Reading Reviews for L'optimisme
144 Reviews Found

Review #1, by nott theodore Hungary

8th March 2016:
So I have a little more time and I couldn't really resist catching up on another chapter of this story :) I can't believe you've made it to twenty chapters already and I'm so far behind! Maybe when I finally finish this year's work and exams I'll have time to catch up (please don't have finished by then :P)

The opening of this chapter was fantastic - I loved the imagery that you used there. I could see the image so clearly in my mind, Gellert locked up in the tower, high above the wolves that he knows are running free through the forest beneath him. The comparison between Gellert and the wolves just worked so well, too - the ideas of power and strength and hunger that it evoked felt very compatible with his character.

Seeing the way that he thought of Albus at this point was so interesting, too! The comparison with the captive fox was really intriguing - the parallels that it drew between the two of them, yet again, since Gellert is a prisoner in Nurmengard and Albus, in his own way, is held captive in his tower. It kind of suggested that even though they're miles apart, in situations so far from each other, they're still the same in some ways.

The fact that they both see each other as wolves in their dreams really added to it, too - the sense of nostalgia and the longing for what they could have had, and the idea that they've continued together on the path even though they've lived such separate lives. The whole passage was just brilliant, really.

Gellert's voice is growing, too, and I like the way that it's developing in maturity. At times it's almost bitter, but he seems to have accepted his fate and actually be spending most of the time thinking and reflecting on what's happened. It's so compelling to read.

I also loved the fact that we got to find out some of Gellert's back story in this chapter! I think I knew a couple of things from reading your other stories, but definitely not to this extent, and since we know so much about how Albus grew up and stuff, it was great to get to know Gellert more. Even if it doesn't seem to directly affect what they're doing in the present, I always think it helps us to understand a character better. And the way that you introduced it and used it was so skilful - we're far enough into their story that it doesn't feel like an information dump (not that your writing ever could feel like that) and even at the end you bring it back to Albus and their story together.

I felt so sorry for Gellert in this chapter. Right from his reluctance to go to see his dying mother, I could tell that it wasn't going to be an easy experience for him. The fact that he was illegitimate makes so much sense to me, though, and I had so much sympathy there. It's so ridiculous that the children were condemned for what their parents had done, because people thought that they were born of sin and therefore had to be sinners themselves, but it was such a real situation for so many people at this time, and I'm glad that you showed how difficult it could really be. As far as Gellert's half-siblings knew, he hadn't done anything to actually deserve being shunned, and it's so unfair that they treated him that way, but it is understandable in a way. The fact that Gellert shows an understanding of it too really emphasises what social attitudes towards children born outside marriage were at the time.

I loved the line about all families having their own secrets! It's so true. Every family hides something from the world while they try and present a perfect image, a front that's considered socially acceptable. Maybe part of the reason that Albus and Gellert are drawn to each other and seem to understand each other so well is because they both know what it's like to live in a family that's full of secrets. The consequences and effects that must have on them are kind of similar - or at least create some similarities in their outlooks, I think.

It's so heartbreaking that Gellert's mother had to fake her own son's death so that she could save her marriage and get to stay with the children she already had. That shouldn't ever have to happen, but there are plenty of places where that sort of thing still goes on today and it's horrible to think of. Gellert was actually quite lucky in a way that his father was willing to take him and bring him up alone. Then there was his father's pain and regret - Gellert's background is so complicated and difficult. I am glad that his mother got to tell him that she loved him, though, even if it didn't make much difference to him.

Again, the ending was brilliant (how much time do you take planning and writing them out?!). I loved the wistful way that Gellert longed for someone, not quite admitting to himself until he had to that he was really missing Albus. The way each chapter starts and ends with each thinking of the other really reinforces the way that they feel, the enduring connection between them. Even though they took such different paths and parted in such horrible circumstances, I still feel like there's going to be a connection between them that goes beyond love - the two of them are like equals, and really the only one the other acknowledges as an equal, I think, and they're the only person that can stop the other from feeling lonely. (If any of that makes sense. I'm getting tired and rambling again. Sorry :P)

Hopefully I can get a break from my horrible amount of work at some point and come back to read more of this beautiful story soon ♥

Sian :)

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Review #2, by nott theodore Malapropisms

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sian :)

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Review #3, by maraudertimes Silence

6th March 2016:
Hi! Here for the HPFF Review-a-Thon and for our review swap!

I don't usually read Dumbledore centric fics, but for some reason I was really drawn to this one. And I'm so glad! I really like how you really captured Dumbledore and his thoughts are really well developed and you've really done his character justice.

This story is so bittersweet, and I really love the beginning. It's a whirlwind love affair between two kids who are just beginning to figure out who they are and it's so pure and innocent in that sense. That they have to constantly sneak around makes it seem that much more normal - that Albus doesn't have a brother and sister to take care of, that they won't eventually part ways, that Gellert won't eventually turn his back on Albus. I think that it's exactly right for the situation and you've really written that well.

I really liked the ending, even if it was sad. You added detail to Ariana's death in a way that showcased the absolute insanity of the situation and Albus's deepest thoughts and fears. I was amazing to get a closer look at how he feels - obviously he feels guilty seeing as he was immensely guilty in the books - but you really added another dimension to that guilt and it made the scene that much more in every single way.

This was such a great story and I loved how you wrote in this era - it's very reminiscent of older books and letters and very proper. It really made me feel like I was in that era! Great job and thank you so much for the swap!
Lo :)

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Review #4, by Yoshi_Kitten Words

8th February 2016:
Hello! RoxiMalfoy, back again for chapter 3 of our review swap!! But I think I'll just skip the part where I tell you how amazingly awesome and super talented you are, lol. I'm pretty sure you know that all day, and I could fangirl over this story for days, haha!! ^_^;

Man, do I ever wish that I could paint a picture with words in the way that you do!! The way that you describe everything is so beautiful, and it puts such vivid images in my mind as I read. I absolutely LOVE that quality in your writing. I've been trying to develop this skill more and more over the years, but dialogue and conversations still remain to be my stronger areas of writing. I feel like I have really learned a thing or two, just by reading your story tho, so I do wanna thank you for that. This is seriously some of the best quality fanfiction that I have ever read!!

