Characters: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

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Harry James Potter-Evans-Verres/The Boy-Who-Lived/General Chaos

  • Ancient Tradition: Harry is shocked to find out that the motto of the Potter family is "The last enemy that shall be destroyed is Death," meaning the entire line has been trying to figure out resurrection/immortality since the Peverell brothers.
    Harry: [tearfully] How? Things like that can't just be, be genetic
  • Awesome by Analysis: Harry has a very strong tendency to explicitly look for flaws to exploit, thinking outside the box, taking the perspective no-one ever tried. His plans are both shameless and ridiculously audacious as a result.
  • Badass Boast: To Lucius Malfoy.
    What kills Dark Lords, terrifies Dementors and owes you sixty thousand galleons?
  • Badass Bookworm: Doubly so. A wizard AND a scientist.
  • The Chessmaster: Unquestionably, but he's still too inexperienced to take it to level of Dumbledore and Quirrel. Someday, though...
  • Child Prodigy: To the nth degree.
  • Confusion Fu: Harry isn't just gratuitously unpredictable, he is also very efficient about it.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Harry is not very patient with what he perceives as stupidity, and will violently mock it, especially if it gets people hurt.
  • Determinator: Heroic responsibility means you have to get the job done no matter what.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Harry is apparently the only wizard in history to have killed a Dementor.
  • Ditzy Genius: Deconstructed. He's eleven years old, biologically immature and doesn't have the experience to make the best use of his intelligence socially.
  • Encyclopaedic Knowledge: His (foster) father was an Oxford professor, his house is full of books, he is intensely curious and has the intelligence to assimilate the knowledge. Do the math.
  • For Science!: Actually, for Humanity and/or for Truth, but Harry thinks Science is essential to serve the first and find the second.
  • Freudian Excuse: Harry has a suspicious lack of one, bewildering McGonagall, as some of his behavior would imply an abusive childhood.
  • Genre Savvy: When McGonagall tells Harry what really happened to his parents (Harry had been raised by his aunt and her husband with no explanation), Harry starts asking her which plot hooks might be left dangling, frequently making analogies to The Lord of the Rings.
  • Grin of Audacity: He's usually represented with these in fanart. You can feel it in the text too, but they get much rarer after The Incident: Harry's gone grim.
  • Guile Hero/Manipulative Bastard: The goals of a guile hero, the tactics of a magnificent bastard.
  • Happily Adopted: Mostly.
  • The Hero: At least that is how Dumbledore thinks of him.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Subverted, Deconstructed and ultimately played straight in his friendship with Quirell.
  • Hypocrite: Harry explaining what cognitive biases others are falling for after demonstrating them gloriously and at great length himself is practically a Running Gag. For example, he rather patronizingly explains to Neville that only Neville himself blames him for Hermione's death and he isn't responsible after spending the preceding chapters blowing off all such reassurances from basically everyone in his life.
  • Immortality Seeker: And not just for himself, for everyone.
  • Innocence Lost: Harry becomes much more cynical after the Azkaban episode.
    And Harry just looked at the Defense Professor with cool eyes that would never flinch from anything; not even death, now. He was no longer in Azkaban, no longer fearful of the part of himself that was fearless; and the solid gemstone that was Harry had rotated to meet the stress, turning smoothly from one facet to another, from light to darkness, warm to cold.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Towards Snape's past. He learned his lesson.
  • Insufferable Genius: "I'm smarter and I know it. (*wiggles*)".
  • Intelligence Equals Isolation: Amongst muggle children, anyway. He's too involved with events in the Wizarding World for it to manifest on Hogwarts, and it never actually bothered him anyway. Hilariously invoked by himself to get rid of Ron.
    "See? You have to be this smart to talk to me."
  • Knight in Sour Armor: He realizes that the wizarding world is full of some really nasty people, but he still wants to do good and change it for the better. This is implied to be one of the ways that Dumbledore believes Voldemort to be his Dark Mirror; both Voldemort and Harry believe there aren't inherent moral principles, but Voldemort is a Nihilist who acts For the Evulz, while Harry is this trope.
  • Large Ham: At age twelve, he talks like a book. And that's when he's being low key. When he tries to be a ham, it's spectacular.
  • The Leader: He leads the Chaos Legion primarily as a type 1 with a bit of type 4.
  • Master of the Mixed Message: Best exemplified in this ramble to Hermione:
    "I really didn't mean most of that the way it sounded! I'm sure that anyone taking the outside view of the whole situation and offering betting odds on who I finally married would assign a higher probability to you than anyone else I can think of -
    -though not necessarily a probability higher than fifty percent, I mean, from the outside view there's a lot of other possibilities, and who I like before I hit puberty probably isn't all that strongly diagnostic of who I'll be with seven years later - I don't want to sound like I'm promising anything -
    -and besides I've been reading about evolutionary psychology, and, well, there are all these suggestions that one man and one woman living together happily ever afterward may be more the exception rather than the rule, and in hunter-gatherer tribes it was more often just staying together for two or three years to raise a child during its most vulnerable stages - and, I mean, considering how many people end up horribly unhappy in traditional marriages, it seems like it might be the sort of thing that needs some clever reworking - especially if we actually do solve immortality -"
  • Magnificent Bastard: In-universe. In chapter 4, Griphook is noted to be "favoring Harry with a gaze of frank respect, possibly even outright admiration" as Harry persuades McGonagall to let him withdraw more and more money.
  • Memetic Badass: In-universe.
  • Nerd-Cultured Badass
  • One-Man Industrial Revolution: One of his many ambitions is to accomplish this by bringing tech to wizards and magic to Muggles.
  • Overly Long Name: The natural consequence of taking on all possible applicable surnames. Possible an exaggerated way of demonstrating how modern and rational he and his family are (cf. The Maiden Name Debate).
  • Patrick Stewart Speech: Uses them, most notably, as a prelude to invoke his Patronus. He's good at those.
  • Sore Loser: First thing he thinks of after being shown up by Snape? How to destroy the potions professor.
  • Spoiled Brat: More like homeschooled, but yeah, his parents were very doting.
  • Sufficiently Analyzed Magic: Harry is working on this, but Magic in the Potterverse acts according to narrativium and Rule of Funny, which makes no logical sense. He won't let that get him down, though.
  • The Unfettered: He becomes this after Hermione's death.
  • Too Clever by Half: A quintessential example.
  • Young Conqueror: Quirrell is trying to groom him into the darker sort. Harry himself hasn't decided if this is going to be necessary, and he'd rather revolutionize by example to avoid casualties.

