with a significantly higher population than canon. I think the author’s magical Britain has at least, say, 30,000 wizards. This has a similar effect to the flattening of the magical talent bell curve, and the two should reinforce each other.

    Plot

    This is where the story shines most, and is I suppose what keeps you reading despite the irritations.

    The author does a number of things which most fanfic writers do not:

    1. Things go wrong.

    2. Actions have consequences.

    3. Villains and other non-main characters have their own agency and ability to execute plans. (I.e. villains are not bashed cardboard cut-outs but rather genuine threats).

    4. The "two time travellers, three timelines" mechanic is original and interesting.

    However, the plot is dangerously at risk of being undermined by the pacing (see below).


    Writing


    Finally, I will say a few short words about the writing. I actually think it is rather good, especially on the description front. The author has a talent for describing things concisely but nonetheless evocatively.


    The two greatest weaknesses in the writing are the character voices and the pacing.


    Character voice is a problem because most of the main characters speak with essentially the same voice, which I assume is the author’s own vernacular. One particularly glaring moment was where a character described an element of their own world as “broken” - a fourth wall shattering moment where a wizard in the 1990s used terminology that is strongly associated with 21st century geek culture. There’s also a tendency to use dialogue as authorial exposition.


    Not much needs to be said about pacing, because the number of words in the fic compared to the amount of time covered speaks for itself.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2018
  5. sfu

    sfu Squib

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    I don't agree with your reasoning here.

    Power levels
    It is explained that Voldemort and Dumbledore did an illegal magical boost with some negative consequences and that Harry would never attempt that one as well. He knows he will be weaker than either of them, even in the future, but that's exactly why he teaches his harem. He does not want to go 1v1 against them, but rather Xv1. What both his enemies oversee that quantity is better than quality here. It was stated that currently Voldemort is able to fight and win against 5 aurors, who are the ultimate magical force in Magical Britain. Even two highly trained Death Eaters don't stand a chance against 2 aurors. Dumbledore can most likely win against 4 and Harry himself stated he could do well against 2.

    In the best case scenario, I believe Harry will be able to close up to 2.5 or maybe 3 aurors, with the help of less harmful rituals. But if each of his girls can go against two aurors, we suddenly have Harry's group who'll outclass everything. In later chapters there is also group training involved where exactly such scenarios are being simulated.

    Harry being lazy
    In the story it is stated that Harry has A LOT to do and does not find time for everything, but he still trains. In the Hermione introduction chapter we could see Harry training wandless magic, where Hermione referred to him as a show-off. Harry even has so much stuff to do, that he actually uses the repetitive class material to catch up with sleep. Throughout the day he has to pretend to be a student and at nights he usually does his Lord Slytherin stuff. Despite all that he still finds time to train himself and the girls. We can easily assume that he is super busy with everything, thus highly efficient with his time and by no means lazy. The early chapters might suggest otherwise, but only because we only saw Harry when he did rest. His wand he got like 3 weeks into the story and that f.e. required a lot of him.

    Wandless Self Switching
    You still have to imbue an object with magic, which can be sensed by powerful mages. I don't see it as such a gamebreaker as you envision it to be. He does not simply switch, he has to cast a spell on an object first and then relocate the object and finally switch to it.

    New skills over Voldemort
    That becomes only an issue once Voldemort realizes that Harry DOES have his skills, because he then also will look for new skills. I can tell you as much as that this is actually a future plot where Harry does realize that he has to find a new edge over his enemies. The complaint comes a bit early because you are only at chapter 25. Nothing to change there sadly.

    Several people in this story get some kind of wake up call or personal development. F.e. Chapter 40 with Alex's character development is actually one of my favorite in this whole story. She already has one around Chapter 13 where she realizes that she should have taken Harry's help when he offered it. And the next one at chapter 40 was handled like 100 times better. Or Ginny's dilemma around chapter 41 was also very interesting. Or when Hermione and Daphne make a fatal decision in chapter 28. after the winter break and Harry disciplining them in chapter 29. Or the way Hermione handled Dumbledore in chapter 31. Or the portrayal of Daphne in chapter 36. Or Harry having a huuuge dilemma at the book two finale. Even Dumbledore or the Potter parents experience similar stuff.

    The character development happens in the story, but the author wants sooo much to write about stuff ,that has to happen for the plots sake, that everything gets kind of pushed back. Sadly again something which has to do with you only reading to chapter 25...

