Reading Reviews for L'optimisme
81 Reviews Found

Review #1, by TreacleTart Silence

25th March 2015:
Hi Laura,

I'm here for our review swap! I'm sorry it take me a few hours to get here, but as I said previously I was at work. Anyways, here I am now!

So I've purposely avoided reading this story up until now because I love your writing so much and I just haven't had the time to get wrapped up in reading a novel. I wanted to wait until I could really dedicate some time to reading each chapter and really digesting your words.

And your words! My goodness are your words beautiful in this one. The way they read is the same way it feels to skate on fresh ice. They glide through my mind so smoothly. It's almost like reading poetry.

The voice you've given Dumbledore in this is so authentic to what we see of him in the books. If he were having one last conversation with Gellert, I could imagine a scenario much like this occurring. I don't know what else to say really, except that it's perfection.

The way you describe the fight building up to the moment that Ariana is killed is spectacular. It never breaks the poetic, easy flow, but somehow I still feel my pulse rising and the suspense building. Even though I know what is about to happen, I'm still saddened when we finally get there.

This was a truly spectacular read! I always enjoy your work, but this one was probably my favorite thus far. I will definitely be reading the rest of it as time allows!

Thanks for agreeing to the swap!


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Review #2, by Red_headed_juliet Pragmatics

21st March 2015:
I just noticed how all of the chapter titles are different for each of them. I think that goes to say allot about their respective personalities. Albus the romantic and gellert, the realist. I love the entire dichotomy you've created with such beautifully flawed characters. I can't wait for the showdown, though I'm very curious to see which perspective we'll get it from.

I do love how poetic you've made him in these selections. The language is so rich and beautiful, I can't skim through, I have to go slowly so that I don't miss anything. If I can't sit down and give my full attention, I can't read it. I do the same thing with old English. (That's a good thing, to me...)

I really like the idea of him not originally wanting to teach. I think it makes a lot of sense with everything we found out about his avoiding powerful positions.

I can't wait to read more!

Author's Response: Hi there! Thank you so much for stopping by again - I'm so happy to know you're still enjoying this! :)

Yeah, they each have their own theme for chapters titles :) I always have themes for chapter titles - it's a habit I can't seem to kick, haha, so I'm so glad you like it! And yeah, it is pretty indicative of their personalities - I tried to adjust the themes to each of them as much as I could without losing them from the overall sense. The showdown! Um, it's a long way off, I'm afraid, haha, and I'm not really sure either, at the moment. Sorry!

Thank you so much! I try to keep as closely to his voice as is possible - especially for Albus - because it's so him, you know? Like, it would be wrong to move too far away from it. I'm so glad you like it, though - I know it's a fairly strong voice in this story.

Thank you! :) I really wanted to avoid the whole 'Hogwarts is my home' thing, a la Harry and Riddle, so I tried to turn that on its head as much as I could :P It's both power, but also a genuine reluctance, I think. He still thinks he's meant for more than that, but it's something of a cage he can put himself in to keep himself from power, if that makes sense ;)

Thank you so so much for the lovely review, and I'm so glad you're excited for the next chapter! :)

Aph xx

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Review #3, by dirtydeedsdonedirtcheap Switzerland

18th March 2015:
Have you ever wondered, up in your tower as you wear away at yourself day by day, what it would be like to drink love Ė to taste passion and lust, longing and adoration, from the very first, sweet trickles of it, to the final blare of the trumpets before it crumbles into nothing?

I love this. Favorite part by far. It stopped me for a second and then I came back to it after I finished the entire chapter. So powerful. To drink love. I think when you are in love and so swept by it that yes, you're sort of 'drinking' it in a way but Albus and Gellert didn't get to experience love fully so they question love. They contemplate love. They try to find love in other places because they cannot find each other again. That's so sad.

Author's Response: Hey there again! :) Thank you so so much for all the reviews in total - I can't believe you went through the entire thing so quickly! I'm so amazed and so flattered! :)

Yeah, I loved writing that whole scene, tbh - it was so much fun! It's very much a literal metaphor, in a way, because it's a literal drink they have, but it's sort of a metaphor at the same time - more for Gellert than Albus, but now you mention it, it works well enough for both of them ;) And yeah, they both want it, but don't necessarily know how to get it or where to find it, and each other is not always an option for them, when really, that's the answer. It's pretty sad, definitely! :)

Thank you so much for the lovely review! :)

Aph xx

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Review #4, by crestwood Switzerland

14th March 2015:
Hi again!

I am so glad that the concept of this chapter is color. I can kind of talk about color palettes in film for days on end so I suspect this will be equally interesting. I can't imagine not seeing anything but forms of grey. That alone sounds like gradual torture to me. I am obsessed with the idea of the present fading even as it is happening.

I imagine Gellert's views would not exactly fit into the world that existed while Voldemort had fallen from power. I think that his prison must be much better than Azkaban would have been, at least. I do not think that he ever could have been neutral in any sense of the word. Gellert was always a singularly extreme person.

This is possibly the saddest thing that has happened so far in this story. Gellert scrambling to the window to get a single glimpse at the sunrise just for the opportunity to see just the smallest amount of color. The image of it being 'like ink onto a faded painting' was just the most beautiful of descriptions. Practically an immediately vivid mental image waiting to happen.

