Reading Reviews for L'optimisme
  
42 Reviews Found

Review #1, by HappyMollyWeasley Similes

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

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

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Review #2, by HappyMollyWeasley WŁrttemberg

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

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

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

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

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

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Review #3, by AlexFan WŁrttemberg

14th January 2015:
Personally, Gellert doesnít seem out of character to me, he sounds the same as he did in the previous chapters that were told in his point of view so I donít think you have anything to worry about there. He still has that tone of voice where it seems like heís making little jabs at Albus to try and get a reaction out of him with stuff like ďIíll probably go insane here and then youíll have that on your conscience.Ē (I canít believe Iím only noticing this now). I also like how you added yet another layer to Gellertís character by showing that this is a man that lives on being the center of attention.

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

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

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Review #4, by HappyMollyWeasley Bulgaria

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

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

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Review #5, by nott theodore Silence

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sian :)

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Review #6, by HappyMollyWeasley Words

5th January 2015:
Oh, what a sad chapter. Well written, but sad. I feel for Albus. It's not easy to forget about love, and to continue living without it. And yet he did.

His emotions is easy to connect with. I'm reminded of The Sorrows of Young Werther, in a good way, if you mean. Beautiful, sad and emotional. But Albus is stronger and more determined to keep living. He won't give up just because he lost his love.

Your writing is excellent. It's both poetic and easy to follow. The first part of the chapter felt a little long, even though it was beautiful. But then you added some dialogue and interacting between characters, and the pace became faster. A good mix, all in all.

I still can't give you much of critics, because your writing is great. I don't want to change anything. :-)

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

Yeah, it is pretty sad - it's a pretty rough deal for all the characters, in a way. And yeah, he turns out to be so strong, with trying to move on. Wow, that is such a compliment, thank you so much! (Though, haha, it's a pretty depressing story :P) We'll have to see how Albus goes, though ;)

Gah, thank you so much! I really struggle to keep things short, haha, and not rambly, and it's doubly hard with writing Albus, lol. I really liked introducing other characters - I thought it was about time, three chapters in! :P But no, I'm so glad you liked them! :)

Thank you so much for the wonderful review - it's so so lovely to get! I'm just so glad you're enjoying the story!

Aph xx


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Review #7, by HappyMollyWeasley Wales

30th December 2014:
Ok, so I couldn't stop reading, so here's an extra review "for free" ;-)

This chapter is just as beautiful, but in a different way. Gellert isn't as naive as Albus, or maybe it's how I interp them, knowing what became of him...

Thanks for introducing me to you great story! :-)

Author's Response: Haha, sorry about that! :P (But, seriously, thank you so much for coming back again - it's so, so great to see!)

I really love writing Gellert, simply because he's so different to Albus. He's not as naive - you're definitely right there! - and he's a lot more practical, rather than theoretical. There's also a bit more anger and passion with him - more of a conflict in his emotions - which I love writing, too.

Thank you so so much for reviewing again - it was a complete surprise, totally made my day! :)

Aph xx


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Review #8, by HappyMollyWeasley Silence

30th December 2014:
Hi!

This is HappyMollyWeasley here with your requested review. I know that I promised you some cc, but I can't find anything critical to say about this chapter at all. Maybe that no cherry trees can blossom as late as in August? ;-)

It is beautiful, touching and sad. It makes me feel melancholic, but yet you don't push the story over the limit to sentimentality. I love it! This is a ship I haven't read much, but I think it's great!

The part about his sisterís death is realistic. The tragedy of her death balances the romantic first part of the chapter, which benefits both parts of the text.

Just brilliant, all in all! :-)

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

Wow, thank you so so much! :) And I know about the cherry trees - but I really wanted one in the story, so magic cherry trees which blossom late? :P I dunno... (the fact that timewise, it doesn't quite work out annoys me a bit, tbh :P)

Ah, thank you! This is pretty much my OTP, so I'm so glad you like it! I really wanted to get the tone of wistful reminiscence, or something like that, without just sounding pathetic - it was hard, too! Had to stop myself from going overboard with it :P

Omigosh, that was such a hard scene for me to write, the duel, so I'm so happy you liked it! And yeah, it's an incredibly tragic moment - everything is sort of destroyed, and it's sort of everyone's fault. Poor Albus! :(

Thank you so much for the lovely review! :)

Aph xx


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Review #9, by Red_headed_juliet Malapropisms

29th December 2014:
I think my favorite quote is:
"You were everywhere: in the rustle of leaves behind me as I walked through the forest, in the silence before I fell asleep in bed, in the warmth of the fire as it danced in the grate and played across my wrist, in the glittering drops of frost on the grass in the mornings, each drop a miniature star..."