Hermione Jean Granger

  • Action Girl: After she starts her society for female heroes; but even before that she takes action whenever someone she cares about is in trouble.
  • Badass Bookworm: More of a classic example than Guile Hero Harry.
    Hermione Granger's bed was easy to identify; it was the one that had been attacked by a book monster.
  • Beware the Nice Ones:
    Draco was beginning to realize, when he and Harry and Professor Quirrell had dismissed Miss Granger as having as much intent to kill as a bowl of wet grapes, they'd never seen her angry.
  • Child Prodigy: A more traditional sort than Harry, being exceptionally studious and driven to memorizing all her textbooks. Her determination towards academic excellence keeps her ahead of Harry in schoolwork and pleasing teachers, but has more difficulty with practical situations, especially at first.
  • Distressed Damsel: While usually very capable, she finds herself unable to act when held on trial by the Wizengamot
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: Her lower half was eaten by a troll.
  • Friendly Rival: She and Harry have a bit of competition going on about who can earn more House Points and do better in class (hint: she tends to win), and this escalates even more when they're both generals of their student armies.
  • Meta Girl: She's all to aware of how so many events around the school seemingly revolve around Harry, and takes efforts to not become merely a character in Harry's story.
  • Genre Savvy: Hermione does frame events around her as if she were in a story, but she's more often seen trying to convince Harry that he isn't in a story, and that he should stop trying.
  • Friendly Target: It is implied that twice, the villain goes after her to strike at Harry.
  • The Leader: Type 2. She listens to the members of her Army and Society, and takes what they say into account when making decisions.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: She worries that she and Harry are growing apart, as she's still thinking about schoolwork and House points and he's got a war on his mind... so she decides to push herself harder to become an actual hero.
  • Photographic Memory: Wishes she had this. At least she can remember exactly anything she reads five times.
  • Sacrificial Lion: Just to show how evil the enemy is, he has a troll eat the legs of a twelve-year-old girl so she can bleed out through the stumps.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Early on, she intentionally tries to frame her relationship with Harry in romantic novel terms, because then it's perfectly natural for them to be bickering with each other and it doesn't mean she's at all evil or mean-spirited, right?

