6 Reviews Found

Review #1, by nott theodore 

8th March 2016:
Hi Laura! I'm here for our swap - uni has been swamping me recently (I'm sure you know the feeling) so I'm really excited to get the chance to come and read some more of your writing. I've really missed it and this story ♥

The first thing that struck me about this was your writing - kind of like always, really. I'm sure you're getting bored of me saying it by now, sorry :P But I've been away from this story - and most fanfiction in general - for quite a while, and it was still so easy for me to slip back into it as if it was the most natural thing to be reading. I just love the description and elegance and everything about your writing, and it makes it so easy to come back to this story, even after a break.

The introspection that threaded throughout this chapter was brilliant. I felt like it really showcased the way that Albus is getting older and growing as a person, someone who's seen more and experienced more than the teenage boy who was forced home after his mother's death and left to look after his family in his frustration. There was so much truth here about humanity in general that it's kind of scary, but it felt like it fit with his character so well. Albus is finally realising his own flaws and starting to admit them, even if it's not openly. When we see him in the books, he's still reluctant - like everybody is, I think - to admit his own faults and not be infallible. I wonder whether that's part of why he hid so much from Harry - he saw in Harry the sort of person that he'd like to have been, with that sense of right, and didn't want to let him down when he knew that Harry respected and loved him. (Sorry, that's kind of a tangential ramble, you can ignore that :P) Anyway, I loved the fact that Albus was so introspective here and it really showed how much he's grown and developed as a person over the years.

The thoughts on immortality were so interesting, too! Really, it's so true - even if we think that we'd rise above the idea of wanting to live forever (which sounds like a nightmare to me), so many of us chase, or at least dream of, immortality in some other form. We want to be remembered. We fear leaving the world without a trace and not having left behind some contribution that makes a difference. So in a way, we're all looking for a way to be immortal.

Achieving something that will make you - or at least your name - immortal at the age of just twenty-five sounds kind of terrifying to me to be honest, haha. That would be so incredibly overwhelming, and of course a fantastic achievement, but I can see how that would trigger so many painful memories for Albus and lead him into behaviour that he'd go on to regret.

I felt really sorry for Alain here :( He seemed similar in some ways to Gellert, which I suspect was the initial attraction for Albus, but in the end just highlighted the differences between the two of them. Albus still loves Gellert, in spite of his efforts to forget him, although he's more willing here to admit his flaws than he has been in the past. But I felt like Alain really got caught up in something that he couldn't truly imagine or understand and I felt really sorry for him when Albus was unable to be kind to him the next morning and he just had to leave.

Maybe it's because I'm weird and have strange interests, but I loved the fact that you included a fragment of that letter that Gellert had sent to Albus. The way that he used all of those theories and works to justify his ideas was so fascinating, and it just shows how deeply you've thought about this and their plans. But through the years, so many people in similar positions have used what sounds like very reasonable argument to justify their causes, so it fit really well with that - after all, Gellert can't have risen to power entirely through his own skill. There has to have been charisma and charm in there to get people on his side, and a solid way to persuade people. I think Albus's reaction - the way that he wanted to find something to say other than 'I agree' in response to it, because he knew it wasn't really the right thing to do - was really telling. It shows how easy it would be to accept that sort of argument, and in a way maybe why Albus went along with it for so long, because he couldn't argue with the logic behind the argument. It's kind of worrying that Gellert was able to make such a rational argument about their plans being 'For the Greater Good' but we've seen it time and time again over history, so it's really believable.

I'm so intrigued by Albus returning to England, going back home. He's been running away from what happened because his memory of Gellert and Ariana and that night's events is fixed there, or so he thinks, but in reality it's in his mind and he can't escape it wherever he is. The physical return to England really shows the way he's starting to try and distance himself entirely from Gellert, though, and make a name for himself - and I guess will make it easier for him to ignore what's happening in Europe over the coming years.

