Reading Reviews for L'optimisme
  
32 Reviews Found

Review #1, by BellaLestrange87 Wales

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 #2, by moonbaby11 Wales

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!

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Review #3, by moonbaby11 Silence

19th December 2014:
I am (finally) here with your review! I sincerely apologize for how long that it took me to get to this.

I really love the style that you have used for the piece. It comes off as very reminiscent, and it almost feels as if I'm in a dream the way that Albus floats between ideas. I think it works really well and it definitely helped to capture my attention. You have good use of words and phrasing and there were moments where I almost felt as if I was in Dumbledore's penseive, looking back at all of his memories.

You asked about characterization and I think what you have so far is good. There is nothing that stood out to me as being out of character, and I think that the way that you are writing Albus is very true to his personality. It's sometimes strange to think about people that we've only known as adults as young people, but I think you do a really good transition and I can see quite a few personality traits from the Dumbledore we know from the original series in the character that you are writing here in the story.

I think your use of first person works really well. I don't think that using third person would have been as effective, especially with the style that you have chosen, so I definitely think that you made the right choice there.

This chapter was a little slow, but I don't think it's really a problem, especially since you're going for a whole 'reminiscent' thing. I assume that the rest of the novel is written in the same, slow manner, which I think is good. As long as you remain consistent with your pacing then I don't think it will be a problem.

Overall I loved this first chapter and I regret the fact that I took so long to read it! Keep up the great writing!

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Review #4, by Unicorn_Charm Silence

19th December 2014:
Hi there!! I am so very sorry for how long I've taken. RL has been a bit hectic the last few days.

This was unbelievably incredible. You write beautifully, it's almost poetic. The description, emotion, wording and everything just flowed so smoothly. It really was a joy to read.

Dumbledore is just such a tragic character - as are most of the adult male characters in JK's world. I just loved the reflective tone of this chapter. You just did such an amazing job capturing the emotion and the pensive tone. I can't gush enough over how amazingly wonderfully done this was.

I loved the opening. Absolutely adored it. It's so true how silence is an extremely powerful - yet often overlooked - part of a conversation. There really is a lot that is said in silence, you were absolutely correct. It can be very uncomfortable or comforting, depending on the situation.

Dumbledore's love for him was portrayed so, so well. I don't think that he ever really got over him, and you made it seem that he had not, so it definitely fit in with my head canon. Just from the way he described how beautiful he looked in the mornings and how he remembered such little details, like how he'd lightly kiss him to show that he was awake. How he always knew he was awake anyhow, because he noticed the change in his breathing. How he would look right before he jumped out of the window in the morning. Every little detail was just so perfect.

Reading the events that led up to Ariana's death was heartbreaking. I can't even imagine the fear and confusion that came in that moment and again, you portrayed it amazingly well. The way he was not sure if he was on his side during the duel, or his brother's. That for a moment he thought of stunning Aberforth. Then poor Ariana running in the middle of everything and end up being stuck down. It was all how I would imagine it going down.

I'm curious as to what Aberforth said that was so bad Dumbledore wouldn't repeat it. I wonder if that is something that will come about in a later chapter, or something the reader will just have to guess on their own?

They really were all quite young when that happened. I really never realized that they pretty much were still children, because a young Dumbledore is kind of hard to imagine. Just like Harry says in canon haha. You really did put that into perspective though. I also wonder, like Dumbledore did here, if he did grow to regret what happened to Ariana. Perhaps he did and that was why he lied to Voldemort about the Elder Wand in the Deathly Hallows.

It seems like this takes place before they have their legendary duel. I could be totally wrong though. But just from the last paragraph, when Dumbledore mentions how he is afraid of him finding out his Achilles' heel, leads me to believe that is the timeframe of this.

I really enjoyed this, a lot. Your writing is just wonderful! I've been wanting to read this since the Dobby noms, and I'm glad I've finally gotten around to it. I'm definitely going to be back and continue on. Thanks for doing the swap!! I'm sorry again for the delay with mine! ♥

xoxo Meg

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Review #5, by Red_headed_juliet WŁrttemberg

17th December 2014:
I decided to read the whole thing for our swap. +] Just yesterday I said to my hubby "I miss second person point of view" and then I find this!!

I love reading about Gellert/Albus. I'm a sucker for tragedy, and a Ravenclaw, so the abounding intelligence is just addicting.

I have to attack this review logically or it is going to make no sense. (And I'm so sorry, but this is going to be giant.)

