Reading Reviews for L'optimisme
62 Reviews Found

Review #1, by AlexFan Malapropisms

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 Gellert’s character to someone who has acknowledged the things that he did when he was young, and the things that he’s 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 don’t 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 shouldn’t let what he feels get in the way of what’s 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 he’s 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 that’s 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 I’m sorry for taking so long with this review, I’ve been really busy lately and I’ve finally got enough time to do basic things as well as leave reviews.

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Review #2, by crestwood Malapropisms

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 #3, by pottered  Pragmatics

22nd February 2015:
"of what we could've been hurts." ):
He still loves Gellert, it hurts my heart. My heart aches for them.
I really liked Albus' interview part and then his run in to aberforth which was quite sad. I love the way Albus calls Gellert his darling, it makes me happy and sad at the same time, and my heart heavy.
I loved the chapter, and am waiting for more! I'm absolutely in love with this story; Gellert and Albus, and especially your writing.
-m (: x

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Review #4, by pottered  Hungary

22nd February 2015:
): I'm so, so sad for gellert so, so angry at his half sisters and half brothers, they treated him so badly and he thought of himself as a mistake, and felt lonely ): and the last line, where he says he missed Albus, I cried. Again lol.
I want to open deathy Hallows and tear the pages apart because, why, why would Jo reveal that in the end, reveal Albus' lover in the end and who he was because I'm so saddened and wistful that what if they ended up together, hopeful that time rewinds itself and Jo writes books where Albus and Gellert are together lol but then that's the part of the story. Another great chapter though. (: x

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Review #5, by pottered  Malapropisms

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 ):

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Review #6, by pottered  Württemberg

22nd February 2015:
omg aw Albus sent the liliacs to Gellert, I'm happy and sad. Oo so in a way Gellert found his puppet; mathaus. No matter how vile Gellert can be, I love him.

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Review #7, by pottered  Similes

22nd February 2015:
"after all, I had been in love with you for years then," ):
It's so sad how they both ended up alone, still in love with each other but still holding a hint of hatred because of the turn of events.

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Review #8, by pottered  Bulgaria

22nd February 2015:
I'm rendered speechless again. I loved the way you described Gellert's feelings, his triumphs and his fears as well, and the way he missed Albus. The saddest part to read was when he's in his prison and: some days, Albus, I think I hate you. Others, I know I do. It broke me. but I don't blame him, I mean if I were Gellert, I would feel like that too.

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Review #9, by pottered  Words

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

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Review #10, by pottered  Wales

22nd February 2015:
"Perhaps if I see you in the future, I will ask then, and perhaps, perhaps you will tell me." and that is where I started sobbing uncontrollably.
"in that moment, Albus, we were infinite." ohmygod brilliant.
"Like everything else in my life, Wales had bored me." I think this describes Gellert perfectly.
The 2014 dobby best quote award, yes you deserve it.
Your story has made me ship Albus/Gellert so much. So, so much. I'm going to go down with this ship. I'm going to be honest and say, I've never read anything about them nor did they concern me that much which now I think about, seems foolish as to me, now, they're the kings of OTPS lol.
I have tissues surrounding me, and in this feverish state, I'm much more emotional so you can imagine how much of a mess I am lol. I've said it before, I'm going to say it again and possibly, as many times as I can, that I'm in love with your writing. Absolutely in love. Not only have you taught me a lot, it has also touched my heart. I never really much cared about Gellert, or about his intentions and the way he wanted to conquer the world with the Hallows, and have never given much thought to the whole thing. But, now, I have and I'm a mess of emotions. I had always taught that Gellert was the most guilty one, and mostly people blame it all on him, ignoring the fact that even Albus had the same intentions until ariana's death occurred, so I feel immensely sorry for Gellert. The first part where he's in prison and "fighting cramp and fading sight," it made my heart heavy. You captured him, just like Albus, perfectly.
-M (: x

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Review #11, by pottered  Silence