I loved all the mentionings of Nicolas Flamel and Elphias Dodge and all of Dumbledore's other various friends throughout this chapter. It's good to see that he is finally cheering up a bit and moving on somewhat. A broken heart is never an easy thing to mend, and it's good that you are showing his internal struggle with his feelings. It seems fare more natural, the way that this is progressing, and I think you have the pacing of everything down perfect.

Dumbledore is extremely in character all throughout this story so far. Never once have you made him even the slightest bit OOC, in my opinion. And that alone is no easy feat, lol! I for one find Dumbledore (as well as Voldemort) to be one of the most difficult characters in the HP world to write. Yet you portray him so effortlessly here!! He is clever, intelligent, and perfectly witty in his thought process. And his voice is very much distinct from Gellert's in the alternating chapters. I love how different, yet incredibly similar they are.

Honestly, this whole thing is just perfect, and I cannot wait to read more!! You keep me guessing as to where this story is going to take me to next, and I love that!! Also, I'm glad that I refreshed the page before submitting this review, cuz I LOVE the new chapter Image!! I went back and looked at the last 2 also, and they are all so beautiful!! They even match the banner and everything, lol! Please give the artist my props, and congrats on getting such incredible CI's made for this amazing story!! ♥


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Review #5, by NPE Silence

5th February 2016:
Hi Aph,

Apologies for the mix up yesterday, here is my actual review of the chapter :)

I really enjoyed your portrayal of Dumbledore. Writing almost in the style of a memoir, particularly when attempting to encapsulate a Dumbledore of a different nature than the one in the books is quite a challenge. I think you pulled it off very well.

There are great hints and clues about some of his talents, his regrets, but also his genuine affection for Grindelwald and the pining for him carried through his words. There is an element of loathing at play, but most of all we are exposed to Dumbledore’s worries and fears. There is also this earnest, yet saccharine and melodramatic thrust to the chapter provided by Dumbledore which reads really well on the page.

I like the fact you start it with sort of a graceful segue which depicts Dumbledore’s intelligence and unique method of reflective thoughts about time.

It felt very authentic to me.

The only CC I feel I can offer are based on the limitations of the format rather than your writing which I like. I think any issues over the ideas coming circular or melodramatic are unfair, because that is what Dumbledore is like at this point in time.

I do think though, that even Dumbledore has to be complicated and confused in his feelings, especially when you are basically examining his mind here. You depict Dumbledore really well – but to mw these comments were a bit too pointed:

- beg you to please God have mercy upon me
- But I did not hate you then. That came later

Though I did like it a lot, as you can see from my review.

Looking forward to the next chapter.



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Review #6, by Yoshi_Kitten Wales

3rd February 2016:
RoxiMalfoy from the forums, finally here for our Review swap! I was so sure I had reviewed this chapter back when I did the 1st one, but evidently not. I know I've read this one before, but since it was so long ago, I decided to re-read the first 2 chapters all over again. Which honestly didnt bother me at all, cuz your writing is SO BEAUTIFUL!! I'm SO happy to see that you won a Dobby! I remember voting for this fic in like every category it was nominated in that year, so congrats on that, lol. It was definitely well deserved!

The first time I read this tho, I totally was NOT expecting to be reading from the POV of Gellert Grindelwald. That switch was such a nice surprise. I've never read anything featuring him in it like this before, so all I know of him is what little we learned in cannon. That being said, your characterization of him feels like it was pulled directly out of Jo's world! I dont know HOW you've done it with such little information to go on, but this version of Grindelwald just feels so right, and so natural. Every little detail you have created fits seamlessly into what we already know of him from the books. But then you take it one step further, and expand upon what little information we have already been given, and make him into this very deep and relatable character. From now on, I dont think I'll ever be able to look at Grindelwald the same way again, lol!

I LOVE it when a story here at HPFF gives me a whole new outlook on things, and this was no exception! Cuz you never would expect such a notoriously dark wizard as Grindelwald to be so sweet, endearing, and capable of such strong feelings of love. But then again, at sixteen years of age, I also find it difficult to believe that he would be in full-on dark wizard, take over the world mode, lol. But you can definitely see the beginning stages of that particular mind-frame starting to blossom here. I know that alot of people compare Voldemort to Grindelwald, but the two of them really arent all that similar, if you think about it. Sure, they shared many of the same belief systems, but what makes Voldemort so evil is that he was literally incapable of love. He was born of a loveless conception, then raised in an orphanage with no family to help nurture him during his upbringing. Grindelwald on the other hand; he did have a family. He had the support system that Tom Riddle never knew, and then, he also had Albus.

Personally, I do not think that Dumbledore, even at such a young age, could ever have been attracted to someone like Tom Riddle. So if the two dark wizards were as similar as people like to assume, then it would not be likely that Dumbledore would have fallen for Grindelwald the way that we know he did. Cuz as far as we know, Gellert is the only one that Albus ever had feeling for like this. (Much like Snape was with Lilly.) Sometimes in life we only get that 1 true love, and it's highly unlikely that Dumbledore -THE Albus Dumbledore- could have given his heart away to someone who was truly evil. So I totally get where it is you are writing from here, and I must say that I am absolutely mesmerized by it! I'm so glad, and so relieved to see that Gellert is NOT just another copy of Lord Voldemort in this story.

Wow, I just went off on this HUGE tangent without even meaning to, lol!! You see what your story has evoked in me already?!? This has really got me thinking quite a bit, for real tho. Cuz I was one of those people who thought that Grindelwald & Voldemort were way more similar than that. But now that I think about it, there really is no way that that could have been possible. Not at first, anyway. But we all know how both of these boys turn out in the end, so it will be fascinating to see the ways in which their characters grow and develop from here. I cannot wait to see where you take the two of them from this point forward...

