RoxiMalfoy from the forums, finally here for our Review swap! I was so sure I had reviewed this chapter back when I did the 1st one, but evidently not. I know I've read this one before, but since it was so long ago, I decided to re-read the first 2 chapters all over again. Which honestly didnt bother me at all, cuz your writing is SO BEAUTIFUL!! I'm SO happy to see that you won a Dobby! I remember voting for this fic in like every category it was nominated in that year, so congrats on that, lol. It was definitely well deserved!
The first time I read this tho, I totally was NOT expecting to be reading from the POV of Gellert Grindelwald. That switch was such a nice surprise. I've never read anything featuring him in it like this before, so all I know of him is what little we learned in cannon. That being said, your characterization of him feels like it was pulled directly out of Jo's world! I dont know HOW you've done it with such little information to go on, but this version of Grindelwald just feels so right, and so natural. Every little detail you have created fits seamlessly into what we already know of him from the books. But then you take it one step further, and expand upon what little information we have already been given, and make him into this very deep and relatable character. From now on, I dont think I'll ever be able to look at Grindelwald the same way again, lol!
I LOVE it when a story here at HPFF gives me a whole new outlook on things, and this was no exception! Cuz you never would expect such a notoriously dark wizard as Grindelwald to be so sweet, endearing, and capable of such strong feelings of love. But then again, at sixteen years of age, I also find it difficult to believe that he would be in full-on dark wizard, take over the world mode, lol. But you can definitely see the beginning stages of that particular mind-frame starting to blossom here. I know that alot of people compare Voldemort to Grindelwald, but the two of them really arent all that similar, if you think about it. Sure, they shared many of the same belief systems, but what makes Voldemort so evil is that he was literally incapable of love. He was born of a loveless conception, then raised in an orphanage with no family to help nurture him during his upbringing. Grindelwald on the other hand; he did have a family. He had the support system that Tom Riddle never knew, and then, he also had Albus.
Personally, I do not think that Dumbledore, even at such a young age, could ever have been attracted to someone like Tom Riddle. So if the two dark wizards were as similar as people like to assume, then it would not be likely that Dumbledore would have fallen for Grindelwald the way that we know he did. Cuz as far as we know, Gellert is the only one that Albus ever had feeling for like this. (Much like Snape was with Lilly.) Sometimes in life we only get that 1 true love, and it's highly unlikely that Dumbledore -THE Albus Dumbledore- could have given his heart away to someone who was truly evil. So I totally get where it is you are writing from here, and I must say that I am absolutely mesmerized by it! I'm so glad, and so relieved to see that Gellert is NOT just another copy of Lord Voldemort in this story.
Wow, I just went off on this HUGE tangent without even meaning to, lol!! You see what your story has evoked in me already?!? This has really got me thinking quite a bit, for real tho. Cuz I was one of those people who thought that Grindelwald & Voldemort were way more similar than that. But now that I think about it, there really is no way that that could have been possible. Not at first, anyway. But we all know how both of these boys turn out in the end, so it will be fascinating to see the ways in which their characters grow and develop from here. I cannot wait to see where you take the two of them from this point forward...
Getting back to the actual review part tho - sorry for betting so distracted, haha... The language in this. OMG, dont even get me started on the language in these first 2 chapters, lol! It is so beautiful, and poetic, and rich in detail, and just so astoundingly profound! How did you do that?!? Not only was it perfect in regards to these two characters, but it's also extremely relevant to the time period as well. This all takes place in 1899 after all, so the way that they speak is absolutely beautiful in every single way. People really dont talk like that anymore, and it's a shame. Your English is exquisite though Aph, and I feel like I myself have already learned a thing or two, just by reading this, lol! ;)
I loved how the reoccurring theme of silence carried over from the 1st chapter into this one as well. Really, everything that you have to say about the subject is so amazingly detailed, and spot on. I'm so terrible at describing those awkward silences in a conversation, but you do it so beautifully here, OMG! I could go on and on about how amazing this was, but I think I've rambled here for long enough... I will point out the one (and only) thing I noticed that needs fixing was in this paragraph here:
The few memories I have of that summer which are not of the way your hair glowed in firelight and the way your eyes lit up and shone when you saw me in the same way they would shine when you spoke of a fascinating theory or your Hogwarts, are fleeting and strangely blurred, as though a careless painter has tipped water onto a landscape, and so much of Wales is now a spoiled masterpiece, the colours leaking and running across each other, until I cannot remember how it was supposed to look.
That whole entire thing is just one long run-on sentence. Idk if that was intentional, or if perhaps it was a formatting thing, but you may wanna go back and break that up with some commas or periods or something. I feel silly for pointing out something so small, but really everything else was PERFECT! ♥