Characterization: Your Albus Dumbledore is the perfect amount of hopeless romantic, niave lover, proud intellect, and quirky observer. Everything is just so well constructed, it would make sense that he aged into the character we know and love from the series. I also appreciate the little things. How he calls Gellert my darling when he feels sentimental, and how he apologizes for how affected he was by the loss of him. It's really very interesting to read.

I have to say that I look forward to Gellert's parts more. There's just something about him that I find addicting. The way he seems so collected and hopeful, and then out of nowhere so dangerous and unbalanced. The way Dumbledore speaks about him is only supported by his own internal musings, and it's sad to see how well they know each other. I think the line about how 'there's nothing to say or we already know all there is to say' is very accurate on how a relationship between them would've worked. With men of such intuitive intelligence, the subject matter of intimate conversations would be predictable.

I also find it noteworthy that he has never said/thought Ariana's name, and only refence he makes to her is as 'the girl'. The kind of detachment he shows towards the whole event in general pretty much showcases the difference between him and Albus.

Descriptions:

Beautiful. As an American, I have never seen Paris, Wales, Bulgaria, or any of those places, but your imagery is more than able to paint a vibrant picture. Also, the way you tie in landscape and environments with deeper moods and associations is very subtle yet impactful. It really conveys how deeply they affected each other, and how they were never able to escape from their passions.

Plot:

I've never given any thought to the interim between Ariana's death, and his downfall.

Now that you've brought that span of years to my attention, I'm very VERY interested in what is going to continue to happen. The foreknowledge is killer, it really is. The fact that they are aware of it also lends to the overall tragic tone and mood of the piece (which I absolutely love).

I'm very interested to hear more about Mathaus, for example, and I'm thinking that must have been the man that 'they' killed unjustly in Gellert's eyes...

Style:

The way you've written this, from the deeply engrained metaphors, to the duality between conversation and silence, love and passion, hope and desperation, all of it tastefully and artfully done. There is certainly a reason this got a Dobby award. You certainly deserved it.

Nothing stands out as awkward, or misplaced. The transitions are all well timed and correctly transitioned. Tense is consistent, even though foreknowledge is often very difficult to write when doing things chronologically, not to mention writing in second person point of view from two different view points!

I'm definitely so glad that I got to read this, and will be coming back for more!

Until next time!

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Review #6, by BellaLestrange87 Silence

17th December 2014:
This is for the Blue vs. Bronze review battle!

Wow. This is gorgeous. Your writing is amazing. Everything flows together and it's all amazingly poetic, especially that awesome beginning section where you muse on words and silence. I love that, and how you tied it in to Dumbledore and Grindelwald's relationship. I'm not too sure where to begin, because this entire chapter - and all your writing in general - is amazing, and I'm not sure what to say.

I think the first paragraph is amazing. Dumbledore is clearly in love with Grindelwald, and it shows very effectively through your writing. His specific mention of how the summer sped by and crawled by at the same time is reminiscent of how time seems to work differently when you're enjoying yourself. And, since he described that summer as glorious, is probably what happened :) Besides, who looks good first thing in the morning? Definitely not me.

Dumbledore and Grindelwald's relationship is really cute. I like how they woke up exactly the same way, every morning, without fail. It adds regularity and stability to what was probably very frowned upon back then (referring to homosexuality here).

The fight was very well done. Of course, it would be a lot easier for Albus to look back and think about how stupid he was in not asking Ariana her opinion. I love how you referenced back to the opening section on silence and sounds and made the moment of Ariana's death "a last, distorted chord".

How do you write so well? How?

~Olivia

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Review #7, by marauderfan Bulgaria

13th December 2014:
Swap!

Gaaa, your first paragraph (well, really the whole story, but especially that first paragraph) is SO vivid and really incredible!

Reading this makes me seriously wonder... are you a philosopher? Perhaps a reincarnation of Socrates? :P I love Gellert's opinions on passion and anger, and that bit at the end of the first section just rings of truth - it is easy to understand why he would hate Albus for they had the same past, the same feelings and craving for power, but now it's only Gellert who must sit and watch idly from prison while Albus tries to erase who he was, remove those feelings and move forward creating something new.

Then, I was nothing and everything, no one and everyone, a living dimorphism in myself. ... AH! I love this.

It was really cool to see the way you incorporated Gellert's theft of the Elder Wand into this - since there was a brief mention of the photograph in the Deathly Hallows, this takes that one moment and adds so much to it, putting life into the photograph, as it were.

