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Review:nott theodore says:
Hello again! And now I get to return to L'optimisme, too :D I've been away from this story for far too long.

The opening section was so interesting! I loved the way that Albus really reflected on his summer with Gellert there, and we got a real sense of what that time had meant to him, and how close he had probably come to joining Gellert on the journey that took him across Europe. The contrast between the opening sections and the later sections is great. At the start we get to see Albus's thoughts and nostalgia directed towards Gellert intensely, in comparison with the scenes when he is trying to live his life and get on with things as normal. Even then, Gellert is always there in his thoughts, but hidden from view. The description in the opening was lovely, too.

I found the reflection on Hogwarts as a home really interesting! I know in the books Harry thinks of Hogwarts as a home, and of him and Snape and Tom Riddle all finding a home there when they'd had no other, so the difference for Albus was intriguing. I think it makes sense that he wouldn't feel that it was entirely a home for him, maybe because he couldn't be truly happy anywhere after that horrible summer which changed his life forever? I think the line later about teaching giving him a purpose, rather than him wanting to teach, is really accurate for him.

The interview with Professor Black was great, too - I think you captured his character so well from what we know of him in the books. He's the sort of person who wouldn't want to be seen to beg and would always want to seem superior, and that came across really well. I liked Albus's honesty with him, and now we know he's going to begin at Hogwarts teaching, so I'm intrigued to see how actually having the purpose he wants so badly affects his thoughts towards Gellert, if it does at all.

The final scene, when Albus ran into Aberforth, made me want to give poor Albus a hug. I can completely understand Aberforth's animosity, though - if Albus lost everything that summer for someone he loved, then Aberforth lost everything too, because of someone he hated. Seeing his brother after that could only bring painful memories. I know that in later years they managed to reconcile a bit, but I think that encounter was a real reminder of what Albus had lost. Not only were most of his family dead, and Gellert far away, but his brother wanted nothing to do with him. You wrote it really powerfully.

Sian :)
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