43 Reviews Found

Review #1, by ImaRavenclaw 

3rd October 2016:
Hello Laura, finally here with your first prize review! (Sorry that it took so long).

First of all I'd like to say, that I've been eyeing this story since my first month on HPFF, but as my fear for reading this era and my business, I never got to it and ended up forgetting about it.


I swear I will tell you in every single review how much I adore your description. Your words are so powerful. Bone chilling, swoon inducing, or intricate and well thought out. I simply adore reading the words you write, for they make me see into the characters/narrators souls.

I loved how you opened, talking about words as weapons and how powerful they are.

I can tell that this is from Albus's point of view, and I really enjoy that. The way he talks about Gellert is pure adoration.

As usual you've left me with no words. Your transition from sweet light morning romance to action and suspense was fast but very well written.

The ending of this chapter was so powerful!

I'm excited to read the next chapter, and hope to get to it soon. You know how RL gets sometimes :(

Overall I really enjoyed it, and it was very good.

Yours sincerely,

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Review #2, by maraudertimes 

6th March 2016:
Hi! Here for the HPFF Review-a-Thon and for our review swap!

I don't usually read Dumbledore centric fics, but for some reason I was really drawn to this one. And I'm so glad! I really like how you really captured Dumbledore and his thoughts are really well developed and you've really done his character justice.

This story is so bittersweet, and I really love the beginning. It's a whirlwind love affair between two kids who are just beginning to figure out who they are and it's so pure and innocent in that sense. That they have to constantly sneak around makes it seem that much more normal - that Albus doesn't have a brother and sister to take care of, that they won't eventually part ways, that Gellert won't eventually turn his back on Albus. I think that it's exactly right for the situation and you've really written that well.

I really liked the ending, even if it was sad. You added detail to Ariana's death in a way that showcased the absolute insanity of the situation and Albus's deepest thoughts and fears. I was amazing to get a closer look at how he feels - obviously he feels guilty seeing as he was immensely guilty in the books - but you really added another dimension to that guilt and it made the scene that much more in every single way.

This was such a great story and I loved how you wrote in this era - it's very reminiscent of older books and letters and very proper. It really made me feel like I was in that era! Great job and thank you so much for the swap!
Lo :)

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Review #3, by NPE 

5th February 2016:
Hi Aph,

Apologies for the mix up yesterday, here is my actual review of the chapter :)

I really enjoyed your portrayal of Dumbledore. Writing almost in the style of a memoir, particularly when attempting to encapsulate a Dumbledore of a different nature than the one in the books is quite a challenge. I think you pulled it off very well.

There are great hints and clues about some of his talents, his regrets, but also his genuine affection for Grindelwald and the pining for him carried through his words. There is an element of loathing at play, but most of all we are exposed to Dumbledore’s worries and fears. There is also this earnest, yet saccharine and melodramatic thrust to the chapter provided by Dumbledore which reads really well on the page.

I like the fact you start it with sort of a graceful segue which depicts Dumbledore’s intelligence and unique method of reflective thoughts about time.

It felt very authentic to me.

The only CC I feel I can offer are based on the limitations of the format rather than your writing which I like. I think any issues over the ideas coming circular or melodramatic are unfair, because that is what Dumbledore is like at this point in time.

I do think though, that even Dumbledore has to be complicated and confused in his feelings, especially when you are basically examining his mind here. You depict Dumbledore really well – but to mw these comments were a bit too pointed:

- beg you to please God have mercy upon me
- But I did not hate you then. That came later

Though I did like it a lot, as you can see from my review.

Looking forward to the next chapter.



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Review #4, by Sinterklaas 

4th December 2015:
Ho, ho, hello!

Silence does heed great power -- it will be a sad day in Winterklaasville when all is for silent. Oh Dumbledore... everything was starting out so wonderfully beautiful and then suddenly it turned tragic :(. Most tragedies are sudden, however, so the swiftness is well-executed! Rest easy, Ariana...a beautiful character in a beautifully written piece!

Here's hoping you have a lovely Holiday Season!

Author's Response: Hey there - thank you so much for stopping by, Sinterklaas! :D

It would be - it's one of those strange things, but I do like writing about silence; my drama teacher always used to tell us how important it was, as did my music teacher, and that kinda stuck with me for this :) Gah, thank you - I'm so glad you liked it, and yeah, it was sort of only ever going to have a tragic ending, which is a shame, but necessary, really (even if not in canon :P). Ariana really does get a pretty rubbish lot in this, poor girl, but I'm so happy you liked her, even if she wasn't around for long :(

Thank you for the review - it was such a lovley surprise to get - and I hope your holiday season has been good so far! :)

Aph xx

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Review #5, by Shadowkat 

26th October 2015:
Here a bit late for our swap! (Darn you with your organized reviews, it's going to make mine look bad! I suck at those. XD)

Well, it took me a minute to realize who it was, but once I did it really made sense. That's what I get for getting four hours of sleep and skimming over the cover page. Oops.

But dang, I'm going to have to come back later to read, and I get why this was awarded a dobby last year! Dumbledore sounds so Dumbledore, and it just...gosh. I always love stories with him and Gellert, you know? And there just aren't enough of them either. It's a shame, because I love the thought of it, of this era!

The writing was good, nice flow. The only thing I could find is a few too many semicolons, and that's likely because I'm not used to seeing them much!

Author's Response: Hey there, Kat! :) Thank you so much for stopping by! :D (haha, I tend to do them asap so I don't forget, haha, so it's not quite so organised, in a way? :P)

Haha - no worries about it! It's not exactly too explicit in the beginning about who it is, so I get it ;)

Thank you so much! (I still can't believe that happened!) I love Albus and Gellert, too, so I totally get it! I loved writing Albus in this, too, and all the innocence which then sort of gets lost later on, so I'm so glad you like it! :)

Yeah, no worries - I know I have problems with grammar sometimes/often, haha, I'll look over it soon enough! :)

Thank you so much for the lovely review - it was so great to get! :)

Aph xx

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Review #6, by Penelope Inkwell 

17th September 2015:
Hello again! It's me, reading through the Dobby noms--congratulations, yet again!

In others, we are the oppressors, spiting hatred, a kind of verbal violence. It is in moments like that we feel at our most powerful, when we do not need to raise a hand to make people kneel and crawl and weep.

No one talks about silence.

It is the forgotten part of conversations, the part no one thinks about or considers as important, but, really, which defines everything. There is nothing quite so terrifying as a pause, only a second’s worth of silence. Your heart quickens, your mouth dries and your palms sweat; you wait, anxious, suddenly second-guessing yourself about everything you thought you knew, wondering if, maybe, you were wrong. In the hands of a master, it is an intense, deadly weapon, choking you without requiring any force, any malice, anything other than itself.

--this whole passage is phenomenal. It just really is.

