Reading Reviews for L'optimisme, Chapter 3: Words
14 Reviews Found

Review #1, by Yoshi_Kitten 

8th February 2016:
Hello! RoxiMalfoy, back again for chapter 3 of our review swap!! But I think I'll just skip the part where I tell you how amazingly awesome and super talented you are, lol. I'm pretty sure you know that all day, and I could fangirl over this story for days, haha!! ^_^;

Man, do I ever wish that I could paint a picture with words in the way that you do!! The way that you describe everything is so beautiful, and it puts such vivid images in my mind as I read. I absolutely LOVE that quality in your writing. I've been trying to develop this skill more and more over the years, but dialogue and conversations still remain to be my stronger areas of writing. I feel like I have really learned a thing or two, just by reading your story tho, so I do wanna thank you for that. This is seriously some of the best quality fanfiction that I have ever read!!

I loved all the mentionings of Nicolas Flamel and Elphias Dodge and all of Dumbledore's other various friends throughout this chapter. It's good to see that he is finally cheering up a bit and moving on somewhat. A broken heart is never an easy thing to mend, and it's good that you are showing his internal struggle with his feelings. It seems fare more natural, the way that this is progressing, and I think you have the pacing of everything down perfect.

Dumbledore is extremely in character all throughout this story so far. Never once have you made him even the slightest bit OOC, in my opinion. And that alone is no easy feat, lol! I for one find Dumbledore (as well as Voldemort) to be one of the most difficult characters in the HP world to write. Yet you portray him so effortlessly here!! He is clever, intelligent, and perfectly witty in his thought process. And his voice is very much distinct from Gellert's in the alternating chapters. I love how different, yet incredibly similar they are.

Honestly, this whole thing is just perfect, and I cannot wait to read more!! You keep me guessing as to where this story is going to take me to next, and I love that!! Also, I'm glad that I refreshed the page before submitting this review, cuz I LOVE the new chapter Image!! I went back and looked at the last 2 also, and they are all so beautiful!! They even match the banner and everything, lol! Please give the artist my props, and congrats on getting such incredible CI's made for this amazing story!! ♥


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Review #2, by Penelope Inkwell 

17th September 2015:
Though their meanings are often simpler to decipher, words are as potent as silence can be Ė and, in my experience, are far more likely to be employed to hurt, as they require far less skill on the part of the one wielding them. They can bite and nip, wound to the bone, and potentially kill.
--This is a great description, and very true. I don't know that I've thought of it before, but he's quite right: it takes skill to powerfully wield silence. Words are much easier. It reminds me--back when I was studying acting--one of the notes we'd always get as fledgling actors were notes on how to use silence. We could all read the lines, and do it well, but learning when to pause, and how long to hold it, and having the courage to hold it out, to trust your instincts and not break under the pressure and the silence--that took a lot of work.

And, of course, as all mothers seem to know, silent treatment and "being disappointed" can be so much worse than recriminations and loud words.

It is interesting to note here that, of course, all spells are formed of words, incantations, used to focus the magic and so allow it to flow in a concentrated, precise manner. For this reason, non-verbal magic is so difficult and a highly prized skill amongst powerful witches and wizards. If spells can kill, can be unforgiveable, cannot words be the same?
--this is sooo Dumbledore-esque. It's like you've captured how he sounds in the notes in "The Tales of Beedle the Bard. That was a great touch--these kind of intellectual asides. He's so smart, he can't help making them, and he knows that Gellert would be able to keep up.

I love the idea that he went off to work as Nicolas Flamel's assistant after all that. It makes sense that he would flee, really, and that he would want to go somewhere far away. But it also seems the sort of thing that would be a bit prestigious, that would suit his advanced mind. And, of course, it's a nice little fill-in to the question of how the two of them met.

Nice work!


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Review #3, by HeyMrsPotter 

13th September 2015:
but the following scandal would not, I think, have been worth the few moments of amusement it would have produced. LOL omg favourite line of this chapter. This is just SO Dumbledore, of course he would have found this absolutely hilarious.