    I don't think you understand what thermodynamics entails. But overall you also used very vague accusations, so that I have actually no idea what you refer to. So I cannot counter those argument since those are for me just empty accusations without any backup. I suppose you refer to that some stuff gets explained in more detail and some less? F.e. you understand what's the mechanical difference between Transfiguration and Conjuration, as explained in the story, and then something else comes which does not get as much explanation and you dislike that?

    Nerfing a lot actually helps to do more creative stuff with what you have at hand. Canon feels like:

    Dumbledore: "Horcruxes are very vile magic and very difficult to destroy."
    Harry: "No problem, I got that covered."
    Dumbledore: "How?"
    Harry: "I'll just overpower my Expelliarmus."
    Source: Random meme I read once, cannot source it anymore. IT IS NOT MINE.

    A good example how to do it differently is chapter 41 where one character transfigures a potion mixture to a butterfly, then uses an imperio curse on the butterfly to direct it to a cup and then lets the magic end. Boom, potion went to the cup.
    Additionally it was stated that the moment someone uses muggle weapons against Voldemort, he will also start to use it, else he would not because of the unforgivable thingie he did. That would be fatal and best avoided. Thus there will be NO muggle weaponry.

    Deities are kind of canon. And canon seems to have an after-life, there seem to be powerful objects to talk to the dead. Someone can send the prophecies. It's easy to find such a conclusion of more than one existing Deity. That's personal preference, but I like that those are one time things. There are fanfiction where deities guide the MCs throughout the story and whenever a difficult situation comes up, they solve it. BUUUH. Here it is not the case. And whatever the deities produce in Dodging Prision has way more significance than in canon. Prophecies are taken seriously for once, Deathly Hollows are not seen as a myth and are fully integrated within the lore.

    The rest I agree with more or less but overall I dislike that you did such a huge review so early into the story... I would have recommended to you to at least finish book 2 before starting to write anything ;) That was imo a huge oversight, unless you did not want to read it anymore....
     
  6. Sey

    Sey Unspeakable DLP Supporter

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    The story is huge. One "book" is about 150,000 works. That is a lot of reading. You can form an accurate opinion over a story from that sample size. Hell, it's almost twice as long as the average novel.
    How do you know that? Are you the author?
    Or, in other words, Harry lacks the conviction to do what is necessary to win.
    You make it seem like its a lot... it's really not. If he can only fight against 5 aurors, then he's not the big scary Voldemort. You can, with enough people, overwhelm him. With canon Voldemort (and Dumbledore), we got the idea that they could take out an almost endless amount of wizards unless they were facing another wizard of their stature. They're not so much gods of wizardry now, but just very talented wizards.
    Can we just state how absurd, hilarious, and demeaning that we are referring to a bunch of characters as "his girls". It's unimaginably stupid, though that's a given as the story is a harem.
    If this is so, then why doesn't Voldemort or Dumbledore train their own contingent so they are outclass everything?
     
  7. contra

    contra First Year

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    I agree with this, though the average novel nowadays is actually around 40-50k words so it's about 3 if not 4 times as long.

    This one ... not so much. The much needed context is that to achieve that power, you have to sacrifice a loved one, the equivalent of a soul mate and all that. And as much as you might bring up "oh just sacrifice one of the harem members, one should be willing," I would argue that invalid because multiple loving relationships do not invalidate each other. Granted, there are many issues with harems - this case comes very strange considering how young all the characters involved are, but that's a different mess and more an issue with the work as a whole than the harem aspect. A bit more on harems later.

    The issue here is the lengths the author went to establish his own rules in the HP universe. Beyond all the things he does with magical units, he also greater increases the ability of your average Auror to make them more elite agents than your average policeman, while the 'wizard hitmen' or whatever are relegated to that role. A Naruto comparison would sorta be like 5 sannin versus a kage. Granted, the analogy sucks and ANBU would be better if ANBU weren't a joke.

    Either way, your complaint here is that the author takes away from the fantasy of two god-figures by trying to make the fic realistic. Valid point, but it's up to subjective desire as to which you would prefer, not I'm right and you're wrong.

    It is demeaning, especially in this case. I don't remember if the writer himself refers to any of the relevant female characters that way, though I don't think he did. If he did, shame on him.

