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6 Reviews Found

Review #1, by Aphoride 

14th November 2015:
NICOLE! :D :D :D It's been far, far too long since I stopped by this story - and so, so regrettable that I haven't actually reviewed much of it at all (though I've read all of it so often!) so I'm stopping by to change that as much as I can tonight! :)

You know how much I love this story - or you should do, at any rate ;) - but I can't help but say it every time I stop by this, because, really, it is amazing. It's just... so entirely complete, you know? Like, an entire world in this story, it makes me forget that the world its in is JKR's because you've just taken it and made it your own so well, and so completely, and it's so, so good.

Also, there's this lovely sense of tension through the whole thing, which just puts me on edge and makes me wait for the unexpected - it's this lovely kind of mysterious quality which I can't quite describe, let alone even have any idea how to reproduce. It's an amazing skill you have, seriously! Your writing just really brings it to life - especially in that scene where Gellert and Aberforth fight, and Gellert steals his wand. The confusion you generate with that and then Gellert returning the wand and looking chastened is so clever and so mysterious - I really wanna know exactly what happened with that and why... but it's not necessary, you know? And it's just adding yet another layer to this, and it's so lovely! :)

I love your Gellert - the little tinges of violence, hints of madness and of danger with him, just beneath the surface. Though it kinda runs through all of them, though - the little strange moments with Ariana, just how unhinged she seems, in a way and at times; how frustrated and restless Albus seems, and how Aberforth seems to keep threatening to boil over. It's so very teenage in its way, you know? Like, the characters are so obviously young, but then the writing is somehow such high quality and so beautifully intricate, and I love how you've married the two together.

I love as well, how easily Albus' mood is lightened by meeting Gellert - there's something so telling about it, even though character-wise, he doesn't know, but we do - and how sceptical he is at the beginning about the tale of the three brothers and how it connects to the Hallows.

As always, your writing is just stunning. Seriously. I know I keep saying this, but tbh, I don't think it's ever going to get old or useless or worn out, so... ;) imma keep going :P Every wood seems so perfectly chosen in all of your stories, and the style you bring to them, the feel and everything, is just perfect for each one. I really, really don't know how you do it - but you're just so flawless, and it blows my mind each time! :)

Okay, so I already know what happens next (bad Aph... :P), but I love the sense of curiosity you give each chapter end - it's not quite a cliffhanger, as such, but I still want to read on so so much! I remember reading it for the first time and being so, so incredibly excited and curious and almost desperate to see what happens next, how Albus and Gellert and Aberforth and Ariana grow as characters, and how the relationships between them all develop.

This is a perfect, perfect story and I'm so sorry I wasn't back before now! Love it; as always! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Eep Laura! ♥ ♥ ♥

So your opinion of this fic really really really matters to me because you are like THE Albus/Gellert shipper of HPFF, and you write them so much and gah your versions of them are flawless, wand puns and all... :P So this review of yours is a real treasure to receive, thank you, thank you, lovely! ♥

I'm glad you like Gellert! Favourite character to write, next to Ariana! And you're absolutely right, every character in this fic is a little craycray...too much fiddling about with power, too much dabbling in the realms of magic that they don't understand well enough.

And I love what you said about the characters being so young...and therefore justifiably whiny, but that the fic doesn't get too bogged down in their angst...hopefully not? :P


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Review #2, by likeness_of_a_seabird 

31st January 2015:
Hufflepuff Hot Seat Review, round three!

I loved how different Albusís and Aberforthís encounters with Gellert were. They fitted so well their personalities; Aberforth was direct and almost rude (well, not almost; completely rude) and got into a scuffle with Gellert, losing his wand in the process. Albus, on the other hand, was polite to him and got to see another side of the newcomer. Thatís what I love about Gellert; the way he can show different sides of his personality to different people to get what he wants is so great.

I also liked the encounter between Kendra and Ariana and Bathilda. I wonder if this is the first time Kendra has had to obliviate Bathilda or if thereíve been other times as well. If there have been multiple times, it could at least partially explain her memory problems. Old age has obviously something to do with it but Iíve got the feeling her memory problems arenít entirely of natural origin. Whatever the origin, Iím certain Gellert will find it useful. :)

I found it so adorable Ariana insisted on giving the doll to Aberforth. Iím pretty sure I know from who it is supposed to protect him from (his name starts with G and ends with ellertÖ) Iím even more intrigued than before by Arianaís ability to predict the future (these hunches she has). Iím absolutely convinced itíll play an important role later on.