I think your biggest strength in this story is the way you present your ideas. Although it is a story about Grindelwald and Dumbledore, even more than that it's a story about big ideas and life and love and success and betrayal. I feel like when I'm reading it, I'm seeing ideas that are true of course but I'd never thought about them in that way before. I loved the first section about anger, and then Gellert's considering of freedom in the second half. That whole piece about him travelling and then stealing the wand and escaping on the wind, just spoke freedom to me. You use your words so beautifully - I don't know how you do it!

That last line too, about Gellert as the dawn and Albus being the sunset. Incredible.

Thanks for the swap!! ♥

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Review #8, by AlexFan Similes

12th December 2014:
I should warn you that I am sick so if I sound like Iím not making any sense at any point in time, that is most likely the reason as to why.

I donít know how to put this into words properly but I like how you took the theme of similes and connected it to romantic writers like Byron, and Wordsworth, and Milton because if the reader has read anything written by them, then they would be able to see the connection.

It kind of startled me when you mentioned Advent because I never really pictured Dumbledore as a religious man. I always thought of him as someone who would be open to the idea of religion but wouldnít have invested much time in it privately. And even in your story, it feels like he goes along with the custom of going to church more so to fit in rather than because of his belief in God.

I like how you brought out some of Dumbledoreís arrogance here, because you see it in the books but itís more mellow in the series. When Dumbledore is faced with the fact that someone besides him might have figured out the properties of dragon blood, it really hits you that he knew he was the best, he didnít just think it, but he knew for a fact that he was the best and the idea that someone could do something that he, the best, could not is just unbelievable.

I like how you included how Dumbledore was dealing with the fact that he had defeated the man that he cared for, and how he was still attracted to Grindelwald. (I also feel really proud to catch onto and understand all of the references that you made to Verdi and Goethe). Iíve said it before and Iíll say it again, this story isnít too slow but youíve got to have patience and the time to properly sit down and read it and digest whatís happening and going on.

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Review #9, by Diogenissa Silence

3rd December 2014:
Hai hai hai! Am here for our review swap! :-)

First I need to say that I'm not as much as to OotP yet let alone DH so all I really know about Dumbledore and Grindelwald is from what I've read via my never-ending research. However, it initially fascinated me and hence this is the story that I found catching my interest first so bear with me.

I must say that the opening sequence was like wow! It blew me away and was very well laid out and flowed nicely. I liked how you broke it down and delved into the thoughts and emotions behind such contemplations about words and silences. It was a wonderful if not amazing introduction that serves great as such, as well as to introduce the overall theme of the chapter proper.

The opening sequence with them waking up in a lover's embrace and Dumbledore's musings was beautiful and I was like 'awww' several times throughout and it made me smile as it was so sweet! I loved reading about Albus when he was a young man with all the mischievousness and playfulness (and later the 'know everything') of a teenager. I found it adorable and it gives a really refreshing perspective on the man who is later the Headmaster of Hogwarts. No-one ever seems to stop and think of 'well what was he like when he was a kid'? I loved that as well as the detail of what seems to me to have been the happiest memories of his life and you did it beautifully. It was almost like being there in the room with them.

The transition from something beautiful to terrible was nicely done and connected up very nicely as well. I had no problems with it and the way you built it up was wonderful. That was -some- duel and it was a duel in anger instead of clear heads. The end of it with his sister's death as a result of that anger I could almost feel how much it numbed and paralyzed him to where he started to -really- stop and question things about himself. It was powerful as he saw what anger and the heat of it can truly do, the consequences that can result.

I also wish to say that I really liked how you wove the musical theme into it. It was nice and subtle not really at the forefront but very much there. Also the transitions between two of the most powerful forces we know (love and hate) is very present throughout and hence amplifies the overall sense of regret as a result really made me feel for him as that was another lesson he had to learn via the hard way. It really explains a couple of the reasons why he was so mysterious and held his cards so close to his chest until the right times (if any).

In ending I really enjoyed this piece and you did a wonderful job expressing his heart and soul. I have a new perspective on Dumbledore thanks to this and you and I now have another thing to look forward to (as well as to look FOR) when I pick up OotP onward. This really did honestly give me a sense of this and gives me more appreciation for the man himself. Thank you very much for a wonderful story and rest assured I will be reading the rest of this as well as the chapters to come in the future.