Your Gellert is certainly more fanciful than I would have suspected. (You've permanently altered my idea of him and everything he represented) I wonder where the thoughts that he has come from. It's difficult to imagine that these thoughts could come from anyone other than the man himself, they're so intrinsically tied to what I now believe of him. Of course, there's the issue of his non-existence to worry about, but I do find myself constantly forgetting--or maybe purposely omitting that fact from my conscious thought, suspension of belief and all that--and a part of me believes that any sufficiently fully formed character does become real through the imaginations of those who experience them. Which then raises the question: what is real? Are our thoughts real? Do they exist? Because, if so; if my thoughts exist, then Gellert Grindelwald is a part of my reality now and will always be. And, as such, you have drastically changed my reality and honestly, what more could a writer ask for?

I love the thought of Gellert being neither St. George nor the beautiful damsel, but the dragon. Not only because it is quite a cool nickname, but because it is fitting. He, perhaps, fits the part all too perfectly, in fact. As if all he ever was was an obstacle on Albus' way to greatness.

I think I would have liked this house of rebels. I have such a fascination with the outcasts of society and the places at which they gather. I tend to visit such places and just observe. Not to pass judgment, as most would, but to learn. I always find that the stranger most would find a group of people, the more interesting I typically will find them.

The scene with Mathaus was expertly written. It's so easy to feel what your characters are feeling. I could live through these people for as long as you could continue writing them.

I would read a lot of words about the similarities and differences between the methods and goals of Gellert and Voldemort. I can only imagine how intriguing the contrasts between the two would be. I have always wanted to read an account of Gellert's rise to power more than anything. It seems as though you are headed in a direction that will finally give me a satisfactory answer to my questions. I can only wait and see with bated breath. Excellent chapter, again. Going to find two other things to review now :)

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Review #5, by crestwood Pragmatics

14th March 2015:
Hi, back again!

The subtle differences between Albus and Gellert's voices are really fun to pick apart.

What the first paragraph of this chapter proved to me was that even your metaphors have better descriptions than anything I write. I am really rooting for your OF you're working on to take off because I want more people to see this kind of writing. Fan fiction may attract a niche audience, but it's shame that people do not make exception for your writing. If only they knew what they were missing out on, I suppose. I, for one, can not wait to find you in my local bookstore. And yes, I say local, although you live nowhere near me. You are nothing but a world class talent and deserve the wide reaching fanbase of one. But, back to the story at hand.

I love the musings of these characters. I want to know them and just pick their brains about the various things they have to say about life. No doubt we could all learn something from either of the two men. My favorite part of this story is just reading where their minds will take us.

I suspect that Gellert would have succeeded in his plans if he could have convinced Albus to go forth with everything. I have almost no doubt in my mind of it. If the three way duel had never happened, I don't think that Albus could have resisted the allure of Gellert. He was obviously so very in love with him and completely under his influence. You write this fact better than anything. Pure, unadulterated love shines through your words. It astounds me that you don't think of yourself as much of a romance writer because you are surely amazing when it comes to writing about love.

It's interesting that Albus doesn't refer to Hogwarts as home--as so many people do in canon--and because of Gellert. (It's always because of Gellert, isn't it?)

It's funny to think that Albus, of all people, would be nervous about an interview at Hogwarts. I'd say that he's sort of a shoe-in for the job.

This Professor Black sounds fun. I tend to rather like people with a bit of a dramatic flair. Birds of a feather flock together and all that.

It's strange reading about Albus on this side of the desk. This interview is quite an entertaining one. I agree that I'd think Albus had some sort of ulterior motive to wanting the job. He seems much too young, much too accomplished.

The run in with Aberforth was particularly tense. The fact that he seems to be so poor actually puts things into perspective. His brother is out doing so well for himself and he is dressed in clothes that are ragged at the edges. Most would not walk away from said brother as he did. But Aberforth was never one to rely upon Albus.

The last line in all of these chapters is always so great. I'm obsessed with this story and I really can't wait until the next chapter is here. For now, I'll find some other things to finish our swap with!

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Review #6, by crestwood Hungary

14th March 2015:
Hi Laura! Finally getting around to your reviews. Hoping I can get all five done tonight.

You have the best descriptions of anyone. Like, anyone. You can make anything interesting to hear about. The way you talk about the wolves--detailing their howls, their movements, their nature--it'd pull anyone in.

And then comparing Gellert to them is great because I kind of see him as this powerful, graceful thing in his youth. There's nothing more alluring than my mental image of him and this story just continuously feeds into that. I love the POV of prisoner Gellert though. There's something so weathered about his thoughts by this time as if he's done a great deal more than thinking than most people ever do.

The way you turn phrases is so distinctive. We all use words slightly differently, but you just take words and elevate higher than anyone else. I don't think I'd realized the extent to which one can utilize words until I began reading your work. Every single word is carefully cultivated and manipulated and I'll eventually run out of words to describe this.

I'm interested in Gellert's reading of Albus as an almost frail, cowardly person. Most would say that he was especially brave, but Gellert just taunts him and calls him a fox in chains. (more comparisons to animals!!) I love this idea of a false front put on my Albus where he is hiding from his own guilt like wolves closing in on his weakness. This deconstruction of his character is excellent on so many levels.

I am so excited to find out about Gellert's mother! He doesn't talk much about her, it doesn't seem. This was so poignant - "no one is ever more desperate for salvation than a dying man."

It's quite sad that he regards himself beyond redemption. Even if true, it's still a sad thing for one to think of oneself.

The idea that Gellert's mother abandoned him is one that immediately makes sense to me. I feel that could have echoed on into what he become. He doesn't seem to have forgiven her much for it, even in his old age.

Also, Gellert as a tragic king!!! I love it. Your references are always spot on. Every time.