22nd February 2015:
I have actual tears in my eyes. This honestly touched my soul. Your writing is breathtaking, like an artwork. I absolutely loved it, and since it's been a long time I've read something as beautiful as this, it really touched me. Your writing, is beautiful, I'm at a loss of words. I don't even know how to express the beauty of this all. It might be a bit exaggerating that I have tears in my eyes, but I do, really. I LOVED Albus' POV, and even more his love for Gellert. The way you wrote about his feelings, his thoughts, his regrets, and the events in his life; I could almost feel it and imagined the whole thing in my head. Especially the part where tragedy struck in his house when ariana died. That was so sad, I thought I was going to start sobbing lol. It was so cute and beautiful (honestly, if I get one adjective to describe what this chapter was; it would be beautiful) when they both would wake up in each other's arms and the way 'words' and 'silence' have been given so much importance. It really made me think that yes, silence is really important, about how our heart starts to pick up pace in such silence and anxiety surfaces and hands get clammy. Also, how words are really powerful. You captured Albus so perfectly. It didn't seem whiny or exaggerative, it felt right. The way he regrets not saying anything in the silence of those blissful mornings with Gellert, and how the events turned out to be. I loved this. Absolutely adored.
PS. I learned a lot from your writing.
-M (: x

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Review #12, by HappyMollyWeasley Pragmatics

20th February 2015:
Okay, time for another review swap! :-)

As I use to say: Albus's chapters are the best ones! The first part of this chapter is so bittersweet, I wanted it to go on forever. That single summer was the happiest time Albus had. It's utterly sad, he sure deserved better than that. I like how you let the word 'together' be a theme here too!

His thoughts about teaching, and about returning to Hogwarts are believable I think. The job interview scene is important to understand how and why he ended up teaching. I think it's a good thing to include, because he is in fact over-qualified.

Poor man, looking for forgiveness when it's not to come... Not from his dead father, nor from his living brother. I think about when he told Harry that he saw himself with a pair of socks in the Mirror of Erised. He has lost everything, but keeps on going.

This was a great chapter, one of my favourites so far!


Author's Response: Hi Molly! Thank you so much for stopping by - and for the swap! I always love swapping with you - though I think I'm going to have to post some more chapters soon so I can catch up with Life Was Meant To Be Easy Now ;)

I'm so glad you liked it - this was one of the moments I'd really been looking forward to writing! And yeah, it's incredibly sad, really, though the first part is kinda sweet - it's when he's still happy, haha. Yeah, I agree - he definitely deserved more happiness in his life! I'm so glad you liked the repetition - I was so worried it would be too much, so I'm so happy to hear you say that! :)

I really, really wanted to avoid the whole 'teaching is what I always wanted to do' thing with this, so I'm so glad you liked it! I really wanted to show that this is less a turning point for him and more a punishment-type thing... and he's waaay overqualified :P It's almost ridiculous, imo :D

It's a really sad thing for him, you know - and it was one of the things which struck me most about his backstory in DH. He spends so long trying to make it right, and in the end it's debatable about whether or not he feels he succeeded. Really tough lot. Also, I wanted to introduce his family more in this one - especially Aberforth.

Thank you so much for the review, and for the swap - I'm so glad you liked this chapter! :)

Aph xx

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Review #13, by nott theodore Wales

20th February 2015:
Hi, Laura! I was really happy to get a chance to get back to this story, especially since I've got even further behind with your recent updates!

I loved the change of point of view in this chapter from Albus to Gellert! For some reason I wasn't expecting it to happen at all, but I thought you wrote it so well. It could have easily felt disjointed when you're changing the perspective but this flowed so well from the last chapter - it reads so beautifully, as well. I get the impression that these are the love letters that the two have wanted to send to each other over the years and yet never have, and the fact that both of them are thinking about the other at the same time, and reminiscing over their summer of love, is so bittersweet.

Your characterisation of Gellert was brilliant, too. This kind of links into the change in the point of view, I guess, but you handled the change in voice wonderfully - Gellert is so obviously a completely different character to Albus, and I really liked the way that you characterised him here. Even though the two of them are remembering the same period in their lives, the time when they met and joined together, the colouration of the story is different according to who's telling it, and I just love the way that you managed that.

Gellert almost has a stronger voice than Albus, actually - he's more practical and down-to-earth about things, I think - while Albus seems to be caught up in great ideas and the theoretical side of things, Gellert is clearly someone who wants to get out and do things, see the world and get hands on experience of it. He also seems to care a lot less about what people think of him - Albus values the opinions of others very highly and, I think, tends to moderate his behaviour accordingly. Even though Gellert is wrong in his ideas, I kind of admire the fact that he doesn't care so much what other people think of him. He's more self-sufficient in a way - I know that Albus has to take care of his siblings but Gellert seems readier to go out in the world and survive by himself.