I like the idea of Dumbledore seeking out friends after Ariana by means of distraction, and the inclusion of the Flamels was a nice touch. I'm enjoying the alternating between Dumbledore and Gellert's points of view, and that I can tell by the 'voice' which is which before any characters have been mentioned.


Author's Response: Dee - hi again! :D Thank you so much! :)

Haha, I'm so happy people seem to like that line - I loved writing it :P One of my rare bouts of humour, haha :P I kinda wanted to pay reference to the fact that he can't exactly tell anyone - and I don't think he did, you know? So yeah, that line :P

Thank you! :) I really wanted to include the Flamels, because I always wondered about it - given the obvious connections to immortality and all. And the povs... I love switching them in writing, so I'm so glad you like reading them! :)

Thank you so much for the wonderful review! :)

Aph xx

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Review #4, by ad astra 

20th June 2015:
House Cup 2015 Review - Slytherin

I said I need to stop complimenting you on your writing ability and incredible use of language and then I see that incredible Dobby-winning quote which is even more incredible in context. I could read the opening section of this chapter over and over again until it sinks into my very soul. I could get a tattoo of some of these lines, that's how incredible they are. I don't think any review can really do justice to the sheer beauty of your words so I'll move on to the story itself.

Your evocation of the turn of the 20th century is beautiful here, and I have to say I'm in love with the sheer aesthetic of this story, Europe at the dawning of a new era, Albus and Gellert at the centre of it, tragedy and grief and pain juxtaposed with celebration and hope. It's perfect.

I just want one moment of Albus glibly talking about his beautiful blonde boy. Just one. It would make my entire life. Embrace scandal, Albus Dumbledore.

I could talk about aesthetics with the Flamels and alchemy and Albus's slow, gradual return to happiness until Christmas but I'll leave it at the simple fact that I want to immerse myself completely in the world you've created here.

Author's Response: Lisa! :D Thank you so much for dropping by again (I have no idea how you're managing to review this of all things - which is so long and so heavy and so slow - for TAR, so thank you so much for that!)! :)

Gah, thank you so much! :) I really love writing this fic (though there are bits in it I still hate, if I'm honest), so I'm just so glad you like it - especially the little exposition-y bits at the beginning of each chapter since I was so nervous about those - and still am each time I post. Wah, you're amazing and you're making me blush saying these things, you know? :) Thank you so so much!

Thank you! :D I really, really loved writing the turn of the century - especially because it's such a coincidental time, them meeting just before it and being split when they had so many plans and so on. Especially when everyone around them was so hopeful of a bright new future and so many new theories were coming out/being developed... it's a time I love in history, so I had to include it and try and do it justice in here :)

Mahaha, maybe. Maybe :P I'm very tempted to have a drunk confession-type scene, but I'm not sure how it would work... (a one-shot? Maybe? :P) Poor boy, he would, but he's too terrified too :( Societal prejudices and all that jazz...

Mah, I loved the alchemy stuff! And the Flamels! :D So I'm so happy you liked it too! :)

Thank you so so much for the amazing review, as always! :) Really, I'm just so so glad you like this! :)

Aph xx

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Review #5, by Dojh167 

17th May 2015:
I'm not going to lie, I'm kind of having a love/hate relationship with how melodramatically pretentious. I normally wouldn't say something like that, but from reading your Novel Nest post, you understand that this story lives in that world. That being said, I can't help but keep coming back because it is SO DELICIOUS. Even deliciously melodramatically pretentious.

That being said, the chapters are so abstractly descriptive that so far they have been a little tough to get through without much action or dialogue. It can be a bit daunting to look at a 3000+ word chapter of narrative text. So a whine a bit when I start a chapter, but I never regret it afterwards. I hope that as the story progresses you find a way to maintain an engaging dramatic arc.

I have noticed that you use the "- and the - and the -" structure quite often, instead of "-, -, and -," I really like this structure as it has a powerful rhythmical effect, but you might want to be careful about overusing it. It is powerful when used sparingly. If used too often it can feel monotonous. I've noticed it in past chapters, and counted at least seven occurrences this chapter.