    However, being a harem story does not necessitate it being bad. Polyamorous relationships are extremely difficult and generally have a one-sided power dynamic, but should not be disregarded out of hand. I would point out Noodlehammer as a writer who writes a balanced polyamorous relationship well, given his work For Love of Magic, which is Harry/Fleur/Luna/Tonks with a few other friendships/relationships with benefits. A third, maybe half is smut, but the rest is still good story with genuine relationships rooted in logic, being closer to a four-way nonexclusive relationship than a true harem, but a harem nonetheless.

    This could be answered with the usual - Voldemort does not trust others to have power, wanting him to be the most powerful himself. Dumbledore is his tropey manipulative side here, so he also has to be the one in control. The same magical boost ritual referred to earlier has multiple effects - beyond the sacrifice of their most loved one, they must singlemindedly swear themselves to a cause, which obviously goes to logical extremes and thus an arrogance and self belief that they must be the one in charge, etc.

    @Seyllian Many if not most of your points are valid, but you could be a little more tempered.
     
  8. hanabanana

    hanabanana Squib

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    I like the story, but my problem with it is the fact that there's just too much Dues-Ex Machina. Like, want to make Ginny hate the WBWL? Give her a potion. Voldemort takes the horcruxes? No problem, some mysterious person actually replaced them with fakes. Harry is knee deep in debt? Luna makes a prophecy about how they're getting money. I'm not saying that the characters don't put any effort in doing anything, but it's just when shit really hits the fan, their problems are most likely solved for them than not.

    All in all, I give it 3/5.
     
  9. Immet

    Immet Seventh Year

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    I'm sorry, what? Maybe I've completely misunderstood things or read things wrongly, but I don't remember any deities in the books.

    And what says that prophecies are sent?

    You don't need deities to send prophecies. Maybe the universe has predestination and divination lets you look ahead, but you can't change anything. Just like you can jump back but you can't change anything (ignoring cursed child).
     
  10. James018

    James018 Third Year

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    I've seen this story a couple of times before and never got past the first chapter because I assumed it to be a generic wrong BWL/time-travel/badass Harry/everyone gets bashed/teenage dream harem/etc. etc. sort of story. I decided to give it another go based on the reviews here and was pleasantly surprised.

    Don't get me wrong; this is definitely a guilty pleasure fic. It has all of the tropes listed above and a heck of a lot more that I normally wouldn't countenance in a Harry Potter fan fiction. But the main turn-off about those tropes is typically the didactic, preachy, "this is what should have happened" tone that they are almost invariably accompanied by, and this story couldn't be more dissimilar. It is a 'serious' story in that it has a genuine plot, events that (arguably) make sense and characters that undergo development... but (with isolated exceptions) the tone is always light and irreverent. One senses that the author doesn't give a toss about what is 'meant' to happen; he's just having some fun and trying to write something people will enjoy. As I said, it's a guilty pleasure fic - but unlike many such stories, it is actually intended to be exactly that. That raises it considerably in my opinion.

    So, with that in mind, is the story any good? Well, its most notable aspect aside from the light-hearted vibe is the slow pacing and the remarkable amount of attention paid to individual characters and minor (some might say inconsequential) plot points. Valid comparisons have been made to The Sinister Man's Prince of Slytherin; there are a lot of parallels between the two. Personally I don't mind the slowness and attention to detail, especially in a story like this where the journey is more important than the destination. What matters is that the content is engaging, and on this the story succeeds by and large. The plot is digestible, even if certain points require suspension of disbelief and others are not fully explored or explained until later in the story (some remain mysteries at this point). The main characters are all distinct and interesting, and their respective arcs are the highlight of the fic for mine. The character bashing is surprisingly not executed in a way that forces you to close your browser, perhaps because the 'bashed' characters (mostly Dumbledore and John) are far from stupid or incompetent. The hardest point to swallow characterisation-wise is the extreme case of political!11-year-olds, and even that tends (to me at least) to come across as more cute/entertaining than off-putting. They are quite clearly shown to be kids playing at politics, as opposed to jaded, poker-faced adults.

    While DP&SW isn't perfect, I think one has to read it in its context and realise it's not trying to be a literary masterpiece. If you're a purist, it's best left alone. But if you're looking for a fun ride, this is right up your alley. That's what it's written as and it hits the mark far more often than not. On that basis, I think 4/5 is a fair rating.
     
  11. sfu

    sfu Squib

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    Sorry for the late reply to all.