Your descriptions in this chapter - yet again - were absolutely stunning. I loved the way that you described Wales as a country that was so different from England, even though Gellert hadn't imagined it to be somewhere that could interest him at all. I really liked the way that the boredom slowly set in though, so true to Gellert's character - and all that held his memories were those times when Albus appeared in them. I really liked the way that showed so much about the relationship between the two of them.

The kiss was so adorable! I really loved the way that you wrote it. It felt like both of them put so much into that and you really captured the passion and their feelings for each other in those lines, and it was so sweet to read about that - a time when they were much happier and carefree than their later years, when they're narrating this story.

Also it's a tiny detail, but I loved the way that you mentioned the mix of German and English and Latin that they spoke in - that feels so right for their relationship and the sort of people we know Albus and Gellert were, and the languages nerd in me was rejoicing.

I loved the inclusion of those letters from Elphias (that's who I'm assuming they're from) which would bring Albus down because he was reminded of how much he was missing out on when his friend was off travelling round the world. Your descriptions in that section, too, were incredible - you made me want to travel even more and go and see all the places that were mentioned. But it was sad to see that the conversation they had about going together, travelling and leaving Wales, was one of the things that meant Gellert was never going to stay, even if Ariana hadn't died.

Tiny typo - Schwarzwald not Schwarzbald is the Black Forest :)

The style of this, again, reads like a love letter through the ages and it's so beautiful. I really like the way that even your style captures so much about their relationship.

The ending was really powerful. I loved the ambiguity in it, the more serious tone that Gellert adopted and the questions that it made us ask without ever actually answering them. It's so clear that Gellert loves Albus from this - if he didn't, he wouldn't fear telling him the answer of who actually was responsible for killing Ariana. But he does love him, and because of that he doesn't know what would be worse - for Albus to hate himself for killing his own sister, or for Albus to hate Gellert for killing his sister. I really thought that was a brilliant way to end the chapter!

This was beautiful as always, Laura!

Sian :)

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Review #14, by BellaLestrange87 Pragmatics

17th February 2015:
This is for the Blue vs. Bronze review battle!

Do I get first review on this? I think I do!

As I read more and more of this, I keep wondering how people ever chose one quote - from just one of your stories - to nominate for the Dobbys. This whole story is beautiful poetic prose and it's just awesome and so relaxing to read because it's so pretty. (I feel like that last sentence made absolutely NO sense at all but it's the first day back after a long weekend and I lost my brain.)

I love how Albus can look back on his life and relate it to these awesome quotes that you come up with. How do you do it? I swear, if I want something poetic I have to quote lines from a poem. And his reaction to Grindelwald's 'together' pronouncement for me was revealing - he was clearly in love with Grindelwald, and yet he was unable to articulate it and say 'I was in love' (or something poetic that means it). Either he's ashamed or he's not quite sure exactly what love is and he just knows that he feels happy with Grindelwald. Until, of course, THAT day.

Albus seems to be alternating here between 'it looked like a good idea at the time but not anymore and I'm glad we didn't end up actually doing it' and 'I miss you. Everything about you.' Methinks he needs to visit Grindelwald before he dies.

His admission about Hogwarts both surprised me and made sense. If he truly was devastated by Grindelwald, even home doesn't feel like home, and if he didn't consider Hogwarts home in the first place, its attractiveness probably also diminished. Besides, I doubted he originally saw Hogwarts the same way Harry did. And that description of nerves is perfect.

I think the password to the Headmaster's office says a lot. First, the fact that it's not some lighthearted sweet shows that it's clearly a very different time than in Harry's day. Second, I think 'perfidious', coupled with Albus's thoughts about whether more people than Aberforth had disowned him, shows just what frame of mind he's in. Third, the fact that the Headmaster is Phineas Nigellus Black suggests that maybe 'perfidious' is the frame of mind PNB is in, or the attitude he holds. (Knowing the rest of the Black family, I think the second one is more likely.) Fourth, maybe it's foreshadowing of this job interview?

Hmmm... Phineas Nigellus Black seems an interesting character. I think I can tell why Sirius didn't like him all that much. The fact that he didn't really like Albus because he was clever doesn't really sit all that well with me, and this job interview seems more like two people about to fight sizing each other up than an actual job interview.