Getting back to the actual review part tho - sorry for betting so distracted, haha... The language in this. OMG, dont even get me started on the language in these first 2 chapters, lol! It is so beautiful, and poetic, and rich in detail, and just so astoundingly profound! How did you do that?!? Not only was it perfect in regards to these two characters, but it's also extremely relevant to the time period as well. This all takes place in 1899 after all, so the way that they speak is absolutely beautiful in every single way. People really dont talk like that anymore, and it's a shame. Your English is exquisite though Aph, and I feel like I myself have already learned a thing or two, just by reading this, lol! ;)

I loved how the reoccurring theme of silence carried over from the 1st chapter into this one as well. Really, everything that you have to say about the subject is so amazingly detailed, and spot on. I'm so terrible at describing those awkward silences in a conversation, but you do it so beautifully here, OMG! I could go on and on about how amazing this was, but I think I've rambled here for long enough... I will point out the one (and only) thing I noticed that needs fixing was in this paragraph here:

The few memories I have of that summer which are not of the way your hair glowed in firelight and the way your eyes lit up and shone when you saw me in the same way they would shine when you spoke of a fascinating theory or your Hogwarts, are fleeting and strangely blurred, as though a careless painter has tipped water onto a landscape, and so much of Wales is now a spoiled masterpiece, the colours leaking and running across each other, until I cannot remember how it was supposed to look.

That whole entire thing is just one long run-on sentence. Idk if that was intentional, or if perhaps it was a formatting thing, but you may wanna go back and break that up with some commas or periods or something. I feel silly for pointing out something so small, but really everything else was PERFECT! ♥


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Review #7, by Cecilia Germany

27th January 2016:
Dear Aphoride,

It's been way too long since I first thought about leaving a message on this story and it's really about time I did it! I've been eagerly following and reading L'optimisme for almost a year now and I wish I could write for ages about everything that it means to me, but I don't think there'd be enough time (and space) - not to mention my imprecise English.

I love everything about Albus Dumbledore and Gellert Grindelwald's relationship: all those dark and radiant shades it is made of, their brilliance and ruthlessness in tenderness, the considerations about life, love and power that it all brings to the mind - I could go on forever. I have come across lots of fanfictions and opinions about them, but this magnificent novel of yours is by far the best thing I've ever read on the Internet.

Your talent in mastering the words - those very words who shape our reality and trace Albus and Gellert's lives - is astonishing. I wish I could describe properly the deep, pure inspiration your writing gives to my soul every single time I go through a new chapter and, as I picture in the back of my mind all those rich, intense descriptions and flows of thoughts, meet again Albus or Gellert, moving on with their lives, following such different yet always intertwined routes.
This is how I always imagined their incredible story would be, and you're narrating it in an unique, thrilling way. Thank you.

I can't wait to
Have a nice day! xx

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Review #8, by HappyMollyWeasley Expressions

22nd December 2015:
Hi! It’s Molly here with the review for our swap.

It’s always nice to return to this story with its nostalgic feeling and its sad narrative tone. The small glimpses of the summer they shared, and the long, cold, hard loneliness that followed.

To see Albus think about Gellert in the same way as Gellert was thinking about him in your last chapter makes me want to interfere with them, to shout at them, to wake them up. Just find each other, make up and be happy together!!! They’re both so deep down in their own misery, their own pride and foolishness. How can two of the world’s most clever men be so stupid?

Aberforth is no fool. He’s not always an easy brother, but he’s the only one who are brutally honest and who says what Albus needs to hear sometimes. I think that’s very much in character, judging from the little we’ve seen of him in canon.

I like how you’ve used the two feathers in this story. I couldn’t get the point of them really when reading your last chapter, but now it all makes sense. Giving them to Olivander makes them more important than every other feather in the world, because we know what part those wands will play in a totally different story. What I can't explain is that those two feathers were supposed to come from Fawkes. I’m now wondering how, when and if you’re going to tie those ends together somehow.

The other thing that can’t leave my mind is the colours of red and lilac. I can’t find out how those colours are linked to each other or to the events of the story. I’ll keep thinking about that, trying to get it…

Thanks for swapping with me again! I also want to wish you Happy Holidays!


Author's Response: Hey there, Molly! :) Thanks for stopping by!

Thank you - I'm so glad you still like it! I know it's gone on for a long time now, haha, and it's a very slow story, so it's always so great to hear other people like this! :)

Yeah, it's pretty ridiculous :P They're definitely not as clever socially as they are otherwise, haha, poor boys :P But I think there's a lot of fear, as well, on both sides and a lot of guilt - it's a very difficult thing to admit when you expect not to get anything in return and just to be turned down, you know?

Aberforth is definitely not a foolish guy, at all. He's a lot more socially aware and perceptive than people think he is, and I think Albus is pretty aware of this, too. I'm so glad you like him though - his honesty is incredibly different to the rest of the cast, that's for sure!

Thank you! :D I always wanted to include that in there - since I almost backed myself into a whole with the Fawkes theory, and then had to find a way to rearrange the feathers thing to make it fit :P So yeah, that was kinda the solution. The two feathers thing will (should?) have been explained by now, but if not, it'll hopefully be made clearer in the future ;) (If not, feel free to ask me in a pm and I'll explain it there! :D)

Colours... ah, the colours aren't too important, as such, but I over think these things quite a lot, haha, when I write them with the details, so I wanted to include it like that ;) Don't worry about it! :D

Thank you so much for both the review and for the swap - it was so great to get! :)

Aph xx

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Review #9, by Sinterklaas Silence

4th December 2015:
Ho, ho, hello!

Silence does heed great power -- it will be a sad day in Winterklaasville when all is for silent. Oh Dumbledore... everything was starting out so wonderfully beautiful and then suddenly it turned tragic :(. Most tragedies are sudden, however, so the swiftness is well-executed! Rest easy, Ariana...a beautiful character in a beautifully written piece!

Here's hoping you have a lovely Holiday Season!

