Ordinary Bookclub: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality (Chapters 6-15)
This week we resolved to read chapters 6-15.
Chapter 6: In which Harry needs the biggest/best first aid kit possible, in which Professor McGonagall wonders if Harry’s anxiety over things that might happen (to fellow students, to owls he might take under his wing) is tied to abuse, Harry gets his wand, Harry gets his trunk, Harry hears the name “Hermione Granger”.
Chapter 7: We say goodbye to Mum and Dad, we meet Ron, we learn the rules of Quiddich, we learn that the rules of Quiddich are dumb, we meet Draco again, we make friends, we drink our first sip of Comed-Tea, we learn that it’s not The Current Year everywhere, we look at a picture of astronauts, and we join the Order of Chaos. Oh, and we see Draco write a letter. (Man, a LOT happened in that chapter!)
Chapter 8: We meet Hermione. Oh, and we meet Neville. (A lot happens in this chapter too, but it can be boiled down into “We meet Hermione and then Neville shows up for a moment or two”.)
Chapter 9: We get to Hogwarts and we see the people prior to the ‘P’s get sorted by the Sorting Hat. Then, at the end of the chapter, we see the first second of Harry wearing it. (This is the chapter that makes me most glad I read this when it was already done rather than having to wait for the next chapter. Imagine having to wait a week for that! Seriously, Methods of Rationality came out between 2010 and 2015. It might have been TWO weeks.)
Chapter 10: We see the conversation that Harry has with the Sorting Hat and we see Harry subsequently get sorted.
Note: This is where Eliezer Yudkowsky (the author) says that if the story hasn’t grabbed you yet, it ain’t gonna. So if you read this far and you’re not grabbed, don’t feel like you have to slog through it. I was charmed and delighted by the story and frustrated and irritated as heck at Harry… but I was well and truly grabbed. If you ain’t, you ain’t. Thanks for slogging up through Chapter 10 with us!
Chapter 11: We take a short break and read some meta-fanfic.
Chapter 12: We finish up the sorting, we learn that Ravenclaw has a house rule to make sure that the students eat instead of pestering each other, we truly test the Comed-Tea, and we meet Professor Quirrell for realsies.
Chapter 13: We play The Game. We help Neville out of a jam more roughly than we should. And we learn that you shouldn’t just come out and say “Abracadabra” around wizard-types. (I found this chapter irritating. What can you do?)
Chapter 14: We get a Time-Turner. And we learn how Comed-Tea works. And we get an invisibility cloak.
Chapter 15: Hermione gets a house point for helping Harry cool down some water. Then we go to transfiguration class.
And that’s our first fifteen chapters.
Next Sunday, we’ll cover chapters 16-25 which should take us all the way up to the preparation for some serious, serious pranking.
So… What do you think?
(Featured image is Foucault’s Pendulum by Sylvar. Used under a creative commons license.)