So Aberforth is the barman of the Hog's Head already? I didn't expect that. I honestly thought that he'd go do something else for a few years and then take it up. But their utterly disastrous meeting shows exactly why they don't meet up for drinks when Dumbledore's teaching and talk. Your description of him, and his run-down clothes, was perfect. The Hog's Head is never portrayed as being well-off or busy in the books, so it wouldn't exactly make a lot of money, and Aberforth woul have to fall back on whatever family fortune the Dumbledores possessed.

I loved this chapter like all the others and I can't wait for the next one!


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Review #15, by crestwood Württemberg

15th February 2015:
Hi Laura! I went to review this last night, but I was far too tired to say anything that would do this justice. Hopefully today my mind is in the right state to approach all of this.

I wonder what you write down when you plan or if you plan at all. Like, I imagine you just writing something like 'say some stuff about winter and snow and stuff' and you just know what to do. I can't really comprehend how you take things that I don't think all that much about and turn them into such a beautiful series of words. I could probably lock you in a bathroom and tell you to write down what you see and receive all manner of wondrous prose about the way the light shines off of the toilet and the way the room folds back on itself in the mirror and I would be excited to read it. Basically, what I am saying is that you write the most gorgeous description of anyone I've ever read. (Not just talking about fic, either)

Gellert's voice in this story will never get old. Just the self assured way he speaks gets to me every time. I can almost hear the matter of fact tone in the line - 'Outside my window, the snow keeps falling, beautiful and wild and free and deadly, and I cannot help but be reminded of what I once was; and I was all those things, once, Albus, for that is why you loved me, yes?'

A lot of the time, it isn't just the vocabulary used that's so impressive, it's the sentence structure itself. It's remarkable the way you phrase things. You just choose the absolute ideal way to say everything you're trying to convey. This story makes reviewing so easy, like I could write essays about how remarkable it is. It's simultaneously a feat in poignancy and a tour de force in aesthetic quality.

I love that Gellert influenced the legal system through Mathaus Adenauer. It makes sense that he'd have come across some like-minded people before he began his plans, it only makes sense that he could not do what he did alone. I'm always surprised by how nicely this fits into my headcanon of this time period and all of the events leading up to Gellert's reign. The fact that he knows law is of no surprise to me, being who he is. I'd say that making up your own legal code was a nice touch. I must say, I love Gellert's forward thinking nature, if he is thinking toward a less than ideal future. You've really kept his characterization so consistent throughout this story. I can't believe I'm only six chapters in. I feel like I've read full novels about these two.

This chapter was spectacular as always. Thank you so much for the swap :)

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Review #16, by HappyMollyWeasley Hungary

14th February 2015:

This is Molly with your requested review. (But I would probably have done this sooner or later anyway, this story is too good to miss!)

You are certainly providing a lot of background here, which is good. As you know, I've liked Albus's chapters best so far, but this chapter is an exception. This one made me feel for Gellert, and for the first time he became human and likeable. Poor boy, to be abandoned by his mother like that. I like that he got to meet her, and that she told him that she loved him. But, as we know, the damage was already done.

His background makes sense to me. It is believable, and adds depth to his character. I'm really glad that you included this in your story. I have a feeling that I'll think different about Gellert from now on.

And for the first time I believe that he really miss Albus too...

I'm looking forward to see where this story will lead!


Author's Response: Hey Molly! :) Thank you so much for stopping, and thank you so much for that!

Thank you so much! I'm so glad you liked the background - I really wanted to expand on it because there hasn't been much of it in so far, and I thought it was probably about time - especially considering we know a lot about Albus/ background comparatively. Yeah, Gellert is almost vulnerable in this one, which is strange for him - and definitely, it was too late really to make repairs to their relationship.

I'm so happy you believe it - I actually developed his backstory before I started this, so it's been a while coming, haha! But it was really too good to miss, I think, so I'm glad you liked it too; it was one of the bits I was so excited about writing.

I think this is one of the few times Gellert thinks about Albus in terms of affectionate feelings, rather than physical attraction or intelligent friendship, you know, so yeah, there is a more emotional side to their relationship and to him saying he misses Albus :)

Thank you so much for the lovely review - as always it's so great to see you back, and I'm just so happy you're enjoying this! :)

Aph xx

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Review #17, by Ravenclaw333 Silence

5th February 2015:
Hey Laura! Here for the BvB!

