(90) Production Notes

(edit: I’ve been informed that at least one person read this before reading/listening to Chapter 89, so a note – there be spoilers below. Do not read further if you aren’t at least up to 89.

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It was the previous episode, Hermione’s death, that finally got me to dislike Professor Quirrell. I’ve known he was evil for a long time, of course. He’s murdered and mind-raped whenever it would further his goals without any regard for others. Yet I still somehow deeply admired him, and delighted in reading any chapters he appeared in. If I can say “that person is evil” but I don’t feel disgust for him, then obviously my values aren’t truly lined up with what I wish they’d be, or pretend they are. What does it say about me that I had to witness Hermione dying before my emotional core snapped to attention and said “Oh yeah… THAT’S why we don’t like evil people!” ?

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11 Comments

  1. One way to make fiction entertaining is to put obstacles in front of a character and see them solve it through resourcefulness and cunning. This is typically done for the non-evil protagonist, but there are counter-examples. Hannibal Lecter is a monster who murders innocent people, but it’s still lots of fun to see how he escapes from police custody. The fact that he murders two police officers doesn’t make it less fun; if anything it heightens the entertaining by raising the stakes. The audience can even “deeply admire” his intellect without condoning his evilness.

    So to answer your possibly rhetorical “what does it say about me” question: it says that you’re like most other people who enjoy fiction.

  2. It says that “comic-book readers only notice when Important Named Characters die,” I think.

  3. … spoilers. ._. I was only checking to see what chapter were you up to because I prefer to listen before reading…

    • Sorry, I’m still in the mind-frame of “everyone listening to this has already read the fic”, which is no longer the case. I’ll edit to give room for spoilers.

      • Thomas James Ryan

        actually, i realized around chapter 7 or soo that the “fic” wasn’t finished and so i found you out soo as to prolong the magic.

        spoilers are inevitable and should someone not be caught up with the latest podcast i can only feel sorry for them bro, cuz i got 99 problems but having this story spoiled aint one.

      • Forgiven. Maybe we’ll have helped someone else avoid the same fate. You doing this has improved my enjoyment of the fic more than enough to balance things out.

  4. Well, in a few chapters, he’s going to be the only actually trying to help Harry resurrect Hermione. And maybe even we learn that his time with Harry might be a positive influence on his personality.

    But then we recall: Oh yeah. He lied. He said that “an ancient device in his possession told him that Hermione was in danger” and that was when used his ritual magic to tear through Hogwarts. But really, it was his connection to Harry, and he knew Hermione was in danger a great deal ahead of time, but only acted when Harry had engaged the troll. If nothing else, he is using her death to his own ends and absolutely did not have the proper reaction.

    On account of his lying, and all the effort he spend to stir up everyone to disturb Harry endlessly in the way that he did, one might ponder if Harry’s newfound admiration for him wasn’t all part of the plan. Even Quirrell’s amazement at Harry actually going the distance for Hermione might be false, just to create a model in Harry’s head.

    Dammit, Quirrell! Why are you such a confusing character!? If anyone needs me, I’ll be on the floor, crying bitter tears…

  5. I’m still hoping that Harry will redeem Quirrel. I think he is part way there, even though he doesn’t realize what he is doing. In the not-apology scene after Azkaban, Harry passionately yells at Quirrel “I couldn’t bare to lose you!” That completely confuses the dark one. Harry also managed that plot to cheer up Quirrel (fake dark ritual). The pattern is building up, and he will perceive it at some point.

    At the moment, Quirrel is not very nice to Harry. The only reason Quirrel might put any real effort into helping Harry is to avert the prophecy of the end of the world, which Harry’s grief over Hermione is set to bring about. Quirrel is thinking, “Oops. What have I done?” But he will only help so far as he feels he understands and controlls what is going on. He has instructed Minerva to remind the other teachers to discourage Harry from developing any new magic. Not a kindly act. Of course, he could be relying on reverse psychology, and that Harry won’t give up but rather turn to Quirrel all the more. But it’s still not nice to put up deliberate road blocks like that.

    I must say, Quirrel is an elegantly written sociopath. Sociopaths have feelings, but not empathy. They can read others emotions. They can convey precise emotional meanings. Quirrel does these superbly. But the difference between a sociopath and a normal person with high emotional intelligence is that the sociopath does not process others’ emotions. They have no feelings of empathy. So I have no hope whatsoever that Quirrel will ever begin to “feel” the love that Harry is showing him. There is a biological lack there.

    I read an article recently by a sociopath who eloquently explains her emotional life. She is not evil. She has had unrestrained urges to kill people from time to time, due to minor annoyances unmitigated by empathy. She goes through life, much as an autistic person must, as a rule follower. I would point out that sociopaths and autists are in fact polar opposites. The sociopath has superb emotional-reading while the autist has impaired emotion-reading. The sociopath has superb emotion-production while the autist struggles to communicate their feelings. And the sociopath has no real ability to process others’ emotions, while the autist is drowning in emotion. So both the sociopath and the autist must live by a strict code of rules, rather than ever relying on their own instincts, if they want to be good, functional members of society. Of course, autists who fail at this are rejected by society, while sociopaths who fail to do the same are simply “evil”.

  6. Wow. Damn. I have not read the fic- and this is amazing- but it does make me wonder if the plot can last without her. I expected, once Harry chilled the body, for him to attempt to get her to a hospital…. Has our “muggle science” improved in this area in the two decades from the timeline, though, I wonder?

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