3 Reviews Found

Review #1, by MeredithMF 

12th November 2015:
I absolutely love this fic and I'm on the edge of my seat waiting for the next chapter. Wonderful characterizations and dialogue. Very original
Thanks so much for writing!

Author's Response: Hello! ♥

Wow, thank you so, so much for reading! And I'm ecstatic and very excited to have a new reader, and also that you enjoyed!? Thank you!

I've been so busy with RL, but I'm very nearly done with editing the next chapter. It will be posted over the next few days.

Thanks so much, once again! ♥


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Review #2, by marauderfan 

23rd September 2015:
Yesss another chapter

Perhaps I spoke too soon at the end of the last chapter when I thought Grindelwald was posing as Thimble - it's Ariana who's doing so! I was expecting that even less, based on how well thought out and well written the letter was, but then I guess I've underestimated Ariana just as all the other characters have. And I realize that it's not even that surprising that it's Ariana who's been writing the letter - it fits so well with what's been told about her so far. And gah, she just keeps getting more interesting as a character!

also I forgot to mention in the previous chapter - I love that it was actually Albus who came up with the "Greater Good" thing, and Gellert just appropriated it for his own means.

And then Ariana actually meets Marvolo Gaunt and uses one of the Hallows! She is really quite intelligent even though she spends most of her life in a world of her own fabrication, and it makes me wonder what she would have been like if she'd not had that bad experience with the Muggles when she was a kid.

I found the bit where Kendra and Percival materialized really interesting as well - particularly the way they only repeated themselves and couldn't say much. Especially because I seem to remember the ghosts of James, Lily, Sirius, and Remus saying things to Harry as he walked into the forest, which made me start thinking if the stone can make people materialise in different ways, or if Ariana sees the deathly versions of her parents because of her particular magic or because she's more closely connected with the death side of things (given that she talks to the death crone nearly every day), or maybe Harry overlooked things like that which Ariana noticed, as Harry was seeing these faces to give him strength as he walked into the forest? I doubt any of what I'm saying actually makes sense outside my own head, so I'm sorry :p but wow, that was just such an interesting scene.

I saw one typo in the chapter so I figured I'd point it out: “Imagine all the powerat our disposal once we unite the Hallows -- should be "power at"

This was such a great chapter! I love this story so much and I can't wait to read more - it is really exciting that you've finished writing the whole thing, even if it isn't edited yet. Sending all my editing-muses to you :D

Author's Response: Hello again, Kristin! ♥

YES, PLEASE SEND ALL YOUR EDITING MUSES TO ME, PLEASE. Just...two more chapters to edit, just two more...I'm the laziest writer in the universe, and I want to apologise for existing. *hides*

Yay, yay, you're getting through the story! It's indeed Ariana who's Thimble. I was really nervous about this revelation, because when writing I was fairly sure that readers would shake their heads in disbelief and find it unconvincing. I've always seen Ariana as someone who is as intelligent and as clever as Albus, though she is impeded by the traumatic event in her past and her current mental state. She does have her moments of lucidity when she can plan things out accurately. And I feel that she is an instinctual user of magic. It comes naturally to her, though because of the damage the Muggle boys did to her, her abilities went out of control. She's both frail and strong at the same time, and not in the way that most others would see. Bottom line is, I love Ariana, and I love writing her as someone who is incredibly talented and capable of astonishing feats of magic. :P

Aaand yes, she met Marvolo Gaunt. And nobody will ever find out. :P Or I'd have to make the whole story AU.

The Resurrection Stone is portrayed very strangely and conflictingly in the books. There's the second Peverell rother who was driven to despair by the Stone's power. And then there's Harry, who finds strength and comfort in the apparitions conjured up by the Stone's power. I think there's a crucial difference between the two. With Harry, he had already accepted his fate to die, and so the Stone, being an instrument of Death, gave him some measure of comfort and confidence to get one with his task. But the second Peverell sought to reclaim from Death what belonged to Death, and found out, that despite all the power he held within his hand, he was truly powerless. With Ariana, unfortunately, it's more like Cadmus Peverell's situation, rather than Harry's. Ariana wants to /live/. She has fought for life so hard since her childhood, when she narrowly escaped death by fire, as a result of the attack. She has foreseen signs of her own death (it's something that I might not have developed properly in the earlier chapters, but I did include a few hints here and there), and she doesn't want to die forgotten and isolated. She seeks the Hallows because she's drawn to the stories she overhears, and the possibility of escaping her fate.

The Three Witches haunt her because they want to reclaim what is theirs, but Ariana is stronger than they anticipate. Ariana hasn't accepted Death yet, and she won't, not so easily. :P

Er, sorry for rambling!! I hope all that made sense to you.

And ugh, typos! Still haven't corrected that, I think. Thanks for pointing that out to me; I've still got a lot of work to do with this fic.