Author's Response: Hey there - thank you so much for stopping by, Sinterklaas! :D

It would be - it's one of those strange things, but I do like writing about silence; my drama teacher always used to tell us how important it was, as did my music teacher, and that kinda stuck with me for this :) Gah, thank you - I'm so glad you liked it, and yeah, it was sort of only ever going to have a tragic ending, which is a shame, but necessary, really (even if not in canon :P). Ariana really does get a pretty rubbish lot in this, poor girl, but I'm so happy you liked her, even if she wasn't around for long :(

Thank you for the review - it was such a lovley surprise to get - and I hope your holiday season has been good so far! :)

Aph xx

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Review #10, by TreacleTart Similes

1st December 2015:
Hello Aph,

I'm here for our review swap!

Wow! The first thing that really stood out in this chapter to me was the way that you described winter. It felt so festive and beautiful, but the way that Dumbeldore was talking about it gave it a touch of melancholy.

I love all of the little details that you include in Dumbledore's character that make him seem more like a real person. His choice to smoke and then excuse it as an indulgence, his annoyance at the idea that someone else had discovered a property of dragon's blood, and his hopefulness at seeing a blonde man enter the party, all make him seem much deeper and more human. In cannon, he sort of comes off as it's nice to see a story that shows his human flaws.

The ending when he falls into bed with the golden haired Grindelwald look alike was really sad. I mean I understand why he did it. He was looking for comfort, but the idea of him being physically engaged with this man and then thinking of someone else seems really depressing.

I do wonder how Gellert wil respond to the flowers or if he'll respond at all. I do hope they'll communicate at least a little bit.

Oh and I almost forgot. I loved the beginning of this chapter and how Dumbledore tells us about Gellert's love for poetry. It does seem out of place against his background in poetry, but in a way I think it makes sense.

Good work as usual!


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

I love winter, but I think Christmas is often a family-oriented thing (at least, it is in the UK, I don't know too much about elsewhere) so for someone like Albus, who's kinda lost his family, it must be very lonely. So that kinda came from there.

Haha, they're really fun to write! I really love making characters a little more human and real and less... I dunno, godly and all-knowing or black and white, you know? I think Albus often gets the 'wise' treatment a bit too much, so here he's less wise :P And yeah, he's a lot more... almost fragile in this chapter, I think, but hehe... the smoking thing - I had to include it, tbh :P

Yeah, it kinda had to happen but it was sad. It's an easy thing to do, I think, if you have the possibility - a couple of people I know have done similar things - and I kinda wanted something more than just Gellert to give him the whole 'avoiding relationships' thing, you know?

Hehe... wait and see! No spoilers here! ;)

I'm so glad you liked it! It's been a long-standing part of my headcanon for Gellert, so I'm so happy you thought it worked! :)

Thank you so much for the lovely review, and for the swap - it was so great to do, as always! :)

Aph xx

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Review #11, by HappyMollyWeasley Sicily

29th November 2015:

So, I’m finally here. I watched Mockingjay last night, and to nobody's surprise Katniss saved the world. ;)

I’m happy to finally read your story again. Life has been forcing me to choose other things over fan fiction, but now I'm back again.

Wow! I really love to see Gellert’s soft side. I hardly recognised Gellert’s voice at first in this chapter, because he’s so emotional and compassionate. I was even confused enough to briefly wonder if it was Albus after all. And then I “heard” him again. This chapter brings him alive, because it tells us about who he could have been if things were different. He has been thinking a lot before, but now he’s feeling too, and it makes me like him.

I can tell that Gellert actually cares about Albus, and that he loves him, or at least did at some point. I’ve been uncertain about that earlier, thinking that he might just have been using him. Some people uses other people’s love and affection for boosting their own ego, rather than loving back, and I thought Gellert could be one of those. But after this chapter I think that there was more to their relationship than that.

But I don’t like how he looks down at Albus’ choices in life. As a teacher myself I feel a little offended by people telling me that teaching is for those who can’t… ;)

This chapter is one of my favourite chapters in this story so far. This one, and the one where Gellert visits his family. The emotions in these two chapters are almost palpable.


Author's Response: Hi again, Molly! :) Thank you so much for stopping by - glad you enjoyed the film! :D

No worries about things stopping you from getting to things - RL has to take precedence sometimes! :)

Haha, thanks! :) Yeah, I really wanted to show more to Gellert than just the kind of cold dictator and the passionate revolutionary, you know? And this was kinda the best time for it - so I'm so glad you liked it!

I think Gellert definitely cared about Albus, and still cares about him, but is much, much worse than Albus is at both admitting his feelings and understanding them. I think it's human, and common in all people, but it's definitely a hidden part of Gellert. Secret romantic and all that :P

Yeah, he's very, very rude about people who he doesn't think are 'good' enough, and there's a certain amount of him wanting to antagonise Albus, because he feels the job is way below Albus, you know? But yeah, it's pretty rude either way :P

Thank you so much for the lovely review - I'm so glad you liked it! :)

Aph xx

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Review #12, by TreacleTart Bulgaria

21st November 2015:
HPFF Twitter Flash Challenge

Hey Aph!

Thought I'd drop in and take a look at how you're story is progressing. I have to say that I was thrilled to see this chapter was in Grindelwald's POV.

It's interesting to see the contrast between Grindelwald and Dumbledore. Where Dumbledore seems much more forlorn and regretful, Grindelwald sort of seems like he's simply recounting some of his favorite memories. I suppose it isn't really tinged with the same sadness as Dumbledore's POV is.

I love how you filled in his adventures between Bulgaria and leaving Dumbledore. It was a short section, but it filled in a lot. I could imagine him in the hills of Italy trying to get over his heart ache by getting drunk and keeping the company of a hot Italian man. It all seemed to fit well...and it also solidified for me that Dumbledore cared much more for him than the other way around.

I felt like the explanation of him stealing the elder wand was really exciting. Again, it was short, but it was everything necessary for me to imagine what was happening. It added just a little bit to what we already know from cannon, but it felt a bit richer.

