Reading Reviews for L'optimisme
  
156 Reviews Found

Review #1, by nott theodore Luxembourg

20th June 2016:
Laura! Yay, I'm finally caught up and this is so exciting :D I can't believe that these last few chapters haven't had any reviews yet, so I'm glad I get to show them some love, even if they're not quite as long as my usual reviews would be.

This chapter was perfect ♥ When I read the opening section, and the sadness that tinged all of Gellert's thoughts, I honestly didn't think that I would get to read about them later on ♥

The opening was beautiful, if sad - I loved the way that Gellert reflected on the seasons and birth and rebirth. Considering the way that he (and Albus) intended to master death, it's really intriguing to see the way that you use those motifs to explore their feelings about each other. And I loved the reference to Olympus and the Greek gods, too - I meant to mention this in some of the other reviews, actually, but I love all the references to mythology that you include. They fit so well with the characters of both Gellert and Albus, and the way that they see themselves in stories of people who have gone before, at the same time as trying to carve out their own paths.

I can't lie, I may have been fangirling more than a little at the ending of this chapter. I don't think that Albus and Gellert is an entirely healthy couple, for either of them and for everybody else, but they love each other and they got to be together again, and it was so adorable to see that ♥

Gellert was actually kind of funny in the way that he was trying to tease the information out of Elphias about Albus, because he didn't want to be so obvious as to ask. Then, at the same time, even though he was convinced that there was nothing to Elphias that made him a rival in Albus's affection, he was jealous of him, and of the time that they spent together. I think that - and the fact that he dropped everything to return to Albus - shows how much he really loves him.

I'm actually really glad that it was Gellert rather than Albus that sought the other out, though - I feel like Gellert has so much power that it's good for him not to be the one in control all the time, commanding people around him? And then Albus and Gellert got to be together again ♥ I don't know how long it's for but I am glad that they get another chance to be together, even if it's not going to end up in a proper relationship and any future together.

I love the way that you write the relationship between them. Those last lines, and the fact that Gellert is always Albus's, and vice versa - it's just so heartbreaking. Their relationship is so interesting, and there are so many facets to it which you explore, and it's fascinating to read about. I can't help wondering whether they would have actually been able to be happy together if Gellert hadn't been so determined to conquer and rule - but then, I don't think Albus would have been half as attracted to him. The dynamic is just so interesting and it's like they're lovers and enemies all at once - true equals.

I loved this chapter and now I'm all caught up with the story (finally! It took me long enough :P) I can't wait for the next chapter! ♥

Sian :)
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Review #2, by nott theodore Syntax

20th June 2016:
Hello!

Oh dear. I feel like this will not end very well? But maybe it's necessary. I don't know...

The opening section was so bittersweet, as Albus lingered on all the memories that he held so dear to him. I think you got that exactly right; it's the small moments, seemingly insignificant at that time, which are so important later. The memories of them having that time together were so sweet and I couldn't help feeling sorry for him for missing that, even though so much time has passed.

There is so much truth in this story. I love the way that you're getting all of this wisdom into the story through Albus and Gellert, because it doesn't often fit into novels unless you have a character that can actually recognise it and communicate it.

I don't know why, but I'm kind of nervous about what this sabbatical is going to do to Albus. He's going right into the heart of the land that Gellert is planning on conquering, and he'll be brought so much closer to him - I don't know whether he'll be able to resist the lure of seeing him, although I hope that he'll at least be able to resist the lure of those ideas they both once held so dear.

At the same time, I think that Albus does need freedom. He took the teaching job for protection (for his own, but maybe for other people's too?) but if he's not enjoying it and his heart isn't in it, then it isn't fair to stay there. Teaching isn't a job you should settle in, it's one you should be passionate about, because a good teacher can make such a difference to someone's life. I think Professor Black recognises that, and realises that it's not right for Albus - at least, not at this point in time. I'm hoping that when he comes back from his sabbatical he'll be able to enjoy teaching more and see the value in it.

