Reading Reviews for L'optimisme
15 Reviews Found

Review #1, by crestwood Bulgaria

26th September 2014:
Hi Laura!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Review #2, by Ribbons Silence

17th September 2014:
My darling HELLO!

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

That is not the case.

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

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

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

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

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

Did that make any sense? Probably not.

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

I love being dramatic. Ooops. Fatal flaw.

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

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

Much much much love,


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Review #3, by crestwood Words

8th September 2014:
Okay. Laura, I'm finally here after much delay. I actually saw that you had updated before you requested and put it on my mental list of stories to come by and review, but then I was hit by challenge deadlines and real life got more than hectic. But, now I am here again for this beautiful piece of work.

You always prove right away that you haven't lost a single step. Right in the first paragraph you're already giving us these long, sweeping sentences that at once alert us to your effortless prowess. It's as if there is no end to the metaphors your mind is capable of producing. After I read your writing I find myself speaking in poetics for a long while afterward. It's truly fitting language for a story that is primarily focused upon genius characters.

I love that you continue to deliver this story as if through correspondence. It's a unique and bold way to decide to write a story, really. I couldn't have imagined it working so excellently before reading this.

For the first time we are truly introduced to characters other than Gellert, Albus and his family. It does not feel like we've been on a small scale so far even with such a tiny cast because the ideas presented are anything but confined to a small scale. Everything about this is large scale in nature. Albus doesn't just say that it's difficult to say some things, he tells us that words can injure the wielder. He doesn't just inform the reader that you can say a lot with little to no words, he speaks of the twisting, turning, thousand possibilities of silence.

Of course Albus would not be in the mood to party so soon after the departure of Gellert. He clearly had an effect on him, regardless of what kind of man he turned out to be. And while eventually he may have moved on from that point in his life, I doubt it would have happened so soon and I am glad you have recognized that here. I quite enjoy this young, sulking version of Dumbledore. Nicolas does seem like a difficult character to pin down. I imagine that he must be brilliant based on his accomplishments and would satisfy at least some of Albus' desire to for company as bright as himself, at least as much as anyone could while simultaneously not being Gellert Grindelwald. I do imagine that many of Dumbledore's greatest achievements could have come about during this period of time in which he has decided to pour himself into his work post-Gellert. What an interesting idea and what a nicely written chapter. Amazing as ever!

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Review #4, by newgenerationlover Words

2nd September 2014:
Well I'm sure glad I finally fixed those few tweaks in my time machine, allowing me to now go and get my future first born, because i am sure it must have had some correlation to the fact that this finally updated :P ALL HAIL APH, THE MIGHTY WRITING GOD. I feel like that should be your new title, Aph, the mighty writing god. It has a sort of ring to it, don't you think? ;) Gah! Please stop making the rest of us, poor, lowly writers look bad in comparison to your freaking poetry! Ok, wait, just look at this one sentence (aka the one the stood out the most although there was much competition) "You and I, that summer, we lived by words. They flew through the air between us, thick and fast, until they filled it completely, nothing left to breathe, and we sat there, laughing and exhausted." There is just so much there in those two short sentences! Just... gahh!! If beautiful writing was sunlight and I was a vampire, I would currently be a pile of ashes right about now.

Oo he is an alchemist!! Interesting, I have always liked the idea of that going on a lot in the wizarding world though many tend to not go along with that fact... Kudos to you, I guess! :P This is going to make me cry, Aph!! He is using this to not only go along with a dream he has always had, a dream of making a name for himself, but he is doing it to keep his mind off his absent, past lover and the emotions so clearly still there. Why can't they just work out and have their happily ever after??? *cries* Patiently (read: impatiently) waiting for the next chapter.

Mary :P

P.S. I've got my fingers crossed that this story wins SOTM XD

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Review #5, by AlexFan Wales

29th August 2014:
Your prose is absolutely beautiful, as always. Iím a little jealous of how wonderful your writing is and how well it just seems to flow together. I donít know how you do it.

Iím generally not a fan of point of view switches because Iíve read so many stories where I was unable to tell the voice of one character from another so itís become a bit of a put off for me. That being said, the voices between Albus and Gellert are very different. Theyíre both talking about similar events but the difference is in the way that Albus and Gellert talk about them.

