Reading Reviews for L'optimisme, Chapter 2: Wales
22 Reviews Found

Review #1, by Yoshi_Kitten 

3rd February 2016:
RoxiMalfoy from the forums, finally here for our Review swap! I was so sure I had reviewed this chapter back when I did the 1st one, but evidently not. I know I've read this one before, but since it was so long ago, I decided to re-read the first 2 chapters all over again. Which honestly didnt bother me at all, cuz your writing is SO BEAUTIFUL!! I'm SO happy to see that you won a Dobby! I remember voting for this fic in like every category it was nominated in that year, so congrats on that, lol. It was definitely well deserved!

The first time I read this tho, I totally was NOT expecting to be reading from the POV of Gellert Grindelwald. That switch was such a nice surprise. I've never read anything featuring him in it like this before, so all I know of him is what little we learned in cannon. That being said, your characterization of him feels like it was pulled directly out of Jo's world! I dont know HOW you've done it with such little information to go on, but this version of Grindelwald just feels so right, and so natural. Every little detail you have created fits seamlessly into what we already know of him from the books. But then you take it one step further, and expand upon what little information we have already been given, and make him into this very deep and relatable character. From now on, I dont think I'll ever be able to look at Grindelwald the same way again, lol!

I LOVE it when a story here at HPFF gives me a whole new outlook on things, and this was no exception! Cuz you never would expect such a notoriously dark wizard as Grindelwald to be so sweet, endearing, and capable of such strong feelings of love. But then again, at sixteen years of age, I also find it difficult to believe that he would be in full-on dark wizard, take over the world mode, lol. But you can definitely see the beginning stages of that particular mind-frame starting to blossom here. I know that alot of people compare Voldemort to Grindelwald, but the two of them really arent all that similar, if you think about it. Sure, they shared many of the same belief systems, but what makes Voldemort so evil is that he was literally incapable of love. He was born of a loveless conception, then raised in an orphanage with no family to help nurture him during his upbringing. Grindelwald on the other hand; he did have a family. He had the support system that Tom Riddle never knew, and then, he also had Albus.

Personally, I do not think that Dumbledore, even at such a young age, could ever have been attracted to someone like Tom Riddle. So if the two dark wizards were as similar as people like to assume, then it would not be likely that Dumbledore would have fallen for Grindelwald the way that we know he did. Cuz as far as we know, Gellert is the only one that Albus ever had feeling for like this. (Much like Snape was with Lilly.) Sometimes in life we only get that 1 true love, and it's highly unlikely that Dumbledore -THE Albus Dumbledore- could have given his heart away to someone who was truly evil. So I totally get where it is you are writing from here, and I must say that I am absolutely mesmerized by it! I'm so glad, and so relieved to see that Gellert is NOT just another copy of Lord Voldemort in this story.

Wow, I just went off on this HUGE tangent without even meaning to, lol!! You see what your story has evoked in me already?!? This has really got me thinking quite a bit, for real tho. Cuz I was one of those people who thought that Grindelwald & Voldemort were way more similar than that. But now that I think about it, there really is no way that that could have been possible. Not at first, anyway. But we all know how both of these boys turn out in the end, so it will be fascinating to see the ways in which their characters grow and develop from here. I cannot wait to see where you take the two of them from this point forward...

Getting back to the actual review part tho - sorry for betting so distracted, haha... The language in this. OMG, dont even get me started on the language in these first 2 chapters, lol! It is so beautiful, and poetic, and rich in detail, and just so astoundingly profound! How did you do that?!? Not only was it perfect in regards to these two characters, but it's also extremely relevant to the time period as well. This all takes place in 1899 after all, so the way that they speak is absolutely beautiful in every single way. People really dont talk like that anymore, and it's a shame. Your English is exquisite though Aph, and I feel like I myself have already learned a thing or two, just by reading this, lol! ;)

I loved how the reoccurring theme of silence carried over from the 1st chapter into this one as well. Really, everything that you have to say about the subject is so amazingly detailed, and spot on. I'm so terrible at describing those awkward silences in a conversation, but you do it so beautifully here, OMG! I could go on and on about how amazing this was, but I think I've rambled here for long enough... I will point out the one (and only) thing I noticed that needs fixing was in this paragraph here:

The few memories I have of that summer which are not of the way your hair glowed in firelight and the way your eyes lit up and shone when you saw me in the same way they would shine when you spoke of a fascinating theory or your Hogwarts, are fleeting and strangely blurred, as though a careless painter has tipped water onto a landscape, and so much of Wales is now a spoiled masterpiece, the colours leaking and running across each other, until I cannot remember how it was supposed to look.

That whole entire thing is just one long run-on sentence. Idk if that was intentional, or if perhaps it was a formatting thing, but you may wanna go back and break that up with some commas or periods or something. I feel silly for pointing out something so small, but really everything else was PERFECT! ♥


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Review #2, by Penelope Inkwell 

17th September 2015:
They have allowed me books, you know Ė only in recent years, when they have stopped thinking of me as a threat (though I cannot help but wonder if this, too, is your doing. It would not surprise me)
--this was an interesting--and very believable--touch. I could see Dumbledore being concerned for anyone's prison conditions, no matter what they had done. I think, as a great mind himself, he would be troubled by the idea of a brilliant mind turning in on itself and going madder for lack of exercise. And then, of course, it was Gellert. And it's clear in this fic that, whatever he had done and whatever had become of them, there was a part of him that still cared.

Instead of saying that, instead of being utterly honest with you, I spoke to you of how you were wasted here, how we both were, how our talents would be better served elsewhere, anywhere, together. It was what you wanted to hear, no? To be encouraged to want to leave, to have that desire understood by someone who could match you? It was what you wanted to hear, and what I wanted to tell you.
--this was a really interesting idea--the thought that Gellert's urging was initially not based on the idea that they were too good for that place, but his desire to connect to Albus, to be someone whom Albus would feel could understand him. It adds a lot of depth to Gellert's character.

I did not like you distracted, subdued like a whipped dog; I wanted you to be alive.
--this is such an interesting line. It goes from sounding selfish--he doesn't want Albus to be distracted from him, from their plans--to what sounds like legitimate concern, though in a harsh way that fits his character. Once again, you manage to give Gellert some facets and angles, rather than making him a caricature of an "evil wizard". Maybe it was this experience, early on, that made Dumbledore so open to seeing the good in people all the world might judge to be "bad" (like Snape, or Draco). He was so forgiving of the people whom nobody thought was worthy of it, and I can see how that could have begun with Gellert, with his knowledge of how a person can go so wrong, but can still have goodness in them

I could not help it, and I tried to cover it, tried to hide the embarrassment and shame I felt of having such childish emotions (for they are, no matter what you might say about romance and comfort)
--this was another interesting piece of characterization--an opposition to Dumbledore's beliefs about the power and importance of love. And this, too, fits quite well.