Karen (Diogenissa)

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Review #10, by marauderfan Words

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! :)

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Review #11, by purplepotter77 Silence

10th November 2014:
Hey there! Here for the BvB review battle! c:

Wow, this was such a beautiful chapter! I love the first section of it and how you talk about the importance/meaning of words and silence at the beginning and how they relate to one another. I think it sets up a very good context/starting place for the relationship between Albus and Gellert, and it's a really wonderful opening for this story.

Another thing I love about this is that it's written in the perspective of Albus talking to Gellert, and you can really hear both the eloquence and the tenderness in his tone and how he addresses him. Your word choice and imagery and everything was just so perfect and beautiful, and it really fit both the time and the kind of mood of the chapter so well. It's exactly how I would imagine Albus would've written his letters to Grindelwald, and just the style of it paints such a vivid image in my mind.

al;dkfj I love Albus/Gellert, and the description of their relationship together and the images you create of them are so gorgeous. It's the small details that really make the description very lovely and realistic, and it helps portray Gellert in a more human light, as opposed to the dark wizard we know he'll become later. I just love the scenes of those lazy August mornings and how Albus would hold Gellert.

The transition to the encounter between Albus, Gellert, and Aberforth was done very well and so smoothly, and it definitely showed how their relationship darkened. I especially love the music imagery here, such as, there was a final blare of trumpets and violins and drums in a last, distorted chord, which really ties in with the "crescendo" that the afternoon started out with. The emotions that the three boys, especially Albus, feel in the aftermath of the fight and Ariana's death are very vivid here.

I also loved the way you managed to wrap up the whole chapter by returning full circle with the theme of silence! It ties everything here up so well, and the last line especially is so poignant.

Overall, I think this is such a fantastic and gorgeous start to the story, and I'll definitely be coming back to read the next chapters! ♥

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Review #12, by AlexFan Bulgaria

31st October 2014:
So sorry for taking so long but Iíve had a lot of homework in the past week and I havenít had any free time!

I can definitely see what you mean about this chapter being more character heavy than the previous three. But I speak for myself when I say that I really enjoyed it, I didnít find it at all boring. I feel like when youíre telling a story that is based almost entirely on a personís memories, lots of imagery is whatís going to be needed. It just feels like it makes it really obvious that the story is being told through the memories of a character. When you look back on things that happened, you tend to pay more attention to the details and everything around you.

Whenever I read this story I feel like Iím in a memory, it feels like everything that Iím reading is something that happened to me personally, even though I know itís not, and it makes me weirdly nostalgic for events that never happened. My favourite bit had to be in the end where Grindelwald was comparing him to a sunrise and how it signified his leadership into this new world that it had in mind, my favourite line had to be the very last one where he describes Albus and compares him to sunset. I donít know why but it just really stuck with me out of all of the other lines in the chapter.

I like how you went into detail about Grindelwald stealing the wand, there was some information given in the series about what happened on the day that Grindelwald stole the Elder Wand but it feels completely different seeing the same incident from the actual characterís point of view.

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Review #13, by UnluckyStar57 Wales

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

~Mallory

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Review #14, by marauderfan Wales

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!!

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Review #15, by newgenerationlover Bulgaria

11th October 2014:
Ok, so first off let me congratulate you on your Dobby win!! *hugs* You deserve it, Aph. Your writing is truly amazing! Secondly, thank god for the BvB battle cause it made me visit your page, which, in turn, made me see that you had updated. Sque!!!

Pretty pretty please with a cherry on top teach a writing class. I need to know how to write so well!!! *cries* This whole chapter (read: everything you have ever written. ever.) is not only utterly eloquent in every fashion, but you so perfectly show your characters and all their thoughts, feelings and emotions. You are da bomb dot com. That is all.

Dear god. Is it bad that I want to hug him as well as run away in fear at the same time?? Goodness me, if he is going to kill hundreds at the tip of the hat, I don't know how close I would like to get to him no matter how much I want to fix his *cue baby voice* wittle hweart.

So who is this guy who they killed anyway?? Am I missing something or are you being all mysterious like and just keeping it a secret? Whomever (whoever? eh whatever) he killed must have been important. A friend? A mentor? A brother? A *wiggles eyebrows* lover?? Telll meee!!

Oooo the elder wand. Fancy. This part made me giggle: 'I was to be the sun, heralding the new age, bringing the light and the day and all the beauty and certainty it possessed.' He sure has the ego, doesn't he? :P He reminds me of Oedipus pre-finding out he killed his father and made babies with his mama.