Albus views Wales as a prison that he wishes to break out of and so he sounds trapped when he talks about his childhood except for the moments in which he is with Gellert. Gellert views Wales as freedom, it makes him happy and so his version of events are lot happier is the best way that I can put it. For Grindelwald Wales is almost like a chance for him to start over.

I thought it was interesting how you chose to write Grindelwald in his later life, it seems that despite the fact that heís imprisoned and should hate Dumbledore for putting him where he is, but he canít. Grindelwald may be on a side different than Dumbledore but he still seems to care for him quite a bit. I thought it was interesting how heís been locked up for so long that heís forgotten what certain places used to look like, except the ones involving Albus. It shows just how much Albus really meant to him that his clearest memories are the ones in which Albus is present.

I liked how you pointed out that the death of Ariana was what really broke Albus, because Albus loved Grindelwald immensely and wouldíve done anything to be with him yet the death of his sister is what broke Albus. Because no matter how much he cared about Grindelwald, his brother and sister held a special place in his heart that Grindelwald would probably never reach.

You have this absolutely incredible way of really getting into the characters heads and understanding how they feel and their thoughts and dreams I donít see quite often. So all in all, this was brilliant.

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Review #6, by Yoshi_Kitten Silence

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

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

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

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

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

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Review #7, by crestwood Wales

27th August 2014:
Hey Laura! I didn't notice that you had uploaded another chapter of this because I haven't checked my favorites in a while. I would have come and given another review even if you didn't request, but I'm glad you did because your Areas of Concern are always so helpful with guiding my review and helping me make a bit of sense, rather than ramble on.

Also, thank you so much for putting my review in the "Reviews that made your day" thread! That honestly meant so much :)

On to the actual review now, I think I'll give you a real time look at my thoughts as I read along.
First off, Grindlewald point of view is an interesting choice, especially since it seems that you have written him later in life. He seems contemptuous toward Dumbledore, which is expected, but at the same time, there's a hint of tenderness. It doesn't feel like the way you'd talk to a sworn enemy, but rather a lover that had long since represented betrayal and disappointment to you.

It's intriguing that Grindlewald has been locked away for so long that he can't fully remember any of the places he called home, but it's a strong symbol of his underlying devotion to Dumbledore that he manages to remember places and images, as long as Albus is involved in the memory in some way. That's such a simple, but powerful way to invoke that idea.

I love the way you said that Dumbledore's eyes lit up when he spoke of Hogwarts. The phrase "your Hogwarts" makes it seem almost like he viewed the school as a prized possession, something incredibly valuable and personal. That just lined up entirely with what we know about Dumbledore and was such a nice little touch.

The way Grindlewald addresses Dumbledore is equally as beautiful as the other way around, which makes sense, they were supposed to be equals after all. I'm a person who tends to write romance if given the chance to fall into my comfort zone, but I will never picture myself not just writing a romance story, but writing *romantically*

And by that, I am referring to the artistic movement. As in, the movement that validated increased emphasis on intense emotion and especially on nature. (Grindlewald's very detailed description of his feelings toward and about the wide open nature that he found in Wales is what ultimately caused me to make this connection) The aesthetic of this story reminds me of those authors that could be grouped into that movement. People like Jane Austen and Nathaniel Hawthorne spring to mind, or even poets such as John Keats. This is all a long winded way of saying, I'm impressed with your figurative language.

I do not think the plot is too slow. I think this chapter is paced exactly as it should be. It seems that Grindlewald is directly addressing Dumbledore and in his reminiscence, one expects him to get off topic. Of course, one could not predict that his little tangents of the mind would be so utterly pleasant to read.

This chapter also felt very different from the first in my opinion. Grindlewald and Dumbledore's version of events were similar of course, but the differences in the ways they went about telling them were very easily discernible. I felt that there was an entirely different voice here than in the previous chapter.

The characters were even better this time around, due to the fact that we got to see so much of their relationship in this chapter. Their dealings with each other were so passionate and the level at which Grindlewald seemed to understand Dumbledore's emotions and mannerisms was amazing to read. It's almost a shame that their time together had to be so fleeting.

I didn't notice an overabundance of commas while I read, but I would expect that with a character as intelligent as Grindlewald, that you'd have to use a bit more than usual since he'd tend to use larger and more complex sentences.