As soon as she had died Ė even as I felt the blood on my cheek starting to dry and my hand trembling because she was dead and I knew her killer and I knew you needed me but how could I stay, how could I Ė I knew that you had been destroyed. Without her, your passion for the ideals fled (perhaps they had been centred in her all along, and I had simply been too blind and too selfish to see it)
--So he really does know. I'm curious--do you have a headcanon for which of them it was. Do you have a hard idea of what, exactly, Gellert saw here. He's right, though. Maybe Dumbledore did need him, but he truly would have been sent to Azkaban. They wouldn't have believed him. (and, if they could test his wand...what if it wasn't him? That could have destroyed Albus even more. Perhaps in some ways Gellert did the kindest thing for him. We don't know if he was the killer, but if he wasn't, he gave Albus a scapegoat; he gave him the chance to believe that Albus himself had not done it).

I thought that was interesting, about how maybe it was for Ariana all along. I think that was mentioned, in the books, right? That if their plans came to fruition, Ariana wouldn't have to be hidden. I do think a large part of Albus latching onto their plans was a desire to get out of dodge, but I still think it could have been a significant factor, and I liked seeing Gellert reflect on it.


huge, green hills rolling off into the horizon, their sides untouched, perhaps even unchartered,
--I think that "unchartered" should be "uncharted."

No, now as I sit here, fighting cramp and fading sight,
--it might be better to say "cramps" instead of "cramp".

Wow. In just one chapter, you've added a lot of depth to a villain. I'm really impressed!


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Review #3, by HeyMrsPotter 

13th September 2015:
Another amazing chapter, Laura! I'm so glad you were nominated for so many Dobbys, because it's given me the chance to read your work, and now I'm kicking myself for not having read it before.

I liked the switch in POV here. And I really love the voice that you've given to Gellert. I loved how well Gellert understands Dumbledore, the way that he describes him feeling trapped by his family, and the bitterness he feels whenever Doge's letters arrived with news of the trip he should have been on. I feel like I really understand your version of a young Dumbledore from this chapter, even though it's from Gellerts point of view. It's heartbreaking how much he obviously still loves Gellert even after everything with Ariana.

Loved it :)

Author's Response: Hi again, Dee! :) Thank you so much for coming back - it means so much to see you back again! :D

Thank you! I wondered if it wouldn't work - because pov switches are always dangerous - but I really wanted to do it, to show the other half of the story, and truthfully I do enjoy writing Gellert's parts :P I really wanted to show that they do understand each other so well, no matter what happened, and how care lingers, because I always loved that aspect of their story in canon - so I'm so glad you liked it! :)

Thank you so so much for the lovely review! :)

Aph xx

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Review #4, by RavenclawFTW 

24th August 2015:
Here for the swap and BvB! Also, this is my 100th review! Woohoo! I'm very happy to leave it here on this wonderful story. :)

Ahh Aph your writing kills me. Seriously. I'll try not to be too repetitive from the first chapter but you've seriously ruined me for any other Albert/Gellert because you just write their perspectives and backstories and passions and thoughts so freaking well. You're ridiculously talented to be able to paint these brilliant characters so well here.

In this chapter, I love the ways you've softened Gellert and added to the ways he views Albus and their relationship. Mostly I'm in awe of how I can see under the surface of this characterization how Gellert is so focused and ruthless and ambitious, which is much of what we know about him from canon. But the amount that he cares for Albus shines through some of his character while not overwhelming those features, if that makes any sense. Like you've managed to weave together the seeds of a single-minded person who tries to take over Europe for his own goals and this intense connection and love so well. It's just really meshing to me in my head, especially the way that you've integrated his reaction to the Ariana situation.

It's basically pointless for me to talk about your imagery every review but it's so ridiculously wonderful and evocative that I can't not mention it, you know? I just feel like I can picture Wales and Gellert's initial wonder at the beautiful land around him, and then also his home and his desire to return there with Albus.

In this chapter this line really stood out to me: Perhaps they might call it that later, if you ever tell anyone of me (though I doubt it, for it would reveal you to be fallible and human and would hint at a longing you wish you were better than to have), but it was not a lie.

I think that's such a great and short way to summarize so much about Albus and his character and his relationship with Gellert and the bitterness that Gellert has after it all goes south, but then also the understanding that Gellert has of Albus and his flaws. Ugh sorry I always end up rambling so inarticulately but this is just such a great representation of their characters and relationship. It kills me.

Thanks for the swap! I hope we do another soon. Or if I get time I may end up just going through and reviewing like all of this story because it makes my heart ache.


Author's Response: Hey there, J - thanks so much for stopping again! :) And yay for getting to 100 reviews - congrats! :D

Gah, thank you so much! :) They're characters I really love, and a pairing I really love so much, so I'm so glad you like it, because it's a story I really, really wanted to write and I love writing it, so it always means so much to hear that from other people :D

Thank you! :) I really wanted to make it clear that Gellert isn't quite Voldemort 1.0, you know, and that he's different - he can be nicer and sweeter than perhaps people thought. He's not exactly all sunshine and rainbows, though - haha, he's definitely still super ambitious and driven and not very patient and doesn't like being disappointed or thrown off. But he's really fun to write, and I love it when people say that I've done more with him than people thought, you know? It's nice, coz it means you took a character somewhere unexpected :) And yeah, the Ariana thing - it was surprisingly easy to write after the first chapter. That was the hard bit for that, I think.

Gah, thank you so much! :) I love writing from pictures, and this fic is incredibly self-indulgent in that I get to do that with pretty much every other chapter, so it works out, but I'm so happy you like it :P

I have a very strange love of writing about their kind of failed, tortured, but still half-continuing relationship, haha. It's bad, but it's so much fun and so fascinating to write, especially with them because I think it's so human, you know? And yeah, Gellert really is pretty bitter about it - but they both feel that Albus is the braver one, so in a way, it's not massively complimentary to Gellert himself :P

Thank you so so much for the lovely review - I'm so glad you like the story! :)

Aph xx

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Review #5, by BookDinosaur 

13th July 2015:
Laura! here for our review swap and i am so late. so. late. it's not like i even have a good excuse? i'm so sorry. and oh my days have i not reviewed this before? i honestly thought i already had, but that's okay, i can make up for both of those transgressions now, hopefully :)

oh my days, i don't think i can ever say this enough laura, but your prose and descriptions are so gorgeous and beautiful and how do you do this please teach me your ways? i honestly don't know how you write with such a beautiful flowing style and i'm sure that you're sick of me telling you this (over and over and over, in every review that i've ever left for you, probably) but i can't not say it. your writing is the most beautiful thing.

i wasn't expecting that you would ever turn to gellert's POV, and i'm not sure what i was expecting but i don't think it was this - you created a complex and sympathetic character from the one-dimensional figure which we saw in canon while not actually contradicting canon.

i love love love this quote: Without you, I do not remember the places. Make of that what you will. as i said, i don't know what i was expecting with gellert, but i don't think that i ever expected him to have adored albus as clearly and as much as he does in this fic - you show the reader that this is a love which went both ways, and it was situation and belief which eventually separated them. i think that is am example of the saddest breakups of all - how they loved each other, and it was external forces which separated them.

the kiss that you wrote was so beautiful. you conveyed the emotion that the two of them so well and so powerfully, and painted such a vivid picture with your beautiful description - seriously, laura, teach me your ways! D:

i love the slightly darker tone that gellert adopts at the end. does this mean he knows who killed ariana? i'm so glad you touched on his thoughts when it concerned ariana's death, though, b ecause i don't think people expect him to have thbought about it much in future years or been remorseful at all, and it was very interesting to see his thoughts on the matter.

the spilt-pov technique that you employed to tell the story works really well; i don't know how but you've managed to create two very different voices just from these two chapters - how albus thinks more about words, more rationally, and how gellert is a person of action, someone who becomes enchanted with and then bored with a place in quick succession, you know?

i don't know how much of this made sense and how much was weird rambling, but i really, really loved this chapter and hopefully i'll be back to review more of this!