I wonder how you manage to make me visualize as much as you do. I always an idea in my mind of the setting of anything I read, but you literally craft it before me eyes. My own struggles with this are only highlighted by how effortless you make it all seem. This is not the first time I have wished I could write like you.

I'm feeling bad for Gellert because of this scene with his half-sister. The way she looks at him alone is heartbreaking. The way these people are treating Gellert is almost understandable but for the fact that he could not help being born. This is the backstory I would have expected, I think. Quite a horrid one, but one I would have expected. Only you could make me feel sorry for a person like him.

Honestly I think I would have run back to Germany in this situation, but Gellert is almost certainly a braver man than I. I find it curious that he describes his mental picture of his mother as 'white space.'

I love the idea of Gellert being nervous. Just the idea that he feels things like nerves; that this moment had some effect on him. In my head, this story has built him up and torn him down many times over.

Gellert's mother is creepy in this way that I cannot describe. She's especially clear in my mind. I can almost smell the room she's in, in fact.

I understand Gellert's mother's insistence that she is sorry, but something about it seems hollow. Maybe I feel it is just too little too late? I suppose she was in a bad situation because what chance would there be that her son would have even responded if she had ever attempted to contact him before?

I see that he doesn't condemn her and I'm glad that he found forgiveness from somewhere inside of him. I suppose when someone is dying, there's not much reason not to give them that.

I feel so much for Gellert as he describes the companionship he craves. The last line hit me really hard. Once again, you really are such an incredible writer.

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Review #7, by dirtydeedsdonedirtcheap Pragmatics

13th March 2015:
but I would have done almost anything you asked as long as you would continue lying next to me,

This is what I meant in my other review talking about what ifís. Albus was so knee deep in love he would have done anything Gellert wanted him too. They would have destroyed everything together.

Love is powerful. It makes you do crazy things.

I never thought about Albus being overqualified to teach but itís true. The scene was definitely different and eye opening when he went to go interview for the position. It explained something Iíve never quite given a second thought of.

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

Albus is definitely very, very deeply in love and very easily affected by Gellert, I think. And yeah, they would have been absolutely unstoppable together - though I dunno if they'd have destroyed everything... it depends on whether or not Albus could have influenced Gellert in turn ;) But yeah, there would have have been no stopping them at all, whatever they did.

It definitely, definitely does! Plus, it's fun to see Albus as fallible :P

You know, I never really thought about it either, but when I came to planning the chapter and planning that bit, it sort of became very obvious to me that he was. I've seen other people get round this problem in different ways, but I liked the idea that he was too good for Hogwarts more. It sort of fits in better with his whole 'keeping myself out of trouble' thing he mentions in canon with Hogwarts.

Thank you so much for the lovely review! :)

Aph xx

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Review #8, by dirtydeedsdonedirtcheap Hungary

13th March 2015:
My mother smiled at me as I entered, though it was not a kind smile, nothing tender in it at all. I suspect she saved that for her true children, leaving none of it to spare for me.

I feelÖpity. Because for one I understand that moment he went through. Meeting his mother. I went through something similar and I will admit the chapter shook me a little bit because I had the same reaction afterwards. He longed for Albus, felt lonely, and foolish for it. I longed for my ex-boyfriend and sometimes I still do. Not as a lover but as my companion or my friend.

What are you doing to me here? I might have to stop reading soon. Itís just very emotional and relateable.

Author's Response: Hi again! :)

Oh no, I'm so sorry! It's such a horrible thing to have happen - I hope you're okay! *hug* But yeah, it is sad - I knew that I didn't want his family situation to be perfect, though, and with his name it was just too good an idea to pass up, really :P I think when people are lonely, you do want someone who knows you, who understands you, even if not the situation, so that you don't really have to explain. It's a very human thing, I think.

Gah, sorry! It's not intentional! And no, don't go! :( ;)

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

Aph xx

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Review #9, by dirtydeedsdonedirtcheap Malapropisms

13th March 2015:
By this rule, I must be a fool more times over than I can count, and the shame is all mine, tricking myself as I am. It is no more than I deserve, having been blinded by myself, blinded by my own pride and stubbornness and self-belief, and I like to think I have long accepted that it is simply a part of me.

By this rule I am a fool and will always be one.

I canít help it even when I see it even when I feel itÖI just cannot.

It was familiar, and so easy, and in the dark room his curls splayed over my pillow, loose and wild, the wrong name choking in my throat even as he gasped out mine.

Itís funny, well not really, how we can love someone so hard (even if they are not good for us) and try to find their doppleganger, their twin, and hope we see what we see in the one we really love in them. Essentially, Alain is his rebound. A poor one. Iíve been there. Iíve done that.

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

Yeah, it's a very human thing, I think, and human things are kinda almost impossible to actually avoid, you know? Even when you know you do it, even when you know you shouldn't, it's so innate, it's impossible.

I really wanted to sort of show that it's often so difficult to move on when you find someone so similar, but not quite the same - like a doppelganger - because it just highlights the differences, you know? And that's all Alain does for Albus, really. Alain is very much a rebound - a long one, and definitely a bad one - but it's just really an unfortunate situation for everybody involved. It's so hard! :(

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

Aph xx

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Review #10, by dirtydeedsdonedirtcheap WŁrttemberg

13th March 2015:
To truly change a nation, to forge a future and send a continent, even a world, hurtling down the road to progression and freedom from oppression, one has to change the will of the people, and the will of the people is not so easily persuaded as the mind of a single man.

