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Review:SilentConfession says:
Hey! I'm here for our TGS review swap!

This is a brilliantly done story. i've read it twice now and the story just leaps from the screen so vividly. I think it's really cool what you've done with it. It is such an unknown history and you've really added some interesting elements to it that have captured my imagination. I really wish there was more on this and who Ariana was in the series or somewhere to flesh out the moment more. It seems like a really rich history and i've always been curious about it.

One of my favourite elements that you've added is the raw magic that seemed to be pouring from Ariana. I've never thought of it that way. Also with how you made Gellert try and harness that power was really powerful and showed not only his manic desire for power and greatness with no empathy of how it would affect others. It really tied well with the story of Dumbledore and showed a lot about his character. What was chilling for me was his willingness or ability to sell his soul to the devil for Gellert. It was a good backdrop to have this story take place though. To show Dumbledore's guilt and emotion with all that in mind.

I also liked how it wasn't much of an accident. I mean, i'm still left guess how intentional it was and why Dumbledore did it in the end. Whatever the case it's taken him to the point that he'd even think about splitting his soul to ease the pain. It just shows the turmoil that Dumbledore is experiencing, the weight of The Albatross rests on his shoulders and is left festering in his soul.

I like the rawness of this. how it shows Dumbledore at one of his lowest points in life and that he still seems young. He still has a lot of growing but has already experienced so much with his life.

This is the type of story that i think I may never fully get. Not that i don't find it beautiful and the imagery wonderful. I can experience what Dumbledore is experiencing but it just seems like there are layers in this story that a simple read won't uncover and different interpretations that a person could come to about why Albus did it. Was it to save Ariana from Gellert or something else? I liked the confusion of this though, the ambiguity and how it isn't just laid out for us. It reflects what Dumbledore is experiencing- the angst and confusion and how he doesn't really understand it himself at the moment. All he knows is that he's taken down a picture of innocence and from there his life has fallen into chaos. Really beautiful story here!

This is really great piece and i loved reading it. It's amazing that you can fit so much into one piece and that there are so many metaphors and symbols littered throughout that really bring the story together. This is really great and i'm glad i was able to read it!!

Author's Response: Thank you for this lovely review! I'm pleased that you enjoyed the story (those swaps always give me a spot of worry - I'd hate to leave someone with a story they don't end up liking) and it means a lot to hear these compliments from you!

The history of the Dumbledore family is very rich, and the taste of it that we gleamed from the books only leaves one wanting to know more - we know the barest details, and it's almost impossible to understand what these characters were like at that time, or just what was wrong with Ariana. Her disability is an interesting aspect of Rowling's magical world because it gestures toward the source of magic and more explicitly demonstrates how easily that source can be corrupted. Magic becomes a curse, like an extra part of the soul - it's not like other fantasy stories where magic is connected to one's life force.

Now that you mention the way Albus is willing to sell his soul for just one kiss, I can see how Ariana's "corrupted" magical state can reflect Albus's own corruption, how he constantly places his own desires ahead of his responsibilities, even ahead of his own needs. And he's loved someone even more selfish than him. This realization could tear him apart, driving him mad, yet somehow he bears the pain - he spends the rest of his life with this pain, living by it. Maybe this is why he sacrifices himself in the end, seeing that sacrifice is the ultimate virtue in Rowling's magical world - it's the only way he can relieve his pain and find redemption. His story is incredibly complex, not merely because of his long life, but moreso because of how he lived it, every event in his life seemingly to have a considerable effect on wizarding history.

I love to hear that you like the rawness of this story. :D That's the kind of emotional impact I was hoping for!

You're not alone in not being able to fully get this story - reviewers keep pointing out things that I didn't notice when writing that only add another layer to the story. There are many ways of reading the images and allusions. I wonder if part of this has to do with the limitations of the word count - it's harder to be exacting with only 500 words to work with, leaving a lot more room for interpretation. Another important thing is of course the way that none of these characters actually know what happened - Albus takes the blame, but it does not necessarily mean that he's guilty of the actual murder. It all happened in a moment, and it's significant to note that, in this story, Albus is remembering - all we're seeing are his memories, the snatches of light, colour, and sound that he pieces together in his mind. There's nothing that can be pinned down as "truth".

Thank you again for reading and reviewing this story! ^_^

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