Ok I know I should be reading and reviewing This Longing, but I saw this sitting with there with no reviews and I couldn’t resist!
Ah that was amazing! Why has no one reviewed it? The imagery, the personification, the emotion you evoked just everything was amazing. Ah, I loved everything; it was so wonderful and so beautiful! It was perfect and a wonderful portrayal of Albus and Gellert. Ok I’ll stop gushing now and try and write something coherent.
All the things I’ve read of yours have been in third person, so I was taken by surprise by seeing that this was written in first, but I loved it. I think it was fitting that it was first as we got a better sense of the complexity of Albus’ emotions and how though he loved Gellert he loved his sister.
Then there was there guilt about he still wanted that one kiss from Gellert. I almost sensed some anger that his sister died and, therefore, took that kiss away from him. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many emotions work so well together in such a short piece. I think the best thing about the emotions was that they were all backed by reason which made it even more effective.
I also really liked how we got such a sense of Arianna’s character despite the fact this was only 500 words. Your characterisation of her was brilliant and perfectly captured that sweet and endearing girl she was described her to be. The way you tied in her fear of her magical talents was, again, really effective. I’ve read quite a few stories about this time in Albus and Gellert’s life and none of them drew upon Arianna and her pivotal part in all of this as much as you did.
Your descriptions in this were amazing! I’m still sitting in awe of them right now. If I had to choose the best one it would have to be this one ‘his eyes were lamps, pale and burning, like the feverish spots on his ashwhite cheeks.’ The contrast you use between ‘pale’ and ‘burning’ caught what I imagined Gellert must have felt. The pale seemed to show his coldness towards it all and how he was trying to supress the emotion, yet with the ‘burning’ it showed intense emotion. Perhaps it was love, or fear or even hatred. I think the anonymity of it all is the beauty of it. It always leaves me wondering whether Gellert really loved Albus or he was merely using him to entertain himself.
Then the way you personified snow as this silent observer of some many events. It was brilliant and so clever. It reminded me of the Arianna’s portrait in The Hog’s Head. She’s just sitting there observing all the scenes around, and not commenting on them, much like the snow really. Then the bit about snow being silent was a great paradox. It related back to the fact that we would never know the truth, and the only thing which could do so was an inanimate object.
The last two lines were perfect. I think it was due to the simplicity of them, as it showed the bareness of the human emotion yet how they represented so many other things as well. They really left me thinking about Arianna’s death and how strange it was that we only find out about it at the end of the series, yet the impact of it resonated in the wizarding world for years.
Ah this was just perfect and I should probably stop gushing now! Another brilliant piece of yours ♥
Haha, I just realised I managed to make this review longer than the story, oh well!
Author's Response: Thank you very much for this review, Kiana! I wasn't sure about this story and whether it was good at all, but the fact that you've been able to write a longer review than the story, and that you've said so many wonderful things, helps to put my mind at rest. Well, it means a lot more than that too. Your compliments leave me all asdfghjkl and I'm really glad to hear that the things I did in this story worked out this well for you. :D
This story began in third person, but it didn't feel right - it needed to be closer to Dumbledore to make sense, especially for the ending. You know, I used to love writing in first person, but I've gotten away from it for the most part - it takes a special character or an intense moment to require that readers go inside a character's mind. The danger of it is that you can only see what that character sees, which sometimes works, but at other times (like in "Out of Time") it meant limiting the story to a larger degree than I would have liked. In this story, by seeing Dumbledore's guilt from the inside rather than the outside, the readers have to do more work to put together the pieces that Dumbledore alludes to, but it also means that the readers themselves are implicated alongside him.
What I liked about writing this story was how confused Dumbledore's emotions became. Like you said, he's angry at his sister's death just as much for it causing Gellert to leave as for the death itself. It's important to remember that he is a teenager who has undergone far more than he should - he's had to grow up sooner than he was emotionally capable of doing - and at this point, his concept of right and wrong is blurred (it's important that it's not that he confuses right with wrong, but that they no longer seem like separate entities). It's fantastic that you liked how his emotions worked with this story!
Ooh, that's interesting to hear, that Ariana's personality came through, even in 500 words. To be honest, I hadn't thought much about it while writing - I had a clear idea of how Dumbledore saw her, pitied her, loved her in his own way, wanting to help her by taking her away from England. She must have been an extraordinary person though, like her siblings - I wish that she had appeared more within the series so that we could get a better idea of who she was and how she dealt with her disability. I'm very glad that she turned out to be a pivotal part of this story and that her presence is so strong, even in 500 words.
Those words, yes. Interestingly enough, the combination of burning and pale for the Victorians would have implied illness, especially consumption. But with Gellert, you're right that it's more about the intensity of passion. I wouldn't call it emotion, since Gellert doesn't experience feeling or empathy - everything for him is exaggerated so that he knows rage and thrills, but nothing in between. The flush on his cheeks is dangerous, alluding to his lack of control. If you take it one step further, it could be like blood on the snow - Ariana's blood on the snow that covers her grave, or Albus's red hair against the snowy landscape. The snow is a wonderful thing in that it blankets the world, covering up the bleak, brown dirt - so at once it provides a disguise and security. But it's all only temporary - the truth comes back to haunt Dumbledore again and again.
Thank you again for reading and reviewing this story! I can't describe how much it means to read and respond to your feedback! ^_^