4 Reviews Found

Review #1, by CambAngst 

1st January 2015:
Hi, teh! I was very pleasantly surprised to find a new chapter. I obviously haven't been keeping up well.

I really liked the first scene with Gellert. First off, the description of Godric's Hollow and Gellert trying to get his head around the lay of the land was beautifully done. "broken fences teething through the ground" is one of my favorite descriptions I've read in a long time. It's absolutely no coincidence that this story won the Dobby for Best Descriptions. Congratulations on that, by the way! The scene with the young muggle boy, Creevey, was excellent characterization of Gellert. It showed how his obsession with the Hallows is redefining the way that he looks at everything, as well as his absolute need to control all things around him. He doesn't just defeat the Creevey boy, he absolutely dominates him and declares an end to the contest when he has decided that it is over.

You made Bathilda seem pretty lovable in this chapter, which is an unusual way to write her. Or maybe I just feel that way because when we see her in the books, she's dead and being reanimated using dark magic by a giant snake.

The description of Gellert's relationship with his mother fits perfectly with the way you've built up the character. There isn't any sort of authoritarian relationship there, merely an odd sort of camaraderie. A lot of the most Type A people I know come from that sort of family, now that I think of it.

I loved what you did with the piece of back story on Ariana's relationship with her mother. I instantly thought of Aberforth's warning to Harry about Albus and how he learned secrecy from their mother. This felt an awful lot like the Kendra Dumbledore that Aberforth was alluding to. So I'm guessing that this potion somehow uses Ariana's blood magic to help limit or contain her outbursts? Sounds like this might be a lot more than just a Pain-Relieving Potion. One thing I love about this story is you've never been afraid to be ambitious with your plot. Having Kendra dabble in borderline dark magic is the sort of plot device that could end up sounding very weird or cliche in the wrong hands. You've put it in a context where it's very believable.

Before I dig into the chapter's final scene, I wanted to say how much I liked the quick little mention of Albus moving into his mother's room. The cognitive dissonance of trying to act like there's no reason not to move in there even though it obviously bothers him a great deal was perfect for his character.

The back-and-forth between Albus and Gellert felt about right. Somebody is definitely leading somebody else along. Although Albus is a very willing participant in being misled. I like how you're dancing that thin line between "are they or aren't they?" Somehow it's more satisfying to let one's imagination wander in this case.

Among the three Dumbledore siblings, Ariana seems to be the only one who's mostly immune to Gellert's manipulations. Somehow her condition gives her an advantage. Or maybe she just has the benefit of a more detached point of view. Regardless, she puts him in his place, after a fashion.

Looking into her brotherís incisive eyes has a lightening effect on her, turning her demure and empty. -- Perhaps she sees enough of their mother in Albus that she feels the need to obey.

I'm curious what Ariana is planning to write.

This was a really beautiful chapter. I couldn't spot a thing wrong with it, and the whole thing flowed beautifully. Again congratulations on your Dobby! Looking forward to the next chapter!

Author's Response: Hi Dan!

Thank you for your wonderful New Year's review! Aaand of course I have to apologise as usual for being sluggish with my responses. This review certainly caught me off-guard...in a VERY good way.

You're spot on with your analysis of Gellert; he's pretty much a downright bully in that part of the chapter. And the relationship between Bathilda and Grindelwald has always fascinated me since it was mentioned in DH. How did the two get along? Were they close at all? Did Gellert actually treat Bathilda with any affection at all, or was he just using her house as a way to escape his bad reputation in his homeland after his expulsion? There isn't much evidence of their relationship, so I had some liberty with writing the two together. I like to think that Grindelwald would at least not be so completely cold, or that he would display no empathy at all to a single soul. And I'm glad you like how I hinted at the relationship between him and his mother! Authoritarian parents are something of a common feature in stories on this site, I think. :P

Yeah, here's where I start to mess around with the boundaries of canon. Things can either go very wrong (in terms of plot) or they may just work. It is a little ambitious for me; but I sometimes like to work with a little risk in my writing. I'm hoping that this subplot will work, somehow!

Ariana does indeed see through Gellert! She is unaffected by his charms, and this is something that I found so amusing to write, that this 'poor damaged girl' can hold her own and see where things aren't right. Albus is getting a little infatuated with Gellert, and Aberforth is just all rage.