Someone said in the Deathly Hallows (Aberforth, I think? I canít remember exactly and I donít have my copy at hand so I could check) that Albus was delighted by Gellertís arrival because now he had someone who was as intelligent as he was to talk to, and it definitely shows. The way he was humming and almost skipping on his way home was almost hilarious to read about; the aloof and respectable Albus Dumbledore humming and skipping on the cobles! I wonder what Gellert was trying to accomplish by returning Aberforthís wand? Is he trying to win Albusís trust? I donít trust his sincerity for a second, nope, nope.

And the return of the mysterious Mister Thimble! Iím even more convinced that he is after the Hallows since he asked about the old wizarding familiesÖ

Loved this chapter!

- Emmi

Author's Response: Hi Emmi!

I'm kinda ashamed at how long it has taken me to respond to your very amazing review. Thank you so much for reading this chapter and leaving such a thorough and detailed review. I apologise for the extreme lateness of my reply. *hides* But gah!!! ♥

You're far too lovely, my dear.

I'm glad you noticed that Gellert exhibits different sides of his personality to differnet people. I suppose it all depends which folks he wants to make an impression on, which folks he wants on his side. Clearly, he has very little regard for Aberforth.

I wonder, too, if Kendra actually tampered with Bathilda's memories in canon. I wouldn't be surprised. :P It was mentioned in DH that Kendra wasn't a very neighbourly person toward Bathilda initially, and I'm taking things a step further here. I may or may not develop Kendra and Bathilda's relationship in greater detail in future chapters!

Yes, Ariana does seem to have these 'hunches', as you so aptly described it. I thought it would be interesting to depict her in a way that made her seem less like the broken, unpredictable and magically impaired individual she is, and more of the powerful witch she could have become, had that awful childhood incident never happened to her.

Albus skipping and humming indeed. Nope, that takes his respectability and aloofness down a shade! When I was writing that part, I was thinking about the older Albus Dumbledore with his strange and unconvetional humour, and I guess it translated mildly into this scene.

Ah, Gellert is such an untrustworthy character. I love writing him so much!

Thank you for your brilliant review, Emmi! This really means a lot to me, and rereading it now just made me smile. ♥

-teh


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Review #3, by CambAngst 

6th April 2014:
Hi, teh! I love getting another crack at this story. You're doing such a good job with it!

Poor Kendra! You did a great job of showing the strain that Ariana's care -- as well as her responsibilities to Albus and Aberforth in the wake of their father's imprisonment and death -- caused her. She seems like a shadow of her former self, gradually losing her strength and substance. It's easy enough to see what. Any little thing can apparently set off Ariana's episodes. The poor girl can't be left alone for any length of time. That has to put a huge strain on everyone around her.

Kendra is so dedicated to her daughter, though. She subdues Bathilda without hesitation, barely a thought given to what she's doing. I'm sure her apology is sincere after some fashion; she knows that what she's doing isn't right. But in the end, she does what she must to keep Ariana's secret safe.

I really like what you did with the confrontation between Aberforth and Gellert. You showed some common flaws between the two of them, like impatience and a quickness to violent solutions. But whereas Aberforth is rash and heated in his approach, Gellert is cold and calculating. He concedes the blow to his own face in order to get Aberforth's wand away from him. I'm making careful mental note of the fact that the allegiance of Aberforth's wand is now in question. If the wand is now loyal to Gellert and it comes to a duel...

Aberforth is so good to Ariana. It's no wonder that she loved him so deeply, even though it was Albus that she truly idolized. She's such a sweet girl, in spite of her problems. She's committed to trying to hold what's left of her family together. She knows that her brothers need each other, even though both are too stubborn to admit such weakness. I'm really curious about what she's done with the pine cone doll. You keep weaving these clever little details into your story and I have the feelings that many of them will surface again.

Gellert plays Albus pretty well in their first encounter. He isn't cloying or overly deferential; that would have made Albus suspicious. Instead, he treats him like an equal and he doesn't look down upon him for being bound to the "boring" village of Godric's Hollow. He holds just enough of a mystery in front of Albus to whet his appetite, but he doesn't come right out and ask for his help. He simply shows him a direction and then steps aside to allow Albus to decide whether to follow it. Very clever, indeed. And then the coup de grace: he gives Aberforth's wand back. In one smooth act, he shows thoughtfulness and contrition while placing a potentially tainted wand in the hand of a potential enemy. Genius!

I thoroughly enjoyed this chapter, to the point where I'm not quite sure whether this review does it justice. Other people's chapters are easier for me to review because I can always pick out a handful of passages that I want to specifically highlight. You write so smoothly and your work is so well-balanced that it's hard to pick out the high points. It's all excellent, but I can't very well copy and paste the whole thing. ;) Difficult, but it's a burden I bear happily. Great job!