Itís a little unsettling to think of the what ifís because if they had never separated but instead loved each other and gone off together for the Hallows I wonder what destruction the two of them would have caused. Do you think Albus would have sided with Gellert and just done as he had done? They were both childish young men and had dreams and ideas and power. Albus still had all of that but he changed once his sister died. So, if that didnít happen I think he would have joined Gellert in this Ďchange the worldí and Ďdominationí thing he had going. Albus Dumbledore could have been as dangerous as Lord Voldemort. The two of them together could have been either the best or worse thing to happen to the world.

But then again Albus isnít like Gellert in the sense heís not a politican. Politicans areÖhow do I put this nicelyÖuntrustworthy and slimey people (most of them letís be real).

Author's Response: Hey there again! :) Thank you so much for stopping by again - I can't believe you've gone through so much of this so quickly, it's amazing! :)

Yeah, it's definitely a very nervous thought, haha! I don't really know... I think they would have ended up going off together and perhaps following a similar course, maybe, though if Gellert listened/was influenced by Albus, it might have been better? It's definitely an interesting question to think about - they're a very volatile and powerful combination, I think. Gellert isn't quite as domineering as he thinks he is, though :P But yes, they could have been anywhere from best to worst, that's for sure! ;)

Albus is far less of a politician, I think, and he's much more cautious, which makes him a bit better. He's still political, though, and still radical, just he has less passion about it, in a way, I think. But god yes, so many politicians are so awful... all out for themselves and nothing else. Ugh :P

Thank you so much for the lovely review! :)

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Review #11, by dirtydeedsdonedirtcheap Similes

13th March 2015:
What can mere denial do, in the face of such an ending?

Iím always in denial. Sssh, let me still stay there for awhile.

I promised myself I would be happy at Christmas, but the truth about happiness is that you can promise it to yourself as many times as you wish, it will not necessarily do anything.

Too true Albus, too true. You know what really bugs me? I watch a lot of YouTube videos, talk shows, read a lot of books for my job and what I cannot stand is this sudden movement where everyone thinks they are a preacher or this beacon of hope and they have decided theyíve figured out life and their advice to all these kids who are struggling with depression or anyone: oh, just wake up and be happy.

Itís not that simple.

But they think it is.

Sorry, Iím ranting. His rambles have me rambling.

There was no need for a spectacle; after all, I had been in love with you for years then, even if I had not thought of it until that moment.

Ugh. Itís so heartbreaking. They were in love and they never got their time together. Their real chance to be together out in the world and experience life and follow their dreamsótogether. Itís also heartbreaking they ended up alone but two of the most powerful wizards with such a connection and past, you canít really expect them to move on and love someone else. I think in general love is hard for them. I donít know why but I do.

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

Haha, no worries, you can stay there ;) Denial is one of those things which is simultaneously good and bad, you know? So nice, but not always the best thing for us.

Yes, that always bugs me too! It's like they think you can make yourself happy by certain things - 'oh, you just need to be more relaxed', 'stop making yourself sad'. It doesn't really work like that - emotions aren't that logical or flexible, or under our control in quite that way.

Haha, don't apologise - it's fine! ;) Rambling in response to rambling is perfectly allowable.

Sorry! :P But yeah, it's desperately sad that it never happened, and maybe in a way it almost couldn't happen for them, or shouldn't happen - but it means unhappiness, which is kinda harsh for them. And connections like that don't just go, either - I definitely don't think it's easy for them, it's not quite so simple for them as for other people.

Thank you so much for the lovely review! :)

Aph xx

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Review #12, by dirtydeedsdonedirtcheap Bulgaria

13th March 2015:
Anger, hot and strong, burns through my veins, and I can only think that the fire down below is a reflection of my soul. There is no pity, no mercy; only their unavoidable destiny, creeping ever closer.

No lie he creeps me out a little bit. I donít know why! I just feel this dark soul about him and it unsettles me.

Some days, Albus, I think I hate you. Others, I know that I do.

I was going to pick out another sentence before this but I couldnít stop contemplating this in my mind. Some days, I think I hate you. Yeah, I get it. Weíve all been there. At least, I have. I realize they didnít go through a normal Ďbreak-up,í if thatís what weíre going to call it because they werenít necessary together. They were always hidden, not entirely straight forward to the world and themselves about their feelings but it still hurts. It was still real.

I would, I knew then, lead the world into a new age, raise the revolution which would reform the world, reform order and society.

Heís almost a mad man, almost. In reality heís childish. He thinks he could do all these things and would have all this power and everything would fall into place. They were both just not living in reality and I guess once reality hit (for Albus it came with his sisterís death) but did reality ever hit Gellert? I donít know. I donít think so.

Perhaps I should have thought of that then, that as much as I might have been the dawn, you were the sunset.


Author's Response: Hi again! :) Thank you so much for coming back to this! It means so much!

Haha, don't worry about it - he is a little creepy at times. A little too zealous. And angry. Very angry. I liked bringing out a first glimpse at perhaps a darker side of him than in previous chapters, though; it was an interesting different side to explore.

I think, in a way, the secrecy almost makes it hurt more, because you can't really tell people you're hurt, you know? You can't be sad and explain to people why and get sympathy and be comforted for it. You have to sort of try and heal on your own in silence - though it definitely wasn't a normal break-up in any way, and the relationship was very real for both of them, for sure! :)

One of the things which I love with this, with some of Gellert's more political-centric opinions, is the different ways people read it, you know? He is a bit mad and a bit childish, but it's a very zealous, revolutionary-type idea, wanting to change the world and believing it's possible. Albus is a lot more cautious than Gellert (and a lot less inclined to dramatics, in a way :P), so yeah, he gets a big dose of realism and steps away, but for Gellert, he still believes in it.

