St. Mungo’s Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries, First Floor, Creature-Induced Injuries. An entire makeshift sector for Petrification victims hadbeen set up there months ago, when it had occurred to the healers that keepingthe victims anywhere near Hogwarts was asking for an attack. It was mid-June,and the Potions of Reanimation had been completed. The last to freeze was thefirst to thaw.
“Yes, thank you, Miss Strout,” said Ginny. “I’ll take it from here.” Theoverseeing healer left the room; she had no idea why she was leaving herpatient (her _vitally important to current affairs _patient, no less) alonewith a child, but the orders had come from very high up, and so she would notdispute them. “Harry? Are you feeling okay?” Harry just stared forward; hisPotion of Reanimation had been mixed with strong sedatives, and his bed wasfitted with a magic bracing system, to ensure that he got rest following hisordeal. “Okay. You’re the first one up; I made sure of that because I wantedto talk to you. So. Your plan. I don’t think it worked the way you intendedit. But I’d just like to know what you were trying to do.” Harry blinked,tried to speak, and finally did:
“I was trying to make the AI-go-foom.”
“Uh, wow, those were some pretty strong sedatives, huh?” said Ginny. “Do youthink you could try to explain a little slower? I never did figure out someparts of your note. What’s a ‘real Ya-lizer’?”
“‘Y-alizer’,” said Harry, and he sat up. “It’s pronounced ‘Y-alizer’. It’sshort for Yuddcauscializer. It’s from a book. In ‘Mathematically PreciseDaemons and their Behavior’, by Arcturus Pullman, there are these intenselypowerful magical creatures people have called daemons, and they followcommands that they’re given, but tend to do more harm than good because it’shard to word commands specifically enough to ensure they’re carried out theway you want, and they don’t understand anything abstract. And then theprotagonist invents a device called a Yuddcauscializer, that you can attach toa daemon, and it’ll force them to pick whatever interpretation of your commandis best for you. Consequently, the daemons that are attached become muchsmarter and can follow much more complex commands safely. The Y-alizer becomesa huge McGuffin that the villains try to steal, of course, but they fail andthe protagonist mass-produces them and becomes fabulously wealthy. It’s a raretruly happy ending in a spec-fic novel; there are sequels but I didn’t botherto read them.”
“Maybe you should have,” suggested Ginny.
“Maybe,” said Harry. “So, I realized, of course, that interacting with daemonsis equivalent to programming. And Amortentia is equivalent to the Y-alizer,except for any living thing. When it hit me that the Chamber of Secrets wasprobably the most intelligent program wizards had ever created, the prospectbecame very tempting. The more I determined about the Chamber, the moretempting it became - I actually found it right after the attack on thegreenhouse; there’s a tunnel beneath it that leads straight to the Chamber.”
“I know,” said Ginny.
“I’ll admit it’s shameful that I didn’t think to put up wards to detect peoplegoing in or out until after Hermione was petrified, but hindsight iseverything,” said Harry. “What went wrong?”
“Wait,” said Ginny. “First, where did you get all that Amortentia?”
“It’s a critically important secret,” said Harry.
“You can tell me,” said Ginny.
“I can tell tell you in broad strokes, but it’s a waste of time; I really needto know what happened to my plan,” said Harry. “Basically, brewing Amortentiais relatively quick and easy. It’s just that one step is expensive, becauseyou need to dissolve at least eighty percent of a wand that was involved in anUnbreakable Vow. I figured out how to dissolve the same wand an unlimitednumber of times. It depends on something unique to me, though, so no one elsecan do it. Thiss iss all true. Now, what went wrong with OperationDomestication?”
“Slytherin’s Monster, which consisted of thirty six basilisks, wanted to leavethe Chamber forever, and devote all resources to producing more basilisks andpetrifying absolutely everyone,” said Ginny. Harry nodded expectantly, butthen realized, to his horror, that Ginny had nothing else to say.
“And you prevented it?” said Harry.
“Of course I prevented it!” said Ginny. Harry started to approachhyperventilation.
“It failed to articulate why it was a good idea for it to run the world foran entire hour?” said Harry.
“Well, it certainly tried,” said Ginny. “I was nearly convinced to let it out,but I realized I was being manipulated, and I drowned out its voice with whitenoise hissing partway through.” Harry receded under the covers and began tofidget. “I’m a bit concerned, though, that my worst fears seem to be true;you’re acting like you do want what Slytherin’s Monster said you wanted.”
“Ginevra, you are the worst,” said Harry. “The worst. Yes, I wanted morebasilisks and I wanted everyone petrified. It sounds like the Amortentiaworked exactly _how I wanted, and the broken component was _you. I shouldhave sent Ron instead; he’s stupid, sure, but at least he’s not consistentlywrong in a way that requires reversed intelligence. In fact, maybe I _will_send Ron.”
“There’s nothing to send him to,” said Ginny. “I told the school everythingthat happened and the Chamber’s been excavated by the Ministry. The Monsterhas been decomposed into its individual basilisks, which are being keptseparated to prevent coordination. They’re studying them and, of course,closely monitoring them; I think they’ve dissected a few. They say they mightbe able to isolate the minds of Cedric, Justin, and Ernie for revival. Itcould take years, though.” Harry growled and lunged forward, perhaps to shakeGinny violently; in any case it was ineffectual, as the magic bracing systempulled him back. “I already learned all of the Interdicted magic recorded inthe Chamber, and my memories have been restored, so I possess all of thoseskills, now - wouldn’t want to use a lot of them, though; they’re some prettydark magic. But it’s nice that nothing’s been lost to the ages. …Harry, whatare you doing?” Harry was forcing himself to look straight into Ginny’s eyes,and he was growing increasingly frustrated.