Author's Response: Dan!

Gah, thank you for yet another wonderful review. It really is such a treat when a reader engages so deeply with the story, theorising about the characters and so on...I'm going to have to be really, really careful not to have any plot holes - or too many plotholes. :P

Taking care of Ariana does indeed put a huge strain on everyone responsible; that's what I was trying to show with Kendra, and how Albus is possibly doomed to go down that same path. In my opinion, when I was writing Kendra, I wanted to write someone absolutely bent on holding the remnants of her broken little family together, even if some of the decisions she makes are of an equivocal morality.

YES. You're the only reviewer to point out that Gellert conceded the blow to his face just to obtain Aberforth's wand. I got very excited when I saw your comment on that. You're incredibly perceptive! Aberforth is indeed the most selfless of the Dumbledores, and it was great to see that you understand Ariana's feelings for him, but also that she adores Albus so intensively. I'm quite looking forward to developing more of Ariana; she's my favourite character to write so far, namely because too many fics have relegated her character to a kind of mad, helpless, and irreparably damaged figure. I'm looking to change that.

All scenes will Albus and Gellert in them together are going to be pretty tricky for me to write, so it's great encouragement for me to read your comments about them. I'm glad this first meeting works for you!

Thank you once again for yet another brilliant review! I've enjoyed reading your comments and compliments, and they honestly mean a great deal to me. Thanks, Dan! ♥

teh


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Review #4, by patronus_charm 

2nd April 2014:
Yayaya, Iím sort of glad I didnít have time to review this straight after reading it as it gave me an excuse to come and read it again now Iím reviewing it :D

I loved the opening section when Bathilda discovered Kendra and Ariana as it was such a fantastic way to fit it with canon and made me view it in a completely different way. Your characterisation of Kendra was so fantastic I can barely describe it but it fitted perfectly with how I imagined her. There was the fierce loyalty to her daughter and the secret and the way she almost became predatory when Bathilda suggesting contacting St. Mungoís about her illness and then had to immobilise her. You humanised her though and it seemed as if she did regret what she had to do even if it meant protecting Ariana and that mix of emotions was really great!

Can I just say that I love Aberforth thanks to you? In that scene with Gellert I was just cheering him along throughout as heís just so good and loving and caring. He genuinely just wants to do whatís best for his sister and seeing that is so touching as sibling love is so rarely explored, and that contrasted nicely with this cold and vicious character of Gellert. I really liked it for another reason as this altercation gave some background as to why they never really got on and it will be interesting what future spats the pair of them have.

The scene at the graveyard with Ariana and Aberforth was so touching (I swear I use that word all the time when mentioning him :P). It just tied in really well with what I just said about Aberforth and we got to see more about the vulnerable character of Ariana. I canít help but wonder whether because she senses Albus blames her for their motherís death it will make her deteriorate more rapidly or not.

Ooh so they met! I almost canít cheer them on after Gellert got into that fight with Aberforth, but on the other hand theyíre both so curious Iím so happy we get to see them together as theyíre so fascinating to read. Again, I canít help but wonder whether Albusí infatuation with Gellert will make him believe in the Hallows more or whether he genuinely does think they exist.

A fabulous chapter, teh!

-Kiana

Author's Response: Gaahhh, Kiana! ♥

THANK YOU yet again for another fabulous review! Honestly, I feel so lucky to have you as a follower of this story; from the start, I didn't think I'd get many readers for this, because of the not-so-popular era and my slow updating speed. So, have more hearts: ♡ ♡ ♡ ❥

Aslkjlasf your comments on Kendra THANK YOU. She was one of the main characters in the original NaNo novel, but not in this fic, since she's already deceased. But still, I have a lot of material that I've written about her, so I feel like I know her character pretty well. Above all things, she wants to hold her family together, even if it means that her actions become a little morally ambiguous. Poor Bathilda, she hardly stood a chance against Kendra. But then again, Kendra is dead and Bathilda isn't, and won't be, at least not for a very long time.

Aberforth is seriously one of the biggest surprises for me. When I began writing, I thought that he would be sidelined a little, while I focused on Ariana, Albus and Gellert. But somehow he started playing a larger role in the story, which of course makes things more balanced, and develops the Dumbledore siblings in more detail. And also makes things far more complex to write. :P Aberforth, despite his odd nature, is the one who loves and adores Ariana the most, and this is something that she recognises. I also didn't expect Aberforth to meet Gellert first, but then I rearranged the chapter and thought, hmm, this is odd, I don't know if it will work, but let's try it out and see.