Thank you! :) I loved writing that line - I actually wrote that metaphor at the beginning of the chapter, haha, and kept it on the document all the time until I got to the part it was needed for :P

Thank you so so much for the wonderful review, again! :)

Aph xx

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Review #13, by Red_headed_juliet Hungary

12th March 2015:
Oh Gellert, I've missed you!

I don't have much to say about this, other than your language, plot, character development, and descriptions are all still the greatest things ever. Thank you for this beautiful story. I'm going to try and read the next chapter today as well.

Author's Response: Hey there - thanks so much for dropping by again! I'm so so glad you're still enjoying this! :)

Haha, so glad you missed Gellert - he seems particularly divisive in terms of opinion, so it's nice to see people like him :P

Gah, I really, really don't know what to say in response other than, thank you thank you thank you! This story is absolutely my baby at the moment, so I'm just so happy to see people enjoying it! :)

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

Aph xx

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Review #14, by dirtydeedsdonedirtcheap Words

11th March 2015:
If silence is the killer and the jester and the lover all in one, the joker in the deck, then words are the simple, lowly twos and threes.

I almost donít want to read on because I am jealous of your writing style and know I could never open a chapter quite like this, as great as you, or even be on your level.

Youíre making it hard out there for us fanfic writers.

You and I, that summer, we lived by words. They flew through the air between us, thick and fast, until they filled it completely, nothing left to breathe, and we sat there, laughing and exhausted.

I have to admit so far reading from his point of view is my favorite. I feel like thereís more magic to his thoughts and explanation. Not that I didnít enjoy chapter two (come on I was a gushing fool in my last review) but thereís something about Albus and his attention to detail. The way each word is carefully picked out and crafted in order to give us a sense of what he felt, what he is feeling, and what happened long ago.

The idea of socialising, of being expected to laugh and chat about inconsequential things and yet be the clever, witty man they had grown up with at school was suddenly abhorrent to me.

I can relate to this without a doubt. When I graduated high school I felt no connection to any of my friends. In fact by the time my senior year rolled around I didnít want to talk to most of them anymore. I pretended to be busy or that my mother wouldnít let me go out with them because in truth I was tired of them and we no longer had a common interest. Everyone was moving on to partying and these other things and I was still this same person. The quiet shy girl who liked to read for fun and was afraid of boys touching her.

I decided that since life was determined to simply march along no matter what I did or said or how much I refused to follow, I would continue on too, with or without you, as you wished. I decided I would not let you define my life, would not let that summer, tragic though it was, define my life.

That ending! What are you doing to me. I was so captured by the chapter and the imagery the end just pulled me with full force because I keptÖI knew the feeling but I couldnít quite place it. Heís heartbroken and that didnít get me until the end. I understood the pain and desire, the want, the need but it didnít dawn on me until the very end his pain. Itís not because of your lack of writing. Itís because it is something that I have pushed away for such a long time. I was in a long relationship that ended terribly and though I have forgotten him (so to speak) that tick of pain can still easily be remembered even though I have moved on and am in love with someone else. Wow. Your story brings up a lot of emotions and I canít help but feel for Albus. Itís a tragic love story but then at times it doesnít feel like a love story. It feels like something more.

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Review #15, by dirtydeedsdonedirtcheap Wales

11th March 2015:
Iím supposed to be cleaning my room or exercising but you know Iím here. Once again.
I have no regrets.

Once, we watched the sun set on top of a nearby hill and you spoke of capturing the heavens in a net, containing them in a single enchantment.

Every other sentence is breathtakingly beautiful.

Itís as if youíre making music.

I had expected confinement. What I had found was freedom.

Then, of course, barely a day later, I met you.

I donít know what it is but when I read ĎI met you,í I took a really deep breath and exhaled loudly because I feel as if Iím winded. Thereís just so much in those two sentences. Youíre taking me on a beautiful journey in his mind and his past.

I only ask one thing: do not ask me what happened that day. I will not tell you, I cannot tell you; it must remain unspoken for us to succeed.

First, youíve convinced me. I am an official Albus/Gellert shipper. I need more, now.

Second, I canít help but feeling heís very selfish but maybe they both are in their childish dreams and fantasies. I feel like as I read this chapter it had this air of ĎI am better. I can do better.í I donít know what it was and then to request that he never ask him about what happened that day. Doomed. They were doomed since day one because their love was forbidden and then after that tragic day it was just unspoken, they could not be together.

I canít wait to read what happens next. I feel like the story is challenging to read because it is very emotional. I am stuck between wanting to cry at some of the sentences and feeling anger at others. The anger is fleeting but the sense of sadness is always there.

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Review #16, by randomwriter Silence

7th March 2015:
Laura! I'm so sorry about the delay, and that too, after the wonderful review you left me! I had this half typed out the other day, when chrome just crashed on my laptop, and I was sort of demotivated. I did not forget, though. And I'll make it up to you.

As for this, oh gosh. Where do I start? This has been on my list for a long, long time, but I regret not having read this sooner. You deserve all the praise you've gotten for this. It's just one of the most beautiful things I've ever had the pleasure of reading, and I'm only in chapter one!

Your opening section was so lovely. It was so insightful. I just read that one section over and over again, and each time I did, I found something new at marvel at. It was simple, in terms of observation, but it was true. Every word was so very true. It really got me thinking, and I'm still thinking about that. I'm sure it's something I'll come back to in the future. Not just for that bit, of course. The whole chapter was great, but that part, in particular, stayed with me.