The first person is going excellently. You really step into each of their minds and give such minuscule details to differentiate them and make their voice special. And Grindlewald's plea to Dumbledore to come find him was unexpected, but so riveting. The way he claims that he is certain that he will not come to him is striking. I would think that it would take a lot for a man as prideful as Grindlewald is to actively hope that he is completely wrong about someone he thinks he knows so thoroughly. That's yet another testament to the strength of the affection between these two. You've struck gold again. This chapter is an absolute tour de force. I don't think I've ever written a review this long. Thank you once again for your request.

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Review #8, by ginnypotter242 Silence

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Aph xx

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Review #9, by UnluckyStar57 Silence

20th August 2014:
Hi! I'm so sorry that I've taken quite a while to write this review, but life always, always gets in the way. :P

I must add that I would have reviewed this sooner, but I wanted to read it twice just to make sure I was talking about the right things. Before I go any further, I will say that your prose is as good as ever, but this is a very tricky thing to write about, especially since so much fanfiction is so fluffy and unserious. You tackle the deep, dark, scary stuff, and I think you've done a brilliant job thus far. :)

The section about silence and words was wonderful. I could definitely see how the themes ran through the rest of the chapter, and you captured it all so brilliantly. The first person voice can become so dull, but you kept me interested with the content and the tone in which this was written. I can picture Dumbledore saying the words, as if he was telling a story to Grindelwald's broken body after their great showdown in the 1940s.

I did spot a typo at the very end, but it might be a stylistic thing: "For he and I, life was a single, long conversation from the moment we met." In this sentence, the "For he and I" doesn't really jive for me. If you take out "he," it reads "For I, life was...". You need to replace "I" with "me," and perhaps "he" with "him." So the sentence would be "For him and me...". Trust me, it's grammatically sound, although it might not seem so. :)

One overall suggestion that I'm going to offer you is that you watch your commas. I personally like the way your prose breathes--the commas are like inhales and exhales, which is particularly beautiful. But it sometimes became a little too much, and occasionally I had a bit of trouble following the main idea of the sentence.

Ooh, but that lazy August morning scene is beautiful. You've got me shipping Albus/Gellert already, and that's mean of you because I know how this ends (in sadness). I love the imagery of the birds outside the window and the continental summer, and how maybe the scene is tainted with the rosy retrospective with which we look back on the past. Albus really loved Gellert, didn't he?

I like how, although the scene mostly sticks to itself, the few mentions of the future really color the action. What "papers" are telling of Gellert's new flames? Newspapers? Did he take companions and dump them on his rise to power?

Oh dear. "We never talked much in the mornings; the silence was lovely then, but now I cannot help but wonder if there was only silence because neither of us knew what to say, or if it was because we knew everything there was to be said." This is so lovely and so true (just like everything else you write). It establishes the uncertainty of youthful passion and the fallible certainty of youthful arrogance. Forever isn't real for them, but had they spoken more, they might have had a little longer.

"It all started with a crescendo." Brilliant musical imagery there. I pictured an orchestra, poised to begin, and at the first note, they do something of a sforzando before the real tension begins. (Sorry, musical terms are what I live for when I'm being a music major.) It was rather brilliant of you, and it set the tone for the nasty, raging minor key riffs that were to come.

"...Aberforth, my spell missing him by mere inches, attacked me in return, believing on your side." Did you mean to put "believing me to be on your side" there? I felt like there were a few words missing.

YES. More musical imagery. Lovely, and so, so terrible. I imagined a crash of cymbals just before the silence. Did you listen to an orchestral work as you wrote this?

You captured Albus's feelings perfectly. It was a bit melodramatic, but he acknowledged his melodrama and apologized for what he was about to do. I don't think he sounded too whiny at all. It's all a part of reminiscing about the past--you have to look back on it and see all of the mistakes and the regrets, and it can all pile up on one's soul. Whatever he's about to do, his memories must have some relevance. I'm interested to see what will happen. Is he on his way to fight Gellert? That will certainly be an interesting scene.

Brilliant beginning! Hopefully the next review I give you won't be so very tardy. :D


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Review #10, by marauderfan Silence

15th August 2014:
Hey Aph! I have very little time to read HPFF lately but I always enjoy having an opportunity to read something of yours. You're such a talented writer!