Again, the poetic style you are writing in is so perfect for these characters and this romance. I'm pretty sure at all of my reviews are going to amount to "Gah! Feelings!"

I did spot several typos and omitted words in this chapter, an issue I hadn't seen with previous chapters.

Love this line: "Naturally, admitting glibly to the world at large that I had spent a summer contentedly making love to a beautiful blonde boy would certainly have done the trick"

I really like seeing all the names of familiar characters and their ancestors. However, it seems a little odd that almost all the characters named are related to people we know.

The paragraph describing the boat on the river had particularly beautiful imagery.

I've noticed that you have a habit of describing something with two very similar words, such as "exact and precise" or "utterly and completely." If you are going to use multiple descriptive words, make sure that they are each valuable and add something new. If the extra words are not needed, being concise can have its own powerful impact.

"for even little mentions of those reminded me of Hallows and revolutions and the way you had breathed against my neck at night as you slept" The way that this sentence naturally captures his train of thought and its natural transitions without stopping to explain for outsiders is really fabulous.

And I love the implication that part of the reason Dumbledore always avoided politics was because of how strongly he associated those concepts with Gellert.

"For the first time, I felt what had possessed them since that fateful moment the clock struck twelve and the second hand ticked past: hope." I think that this line pushed the envelope on melodramatic cliche a little too far, and did take me out of the story. I like what you are trying to do with the line, but think the wording is a little too heavy handed.

I'll be back!

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Review #6, by TreacleTart 

4th May 2015:
Bonjour Laura!

I'm here for our review swap! As always I plan to ramble incoherently about what a fantastic story this is. It's just so beautiful. Honestly, as I read this I actually notice myself holding my breath from time to time. It really just stuns me how masterfully you handle description and imagery. It's something for me to aspire to someday.

The way you painted the picture of France being this healing place for Albus was spectacular. I went to France for the first time myself, last October (only to Paris) and found it a bit like that as well, so I can really relate to his experience. There is something so relaxing and reinvigorating about the French way of life, the beautiful sights, the food, the wines, the culture, all of it.

The undercurrent of his thoughts about Gellert really contradict the beauty in the beginning. It's like there's this corpse of this person who used to exist in his life shielding him from everything. I'm glad that as the chapter progressed, he becomes less of an actual obstruction and more of an after thought, if that makes any sense. Instead of blocking the view, he becomes more of a ghost, whispering in his ear about what the view might've been like had he been present.

Finally, I was happy to see Albus start to have ideas about healing his relationship with Aberforth and trying to do some good in the world. We all know the man he eventually becomes, so it's lovely to see the actual transition to that point. Once again, you've described it so eloquently. And I love that you haven't rushed it at all. At this point, it's just the first musings of it. The pace seems very natural.

Also...I just wanted to point out one line that stood out and actually made me giggle mid-way through the story. "Euphemia Bones, having forgotten all about my absence after the brief disappointment upon making the discovery, quickly gathered a circle of admirers, half of whom she would go on to marry and then promptly divorce after lengthy affairs." I'm amazed at what a complete picture you've created of this woman in just a few sentences.

Comme toujours, votre ecriture etait tres bon. Jíťtais heureux de le faire.


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Review #7, by dirtydeedsdonedirtcheap 

11th March 2015:
If silence is the killer and the jester and the lover all in one, the joker in the deck, then words are the simple, lowly twos and threes.

I almost donít want to read on because I am jealous of your writing style and know I could never open a chapter quite like this, as great as you, or even be on your level.

Youíre making it hard out there for us fanfic writers.

You and I, that summer, we lived by words. They flew through the air between us, thick and fast, until they filled it completely, nothing left to breathe, and we sat there, laughing and exhausted.

I have to admit so far reading from his point of view is my favorite. I feel like thereís more magic to his thoughts and explanation. Not that I didnít enjoy chapter two (come on I was a gushing fool in my last review) but thereís something about Albus and his attention to detail. The way each word is carefully picked out and crafted in order to give us a sense of what he felt, what he is feeling, and what happened long ago.