The rest of your chapter was no less, in all honesty. And I'm finding it difficult to go with this review, because words cannot do justice to how amazing it is.

But anyway, Albus/Gellert is a pairing I love, thanks to teh's story. But it is also not a pairing I read often. You made me fall in love with them even more. I found myself questioning why I haven't been more into them, really. I love how you wrote Albus' love for Gellert. It was so raw, but so pure. The descriptions of how they spent their mornings, lying in each other's arms, those stolen moments, the passion, it all came through so well. I really enjoyed it. At the same time, it made me so upset, that a love as beautiful as theirs is doomed to burn. If not for Ariana's death, maybe their future would have been different, but alas.

Another thing that really stood out was your characterisation of Albus Dumbledore (and everyone else in whatever capacity you wrote them). He's one of the characters that really scare me. I'm always worried that I'll mess something up. But you wrote him perfectly. It's important to note that at that age, he hasn't seen the enough of the world or gathered enough wisdom to be the way we see him in the books. And you nailed it. I can see your version of Dumbledore growing up to be the one we are familiar with. His speech pattern is spot on, his reflective tone is indicative of it, and his ideas are believably his-like I can see him thinking that way (if that makes sense. Forgive me, it's quite late here :p).

The battle scene was so well done. Another thing I'm apprehensive about writing, apart from Dumbledore, is a battle scene., But you handles it so well. It wasn't too rushed or chaotic, and it wasn't slow and unnecessarily dragged out. I think you did a great job of delivering the intensity of the situation, especially in terms of how you gave us great clarity into Dumbledore's mindset at that point. He really isn't thinking straight. He's trying to reason it out. But he hasn't comprehended a possibility where things go out of control and backfire, like they did. His grief for Ariana was evident. His shock, even more so. Also, I've never felt as if he would have cried at her death, but I've always believed tht it affected him deeply. So whatever you've said really resonated with my headcanon over there.

Your writing flows so well. There's this certain quality to it that makes it flow like poetry, almost. It speaks volumes about your talent. The word choices are perfect, the phrasing just makes me want to scream out at wonder and joy and just... of god, I can't tell you how amazing this was.

I also really love the voice. First person, and written as if Albus is talking to Gellert. I LOVE this style of writing, and I really think it suit the piece. You've managed to bring out a lot of his emotions through his dialogue through this style... the tenderness, the fondness, tones of regret. It's just beautiful.

Your descriptions, as usual, are amazing. You've blown my mind with your writing here. Everything is so vivid. I could feel the summer heat, or the intensity of battle. I loved how you included loads of details in this. I can't fault you anywhere, Laura. This was so great! As I mentioned, I really loved the flow of this piece. It was easy to read. The descriptions helped move it along, and it sort of just.. sailed smoothly? If that makes sense. (Again, it's late. Forgive me :p)

(And I'm rushing through this because I don't have too many characters left, oops. Sorry about this!)

I'm going to take you back to your own story for a second, Laura. Silence holds a great deal of power, yes. But on this medium, words hold all the power. Thank you for showing me that, for reminding me about the sort of hold words can have over you. I was in a trance while I was reading this. It's so gorgeous. I'm glad that there's a lot left for me to read. I loved this. I'm favouriting it. It's so lovely, and unique and I've really been fighting a losing battle from the moment I started writing this review because words, as powerful as they may be, can't do justice here. I hope I have managed to convery how much I loved this, and what a great writer I think you are. As you told me, I will tell you: If I miss out on something you've put up, I'm really going to be missing out.

Thanks for doing this swap, Laura. There is so much more I wish I could say, but space is limited. Basically, you've done a lot of things right, and I loved it! Great job ♥

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Review #17, by nott theodore Words

6th March 2015:
Hi Laura! I'm back (and finally not for a review swap :P) and this chapter was like the perfect one for me to come back to, because it was set in France and I was able to picture so many of the places that are mentioned here after seeing them in real life and that was really cool!

Other than squeeing over the fact that this chapter is set in France, I really don't know where to start with this review. Could you teach me how to write? Please? Pretty please? *hands over chocolate* I want your talents with forming a narrative like this and creating beautiful descriptions!

The opening section, like all of your writing, was stunning. I don't know how you manage to come up with such powerful similes and metaphors to highlight the importance and potency of language (and you know that I'll never disagree with something like that) but it was so amazing to read and it really felt like it was something that would come from Albus's mind, realising how much of an impact words can have on a person - both on the recipient and the speaker.

I love the way that, while all of this story (so far, at least) is a reflection by Albus and Gellert on their past and their feelings for each other, we're moving forward in time from where they began and it's not exactly a love story - not a very happy one, anyway :P

It's brilliant that you included Albus's work with Nicolas Flamel in this chapter! I love the way that this story is going to so many different countries and locations and exploring them, but the reasons for them being in those places are so well thought out as well. This seems to me to take place just after Gellert's left and Ariana's died, and so Albus is at a loss for what to do, and I can imagine him going somewhere like France, away from the memories that his home holds, and studying with someone like Flamel. It's a tiny thing, but I loved the fact that he was only an assistant here - although he's proven he has a brilliant mind, he still isn't on a par with someone the age of Nicolas, who has so much experience and knowledge, and the friendship that is talked about later in Albus's life hasn't grown yet.

The way that Albus talked about the study of Alchemy was great as well - I loved the duality of the subject, the way that it was certain and uncertain at the same time. I really like to think that his work with Flamel is what really helped Albus make his name as an intellectual in the wizarding world.