♥ emily

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Review #6, by ad astra 

20th June 2015:
House Cup 2015 Review - Slytherin

Hi Laura! I feel like I should have read and reviewed more of this story ages ago because it's permanently on my to-read list, but I'm back for chapter 2 at last!

I've already told you that I absolutely adore your writing style and I should probably stop repeating myself in every review I leave you, but just to reiterate - your prose is gorgeous and I could happily read it for the next hundred years.

I'm not sure what I expected of Gellert's POV but you've surprised me here with him - all we know of him from canon is the great-evil-dark-wizard-bet-on-world-domination, but you've made him incredibly complex, sympathetic and loving in a way I didn't expect. I've kind of always viewed the Albus/Gellert relationship as Albus placing Gellert on a pedestal, Patroclus and Achilles, but Gellert places Albus on the very same pedestal and I really love the way you've constructed their relationship here.

The passage about exploring the world stuck out to me as well - I love the subtle magical twists you put into the various wonders of the world, like seeing phoenixes in flight at dawn and curses carved into the Great Wall of China - it's such a rich world you're creating around them.

I could (and would) write so much more for this review but time is of the essence! Onto chapter 3!

Author's Response: Hey Lisa! :) Thank you so much for stopping by - it was such a great surprise to get! :)

Gah, thank you so so much! :) It is just so so amazing to hear - I love your writing, as you know, so especially from you - and really, I just have no other way to respond to it apart from 'THANK YOU THANK YOU' :)

Haha, thanks! :D I had a lot of time to think about how I wanted to characterise him and develop him before I really started this, since I had two gos at doing it properly :P I really wanted to cast him as a kind of dark lord separate from Voldemort and the whole completely-evil sphere, especially because, you know, Albus Dumbledore manages to fall in love with him, which sorta suggests he's not totally insane? Maybe? :P And I liked the idea of this kind of mutual adoration/admiration which is then destroyed because of fear and self-hatred and so on - load up the angst, you know? :P

Thank you! :D I love including little details like that, so it's so great to hear you noticed them and liked them too! :) I love the idea of a whole magical world - it's so cool to me - so I had to include a little nod to that :)

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

Aph xx

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Review #7, by Veritaserum27 

6th June 2015:
Hey there, Aph!

I'm here for the review pairings for May (I know, I know - it's June).

And yet again, the beauty of your writing has me searching for words to put down in this review.

I've noticed that while your skill is no less when writing from either point of view, you seem to have Albus focus on words and finer details of their love and Gellert seems to see the scenery and emotions that are part of the bigger picture. I apologize if I'm totally wrong in this perception of things.

Another thing I've noticed that you've cleverly done to contrast their two personalities is how subtlety and incredibly selfish Gellert can be. It's not done in an overt way in any sense, but little things like how he couldn't understand why Albus felt trapped. Even when he realized that he was trapped because of his family situation, it was more like Gellert could sort of see how Albus felt, but was more focused on how Albus's emotional state affected him.

All the same, you've given us a beautiful love story - and while that love was deep and passionate for both men, it was different and meant different things to them. That is the real brilliance of your writing. I think that the two men never truly realized that - the fact that they saw the relationship from different angles. They may have been the one true person that really understood the other one, but I think it was a little more than their ideals that played a part in why they could never be forever.

Gah - I'm sorry if I'm totally off base here... But I can't wait to read more!

♥ Beth

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Review #8, by Dojh167 

16th May 2015:
I really like that we get to see Gellert's side of things. I love minor characters, so I am naturally more interested in his story.

And the feelings... Give me feelings.

I really like how you manage to get Gellert to come across as more carefree, and Albus as trapped and tormented. Considering how each of them turns out, this leaves a lot of room for compelling development.

Your emotional imagery is really fabulous. I particularly loved the line about the careless painter. I love how Albus and Gellert both have very romantic ways of describing heir surroundings, such as the physical description of Wales. It really goes a long way towards establishing character and tone. Writing physical description is something I really want to work on, as I tend to focus on the emotional side, but reading your work is a good demonstration about how well these things can contribute to each other.

I also really like how you built on the theme of silence established in the previous chapter. It is a little jarring how little dialogue there is, but it is so deliberate that it works. I particularly enjoy the details surrounding the unheard words Albus murmured into Gellert's collarbone.

I look forward to seeing what feelings this story will make me feel.

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

I'm so glad you like it - I was so nervous about doing split-pov, because it seemed so difficult to do and get two different voices, you know?

Thank you! :) I really wanted to bring Gellert out as something more than just a Dark Lord, and just evil, you know? Because that's really flat for a character, but also not interesting, if he's just like Voldemort. So yeah, it was important to me to sort of bring him to life in a different way than what, I guess, people might have expected :) And yeah, at this stage they are - but it suited their characters, I think :)

Gahh, thank you so much! :D I really love writing description, though I tend to overdo it and have to go back and edit stuff out at times, and especially in something like this, which is essentially mainly about memories, I think it works? But eh, I don't know :P But thank you, nonetheless, I'm so glad you like it and think it works! :)

Haha, I'm not great at dialogue, and this story doesn't really ask for much, which is also part of the problem, I guess. I like trying to put little things from life in - like not hearing words or mishearing things, or ignoring things and so on. And silence - my music and drama teachers always taught me that it meant more than the times with the action/music, so I kinda incorporated that into this a bit :P

Thank you so much for the lovely review, and I'm so happy you're still enjoying the story! :)

Aph xx

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Review #9, by Unicorn_Charm 

14th May 2015:
Hey there! Here for our swap! I'm so sorry, I've been meaning to get back to this for a while now. This is one of those stories that has been on my reading list for ages, too. So I thought I would continue on for our swap. :)

Wow the beginning of this chapter was really something. Even thought Gellert says that he cannot remember, he does seem to recall quite a bit. You painted a beautiful picture of the countryside, rolling hills, gentle breeze, Albus' hair. And then there was the stark contrast of him sitting in the jail cell. It was all just very vivid to me. Such wonderful use of imagery there! :D

I particularly really loved this line, "Without you, I do not remember the places. Make of that what you will."

It was a beautiful way of showing just how much Albus did mean to him. Like, if it weren't for him, he wouldn't remember that time, period. I loved that.