Aberforth knows Albus so well. Even without saying the words, you could see that he really cares about him and doesn't want any harm to come to him - for him to be hurt again by Gellert or for him to be drawn into Gellert's schemes. Albus has already said that Aberforth uses few words, but I think the ones he did say carried a lot of meaning and showed how aware of the danger he is, and how much he cares about Albus. That was actually really sweet.

Sian :)
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Review #3, by nott theodore Germany

20th June 2016:
Hi Laura!

I don't know how you're doing this, but this chapter actually made me want to give Gellert a hug. A HUG. He's Gellert Grindelwald, I shouldn't be feeling sorry for someone who did so many bad things! This is your fault :P

The opening was kind of sad, though - I think this chapter did a really good job to emphasise how lonely Gellert was, and his own knowledge that he was lonely, which of course only made him wish for Albus more. It's kind of like he's been permanently lonely, with his childhood (although there were people there for him) and then choosing to rise to power. The fact that he hears his father's voice sometimes is sad - it really shows how much he's missing the life he once had.

I think that Gellert's right - there is a difference between winning and losing. I'm not sure that Albus won, though, or that it was just Gellert who lost. If Albus had won that day, he'd never have had to fight Gellert in the first place.

I may be a little confused trying to work out if there's an answer to Gellert's philosophical questions about asking questions, but I really loved that. It was kind of poetic in the way that he pondered the subject and shows the sort of person he is really well.

The conversation with the king of Prussia was really interesting! I actually love the idea that a lot of the European rulers could have been witches and wizards or had magical blood in their families, because it would have been quite easy for them to gain power when the magic and Muggle communities lived together, and then use it to keep power secretly later on. Hmm, new head canon possibly...?

The warning that the king gave Gellert was very true, though - I know that Gellert doesn't want to listen to it, and he thinks he's already lonely, but I think it was good advice. The people that he wants to rule for are going to get hurt - he can't possibly protect everyone. I'm really intrigued to see whether he still cares about them the way that he seemed to in earlier chapters, or if he'll learn to accept their suffering as a necessary for him to rule.

The idea of creating yourself a country and a homeland is actually quite powerful; I can't help but be a little impressed with the notion. Gellert is definitely someone who will take what he wants, and if he can't find it, will make it.

Sian :)
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Review #4, by nott theodore Phonology

20th June 2016:
Hellooo!

Again, the reflections on language and music ♥ It's just so beautiful and I love the way that you write about both of them, as living, breathing entities that are comparable to living people and their lives. The style of the opening, in particular, of this chapter, was actually almost musical in the way that the words flowed so beautifully. You're so talented, and I am very jealous :P

I can definitely understand Albus wanting freedom from Hogwarts. To be honest, I can't imagine having been there as a student - as exciting as it would be to go to a school surrounded by magic, surely there would be times when you just want to get away from everyone and everything. As a teacher, at least you have some freedom to leave the castle and go off on your own, but for a man who once had such wonderful dreams, who planned on travelling the world, the confinement must have been frustrating.

I think, knowing more about Albus - what we learnt in the seventh book in particular - it's so easy to see that this must have been an incredibly hard path for him to follow, even if Gellert had not been in the picture. As it is, though, it feels like he's constantly balancing on the edge of the precipice.

I'm glad that Albus managed to resume some normality, though, and stay in touch with his old friends and continue seeing them, and even begin to enjoy teaching. They might not be distractions enough for a mind like his, but even so, they're better than wallowing in self-pity.

The description of Diagon Alley in that year after the war was really striking; I can't imagine what it would have been like to live in Britain (or any of the countries involved) at that time, when the Spanish flu was ravaging a recovering population. I don't think that Albus could have prevented the war and so many deaths single-handed, but it's the turning points of history, isn't it? One decision made in those moments could have had such an impact.

I love the continuation of that secret language between Gellert and Albus, too, and the fact that, though nobody but Albus recognises it for what it is, Gellert is throwing down the gauntlet. I'm actually really excited to see how you develop his campaign and machinations!

Sian :)
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Review #5, by nott theodore Bavaria

20th June 2016:
Hi again!