The fact that he tries to absorb himself in his studies but ignores the concept of immortality that Alchemy offers is really interesting - he's deliberately shying away now from things that remind him of Gellert and the time that they spent together, and the plans that they had. Part of me thinks that he's a little ashamed already of his greed for immortality and power, but I think the bigger part is still regret and sadness over what he's lost.

The descriptions of France were just so beautiful, particularly the views of the Loire and the different cities that were mentioned too - Paris and Marseilles especially. I loved the detail that you included with the turn of the century and the celebrations and hope that the new century brought, and the way that you used those enormous cities to evoke the idea of excitement and wonder. It contrasted really well with the misery that Albus was feeling here, and the way that he simply didn't want to be a part of those celebrations because he didn't feel that he had anything to celebrate. It fits so well with his state of mind.

I really liked the way that you wrote about the parties that his friends were having back at home without him - they felt detached from Albus's life, something completely different, and almost in another world to his own at this point. The parties seemed really funny too, though (I could picture the events so well!). I also really liked the panic that the mention of Euphemia caused Albus, which ties in with the fact that nobody knew about his past with Gellert and it was a big secret. It's a great way to touch on the fact that the prejudices and discrimination were ingrained in wizarding society at this point, too, and the way that Albus felt having to deal with that.

Towards the end of this chapter, I definitely got the sense that Albus is deliberately doing what he can to avoid thinking of Gellert and even trying to forget him, which makes perfect sense to me. People don't want to hurt and be in pain if they can move on in a way, and so the fact that he could celebrate and enjoy the sights and beauty of the different places in France is a sign that Albus has been somewhat successful in trying to put the memories of him and Gellert behind him. At the same time, I'm very intrigued about the mention of another meeting as lovers, and I wonder when that will occur in the story and the timeline that we know existed for the two of them.

This was yet another fantastic chapter, Laura! I loved it!

Sian :)

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Review #18, by Flower n Prongs Silence

6th March 2015:
Stopping by to leave a BvB review.

I have come back to HPFF relatively recently and have heard about L'optimisme, so I added it to my growing reading list but hadn't gotten around to it yet. I am glad that I started it, because this is one of the most amazing introductions I have read in a long time.

Since we see him so much in canon yet never really get into his head, I find that Albus is one of the characters that most fan fiction writers (myself included) have a hard time writing believably. You clearly do not have that problem. The fact that the impacts and importance of silence runs through this chapter makes it seem so fitting. It is a bit of an intellectual idea and wouldn't work for a lot of characters, but the fact that you chose it for Albus is perfect and illustrates his thought process so well.

I also like the way you portrayed Albus/Gellert as an actual relationship, rather than a doomed attraction on Albus's part. For some reason I had always thought of it like the latter, but this has so much potential for angst on both Albus and Gellert's parts as you progress to 1945 (or perhaps beyond). Ever since DH I have been facinated by the idea of the events that unfolded in 1899 and what happened leading up to 1945, so to see somebody tackling it so well is wonderful.

I see why this story has gotten so much praise! This is getting bamped to the top of my reading list.

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

It completely blows me away to hear that people have heard about this, let alone wanted to read it randomly, so thank you so much for that! :) I'm so so glad people are excited about reading this, and enjoy this, so I'm just so grateful for that!

Albus was such an intimidating prospect at the beginning - the idea of it was so scary - but I read over the books, especially DH, and tried to unwind him, in a way. I really wanted silence and words to be a theme in it, with the idea of things unsaid and so on, because it works so well for their whole relationship, so I'm so glad you like it! :)

Yeah, I always liked the idea of it being an actual relationship, rather than simply a one-sided attraction (potential for more angst is always good! :P), so I kinda always wanted to go that way with it rather than any other. Yeah, I'm definitely going to go up to 1945, and I've played around with the idea of going further, but I'm not sure if I will or not. I think it might get a bit too long if I do that :P

Thank you so so much for everything you've said - it's amazingly flattering, and really so lovely to hear, so thank you so much! :)

Aph xx

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Review #19, by dirtydeedsdonedirtcheap Silence

6th March 2015:
In honor of the new LGBTQ genre I decided to read this. I have never read an Albus story before. So let's see how this goes!

The inflections used, the placement of stresses, the tone in which the words are stated: all these can change the meaning of something completely, from one thing to another. Expression of words changes interpretations, changes beliefs.

I swoon over your writing style. What a great opening chapter. Iím intrigued. Nothing has really happened yet but I need to sit back momentarily and just soak in your first paragraph.

Words really are the most powerful tool in the world. I was talking to my friend about this last night actually. I think as writers we appreciate the art and the impact of words more than others. I think itís hard for some to realize just what the position or the pairing of certain words how they can speak to your soul, pierce your heart or make you weep from an overload of emotion.

There is nothing quite so terrifying as a pause, only a secondís worth of silence.

Yes! I agree wholeheartedly.

Perhaps, if we had spoken aloud more often, things would have been different.

Youíve won me over completely. I need to know more.

I would wake first, my arm around your waist, your head pillowed on my shoulder or tucked into my neck. If I tried to pull away, or even simply to move, you would dig your fingers into my skin and refuse to let me go

Uh. Your description. Itís killing me itís just that good and itís so relateable. Line after line I find myself going, ďYES! IíVE BEEN THERE TOO! I UNDERSTAND YOUR FEELING, THE EMOTIONS, THAT KIND OF LOVE!Ē

In return, I kissed the top of your head, murmuring Ďgood morningí into your hair.