Thank you once again for another wonderful review, Kristin! ♥


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Review #3, by CambAngst 

23rd September 2015:
Hi, teh! How do I not keep going after an author's note like that? :D

I never feel like this story gets as much attention as it deserves. It can be really hard to build a following around a story that doesn't fit a certain mold on HPFF. The pairing of Albus and Gellert doesn't seem to draw the same level of readership as Next Gen or Marauders-era pairings. Another thing that occurs to me is that an awful lot of people would find your story somewhat intimidating to review. Your writing style is so unique and intricate. The imagery you create is unlike any other story I've read on the archives. You're truly one of a kind.

Another bitter, angry letter from Gellert to Albus. You can really feel Gellert descending into madness in this letter. He's losing control of his message, wandering back and forth between being conciliatory and spiteful and nostalgic and vicious. It doesn't have the same focus and obvious purpose as his earlier letters. Near the end, he even sounds somewhat desperate.

I felt like I learned quite a bit about the three apparitions who haunt Ariana in this chapter. We also learn quite a bit about Ariana's madness. Or rather the method to it. She isn't as helpless or lost as Albus and Aberforth seem to assume. She has found a purpose and she pursues it in ways that they haven't realized.

I loved the scene you created with the imaginary soup party and the trestle table. It read like a constantly changing swirl between moments of hallucination and lucidity.

So it was Ariana who lured Marvolo Gaunt to bring the Resurrection Stone. I was convinced it was Gellert. It's also pretty amazing that she discovered something that Albus and Gellert missed in spite of all of their intelligence and obsessive pursuit of the Hallows. Albus is leading Ariana toward her death in more ways than even Gellert realizes.

By the end of the scene in Ariana's room, I was starting to think that the three apparitions are starting to merge into some sort of personification of death. That would explain some of their comments, as well as the way they call out to her.

Albus is completely smitten with Gellert. So much so that he's become convinced he can have it all: his life with Gellert, their pursuit of the Hallows, taking care of his sister, possibly restoring her to health... The world seems pretty boundless when you're young and in love, I suppose. You did a really good job of defining Gellert's feeling for Albus. There isn't much there that I would call genuine affection. There's certainly lust -- both physical attraction and a lust for the possibilities that Albus represents -- but I don't feel anything more.

I really, really loved the scene where Ariana escapes from the house. The way that she coopts Aberforth's wand and the way that she circumvents Albus's wards were brilliant. They made my inner magic nerd dance (awkwardly. he's a nerd) with joy. Also, the way that she performs magic made perfect sense. She has no formal education. Incantations and wand movements are unknown to her. She simply lets the feelings flow out through the wand.

And she lays a beat-down on Marvolo. I can't say that I feel especially bad for the guy. He's the nineteenth century wizard equivalent of inbred mountain hillbillies.

The scene with the shades of Percival and Kendra is beautifully written and heart-breaking. It's just perfect. I read the scene and thought, 'Yes! This is how the second Peverell brother was driven mad.' The shades of Ariana's parents have a palpable sadness to them. The whole experience is filled with regret and unfulfilled expectations. There is no peace for Ariana. There are only the Crone, the Tall Woman and Glass Girl.

Send us back, Kendra seems to be pleading through her eyes. Send us back. You and your brothers are nobody to us any longer. -- This. Oh my god, this.

This story gets better with every chapter. Until next time...

Author's Response: Dan! ♥

Dan Dan Dan.

I have to say this particular review of yours struck so many chords with me. I don't know how many times I've said this, but thank you for being here reviewing this story. Thank you for understanding what I'm trying to do, for telling me that you understand, and for every encouraging compliment and occasional critique you've left me. I really really appreciate your time and effot, and your reviews have been a massive boost in my confidence. So thank you, again and again until the end of this fic. ♥

Certainly, you're right about Gellert's letters. They started off bitter, filled with resentment and malice, and they do lose focus the more he writes to Albus. Grindelwald is indeed a mess; there may be forces stronger than him at play, things that he doesn't expect. Madness is something that recurs in some characters.

I'm glad you learned a bit about the apparitions Ariana sees. They're inextricably linked to (Gellert's) story of the Hallows, and to Death, and to Ariana herself. So maybe Ariana projects herself onto these apparitions; maybe they exist and she understands them in her own terms. I also do think that Ariana narrowly escaped death all those years ago when the Muggle boys attacked her as a child. With the magic she was capable of performing, I do think she's much more powerful than most people (including her own family) think, and she fought very hard to survive, even if it meant existing in such a state of alienation. Albus is portrayed as a very gifted and brilliant wizard in the books, and I like to think Ariana is similar to him, just as intelligent, though she is impeded by her past trauma and her mental condition. Magic is instintual to her, and she has the ability to plan things with great accuracy, which is something I've been trying to show in this chapter and the last (all her letters as Thimble etc.)

Your description of Marvolo as the "19th century wizard equivalent of inbred mountain hillbillies" made me choke a bit. :P Good Lord, I'll never see him as anyone else now.

I'm so glad to hear that the final scene where Ariana uses the Stone to resurrect her parents struck a chord with you. I was incredibly nervous writing it, and now I can breathe a sigh of relief...because...it works? For you, at least?

Thank you once again for another amazing review, Dan! ♥


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