Your characterization of Dumbledore continues to be very wise and insightful while adding new dimensions to the character. He always seemed so perfect until the last book, and you've given us that balance between the two biased views, from his own POV.

I feel bad for Alain. I think I would've fallen for Dumbledore. And to actually get the shot, but end up short twice?! Gah. That really, really sucks.

I truly enjoy reading this. The language is provocative, in that you are required to feel. The flow is exquisite. The emphasize and transitions are accentuated with a wonderful vocubalary.

Congratulations on another beautiful chapter! I'm looking forward to more. (And now that I'm thinking about it, I miss Gellert.) Also, I'm of the belief your take on their inevitable stand-off will most likely become canon to me. *nod*

Until next time!

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Review #10, by BellaLestrange87 Words

22nd December 2014:
This opening section was the best of the three of them (not that the others were bad). Seriously, after I read the first two or so paragraphs of Chapter 1 I understood perfectly why you'd won Dobby for Best Quote. It's amazing how you can do this - come up with these amazing similies about the effectiveness of words and apply it to the chapter.

Albus is saying here that he and Gellert had really easy conversations. I'm remembering back to the first chapter, where Albus says that all their conversations were mostly silent. I wonder if there's either a) a hidden meaning here that I'm not getting here or b) they're miscommunicating and that's one of the things that led to their rift.

I love that you're talking about the time Albus spent working with Nicholas Flamel! It's not something I've seen before in fanfiction. (Even, of course, considering my rather limited reading list.) I'm rather looking forward to seeing what sort of personality Nicholas (and Perenelle) have.

Albus's feelings are, in my view, realistic. When I've been in a bad mood, or sad, being around people that are happy, or any sort of inconvenience at all puts me in a worse mood. I suppose it could be argued that the petals were an inconvenience because you have to brush them off your shoulder. Or a better explanation (and from my reading of the earlier first paragraph in this section a more accurate one) would be that the petal represent happiness, and Albus is depressed, miserable, and/or sad. So this is probably right after Ariana died and Gellert left. Interesting that Albus would come here, to France to work, right after that. I think it shows a certain side of his personality.

Yes, Albus is miserable. I don't think he wants a fresh start so much as a return to the old, when Ariana was alive and when he and Gellert were together. Especially when the party invitation surfaced. His reasoning for not wanting to go (and reveal his relationship with Gellert) are perfect: if he denied Euphemia and stated it was because he didn't like her, or was rude to her, he would be seen as rude, arrogant, and other unattractive adjectives that I can't think of right now. If he came out of the closet, there would, as he said, be a scandal, especially considering homosexuality, as far as I know, was only decriminalized (in Muggle Britain) in 1967, well after this chapter.

I can see a contrast. Albus talks about he always watches the sky and enjoys seeing it, and last chapter Gellert talked about how beautiful he thought Wales was (and discussed it at length, if I recall correctly). It's not really important, but I thought it interesting.

One thing I noticed - at the beginning of the conversation between Albus and Nicholas - where Albus is asked if he needs a sleeping potion - the first time Nicholas addresses Albus, it's in present tense, but the rest of the conversation is in past tense. It might be something you might want to look over again.

Ooh, Albus stated here that he specifically avoided the topic of immortality and eternal youth, then says that he feels that Nicholas and Perenelle were hiding something from him. My first thought here was that they were hiding the Elixir of Life from him, but then I realized that they were, at that time, probably over five hundred years old.

You might want to edit this sentence here - "Perhaps, I thought, drunk on damson wine and a spiced orange liqueur which had bubbled and fizzed even as I swallowed it, perhaps this could be turning point for me" and change it to "...perhaps this could be a turning point for me."

I just realized how long this review was, and I'm not embarrassed at all. I think when I enjoy something, I write about it. Or maybe not; I don't know.

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Review #11, by BellaLestrange87 Wales

21st December 2014:
I think I'm addicted to this story. I've only read two chapters and I'm rushing this review so I can read the next one.

I really enjoyed being able to see into Grindelwald's mind. He was a lot mellower than I expected: I thought he would be angry at Albus for shutting him away in Nurmengard and leaving him to rot. Then, of course, I realized that they loved each other. I can't imagine what it would have been like for them to have to duel each other in 1945, trying to hurt the one you love most.

The contrast between Albus and Gellert's opinion of Wales was excellent. Of course, Albus is stuck there, so he would resent it, while Gellert is a visitor and (as far as I know) could leave when he pleased. Even though he didn't want to, because Albus was there.