You do a great job with balancing words and emotion. This fic obviously revels in word usage (in a way that I think suits Dumbledore quite well), but it doesn't gum up the works, as can sometimes happen. I feel like the emotion still really shines through--especially the pain and confusion and horror of Ariana's death.

I think you've also done a really good job of capturing Dumbledore's voice--academic, but still emotionally attached. Wise. Occasionally self-deprecating. It really suits his character.

I've never seen a fic in which he was this forgiving of Grindelwald, or willing to be this vulnerable in front of him, so that's a very interesting take. He seems a bit more secure of Gellert's affections here, and I'm interested to see how that's going to go.

I can almost hear you laughing at me; I almost wish I could.
--this was so sad. :(


We are warned against it, wary of their power since young,
--I wasn't sure, or anything, but I thought that "since young" might not flow as well as some other options, like "since we are young", or "from our youth"? But, like I said, I'm not certain those are better, by any means, it's just a thought, because "since young" stuck out a little, to me.

spiting hatred
--should this be "spitting hatred?"

Excellent work, but then I'm hardly surprised. Your way with words really is incredible, though.


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Review #7, by HeyMrsPotter 

13th September 2015:
Laura, congratulations on yet another (inevitably well-deserved) Dobby nomination!

Your writing is just so incredible. This chapter reads like a love letter, each word is just perfectly placed and beautiful. It really feels like it was actually written by Dumbledore himself. There's such a subtle but painfully real sense of loss and sadness in his words. Have you managed to break into JKR's home and steal her writing or something?!

As always, I loved it and cannot wait for more!


Author's Response: Ah, DEE! :) Thank you so so much - I'm so grateful for all the nominations, it's blown my mind completely! :D

Gah, thank you! I love writing this story - it really is just my baby - and I really wanted to make it more emotional than action-packed or anything, which I know runs the risk of dragging severely, so I'm so so glad you like it! :) And wow, that is way way too much of a compliment! *blushes* Thank you so much! :)

Thank you so much for the wonderful review! :)

Aph xx

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Review #8, by Frankie05 

31st August 2015:
Hey Aph,

You are a brilliant writer. I seriously am at a loss for words at what to say to this story. I felt like I was reading C.S. Lewis. Lord have mercy. I had to concentrate to follow along (not s bad thing you are just extremely talented!)

I read a Albus/Gellert earlier this week and I thought I'd read yours :). It's going to prove difficult (only because I am dense sometimes )

I like how you started this off- talking about what is said in silence is often the most profound thing and then you take us through their relationships and the silence of it all especially in the mornings which seem to be Dumbledores favorite part of their relationship.

Also the scene where Ariana dies is so beautifully described. Seriously. Why are you so good at describing things. It's impeccable! You described the fight so well and the misguidings behind each of the attacks and then her death! And then poof. Bye Gellert. And now I'm sad.

Gosh this was so good. So very good. Smarty pants (in the most loving of ways)


Author's Response: Hey Frankie! :) Thank you so much for stopping by! :)

Omigosh, thank you so much! As a girl who was somewhat raised on CS Lewis, Tolkien, etc. that's huge, huge praise to me, so thank you so much! Yeah, I know it can be pretty tough going - it's pretty dense :P - so no worries ;)

Ooh, Albus/Gellert - careful, if you read too many you'll be converted ;) They are the only OTP, though, at least for me :P

This is actually a re-write, hence the 2012 label on the story shell, and I really wanted to talk more about more abstract things because it was so easy for me to slip into it in the voices I created for them, so I kinda felt it should have it's own place, and then connect in to the main body, so I'm so glad you liked it! I wasn't sure how well it would work :P And yeah, I think the silence is important to him, despite how good they were at words - or maybe because of it, who knows? :P

Ahhh, thank you! :) I'm so happy you liked that scene because it was surprisingly hard to write. JKR didn't describe it much in the books, but enough that it was so hard to do my own rendition of it, you know? So I'm so glad you liked it! And yeah, it's a pretty sad ending for a first chapter - but both necessary and inevitable, really :P

Thank you so so much for the wonderful review! (And I'll take the smarty pants and run, haha :P) It was so lovely to get! :)

Aph xx

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Review #9, by RavenclawFTW 

17th August 2015:
Hey Aph! Here for the swap and BvB.

So I've honestly been avoiding reading this fic for a while now because something about Albus/Gellert really, really stresses me out. Like...I'm too light-hearted a person to handle a ship that's doomed from the start, y'know? Plus I think it's so so hard to capture Albus in fic because he's so brilliant and we really only scratch the surface of his character in canon, so I'm always slightly apprehensive to see him in fic.

That said...yowza, Aph. You capture Albus's voice so well. I have no problem reconciling what we know of him, and how we see him as an old man weighed down with regret, with the voice you're creating here. The numerous asides and the ways his thoughts drift in so many directions is perfect, and I also love the bittersweet tone you're hitting about his relationship with Gellert. It's so easy to see how Albus romanticized and idolized him when he was younger, but how he came to understand more about Gellert over time and see his faults.

I also love how you've shown Albus's reaction to Ariana's death. It fits so perfectly with his actions in canon and also seems to anchor a lot of his later regret, which seems to be based not only on her death but also his reaction to everything that was going on. I'm curious to see if you're going to touch on the funeral, especially because I really enjoy the hints of Aberforth's character you've introduced in this chapter.

I think it basically goes without saying but I'll say it anyway: as ever, your descriptions are so wonderfully constructed and totally evocative. The details you think to include, like the cherry tree outside the window and the blood on Gellert's collar, paint such a vivid and poignant image in my mind. Ugh. You're ridiculously talented, Aph.

Okay, I think that's about all I have to say for this first chapter, but I will definitely be back for more sometime soon! Seriously incredible job with this introduction, Aph.


Author's Response: Hey there, J! :) Thank you so much for dropping by!