I have to say that I'm quite anxious to see how Dumbledore and Grindelwald develop as the story continues. I mean we obviously have a general idea of what happens, but you do such a good job of creating these missing moments that piece into cannon so well. You really have your characters dialed in and you've made their voices so distinct and authentic.

As always, your description is stunning. That's possibly my favorite thing about your writing is just the way your words flow so effortlessly.

I'll be back for another chapter soon!


Author's Response: Hey Kaitlin! :) Thanks so much for dropping by on this - I'm always so glad to see people are still enjoying this!

Yeah, I really love doing the split-pov thing - I think (hope?) it works well, and it's so much fun to do, coz I don't get bored with one pov, you know?

One of the things I love about them is they have such different approaches to life and ways they look at things - Gellert is a lot more unrepentent than Albus is, and Albus does feel a lot more guilt and sorrow over what happened and what didn't happen between them.

Thanks! :D I really enjoyed writing that bit, though it was kinda strange to work out what he'd do which would be not in England or in Germany. Haha, yeah, Gellert perhaps doesn't have the best coping methods :P I don't think it's a question of care, more than it is escapism, in a way, but I get what you mean ;)

I really had wanted to write that scene for a long time since I started this - it felt like something which had to be included, you know, since it's so important to both their plans and significant to them - so I'm so glad you liked it! :)

Awww, thank you! I'm so happy you like them - they're getting much more fun to write as it goes along, I think, because there's more freedom, but it's also kinda scary because there's always the canon part which it has to fit in with, so I'm always nervous about how well it connects up.

Thank you! :) I loved writing this chapter, so I'm so happy you liked it - especially the description! :)

Aph xx

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Review #13, by Just LIVE Bavaria

27th October 2015:
I've recently just read your story and I love it! :) I really like how your quotes really connect with the chapters, sorta giving you a deeper understanding and meaning of whats going on.

Your writing style is simply brilliant! All the sentences are so elegantly thought and wrote out, anyone could see you put a lot of effort into making them the amazing story it is now.

This ending you made right now, of him thinking the fall of a cliff would be glorious is very unique it its own way because having read many fics about Gellert and Albus, I know you portrayed him in a completely different character.

The fact that you stated Gellert was leaving little clues for Albus to find seems pretty realistic from all that we know about them from story. It was a very original idea!

Great Chapter! :D

~Just LIVE

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

Thank you so much - I'm so happy you like it, and the quotes, too! I love connecting everything up in a story, so there's a lot of repeating things, and things which come up more than once :P So I'm so glad you enjoy it! :)

Thank you - I'm so happy you like it! I know it's a really strange style at times, it's very ornate, which is fun to right but perhaps less so to read? haha, so I'm so glad you like it! :D

I'm so glad you liked my version of Gellert - I know he's a very different version, but I like him so much! :) I really wanted to do something different with him - I really wanted to develop him beyond the stereotypical Dark Lord, like Voldemort mark 1, so I'm so happy you liked it! :)

Aww, thank you! :D I'm so glad you liked it (gosh, I feel like I sound like a broken record saying that, haha - I'm sorry I'm terrible at review responses!) - I really wanted to keep the connection between them through the years, and I liked the idea of little messages and signs, hinting at things they couldn't say openly, you know?

Thank you so so much for the lovely review - it was such a wonderful surprise to get! :)

Aph xx

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Review #14, by Shadowkat Silence

26th October 2015:
Here a bit late for our swap! (Darn you with your organized reviews, it's going to make mine look bad! I suck at those. XD)

Well, it took me a minute to realize who it was, but once I did it really made sense. That's what I get for getting four hours of sleep and skimming over the cover page. Oops.

But dang, I'm going to have to come back later to read, and I get why this was awarded a dobby last year! Dumbledore sounds so Dumbledore, and it just...gosh. I always love stories with him and Gellert, you know? And there just aren't enough of them either. It's a shame, because I love the thought of it, of this era!

The writing was good, nice flow. The only thing I could find is a few too many semicolons, and that's likely because I'm not used to seeing them much!

Author's Response: Hey there, Kat! :) Thank you so much for stopping by! :D (haha, I tend to do them asap so I don't forget, haha, so it's not quite so organised, in a way? :P)

Haha - no worries about it! It's not exactly too explicit in the beginning about who it is, so I get it ;)

Thank you so much! (I still can't believe that happened!) I love Albus and Gellert, too, so I totally get it! I loved writing Albus in this, too, and all the innocence which then sort of gets lost later on, so I'm so glad you like it! :)

Yeah, no worries - I know I have problems with grammar sometimes/often, haha, I'll look over it soon enough! :)

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

Aph xx

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Review #15, by Penelope Inkwell Similes

17th September 2015:
Even now, when I think of it, it brings a smile to my face, and I wonder what others would think if I told them, in all honesty, that Gellert Grindelwald, terror of Europe, former dictator and Dark Lord, was an avid reader – and lover, indeed – of poetry
--once again, I really like how you give Grindelwald facets. He was ruthless, a killer, yes. But he also loved poetry and apparently enjoyed the opera.

Do they allow you books in Nurmengard? I cannot imagine they do; they are still wary of you, of what you might do if given the chance. Perhaps I should send you some – novels, poetry, history – if only to save you from yourself. Locking you in prison was one thing, but sitting back and allowing you to drive yourself quite mad with boredom is another.
--Yes! Called it!

No, in this we were opposites – as we were in so many things, as we discovered in the end.
--I find it interesting that Gellert really clings to the idea that they were always together in this, that they had thought the same things and that Albus had just kind of bailed, almost chickened out. Or, at least, that's how he seems to think about it. Dumbledore, on the other hand, believes that, at their cores, there were always key differences, even as he doesn't really look down on Gellert. It's interesting.


similies and comparisons,
--I think it's spelled "similes".

since my own linguistic skills have always been poor, despite your best attempts at instruction, my darling.
--I wondered about this a bit, since we know that Dumbledore speaks Mermish and Gobbledegook, at least.