I've been meaning to read this story for probably about a thousand years now and I already regret not starting it sooner. Your writing is absolute artwork and you have an unparalleled gift with language - I can't remember the last time I came across such gorgeous prose, and everything about this story promises to be a gift.

You capture Albus's voice so perfectly and completely - his solemnity, his poetry, the wistful melancholy of his recollections - his love for Gellert and his regret comes through clearly in every sentence. The motif of silence - so perfectly introduced in the first section, I think I'll have snippets of it in my mind forever - ties everything together and permeates the whole chapter. Your depiction of Albus and Gellert's relationship is, again, a triumph - I'm not sure if this was deliberate or if I just see Classical parallels everywhere I look (a very real possibility with me) but they remind me so much of Achilles and Patroclus and I adore everything about the way you've written them.

This is an absolutely stunning story, and one I'll be coming back to again and again for the sheer beauty of your words.

Author's Response: Hi Lisa! :) Thanks so much for stopping by!

You have no idea how lovely it is to hear that people want to read this story - it's so great! This story is my baby, really, at the moment, so it means so much to me. And thank you so much - there's something so freeing about writing geniuses, it allows you to be so pretentious :P

Thank you so much! I actually really like writing Albus, though it was so daunting at the beginning. There's something so fascinating about him - how much his early life affected him, and Gellert in particular affected him too - and I love exploring that, so I'm so glad you like him! It is kinda classical, I think - and I am actually planning to put some classical-esque references in it later (though it's Alexander and Hephaestion, and possibly mentions of various Greek figures...), tbh - so it's not just you :P

Gah, thank you so so much for the lovely review - it was so so great to get, especially from you! :)

Aph xx

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Review #18, by eunoia Silence

4th February 2015:
Hi! I'm here from the BvB thread.

Honestly I am at a loss of where to begin, this is such an incredibly powerful piece of writing.

I love your characterization of Albus, he's not an easy character to write but your portrayal of him is realistic and emotive. A wide variety of emotions was featured in this and I felt every single one. There was a nice balance between the different emotions as well.

Your descriptions were gorgeous too, I especially liked how you described the scene with Gellert waking up. There was also a nice flow to your words, they had a lyrical, dreamy quality that had me completely immersed in the story.

I'm sorry if this is incoherent, I'm just so amazed at your skill! There really is nothing to fault here, this is a wonderful read and I'll definitely be back to read more! 10/10

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

Gah, thank you so so much! I'm just so glad people enjoy this - it's sort of become my baby, and it's a story I wanted to write for a long time, so it means a lot to me :)

Albus was so hard to work out in the beginning - I think it's easier once you get a voice for someone, you know? But I'm so happy you like him!

I tend to write loads of description, so I'm so glad you like it! I love writing this, especially that scene with them in the mornings, even though it takes me ages, haha.

No worries - it's a perfectly coherent, lovely review! Thank you so much for the review - it was so great to get! :)

Aph xx

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Review #19, by crestwood Similes

2nd February 2015:
Hi Laura! It's been far too long since I've stopped by this story.

The opening paragraph has already kind of blown me away. It's pretty clear why you won Best Quote with this story, but I do wonder how anyone ever chose a single quote from all of this. 'it binds people together, whether they will it or not, whether there are papers to proclaim it or not' --I LOVE THIS.

This makes me feel so sad for Dumbledore, to think that he never again considered himself worthy of companionship. To open up so little for so long would be torture for me personally. I do wonder if he ever allowed another person to know him (his deepest dreams, fears, etc) after Gellert.

I've always imagined that Albus was a lover of poetry. Especially after reading this story, it's been difficult to separate him from a very poetic sort of sensibility.

You're making me so happy now making them both love poetry so much. In fact, it seems like Gellert got Albus into it. It does seem funny to have an image of him reading Tennyson in Nurmengard for some reason.

Well, now I'm convinced that you're just writing my headcanon that you've somehow discovered. Albus as a music and art lover is one of those things that is so strongly in my mind that I've never considered any other possibility.

The way you described the opera scene is just so good. I run out of words trying to comprehend how talented you are--this is just of such high quality that I struggle to explain it to you in any truly satisfactory way.

All of this about Albus on Christmas is pretty heartbreaking. I mean, even more than is typical for this story. I find every single thing anyone in this story says so compelling. Just Albus attending church and not understanding the words or going home and crying is worded so as to become something of incredible worth.