I also really enjoyed the fine line between grateful and angry he seems at the thought of Albus showing him any mercy or making sure that he is somewhat comfortable in prison (like with the books). Even though he is trying to hide it, even within his own thoughts, there seems to be a part of him that is thankful for it. It's amazing how complex of a character he seems already.

I don't even know how to begin about the second part of this chapter. I loved it. Just simply loved it! Your writing is gorgeous and so wonderful to read. It's so vivid and full of emotion and just amazing. You really have quite a gift.

This. "(though I doubt it, for it would reveal you to be fallible and human and would hint at a longing you wish you were better than to have)" That is SUCH a great description of Albus Dumbledore. Just perfect.

Wow. So much passion and budding love in that kiss (what what followed that kiss) between them. Gellert really did care for him quite a great deal, didn't he? It's so sad to see all the hope they have at thinking of traveling the world together and knowing what lies ahead for them. :(

And then it happened. Wow (I've been saying that a lot here) that was emotional. Reading that from Gellert's PoV was really something. I like how you left who killed her up for interpretation, just like JK had. Personally, I think it was Albus. That's my own headcanon. But that's the beauty with out it's written in cannon, and how it's written here, it's up to you.

This was a fantastic chapter, honestly. I just loved every last thing about it and your writing. I really can't wait to continue on with what I'm sure is a wonderfully fantastic story. Excellent job on this so far and thanks for the swap!! ♥

xoxo Meg

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Review #10, by TreacleTart 

14th April 2015:
Hi Laura!

Here for our review swap!

Iím so excited about reading chapter 2! Iíve been meaning to get back to this for ages, but life keeps dragging me away from the computer! Anyways, here I am now.

The opening section with Gellert remembering Wales and his time spent with Albus was so beautiful. Your imagery is stellar. Iíve never been to Wales myself, but the way you wrote it, I could imagine it all very clearly. You have me just about convinced that Iíll be taking my next vacation to Wales. :D

The way Gellert talks about the pressure and captivity that Dumbledore feels is interesting. The pity Gellert feels makes him seem so much more human than the monster he is described as in the books. The idea that he knows what he should say, but instead chooses to say what Dumbledore wants to hear really adds some depth to him.

The jealousy that he shows towards Elphias Doge is interesting as well. The conversation it sparks between them about traveling is really relatable. Iíve wanted to travel my whole life, to everywhere I could possibly go, but have been unable to until last year (when I went to Paris on my first ever international trip!), so I totally understand how Albus feels. Itís suffocating being stuck in the same old place, even when itís somewhere you realize that you love once you leave.

The reflection on the moment Ariana died was so sad, not just for what it meant to Dumbledore or for the death specifically, but because you can also see the death of hopes and dreams in it.

As always, your writing is lovely. Normally when people are very verbose in their writing it feels very forced, but for some reason when you do it, it comes across very easily, almost like there is no effort involved. That's probably my favorite part of your writing. Just the easiness of the flow and the beauty of the words you use.

I look forward to reading chapter 3! Great work!


Author's Response: Hey Kaitlin! :) Thanks so much for stopping by again - it really does mean so much! :)

Thank you so much! :) I tend to write places from pictures - which is wonderful because my 'research' is looking at pictures of beautiful rolling hills and mountains and things :) I really, really love writing the places, though, so I'm so glad you like them too!

I really wanted Gellert to be more human and a lot more real - mostly because the most terrifying part of people who do monstrous things is that, in the end, they're human (imo), and I really wanted to make him a little more grey rather than outwardly, openly evil, so i'm so glad you like him! :)

Yeah, hehe, Gellert is not fond of other people coming before him in the pecking order. At least, not with Albus ;) And yeah, me too - I love travelling, I really want to do more of it, and feeling as though you can't leave just makes it so much worse. I'm so lucky that I've done a fair bit of travelling already, thanks to my parents being keen travellers themselves, but yeah, it's something I'd hate :/

Thank you so much! :D I'm so so happy you picked up on that because it's one of the things I think is almost equally sad about the whole situation - everything goes, then; not just a relationship and a sister, but everything planned, all possibilities of the future they'd thought they'd have, together and individually. It must have made him so very lost :(

Thank you so much! :) I have what my teacher called a 'lawyer's tongue' so I'm pretty verbose in life too, so I suppose in that it does come kinda naturally? I know, though, that I can drag things on too long, so I'm so glad you like it in this! :)

Thank you so much for the wonderful review - I'm so glad you're still enjoying the story! :)

Aph xx

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Review #11, by eunoia 

4th April 2015:
Oh my gosh, your writing leaves me breathless.

I loved your change in point of view from Albus to Gellert, it flowed seamlessly with the last chapter. I really enjoyed reading Gellert's perspective on everything and getting insights into his character. I really liked how Gellert seems to be the more practical of the two as well.

Your descriptions were incredible yet again. It was so easy to lose myself in the scenes you were creating in my mind's eye. I particularly adored this scene in particular;

"The few memories I have of that summer which are not of the way your hair glowed in firelight and the way your eyes lit up and shone when you saw me in the same way they would shine when you spoke of a fascinating theory or your Hogwarts, are fleeting and strangely blurred, as though a careless painter has tipped water onto a landscape, and so much of Wales is now a spoiled masterpiece, the colours leaking and running across each other, until I cannot remember how it was supposed to look."

You depicted and described everything so beautifully that I can't even begin to describe how wonderful it was to read.

Finally, this was another highly emotive chapter and I loved how when Gellert spoke about Albus his love for him was clear in every single word. It just makes the whole thing even more bittersweet.

Once again, another amazing, gorgeous chapter! ♥

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

Ah, thank you so so much! :) I was kinda nervous at first about doing a split-pov, but it was important to me to do it (I really wanted the back-and-forth sort of element and the like-correspondance element too), so I'm so glad you like it! Yeah, Gellert is definitely more practical - a bit more logical than Albus is, in the face of things.

Thank you so much! :) I love writing description and I love so much how this story allows me to do that, with the sections on countries and things, hehe. I really, really loved writing that scene (as I love writing most of this, tbh), so I'm so glad you liked it - it was kinda scary writing a character and almost exposition of that kind and having no idea if it made sense or fitted in the story at all, so it means so much to hear you say you liked it! :)

It's strange, actually, because some people think Gellert loved Albus and some people don't - but I like that, you know? Imo, Gellert did, even if he didn't know he did, so I kinda wrote it from that perspective, and yeah, it definitely makes it all that much more heartbreaking, I think :(

Thank you so so much for the wonderful review! :)

Aph xx

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Review #12, by dirtydeedsdonedirtcheap 

11th March 2015:
Iím supposed to be cleaning my room or exercising but you know Iím here. Once again.
I have no regrets.

Once, we watched the sun set on top of a nearby hill and you spoke of capturing the heavens in a net, containing them in a single enchantment.

Every other sentence is breathtakingly beautiful.

Itís as if youíre making music.

I had expected confinement. What I had found was freedom.

Then, of course, barely a day later, I met you.