And YES, they met. That was like, the hardest scene to write EVER. My gosh. I honestly hope I did those two justice! As for the Hallows, you'll have to read more to find out! Wait, that means I have to write the next chapter. :P (I'm planning that out, and hopefully it won't take too long!)

Thank you so much for coming back to read, Kiana! ♥

teh


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Review #5, by Lululuna 

29th March 2014:
Hello, teh! :) I think this is the 4th of your 5 prize reviews? Something like that, anyway, I was so excited to see you updated this! :D

Can I just say that Theophilius Thimble is just an adorable name for a little old wizard? It sounds like something JKR would think up. I'm very intrigued by Bathilda's letters and the effect they might have on the story, and I like how well you've captured the formal yet friendly tone of the letters and the time period. The language the characters use is very believable.

I like how this chapter seemed to have three main sections to it - each of the Dumbledore siblings, and how that fits with the theme of the number three through the Hallows.

Kendra was standing at the kitchen table crushing Sopophorous Beans, a pile of thick, earth-clotted Gurdyroots at her side, her face half-curtained by shadow. I loved the little details like this, the descriptions of the almost mundane actions of the characters' lives. They really bring the story to life in a powerful, visual way, and for some reason this scene in particular stood out to me.

Kendra's character is fascinating here, how she seems trapped inside herself in the same way that Ariana is, how worn down and fatigued her spirit has become. I like how observant Ariana was about her mother, how observant and sensitive a girl she is. The moment where Kendra curses Bathilda to forget was so dynamic in showing how her sense of right and wrong when it comes to her daughter are warped and how she'll intrude upon Bathilda in order to protect Ariana - that moment showed how she's almost mad with her desperation to keep going. Changing somebody's memory seems like such a pervasive thing. That section also had me wondering how Ariana's life might have been if she had been sent into the hospital - considering the Muggle treatment of the time for the mentally impaired, it probably would have been a harsh experience, but I wonder if there is some rationale to Bathilda's claim that Ariana should not be posing a danger to the Muggles of the village.

My poor Bathilda, the Dumbledores are so mean to her! :( From calling her old and foolish, to wiping her memory. She's brilliant and beautiful, guys, stop treating her so harshly! :P

...the Crone interjected, her face protruding from the wall like an unsightly growth. I loved the mention of the women in the walls - that was one of my favourite parts of the last chapter, and it's so interesting to see how they're a regular part of Ariana's daily life, always there and pestering her and making little comments which both reflect and oppose the way she seems to see herself.

Gellert is written perfectly here, and it's fascinating to see how he treats both Dumbledore boys so differently. The explanation that he read about Albus' work at Bathilda's and how he heard about Albus makes me think that Gellert planned to befriend Albus, or at least to use him.

His treatment of Aberforth was just despicable, but suited how underhanded and greedy he is. I was quite surprised to see him return the wand to Albus, but that does make sense - after all, Albus might hesitate to befriend him if he knew that Gellert had stolen Aberforth's wand, no matter their strained relationship. I found that whole encounter really interesting, and like how you used the HP-lore of "winning" a wand in the story. :) It shows how poor Aberforth is really no match for Gellert.

It also made me sad how Albus didn't defend his brother, but admitted that he has a quick temper instead of giving him the benefit of the doubt. And how Ariana knows that he blames her for their mother's death - you do a really good job of showing how Albus is quite self-involved and unable to love his siblings purely unconditionally. Another detail I found interesting, though, was how Albus is trying to sell his writing to make money, presumably to support his family. I felt that Aberforth blamed Albus for paying more attention to his work than to his siblings, but he is doing it for them as well. So that showed yet another misunderstanding between the brothers, and how they are just unable to empathize with one another.

Then the contrast with Gellert's greedy underhandedness and then his charm with Albus is also wonderful. It shows what a slippery person he is, how he manipulates people and can change his face like a second skin.

They pass stone angels with outstretched wings and hands clasped in prayer, square crosses with jagged stumps of arms, weathered arches, wrecked slabs of granite and marble veined with dirt, and crumbling mausoleums with missing doors and unimaginable darknesses within. I absolutely loved this section and the descriptions of the village and the churchyard. Just the word "churchyard" feels so delightfully old-fashioned, and I like how there's that forlorn, silent kind of feeling to it brought to life by your beautiful writing. The mentions of the ghosts in the church were wonderful as well, and such a great detail.