So Bathilda Bagshot is Gellert's aunt! (Or at least that's what I gathered from that section.) I wonder if maybe that's where they met, with Albus's love for history and learning and books in general?

I like how Gellert didn't really seem to believe what he told Albus, about conquering the world together. When I first read Deathly Hallows, I had this image in my head of how Grindelwald was a monster and generally unpleasant person. Of course, now I look back on that and realize that Dumbledore probably wouldn't have fallen for someone like that. And Gellert's telling Albus the conquering lines merely because he knows that that's what he wants to here, just to calm him down, makes it nicer, just because it shows their relationship isn't built solely on physical attraction.

Thinking about the letters, I believe the only possible place it could come from that would put Albus in such a bad mood is Azkaban - where his father is. From what I gathered when I read Deathly Hallows - and Percival Dumbledore's Harry Potter Wiki article, to freshen my memory - Albus didn't have a close relationship with his father when he was younger, but wished to apologize to him as he aged.

The only plausible explanation that I can come up with for why Dumbledore wouldn't be all that happy by his father's sending him letters is that he (Albus) blames him (Percival). If his father hadn't attacked the Muggles back then (in revenge), then Dumbledore wouldn't be stuck in Wales, unable to travel the world.

I remember you saying somewhere - whether it was on the forums or in a review response, I'm not sure - that you hated dialogue and tried to write as little of it as possible. Personally, I think the dialogue in this is amazing. It fits my inner idea of what these two - well Dumbledore specifically, since we never got to know Grindelwald in person canonically - would've been like in their younger days.

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Review #12, by moonbaby11 Wales

20th December 2014:
This is another beautifully written chapter. You have an amazing way with words. You know how to string them together to not only tell the story really well, but also in a way that almost seems poetic, if you know what I mean. I love your word choice and the way you form your sentences just... everything about the way that you write is amazing and I wish that some of your talent would rub off on me.

I was slightly confused by the chance of POV at first, but once I caught a few key things (like the mention of Germany being his home) I completely understood what was happening. I don't know if I'd suggest putting some sort of indication near the beginning that the POV is switching because it might throw off the story, but I think it is something that you should consider.

By the time I had finished reading the chapter, however, and looked back at the first one, it was clear that the two voices are very different from each other. It doesn't just sound as if you're switching out names, but it honestly feels as if the two chapters were written by two different people. There is a clear distinction, and I love it.

I absolutely adored the description of the kiss - I think that was my favourite moment from this chapter. You painted a very vivid picture, and all of the words just seemed to come together in a beautiful way. I know I've said it before, but I'm blown away by your writing and the style that this piece has.

Overall, I don't have anything negative to say about this. I want to apologize again for taking so long, and wish you good luck with the rest of this story!

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Review #13, by moonbaby11 Silence

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Review #14, by Unicorn_Charm Silence

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

xoxo Meg

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Review #15, by Red_headed_juliet WŁrttemberg

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

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

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

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

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

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

Descriptions:

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

Plot:

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

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

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

Style:

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

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

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

Until next time!

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Review #16, by BellaLestrange87 Silence

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

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

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

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

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

How do you write so well? How?

~Olivia

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Review #17, by marauderfan Bulgaria

13th December 2014:
Swap!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for the swap!! ♥

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Review #18, by AlexFan Similes

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

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

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

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

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

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Review #19, by Diogenissa Silence

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Karen (Diogenissa)

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Review #20, by marauderfan Words

25th November 2014:
Review swap! So glad to come back and catch up on this excellent story!

Haha, so the main issue I have when I read one of your stories is that I want to quote the ENTIRE thing back to you just because every word is so well placed and so perfect. I simply adore your writing style. Especially that beginning section in here, it's so philosophical! (Maybe that's partly because Dumbledore is the speaker there, but I've noticed in everything I've read by you that you just have a magical way with words no matter who the narrator is.) *bows to your skill*

Ooh, I love that you've focused on the time Albus spent working with Nicolas Flamel on Alchemy! It's well known that he did that, as it was such a huge part of the first book and everything, but I've never actually seen any fic that focuses on this point in both their careers. So it was neat to see. I also love the little details you pointed out, how this was the project he turned to in order to get over Gellert, but it only reminded him of Gellert because of the immortality aspect of the Philosophers Stone and of the Hallows. What a neat (although sad) connection.