Excellent job, Aph! Your writing really is superb (and I can see why you're so fond of the Romantic poets--it's beautifully reflected in your style. Congratulations on all your Dobbys nominations, once again!


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Review #16, by Penelope Inkwell Words

17th September 2015:
Though their meanings are often simpler to decipher, words are as potent as silence can be – and, in my experience, are far more likely to be employed to hurt, as they require far less skill on the part of the one wielding them. They can bite and nip, wound to the bone, and potentially kill.
--This is a great description, and very true. I don't know that I've thought of it before, but he's quite right: it takes skill to powerfully wield silence. Words are much easier. It reminds me--back when I was studying acting--one of the notes we'd always get as fledgling actors were notes on how to use silence. We could all read the lines, and do it well, but learning when to pause, and how long to hold it, and having the courage to hold it out, to trust your instincts and not break under the pressure and the silence--that took a lot of work.

And, of course, as all mothers seem to know, silent treatment and "being disappointed" can be so much worse than recriminations and loud words.

It is interesting to note here that, of course, all spells are formed of words, incantations, used to focus the magic and so allow it to flow in a concentrated, precise manner. For this reason, non-verbal magic is so difficult and a highly prized skill amongst powerful witches and wizards. If spells can kill, can be unforgiveable, cannot words be the same?
--this is sooo Dumbledore-esque. It's like you've captured how he sounds in the notes in "The Tales of Beedle the Bard. That was a great touch--these kind of intellectual asides. He's so smart, he can't help making them, and he knows that Gellert would be able to keep up.

I love the idea that he went off to work as Nicolas Flamel's assistant after all that. It makes sense that he would flee, really, and that he would want to go somewhere far away. But it also seems the sort of thing that would be a bit prestigious, that would suit his advanced mind. And, of course, it's a nice little fill-in to the question of how the two of them met.

Nice work!


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Review #17, by Penelope Inkwell Wales

17th September 2015:
They have allowed me books, you know – only in recent years, when they have stopped thinking of me as a threat (though I cannot help but wonder if this, too, is your doing. It would not surprise me)
--this was an interesting--and very believable--touch. I could see Dumbledore being concerned for anyone's prison conditions, no matter what they had done. I think, as a great mind himself, he would be troubled by the idea of a brilliant mind turning in on itself and going madder for lack of exercise. And then, of course, it was Gellert. And it's clear in this fic that, whatever he had done and whatever had become of them, there was a part of him that still cared.

Instead of saying that, instead of being utterly honest with you, I spoke to you of how you were wasted here, how we both were, how our talents would be better served elsewhere, anywhere, together. It was what you wanted to hear, no? To be encouraged to want to leave, to have that desire understood by someone who could match you? It was what you wanted to hear, and what I wanted to tell you.
--this was a really interesting idea--the thought that Gellert's urging was initially not based on the idea that they were too good for that place, but his desire to connect to Albus, to be someone whom Albus would feel could understand him. It adds a lot of depth to Gellert's character.

I did not like you distracted, subdued like a whipped dog; I wanted you to be alive.
--this is such an interesting line. It goes from sounding selfish--he doesn't want Albus to be distracted from him, from their plans--to what sounds like legitimate concern, though in a harsh way that fits his character. Once again, you manage to give Gellert some facets and angles, rather than making him a caricature of an "evil wizard". Maybe it was this experience, early on, that made Dumbledore so open to seeing the good in people all the world might judge to be "bad" (like Snape, or Draco). He was so forgiving of the people whom nobody thought was worthy of it, and I can see how that could have begun with Gellert, with his knowledge of how a person can go so wrong, but can still have goodness in them

I could not help it, and I tried to cover it, tried to hide the embarrassment and shame I felt of having such childish emotions (for they are, no matter what you might say about romance and comfort)
--this was another interesting piece of characterization--an opposition to Dumbledore's beliefs about the power and importance of love. And this, too, fits quite well.

As soon as she had died – even as I felt the blood on my cheek starting to dry and my hand trembling because she was dead and I knew her killer and I knew you needed me but how could I stay, how could I – I knew that you had been destroyed. Without her, your passion for the ideals fled (perhaps they had been centred in her all along, and I had simply been too blind and too selfish to see it)
--So he really does know. I'm curious--do you have a headcanon for which of them it was. Do you have a hard idea of what, exactly, Gellert saw here. He's right, though. Maybe Dumbledore did need him, but he truly would have been sent to Azkaban. They wouldn't have believed him. (and, if they could test his wand...what if it wasn't him? That could have destroyed Albus even more. Perhaps in some ways Gellert did the kindest thing for him. We don't know if he was the killer, but if he wasn't, he gave Albus a scapegoat; he gave him the chance to believe that Albus himself had not done it).

I thought that was interesting, about how maybe it was for Ariana all along. I think that was mentioned, in the books, right? That if their plans came to fruition, Ariana wouldn't have to be hidden. I do think a large part of Albus latching onto their plans was a desire to get out of dodge, but I still think it could have been a significant factor, and I liked seeing Gellert reflect on it.


huge, green hills rolling off into the horizon, their sides untouched, perhaps even unchartered,
--I think that "unchartered" should be "uncharted."

No, now as I sit here, fighting cramp and fading sight,
--it might be better to say "cramps" instead of "cramp".

Wow. In just one chapter, you've added a lot of depth to a villain. I'm really impressed!


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Review #18, by Penelope Inkwell Silence

17th September 2015:
Hello again! It's me, reading through the Dobby noms--congratulations, yet again!

In others, we are the oppressors, spiting hatred, a kind of verbal violence. It is in moments like that we feel at our most powerful, when we do not need to raise a hand to make people kneel and crawl and weep.

No one talks about silence.

It is the forgotten part of conversations, the part no one thinks about or considers as important, but, really, which defines everything. There is nothing quite so terrifying as a pause, only a second’s worth of silence. Your heart quickens, your mouth dries and your palms sweat; you wait, anxious, suddenly second-guessing yourself about everything you thought you knew, wondering if, maybe, you were wrong. In the hands of a master, it is an intense, deadly weapon, choking you without requiring any force, any malice, anything other than itself.