The idea of socialising, of being expected to laugh and chat about inconsequential things and yet be the clever, witty man they had grown up with at school was suddenly abhorrent to me.

I can relate to this without a doubt. When I graduated high school I felt no connection to any of my friends. In fact by the time my senior year rolled around I didnít want to talk to most of them anymore. I pretended to be busy or that my mother wouldnít let me go out with them because in truth I was tired of them and we no longer had a common interest. Everyone was moving on to partying and these other things and I was still this same person. The quiet shy girl who liked to read for fun and was afraid of boys touching her.

I decided that since life was determined to simply march along no matter what I did or said or how much I refused to follow, I would continue on too, with or without you, as you wished. I decided I would not let you define my life, would not let that summer, tragic though it was, define my life.

That ending! What are you doing to me. I was so captured by the chapter and the imagery the end just pulled me with full force because I keptÖI knew the feeling but I couldnít quite place it. Heís heartbroken and that didnít get me until the end. I understood the pain and desire, the want, the need but it didnít dawn on me until the very end his pain. Itís not because of your lack of writing. Itís because it is something that I have pushed away for such a long time. I was in a long relationship that ended terribly and though I have forgotten him (so to speak) that tick of pain can still easily be remembered even though I have moved on and am in love with someone else. Wow. Your story brings up a lot of emotions and I canít help but feel for Albus. Itís a tragic love story but then at times it doesnít feel like a love story. It feels like something more.

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Review #8, by nott theodore 

6th March 2015:
Hi Laura! I'm back (and finally not for a review swap :P) and this chapter was like the perfect one for me to come back to, because it was set in France and I was able to picture so many of the places that are mentioned here after seeing them in real life and that was really cool!

Other than squeeing over the fact that this chapter is set in France, I really don't know where to start with this review. Could you teach me how to write? Please? Pretty please? *hands over chocolate* I want your talents with forming a narrative like this and creating beautiful descriptions!

The opening section, like all of your writing, was stunning. I don't know how you manage to come up with such powerful similes and metaphors to highlight the importance and potency of language (and you know that I'll never disagree with something like that) but it was so amazing to read and it really felt like it was something that would come from Albus's mind, realising how much of an impact words can have on a person - both on the recipient and the speaker.

I love the way that, while all of this story (so far, at least) is a reflection by Albus and Gellert on their past and their feelings for each other, we're moving forward in time from where they began and it's not exactly a love story - not a very happy one, anyway :P

It's brilliant that you included Albus's work with Nicolas Flamel in this chapter! I love the way that this story is going to so many different countries and locations and exploring them, but the reasons for them being in those places are so well thought out as well. This seems to me to take place just after Gellert's left and Ariana's died, and so Albus is at a loss for what to do, and I can imagine him going somewhere like France, away from the memories that his home holds, and studying with someone like Flamel. It's a tiny thing, but I loved the fact that he was only an assistant here - although he's proven he has a brilliant mind, he still isn't on a par with someone the age of Nicolas, who has so much experience and knowledge, and the friendship that is talked about later in Albus's life hasn't grown yet.

The way that Albus talked about the study of Alchemy was great as well - I loved the duality of the subject, the way that it was certain and uncertain at the same time. I really like to think that his work with Flamel is what really helped Albus make his name as an intellectual in the wizarding world.

The fact that he tries to absorb himself in his studies but ignores the concept of immortality that Alchemy offers is really interesting - he's deliberately shying away now from things that remind him of Gellert and the time that they spent together, and the plans that they had. Part of me thinks that he's a little ashamed already of his greed for immortality and power, but I think the bigger part is still regret and sadness over what he's lost.

The descriptions of France were just so beautiful, particularly the views of the Loire and the different cities that were mentioned too - Paris and Marseilles especially. I loved the detail that you included with the turn of the century and the celebrations and hope that the new century brought, and the way that you used those enormous cities to evoke the idea of excitement and wonder. It contrasted really well with the misery that Albus was feeling here, and the way that he simply didn't want to be a part of those celebrations because he didn't feel that he had anything to celebrate. It fits so well with his state of mind.