The image of the fairy tale castle at the start was so beautiful. I've still never seen Neuschwanstein in person, only in pictures, but I think you captured the beauty of it. It's unusual but I really like the way that Gellert is someone who does appreciate the beautiful things in life, and can love. That much alone sets him far apart from Voldemort, who doesn't understand love, and was born from the absence of it, whose only understanding is hatred. It's really refreshing to see Gellert as a character in his own right and not just an earlier version of Voldemort. There have been plenty of evil people throughout history, and terrible, tyrannic rulers, but each of them had their own motives in different ways and I feel like this story reflects that.

I loved the reflections on them both living again, but in history. It's true that you never get to choose entirely how you will be portrayed later on, when you are dead and there are others looking back at what you did; the only way you can affect it is by writing as much of that history as possible yourself. Having read the last book and the way that Rita Skeeter wrote about the two of them, I actually feel kind of sad for Gellert that nobody knew about the other side to their relationship.

Each of your chapters links so well to the previous ones, and flows on so smoothly. I loved the way that the sending of flowers from Albus to Gellert here reminded me of what they'd talked of in the last chapter, and especially the way that Albus said they had their own language between them. It's like this is their own version of that secret language keeping them connected through the years.

And Fawkes ♥ I've always wondered how Albus came by Fawkes and I love the idea of the phoenix kind of being both of theirs, which Gellert kept until Albus took over. It's no wonder that Fawkes was so dear to Albus, really. (Now I'm also wondering if, after Albus's death, Fawkes returned to Gellert in his prison one last time.)

The end of this chapter really felt like things were building, like Gellert is starting to put his plans in place and is going to begin his work. The final line about standing on the edge of the cliff was really powerful, and I love the idea behind it - one misstep could cause him to falter and fall, but if the wings he's been building work, then he will soar and fly...

Sian :)
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Review #6, by nott theodore Expressions

20th June 2016:
Hola!

The language nerd in me (so most of me :P) loved the opening reflections on expressions and the way that languages change and grow. The idea about expressions is so true, the way that we each gain our own through our lives and one word can become filled with meaning for us because of its association with someone else. I liked the fact that Albus has all these expressions that he associates with Gellert, too, even if he's forgotten some of them.

The rose and the lilac - hmm, is this flower meanings? Or more specifically colours? Because I know that roses symbolise love and passion and lilac is often a reminder of first love... maybe I'm missing something here?

THE FEATHERS!! I think I got a bit too excited reading that part, because I loved the symbolism that was behind the giving of them, and was really intrigued to see what Albus was going to do. Then the way that you wove his reaction into canon was just perfect. Since phoenix feather isn't common and we know that the phoenix only gave two feathers for wand-making, it makes perfect sense that it would be these feathers used to make Harry and Voldemort's wands. There's actually something incredibly fitting about that, too, that they were given by Gellert to Albus - seen by many as the villain and hero of the generation - and then made the wands of the same characters in the next generation.

I don't think it's necessarily cowardly for Albus to run away from Gellert and not go back to him. I think it's quite brave to deny yourself what you want most of all because you know what the consequences might be. Still, he doesn't seem to be able to let Gellert go and actually enjoy a life without him.

I really like the way that you're writing Aberforth in this story; he's given so much more depth than we normally see. It's true that siblings often understand each other and know each other so well that words aren't needed, and they're the ones who can say what you need to here when it's hardest, so I like the fact that he pointed out to Albus that he didn't enjoy teaching and he wasn't being fair to his pupils.

I wonder if the loss of love is what made Albus believe in the power of it so much, and encourage it for those around him?

I was not expecting him to be sacked from teaching! I'd always imagined that he'd stay a teacher no matter what, so I'm really intrigued what might happen next!

Sian :)
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Review #7, by nott theodore Sicily

20th June 2016:
Hello!

There were so many beautiful lines in this chapter (although aren't there always) that I want to quote back to you, but I'm afraid that it would fill the review and there'd be no characters left for me to actually write something :P But your descriptions of Lampedusa were beautiful! I really, really want to visit it now - I can picture it in my mind as the paradise that you described it to be.