Haha, no worries, it's definitely a very tragic ship - and this is pretty much canon (I think? :P), so, well, everyone knows how it'll end :P And yeah, Albus is one of those characters who's fleshed out so much in the books it's a really intimidating task to take him on - I get that completely! ;)

Gah, thank you so much! :D Since writing this I've actually got strangely comfortable writing him as a character :P Which is weird coz normally I avoid major canon characters like the plague... and the bittersweet thing... I love the kind of looking back style for this, it's so useful, I think, for this kind of story because it allows for two perspectives on things, you know? First impressions and second, almost :P

Thank you! :D It was really strange writing that scene - it gave me a bit of trouble at the beginning, but then ended up being easier than I thought, so it was a very weird scene in total. I really wanted to give him reasons to dislike himself for it, and, well, not crying and just shock seemed a pretty good way to go :P (Poor Albus...) The funeral may come into it later? But not immediately, no. Otherwise I'd never get past 1900 :P (But Aberforth will come back into it, of course! ;))

I love details - I have a tendency to write things and think there aren't enough details, so I'm so glad you liked them! :) Thank you so much! :)

Gahhh, thank you so much - this was an amazing review to get! :)

Aph xx

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Review #10, by blackballet 

19th July 2015:
Hi there! I'm here from the Ravenclaw Review Battle for team Bronze

First off, I'd like to say that I love how you've started this first chapter. I think it really helps set up the tone and mood for the story, and flows together easily. It switches perfectly from an analysis to a narration of someone's (main characters?) life It doesn't seem at all forced, and eases nicely into the beginning of your story.
The introduction to Dumbledore and Grindelwald perfectly sets their relationship as well. It explains enough without being obtuse, and also reflects the acknowledgment of same-sex relationships in the 1800s- non-existent.
When Dumbledore begins recalling the events leading up to Ariana's demise, it is also clear that the story has taken a turn for the darker. It didn't give anything away, but I somehow immediately knew that something bad was going to happen. Your technique is SO thorough and subtle!
Finally, after Ariana's death, the silence comes back into play. The fact that you tied together all of this is so fantastic. It fit so well with the beginning and was not redundant in the slightest. It also fits very well with Dumbledore's canon character, and is something I could see him calling back on.
Overall, I loved this first chapter so much! It could definitely stand alone as a one-shot, and I can't even imagine how you've expanded on it. Thanks for such a lovely piece!


Author's Response: Hey there - thank you so much for stopping by! :)

Thank you so much! It was strange writing it - I wrote the analytical part and wasn't sure to include it or not really, since I didn't know if it really worked as a section, so I'm so glad you liked it! :)

Yeah, I really didn't want to make their relationship incredibly overt, because, as you say, it wasn't at the time - but at the same time, it needed to be overt enough, because obviously they lived it, you know? Kind of a balancing act to do there...

Thank you! :) Ariana's death was one of those scenes which was so terrifying to actually write, because it needed to be right, I felt, so it was really hard to do. I really liked getting to tie it back to silence, too - though it wasn't planned at all, haha. And yeah, writing suspensful things is something I've worked on before this, so it wasn't perhaps as hard in terms of technique as it could have been (before I practised it I was so bad at it, haha), but I still struggled a bit with that scene so I'm so glad you liked it! :)

Thank you so so much for the lovely review - and thank you again for stopping by! It was such a nice thing to get; I'm just so glad you liked the story! :)

Aph xx

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Review #11, by toomanycurls 

16th July 2015:
Dear Laura,

I feel that it is long past due for me to start in on this. I feel as if the first chapter was so complete that I am curious as to what the rest of the story is about. It will be difficult to address everything I like about this chapter but I will try.

The exposition and theme around silence gave this chapter a wonderful tone and thoughtfulness that I'd expect from Dumbledore. I thought it very fitting that Dumbledore would use the pensieve to keep his private, treasured memories as well as those of great importance to the rest of the world.

I appreciate that you started with Gellert and Albus already together - and I'm guessing that this will either go through the fallout of their relationship or go back and start from its beginning. Their intimacy is delightful. I love that you managed it with such tenderness and discretion. Even in their tender moments, I can sense a bit of a power play between them (not wanting to ask him to stay but not wanting him to leave).

This might be my favorite Ariana death scene that I've read. Albus' response in the moment certainly seemed to anchor his guilt in later years. I liked his concern for Gellert and almost disregard for Aberforth (I'm pretty sure he was barely mentione in the last section). One thing that also stood out to me here is Albus' need to see the best in people - wanting to think Gellert agonized over Ariana's death.

You have a brilliant opening chapter and I will jump into more of this later!


Author's Response: Hey Rose! :) Thank you so much for stopping by! :)

Thank you so so much! :) Yeah, it's strange because the first two chapters, especially this one, sort of go through an entire relationship, almost - the two months - so they sort of are pretty complete, in their own way? So yeah, I totally get that! :)

Thank you! I really like having themes for chapters, tbh, as they help me to focus on things (I'm so bad otherwise...) so I'm so glad you liked that - yeah, I always kinda assumed those memories would be in there; too precious and too painful, and also too secret, almost, in their own way.

Yeah, it's going to go on forwards, though there will inevitably be glimpses of that summer and what happened, so it sort of does both, in a way? But I always wanted to explore more what happened afterwards, since to me that was always more interesting :) I'm so happy you like their relationship - I really wanted to make it seem so real, if a little tense, and yeah, there is a sense of power between them, definitely!

Haha, thank you? :P But seriously, thank you! I quite like writing death scenes (coz that's not weird at all... :P) and hers was fun, if difficult to write. I really wanted to give Albus reason to feel guilty, but equally less reason than perhaps he takes on himself, if that makes sense. And yeah, he really wants to think it mattered to Gellert - a side-effect of still caring, I think.

Thank you so so much for the amazing review - it was so so lovely to get; I'm so glad you liked the chapter! :)

Aph xx

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Review #12, by cherry_pop94 

19th June 2015:
Hi Aph!

Here for the blue vs. bronze battle!

Ack! This story is lovely so far and I can't believe it's taken me so long to get here. You really are such a remarkable writer, though I know that I've told you this a million times now :P

I love the relationship with Gellert and Albus that you've built up here. It seems to real and so strong. Albus's whole world revolved around him, but Gellert turned into this monster later in life. It's honestly so tragic, but Albus still loves him so much.

I love how you've written in first person, but addressing a 'you!' That's such a difficult thing to write well, but you make it seem so natural. And in this perspective, Albus reliving Ariana's death is so much more painful.

Basically, this was amazing and wonderful and you're just such a fantastic writer!!

Much love,


Author's Response: Hey Stefanie! :) Thank you so much for stopping by! :)

Ah, thank you so much - I'm just so glad you like it! They're one of my OTPs, Albus and Gellert, so this story is like my baby - I'm always so nervous about how people are going to receive it and all... and thank you - you're so sweet! :)

Thank you! :D I really love them as a pairing and writing them was actually a lot less difficult than I thought? There's a very specific voice, I think, but especially over time it's got easier for me to do it... and yeah, it's incredibly tragic how Albus loved him, and then Gellert sort of changes... it really doesn't work out well for them :(

Thanks! :D I don't really remember how it ended up being told that way, haha, but I like it as a perspective - another person's perspective on someone else is always interesting, at least it is to me :P

Gah, thank you so much for the wonderful review - it was such a great thing to get! :)

Aph xx

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Review #13, by InkStainedFingers 

5th June 2015:
Oh my word this is beautiful. So, so exquisitely beautiful. How haven’t I read this before? Why on earth haven’t I read this before?

(I’ll back-track a little here to say hello! I’m dropping by to leave a BvB review and be amazed by your writing.)