I really liked the way that you wrote about the parties that his friends were having back at home without him - they felt detached from Albus's life, something completely different, and almost in another world to his own at this point. The parties seemed really funny too, though (I could picture the events so well!). I also really liked the panic that the mention of Euphemia caused Albus, which ties in with the fact that nobody knew about his past with Gellert and it was a big secret. It's a great way to touch on the fact that the prejudices and discrimination were ingrained in wizarding society at this point, too, and the way that Albus felt having to deal with that.

Towards the end of this chapter, I definitely got the sense that Albus is deliberately doing what he can to avoid thinking of Gellert and even trying to forget him, which makes perfect sense to me. People don't want to hurt and be in pain if they can move on in a way, and so the fact that he could celebrate and enjoy the sights and beauty of the different places in France is a sign that Albus has been somewhat successful in trying to put the memories of him and Gellert behind him. At the same time, I'm very intrigued about the mention of another meeting as lovers, and I wonder when that will occur in the story and the timeline that we know existed for the two of them.

This was yet another fantastic chapter, Laura! I loved it!

Sian :)

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Review #9, by pottered  

22nd February 2015:
"that I would see you again, that I could love you again, that you could love me." ):
I am still crying. The way he said that he forgot about him and then I remember in the first chapter that he saved the memory of them in the pensieve, I cry.
They both still felt love for each other, but imagined one another to have forgotten about each other, makes me so sad.

Author's Response: Hi there again! Thank you so so much for dropping by! :)

Gah, I'm sorry - do you want tissues? :( Yeah, there's a lot of angst in this... I really wanted to emphasise that often things feel or seem temporary, even if they're not, and people want to move on - people don't want to hurt forever. It's not a cruel thing, but a sad thing, I think, in this, and that's all Albus wants. And yeah, there's still so much affection there, so much love, but neither of them feels like they can and that the other one would want them, and it's a really horrible situation to be in :(

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

Aph xx

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Review #10, by BellaLestrange87 

22nd December 2014:
This opening section was the best of the three of them (not that the others were bad). Seriously, after I read the first two or so paragraphs of Chapter 1 I understood perfectly why you'd won Dobby for Best Quote. It's amazing how you can do this - come up with these amazing similies about the effectiveness of words and apply it to the chapter.

Albus is saying here that he and Gellert had really easy conversations. I'm remembering back to the first chapter, where Albus says that all their conversations were mostly silent. I wonder if there's either a) a hidden meaning here that I'm not getting here or b) they're miscommunicating and that's one of the things that led to their rift.

I love that you're talking about the time Albus spent working with Nicholas Flamel! It's not something I've seen before in fanfiction. (Even, of course, considering my rather limited reading list.) I'm rather looking forward to seeing what sort of personality Nicholas (and Perenelle) have.

Albus's feelings are, in my view, realistic. When I've been in a bad mood, or sad, being around people that are happy, or any sort of inconvenience at all puts me in a worse mood. I suppose it could be argued that the petals were an inconvenience because you have to brush them off your shoulder. Or a better explanation (and from my reading of the earlier first paragraph in this section a more accurate one) would be that the petal represent happiness, and Albus is depressed, miserable, and/or sad. So this is probably right after Ariana died and Gellert left. Interesting that Albus would come here, to France to work, right after that. I think it shows a certain side of his personality.

Yes, Albus is miserable. I don't think he wants a fresh start so much as a return to the old, when Ariana was alive and when he and Gellert were together. Especially when the party invitation surfaced. His reasoning for not wanting to go (and reveal his relationship with Gellert) are perfect: if he denied Euphemia and stated it was because he didn't like her, or was rude to her, he would be seen as rude, arrogant, and other unattractive adjectives that I can't think of right now. If he came out of the closet, there would, as he said, be a scandal, especially considering homosexuality, as far as I know, was only decriminalized (in Muggle Britain) in 1967, well after this chapter.