Thank you, Dan! Your compliments and your analysis are, as always, amazing and I'm really happy that you came back to this story. I've completed the whole story (finished it last November), but of course, there's a lot of editing to be done, and it's a massive task. I hope to be able to tackle the next chapter and then post it when I've cleaned things up a bit! Thank you once again! ♥


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Review #2, by patronus_charm 

1st November 2014:
Hey teh!! I am finally here and I canít believe how long itís taken me to get here *hides* Congrats on your Dobby win though, I canít think of a more deserving story! :D

Ooh I didnít think this story would visit the Gaunt family as well but Iím so glad that it did as they really are so intriguing and I love reading about them. The letter really caught his character and really showed how full of hatred Marvolo was and how bitter his feelings were, and I hope we can actually meet him in this story.

Ah Gellert is so dark and twisted and horrible and all ew and why is so strange? He is so fixated on the Hallows he even sees it in rock, paper, scissors which just shows how unhealthy this obsession is for him and I canít wait to see you explore his dark and twisted evil side more as it was really interesting here. You included a Creevey though! That made me a little too excited, but the way Gellert tried to wear him down on purpose made me so sad and I hope Gellert doesnít go out of his way to victimise him now, as that would cause way too many feels.

I really enjoyed Kendraís section because I so rarely find a story which explores her own feelings and thoughts so it was really great to get it here. I could tell that she loved Ariana and cared for her deeply too even if it was in quite a strange way, but Iím so glad that you showed that side of her as I do believe that Kendra did love her daughter. I liked the twist with Kendra teaching Ariana about magic as itís nice to know that they at least tried to integrate her into the magical community.

Ariana ♥ I really love her here, sheís just wonderful! I really like how she takes an interest in the world and believes that Albus is interesting, and that sheís curious enough to go out searching for knowledge, and how she doesnít believe sheís an invalid. All of these things just make her have her own sense of self and thatís so important in making her realistic and wah I just love her in this story ⋝

Albus and Gellertís conversation was really interesting though despite the sort of Ariana bashing from Gellert. I liked the way you sorted the Durmstrang students as it was a nice twist and fitted in well with how I imagine the school to be. The fact that Gellert just cares about magic rather than how much magical blood you have is really intriguing as it helps to explain why Albus did follow him, as it would have given his story more protection. Albus does really seem to care for Ariana and I am in this story, so I can sort of why he followed Gellert in order to make the world safer for his story even if it is a twisted vision.

Anyhow, a fabulous chapter teh! ♥


Author's Response: Kiana! ♥

Aww, thank you so much for coming back! I'm so pleased to see you back at this story, and askjdhkl THANK YOUU. That Dobby really means a lot to me, especially for this fic, which is my main WIP and the story I've been working on all year.

I didn't think the name of Gaunt would even be mentioned. ARGH this is a last minute thing, and I'm hoping the whole fic doesn't unravel because of these decisions. :P Marvolo is quite the character, isn't he?

Gellert is indeed obsessive and YES I did include a Creevey. Obviously I couldn't include Dennis, so I wrote an ancestor of the Creeveys. BECAUSE I HAVE NOTHING BETTER TO DO. Poor Creevey, being bullied by Gellert. :(

I loved reading your thoughts about Kendra! You're right that she teaches her daughter and cares for her in a very unorthodox and downright weird way - but it's my headcanon that the Dumbledores were always a very strange family, including Kendra. I didn't think I was going to write another flashback scene with Kendra in it, but I'm glad I did. After all, I've written quite a fair bit about her, just never posted it up.

Wah, thank you for your comments on Ariana! She does indeed have her own secret life, and her brothers especially Albus know so little about her, truly. And Albus and Gellert and all their big talk are fun as usual to write. :P

Thank you for this fabulous review, Kiana! ♥ And thanks again for coming back! *hugs*


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Review #3, by Spirit Of Fire 

21st October 2014:
This is amazing stuff, pure and simple. I read the entire thing in one day a little while ago, but I've just now got the chance to tell you what I think. Frankly, I think its one of the best I've seen on HPFF ever. This is a grounded, serious story, the kind which is sadly lacking from the archives lately. Dumbledore is such a mysterious character in his final years, but I think for a reader, he's even more mysterious in his youth. The Dumbledore we hear about in DH is so totally opposite from the Dumbledore we thought we knew, a lot of fans scrambled to make sense of it. Your version is one of the most thoughtful, believable explanations I can think of. Knowing what we know, we can see Gellert leading Albus along, but at the same time appreciate the subtlety with which he does it and how even Dumbledore could fall for it.