I loved the fact that this chapter started with the notion of paradise for Gellert, and ended with the possibility of that paradise. Albus appeared in that dream of his paradise and then Albus actually appeared there too. I really liked the two possibilities that you offered us at the end, of what happened between Albus and Gellert after that meeting; it's so interesting to think that in a different world what did not happen here may have happened, and to let us decide what decision we think Albus made. It ties in with the whole dreamlike nature of the first section, too.

The idea of paradise is kind of interesting when you link it to Gellert's religion, as well. I don't think I'd ever thought of Gellert as religious, maybe because it's a topic that's largely avoided in the books and not touched on much in fic either, but it makes sense for his character that he does have some of those beliefs. I don't think he subscribes entirely to one church doctrine as people were expected to do at this time, but the idea of him having faith in something more powerful is really intriguing.

I also saw a lot more compassion in Gellert here than I expected, actually - he seems to genuinely care about the people that are losing their lives fighting in the war, and the fact that the wizards and witches are meeting in decadence to discuss it frustrates him. It's intriguing, too, that he lost half-brothers; that would make the conflict a lot more personal to him, even if he did not get on with them, and he does genuinely seem to believe in his speeches about unity. I know that it's all building up and laying foundations for the future that he wants to command, but it's interesting all the same.

I love all of the political theory in here, too, and the way that Gellert muses on governance and power! It fits in so well with his desires to rule that he would study all of the different theories, and it's so interesting to read. I've always found myself wondering what the wizards would have done during Muggle conflicts. I think I read somewhere that during WW1, wizards were banned from signing up to fight in Britain, but I don't think they could have avoided involvement completely when so many people were affected, even if their boundaries and policies were different.

The image of Albus and Gellert as two Cassandras was lovely, too! It always makes me smile when I see one of them aligning themselves with the other, as if they're the only person they truly consider equal. It's just a reminder of the way they feel.

Sian :)
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Review #8, by nott theodore Meter

19th June 2016:
Hello again! (Are you sick of me yet? I'm sorry, I still have quite a few more chapters to go :P)

The idea of life beating to a rhythm is a really lovely metaphor, actually, and I liked the way that Albus noted how it could change. It can definitely become monotonous if you're living by the same rhythm constantly, without any change. I also liked Albus's reflections on age and the way that he had changed with it. I definitely think people keep growing and learning as they get older, and from the character we see in the books, it definitely fits that he would get calmer and milder with age. I think he's probably more accepting of himself and what has happened as he gets older.

Yay, it was so great to see Albus reconnecting with Aberforth! That was really lovely to see, because I knew that at some point the brothers started talking again, but it was great to see that they began to enjoy each other's company. Rifts between siblings are so horrible and painful and I love seeing siblings getting on well, so the scenes when they were learning about each other's lives in the last fifteen years were really sweet.

Aw, Aberforth is getting married and becoming a father! That's so sweet! I can't help but think that it's not going to end well, because we don't see Aberforth with a family in canon at all, but I really want it to, because it's lovely to imagine.

The idea of Gellert giving a speech to the International Confederation of Wizards was so interesting! The fact that it was called the 'Unity Address' was really amusing, and kind of ironic, to be honest, because of the only way that Gellert saw unity being achieved in reality. I think that Albus knew that, deep down. But I love the idea of Gellert coming to the forefront as someone who goes through the 'proper' political channels and entering the public consciousness as someone who promotes unity instead of hatred. It definitely marks him out as someone different to Voldemort, I think, and it's a really intriguing idea.

The ending was kind of sad; I felt sorry for Albus again, because I'm sure that he would want to make some sort of impact but he couldn't do that in his own words. I've always felt that the efforts he made to work against Voldemort were a result of the impotence he felt when Gellert was rising to power, and this ties in really well with that.