I can see a contrast. Albus talks about he always watches the sky and enjoys seeing it, and last chapter Gellert talked about how beautiful he thought Wales was (and discussed it at length, if I recall correctly). It's not really important, but I thought it interesting.

One thing I noticed - at the beginning of the conversation between Albus and Nicholas - where Albus is asked if he needs a sleeping potion - the first time Nicholas addresses Albus, it's in present tense, but the rest of the conversation is in past tense. It might be something you might want to look over again.

Ooh, Albus stated here that he specifically avoided the topic of immortality and eternal youth, then says that he feels that Nicholas and Perenelle were hiding something from him. My first thought here was that they were hiding the Elixir of Life from him, but then I realized that they were, at that time, probably over five hundred years old.

You might want to edit this sentence here - "Perhaps, I thought, drunk on damson wine and a spiced orange liqueur which had bubbled and fizzed even as I swallowed it, perhaps this could be turning point for me" and change it to "...perhaps this could be a turning point for me."

I just realized how long this review was, and I'm not embarrassed at all. I think when I enjoy something, I write about it. Or maybe not; I don't know.

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Review #11, by marauderfan 

25th November 2014:
Review swap! So glad to come back and catch up on this excellent story!

Haha, so the main issue I have when I read one of your stories is that I want to quote the ENTIRE thing back to you just because every word is so well placed and so perfect. I simply adore your writing style. Especially that beginning section in here, it's so philosophical! (Maybe that's partly because Dumbledore is the speaker there, but I've noticed in everything I've read by you that you just have a magical way with words no matter who the narrator is.) *bows to your skill*

Ooh, I love that you've focused on the time Albus spent working with Nicolas Flamel on Alchemy! It's well known that he did that, as it was such a huge part of the first book and everything, but I've never actually seen any fic that focuses on this point in both their careers. So it was neat to see. I also love the little details you pointed out, how this was the project he turned to in order to get over Gellert, but it only reminded him of Gellert because of the immortality aspect of the Philosophers Stone and of the Hallows. What a neat (although sad) connection.

I do think it very natural that Albus would try to avoid parties and fake socialising right after Gellert left him heartbroken, and to instead immerse himself in academic pursuits surrounded by other brilliant people. As at this point Albus is still not over Gellert, but fully intends to just move forward, turn his life around, reconcile with his brother, but the more he thinks about what he lost, the more he dedicates himself to his work. I imagine that the pain of the heartbreak was partly responsible for Albus' alchemy work being so productive during that time; I like how you set that up.

I really love the tone of this chapter; it's so gloomy, but bittersweet in parts. Despite the fact that Albus and Gellert are no longer together, Albus clearly still has some regard for him (and continues to, even after all they went through later on, the memory of it kind of lingers). The fact that the whole story is written almost like letters to one another, or at least thinking about one another, implies that those feelings did last in some form.

Another wonderful chapter! Thanks for the swap! :)

Author's Response: Hey there, Kristin! :) Thank you so much for stopping by - and for the swap! It's always so great to swap with you! :)

Thank you so so much! I'm waaay, waaay flattered by that - you really shouldn't say things like that, there's no way I can reply to that! ;) It is, I have to admit, a lot easier to be that much more philosophical/pretentious/whatever you want to call it, haha, when writing Dumbledore, because he has that kind of voice, you know? Honestly, I'm just so glad you like it - I know it's not for everyone, so thank you so much! :)

Thank you! Yeah, I've always been hugely fascinated by that - it's a big part of PS, of course, and then it sort of vanishes from canon - well, Nicolas died and all - but it's never really mentioned in fic, but given the timespan of this story, I really just had to mention it, and include it. I really liked the connection when I thought of it, I gotta admit - it made a certain amount of sense, considering I don't think a want that strong vanishes that quickly, you know? And thank you so much - I'm so happy you liked it! :)

It's a pretty normal thing, I think, to not want to see other people, other happy people, when you yourself aren't feeling very happy - especially after you've basically just broken up and at the time, marriage and courtship would be heavily encouraged, which isn't going to help much :P And yeah, I definitely agree with that - I like to think it drove him a lot, and influenced him a lot in what he chose to do and where to go and things; kinda like work is his safety net. He's comfortable with it, used to it and it's safe. And yeah, he has every intention of moving on, but as with a lot of things, it's much easier said than done :(

Thank you so much! :) Yeah, it's a little bit more hopeful, I think, than previous ones? But yeah, he's still in love with Gellert, really, and never, I think, quite gets over him exactly, and it colours almost everything.