I donít know what it is but when I read ĎI met you,í I took a really deep breath and exhaled loudly because I feel as if Iím winded. Thereís just so much in those two sentences. Youíre taking me on a beautiful journey in his mind and his past.

I only ask one thing: do not ask me what happened that day. I will not tell you, I cannot tell you; it must remain unspoken for us to succeed.

First, youíve convinced me. I am an official Albus/Gellert shipper. I need more, now.

Second, I canít help but feeling heís very selfish but maybe they both are in their childish dreams and fantasies. I feel like as I read this chapter it had this air of ĎI am better. I can do better.í I donít know what it was and then to request that he never ask him about what happened that day. Doomed. They were doomed since day one because their love was forbidden and then after that tragic day it was just unspoken, they could not be together.

I canít wait to read what happens next. I feel like the story is challenging to read because it is very emotional. I am stuck between wanting to cry at some of the sentences and feeling anger at others. The anger is fleeting but the sense of sadness is always there.

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Review #13, by pottered  

22nd February 2015:
"Perhaps if I see you in the future, I will ask then, and perhaps, perhaps you will tell me." and that is where I started sobbing uncontrollably.
"in that moment, Albus, we were infinite." ohmygod brilliant.
"Like everything else in my life, Wales had bored me." I think this describes Gellert perfectly.
The 2014 dobby best quote award, yes you deserve it.
Your story has made me ship Albus/Gellert so much. So, so much. I'm going to go down with this ship. I'm going to be honest and say, I've never read anything about them nor did they concern me that much which now I think about, seems foolish as to me, now, they're the kings of OTPS lol.
I have tissues surrounding me, and in this feverish state, I'm much more emotional so you can imagine how much of a mess I am lol. I've said it before, I'm going to say it again and possibly, as many times as I can, that I'm in love with your writing. Absolutely in love. Not only have you taught me a lot, it has also touched my heart. I never really much cared about Gellert, or about his intentions and the way he wanted to conquer the world with the Hallows, and have never given much thought to the whole thing. But, now, I have and I'm a mess of emotions. I had always taught that Gellert was the most guilty one, and mostly people blame it all on him, ignoring the fact that even Albus had the same intentions until ariana's death occurred, so I feel immensely sorry for Gellert. The first part where he's in prison and "fighting cramp and fading sight," it made my heart heavy. You captured him, just like Albus, perfectly.
-M (: x

Author's Response: Hi again - thank you so so much for stopping by again! :)

I'm so sorry you cried again! It wasn't (totally) the intention! :( I'm so so glad you like those lines, though - I always spend so long trying to find the right phrases for this - I take so long to write each chapter, it's almost stupid - so it means a lot to hear you say that! :) And thank you so much - I was just so so grateful to get it, I really couldn't believe it, and it's still pretty amazing now!

Haha, I will convert everyone! :P No, I love the ship too and I really wanted to do them justice with this. It's strange, I got so curious about their friendship after JK spoke about it in the interview, and so I just had to go looking, and these kinds of tragic romances are always my favourites :P

I'm so sorry about that! At least you have tissues - maybe I should send you chocolate or something to make up for it? ;) I'm just so so glad you like it, and the fact that you say I taught you things is just amazing for me. I never ever would have imagined there was anything I could teach anyone about writing, so it really, really means a lot. Like, a LOT.

Yeah, I always kinda thought it was a bit unfair on Gellert - people tend to make Albus too naive and innocent in the whole thing, I think, and Gellert too guilty and evil, so I wanted to try and get a better balance, in my opinion, of how it would really have worked. And yeah, he's kinda forgotten, but I like him so much - he's so fascinating to write! They both are! :) gah, yeah, it was kinda strange to write that, thinking about how tough it would have been - being in prison for forty-five years in total... I mean, that's harsh, you know?

Thank you so so much for the review, again - it really is so so amazing to hear those kinds of things, and I'm so certain my responses are really bad in comparison, but just thank you so much because they really are amazing things to get! :)

Aph xx

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Review #14, by nott theodore 

20th February 2015:
Hi, Laura! I was really happy to get a chance to get back to this story, especially since I've got even further behind with your recent updates!

I loved the change of point of view in this chapter from Albus to Gellert! For some reason I wasn't expecting it to happen at all, but I thought you wrote it so well. It could have easily felt disjointed when you're changing the perspective but this flowed so well from the last chapter - it reads so beautifully, as well. I get the impression that these are the love letters that the two have wanted to send to each other over the years and yet never have, and the fact that both of them are thinking about the other at the same time, and reminiscing over their summer of love, is so bittersweet.

Your characterisation of Gellert was brilliant, too. This kind of links into the change in the point of view, I guess, but you handled the change in voice wonderfully - Gellert is so obviously a completely different character to Albus, and I really liked the way that you characterised him here. Even though the two of them are remembering the same period in their lives, the time when they met and joined together, the colouration of the story is different according to who's telling it, and I just love the way that you managed that.

Gellert almost has a stronger voice than Albus, actually - he's more practical and down-to-earth about things, I think - while Albus seems to be caught up in great ideas and the theoretical side of things, Gellert is clearly someone who wants to get out and do things, see the world and get hands on experience of it. He also seems to care a lot less about what people think of him - Albus values the opinions of others very highly and, I think, tends to moderate his behaviour accordingly. Even though Gellert is wrong in his ideas, I kind of admire the fact that he doesn't care so much what other people think of him. He's more self-sufficient in a way - I know that Albus has to take care of his siblings but Gellert seems readier to go out in the world and survive by himself.

Your descriptions in this chapter - yet again - were absolutely stunning. I loved the way that you described Wales as a country that was so different from England, even though Gellert hadn't imagined it to be somewhere that could interest him at all. I really liked the way that the boredom slowly set in though, so true to Gellert's character - and all that held his memories were those times when Albus appeared in them. I really liked the way that showed so much about the relationship between the two of them.

The kiss was so adorable! I really loved the way that you wrote it. It felt like both of them put so much into that and you really captured the passion and their feelings for each other in those lines, and it was so sweet to read about that - a time when they were much happier and carefree than their later years, when they're narrating this story.

Also it's a tiny detail, but I loved the way that you mentioned the mix of German and English and Latin that they spoke in - that feels so right for their relationship and the sort of people we know Albus and Gellert were, and the languages nerd in me was rejoicing.

I loved the inclusion of those letters from Elphias (that's who I'm assuming they're from) which would bring Albus down because he was reminded of how much he was missing out on when his friend was off travelling round the world. Your descriptions in that section, too, were incredible - you made me want to travel even more and go and see all the places that were mentioned. But it was sad to see that the conversation they had about going together, travelling and leaving Wales, was one of the things that meant Gellert was never going to stay, even if Ariana hadn't died.

Tiny typo - Schwarzwald not Schwarzbald is the Black Forest :)

The style of this, again, reads like a love letter through the ages and it's so beautiful. I really like the way that even your style captures so much about their relationship.