    The problem was that Taure did not read to the end of book 2. One part of the huge finale of book 2 is that Harry DID realise that he cannot rely on Voldemort's memories anymore. I did not want to spoil Taure because I hoped he would at least finish book 2. So no, I am not the author, but I have read the story. That is all there is to it.

    You make another mistake here because you also did not read the book? First, you have to ask yourself, WHY is it so long? Because of the immense worldbuilding and multiple character viewpoints. Normal stories don't have that. The author tough went that way. So even if one book is 150k words long, if we were to reduce the worldbuilding and viewpoints, it'd become a normal novel-length. BUT at the same time it would be boring again without the story-plots. The author creates a lot of story-elements and manages to blend them together for the book 2 finale.

    He made it actually similar to JKR's writing. She also added a lot of stuff and then concluded the book with a huge finale, combining all story elements. The author here just added even more to it. Is that wrong? No.

    The speaker of a true prophecy does not remember speaking the prophecy. Why is that? It was never explained in canon. But looking at it carefully, it most likely means that the seer is used as a medium to say the prophecy. So a double jump towards a higher being or higher power regulating stuff in the world is thus not far-fetched. And yes, Dumbledore confirmed that the Hallows are manmade, but a jump towards more than manmade, can be easily done.

    Dumbledore is not incompetent. He is only making moves on information he currently believes in. In the end, he makes himself dig into a bigger grave because he still does not know that Harry is Lord Slytherin. There are sooo many story plots and ventures with that. But calling Dumbledore incompetent is plain wrong. It is not like he will guess: "Oh, Harry must have had contact with the deities and time-travelled." Also, the assumption to make that Harry had access to the Horcrux is extremely far-fetched. Voldemort could make it because he saw himself in Harry, and the other things explained in that chapter. Dumbledore, as headmaster, supreme mugwump, grand sorcerer and chief warlock, did not see and will not be able to see it.

    Dumbledore will have to find different ways to make the Lord Slytherin IS Harry connection. But he knows already that both have contact with each other, the connection with the Horcrux and the insane Occlumency shields.
     
  12. Sataniel

    Sataniel Groundskeeper

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    Yeah, no. His plans are unsubtle and over-the-top. And when he notices that something is wrong he responds with even more unsubtle and over-the-top plans.
     
  13. Immet

    Immet Seventh Year

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    When you say something is kind of canon, like in the phrase "deities are kind of canon", then I expect more evidence from canon than a large assumption and then a "it's not that far fetched".

    That's a reaaaaally loose definition of almost canon.
     
  14. sfu

    sfu Squib

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    But it all comes together to the point that Dumbledore had false information.

    First of all, Dumbledore needs Harry weak because of the unforgivable ritual. He does not mind John f.e. being strong, because he knows that if he switches sides, he'd be able to eliminate him. But Harry on the other side, as well as Voldemort are two different things compared to John. Voldemort is most likely already stronger than Dumbledore and Dumbledore knows that as well. Yet he also knows of the Horcrux problem making it impossible to eliminate Voldemort at any given time. Next the prophecy can then be worded in such a way, that Harry can become as strong as Voldemort and Albus goes literally bananas over this.

    Second, we still don't know when Dumbledore did the unforgivable or when it was outlawed in general. Could it have been that Tom did it first, followed by Dumbledore, followed finally by a ban? Gellert Grindelwald is dead and was confirmed to be used for that one, but it must not have been during his defeat. If Dumbledore knew Tom did it, it would explain why Dumbledore did it, too, to level the playing field. Now imagine a Harry without the ritual being as strong as Tom with the ritual. Dumbledore's banana-senses would go even more bonkers.

    Third, we are back at the false information thing. Dumbledore knows he needs the Gray after they established themselves from the Neutrals. He wants to be their ally or on speaking terms, but Lord Slytherin does not want anything to do with him. Due to unknown reasons for him Lord Slytherin seems to even hate him. Additionally, he believes Harry to be completely clueless, confirms it as much with his passive Legilimency, but then he becomes suddenly strong... too strong. He is happy to know that the Gray and Dark distance themselves from Harry after he kissed Daphne, but for him, at this point, it is not enough. He wants Harry out completely, were neither Dark, Gray or Light will have access to him.