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

Aph xx

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Review #12, by AlexFan 

5th October 2014:
Itís been six days since you requested and Iím finally here!

One thing that I love about reading your story is that you take something that seems a bit random and work it into your story, making it relevant and even important in the characters and the setting around them. I love how you take such simple themes and weave an entire story out of it.

I donít know how Iím able to tell the difference between Dumbledore and Grindelwald because theyíre both such eloquent men yet somehow you manage to write them in a way so that itís easy to pick up on whoís speaking and itís something that very few authors seem to be able to do.

I donít think the story is dragging on, the slowness fits the plot, it may feel like itís dragging on for some but I think that itís mostly due to the fact that this is one of those stories where you have to be in a certain mood in order to really enjoy it, itís one of those stories where youíve got to have the most patience and the most time in order to really read it properly and understand it.

I like the direction that the story is going, Iím excited to see more of Albusís life after Grindelwald and what he got up to and the things that he did. I liked how Albus chose not to let Grindelwald and the summer that the two of them shared define him and how he would live out the rest of his days.

I enjoy the melancholic mood, itís different for everyone but I really like it because itís exactly the sort of tone that Albus would speak in when thinking back to his younger years and pondering over the decisions that he made and how things couldíve gone differently.

Author's Response: Hey there - thanks for stopping by! :) No worries about time - RL can be annoying at times ;)

Gah, thank you so much! When I started this, I didn't really think about what the whole thematic thing would mean, tbh, but now I've got further with it, it's so much fun to do - and it kinda helps me plan the chapters, lol. I'm so glad you like it, though, because it's not quite the usual kind of themes in a fic, so I was a bit nervous about it :)

I really tried to give them different voices, so I listened a lot to a pair of German guys in my class, and a German professor I had to try and get habits and things from them I could use for Gellert, whereas for Dumbledore I just reread his bits in the books :P I'm so happy you think it worked, though - it's strangely jarring for me to go from one voice to another, even though they're not totaly dissimilar. I always worry I'm gonna mix them up :P

Thank you so much! I'm so bad at writing quick, fast-paced things - one of the reasons I hate writing action :P

I'm so glad you like Albus and how he's going, too! I really didn't want to have him just mope around - it's the kind of thing which gets boring quickly, and it's not really realistic. In the end (hopefully without spoiling things!) it kinda does define him, but at this point, he doesn't want it to. He's not going to let it hold him back or anything :)

I actually really like writing Albus' voice, with the melancholy - it's sort of wistful and I wanted to try and convey the regret he has over so many things, even though he doesn't have answers as to what he should have done instead, you know? But yeah, I'm just so glad you liked it! :)

Thank you so so much for the lovely review! As always, they're such wonderful things to get - and they really make me feel I can do this! :)

Aph xx

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Review #13, by crestwood 

8th September 2014:
Okay. Laura, I'm finally here after much delay. I actually saw that you had updated before you requested and put it on my mental list of stories to come by and review, but then I was hit by challenge deadlines and real life got more than hectic. But, now I am here again for this beautiful piece of work.

You always prove right away that you haven't lost a single step. Right in the first paragraph you're already giving us these long, sweeping sentences that at once alert us to your effortless prowess. It's as if there is no end to the metaphors your mind is capable of producing. After I read your writing I find myself speaking in poetics for a long while afterward. It's truly fitting language for a story that is primarily focused upon genius characters.

I love that you continue to deliver this story as if through correspondence. It's a unique and bold way to decide to write a story, really. I couldn't have imagined it working so excellently before reading this.