Sian :)
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Review #9, by nott theodore Prussia

19th June 2016:
Hallo :)

The opening of this chapter was really interesting! I liked the way that Gellert reflected on the different places that he came from, where he was born and where he'd grown up. The concept of a homeland is really intriguing and especially for someone like Gellert who has spent time in so many places. He actually seems to care more about Germany and Prussia as his homeland than he does about most people, which is really intriguing and seems to fit well with his character. I'm not sure there's enough love in his heart for more than a handful of people.

Noticing the date was in 1912 makes me really interested for what's coming in the future of this story. Maybe I shouldn't be as excited to see you plotting the war and everything that's going to happen in it, but I know that you enjoy writing and plotting it so I'm not going to feel too bad :P This chapter definitely felt like it the atmosphere was becoming slightly more tense - perhaps that's just because I know what's coming in these countries, but even so, you did a great job of capturing the sense that something is about to happen. There's a kind of inevitability about it - not that Gellert necessarily wants it a potential war to stop, but he wouldn't want his homeland to be destroyed.

The appearance of the Kaiser (I'm guessing it was Wilhelm II?) was so interesting, too! I guess I shouldn't be surprised that Gellert is rubbing shoulders with European leaders at this time, and influencing them, but I'm so intrigued to see what role Gellert might play in the coming war. I loved the way you wrote the conversation between them; Gellert was so confident of his own abilities to manipulate the people around him, and there's no reason that he shouldn't be able to control the Kaiser, too. The way that he worked on building the links between him and the Kaiser was so like Gellert, and really helped suggest how he might be involved in machinations of war later.

The ending, when he was thinking of Albus and how Albus would react to what was happening politically was great, too. I'm actually really curious now to see whether Albus wanted to get involved at all, or whether he and the rest of wizarding England will play a part in the war. All the reflection on politics is really interesting.

I don't know if I've said this before, but your writing is so inspiring. There are certain authors I can read who just inspire me to write and get better, and you're one of them, so thank you ♥

Sian :)
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Review #10, by nott theodore Clichés

19th June 2016:
Hello again!

The fairy tale motif at the beginning of this chapter was so beautiful ♥ I loved the way that you used it to apply to two men and the ideas of love that all of us are brought up on, which just aren't possible for everyone to achieve (especially for Albus at the time he was alive). It showed how similar everyone is, no matter what they choose to do with their lives and how intelligent they are; even people like Albus just want love in their lives. I think that made it even more heartbreaking that he'd had it and it had been taken away from him, and he could never dream - not really - of getting it back.

The wedding years. They're coming up for me (I already know a few people my age who've got married) and I really felt for Albus. As he says, not only is marriage something that's likely to happen for him, but he can't get married to the person he wants to because marriage between two men wasn't allowed at this time. That knowledge must have made it even harder for him to attend all of his friends' weddings and see them enjoying a happiness that he would never be able to.

I don't want to say that he's bitter, exactly, but I think your Albus has an edge to him that a lot of characterisations don't. Maybe because here he's very honest about what losing Gellert meant to him and has cost him? Anyway, I really enjoy reading this version of him because I think that, from what we learn in the last book in particular, there was a different side to Albus that he did a good job of hiding from the world, and we see that here.

It's so sweet that Albus was Elphias's best man! I'm really glad they stayed such good friends and I loved how sweet and innocent Elphias seemed in comparison to Albus. The scene between them also served as a really good introduction to Gellert intruding on his consciousness again. I felt so sorry for Albus then, when he was so jealous and upset and was trying to keep that at bay. It can't have been easy to never really explain to his closest friends who he was, and what pain he was suffering. I think his thoughts and feelings towards Nico are really believable, too.

I loved the ending, when Albus realised that technically Gellert could be his common law wife :P That added a much lighter note to the chapter and was a great ending!

Sian :)
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Review #11, by nott theodore Switzerland

19th June 2016:
Salut :)

Your characterisation of Gellert is so interesting! He's so different to how I would have imagined him after just reading the books, but at the same time there's something very convincing about the way you write him, especially in the opening section of the chapter. He's much more intellectual and thoughtful than I expected he would be - of course, I knew he had to be clever, just like Voldemort was clever, but there's something different about him. He doesn't use his intelligence just to get what he wants (although he's clearly very good at doing that too, and making the plans he needs to get what he wants), but he enjoys culture and learning, too. I think because of that it's really easy to see why both he and Albus would have been attracted to each other and shared such a deep understanding.