It's funny to think about Albus' linguistic skills being poor because he's never really been bad at much, has he? Even funnier when he explains why he's not good with languages :P

I love arrogant Albus. I need more of this. Of course he doesn't want someone else finding uses of dragon's blood, that's his thing! No one wants to be beaten at their own thing.

It makes sense to me that Albus never realized how strong his feelings for Gellert were before he met this guy who looks a lot like him and is theoretically everything that he should want. Because all that would do is make it glaringly obvious that he is not Gellert.

This story is still excellent and you're just so awesome for writing this, I can't believe how consistently great it is. Thank you so much for the swap!

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Review #20, by HappyMollyWeasley Malapropisms

1st February 2015:
Every chapter of this story is of just as high quality. I still have to admire your poetic and beautiful language. It's even more noticeable in Albus's chapters.

He is so sad, and he has sometimes so low thoughts of himself, at least compared to what other people think about him…

Oh, the twelve uses of Dragons blood… Poor Alain. He doesn't know anything. But I like that Albus didn't live all his life after Gellert in celibacy, as it is sometimes assumed. That would be quite a few decades seeing how old he became.

And it's good that your Albus isn't some kind of saint. He is human (which also is shown in canon). Although Albus is bright and clever, he is also foolish. Trying to escape memories is understandable, but seldom successful.

This chapter has a very even and nice pace. I like how it brings the story forwards.

Thanks for a great swap! See you soon!


Author's Response: Hey Molly! Thank you so much for stopping by again! :) Your reviews are always such lovely surprises to get!

Yeah, it's easier to have the poetic stuff in Albus' chapters, I think because his voice is more suited to poetics than Gellert's is. I'm so glad you like it, though!

He gets incredibly low at times, and it's definitely extremely low compared to what others think about him! But then, when we're upset, we tend to do that.

Yeah, I feel so sorry for Alain. He may show up again in the future, though ;) He sort of realises in this chapter that it's not about him, though, hence the shame and irritation between them, but he didn't think about it before... I mean, who would? But yeah, I really didn't want Albus to be monk-like for all of his life after Gellert; it would be a really long time, indeed! :P

Thank you! :) I really wanted to make sure that he wasn't perfect, but he wasn't all bad either, because I think people have a tendency to go one way or another in their opinion, and I wanted to show that it's kinda both. He's definitely foolish about the memories, though... it's really not going to work! :)

Thank you so so much for the great review - it was so wonderful to get! I'm just so glad you enjoyed it :)

Aph xx

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Review #21, by HappyMollyWeasley Similes

16th January 2015:
Oh, I'm sorry, I reali that I've just kept reading and didn't leave a review on this chapter at all... I just rushed into the next one without noticing...

I loved reading this chapter. Albus is so well portrayed, and it feels like I kno him. And the sadness of it all...

Author's Response: Hi again - thanks so much for stopping by again! :) And don't worry about it at all - I'm just so grateful you like this story!

Thank you so much - I really like writing Albus! Getting his voice was hard, but I love writing it now, because there's something fascinating about him. And yeah, it's incredibly sad...

Thank you so much for the great review! :)

Aph xx

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Review #22, by HappyMollyWeasley Württemberg

16th January 2015:
Another chapter, and you keep up just as high quality as in the previous chapters. Still sad but beautiful, poetic.

I like the Albus's chapters more, because we know him better. But your Gellert is interesting too. He is so aware of himself, so conscious of his brilliance, so self contented. I can't like him, but I like how you portray him.

It's interesting that he has read Freud. That makes me think about how the Muggle and wizarding societies interacts. We know that Dumbledore took an interest in the Muggle world, but here you tell us that Gellert does too.

As in the previous Gellert chapter I find the use of "Ja?/No?" somewhat annoying. Apart from that this story is very well-written.

The pace is slow, maybe a little too slow at times, but I think that there might be a build up for later chapters. The tone is fateful, and I'm waiting for the duel we know should come sooner or later.

Author's Response: Hey there - thank you so much for stopping by again! These reviews have been so lovely to get! :)

Thank you so much - I was really nervous about this chapter, so I'm so glad you like it! :)

Yeah, Albus is easier to identify with, I think, because he's such a familiar character, and he's not quite as dramatic and egotistical as Gellert :P Gellert's definitely not necessarily the guy you like, but I'm glad you like him, in a way, because I find him so fascinating to write! :)

Yeah, I have a whole theory about that kind of thing, with the greater good thing, but I won't get into it now (it's very long :P), so I liked including it with both Albus and Gellert.