The last line was just beautiful, too - so well done! It really captured Albus's frame of mind and the way that he can't escape Gellert wherever he goes - in a way, going back home and knowing that the memories will be waiting for him there could even be a form of acceptance and a willingness to start dealing with what happened, rather than trying to escape it?

Anyway, predictably, I loved this - and I'm sorry for rambling so much in this review! ♥

Sian :)

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Review #2, by dirtydeedsdonedirtcheap 

13th March 2015:
By this rule, I must be a fool more times over than I can count, and the shame is all mine, tricking myself as I am. It is no more than I deserve, having been blinded by myself, blinded by my own pride and stubbornness and self-belief, and I like to think I have long accepted that it is simply a part of me.

By this rule I am a fool and will always be one.

I canít help it even when I see it even when I feel itÖI just cannot.

It was familiar, and so easy, and in the dark room his curls splayed over my pillow, loose and wild, the wrong name choking in my throat even as he gasped out mine.

Itís funny, well not really, how we can love someone so hard (even if they are not good for us) and try to find their doppleganger, their twin, and hope we see what we see in the one we really love in them. Essentially, Alain is his rebound. A poor one. Iíve been there. Iíve done that.

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

Yeah, it's a very human thing, I think, and human things are kinda almost impossible to actually avoid, you know? Even when you know you do it, even when you know you shouldn't, it's so innate, it's impossible.

I really wanted to sort of show that it's often so difficult to move on when you find someone so similar, but not quite the same - like a doppelganger - because it just highlights the differences, you know? And that's all Alain does for Albus, really. Alain is very much a rebound - a long one, and definitely a bad one - but it's just really an unfortunate situation for everybody involved. It's so hard! :(

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

Aph xx

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Review #3, by AlexFan 

28th February 2015:
I think Albus is definitely growing as a character. He used to be this boy who was hopelessly in love and blinded to the negative aspects of Gellertís character to someone who has acknowledged the things that he did when he was young, and the things that heís felt, and that he still feels those things but he knows better now. I feel like this is around the time when Albus starts growing into the character that we see in the book, for me at least, I donít know about anyone else.

I like how Albus has come to accept that he still has feelings for Gellert at this point in the story but that he shouldnít let what he feels get in the way of whatís right. And I like that he knows that there might come a day when he can move on from Gellert but that day is not today. But at the same time, it kind of feels like Albus keeps moving because heís trying to run away from his past, even after all of these years and him going back to England seems to be him finally coming to terms with everything thatís happened.

I thought the flow and pace of the chapters, exactly what was needed to show Albus moving on with his life in a sense. And Iím sorry for taking so long with this review, Iíve been really busy lately and Iíve finally got enough time to do basic things as well as leave reviews.

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

I'm so bad at developing characters, and this is really my first long stint at doing it, especially over such a long story, so I'm so glad you think it's going alright! He was definitely a lot more hopeless at the beginning, and a lot more naive about the consequences of emotions, I think, and how long and deep they can go.

I really, really wanted him to accept it, because I think it's very easy to not want to feel things and to think or even know that you shouldn't and almost resent them in a way - and I wanted it to be something he sort of stops fighting, in a sense, and realises he's just going to have to wait for them to go of their own acccord. It's sort of almost symolic of a maturity, I guess, if you like. And yeah, the return to England is pretty symbolic too - I couldn't have explained that better myself! :P And definitely not as succintly, haha.

No worries about taking time - I completely understand that RL gets busy, so there's no need to apologise for it ;) It's not something you can control, after all! :)

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

Aph xx

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Review #4, by crestwood 

27th February 2015:
Hi Laura! It has taken me so incredibly long to get to this review swap. I blame school and all sorts of other things.

I love that every chapter has a theme and I love how extensively you explore them. I'm always interested in the ways our minds play tricks on us and I am so interested to see how you approach this idea from Albus' perspective.

Gellert is so good at manipulating Albus, I love the way Albus knows how easily he forgot about the things he was mad about when he kissed him. It's almost like a self-aware inevitability.