And I love Albus/Gellert stories - there aren't many of them on the archive. Yours in particular has such a beautiful tone - your word choice and flowing sentences meld together to create this poetic, profound product. I loved the bit about silence in the beginning, how it's a real thing and almost as tangible as the words themselves and how it can have almost infinite meanings. But you still have these little notes of humour in there such as ' I digress, I apologise' which is so perfectly Dumbledore.

The way the story is told through the lens of age and years of reflection adds this lovely quality of perspectives from the past and from the present put together, the naievete of the past viewed through the years after he has lost that optimistic view, and that's particularly shown in the juxtaposition of the dawn cuddling together and then the fight that killed Ariana. Gah, I don't even know what I'm saying anymore but anyway I just really love the flow of the story. This is a really powerful beginning. Thanks for the swap!

Author's Response: Hey there! Gah, thank you so much! I'm so glad you like my writing - it means so much to hear that from you! :)

Ah, I love them too! So glad to find other fans around! They're such a wonderfully tragic pair... :) Thank you so much! I really wanted to set the tone and start with the themes at the beginning, because later on it might well get a bit fuzzier, haha. Omigosh, I've discovered he has this really droll, kinda dry sense of humour. All very sort of calm, in a way, but wickedly funny in the right kind of environment! It's so much fun to write when those bits crop up!

Haha, no worries, it makes perfect sense! I loved the idea of writing sort of in response to the events, if that makes sense, because it allows for a more angsty tone, and to sort of colour what happened with different lights, as necessary. The dawn cuddling was my favourite scene to write, haha :P Yeah, there's a lot of naievete in young!Albus; it was strangely interesting to write, with his intelligence and the age perspective and all...

Gah, thank you so much for the lovely review (and for the swap!) - it was so great to get! I'm just so glad you enjoyed this! :)

Aph xx

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Review #11, by newgenerationlover Wales

13th August 2014:
I feel like I would be repeating myself to again say how astounded I am at the skill of writing present here, but at the same time if I don't, I feel like this review would be rather useless, or at least, not as meaningful. Aph, again, you leave me speechless. Each word seems to flow perfectly into the next into a stream of prose that is incomparable to on this site at least. Ugh! I just want to be able to write like you!! Is that too much to ask?? *cries* Oh well, I guess some of us have to be destined to be mortals next to writing gods like you. *sighs*

Ooo, different POV. I like it. The emotions and actions here are so realistic and so plausible that I would just like to thank you a million bajillion times as I have been stuck in a rut of reading bad, super fake, mary sue stories on this site and this is honestly just like a breath of fresh air.

Ok, well I'm about to pass out right now as I am still a little behind on my sleep after my travels so I'm going to end this review here but just know, I could go on and on for pages about this and it is truly a wonderful story and I can't wait for chapter three :P


Author's Response: Hi again, Mary! It's so so great to see you back again and I'm honestly just so glad you're enjoying this story! It's kinda my baby, haha (ironic, all things considering...).

Thank you so much! You know, I don't really know how to respond to this other than by repeating thank you over and over again, haha. I take a long time to write this, haha - so it's not quite so impressive, I don't think. I'll take being a god, though - I always wanted to be immortal and powerful and all... :P

Thank you - I really loved writing Gellert and I really wanted to make him seem real and human, not just Voldemort 1.0 or something, because it feels to me like a bit of a cop-out to do that, you know? And no problem - I'm just so happy you like this!

Oh no, not good - don't worry about it at all, go sleep, go sleep, silly girl! Fainting's never good...

Gah, thank you so so much again for the wonderful, wonderful pair of reviews and all the fabulous compliments - I'm not sure I deserve them, but they're so so amazing to get! :)

Aph xx

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Review #12, by newgenerationlover Silence

13th August 2014:
I would give my first child to be able to write like you. Gosh, Aph, you have already completely blown me away from this beginning. Please tell me you poured over this chapter for hours, searching your mind each time for every perfectly placed word, please don't tell me this just flowed out of you because if it did, I might just have to give up any hope of writing like this. This is freaking prose right here!

Ok, so this story's opening pulled me right in and I don't think anybody but you could have pulled off an opening like this. I have never thought of silence as such a tangible thing before, but now, you may have just changed my mind. Albus and Gellert and their love is already so alive it is like I am a part of it and can feel every emotion that passes between them.