Yeah, I'm really sorry about that! I don't mean it to be annoying, if that helps! I'm glad you like it apart from that! :)

I know I find it so hard to write fast-paced scenes, since I tend to write a lot of description, so I hope it isn't too slow for you! Yeah, the duel will definitely come into it later, though we've got a while to go before we get to it! :)

Thank you so much for the wonderful reviews - they were so great to get! :)

Aph xx

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Review #23, by AlexFan Württemberg

14th January 2015:
Personally, Gellert doesn’t seem out of character to me, he sounds the same as he did in the previous chapters that were told in his point of view so I don’t think you have anything to worry about there. He still has that tone of voice where it seems like he’s making little jabs at Albus to try and get a reaction out of him with stuff like “I’ll probably go insane here and then you’ll have that on your conscience.” (I can’t believe I’m only noticing this now). I also like how you added yet another layer to Gellert’s character by showing that this is a man that lives on being the center of attention.

Honestly, I like Gellert more than I like Albus. Gellert is more direct and sharp, he doesn’t beat around the bush and he’ll tell you what’s on his mind whether you want to hear or not, no matter who you are. I like that he’s unapologetic about what he says and believes. I like how Gellert isn’t modest, he knows exactly what he is capable of and how intelligent he is, just like Albus does, but unlike Albus, Gellert doesn’t try to make what he can do any less than what it is. He won’t go around bragging about it but he won’t deny that he’s brilliant and it’s just really appealing how confident he is. Gellert is just my favourite character.

I thought there was definitely plot in the chapter, maybe it was a little slow in the beginning but you had to give some background so that the reader could understand what was going on and then it picked up and went at a steady pace that kept the chapter interesting. I personally thought it flowed really well, everything connected together really well and just in general, I would say this was really well written.

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

Thank you so much! I was so worried about that because this chapter felt very different to previous ones when I was writing it. Yeah, he's very bitterly scathing towards Albus in a way, even though Albus can't actually hear him or read it or anything, it's more a matter of principle. :P Yeah, I always thought of him as a sort of egocentric person - he thrives on attention, so being deprived of it isn't really good for him, in terms of himself.

Haha, really? Well, you're definitely the first :P (Apart from maybe Albus himself, lol) But yeah, Gellert is a lot less inclined to be sympathetic and cover things up if they're harsh than Albus is, though he's not any less likely to cover things for his own agenda. I really wanted him to be apologetic, too, so I'm so glad you like that, because to me it's a very important part of his character, and it distinguishes him from Voldemort, which I really wanted to do. Modesty is not a thing Gellert is really familiar with, or tries to be familiar with. It's a good thing and a bad thing, I think; it's not always something people appreciate, particularly given that he's not inclined to overestimating other people, either. I'm just so happy you like him, though, because I really wanted to make him more than just evil, you know? :)

I really tried to get the plot moving along a bit for Gellert in this one, especially given that now he has the Elder Wand... he needs the revolution! :P Yeah, I tried to cut down the background stuff, but I wasn't sure it would really make sense shorter, hence the length. I'm so glad you didn't think it dragged too much, though - I'm always so nervous about that! :)

Thank you so much for the lovely - it was so great to get, as always! :)

Aph xx

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Review #24, by HappyMollyWeasley Bulgaria

13th January 2015:
Another great chapter. Beautifully written, just like the earlier chapters. The one thing I don't like is the ja/yes which bothers me. I feel that it's a bit of a stereotype to use whenever a foreigner writes or speaks. Apart from that detail it's good.

I like how Gellert thinks that he is beyond Albus, but that he continues to prove that he is not. :-)

Author's Response: Hey there - thank you so much for stopping back! I'm so glad you like this story enough to come back to it! :)

Thank you! I loved writing this one - it was one of those chapters which was always an obvious scene to do! With the ja/yes thing - I took it from a german professor I had who used to say that when he was pointing something out to us and wanted to know we'd understood it - so it's a tick I took from him, not from a stereotype. That wasn't intended! :)

Yeah, Gellert's so convinced he doesn't need Albus or want him or anything like that, but he kinda does. I wanted to show that their friendship is more than just a matter of convenience.