Gosh, my heart broke when he said, "Some days, Albus, I think I hate you. Others, I know that I do." NOO! YOU DON'T HATE HIM!! YOU LOVE HIM! HE IS YOUR SOUL MATE! YOUR STAR CROSSED LOVER!! *falls into a heap and sobs* Why, Aph?? Why are you giving me the feels??

Ok well until next time!

xoxo
Mary

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Review #16, by AlexFan Words

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.

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Review #17, by Lululuna Silence

3rd October 2014:
Hey Aph!! :) Sorry for taking so long to get here, these past two weeks have been complete madness. I know I reviewed this chapter back before you posted a new version (I think?) but it might be helpful to have a longer review and I'll hopefully be able to come back and review the other chapters sometime soon!! :)

As usual, your power with words is at full expression here.

The section on words was really interesting and felt like something Dumbledore would say in a letter or message to Gellert. Their connection was both physical and emotional but also intellectual, and I think that's more of an important quality than it would be in some relationships. I also loved how after the section about words and silences, the first line of the next section mentions how Albus never "told" Gellert something. It was a neat transition from the first section.

I love the comfortable, relatable, almost domestic description of their waking up together. It really humanized Gellert, who is so often seen as being otherworldly and beyond reach. I love how the description brought a real physicality to their relationship, right from the beginning, and of course the logistics of their sneaking about and being together. I especially loved the image of Albus jumping the fence. :P

your breath ghosting over my collarbone, a soft harmony to the birdsong. I love this line. It's just so beautiful and vivid, especially the image of breath "ghosting."

The emphasis on the day when Ariana was killed was really vivid and effective, especially since Dumbledore says he watched it over and over again in his Pensieve. I can imagine him doing that, a ghostly figure standing in his own memory and trying to make sense of what happened. It's almost like he's looking for penitence for his actions that day and punishes himself by reliving them. I've been reading a lot of nineteenth century literature lately but a big theme is Catholicism and the practices of confession and punishment and self-loathing and this reminded me a little of that, almost as if this story is Albus' confession to Gellert or to a higher power, like how he mentions God in the last line.

One little thing I noticed (though feel free to ignore, I'm just being picky):

wary of their power since young The use of the word "young" brought me out of the story a little as it didn't quite flow with the rest of the sentence, would "youth" or "being young" or "childhood" maybe fit better?

Lovely job, love! :) I can't wait to keep reading!

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Review #18, by crestwood Bulgaria

26th September 2014:
Hi Laura!

I've never read any depiction of Grindelwald's point of view before, so I can't be entirely sure, but something tells me that the typical portrayal is not half as sophisticated as you've managed to make it here.

Before I even begin to attempt to review this I just have to ask, do you, have you ever or do you ever plan to write original fiction? The way you write deserves to make you a lot of money. In fact, when you request these reviews and tell me that you're worried about certain aspects, I deliberately approach reading the chapters with a mind ready to find mistakes and explain something I'd do a bit different or just want I'd prefer to read. There's almost always some suggestion I could offer when given specific areas of concern, but you have stumped me. So, instead I will spend this review pointing out the ways you have written something that I do not find fault with at all.

First, you mentioned worrying about the characterization and I have to say.. there is no need to. You're correct in calling this chapter a character study of sorts. It's certainly character-driven and depends heavily on our interest in the inner workings of Gellert's mind and what he was feeling and going through during this time period. Because you've been pacing yourself so well and taking us through both Albus and Gellert's minds up until this point, we're already very acquainted and familiar with who he is and I can't speak for anyone else, but I am really intrigued by his point of view. We never get to hear his side of the story in canon and no matter how dark or sinister he can be, he does have a viewpoint in all of this. You've done this amazing job depicting him as someone who has that darkness, who is completely unabashed to be enthralled by power. But, you've also given him this human center, highlighted each and every time he mentions or thinks about Albus. It's such a fine line to walk, but you have managed to emphasize his capacity for love and evil and all of the contradictions that I believe he'd feel because of that. I don't think I'll ever be able to separate this Grindelwald from how I read him in canon.

As for the plot, I loved the stealing of the Elder Wand. A story about that alone would have drawn me in, but the way you've written it is special because you haven't just described the events, but given us such an insight into the way it was stolen and the way Grindelwald felt before, during and after. I feel like I'm quite literally inside of his head in real time as thoughts fly left and right.