--this whole passage is phenomenal. It just really is.

You do a great job with balancing words and emotion. This fic obviously revels in word usage (in a way that I think suits Dumbledore quite well), but it doesn't gum up the works, as can sometimes happen. I feel like the emotion still really shines through--especially the pain and confusion and horror of Ariana's death.

I think you've also done a really good job of capturing Dumbledore's voice--academic, but still emotionally attached. Wise. Occasionally self-deprecating. It really suits his character.

I've never seen a fic in which he was this forgiving of Grindelwald, or willing to be this vulnerable in front of him, so that's a very interesting take. He seems a bit more secure of Gellert's affections here, and I'm interested to see how that's going to go.

I can almost hear you laughing at me; I almost wish I could.
--this was so sad. :(


We are warned against it, wary of their power since young,
--I wasn't sure, or anything, but I thought that "since young" might not flow as well as some other options, like "since we are young", or "from our youth"? But, like I said, I'm not certain those are better, by any means, it's just a thought, because "since young" stuck out a little, to me.

spiting hatred
--should this be "spitting hatred?"

Excellent work, but then I'm hardly surprised. Your way with words really is incredible, though.


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Review #19, by HeyMrsPotter Similes

13th September 2015:
Who doesn't love stories about christmas? :)

Dumbledore's heartbreak is so obvious in this chapter in comparison with the happiness that usually comes with christmas. Even though he's describing things as spectacular and saying that he enjoyed himself, and that things were beautiful, it still all sounds so sad, as if it would be better if Gellert was there.

I can really see why this story has been nominated, and for more than one round of the Dobbys. Your writing is impeccable.


Author's Response: Hi Dee! :) Thank you so so much for stopping by again - it means so much! :)

Christmas! :D Everyone loves Christmas! I couldn't resist writing a Christmas chapter, haha... :P

I really wanted to play on the happiness theme, and the idea that this one stands out because of what it - and the one before - should have been, and what it ended up being in contrast to it. I think the story is generally kinda sad, haha, so it's a little hard to avoid it (though I'm always kinda scared it's too repetitive on that point...), so I'm so glad you liked that! :)

Thank you so so much - you're giving me far too many compliments here, and it's so lovely, but I really don't know what to say other than thank you! :)

Thank you so so much for the lovely bunch of reviews you left me - they were so wonderful to get, and such a lovely surprise, thank you! :)

Aph xx

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Review #20, by HeyMrsPotter Bulgaria

13th September 2015:
Laura! I loved this chapter♥

Missing moments are my absolute favourite and I've never read a story about Gellert stealing the Elder Wand before. I love that you gave it the build up too, of where he had been between Ariana's death and finding it.

As always, your description in this is absolutely incredible. I really fel like I'm right there with Gellert and Dumbledore every step of the way in this story.


Author's Response: Gah, Dee, you're waaay too nice - you've got to stop doing this! :)

I really wanted to include the Elder Wand - I thought it was important, that connection to the Hallows. Also, I thought it was important for him and to him, in a way... yeah, I'm insane, haha :P But yeah, I liked including what he did, because it was always mentioned to be a bit of a black hole, in canon :P

Thank you so much - I know i've said this before, but I really do love writing this, and it means so much that other people enjoy it too! :) :)

Aph xx

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Review #21, by HeyMrsPotter Words

13th September 2015:
but the following scandal would not, I think, have been worth the few moments of amusement it would have produced. LOL omg favourite line of this chapter. This is just SO Dumbledore, of course he would have found this absolutely hilarious.

I like the idea of Dumbledore seeking out friends after Ariana by means of distraction, and the inclusion of the Flamels was a nice touch. I'm enjoying the alternating between Dumbledore and Gellert's points of view, and that I can tell by the 'voice' which is which before any characters have been mentioned.


Author's Response: Dee - hi again! :D Thank you so much! :)

Haha, I'm so happy people seem to like that line - I loved writing it :P One of my rare bouts of humour, haha :P I kinda wanted to pay reference to the fact that he can't exactly tell anyone - and I don't think he did, you know? So yeah, that line :P

Thank you! :) I really wanted to include the Flamels, because I always wondered about it - given the obvious connections to immortality and all. And the povs... I love switching them in writing, so I'm so glad you like reading them! :)

Thank you so much for the wonderful review! :)

Aph xx

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Review #22, by HeyMrsPotter Wales

13th September 2015:
Another amazing chapter, Laura! I'm so glad you were nominated for so many Dobbys, because it's given me the chance to read your work, and now I'm kicking myself for not having read it before.

I liked the switch in POV here. And I really love the voice that you've given to Gellert. I loved how well Gellert understands Dumbledore, the way that he describes him feeling trapped by his family, and the bitterness he feels whenever Doge's letters arrived with news of the trip he should have been on. I feel like I really understand your version of a young Dumbledore from this chapter, even though it's from Gellerts point of view. It's heartbreaking how much he obviously still loves Gellert even after everything with Ariana.

Loved it :)

Author's Response: Hi again, Dee! :) Thank you so much for coming back - it means so much to see you back again! :D

Thank you! I wondered if it wouldn't work - because pov switches are always dangerous - but I really wanted to do it, to show the other half of the story, and truthfully I do enjoy writing Gellert's parts :P I really wanted to show that they do understand each other so well, no matter what happened, and how care lingers, because I always loved that aspect of their story in canon - so I'm so glad you liked it! :)

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

Aph xx

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Review #23, by HeyMrsPotter Silence

13th September 2015:
Laura, congratulations on yet another (inevitably well-deserved) Dobby nomination!

Your writing is just so incredible. This chapter reads like a love letter, each word is just perfectly placed and beautiful. It really feels like it was actually written by Dumbledore himself. There's such a subtle but painfully real sense of loss and sadness in his words. Have you managed to break into JKR's home and steal her writing or something?!