Seriously, though, this is the sort of writing that leaves you breathless. It’s hauntingly beautiful. Where can I even try to begin?

“The inflections used, the placement of stresses, the tone in which the words are stated: all these can change the meaning of something completely, from one thing to another.”

Your prose is gorgeous (sorry - I’m going to try to limit the amount of times I say that, but it really is true) and I love your opening paragraphs. Everything you say about the importance of words and silences has a wonderful flow to it, and is such a beautiful place to approach Albus and Gellert’s relationship from. It feels like such a powerful idea, the strength and power of silence.

I love the perspective you’ve written this from as well, as though Albus is talking to Gellert. It has all of the expressive eloquence you would expect from him, and the tender, almost reverent tone that is created... it is almost as though he is writing a love letter to Gellert – a letter written long after they separated, almost as though he knows Gellert will never read it. You’ve captured a burdening sense of regret throughout the whole chapter: every memory Albus speaks of seems to hang heavy with regrets and longing.

“Of course, I admired you from the beginning, but it wasn’t until I spoke to you, until I learned you and all that made you, that I was truly entranced by you.

I’m really struggling not just to quote your beautiful sentences back at you, because I’m not sure anything I can say about it can even begin to explain how much I love this. I adore the picture you have created of Albus and Gellert lying in bed, holding each other in the morning. Your description of them – you can’t use the word ‘cuddling’ to describe two such powerful wizards, but I’m not sure how else you would put it – is perfect. You capture so beautifully the affection between the boys; the warmth and happiness of the summer. I love their story – if I didn’t already ship Albus/Gellert I would after reading this – the lies and deceptions; the delicate silences of devotion and desire.

And then you have the bittersweet memory, the last day – the only complete day he keeps in his Pensive. There’s something powerful about that, and desperately sad as well, Albus only allowing himself to remember in full clarity that day and not any of the others they shared. The fact that he makes sure he remembers exactly how much he loved Gellert is almost heart-breaking – it would be so much easier, so much less painful for him to try to forget as much as he can.

”You should know now that I do not blame you. I did once – I will admit that to you, for I know you will refuse to believe me otherwise – but I have grown wiser, I think, and I know that this burden is mine to bear.”

This is another beautiful and haunting line. How far Albus has come to accept and believe that Ariana’s death is his burden to carry. I love your description of their fight: how Aberforth, failing in provoking his brother into argument, instead turned to Gellert and used the words that he knew would offend him most. The words ‘cataclysmic’ and ‘crescendo’ seem to describe the scene you have drawn so well. And Albus’ first instinct was to curse his own brother rather than Gellert... that really shows how dangerous love can be when it blinds you.

I think one of my favourite lines in this chapter is “a final blare of trumpets and violins and drums in a last, distorted chord, a last barrage of spells in a rainbow of colours, and it all ended” – I love the finality those words suggest. And then you link it back to silence – heavy, suffocating silence.

“For the first time since we had met, I could not quite recognise you.”

That is another haunting line, and Albus’ thoughts that follow it are even more so. How terrible it must have been, not to know who cast the curse which killed Ariana. How beautifully you describe the silence that did not lift even when Gellert ran and Albus’ longing to once again be a child.

And your final paragraph... I honestly can’t say anything about it – it’s so beautiful, so powerful, so heavy with meaning and intent. It really does send shivers up and down your spine.

This is such a fantastic opening chapter, I cannot wait to read the rest (meaning that I quite likely won’t wait, and will be up well into the early hours of the morning devouring the next twelve).

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Review #14, by Veritaserum27 

21st May 2015:
Hi there Aph!

I'm here for our review pairing from the Prefect Lounge! I just read your review on ASLTW and I'm giggling because I've felt the same way about your story! I'm so happy when these exchanges occur because I get to finally get into stories that I've been meaning to read for ages

So I'm going to start off my commenting on your story summary. It's beautiful. So beautiful in fact that I was certain that I had read it before. I mean, it sounds like a line form a poem or a philosopher so I actually thought it was odd that you didn't credit Mr. So-and-so who wrote his traitorous opinion paper on the French Revolution or whatever.

Language shapes the world, for good or for evil. In silence, wounds fester and arguments begin. And what are wars but arguments out of control?

It's brilliant in its simplicity, beauty and truth. I don't know if I can say more because you have such a gift for saying so much with your words that I sort of feel like my review can't possibly be good enough to justify your work.

Then I noticed your chapter titles - and haha I know you did the same for me :) - I guess we notice the same things in a story. They are all single words and each one is either a location or a word about... well, erm - words. Another beautiful way to tie in the theme of this story. Albus and Gellert used words to fuel their justification for their naive and passionate thoughts and I've no doubt that one of the things they found beautiful about each other is they way they could use their words to show their love and affection.

Which leads me to my next point. *sigh* Your writing is so amazingly beautiful and crafted with such skill, it is both intellectually challenging and effortless to read. I know that seems like a contradiction, but I'm speaking of the way you tell your story doesn't feel like I'm reading. Rather, I'm being pulled on a journey along with the characters. I feel what they feel and I'm right there along with them in their trials and jubilation. At the same time, I know I'm reading a story that's going to make me think. I don't want to miss any details and I can't stop for one moment because something important or beautiful or heartbreaking might happen. (At the same time, it makes me a little sad, as my own writing is mediocre in comparison to yours.)

Your introduction regarding words is perfect for this story and your insights on the absence of words had my mind immediately spinning. Words are power, but words are loud and the silence can be even more powerful. I'll never forget one moment in my life when I was engaged in an argument with my brother, which was quickly escalating. His voice raised and the words came as shouts, while I maintained my viewpoint with a calm pace and softer words. A realization came that while I wasn't speaking louder or with more intensity, I was still winning the argument. The power I held by being quiet has stuck with me for years.

You've done a great job characterizing a young, smitten Dumbledore. He is telling the story as a much older and wiser man, looking back on his time as something that he should have cherished a bit more, but also the very idea of having the foolishness to not cherish those moments is what makes youth. Gellert is clearly confident and coy, but no less in love than Albus.

The only complete day he keeps in the pensieve. Gah! I'm so broken by this. Albus needs to hold on to the physical proof of the memory so he can never forget how his actions molded the rest of his life. What purposeful torture.

And Silence is Albus's great weakness. In a story about words written by an author who is a master at using them, we end the first chapter in silence. It's brilliant.

I can't wait to see how their story unfolds and I'm really interested because it seems that you've chosen to start the story on the day when Gellert leaves. For all we know from the books, Albus and Gellert didn't meet after that day until their duel. I'm intrigued.

♥ Beth

PS: I'm also really, really excited that I got to be review number 100 for this story!

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Review #15, by Dojh167 

14th May 2015:
Doing the swapping of the reviews!

First off. Just from the summary and characters I knew I would love this story. So you win. I normally don't review full length stories because I don't like only reviewing part of the story, but I expect I will be compelled to keep reading this one.