So, this hasn't been too long of a review but I really just want to keep reading. See you on the next chapter!


Author's Response: Mary! :) Hi! Thanks so much for stopping by! It means so much!

Oh wow... erm, please don't? I don't know what I'd do with a child, haha - though, honestly, it's amazingly flattering, thank you so much! I have to be honest, it took a long time to get it started and I tend to spend a lot of time thinking while writing, haha, but it wasn't too hard, I think... should I hide somewhere? :P I'm so glad you like it, though - I was so worried about how it'd sound! :)

Gah, thank you so much! I loved writing the section about silence and the sort of little introduction-type section, it was so fun to sort of waffle my way through a thematic idea, haha. I adore Albus and Gellert, so I'm so glad you thought it worked well, and there was actual emotion in it - I want readers hooked and hoping for them, haha.

Gah, thank you so so much for this review! It's so so lovely and just so nice (if a little unfair on your first child, haha)! :)

Aph xx

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Review #13, by AlexFan Silence

11th August 2014:
Hey there, sorry for taking so long with your review but I was busy for most of last week, and then I was out for the weekend so I had no time to stop by with your review.

I remember reading this when you had it up before, and I enjoyed it then but I'm excited to see what the story is like now (I'll be writing this as I read).

I liked the beginning where you talked about words and silence. It seems like it's a little bit out of the blue but even though it seems a little bit random, you can tell that it's going to play a big part in the rest of the story.

I adore how you started off on August 29th, 1899. You set up the scene with Albus and Gellert and the two of them just being happy together and sleeping in each other's arms. They just sounded so cute together. I couldn't help but laugh when Albus commented on his jumping ability not being connected to his partial nudity. I could see him saying that in my head.

Seriously, I'm just dying of cuteness over here. Albus and Gellert wrapped up in a blanket, those sweet kisses that they gave each other just before Gellert left. I think the first person works very well for the story, it makes the memories seem more personal this way, I'm more connected to what's happening when the memories that Albus is thinking about are told this way.

I liked the sudden shift from happy memories to a more dark one, it showed the progression of Albus and Gellert's relationship. I thought the two of them were in character, particularly Albus. I think you nailed his thought process absolutely brilliantly.

I enjoyed the rewrite a lot more than the previous version.

Author's Response: Hey there - thanks so much for dropping by! :) No worries about the time - I totally understand! RL isn't something you can just leave completely ;)

I'm so glad you liked it - it is a bit random, but there is a point to it, I promise! I kinda wanted to set up the themes at the beginning, so I'm glad you think it sort of worked ;)

Thank you so much! I really wanted to show their relationship being good and happy, you know, because the angst is going to come in soon and it needs some kind of counterbalance, I think :P Haha, I liked writing that line - the idea just came to me and I had to include it. The image in my head was too funny! :)

Gah, thank you! It was strange shifting to first person - I'm more used to third, present, so first, past took some getting used to, though it just felt right for this story. Kisses... omigosh, I hate writing them, haha. I always feel so bad at them... so hard!

Yeah, it was something like progression - I also wanted to show sort of the pivotal moments and how quickly things can change from being happy to being broken, so it was kinda important to include (though I didn't intend to have it in there in the beginning). I'm so glad you liked Albus - he was so intimidating to write at first, but I think hopefully it seems to have got a bit easier! :)

Thank you so so much for the lovely review - I'm so glad you enjoyed this, and its so nice to hear from someone who read the first version as well! :)

Aph xx

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Review #14, by crestwood Silence

8th August 2014:
Hey, crestwood from the forums here with your requested review!

Well, the first thing I noticed about this is just how poetic it is. Seriously, this is beautiful. You are musing about the importance of words and I am believing you because every single phrase is constructed to perfection. There's nothing extraneous whatsoever. Your words are pure art. I mean, this "it is an intense, deadly weapon, choking you without requiring any force, any malice, anything other than itself" is a master-stroke of genius. The entire first section is really. I haven't even read a bit of plot yet and this is amazing. I suppose I should move on and stop reading the beginning over and over.