For the first time we are truly introduced to characters other than Gellert, Albus and his family. It does not feel like we've been on a small scale so far even with such a tiny cast because the ideas presented are anything but confined to a small scale. Everything about this is large scale in nature. Albus doesn't just say that it's difficult to say some things, he tells us that words can injure the wielder. He doesn't just inform the reader that you can say a lot with little to no words, he speaks of the twisting, turning, thousand possibilities of silence.

Of course Albus would not be in the mood to party so soon after the departure of Gellert. He clearly had an effect on him, regardless of what kind of man he turned out to be. And while eventually he may have moved on from that point in his life, I doubt it would have happened so soon and I am glad you have recognized that here. I quite enjoy this young, sulking version of Dumbledore. Nicolas does seem like a difficult character to pin down. I imagine that he must be brilliant based on his accomplishments and would satisfy at least some of Albus' desire to for company as bright as himself, at least as much as anyone could while simultaneously not being Gellert Grindelwald. I do imagine that many of Dumbledore's greatest achievements could have come about during this period of time in which he has decided to pour himself into his work post-Gellert. What an interesting idea and what a nicely written chapter. Amazing as ever!

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Review #14, by newgenerationlover 

2nd September 2014:
Well I'm sure glad I finally fixed those few tweaks in my time machine, allowing me to now go and get my future first born, because i am sure it must have had some correlation to the fact that this finally updated :P ALL HAIL APH, THE MIGHTY WRITING GOD. I feel like that should be your new title, Aph, the mighty writing god. It has a sort of ring to it, don't you think? ;) Gah! Please stop making the rest of us, poor, lowly writers look bad in comparison to your freaking poetry! Ok, wait, just look at this one sentence (aka the one the stood out the most although there was much competition) "You and I, that summer, we lived by words. They flew through the air between us, thick and fast, until they filled it completely, nothing left to breathe, and we sat there, laughing and exhausted." There is just so much there in those two short sentences! Just... gahh!! If beautiful writing was sunlight and I was a vampire, I would currently be a pile of ashes right about now.

Oo he is an alchemist!! Interesting, I have always liked the idea of that going on a lot in the wizarding world though many tend to not go along with that fact... Kudos to you, I guess! :P This is going to make me cry, Aph!! He is using this to not only go along with a dream he has always had, a dream of making a name for himself, but he is doing it to keep his mind off his absent, past lover and the emotions so clearly still there. Why can't they just work out and have their happily ever after??? *cries* Patiently (read: impatiently) waiting for the next chapter.

Mary :P

P.S. I've got my fingers crossed that this story wins SOTM XD

Author's Response: Hey Mary - thanks so much for stopping by again! I do really honestly look forward to them each time, because they're so wonderful to receive! :)

Ooh, yay, first born child! :P Haha, definitely a correlation there! :) Wah, thank you so so much! I do like the idea of being a god, I have to admit! But nah, it's too sweet! :blush: I'm so so glad you liked the writing - it's something I do spend time looking at and something I do deliberately edit for when I edit this, because it's something which is so important to this story, given the whole premise, haha. But I'm always so nervous about it, because it is a bit pretentious (okay, more than a bit :P), and I'm never quite sure what people are going to make of it.

Yeah, I had to include Nicolas Flamel, given Dumbledore and him are friends - he was just too fascinating a character not to include. And Alchemy was awesome - adding that in was so much fun, though I couldn't do too much with it, because he doesn't do anything with the Philosopher's stone, so... *shrugs* Yeah, it is incredibly sad - he's trying to make the life he wants, but it's not really the life he wants... it's all very complicated, haha. Eh, they're both very stubborn? :P Yell at them, not me! (And it's only going to get worse, sorry... :P)

Gah, thank you so so much for this lovely, lovely review - next chapter is up atm, and I've already started the fifth, so hopefully another one will be coming soon! :D

Aph xx

p.s. Thank you so so much for nominating this for SOTM! I was so so happy to see it - I really didn't expect it, and it was so amazing, so thank you! :)

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