I was going to caution you about your introduction, as I have historically b=accidentally become too wordily abstract. I was going to advise you to try to incorporate that ind of information into dialogue or have it written from a characters point of view, but you beat me there. And then you made me have FEELINGS. Just that last paragraph of the intro. I'm not emotionally prepared for this story.

I am always uncomfortable when I start reading a story not knowing whose perspective it is from, but it this case it really works. Because lovers and feelings. This is something you may want to be aware of - with your style of writing, not knowing whose thoughts we are following can have a powerful effect. In this case it made the emotions more poignant and mystical. Because they could have been either Albus or Gellert's, when the reader is in that limbo they belong to both of them. Once it becomes clear who the narrator is, the story takes a shift and suddenly becomes much more grounded, and the reader more secure. This is a powerful tool, and if used at the right moment can have a huge impact.

"entrancement turned through enchantment into" this phrase is a little too clunky. I really like what you're trying to do with the sentence, but I had to read the sentence twice to make sense of it and that took me out of the story.

The partial nudity fence jumping line did a really good job of bringing Dumbledore's canon humor into this. It can be very difficult to make Dumbledore sound in character, but I suppose a nudity joke is as good a place to start as any. You overall did a good job with incorporating Albus' tone and personality. Sometimes it bordered on being too pedantically wordy, but that's kind of inevitable with this kind of character,

"The curtains were always open, often a window too during those hot" Another instance of awkward sentence structure that caught my attention. Okay, I'm going to try not to be too nitpicky.

I love the "I suspect I am being melodromatic" line. The honesty and the humor in it are spot on.

I'm really excited to see how this story develops!

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Review #16, by TearsIMustConceal 

11th May 2015:
Hey Aph, here for our review swap!

For once, I actually don’t know what to say and I’m struggling to string a coherent sentence together – the whole thing, from start to finish was breathtakingly beautiful.

I’m completely lost for words.

The way you’ve started this chapter was perfect. It flowed so beautifully and there were so many lines I loved – too many to note down in this review – I just can’t believe that I have never read this before now. I’ve clearly been missing out.

You’re writing is perfect – every word is flawless and the whole chapter just flows so effortlessly. No wonder this story has been nominated in the diadems – you really deserve it. I adored all the scenes involving Albus and Gellert – Albus is so obviously head over heels for Gellert and you can feel every emotion he talks about, imagine everything he is feeling. And it’s lovely to see that there was a mutual love (or at least love on Albus’ part) between them – most stories have their relationship in terms of an unrequited, doomed attraction but this seems more realistic? I don’t know, but when you have two characters so charismatic and brilliant, surely there must have been a mutual respect and admiration which could have led to this tragic love?

Your descriptions are on point and I am seriously starting to run out of adjectives for describing this story. Your writing is just seriously beautiful and I’m in awe at everything you have done here.

And now I’m going to stop rambling and continue onto the next chapter because I can’t help myself. I know this review has basically been me lost for words and rambling but I hope you can understand that it’s just utterly amazing and I’m struggling to form sentences right now!

This is truly the start of a masterpiece!


Author's Response: Hey there, Vicki! :) Thanks so much for dropping by! :)

Wah, thank you so so much! :) This story is my baby and has been my baby for a long time - it's a story I've always wanted to write for like years :P - so it means so much to hear you say that! :)

Thank you - I was so nervous about starting this because the exposition bit didn't seem particularly attention-grabbing - so I'm so glad you like it! :)

Omigosh, you're being waay too nice - thank you! Albus is so lovesick, haha, but it's so much fun to write - that kind of longing, sighing sort of love. And yeah, I've always thought it was a bit more mutual, definitely - so that's far more of the lens I'm writing this through :P And yeah, exactly! :D They're both so lonely, I think, because they're essentially in a different class to the others, and then they find each other... :)

Gah, thank you so so much for the wonderful review - it was so so great to get (you didn't ramble, honestly, though I think you may have been too kind? :P). Thank you so much! :)

Aph xx

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Review #17, by Beeezie 

8th May 2015:
Hey, here for BvB! :)

This was so beautifully written - I can completely understand why so many people nominated it for the diadems, because your prose is just breathtaking. It's lovely on its own merits and would be no matter what the content of the story was, but when combined with a character as laden with emotion and sadness and regret as Albus is, the story jumped to a completely different level.

And is now on my favorites and currently reading list, and I have a feeling that I'm not going to sleep tonight because OMG MUST READ. Why, Aph. Why do you do this to me. (Because obviously this is directed purely at me. :P)


You showed so many facets of Albus, Gellert, and their relationship. One of the things I particularly adored was that in some ways, I felt like you humanized Gellert at least a little - outside of Albus's commentary about the future, he mostly came off as just a typical teenager to me - while simultaneously making Albus look worse. I mean, not worse like "you irredeemable monster," but you didn't pull any punches, either. I felt like he was a self-centered and selfish jerk who was so consumed by his first love that he acted very, very poorly.

That's so realistic, because 1) that's so typical of teenagers, particularly teenagers in love and 2) it really gives so much depth to his insistence throughout the books to give people second chances. Some of the second chances he gave always kind of bothered me, to be honest - I thought that he was blind to keep Hagrid as a teacher when he was so clearly pretty incompetent at it (kind-hearted, but incompetent) and to not set Snape in line when it came to bullying students... but as I read through this, I kept thinking back to those little things from the books and started to interpret them in a bit of a different light. In some ways, Albus overcompensated, didn't he?

(At least that's my take!)

The end of this was absolutely heartbreaking. The way you described it more through Albus's feelings than the setting itself made me sympathize more with him, and I could feel his anguish and pain when he realized what he had done.

This was lovely. I can't wait to


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Review #18, by Claire Evergreen 

14th April 2015:
Hey! Here for the BvB Battle!


I'm honestly at a loss for words. Obviously I've heard of this story before, but I've never really been interested in Albus stories, but wow. This is incredible. I'm trying to think of words to describe it but I can't. Everything about this is stunning and it's only the first chapter. I can't even imagine what the rest looks like if the beginning is this fantastic.

The entire first section of this is flawless. I was trying to pick out a favorite quote or something that I wanted to comment on, but every time I thought I'd found one, I read the next line and went "no wait, I like this one more." After reading even that little bit, it's no surprise to me that this won the Dobby for Best Quote.

Your descriptions are amazing. I could picture every last detail that you included here. It was like you were painting a picture in my mind and I love every last bit of it. I'm nerding out over this and I'm trying to write something intelligent down here, but I'm having a hard time doing that.

I learned that day that silence is, in the end, far more deadly to the soul than any words could ever possibly be or could ever hope to be, no matter whose voice speaks them or in what order they come. So obviously I love every single line in this story, but I really really like this one. Like, wow, I wish that I could just randomly spout out any lines this deep.