Antony Goldstein

Padma Patil


Draco Malfoy

  • Evil Chancellor: His family's dynasty basically revolves around this.
  • A Father to His Men: Strange as it may seem, Dragon army is able to trust and rely on their Commander. When Crabbe and Goyle find their friendship with Draco getting into the way of following their orders from their parents, Draco tells them he won't get angry, no matter what they do.

Theodore Nott

Vincent Crabbe and Gregory Goyle

  • Badass: Black belts by the time they are eleven.

Daphne Greengrass

  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Attempts to invoke this by dueling Neville, but it doesn't really take.
  • Genre Savvy: Like most of the girls, she views events like a romance plot, and tries to invoke her own romance with Neville during one of the battles.
  • Light Is Good: In Slytherin, no less!
  • Only Sane Man: At least she thinks of herself that way. Though only up to a point.
    "Well," Daphne whispered, keeping her voice as low as she could, "at least now I don't feel like the only sane person in Hogwarts any more."
    "Because now you've got the rest of us as friends?" whispered Lavender Brown, who was tiptoeing along at her left side.
    "I don't think that's what she means," General Granger murmured from Lavender's own left.

Blaise Zabini

Tracey Davis

  • Cloud Cuckoolander: 'The girl went on stalking through the corridor, like she had dramatic music accompanying her that only she could hear.' This may or may not be connected to her previous association in the Chaos Legion.
  • Dark Magical Girl: After sacrificing her soul to Harry Potter.
  • True Companions: One of the reasons why Harry promised her his protection.


Neville Longbottom

  • To Be Lawful or Good: Finds himself being forced to choose in Chapter 88. He chooses to be lawful and tries to keep Harry in the Great Hall where it's safe, and blames himself for Harry not arriving in time to save Hermione.
  • True Companions: Even after Hermione dies and he blames himself he says:
    "I want to stay here and fight with you against - against whatever's happening."

Susan Bones

  • Doom Magnet: What Susan believes SPHEW to be.
  • Masquerade: Suspected by the rest of SPHEW to be a "double witch", which is the magical world's version of someone who attends a super secret magic school.
  • Only Sane Man: Probably the only one out of SPHEW, because she actually takes steps to prevent DOOM.


Ronald Weasley

  • Butt Monkey: Harry refuses to take him seriously.
  • Demoted to Extra: He is one of the generals of Hermione's army and has a battle with Neville but is ultimately a minor character in this series.
  • Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: When Hermione is framed for the attempted murder of Draco, Ron sends his condolences and approval, but not because he thinks Hermione is innocent.

Fred and George Weasley

  • Bash Brothers: They use their mental link to double-team enemies in battle, putting up a respectable fight against a troll.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: While essentially figures of comedy not connected with the main plot they manage to pull off epic-scale pranks and are revealed as the heirs to Godric Griffindor when they pull his sword out of the sorting hat and double-team a magically-enhanced troll.
  • Hive Mind: Wizard twins apparently form one, hence why in the past one of the pair was normally killed at birth.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Manage to royally screw over Rita Skeeter by forging a betrothal contract between Harry and Ginny, manufacturing a lot of evidence that should have been impossible to forge, and did it all in a time frame of less than twelve hours and on a budget of forty galleonsnote 
  • Noodle Incident: ... And then Obliviated themselves so that if they got caught, they wouldn't be able to divulge the details. It's implied that this is a fairly common procedure for the twins whenever they achieve some kind of grand-scale prank.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: After Snape's apology speech...
    At the Gryffindor table, where a cake waited with fifty-one unlit candles, Fred whispered, "I think we may be out of our league here, George."note 


Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore

  • Genre Savvy: He likes to frame himself as the wizard Gandalf from The Lord of the Rings, and conversations between him and students are often framed in "young heroes" and "mysterious old wizard" terms.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: According to Harry's inductions in chapter 46, after Dumbledore learned of Trelawney's prophecy, he had Snape push Voldemort into seeking out the Potters and killing them, in the hope that Voldemort's death would end the war. Harry notes that this trope was probably in play, but he's still pretty bothered that Dumbledore is seemingly directly responsible for his parents' deaths.
  • Obfuscating Insanity: Maybe. He does set a chicken on fire to make Harry think he gets to see Fawkes's rebirth. Harry doesn't quite buy it.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure:
    “I have also been asked by Mr. Filch, the caretaker, to remind you all that no magic should be used between classes in the corridors. Alas, we all know that what should be, and what is, are two different things. Thank you for keeping this in mind.”
  • Shell-Shocked Senior: Appears to be clinically depressed.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Used to believe this.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: Has made his peace with death, and thinks everyone should do the same.

Minerva McGonagall

  • Animorphism: As in canon, she can turn into a cat.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: She has this reaction when she realizes that Fred and George, being called to the front of an assembly to be recognized for their heroism, fully expect to be expelled for going against the letter of her orders to the students to stay put.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: A sane, sensible teacher, and the reason Harry respects her so much.
  • Shapeshifter Baggage: Watching her turn into a cat is what sets off Harry's first rant.

Severus Snape

Filius Flitwick

  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Hermione considers him to be this, making it all the more painful when he fails to defend her against Snape.

Quirinus Quirrell/Tom Marvolo Riddle/Lord Voldemort/David Monroe (probably)/Jeremy Jaffe

  • Evil Mentor: Rather than try to kill Harry, he instead tries to bring him around to his point of view.
  • Evil Sorcerer: Has dabbled in the Dark Arts, and even tells his class that it was his ambition when in school to become a Dark Wizard.
  • Fallen Hero: Claims to be one to Hermione and Amelia Bones has identified him as one. It's not clear how this squares with him being Quirrelmort.
  • Genre Savvy: Quirrel and Harry often discuss the finer points of how to manipulate others and avoid being Hoist by His Own Petard, referencing stories and contrasting them with reality as they do so. "The role people play" is an element of Eliezer's writing that comes out frequently in this character.
  • I Have Many Names: Says he can no longer keep track of them all.
  • Historical Villain Upgrade: if you consider his canon character "historical". Quirrell goes from the one note, incompetent, card-carrying, borderline comical villain of whose background we know virtually nothing in The Philosophers Stone into an extremely complex, supremely intelligent, mind blowingly dangerous person (because he's so complicated, it's hard to call him a full "antagonist").
  • Internal Reformist: Stated by Quirrell to be his agenda towards Slytherin.

Sybil Trelawny

  • Fainting Seer: She gets a few more prophecies here than in canon.

    Other adults 

Bellatrix Black

Amelia Bones

Lucius Malfoy

  • Badass: Hinted at by Harry's description of his appearance, has yet to be actually demonstrated.
  • Big Bad: Dumbledore considers him to be this, with Voldemort as the Bigger Bad.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: Quirrel considers him to be this.
  • Crusading Widower: Promises to become one if anything happens to Draco.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: While sharing secrets, Draco reveals that Lucius is supremely protective, even to the point of abandoning his political game to watch his son being taken care of at St. Mungo's.
  • Evil Chancellor: To Fudge; somewhat subverted as by most measures that actually matter, Lucius is more powerful than Fudge in his own right.
  • Fantastic Racism: As in canon, he is a notorious champion of blood purity.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Harry uses his (probably false) claim that he was placed under the imperius curse by Voldemort to insist on a blood debt from House Malfoy in return for killing Voldemort and "freeing" him.
  • Would Hurt a Child: As evidenced by his willingness to send a twelve-year-old to Wizarding prison.