    Thus, fourth, he has to accelerate the framing. He wanted to do it most likely anyway, as we saw during timeline 1 or 2 where Harry was extremely weak. Get Harry out for some years, sacrifice him against Voldemort and win everything. That's the plan. So he is doing the same thing here, but obviously accelerated and more forced due to Harry's capabilities. He uses a rune-schematic that nobody except himself knows how to use it or how it works. Untraceable towards him, having the perfect alibi throughout everything. Don't forget, he is a brilliant and extremely capable wizard and knows the law by heart. His plan goes without a hitch, he wants Harry in Azkaban, he knows Lord Slytherin hates Harry due to the Daphne thing and will more or less support him.

    Then the trial comes and the Gray want him dead. A huge shock for him. Instead, he tries to save Harry from death now through the veil. He does not want him dead through the veil because of the Horcux. The Horcrux might not get destroyed and make Voldemort truly immortal... He tries to counter that, but literally everything he believed in so far turns out to be false. The Gray want Harry alive and not dead, even freed. Lord Slytherin knows Harry, taught him most likely and told him about his BWL status. That's the huge part. He was played all along and did not realize it until the end of the year.

    What has Dumbledore to do now? His whole lying scheme starts to fall apart. The Potters do not trust him as much anymore, so he creates a fake, but also devastating, prophecy to buy more time on their end and to give them a new reason to track Harry for the near future. He won't be available for that anymore due to losing his headmaster status.

    Fifth, will be for Dumbledore to realise who Lord Slytherin is and to do countermeasures once it gets revealed. Imagine it gets revealed early? Potters and a huge Light section will stop to trust him. He will need accurate counter-plans once he knows who Lord Slytherin is. It won't be pretty for him, but he will not go out without a fight until his last breath. Despite his house of cards falling apart he is not to be taken lightly. He still has a lot of other powerful positions and uses them accordingly, as seen during the small glimpses here and there.

    He is not dumb or incompetent in any way, he was simply played really well before he realised it too late. But he is not gone by any stretch. He'll come back more powerful with ways to hinder Harry more actively with more accurate information.
     
  15. Sataniel

    Sataniel Groundskeeper

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    Yes, but after the first time the information turned out to not match reality, he should have started to act more cautiously. Instead what he did was an equivalent of rushing straight through a big and suspiciously empty room after encountering unexpected traps in a corridor leading to it. You can mention the ritual, but the ritual is exactly one of the problems. It's a poor explanation for Dumbledore's stupid actions, and for power level differences in LeadVonE's crappy "flammelage" magic system.


    If we're doing it like that...

    As we can see in canon, memories capture even things outside person's perception, we also see that bodyless soul still has memories. Thus we can conclude that memories are stored in the soul. Now, many prophecies don't come true, so it's doubtful that they are sent by a higher power. So where they come from and why seers can't remember them? Every person interprets events in their lives in a story-like manner. And prophecies are trying to shape reality like a story. It's not much of a jump to say that those storyfied memories are stored somewhere and the prophecies are reaction of the universe to them, with it trying to tell stories. Thus Akashic Records are almost canon!

    Actually, wait, no, they aren't.
     
  16. Palindrome

    Palindrome A bigger, darker mark Moderator DLP Supporter

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    This cropped up on the hpfanfiction subreddit so, naturally, I had to check it out. I thought it'd be the lulzy sort of entertainingly terrible - and I like to inflict that upon myself every once in a while to keep things fresh.

    Turns out, it's actually quite fun. Definitely enjoyable! It's a story that's arse-deep in horrible tropes, but it pulls them together into something resembling coherent worldbuilding. It develops quite a few interesting ideas, particularly near the start of the story, and the writing is engaging (if bogged down in too-many-POVs syndrome).

    What I'm consistently really impressed with is that the main character loses sometimes. Plans go awry, things happen out of powerful!Harry's control, and the consequences always logically play out. Every time it happens it's awesome - it's never just cheap contrived drama. That's something you'll struggle to find even in professional work.

    I'm glad there was already a thread for it. Otherwise, it'd need to go in the 'stories you don't recommend but sort of want everyone to read' thread.

    2.4/5, rounded down. I don't think I really need to go into what drags that rating down; just look at the rest of the thread. The only thing that hasn't already been touched on is how completely creepy the harem stuff is. The main character basically raises these kids himself from age eight for the express purpose of adding them to his collection. Fucking. Horrifying. It's fortunate that the author has clearly never met a child in his life, because every character in this story might as well be 20+.
     