The ending was really powerful. I loved the ambiguity in it, the more serious tone that Gellert adopted and the questions that it made us ask without ever actually answering them. It's so clear that Gellert loves Albus from this - if he didn't, he wouldn't fear telling him the answer of who actually was responsible for killing Ariana. But he does love him, and because of that he doesn't know what would be worse - for Albus to hate himself for killing his own sister, or for Albus to hate Gellert for killing his sister. I really thought that was a brilliant way to end the chapter!

This was beautiful as always, Laura!

Sian :)

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Review #15, by HappyMollyWeasley 

30th December 2014:
Ok, so I couldn't stop reading, so here's an extra review "for free" ;-)

This chapter is just as beautiful, but in a different way. Gellert isn't as naive as Albus, or maybe it's how I interp them, knowing what became of him...

Thanks for introducing me to you great story! :-)

Author's Response: Haha, sorry about that! :P (But, seriously, thank you so much for coming back again - it's so, so great to see!)

I really love writing Gellert, simply because he's so different to Albus. He's not as naive - you're definitely right there! - and he's a lot more practical, rather than theoretical. There's also a bit more anger and passion with him - more of a conflict in his emotions - which I love writing, too.

Thank you so so much for reviewing again - it was a complete surprise, totally made my day! :)

Aph xx

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Review #16, by BellaLestrange87 

21st December 2014:
I think I'm addicted to this story. I've only read two chapters and I'm rushing this review so I can read the next one.

I really enjoyed being able to see into Grindelwald's mind. He was a lot mellower than I expected: I thought he would be angry at Albus for shutting him away in Nurmengard and leaving him to rot. Then, of course, I realized that they loved each other. I can't imagine what it would have been like for them to have to duel each other in 1945, trying to hurt the one you love most.

The contrast between Albus and Gellert's opinion of Wales was excellent. Of course, Albus is stuck there, so he would resent it, while Gellert is a visitor and (as far as I know) could leave when he pleased. Even though he didn't want to, because Albus was there.

So Bathilda Bagshot is Gellert's aunt! (Or at least that's what I gathered from that section.) I wonder if maybe that's where they met, with Albus's love for history and learning and books in general?

I like how Gellert didn't really seem to believe what he told Albus, about conquering the world together. When I first read Deathly Hallows, I had this image in my head of how Grindelwald was a monster and generally unpleasant person. Of course, now I look back on that and realize that Dumbledore probably wouldn't have fallen for someone like that. And Gellert's telling Albus the conquering lines merely because he knows that that's what he wants to here, just to calm him down, makes it nicer, just because it shows their relationship isn't built solely on physical attraction.

Thinking about the letters, I believe the only possible place it could come from that would put Albus in such a bad mood is Azkaban - where his father is. From what I gathered when I read Deathly Hallows - and Percival Dumbledore's Harry Potter Wiki article, to freshen my memory - Albus didn't have a close relationship with his father when he was younger, but wished to apologize to him as he aged.

The only plausible explanation that I can come up with for why Dumbledore wouldn't be all that happy by his father's sending him letters is that he (Albus) blames him (Percival). If his father hadn't attacked the Muggles back then (in revenge), then Dumbledore wouldn't be stuck in Wales, unable to travel the world.

I remember you saying somewhere - whether it was on the forums or in a review response, I'm not sure - that you hated dialogue and tried to write as little of it as possible. Personally, I think the dialogue in this is amazing. It fits my inner idea of what these two - well Dumbledore specifically, since we never got to know Grindelwald in person canonically - would've been like in their younger days.

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Review #17, by moonbaby11 

20th December 2014:
This is another beautifully written chapter. You have an amazing way with words. You know how to string them together to not only tell the story really well, but also in a way that almost seems poetic, if you know what I mean. I love your word choice and the way you form your sentences just... everything about the way that you write is amazing and I wish that some of your talent would rub off on me.

I was slightly confused by the chance of POV at first, but once I caught a few key things (like the mention of Germany being his home) I completely understood what was happening. I don't know if I'd suggest putting some sort of indication near the beginning that the POV is switching because it might throw off the story, but I think it is something that you should consider.

By the time I had finished reading the chapter, however, and looked back at the first one, it was clear that the two voices are very different from each other. It doesn't just sound as if you're switching out names, but it honestly feels as if the two chapters were written by two different people. There is a clear distinction, and I love it.

I absolutely adored the description of the kiss - I think that was my favourite moment from this chapter. You painted a very vivid picture, and all of the words just seemed to come together in a beautiful way. I know I've said it before, but I'm blown away by your writing and the style that this piece has.

Overall, I don't have anything negative to say about this. I want to apologize again for taking so long, and wish you good luck with the rest of this story!

Author's Response: Hey there again - thank you so much for coming back! :)

Thank you so much! :) That is amazingly lovely to hear from you; I'm really at a loss of how to respond properly to that without just repeating 'thank you' over and over again. If it helps, I spend ages writing these chapters - I'm so slow! If I can't think of the right way to phrase things... it's so annoying :P

Mm... yeah, I wasn't sure it was going to be clear (and, tbh, knowing the characters and full backstories and all, it's difficult for me to tell, because I know from the beginning, you know?), so I'll definitely think about making it a bit clearer, maybe some more differing details at the top of the chapter or something? Thanks for mentioning it, though! :)

I'm so happy that there is a distinction, though, because having never written first person or a pov switch before, I really wanted to make sure it seemed different, so thank you! :)

Ah, thank you - it's odd, you know, because I hate writing kiss scenes. They're so hard - too much description and it's weird, too little and it's weird... but at the same time, you want enough that it seems real. So irritating... but that just makes me all the more amazed that people like that moment, so thank you so much! :)

Thank you so so much for the lovely pair of reviews - they were so great to get! :)

Aph xx

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Review #18, by UnluckyStar57 

23rd October 2014:
Hi hi hi! I have finally come to review chapter two of this lovely story. :)

I actually went ahead and reread the first chapter to make sure that I could give you a definite answer about the whole two-narrator thing, and here's the verdict: It works! There is a very clear distinction between Albus's chapter and Gellert's, and I would probably not mistake one for the other in future chapters. More on that later.

First: As always, beautiful writing. I love the way Gellert talks about the flora and fauna of the places he visits/wants to visit. He is fiery and passionate, and he has a very good eye for detail. He's probably had a lot of time to observe/reflect on his life in prison. This chapter was descriptive in a way that was different from Albus's chapter. They see different things in the same object/concept, and therein lies their fundamental difference. Hopefully you can continue to emphasize that in future chapters!

Ooh, the part about Gellert being at a loss for words is perfect, especially since Albus's chapter was all about words. Albus is obsessed with words and ideas; Gellert wants action. It's odd, then, that he has all of these crazy ideologies while Albus is logical. I think that Gellert doesn't use words to cage his ideologies in his mind, which is why he wants to act, to go somewhere new, and to move on when he gets bored. Albus uses words to frame his logic, and so he acts a bit more rationally. The way they are characterized really makes this comparison between the two stand out. It's really lovely. :)

I really couldn't find any mistakes in this chapter--it's positively flawless.