Alastor "Mad-Eye" Moody

  • Adaptational Badass: Moody was something of an Informed Badass in canon. In this fic his badassery is plain for all to see.

    Posthumous Characters 

Godric Gryffindor

  • Too Clever by Half: According to Harry's deductions, he was clever enough to realize the true nature of Dementors, but not quite clever enough to figure out how to cast a true Patronus. The problem is, if you're stuck at this stage, you can't cast a Patronus at all.


Dragon Army

  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Mildly deconstructed as Draco points out the disadvantages of being both the commander and the most powerful wizard: he needs to exhaust himself casting the powerful spells and risk himself in combat when he should be focusing on command.
  • Badass Army: Draco tries to invoke this. He's still working on it until Chapter 78, where His army achieved a victory against Chaos and Sunshine, even managing to disabling Chaos's trump card against them. However, for Draco, being defeated by Hermione during the battle spoils everything.
  • Enemy Mine: With Sunshine.
  • Shout-Out: To Enders Game (Harry had attempted to claim the reference intentionally, but "Draco" threw a fit, and Quirrel allowed him the name instead).
  • You Are in Command Now: Padma Patil has twice taken command of Dragon when Draco was taken down.

The Chaos Legion

  • Break The Game Breaker: Quirrel forces Harry to downsize Chaos after he curbstomps both other armies in the fourth battle. It works, they lose the next battle to Dragon.
  • Catch Phrase: Seamus claims that Harry frequently says "I find your lack of skepticism disturbing" while doing the Vader-choke gesture.
  • Chewing the Scenery: Are encouraged to do so.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Some members (especially Harry) are guilty of this.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Do to Harry's extensive Science Fiction knowledge he already has general strategies for the exotic scenarios worked out. Lampshaded in the Lake battle, where it blows Malfoy's mind that the Chaos Legion had a plan for 3D fighting when Harry really just gave the "Why are you all upside down?" speech from Ender’s Game.
  • Doomy Dooms of Doom: Their theme song consists of nothing but the word Doom repeated over and over again to the tune of the Imperial Death March from Star Wars.
  • Game Breaker: invoked In the Battles after Christmas break Harry starts using new or unexpected forms of magic in each battle to give himself an edge over the other armies.
  • Handicapped Badass: Harry is forced to split up his army. However, he manages to do a good job at fighting with his remaining forces, and may have possibly won if the Dragon Army hadn't copied their trick.
  • Mildly Military: Harry doesn't even attempt to impose any kind of military discipline. This turns out to be a cunning plan; by the time the other armies are crippled by all the traitors, the Chaos army has mostly got it out of their system and is the most reliable of the three.
  • Obviously Evil: Rigorously enforced by General Chaos, just for Lulz.
  • Only Sane Man: Seamus says that when you first join the Chaos Legion it seems like everyone in it is insane, then after a while you realize everyone else is insane.
  • Shout-Out: Mainly to Warhammer, H.P. Lovecraft, Ender's Game, Starwars, and Monty Python.

The Sunshine Regiment

  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Dragon Army's insignia is a flame. Chaos Legion's is a pair of fingers, poised to snap. Sunshine Regiment's is a smiley face.
  • Enemy Mine: With Dragon.
  • The Hero: Hermione Granger.
  • Lethal Joke Character: Intentionally invoked both by themselves and Quirrell. On their part it's by embracing a Tastes Like Diabetes persona to make their opponents underestimate them, most dramatically in the first battle. On Quirrell's side he put Hermione in charge, even though he and the other captains agree she has no chance... and then also put every one of their suggestions for a third captain under her control, knowing that she would be smart enough to call on their tactical abilities to supplement her own.
  • The Strategist: Ron Weasley
  • Tastes Like Diabetes: Intentionally.