Older Dumbledore really is an institution, if a person ever has been one. It's interesting that he'd question his own cleverness, since we typically see him as someone very sure of himself, especially later in his life.

You draw me in with all of this self doubt and second guessing. It's so beautifully worded. No matter what you're talking about, I can depend on it being beautifully worded of course, but it's still surprising that you can write some of the saddest words imaginable and I can still find myself almost gleeful just for having read them and comprehended them so fully.

'and it is such an easy dream to have, a natural thing to crave' really struck me here and it seems like a pretty simple series of words but I really, really liked this. I'm not always sure exactly why I like some things.

It's strange to think that Albus already would have been considered one of the most important Wizards of all time by the time he was twenty-five, taking into account everything that he accomplished afterward.

The scene with Alain is just so sad, to the point of being heartbreaking. It's upsetting both that Alain is being used and that Albus feels so horrible and guilty about it all.

I find it quite ironic that Gellert is using Darwin, Freud and Nietzche's studies in order to support his ideas of Muggles being inferior. I think the fact that it was so contradictory made it all the more intriguing.

The last line was so perfect that I want to nominate you for best quote all over again. I do not think I have read a line that affected me so much so far this year. Excellent, excellent work. I feel like a broken record when I leave reviews for you, because what else is there to say? Writing at such a consistently high level just kind of leaves me with nothing to say but 'Great job' rewarded and adapted to the chapter. I am still enjoying this story so much. Thank you for the swap!

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Review #5, by pottered  

22nd February 2015:
aw the letters ): I'm so sad, and happy that he never threw them away or burnt them.
"that perhaps I could move beyond you, that perhaps I would find someone else-" but he never did ):

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

I couldn't resist having a letter-keeping thing in this :P It felt like it needed one. I wanted him to keep them, though, because they're both dangerous (because of the content) but also sort of personal memories of the summer, so they have a sort of dual meaning to them, I think. And yeah, no, Albus never quite manages to move beyond - which is something I really wanted to tackle in this, and to why he never did and why he almost found that he couldn't, because it's a pretty big, strange thing.

Thank you so much for the wonderful review! :)

Aph xx

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Review #6, by Red_headed_juliet 

29th December 2014:
I think my favorite quote is:
"You were everywhere: in the rustle of leaves behind me as I walked through the forest, in the silence before I fell asleep in bed, in the warmth of the fire as it danced in the grate and played across my wrist, in the glittering drops of frost on the grass in the mornings, each drop a miniature star..."

Your characterization of Dumbledore continues to be very wise and insightful while adding new dimensions to the character. He always seemed so perfect until the last book, and you've given us that balance between the two biased views, from his own POV.

I feel bad for Alain. I think I would've fallen for Dumbledore. And to actually get the shot, but end up short twice?! Gah. That really, really sucks.

I truly enjoy reading this. The language is provocative, in that you are required to feel. The flow is exquisite. The emphasize and transitions are accentuated with a wonderful vocubalary.

Congratulations on another beautiful chapter! I'm looking forward to more. (And now that I'm thinking about it, I miss Gellert.) Also, I'm of the belief your take on their inevitable stand-off will most likely become canon to me. *nod*

Until next time!

Author's Response: Hi there! Thank you so much for stopping by again! It's so great to see you still like this! :)

I'm so glad you like it - I have this strange habit of insisting on describing everything, haha, and sometimes I wonder if it's too much :P

Thanks! :) I always, always try to refer back to the books with him - with how he was presented and how he seems to see himself, with the whole repentent-sinner type image he tries to present or feels he needs to present. It's surprisingly fun to write!

Yeah, me too! Poor guy... he really does have a bad lot in this story, haha. And yeah, two shots - the first time it ends pretty amicably, but the second time, yeah that's really rough. Not great at all :(

Thank you so much! I'm always so grateful that people still like this story and still read it, even this far in, so thank you so much for stopping by again! (And you're definitely one of a minority in missing Gellert :P Though, tbh, I do love him as a character. There's something so compelling about his pov...).

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

Aph xx

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