...Oooh! Wait! I have to talk about the kiss! Ugh, that kiss!! It happened, and it was beautiful. Like, teach me how to write a kissing scene, because I feel so awkward when I try. Your writing and the action within the words was just progressing towards the kiss, but when it happened, it took me by surprise--in a good way. I love the image of the intimacy in between Albus and Gellert--it proves that there were feelings in the mix, volatile, fledgling feelings that they end up dealing with for the rest of their lives. The kiss cemented their (rather sad) fate, mwahaha. You do love to torture your characters. :)

Amazing chapter, Laura! Please forgive me for being so late in reviewing it. :P


Author's Response: Hey Mallory! :) No worries about taking your time - RL gets in everyone's way at times ;)

Thank you so so much! :) It's one of those things I really worried about before posting this because I've never done a split-narrator story before, so it was very new to me, and I really want this story to be right, since it's my OTP and all, so I'm so glad it works!

Thank you! :) I really wanted to emphasise the difference between them from the beginning, hence the different themes with the chapter titles and as base things for them, too. And he's definitely had a lot of time to think things over in prison and remember things - I also loved the contradiction of Albus not paying so much attention to surroundings whereas to Gellert they're incredibly important, and places mean things.

Thank youuu! :D I really loved that moment - Gellert is the kind of person who almost plays with words, so him being lost is sort of indicative of his emotional state, in a way, and yeah, there's a lot of interplay between who considers them more important, who uses them more often, and so on. I really liked intertwining them like that, so to speak, with words and action because it makes it that much more interesting, I think, because they can appear so similar, but underneath they're not :)

Ooh, the kiss! :P Thank you so much! Okay, like, I used to hate writing kissing scenes, too - I found them so weird, but now I just tend to think about them logically, in terms of physicality - A puts hand Y, B does X, and so on and it makes it a lot less weird to write, I think? It worked for me, it might help you too? But thank you - I really wanted to have a few more moments of them being intimate at the beginning, because of course it gets more scare later on, and I really did want to set up their relationship first and then almost what happens afterwards. I'm so so glad that that came through, and haha, yeah, I have a habit of that :P

Thank you so so much for the wonderful review - it was so great to get, and, again, no worries about the timing! Thank you! :)

Aph xx

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Review #19, by marauderfan 

20th October 2014:
So glad to return to this story as I loved the first chapter so much! And before I start, I'm just going to offer you HUGE CONGRATULATIONS for winning the best quote Dobby!!!

I really like the POV switch. Gellert's voice is so different from Albus's, and the things he notices and remarks on are different as well. But as in the previous chapter, he's talking half to himself, half sort of across the distance to Albus, wherever he is at the time. I like that style.

This is really such an interesting portrayal of Gellert, as well. It's really not what I expected from him - I think I was expecting his narration to be less nostalgic, and boldly unapologetic, a bit twisted as he's been sitting in prison all these years. But I guess the years that have passed since all these things happened have softened the memories a little, so he looks on those days in a different way than he would have if he were narrating it as a younger man. There is bitterness there, but it's kind of masked, as nostalgia often tends to do. I loved the way you describe the rolling hills of Wales in this romantic way, and how the place really impacted him.

One of the things that stands out to me the most about your writing is just how beautiful it is. It flows so well, paints gorgeous pictures of feelings and moods. It all feels very profound, even when Gellert isn't talking about particularly profound things - I don't know how you do it, it's really a talent. Given the way you use words, I am not at all surprised that you won the best quote Dobby!

Hmm, the end makes me think it was Albus who killed Ariana. Gellert is maddenly unclear about that :p But I appreciated the anecdote about Ariana's death and the way it affected Gellert - as his POV on the issue is probably the one that's generally less thought about, but of course it had a huge impact on him as well as Albus.

Anyway, wow. Fantastic chapter and thanks so much for the swap!!

Author's Response: Hi there - I'm so glad to see you back again! :) And thank you so much! It was a complete surprise - I hadn't even thought I'd be nominated, so winning was just a dream! :D :D

Ah, thank you! I'm so glad you like it as it's the first time I've actually done a pov switch in a story, so it was a bit strange for me, in a way, but it seemed right for this story. I did try to make the voices different too - they're different people, so it stands to reason - so I'm so happy you think that came through! :)

I'm so glad you like him, thank you! :) I really liked exploring the way he thinks - because he sees the world in a very specific sort of way and that was so much fun to do! Yeah, I liked including the nostalgia about the places and the things - I think prison for someone like Gellert is very boring, so he sort of wants to be anywhere else, haha, and reminiscing is sort of natural in that kind of situation. Wales is so beautiful - I adored describing it, though it was hard at times... I mean, I kept running out of different ways to say 'hill' :P

Gah, thank you so much! :D I really like the voices I've developed for the two of them, and the advantage about it being them is that a little bit of pretentiousness is expected :P So it's easy to kind of get away with that sort of falsely-profound, overly-sage kind of sense that comes with it ;)

Ooh, who knows? :P No seriously, I don't know. I have my suspicions and my theories - and of course, Albus and Gellert have their own theories too, and Aberforth as well when he turns up - but it's the kind of information which will never really be resolved in this, because there isn't really a resolution. And I'm so glad you liked Gellert's pov on that - it's important, I think, to remember he was only sixteen when it happened, which is pretty young, so I liked giving it an impact on him too.

Thank you so so much for the lovely review, and the congratulations, and all the wonderful compliments - it was so, so nice to get! :) And thank you again for the swap!

Aph xx

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Review #20, by AlexFan 

29th August 2014:
Your prose is absolutely beautiful, as always. Iím a little jealous of how wonderful your writing is and how well it just seems to flow together. I donít know how you do it.

Iím generally not a fan of point of view switches because Iíve read so many stories where I was unable to tell the voice of one character from another so itís become a bit of a put off for me. That being said, the voices between Albus and Gellert are very different. Theyíre both talking about similar events but the difference is in the way that Albus and Gellert talk about them.

Albus views Wales as a prison that he wishes to break out of and so he sounds trapped when he talks about his childhood except for the moments in which he is with Gellert. Gellert views Wales as freedom, it makes him happy and so his version of events are lot happier is the best way that I can put it. For Grindelwald Wales is almost like a chance for him to start over.

I thought it was interesting how you chose to write Grindelwald in his later life, it seems that despite the fact that heís imprisoned and should hate Dumbledore for putting him where he is, but he canít. Grindelwald may be on a side different than Dumbledore but he still seems to care for him quite a bit. I thought it was interesting how heís been locked up for so long that heís forgotten what certain places used to look like, except the ones involving Albus. It shows just how much Albus really meant to him that his clearest memories are the ones in which Albus is present.

I liked how you pointed out that the death of Ariana was what really broke Albus, because Albus loved Grindelwald immensely and wouldíve done anything to be with him yet the death of his sister is what broke Albus. Because no matter how much he cared about Grindelwald, his brother and sister held a special place in his heart that Grindelwald would probably never reach.

You have this absolutely incredible way of really getting into the characters heads and understanding how they feel and their thoughts and dreams I donít see quite often. So all in all, this was brilliant.