Easily a 10/10 for me, and I'm really looking forward to the next chapter, and hopefully, more letters from Grindlewald, I think those are fascinating.

Author's Response: Hello! ♥

I'm so sorry it's taken me quite a few days to respond to this absolutely amazing review! I've been so very busy.

And thank you so much for reading the whole thing (and in one day, too!) and for taking the time to leave me such lovely, wonderfully encouraging comments!! I'm blown away by all y our compliments. And I definitely agree with what you've said about Dumbledore. In the books, he's so perfect that it's hard to believe he's even human. His precision does lend him a certain mysteriousness. And the new version we hear about in DH only widens the gap of the character we've encountered and who he really is/was. This fic tries to expllore that.

Thank you once again! I'm so flattered and pleased with this review! ♥ And there'll definitely be more letters from Grindelwald. I love writing those, and I'm so, so glad that you enjoy reading them!


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Review #4, by marauderfan 

21st October 2014:
Before I begin my review, I just wanted to say congratulations on the Best Description award, teh - you totally deserve it!! ♥

This was such a great chapter. I absolutely love the way in which you continue to develop Gellert's character. The section in the beginning, where he sees children playing rock-paper-scissors and is reminded of the Hallows, was especially great because it shows the depth to which Gellert is really obsessed with the Hallows, seeing the signs everywhere.

I thought it was interesting too how he said magic is magic and who cares about pure bloodlines. That's really not what I was expecting from him, though now that I think about it, I don't remember Grindelwald ever being associated with Voldemort's style of pureblood supremacy, rather that Grindelwald was just "a dark wizard" - for what could be any number of reasons. So that was really cool.

I also noted the difference in how he behaves with various people - he's so unpredictable, but at the same time I can tell that there is thought behind all of it, depending on whether or not he sees the person as useful in his future. As in, he's quite rude to the boys, particularly Creevey, because they mean nothing to him, but he was rather kind (albeit condescending) to Ariana - only because he thinks that will put him in Albus' good graces perhaps. And upon seeing her magic, he doesn't underestimate her. He's a sly one, and I just love the way you write him.

Likewise, your writing of Ariana is really admirable and the way you write her illness and the Glass Girl and Crone showing up all over the place and Ariana mentions them as if it's nothing out of the ordinary, it makes Ariana's perspective seem really normal as that's what she's used to, but stepping back from her perspective it's obvious that the world doesn't look that way to everyone else. I have a feeling we're going to see more interaction between Gellert and Ariana, because although she's a bit mad, I think Gellert can see that she knows something or at least senses something about the Hallows, and he'll want to find out what it is and where she heard about it.

Really excited to read on - I'm so glad to see you're working on this for NaNo ;) Great chapter!

Author's Response: Kristin! ♥

I should probably be Crucio-d for taking so long to reply. *hides*

BUT ah, thank you so much!! For this amazing review, this one and the other one you left on my last chapter of Background Noise (I'm answering this review first because the other review cracks me up and I think I'd like to laugh a little longer, if you don't mind. :P )

Gellert is fast becoming my favourite character to write hahaha. He's definitely very unhealthily obsessed with those Hallows, and I think he might have a different approach to power compared to Voldemort. Well, they're both power hungry maniacs, but I imagine Gellert would be less about pureblood supremacy. But yeah, he's pretty much a bully to those boys, especially Creevey.

Thank you for your comments about Ariana! I really do try to present her twisted world as normally as I can, and I'm so glad you realise what I'm doing! I think there will definitely be more interactions between Ariana and Gellert - these two are my favourite characters to write.

Thanks again for this brilliant review, Kristin! ♥ SO happy to see continue to follow and support this story!!


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