I also found the reflection on how history would paint him really interesting. It's like Gellert has realised that he was wrong but also at the same time doesn't think he was entirely wrong, if that makes sense? And he finds it kind of condescending to be compared to Voldemort because he sees so many differences between the two of them. I liked the opening section especially for the way that it showed there might be some remorse there, and that could prompt him to hide the truth about the Elder Wand at the end as much as he could.

The descriptions of Switzerland were so beautiful ♥ I love the way that you have each chapter of Gellert's focusing on a different country and we get all these wonderful, evocative descriptions of the scenery. He really seems to appreciate the beauty of the places he's planning to conquer, at least :P

Ah, Gellert is doing just the same as Albus has tried to do with other men, I think, trying to forget the pain of the other's absence while not necessarily admitting to themselves that that's what they're doing. I don't think it's entirely healthy, but then again, when have Albus and Gellert ever had healthy relationships? :P I can't really blame them for seeking solace and love (maybe? though not if you're Gellert haha) with someone else because nothing else is left to them. I can't help but wondering if they'd have been together or apart later even if Ariana hadn't died, and whether their differences would have made more of an impact. Even though I know mostly what happens in their story, you're still managing to make me question the different possibilities :P

Sian :)
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Review #12, by nott theodore Pragmatics

19th June 2016:
Hello again! And now I get to return to L'optimisme, too :D I've been away from this story for far too long.

The opening section was so interesting! I loved the way that Albus really reflected on his summer with Gellert there, and we got a real sense of what that time had meant to him, and how close he had probably come to joining Gellert on the journey that took him across Europe. The contrast between the opening sections and the later sections is great. At the start we get to see Albus's thoughts and nostalgia directed towards Gellert intensely, in comparison with the scenes when he is trying to live his life and get on with things as normal. Even then, Gellert is always there in his thoughts, but hidden from view. The description in the opening was lovely, too.

I found the reflection on Hogwarts as a home really interesting! I know in the books Harry thinks of Hogwarts as a home, and of him and Snape and Tom Riddle all finding a home there when they'd had no other, so the difference for Albus was intriguing. I think it makes sense that he wouldn't feel that it was entirely a home for him, maybe because he couldn't be truly happy anywhere after that horrible summer which changed his life forever? I think the line later about teaching giving him a purpose, rather than him wanting to teach, is really accurate for him.

The interview with Professor Black was great, too - I think you captured his character so well from what we know of him in the books. He's the sort of person who wouldn't want to be seen to beg and would always want to seem superior, and that came across really well. I liked Albus's honesty with him, and now we know he's going to begin at Hogwarts teaching, so I'm intrigued to see how actually having the purpose he wants so badly affects his thoughts towards Gellert, if it does at all.

The final scene, when Albus ran into Aberforth, made me want to give poor Albus a hug. I can completely understand Aberforth's animosity, though - if Albus lost everything that summer for someone he loved, then Aberforth lost everything too, because of someone he hated. Seeing his brother after that could only bring painful memories. I know that in later years they managed to reconcile a bit, but I think that encounter was a real reminder of what Albus had lost. Not only were most of his family dead, and Gellert far away, but his brother wanted nothing to do with him. You wrote it really powerfully.

Sian :)
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Review #13, 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 #14, 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 #15, 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 #16, 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!! ♥

~Deana~

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Review #17, 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.

Best,

Nick

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Review #18, 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! ♥

~Deana~

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Review #19, 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 read more :)
Have a nice day! xx

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Review #20, 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!


Molly

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 #21, 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 #22, 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 semi-omnipotent...so 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!

~Kaitlin

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 #23, by HappyMollyWeasley Sicily

29th November 2015:
Hi!

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.


Molly

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 #24, 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!

~Kaitlin

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 #25, 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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