Author's Response: Hi there - thanks so much for stopping by! :)

Thank you so so much - I'm always nervous about how this will go down, because the style is pretty pretentious, I have to admit that much, haha, so it's always a bit unsure of how people are going to take to it, or if it's just too much, so I'm so glad you like it!

Yay, thank you! I knew the content was going to be similar, because I kinda wanted to start them off from the same page, if that makes sense, so I'm so glad their voices are different because otherwise it would have gone so badly wrong :P And yeah, switching povs is always tricky (it's why I've always avoided it up until I did this and it just needed it, you know?), so I'm so happy you think it works here!

That is a really brilliant summary of it all! :) Seriously, it's amazing. And yeah, Gellert is a lot more stable, I guess, than Albus is at this point - he's a lot less worried about things, but then he would be! And yeah, Wales is escape for him, away from everyone who knows him, away from his own reputation having been thrown out of school... he loves that!

Thank you so much! I loved writing Gellert later, and it was so interesting to think about how he'd feel, especially towards Albus. I loved bringing out the bitterness and the whole frustration, loneliness aspect to it, as well as the sort of residual hatred kind of thing. And yeah, the memories thing... haha, unrequited love whaaa? :P

I really wanted to focus on Ariana's death, because I always thought that that was the turning point for Albus, because he lost all of the rest of his family in one go, and then lost Gellert as well. It was just such a horrible moment for him. And yeah, siblings are always special, no matter how much you love someone else! :)

Gah, thank you so much - that is so so nice to hear, particularly because Dumbledore is such an established character in canon, so I really wanted to do him justice, so I'm so glad you think he's alright! :)

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

Aph xx

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Review #21, by crestwood 

27th August 2014:
Hey Laura! I didn't notice that you had uploaded another chapter of this because I haven't checked my favorites in a while. I would have come and given another review even if you didn't request, but I'm glad you did because your Areas of Concern are always so helpful with guiding my review and helping me make a bit of sense, rather than ramble on.

Also, thank you so much for putting my review in the "Reviews that made your day" thread! That honestly meant so much :)

On to the actual review now, I think I'll give you a real time look at my thoughts as I read along.
First off, Grindlewald point of view is an interesting choice, especially since it seems that you have written him later in life. He seems contemptuous toward Dumbledore, which is expected, but at the same time, there's a hint of tenderness. It doesn't feel like the way you'd talk to a sworn enemy, but rather a lover that had long since represented betrayal and disappointment to you.

It's intriguing that Grindlewald has been locked away for so long that he can't fully remember any of the places he called home, but it's a strong symbol of his underlying devotion to Dumbledore that he manages to remember places and images, as long as Albus is involved in the memory in some way. That's such a simple, but powerful way to invoke that idea.

I love the way you said that Dumbledore's eyes lit up when he spoke of Hogwarts. The phrase "your Hogwarts" makes it seem almost like he viewed the school as a prized possession, something incredibly valuable and personal. That just lined up entirely with what we know about Dumbledore and was such a nice little touch.

The way Grindlewald addresses Dumbledore is equally as beautiful as the other way around, which makes sense, they were supposed to be equals after all. I'm a person who tends to write romance if given the chance to fall into my comfort zone, but I will never picture myself not just writing a romance story, but writing *romantically*

And by that, I am referring to the artistic movement. As in, the movement that validated increased emphasis on intense emotion and especially on nature. (Grindlewald's very detailed description of his feelings toward and about the wide open nature that he found in Wales is what ultimately caused me to make this connection) The aesthetic of this story reminds me of those authors that could be grouped into that movement. People like Jane Austen and Nathaniel Hawthorne spring to mind, or even poets such as John Keats. This is all a long winded way of saying, I'm impressed with your figurative language.

I do not think the plot is too slow. I think this chapter is paced exactly as it should be. It seems that Grindlewald is directly addressing Dumbledore and in his reminiscence, one expects him to get off topic. Of course, one could not predict that his little tangents of the mind would be so utterly pleasant to read.

This chapter also felt very different from the first in my opinion. Grindlewald and Dumbledore's version of events were similar of course, but the differences in the ways they went about telling them were very easily discernible. I felt that there was an entirely different voice here than in the previous chapter.

The characters were even better this time around, due to the fact that we got to see so much of their relationship in this chapter. Their dealings with each other were so passionate and the level at which Grindlewald seemed to understand Dumbledore's emotions and mannerisms was amazing to read. It's almost a shame that their time together had to be so fleeting.

I didn't notice an overabundance of commas while I read, but I would expect that with a character as intelligent as Grindlewald, that you'd have to use a bit more than usual since he'd tend to use larger and more complex sentences.

The first person is going excellently. You really step into each of their minds and give such minuscule details to differentiate them and make their voice special. And Grindlewald's plea to Dumbledore to come find him was unexpected, but so riveting. The way he claims that he is certain that he will not come to him is striking. I would think that it would take a lot for a man as prideful as Grindlewald is to actively hope that he is completely wrong about someone he thinks he knows so thoroughly. That's yet another testament to the strength of the affection between these two. You've struck gold again. This chapter is an absolute tour de force. I don't think I've ever written a review this long. Thank you once again for your request.

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Review #22, by newgenerationlover 

13th August 2014:
I feel like I would be repeating myself to again say how astounded I am at the skill of writing present here, but at the same time if I don't, I feel like this review would be rather useless, or at least, not as meaningful. Aph, again, you leave me speechless. Each word seems to flow perfectly into the next into a stream of prose that is incomparable to on this site at least. Ugh! I just want to be able to write like you!! Is that too much to ask?? *cries* Oh well, I guess some of us have to be destined to be mortals next to writing gods like you. *sighs*

Ooo, different POV. I like it. The emotions and actions here are so realistic and so plausible that I would just like to thank you a million bajillion times as I have been stuck in a rut of reading bad, super fake, mary sue stories on this site and this is honestly just like a breath of fresh air.

Ok, well I'm about to pass out right now as I am still a little behind on my sleep after my travels so I'm going to end this review here but just know, I could go on and on for pages about this and it is truly a wonderful story and I can't wait for chapter three :P


Author's Response: Hi again, Mary! It's so so great to see you back again and I'm honestly just so glad you're enjoying this story! It's kinda my baby, haha (ironic, all things considering...).

Thank you so much! You know, I don't really know how to respond to this other than by repeating thank you over and over again, haha. I take a long time to write this, haha - so it's not quite so impressive, I don't think. I'll take being a god, though - I always wanted to be immortal and powerful and all... :P

Thank you - I really loved writing Gellert and I really wanted to make him seem real and human, not just Voldemort 1.0 or something, because it feels to me like a bit of a cop-out to do that, you know? And no problem - I'm just so happy you like this!

Oh no, not good - don't worry about it at all, go sleep, go sleep, silly girl! Fainting's never good...

Gah, thank you so so much again for the wonderful, wonderful pair of reviews and all the fabulous compliments - I'm not sure I deserve them, but they're so so amazing to get! :)

Aph xx

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