I apologize if this was completely incoherent or if it made no sense, but I'm just in love with this. This is absolutely incredible, I can't believe that I almost missed out on reading it.


Author's Response: Hi Claire! :) Thanks so much for stopping by! :)

Thank you so so much! I'm so glad people like it - and you're really flooring me by saying that you've heard of it and so on. I really, really didn't think it was popular at all, so it's so lovely to hear. Haha, it gets more whiny? :P No, seriously, thank you so much - it's so so lovely to hear things like that :)

Thnk you! :) I really spent a lot of time getting the voice for this write, especially for Albus, because it was a story I really wanted to tell, but I wanted to do it right because they're a pairing I love and it's an HP subplot which has always fascinated me - and there's no sense in doing something half-heartedly, right? :P So yes, thank you! :)

Omigosh, I'm really trying to find other words and not to repeat myself too much, but thank you so much! I love writing description and it's something I find relatively easy - even if I'm not quick doing it, haha - so I'm so glad you liked it too! :)

I think it really helps depending on who your narrator is, what type of person they are, and what kind of story it is, tbh. I didn't use to write any remotely deep, but I started this and it sort of happened. So keep going and I'm sure it'll come to you too! :)

Thank you so so much for the wonderful review - it was so amazing to get, especially with the lovely compliments, and I'm just so grateful I got it! Thank you! :)

Aph xx

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Review #19, by BookDinosaur 

13th April 2015:
Laura! I'm here to play catch-up, as promised, because I have time and only one Exploration left to do (it concerns Algebra; procrastination is my friend, and this is so much more pleasant, I think you'll agree).

Oh my days, I'm not entirely sure what to say or do. Nothing I can say will ever do justice to the story, so I should get that idea out of the way before I even start. I've been meaning to read this for ages but somehow I've never been able to get around to it, and I regret that so much now because - I could have been reading this ages ago, and I wasn't. That's pretty silly of me, no?

Honestly, though, where to start? The flow of this - I know you've said that words are only secondary to silence, but over the Internet words are pretty much the only way to communicate, and you nailed everything perfectly. The flow of this is amazing, and the words are arranged so beautifully - I mean, it feels like I'm reading art, or poetry. The words slip through my consciousness so smoothly and beautifully and I honestly have no words for the amazing way that you narrate this. Your prose is so gorgeous, I just want to read it forever - will you teach me your ways?

You characterised Albus perfectly, and I'm sure I'm only saying what everyone else who reviewed this story has said, but you really did manage to capture his character perfectly. On the one hand, the young man here is easily recognisable as Dumbledore, and his actions and thoughts are in character enough that a reader could look at them and agree that yes, this person could grow up to be the man in the HP series - and on the other hand, the narrative voice of the present-day Dumbledore is clearly Dumbledore.

I'm probably just confusing you so much with this, but what I really want to say is that even though Dumbledore is generally viewed as a pretty tough character to write, you've nailed him so perfectly in both his adolescent and adult forms.

Albus and Gellert aren't a pairing that I read that often, and again, I'm sort of cursing myself for it now. You do this so beautifully - expressing their relationship with one another, and the emotions truly do seem to jump off the page with this. I loved the description of mornings, and how they would take as much time as they could for themselves before Gellert would leave, and Albus would watch him go.

Your use of narrative here is genius as well - I don't know whether or not you're planning to keep Albus just remembering his time with Gellert, but your wordcraft and the way that you tell the audience what happens keeps it really interesting, I think, and their attention is held - or mine was, in any case. :P I imagine that it'd be pretty easy for a story to get boring when the narrator is an old man ruminating on his youth, but you've kept it beautifully fresh and a pleasure to read.

The battle scene was absolutely intense - your prose remained beautiful and serene, but somehow you kept suspense building and building until, finally, it released and your handling of that scene was absolutely masterful.

The emotions which permeated the whole piece were all so well done, too - honestly, I don't think that there's anything in this chapter that you haven't done perfectly, but the nostalgia and love and melancholy that Albus must be feeling as he writes all this down - it's absolutely spectacular, and I honestly have no idea how you do it.

I have no clue what to say to you, Laura, except that this was so, so beautiful and there's no way that I'm not coming back to this. ♥


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Review #20, by TreacleTart 

25th March 2015:
Hi Laura,

I'm here for our review swap! I'm sorry it take me a few hours to get here, but as I said previously I was at work. Anyways, here I am now!

So I've purposely avoided reading this story up until now because I love your writing so much and I just haven't had the time to get wrapped up in reading a novel. I wanted to wait until I could really dedicate some time to reading each chapter and really digesting your words.

And your words! My goodness are your words beautiful in this one. The way they read is the same way it feels to skate on fresh ice. They glide through my mind so smoothly. It's almost like reading poetry.

The voice you've given Dumbledore in this is so authentic to what we see of him in the books. If he were having one last conversation with Gellert, I could imagine a scenario much like this occurring. I don't know what else to say really, except that it's perfection.

The way you describe the fight building up to the moment that Ariana is killed is spectacular. It never breaks the poetic, easy flow, but somehow I still feel my pulse rising and the suspense building. Even though I know what is about to happen, I'm still saddened when we finally get there.

This was a truly spectacular read! I always enjoy your work, but this one was probably my favorite thus far. I will definitely be reading the rest of it as time allows!

Thanks for agreeing to the swap!


Author's Response: Hey there, Kaitlin! :) Thank you so much for dropping by! :) And no worries about taking your time - nothing you can do about being at work ;)

Haha, no problem - I know it's really long, and it's often really intimidating to start a novel when it's as long as this one is... but I'm glad you're here now, since I love your reviews, both your feedback and your writing, so it means so much! :)

Thank you so much! I really loved writing this - and it was my second shot at writing a story I really want to tell - so I really wanted to get it to feel right, you know, so I'm so glad you like it! :)

It's funny, he seemed so intimidating as a character at the beginning, but now it's so much easier to slide into the voice and I just love writing it - there's something very naturally poetic and solemn about it which I love. I'm just so glad you like it - since I know it makes things very heavy going.

Thank you so much! I really hate writing action scenes, because I'm always so nervous about them, and this one was especially nervous because it's a surprisingly big moment in canon, but one we don't hear that much about, so it was really hard to do. I'm so glad you like it - the music metaphors seemed to me the only way I could do it without overloading things, so thank you so much! :)

Thank you so so much for the wonderful review - this is one of my favourites to write, so I'm so happy you like it too - and thank you so much for all the compliments, they were so lovely to get! :)

Aph xx

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Review #21, by randomwriter 

7th March 2015:
Laura! I'm so sorry about the delay, and that too, after the wonderful review you left me! I had this half typed out the other day, when chrome just crashed on my laptop, and I was sort of demotivated. I did not forget, though. And I'll make it up to you.