And because you mentioned the language, I will include what I thought. I was very happy to see that someone else had nominated this story for the Best Quote Dobby before me, enabling me to simply second their nomination, because I never would have been capable of choosing only one passage to single out. You write as if the shaping of words was what you were born to do. The fact that you are writing what are essentially two absolute geniuses is never allowed to be forgotten because the language they use, the sheer gravity of their words is all too present. I can't give you an example of every sentence I enjoyed for fear of nearing the character limit, but I will pick a few out to just sing your praises.

"Then, I was nothing and everything, no one and everyone, a living dimorphism in myself" - Here is that duality of this character that I mentioned earlier. Absolutely beautiful.

"Did you think of that, in your grand scheme to hide yourself from the world? Or did your courage die at the end of that summer, cradled so delicately in the girlís hands as she fell?" He's almost taunting Albus now. The bitterness is very clearly expressed without an explicit 'he said, bitterly.' Oh, how easy you make this look.

"It would be difficult, a path strewn with dangers (of course, for what revolution is without peril?) but I would match it, whatever came my way, and the glory in the end would be worth all the cost of the beginning." This passage is a summation of the entire 'Greater Good' philosophy in only so many words. I do not think one could write the underlying idea behind everything Gellert believed in any better than this. I don't know where you learned to wield the English language like this, but I think any writer on this site that wants to learn the correct way to write an internal monologue should be referred to this story. I really do apologize about my lack of helpful criticism, but sometimes things are just beyond my ability to find fault. Just brilliance all around. Thank you for requesting.

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Review #19, by Ribbons Silence

17th September 2014:
My darling HELLO!

I don't like to say that "I'm here from the thread with your requested review" thing, because it sounds like I've been forced to read and write this with a gun pointed at my temple.

That is not the case.

I'm actually thrilled to be writing to you here and now because I can tell you're just overflowing with talent.

There's so much good in this intro that's it's almost difficult to talk about the stuff that needs work, but alas, such is my task. Shall I begin?

First of all, you have very nice language in this first chapter/prologue, but at times it becomes a little bit too much - like you're getting caught up in your own impeccable ability with words. I don't blame you, but it can be a bit difficult when you're on the receiving end of some wildly distracting words with meanings you don't quite understand.

Thankfully, I never had to reach for the old dictionary, but it's not inconceivable that such a thing could happen.

I understand that this was way back in the day (1800s? You ARE brave!), but I think you should look it over a second time and be UBER critical of your word choice and whether it is entirely necessary. You don't want to degrade to simple and meaningless street slang, but there is also that result at the other end of the spectrum: Elizabethan style.

Did that make any sense? Probably not.

Now, this language might be just this chapter, I haven't read the next segment of your story yet, but if it IS a one time deal with the language, even more of a reason to make a good first impression. When it's the beginning of a story, you don't want to let your message get buried under the language and risk turning your reader off it when they get a headache.

I love being dramatic. Ooops. Fatal flaw.

But all in all, I really liked this chapter. There were times when everything else fell away and all I could see was the picture you were creating, there before me and completely beautiful. That's a gift, man. Don't forget it. Strive for simplicity and work to make your characters fresh and their plights BEYOND interesting.

Anyway, that's all for now. I know that was probably a deeply dissatisfying chapter review and you're fingers are bleeding in frustration (?), but please, bear with me. Eventually I will review other chapters when I'm not so tired and things will work out beautifully.

Much much much love,

Alena

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Review #20, by crestwood Words

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 #21, by newgenerationlover Words

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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Review #22, by AlexFan Wales

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 #23, by Yoshi_Kitten Silence

29th August 2014:
Holey crap... your introduction to this was just simply magnificent!! breathtakingly beautiful, and incredibly deep. I loved every single word of it - no pun intended, lol. ;)

Haha, this takes place on Aug. 29th and that's the same date as today!! Took me a moment to establish that it was Dumbledore speaking at first. Guess I should have know tho, you know, since he has always had such a way with words. Honestly, your writing style is exquisite. you have such a way with words, and you craft your sentences so beautifully here! Their fight scene was so heartbreaking tho. I knew it was going to have a sad ending anyhow, but reading Albus' pov on his sister's death made it so much more depressing. I liked how you had him reflecting back on how he did not cry for her tho, and how he was more concerned about how badly Grindelwald had been hurt.