“Since when are you-” started Harry.
“An Occlumens?” said Ginny, and she broke Harry’s gaze. “Since last week. Iinvoked my right as a victim and/or witness of a crime to free Occlumencylessons. You know, the right that you invented and pushed through theWizengamot.”
“There are prophecies about me,” growled Harry.
“Me too,” said Ginny.
“My prophecies say I’m going to destroy the world, but not the people in it,”said Harry. “And you’ve just caused me to miss my first chance to do that.”
“Some of us like the world,” said Ginny, and Harry clawed at the air,incoherent with anger.
“You like the world more than the people in it, apparently,” said Harry. “Theminds, names, and faces of everyone, all of humanity, would have beenpreserved, and you knew it, and you still went with your gut and ran away.”
“I’m sorry,” said Ginny softly.
“I’m going to call you Deathist Number One now,” said Harry. “And you’re notVice President of the More Sane Squad anymore. Again. In fact, you’re not evenin the More Sane Squad. Members won’t associate with you; I won’t let them.I’d say you’re dead to me but I’m afraid you wouldn’t understand what thatmeant. I was right all along about your Patronus.”
“What?” said Ginny.
“Given your religious stubbornness you shouldn’t be able to cast an advancedPatronus,” said Harry. “I found out about it immediately from theUnspeakables, because I have, connections, with them, and I was terrifiedbecause I was convinced it was some kind of, some kind of Anti-Patronus, thatcould potentially become a future source of problems. I spent a couple ofmonths trying to kill it by shaking your faith harder, but it didn’t work. Ilightened up when it saved your life, but that was a mistake. You clearlydon’t value life.”
“Yes, I do,” said Ginny.
“You value something else above life,” said Harry, “or you’d have let thebasilisks out without a thought.”
“No,” said Ginny, “I assessed the risk and decided it wasn’t worth it.”
“The risk of what?” demanded Harry. Ginny didn’t - couldn’t - answer. “I wantto see Hermione.”
“Harry, you need to rest,” said Ginny. “And she does too.”
“I want to see Hermione,” said Harry. No response. Harry took a deep breath.“Is there anything else I’ve missed?”
“Biggest thing that I can think of is something they found in the Chamberwhile they were excavating it - Salazar Slytherin’s petrified body in afogged-up glass coffin. They’re debating the possibility of restoring him tolife, too. Personally, I’m all for it, but they have to discuss it some morefirst.”
“I’ll get in contact with whoever’s keeping him, and get him unfrozenA-S-A-P,” said Harry.
“Oh, and they caught Lockhart,” said Ginny. “On top of being a predator he washeavily involved in Voldemort’s plot; he got in the way of your Amortentia andturned himself in. He’s in Nurmengard now.”
“Great,” said Harry, but he wasn’t really listening, not anymore.
“Also, several girls at Hogwarts - most notably Tracey - have been getting‘anonymous’ death threats that are obviously from Bellatrix Black.”
“Uh huh,” said Harry, staring out a window.
“The healers say that Fred and George are going to be okay, but since theyneed to cut their minds apart at the joining point, they won’t be magicallyconnected anymore. I hope they can live with that.”
Harry didn’t respond.
“Oh, ” said Ginny, “and I’ve located an error in one of the Methods ofRationality.”
“What?” said Harry, shocked, his focus suddenly sharpened. “Did I misquotesomeone? Or, crap, did I use the wrong number of significant digitssomewhere?”
“Um, no,” said Ginny. “It’s the one entitled ‘The Stanford Prison Experiment’.You extensively refer to something called ‘The Stanford Prison Experiment’,obviously, so I decided to read the sources to get a clearer image of whatthat experiment was. I was horrified, but not in the way you intended. Thewhole thing was a sick joke! Nothing even approaching proper experimentalprocedure was present. There was only one trial, and no control group, makingit more of an anecdote than an experiment. It all centered on one man, Dr.Zimbardo, Philip Zimbardo, a psychology professor at the Muggle collegeStanford. He received government funding to study the causes of abuse inMuggle prisons, so what did he come up with? He got a single group of collegestudents, and had them roleplay as prisoners and guards for two weeks straightin his basement. He played the warden.”
“As the warden,” continued Ginny, “Zimbardo encouraged - no, mandated - abuse,and then, as the researcher, Zimbardo pointed to the horror as though he hadno part in it, as though it said something about human nature instead ofZimbardo nature. He deliberately made the abuse as shocking as possible, toconvey his point as shockingly as possible. He didn’t even run the‘experiment’ to its conclusion; he cut it off before the halfway point toappease a female student of his, who he later married. And then he had theaudacity to point to the early cutoff as further evidence of his depravedthesis! The worst part was that everyone, and I mean everyone, lapped it up!There was certainly criticism of the experiment, but even the criticismaccepted Zimbardo’s general narrative, and only criticized one or two points,instead of pointing out that the entire thing was a farce! You didn’t evencriticize one or two points; you just wholeheartedly accepted the narrativeinvented and pushed by a madman with enough charisma to pass himself off as ascientist!” By this point, Ginny was panting slightly; she had seriouslyworked herself up, and now she stared at Harry, waiting for a response.“Philip Zimbardo didn’t find truth. He found himself, and he didn’t practicescience well enough to tell the difference.”
“Go away, Ginny,” said Harry.
“I was going to go anyway,” said Ginny. “There are other people I’ve beenmissing - missing more, actually. There were just a few points with you Iwanted closure on, and I sure got it. Goodbye?” Harry didn’t answer.
Ginny ascended to the fifth floor to meet Luna.
Harry stared out the window.
This is the end of Ginny Weasley and the Sealed Intelligence. Omake,including an epilogue, will go up on some indefinite future date.