Thank you so much for the lovely review, and for dropping by again! :)

Aph xx

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Review #25, by nott theodore Silence

11th January 2015:
Hi Laura! Finally here for our swap - I've been so excited to read and review this because I have to admit to reading the first couple of chapters and then stopping because I felt guilty not reviewing, but re-reading this chapter has just blown me away all over again.

I'm actually finding it kind of hard to find the right words for this review; I know that I'm going to end up rambling on and not saying anything remotely helpful, but I can't help it. This was amazing - it was so beautiful, the story and the writing, and I'm so impressed and jealous at the same time because of your talent for writing.

Albus/Gellert isn't a pairing that I've ever really read a lot of, to be honest - mostly one-shots, from what I can remember. But this - one chapter in and you have me shipping these two together so hard that it's slightly (more like really) breaking my heart to know that the two of them can't end up together at the end, and to think of everything that passed between them in their lifetimes - I wonder if, had it not been for Ariana's death, they both could have turned out much differently (that sounds like I'm kind of wishing Albus was bad or something and this is all your fault, I hope you know that!)

I love the narrative style that you used in this chapter. The first person was brilliant, and I think you did a great job of capturing Albus as a character; he's not the wise, old wizard that we see in the books yet, but in spite of that there are plenty of elements and character traits that make him recognisable as the headmaster we all know and love. Here he's much younger, more inexperienced - although he's already suffered heartbreak and loss that nobody should have to at such a young age.

There was such a lovely, dreamy quality to the prose here - Albus seemed to drift a little between different events and moments in his life that held significance, although they were all clearly connected and there was no trouble following that at all. But the tone was nostalgic, wistful; he wanted to be back in those days before everything went wrong, waking up with Gellert in his arms. I really loved the way that came across. And I thought the fact that he addressed the story to Gellert made this read almost like a love letter that Albus has written years after their separation, when he knows that the time for their confrontation is coming.

Just going back to the beginning of this chapter - that was honestly one of the most beautiful, lyrical passages of writing I've seen at the opening of a story. You know how much I love languages, and so anything remotely connected to them and the way that language is used I will also love, but I thought it was so clever to have Albus musing on the power of words and silence here before leading that into the story of his romance with Gellert.

The description - well, I'm pretty sure I've already raved about your talents for description in previous reviews on your work, but it was simply stunning here. I'm seriously jealous of the way that you make words flow so naturally and yet so beautifully.

I absolutely loved the recollections of Gellert and Albus together, waking up in the mornings in each other's arms - although there was a tinge of sadness to it because Albus was remembering all of this with regret because it was over, I thought you did a fantastic job of capturing their young love affair, the way that they were drawn to each other and fell in love so deeply during that summer. It was also great to see another side to Albus, one which is much more playful and daring; the images of him trying to jump over garden fences to escape Bathilda had me giggling. I really liked the way that you showed them as young and slightly immature in ways, but didn't undermine the love that they felt for each other.

This was so rich in detail as well, and I'd love to comment on all of them but I simply don't have time or the characters to do so. One thing that I found really intriguing was the fact that Albus mentions the other men that Gellert's reported to have relationships with over the years after he flees, and the fact that this appears in the papers. I don't know why, but I was really pleased that you chose to include that piece of information - because everything in the series is told from Harry's perspective, we never really find out anything about wizarding society's stance on homosexuality etc., so I liked seeing that. Although I felt sorry for Albus when he was so sad about the idea of Gellert with other men!

The scene when they're all arguing with each other and then it escalates into a fight and duel is so well written; the events there were kind of chaotic, and that's how Albus must have perceived them at the time since they never knew who it was that was responsible for killing Ariana. And then afterwards, I loved the way that you wrote his reaction to what had happened, the numb sort of disbelief, and the grief finally setting in after the shock begins to wear off.

The final section was so tinged with sadness that I felt so sorry for Albus reading it, thinking he had to go through that. He had so much regret in his life and in spite of all that had happened, he still loved Gellert - and then he had to do the unthinkable and face him, and eventually capture him. Wah, I'm getting all sorts of feels and this is only the first chapter!

If you can't tell by this review (kind of a monster, sorry for landing you with this :P), I absolutely adored this chapter and I'll be continuing to read and review this even without swapping (although sometimes you may need to poke me about it!). Thanks so much for swapping, lovely! ♥

Sian :)

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