  17. sfu

    sfu Squib

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    I rather watch children acting like adults, than children behaving like children. It's one of the weirdest complaints I have in general read about when it comes to fanfiction. JKR did it okay in canon by abusing dumb and useless adults, but in fanon you cannot introduce interesting/captivating plots with children-like behaviour from year one and copying JKR's adults-are-useless approach. It's impossible unless you make only adults behave smartly, but then the plot will revolve around them.

    Thus you sometimes have to make people smarter and in this story both adults and children are smart. Occlumency is at least used here as an excuse to power up the brain of children, with its obvious drawbacks like sometimes being dumb not being a bad trait. It's not like the children themselves are smart.

    In the society introduced here, having multiple partners and child marriages is more common. Padma, Tracey and Daphne, pretty much all the higher class girls know about it. Compared to Western standards it is indeed extremely weird, but one has to look at it from the perspective there as well. Small communities, magic itself and lots of deaths due to wars or magical diseases shaped it like that.

    And that all girls get a crush on Harry is IMO genuine. You cannot really fault that. And that the society there allows harem or polyamorous relationships and thus Harry not stopping the advances, is technically not really something you can say is wrong, too. It's not like Harry lusts after them at this moment. He stated already that they will become beautiful once older and looks forward to that part, and not at what he has now. The author does put effort into it to make it not as weird as you falsely imagine it to be.

    With that out of the way, one could now still complain now that it is wish-fulfilment bullshit, but even some countries in our mundane world have similar setups, acknowledged by that society, whether by oppression or genuine acceptance. Thus you have to look at it from different perspectives, not limiting yourself to Western standards only, even when reading fanfiction. That is why your complaint overall here is weird. It's plausible, and not as you stated fucking horrifying. Though I agree it is horrifying that it is plausible ;).

    Not sure what the power level or flamelage has to do with it. It has been introduced to limit magic in the story, else it would be simply too overpowered. Additionally, the limiting creates story plots, because the characters have to work around it, and it is due to that interesting to read it. The author does not add/change stuff for the sake of simply changing it. I remember reading tons of stories where people get at the beginning of the adventure a never-ending gold bag from the Goblins, with a magical credit card so the MC has always cash. But guess what? The author never follows up on it and I am asking myself, why the hell was that even introduced? He could have skipped that part completely.

    Here though it makes sense.

    Further, if Dumbledore/Voldemort weren't a little bit mad due to the ritual, in a story where everybody is actually competent, one side would have won by now. Introducing those faults keeps the story going.

    ----

    Following, the next paragraph is offtopic. I'm aware of it, but I'll answer it nonetheless.

    Is that a fact? I believe that was not stated in canon at all. If we believe canon then all prophecies get fulfilled sooner or later. You also make prophecies to appear random, but even in canon they do alert or shape things. Look at the second prophecy stating that a servant of Riddle would join him. What's the point of that? It's for everyone from the main cast to know that Voldemort's comeback is immediate, like a warning. That nobody used it to prepare literally anything, is due to the dumb-adults trope in canon. Overall a new thread for that might be interesting? If someone opens it, I'll take part in the discussions there. Also PM it to me.
     
  18. Hymsicality

    Hymsicality Third Year

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    Yup he's grooming 12 year olds to be his future buttsluts. What exactly is wrong with that? Maybe those twelve year olds WANT to be his buttsluts. Anyone ever thought of that?

    As a teacher myself this is creepy, creepy stuff.
     
  19. Anarchy

    Anarchy Totally Sirius DLP Supporter

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    Honestly, I think this SFU guy existing on DLP to do nothing but defend this fic to his dying breath is far more entertaining than this story itself.
     
  20. Sataniel

    Sataniel Groundskeeper

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    I take offence to that statement.


    You forget the part where Harry is actually much older than them and uses is knowledge of an alternate future to manipulate them.

    The purpose of the ritual is to bump power level because LeadVonE couldn't think of a better idea for differentiating magical ability than energy.

    Because LeadVonE couldn't think of a better idea to limit magic.

    The magical system in this fic is boring at its core and it's uninteresting to read about it. It's only in the rare cases when LeadVonE gets a good idea like the rituals that don't pertain to magical cores or difficulty of casting the spell depending on how widely it is used.


    That describes big parts of this fic perfectly. It's bogged with too many unimportant scenes that murder the pacing. It's entertaining when things happen, but too often they don't.

    You are hundred years too early to try to outcanon me.

     
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