Okay, the second section is starting out just as strong. Albus and Gellert say so much without saying anything. That calls back to the first paragraph. I wish I could explain how clearly I can see what you're describing in my mind. I've never had a relationship between two people explained so effortlessly with words. It's as if I'm watching these memories in a Pensieve, watching this summer unfold before my eyes. Reading Dumbledore recount the memories of that duel in detail is heartbreaking. You've written this perfectly in character. This is my headcanon for all of this now. This could be a companion piece to the series, but at the same time, it stands alone as it's own masterpiece.

I see know that this is a multi-chaptered story! I was under the impression that this would be all I'd get to read. This is wonderful news because I just cannot heap enough praise onto this. I wouldn't change a single word. Your style of writing is one of the most unique I've ever had the good fortunate to come across. I can't stress enough how beautiful the theme of silence is. The painting of Albus and Gellert's relationship as one long silence is incredible. In that sense, it's as if all Aberforth did was interrupt that silence, exposing everyone for who they really are. The Dumbledore you've written has found his Achilles' Heel and he has accepted it for what it is.

I apologize for not being able to give any criticism, but I did attempt to explain why I couldn't possibly do that. This was beautiful. Thank you so much for your request and for giving me the chance to read this.

- Joseph

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Review #15, by teh tarik Silence

4th August 2014:
Hey Laura!!

Thanks for agreeing to do a swap with me! :D I was going to catch up on another chapter of HoC, but then I saw THIS story, which is Albus/Gellert, and I remember you mentioning it somewhere that you were rewriting it. I CANNOT RESIST ALBUS/GELLERT ♥ I didn't read the original version, but I must say I enjoyed this very, very much - the style you've chosen, the way Albus is addressing Gellert, his eloquence (and yours!), and the tenderness in his voice, which is so strange and so lovely, when I think that this is Dumbledore, but also a little chilling, because it involves Gellert, future Dark Lord.

I love how ou establish the theme of words and silence right at the beginning. I think you've encapsulated their relationship perfectly; I can imagine Albus and Gellert being involved in long discussions throughout the summer about the Deathly Hallows and world domination and whatnot, as well as writing letters to each other all night long. Of course, words would mean so much to both of them. They're both incredibly eloquent and brilliant, and I can so imagine them manipulating language, shaping the single, long conversation of their lives. And I love the idea of silence as well, the dark gaps between words - all the desire and the feelings that can't be expressed using plain old words.

The flashback to 1899 started off in such a serene way. There's those two boys in love, being so intimte with each other - your descriptions were so lovely!

I would wake first, my arm around your waist, your head pillowed on my shoulder or tucked into my neck. If I tried to pull away, or even simply to move, you would dig your fingers into my skin and refuse to let me go; though I suspect that if I told you this now, you would deny that you had ever wanted me close, had ever allowed yourself to be held like a child in such a way.

I'm just squeeing at the fact that Gellert is being cradled 'like a child' by Albus askdjjaslkdj ♥ I LOVED those lines, how soft and tender the boys are to each other. It will certainly contrast all the bitterness and violence that will follow.

You wrote the skirmish between the three boys so well. We already know what's going to happen, but reading Ariana's death and how it affected both Albus and Aberforth was still so painful. I just had all of the feels for poor Albus, who pretty much lost everything on that day. :( He lost his sister, his lover, and to an extent, his brother as well. I can see how his entire life would have changed just from that one silly skirmish.

I can't even begin to guess what Aberforth uttered to have enraged Gellert to such an extent; if I remember correctly, Gellert used the Cruciatus curse on him.

I love the way you concluded this chapter, how you tied it up by reinforcing the whole words and silence theme. The final paragraph especially, gave me the chills. What is Albus's Achilles heel? Silence? Gellert's silence?

The truth in the end is that you are a master of exquisite skill, my darling, at anything you choose to be or do, and so I am very much afraid of what will happen when you discover this Achillesí heel of mine, as no doubt you will do in time, having applied yourself to the task. All I can do is kneel at your feet pre-emptively Ė metaphorically only, I regret to say Ė and beg you to please God have mercy upon me.

These are such breathtakingly beautiful and terrifying lines!

I think you've got an absolutely fantastic start to this! I adore this ship, and I love the way you've portrayed these two, and I'll be following your fic and waiting for an update! SO glad I had the chance to read this, Laura! ♥


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