As for this, oh gosh. Where do I start? This has been on my list for a long, long time, but I regret not having read this sooner. You deserve all the praise you've gotten for this. It's just one of the most beautiful things I've ever had the pleasure of reading, and I'm only in chapter one!

Your opening section was so lovely. It was so insightful. I just read that one section over and over again, and each time I did, I found something new at marvel at. It was simple, in terms of observation, but it was true. Every word was so very true. It really got me thinking, and I'm still thinking about that. I'm sure it's something I'll come back to in the future. Not just for that bit, of course. The whole chapter was great, but that part, in particular, stayed with me.

The rest of your chapter was no less, in all honesty. And I'm finding it difficult to go with this review, because words cannot do justice to how amazing it is.

But anyway, Albus/Gellert is a pairing I love, thanks to teh's story. But it is also not a pairing I read often. You made me fall in love with them even more. I found myself questioning why I haven't been more into them, really. I love how you wrote Albus' love for Gellert. It was so raw, but so pure. The descriptions of how they spent their mornings, lying in each other's arms, those stolen moments, the passion, it all came through so well. I really enjoyed it. At the same time, it made me so upset, that a love as beautiful as theirs is doomed to burn. If not for Ariana's death, maybe their future would have been different, but alas.

Another thing that really stood out was your characterisation of Albus Dumbledore (and everyone else in whatever capacity you wrote them). He's one of the characters that really scare me. I'm always worried that I'll mess something up. But you wrote him perfectly. It's important to note that at that age, he hasn't seen the enough of the world or gathered enough wisdom to be the way we see him in the books. And you nailed it. I can see your version of Dumbledore growing up to be the one we are familiar with. His speech pattern is spot on, his reflective tone is indicative of it, and his ideas are believably his-like I can see him thinking that way (if that makes sense. Forgive me, it's quite late here :p).

The battle scene was so well done. Another thing I'm apprehensive about writing, apart from Dumbledore, is a battle scene., But you handles it so well. It wasn't too rushed or chaotic, and it wasn't slow and unnecessarily dragged out. I think you did a great job of delivering the intensity of the situation, especially in terms of how you gave us great clarity into Dumbledore's mindset at that point. He really isn't thinking straight. He's trying to reason it out. But he hasn't comprehended a possibility where things go out of control and backfire, like they did. His grief for Ariana was evident. His shock, even more so. Also, I've never felt as if he would have cried at her death, but I've always believed tht it affected him deeply. So whatever you've said really resonated with my headcanon over there.

Your writing flows so well. There's this certain quality to it that makes it flow like poetry, almost. It speaks volumes about your talent. The word choices are perfect, the phrasing just makes me want to scream out at wonder and joy and just... of god, I can't tell you how amazing this was.

I also really love the voice. First person, and written as if Albus is talking to Gellert. I LOVE this style of writing, and I really think it suit the piece. You've managed to bring out a lot of his emotions through his dialogue through this style... the tenderness, the fondness, tones of regret. It's just beautiful.

Your descriptions, as usual, are amazing. You've blown my mind with your writing here. Everything is so vivid. I could feel the summer heat, or the intensity of battle. I loved how you included loads of details in this. I can't fault you anywhere, Laura. This was so great! As I mentioned, I really loved the flow of this piece. It was easy to read. The descriptions helped move it along, and it sort of just.. sailed smoothly? If that makes sense. (Again, it's late. Forgive me :p)

(And I'm rushing through this because I don't have too many characters left, oops. Sorry about this!)

I'm going to take you back to your own story for a second, Laura. Silence holds a great deal of power, yes. But on this medium, words hold all the power. Thank you for showing me that, for reminding me about the sort of hold words can have over you. I was in a trance while I was reading this. It's so gorgeous. I'm glad that there's a lot left for me to read. I loved this. I'm favouriting it. It's so lovely, and unique and I've really been fighting a losing battle from the moment I started writing this review because words, as powerful as they may be, can't do justice here. I hope I have managed to convery how much I loved this, and what a great writer I think you are. As you told me, I will tell you: If I miss out on something you've put up, I'm really going to be missing out.

Thanks for doing this swap, Laura. There is so much more I wish I could say, but space is limited. Basically, you've done a lot of things right, and I loved it! Great job ♥

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Review #22, by Flower n Prongs 

6th March 2015:
Stopping by to leave a BvB review.

I have come back to HPFF relatively recently and have heard about L'optimisme, so I added it to my growing reading list but hadn't gotten around to it yet. I am glad that I started it, because this is one of the most amazing introductions I have read in a long time.

Since we see him so much in canon yet never really get into his head, I find that Albus is one of the characters that most fan fiction writers (myself included) have a hard time writing believably. You clearly do not have that problem. The fact that the impacts and importance of silence runs through this chapter makes it seem so fitting. It is a bit of an intellectual idea and wouldn't work for a lot of characters, but the fact that you chose it for Albus is perfect and illustrates his thought process so well.

I also like the way you portrayed Albus/Gellert as an actual relationship, rather than a doomed attraction on Albus's part. For some reason I had always thought of it like the latter, but this has so much potential for angst on both Albus and Gellert's parts as you progress to 1945 (or perhaps beyond). Ever since DH I have been facinated by the idea of the events that unfolded in 1899 and what happened leading up to 1945, so to see somebody tackling it so well is wonderful.

I see why this story has gotten so much praise! This is getting bamped to the top of my reading list.

Author's Response: Hey there - thank you so much for stopping by! :)

It completely blows me away to hear that people have heard about this, let alone wanted to read it randomly, so thank you so much for that! :) I'm so so glad people are excited about reading this, and enjoy this, so I'm just so grateful for that!

Albus was such an intimidating prospect at the beginning - the idea of it was so scary - but I read over the books, especially DH, and tried to unwind him, in a way. I really wanted silence and words to be a theme in it, with the idea of things unsaid and so on, because it works so well for their whole relationship, so I'm so glad you like it! :)

Yeah, I always liked the idea of it being an actual relationship, rather than simply a one-sided attraction (potential for more angst is always good! :P), so I kinda always wanted to go that way with it rather than any other. Yeah, I'm definitely going to go up to 1945, and I've played around with the idea of going further, but I'm not sure if I will or not. I think it might get a bit too long if I do that :P

Thank you so so much for everything you've said - it's amazingly flattering, and really so lovely to hear, so thank you so much! :)

Aph xx

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Review #23, by dirtydeedsdonedirtcheap 

6th March 2015:
In honor of the new LGBTQ genre I decided to read this. I have never read an Albus story before. So let's see how this goes!

The inflections used, the placement of stresses, the tone in which the words are stated: all these can change the meaning of something completely, from one thing to another. Expression of words changes interpretations, changes beliefs.