As always, I loved it and cannot wait for more!


Author's Response: Ah, DEE! :) Thank you so so much - I'm so grateful for all the nominations, it's blown my mind completely! :D

Gah, thank you! I love writing this story - it really is just my baby - and I really wanted to make it more emotional than action-packed or anything, which I know runs the risk of dragging severely, so I'm so so glad you like it! :) And wow, that is way way too much of a compliment! *blushes* Thank you so much! :)

Thank you so much for the wonderful review! :)

Aph xx

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Review #24, by Frankie05 Silence

31st August 2015:
Hey Aph,

You are a brilliant writer. I seriously am at a loss for words at what to say to this story. I felt like I was reading C.S. Lewis. Lord have mercy. I had to concentrate to follow along (not s bad thing you are just extremely talented!)

I read a Albus/Gellert earlier this week and I thought I'd read yours :). It's going to prove difficult (only because I am dense sometimes )

I like how you started this off- talking about what is said in silence is often the most profound thing and then you take us through their relationships and the silence of it all especially in the mornings which seem to be Dumbledores favorite part of their relationship.

Also the scene where Ariana dies is so beautifully described. Seriously. Why are you so good at describing things. It's impeccable! You described the fight so well and the misguidings behind each of the attacks and then her death! And then poof. Bye Gellert. And now I'm sad.

Gosh this was so good. So very good. Smarty pants (in the most loving of ways)


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

Omigosh, thank you so much! As a girl who was somewhat raised on CS Lewis, Tolkien, etc. that's huge, huge praise to me, so thank you so much! Yeah, I know it can be pretty tough going - it's pretty dense :P - so no worries ;)

Ooh, Albus/Gellert - careful, if you read too many you'll be converted ;) They are the only OTP, though, at least for me :P

This is actually a re-write, hence the 2012 label on the story shell, and I really wanted to talk more about more abstract things because it was so easy for me to slip into it in the voices I created for them, so I kinda felt it should have it's own place, and then connect in to the main body, so I'm so glad you liked it! I wasn't sure how well it would work :P And yeah, I think the silence is important to him, despite how good they were at words - or maybe because of it, who knows? :P

Ahhh, thank you! :) I'm so happy you liked that scene because it was surprisingly hard to write. JKR didn't describe it much in the books, but enough that it was so hard to do my own rendition of it, you know? So I'm so glad you liked it! And yeah, it's a pretty sad ending for a first chapter - but both necessary and inevitable, really :P

Thank you so so much for the wonderful review! (And I'll take the smarty pants and run, haha :P) It was so lovely to get! :)

Aph xx

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Review #25, by RavenclawFTW Wales

24th August 2015:
Here for the swap and BvB! Also, this is my 100th review! Woohoo! I'm very happy to leave it here on this wonderful story. :)

Ahh Aph your writing kills me. Seriously. I'll try not to be too repetitive from the first chapter but you've seriously ruined me for any other Albert/Gellert because you just write their perspectives and backstories and passions and thoughts so freaking well. You're ridiculously talented to be able to paint these brilliant characters so well here.

In this chapter, I love the ways you've softened Gellert and added to the ways he views Albus and their relationship. Mostly I'm in awe of how I can see under the surface of this characterization how Gellert is so focused and ruthless and ambitious, which is much of what we know about him from canon. But the amount that he cares for Albus shines through some of his character while not overwhelming those features, if that makes any sense. Like you've managed to weave together the seeds of a single-minded person who tries to take over Europe for his own goals and this intense connection and love so well. It's just really meshing to me in my head, especially the way that you've integrated his reaction to the Ariana situation.

It's basically pointless for me to talk about your imagery every review but it's so ridiculously wonderful and evocative that I can't not mention it, you know? I just feel like I can picture Wales and Gellert's initial wonder at the beautiful land around him, and then also his home and his desire to return there with Albus.

In this chapter this line really stood out to me: Perhaps they might call it that later, if you ever tell anyone of me (though I doubt it, for it would reveal you to be fallible and human and would hint at a longing you wish you were better than to have), but it was not a lie.

I think that's such a great and short way to summarize so much about Albus and his character and his relationship with Gellert and the bitterness that Gellert has after it all goes south, but then also the understanding that Gellert has of Albus and his flaws. Ugh sorry I always end up rambling so inarticulately but this is just such a great representation of their characters and relationship. It kills me.

Thanks for the swap! I hope we do another soon. Or if I get time I may end up just going through and reviewing like all of this story because it makes my heart ache.


Author's Response: Hey there, J - thanks so much for stopping again! :) And yay for getting to 100 reviews - congrats! :D

Gah, thank you so much! :) They're characters I really love, and a pairing I really love so much, so I'm so glad you like it, because it's a story I really, really wanted to write and I love writing it, so it always means so much to hear that from other people :D

Thank you! :) I really wanted to make it clear that Gellert isn't quite Voldemort 1.0, you know, and that he's different - he can be nicer and sweeter than perhaps people thought. He's not exactly all sunshine and rainbows, though - haha, he's definitely still super ambitious and driven and not very patient and doesn't like being disappointed or thrown off. But he's really fun to write, and I love it when people say that I've done more with him than people thought, you know? It's nice, coz it means you took a character somewhere unexpected :) And yeah, the Ariana thing - it was surprisingly easy to write after the first chapter. That was the hard bit for that, I think.

Gah, thank you so much! :) I love writing from pictures, and this fic is incredibly self-indulgent in that I get to do that with pretty much every other chapter, so it works out, but I'm so happy you like it :P

I have a very strange love of writing about their kind of failed, tortured, but still half-continuing relationship, haha. It's bad, but it's so much fun and so fascinating to write, especially with them because I think it's so human, you know? And yeah, Gellert really is pretty bitter about it - but they both feel that Albus is the braver one, so in a way, it's not massively complimentary to Gellert himself :P

Thank you so so much for the lovely review - I'm so glad you like the story! :)

Aph xx

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