Wow... just, wow. This was all so very poetic, which I imagine is exactly how Dumbledore would write to a lover. You capture his inner monologue quite well, which is not an easy thing to do. I cannot help but wonder tho; how old he is when writing this? Is it before or after their duel in which Dumbledore takes the elder wand? Is it when Harry was at Hogwarts, is it right before Dumbledore was about to die? Personally, I imagine that he is writing this shortly after being cursed by trying put on the the ring horcrux. He knew he was going to die soon, at that point, so it would make sense that Albus would become more reflective. I could be way off tho, haha! ^_^'

I am so adding this to my favorites, and you will be seeing me in the next chapter soon. I was happy to see that this is not a one-shot, cuz I want MORE, lol!! Thanks so much for the wonderful swap. We should totally do this again some time, as I am now a fan of your writing!! =)

1,000//10 (cuz you're amazing!)
~Deana~

Author's Response: Hey there! Sorry for the wait in getting this response back to you - I'm so hopeless with writing these, particularly when they're so lovely, like this one :hugs: And no worries about puns, dear, I love puns - can never get enough of them :P

Yeah, I didn't notice that actually, at first - didn't really think about it... wow, weird coincidence! I didn't really want to sort of say it was Dumbledore at the beginning - I kinda thought it would sort of give it away, but also, it wouldn't really have fitted? Gah, thank you so much - and is it bad that I'm glad the fight scene was heartbreaking? :P It's going to be a pretty angsty story, tbh, so it's sort of the beginning of all of that... a taste of the future, so to speak ;) Grief makes people react strangely - when my pet rabbit died, I laughed (it's true!), so yeah, I liked the idea that he didn't cry - it would impound Aberforth's hatred of him, and all, as well, so it worked well!

Thank you so much! Capturing the style he speaks with was really hard at first - it's so specific to him, you know? - but it sort of seemed to get easier as it went along, so I'm so glad you liked it! Yeah, when he's writing this, it's not long after the duel - it'll come up a bit later, little bits about exactly when these reflections are taking place - but yeah, the reflections start after the duel and sort of continue onwards from there, up to his death. It's not very specific, though, but I'm not sure if it needs to be... :/ (Not really sure, though...) Either way, it's perhaps not the most important thing? I dunno...

Gah, thank you so so much! This review was so so lovely to get, and all of the compliments were amazing to hear. I'm just so glad you liked this - and thank you so much for the favourite as well! The swap was amazing - we should definitely do this again! :)

Aph xx


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Review #24, by crestwood Wales

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 #25, by ginnypotter242 Silence

21st August 2014:
Hi Laura! I'm finally here to review your story!

This was such a good first chapter! Your flow was great, especially for not being used to writing in first person. I can definitely get the feeling of it being Albus reflecting on the past, that idea comes across rather strongly. It's well balanced too, with his feelings changing throughout the days.

I love the language motif in this. The beginning of this chapter was really well written, I liked how you spoke about words and what they mean to people, and how dangerous they can be. It definitely seemed to resemble Dumbledore's speech patterns.

I liked that this chapter was all about the summer that they met. t gave their background emotion, real thought instead of exaggerated words written in a book.

Honestly Laura, you have nothing to be worried about :) You write the two of them really well, and the way you characterize them is amazing. The entire chapter flows really well together. You've got Dumbledore's rather unique speech down as well, which is pretty difficult to write.

And oh my gosh, Albus and Gellert are so good together! I love the way you're writing their relationship! Great job on this story, it's off to an amazing start.

~Sara

Author's Response: Hey Sara! :) Thanks so much for stopping by!

Thank you so much - I'm so glad you liked it! I was so nervous about this, it's sort of become my baby, and with the first person and all, it was a bit scary... but I'm so glad you think it worked!

I loved writing the language motif. Languages are one of the things I love and desperately wish I was better at, haha, so the chance to include them in a story when the idea struck was just amazing! Haha, that section was so fun to write - just waffle in general, haha :P

Yeah, I thought it might be a bit boring or sort of unnecessary, but I wanted to include it because I think it sort of gives a launching platform for everything which happens afterwards, you know? So I'm so glad you like it! :)

Thank you so much! I'm so glad you liked it - and gosh, Dumbledore's speech was so fun to write, in the end. It started off so hard, but once I got into a groove, it sort of just got easier, haha.

Gah, thank you so much for this wonderful review! I'm honestly just so glad you liked it, and so all the compliments are so great to get! Thank you! :)

Aph xx


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