I swoon over your writing style. What a great opening chapter. I’m intrigued. Nothing has really happened yet but I need to sit back momentarily and just soak in your first paragraph.

Words really are the most powerful tool in the world. I was talking to my friend about this last night actually. I think as writers we appreciate the art and the impact of words more than others. I think it’s hard for some to realize just what the position or the pairing of certain words how they can speak to your soul, pierce your heart or make you weep from an overload of emotion.

There is nothing quite so terrifying as a pause, only a second’s worth of silence.

Yes! I agree wholeheartedly.

Perhaps, if we had spoken aloud more often, things would have been different.

You’ve won me over completely. I need to know more.

I would wake first, my arm around your waist, your head pillowed on my shoulder or tucked into my neck. If I tried to pull away, or even simply to move, you would dig your fingers into my skin and refuse to let me go

Uh. Your description. It’s killing me it’s just that good and it’s so relateable. Line after line I find myself going, “YES! I’VE BEEN THERE TOO! I UNDERSTAND YOUR FEELING, THE EMOTIONS, THAT KIND OF LOVE!”

In return, I kissed the top of your head, murmuring ‘good morning’ into your hair.

I am essentially Albus Dumbledore because that’s how I am with my boyfriend.

Oh wow. Just the entire thing is wow. I feel like there’s nothing else left to say except that chapter was beautiful. Every word. Every sentence. Just beyond anything I could ever imagine.

Author's Response: Hi there - thanks so much for stopping by! :) Yeah, he's a character who's not written about often, I think, coz he's kinda intimidating, so I hope you enjoy it! :D

Gah, thank you! :) I really liked starting it with something completely unrelated to action - it seemed to suit the characters and the kind of story I wanted to write pretty well, so I just went with it :P I'm always super aware that it's odd, though, and really not necessarily the best hook in the world, haha, so it always means so much when people say things like that :)

It was really important to me when writing this first chapter to set them up with the relationship and perhaps the best memories of the summer, as well as the worst, you know? Because it's kinda a start and an end, in different ways, but to have somewhere to go on to, you kinda have to start from somewhere.

And yeah... description. So much the thing I rely on, probably more than I should, but it's so much fun to do :P

I'd be careful - that suggests your boyfriend is Grindelwald ;)

Thank you so so much, though - this was such a lovely review, and, really, I'm just so glad people like this! :) Thank you!

Aph xx

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Review #24, by pottered  

22nd February 2015:
I have actual tears in my eyes. This honestly touched my soul. Your writing is breathtaking, like an artwork. I absolutely loved it, and since it's been a long time I've read something as beautiful as this, it really touched me. Your writing, is beautiful, I'm at a loss of words. I don't even know how to express the beauty of this all. It might be a bit exaggerating that I have tears in my eyes, but I do, really. I LOVED Albus' POV, and even more his love for Gellert. The way you wrote about his feelings, his thoughts, his regrets, and the events in his life; I could almost feel it and imagined the whole thing in my head. Especially the part where tragedy struck in his house when ariana died. That was so sad, I thought I was going to start sobbing lol. It was so cute and beautiful (honestly, if I get one adjective to describe what this chapter was; it would be beautiful) when they both would wake up in each other's arms and the way 'words' and 'silence' have been given so much importance. It really made me think that yes, silence is really important, about how our heart starts to pick up pace in such silence and anxiety surfaces and hands get clammy. Also, how words are really powerful. You captured Albus so perfectly. It didn't seem whiny or exaggerative, it felt right. The way he regrets not saying anything in the silence of those blissful mornings with Gellert, and how the events turned out to be. I loved this. Absolutely adored.
PS. I learned a lot from your writing.
-M (: x

Author's Response: Hey there - thank you so much for stopping by! :)

I have to be honest and apologise in advance if this review is either overly rambling or just filled of lots of mentions of 'thank you, thank you so much!' because, really, this was a lovely, lovely review to get and I will almost certainly have given a sub-standard response. So sorry!

I'm completely floored by the fact that this made you cry and by all the wonderful, beautiful things you said about this - thank you so so much! It means so much to hear you say things like that! :)

I loved writing Albus' pov in this, so I'm so happy you liked it. I really wanted to start off as I wanted to go on with this, with all the angst and the love and the pain in it and so on, because it's really the beginning of things for him, and for both of them. The scene where Ariana died, I originally wasn't sure about including it or not, but in the end I wanted to use it as a juxtaposition to the previous scenes, so I left it in. I'm pretty glad I did now, because people have liked it! :)

Aww, thank you so much again! :) I really wanted to give a sort of physicality to their relationship, and a sort of domestic quality, rather than make it something flimsy, you know? And words and silence... I always knew I wanted to include language and conversations as a theme for this, so those sort of came out of that, and the idea of things not said and how important those things can be, really, perhaps even more important than the ones which do get said.

I'm so glad you didn't think it was too much - I'm so bad with telling these things, haha, I honestly never have any idea!

Thank you so so much for the wonderful review and for all the amazingly lovely things you said about this story - it's really my baby and I'm just so amazed by the response it's been getting, so thank you so much! :)

Aph xx

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Review #25, by Ravenclaw333 

5th February 2015:
Hey Laura! Here for the BvB!

I've been meaning to read this story for probably about a thousand years now and I already regret not starting it sooner. Your writing is absolute artwork and you have an unparalleled gift with language - I can't remember the last time I came across such gorgeous prose, and everything about this story promises to be a gift.

You capture Albus's voice so perfectly and completely - his solemnity, his poetry, the wistful melancholy of his recollections - his love for Gellert and his regret comes through clearly in every sentence. The motif of silence - so perfectly introduced in the first section, I think I'll have snippets of it in my mind forever - ties everything together and permeates the whole chapter. Your depiction of Albus and Gellert's relationship is, again, a triumph - I'm not sure if this was deliberate or if I just see Classical parallels everywhere I look (a very real possibility with me) but they remind me so much of Achilles and Patroclus and I adore everything about the way you've written them.

This is an absolutely stunning story, and one I'll be coming back to again and again for the sheer beauty of your words.

Author's Response: Hi Lisa! :) Thanks so much for stopping by!

You have no idea how lovely it is to hear that people want to read this story - it's so great! This story is my baby, really, at the moment, so it means so much to me. And thank you so much - there's something so freeing about writing geniuses, it allows you to be so pretentious :P

Thank you so much! I actually really like writing Albus, though it was so daunting at the beginning. There's something so fascinating about him - how much his early life affected him, and Gellert in particular affected him too - and I love exploring that, so I'm so glad you like him! It is kinda classical, I think - and I am actually planning to put some classical-esque references in it later (though it's Alexander and Hephaestion, and possibly mentions of various Greek figures...), tbh - so it's not just you :P

Gah, thank you so so much for the lovely review - it was so so great to get, especially from you! :)

Aph xx

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