This is absolutely, hauntingly beautiful. I'm not familiar with the Coleridge poem, but it seems to fit perfectly, and I loved the reference to Icarus.
The thing that struck me most about the story itself was the amazing description. I could practically SEE Albus standing there, watching the snow collect in the letters of Ariana's tombstone; I could almost feel the snow beneath my feet. You really made me feel as though I were in the story, and that is talent!!
The story also gave me some complex questions about Albus' relationship with Gellert. This is the first story I've read that addresses his feelings, and it's made me wonder - Did Gellert feel the same way about him? Did he reciprocate those feelings, or did he simply use Albus' feelings against him? I know these questions aren't totally related to the story, but it's just the line of thinking that reading this gave me.
All in all, this is amazing! Well done! 10/10!
Author's Response: Thank you for stopping by this story! It's great to hear from you! :D
The poem is definitely worth reading, especially if you're interested in fantasy - it's also one of the sources for the "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies, so if you get the chance, give it a try. :)
It's fantastic to hear that you enjoyed the descriptions - it's challenging enough to write descriptions in a regular setting, but for a story of this length, one has to par back so much. The balance between description and action becomes even more crucial, and it's easy to let description take the back seat. Thank you so much for those complications - it means a lot that, even with the limitations set by the story's length, it was still able to bring you into the moment and make it come alive.
With Albus and Gellert, I've always had the idea that it was a one-sided relationship, where Albus at some point fell for the dashing, charismatic stranger from abroad. Gellert probably abused Albus's affections or maybe he just loved the idea of being adored, of having someone constantly worshipping him and doing whatever he asked. There's still a lot of Albus's perspective that I'm not certain about - there are too many ways of interpreting his love for Gellert, and not enough information in canon to narrow it down. I'm glad that this story made you think more about their relationship, though. This story highlights the selfish aspects of their relationship - how Gellert was willing to use the Dumbledores to further his own schemes, and when they fail, he flees; how Albus finally finds someone like him with ambitions and power, only to discover how selfish those things make a person. What Gellert actually feels is left out - not because it's irrelevant, but because it's inscrutable. Was he even capable of love? He's not like Voldemort, being too wild, far more based in uncontrolled, gleeful ambition than the dark hatred that consumes Tom Riddle. Grindelwald is a better villain than Voldemort because he's more complex and harder to read - he's not the opposite, but the equal.
I'm going to stop now to thank you again for reading and reviewing this story. :D Your review has left me with a lot to think about!