Well, I'm going to run out of room, and I blame you for writing such a lovely story that I just want to ramble about! :P This was a flawless chapter which I really enjoyed, and I'm looking forward to the next one already. Amazing job, as usual, my dear! ♥

Author's Response: Gah, thank you for this absolutely amazing monster review, Jenna! ♥ Your comments were absolutely wonderful to read.

Ah, I'm so glad you thought the tone and language of the letters were believable, and this really means a lot coming from you (you write historical fic so well!).

I loved your comments on Kendra as well. I've written quite a lot about Kendra actually, so I know her character fairly well, though she won't feature so heavily in this story, given that she's already deceased and all. I feel that for Kendra, keeping the family intact is of the utmost importance to her, to not let that incident in the past along with Percival's imprisonment and early death tear her family apart. I think it was mentioned in DH that she wanted to keep Ariana home because if the Ministry knew of her dangerous and uncontrollable condition, they would lock her up in St. Mungo's for good. I think it was also mentioned that Ariana's powers were a threat to the Statute. So I think I drew quite a lot from canon there, with regards to why Ariana remains at home instead of treatment being sought for her. And I think you're definitely right about how hospitals during this time period would have been a lot harsher to people with conditions like Ariana's, compared to present day hospitals.

Poor Bathilda! :( The Dumbledores do seem rather impatient around her!

And I'm glad you like Gellert; he's hard to figure out, and sometimes when I'm writing him, I have to stop and think, what exactly is he up to now?

There are plenty of misunderstandings between the siblings; I'm glad you noticed! I feel that sometimes they're a bit self-absorbed, or they're resentful toward each other, and they're all struggling to cope with this new living situation in the wake of their mother's death. I think Albus is only about seventeen or eighteen, and already he has to make such sacrifices.

I love that word as well! Churchyard. I had so much fun depicting that scene, and describing the setting of the cemetery. I had to look through quite a number of Google pictures to see how cemeteries looked like across the centuries.

Ah, thank you so, so much for this fantastic review! This has just made my day, and I'm so glad you enjoyed this chapter! I'm planning out the fourth one now, and hopefully will start writing soon! Thank you, lovely! ♥

teh


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Review #6, by marauderfan 

29th March 2014:
Yay new chapter!!

Flammable sneezes... dragon pox must be the worst. Ok now for the real review.

Ooh, the part about Kendra doing a Memory Charm on Bathilda was intense! Bathilda made a good point, though. Also, I think someone's put a Memory Charm on me, because I can't remember (if it was even mentioned in DH) why they never took Ariana to St. Mungos for possible treatment in the first place. But you made a mention of it here when Kendra reacted, so I'm hoping you go into that a little in future chapters.

Ariana's POV is always interesting to read. I can never tell what's real and what's not, which is rather fitting as I suppose it's all real for her, including the crone in the wall.

I didn't expect Aberforth to be the first one to meet Grindelwald! That encounter did not really surprise me, though, given their personalities, both a bit hotheaded but Gellert more in control of his temper and much more manipulative. And after this, I can certainly see why Aberforth would be especially annoyed at Albus for spending time with Gellert - someone of whom his first impression was already negative, and then adding that to the fact that Albus stops looking after Ariana.

So Albus met Gellert! I think that despite his insistence that there's not much to the Deathly Hallows, he's going to start researching all he can about them because of what Gellert said, and of course because I think Albus is the type of person to have to go research something just to find out more and satisfy curiosity.

Excellent chapter, teh!

Author's Response: *squishes*

Eee, thank you, Kristin! ♥

I can't take credit for the flammable sneezes; I read in the HP Wikia that dragonpox sufferers may sneeze sparks, and I just thought it would be funny if those sparks were actually highly flammable haha. Guess a person with dragon pox should never go to a gas station.

Glad you thought the bit with Kendra and Bathilda was intense. In my original NaNo novel, on which this fic is based, Kendra was one of the main characters, but she's not going to have a very large role here. I think, from DH, it was mentioned that Ariana's accident and resulting condition was kept secret because her powers were a threat to the Statute of Secrecy, and she would be confined to St. Mungo's for the rest of her life. So, so far, I'm sticking to canon here! :P

I didn't expect Aberforth to be the first one to meet Grindelwald, either! I honestly thought it would be Albus. But this chapter went and wrote itself, and at the end when I was editing, I decided to swap things around. I'm not sure how this fic is going to pan out yet, but it won't have that many chapters, so I'm going to move through things fairly quickly. Gellert is a bully, baha!

And the Hallows, ah. More about that in the next chapter, which I'm going to have to think about very carefully!

Thank you so much for your lovely review, Kristin! ♥

-teh


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