I do think it very natural that Albus would try to avoid parties and fake socialising right after Gellert left him heartbroken, and to instead immerse himself in academic pursuits surrounded by other brilliant people. As at this point Albus is still not over Gellert, but fully intends to just move forward, turn his life around, reconcile with his brother, but the more he thinks about what he lost, the more he dedicates himself to his work. I imagine that the pain of the heartbreak was partly responsible for Albus' alchemy work being so productive during that time; I like how you set that up.

I really love the tone of this chapter; it's so gloomy, but bittersweet in parts. Despite the fact that Albus and Gellert are no longer together, Albus clearly still has some regard for him (and continues to, even after all they went through later on, the memory of it kind of lingers). The fact that the whole story is written almost like letters to one another, or at least thinking about one another, implies that those feelings did last in some form.

Another wonderful chapter! Thanks for the swap! :)

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Review #21, by purplepotter77 Silence

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Review #22, by AlexFan Bulgaria

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

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

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

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

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Review #23, by UnluckyStar57 Wales

23rd October 2014:
Hi hi hi! I have finally come to review chapter two of this lovely story. :)

I actually went ahead and reread the first chapter to make sure that I could give you a definite answer about the whole two-narrator thing, and here's the verdict: It works! There is a very clear distinction between Albus's chapter and Gellert's, and I would probably not mistake one for the other in future chapters. More on that later.

First: As always, beautiful writing. I love the way Gellert talks about the flora and fauna of the places he visits/wants to visit. He is fiery and passionate, and he has a very good eye for detail. He's probably had a lot of time to observe/reflect on his life in prison. This chapter was descriptive in a way that was different from Albus's chapter. They see different things in the same object/concept, and therein lies their fundamental difference. Hopefully you can continue to emphasize that in future chapters!

Ooh, the part about Gellert being at a loss for words is perfect, especially since Albus's chapter was all about words. Albus is obsessed with words and ideas; Gellert wants action. It's odd, then, that he has all of these crazy ideologies while Albus is logical. I think that Gellert doesn't use words to cage his ideologies in his mind, which is why he wants to act, to go somewhere new, and to move on when he gets bored. Albus uses words to frame his logic, and so he acts a bit more rationally. The way they are characterized really makes this comparison between the two stand out. It's really lovely. :)

I really couldn't find any mistakes in this chapter--it's positively flawless.

...Oooh! Wait! I have to talk about the kiss! Ugh, that kiss!! It happened, and it was beautiful. Like, teach me how to write a kissing scene, because I feel so awkward when I try. Your writing and the action within the words was just progressing towards the kiss, but when it happened, it took me by surprise--in a good way. I love the image of the intimacy in between Albus and Gellert--it proves that there were feelings in the mix, volatile, fledgling feelings that they end up dealing with for the rest of their lives. The kiss cemented their (rather sad) fate, mwahaha. You do love to torture your characters. :)

Amazing chapter, Laura! Please forgive me for being so late in reviewing it. :P

~Mallory

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Review #24, by marauderfan Wales

20th October 2014:
So glad to return to this story as I loved the first chapter so much! And before I start, I'm just going to offer you HUGE CONGRATULATIONS for winning the best quote Dobby!!!

I really like the POV switch. Gellert's voice is so different from Albus's, and the things he notices and remarks on are different as well. But as in the previous chapter, he's talking half to himself, half sort of across the distance to Albus, wherever he is at the time. I like that style.

This is really such an interesting portrayal of Gellert, as well. It's really not what I expected from him - I think I was expecting his narration to be less nostalgic, and boldly unapologetic, a bit twisted as he's been sitting in prison all these years. But I guess the years that have passed since all these things happened have softened the memories a little, so he looks on those days in a different way than he would have if he were narrating it as a younger man. There is bitterness there, but it's kind of masked, as nostalgia often tends to do. I loved the way you describe the rolling hills of Wales in this romantic way, and how the place really impacted him.

One of the things that stands out to me the most about your writing is just how beautiful it is. It flows so well, paints gorgeous pictures of feelings and moods. It all feels very profound, even when Gellert isn't talking about particularly profound things - I don't know how you do it, it's really a talent. Given the way you use words, I am not at all surprised that you won the best quote Dobby!

Hmm, the end makes me think it was Albus who killed Ariana. Gellert is maddenly unclear about that :p But I appreciated the anecdote about Ariana's death and the way it affected Gellert - as his POV on the issue is probably the one that's generally less thought about, but of course it had a huge impact on him as well as Albus.

Anyway, wow. Fantastic chapter and thanks so much for the swap!!

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Review #25, by newgenerationlover Bulgaria

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ok well until next time!

xoxo
Mary

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