I am essentially Albus Dumbledore because thatís how I am with my boyfriend.

Oh wow. Just the entire thing is wow. I feel like thereís nothing else left to say except that chapter was beautiful. Every word. Every sentence. Just beyond anything I could ever imagine.

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Review #20, by AlexFan Malapropisms

28th February 2015:
I think Albus is definitely growing as a character. He used to be this boy who was hopelessly in love and blinded to the negative aspects of Gellertís character to someone who has acknowledged the things that he did when he was young, and the things that heís felt, and that he still feels those things but he knows better now. I feel like this is around the time when Albus starts growing into the character that we see in the book, for me at least, I donít know about anyone else.

I like how Albus has come to accept that he still has feelings for Gellert at this point in the story but that he shouldnít let what he feels get in the way of whatís right. And I like that he knows that there might come a day when he can move on from Gellert but that day is not today. But at the same time, it kind of feels like Albus keeps moving because heís trying to run away from his past, even after all of these years and him going back to England seems to be him finally coming to terms with everything thatís happened.

I thought the flow and pace of the chapters, exactly what was needed to show Albus moving on with his life in a sense. And Iím sorry for taking so long with this review, Iíve been really busy lately and Iíve finally got enough time to do basic things as well as leave reviews.

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

I'm so bad at developing characters, and this is really my first long stint at doing it, especially over such a long story, so I'm so glad you think it's going alright! He was definitely a lot more hopeless at the beginning, and a lot more naive about the consequences of emotions, I think, and how long and deep they can go.

I really, really wanted him to accept it, because I think it's very easy to not want to feel things and to think or even know that you shouldn't and almost resent them in a way - and I wanted it to be something he sort of stops fighting, in a sense, and realises he's just going to have to wait for them to go of their own acccord. It's sort of almost symolic of a maturity, I guess, if you like. And yeah, the return to England is pretty symbolic too - I couldn't have explained that better myself! :P And definitely not as succintly, haha.

No worries about taking time - I completely understand that RL gets busy, so there's no need to apologise for it ;) It's not something you can control, after all! :)

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

Aph xx

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Review #21, by crestwood Malapropisms

27th February 2015:
Hi Laura! It has taken me so incredibly long to get to this review swap. I blame school and all sorts of other things.

I love that every chapter has a theme and I love how extensively you explore them. I'm always interested in the ways our minds play tricks on us and I am so interested to see how you approach this idea from Albus' perspective.

Gellert is so good at manipulating Albus, I love the way Albus knows how easily he forgot about the things he was mad about when he kissed him. It's almost like a self-aware inevitability.

Older Dumbledore really is an institution, if a person ever has been one. It's interesting that he'd question his own cleverness, since we typically see him as someone very sure of himself, especially later in his life.

You draw me in with all of this self doubt and second guessing. It's so beautifully worded. No matter what you're talking about, I can depend on it being beautifully worded of course, but it's still surprising that you can write some of the saddest words imaginable and I can still find myself almost gleeful just for having read them and comprehended them so fully.

'and it is such an easy dream to have, a natural thing to crave' really struck me here and it seems like a pretty simple series of words but I really, really liked this. I'm not always sure exactly why I like some things.

It's strange to think that Albus already would have been considered one of the most important Wizards of all time by the time he was twenty-five, taking into account everything that he accomplished afterward.

The scene with Alain is just so sad, to the point of being heartbreaking. It's upsetting both that Alain is being used and that Albus feels so horrible and guilty about it all.

I find it quite ironic that Gellert is using Darwin, Freud and Nietzche's studies in order to support his ideas of Muggles being inferior. I think the fact that it was so contradictory made it all the more intriguing.

The last line was so perfect that I want to nominate you for best quote all over again. I do not think I have read a line that affected me so much so far this year. Excellent, excellent work. I feel like a broken record when I leave reviews for you, because what else is there to say? Writing at such a consistently high level just kind of leaves me with nothing to say but 'Great job' rewarded and adapted to the chapter. I am still enjoying this story so much. Thank you for the swap!

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Review #22, by pottered  Pragmatics

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

Author's Response: Hi there - thank you so so much for the reviews! I'm pretty stunned that you went through the entire thing - it's long, I've got to admit! - so thank you so much for it, I know it must have taken a pretty long time! :)

Yeah, he really does... I kinda wanted in this to show a progression of feelings - towards simple acceptance that it's going to take time for him to get over Gellert, rather than sort of trying to force it and getting frustrated when it doesn't happen, you know? But then, that's sort of equally sad...

Thank you! :) I'm so glad you liked the interview - it was so much fun to write! :P Aberforth is a pretty difficult character for me - such a change from Albus and Gellert, haha - but he'll be back soon enough ;)

Darling.. hehe, Albus just had to have a pet name for Gellert :P And darling fitted best. Everyone else gets 'dear' and 'my dear', Gellert alone gets 'darling' :)

Gah, thank you so so much for all of the reviews - they were all amazing - and thank you so much for all the lovely, lovely things you said in them! I'm just so glad you're enjoying this! :)

Aph xx

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Review #23, by pottered  Hungary

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

Author's Response: Hey there - thanks so much for stopping by again! :)

Gah, I'm sorry - I know, it's so bad! They're really pretty horrible to him - I mean, in the time period, it would be more of a normal response to that sort of thing so Gellert knows to expect it, you know - but it doesn't make it any better or easier. It's sort of less than he considers himself a mistake as he thinks his father considers him a mistake, at that moment - it's the life you never had kinda thing. And yeah, he misses Albus again - more this time for the companionship, than anything else. I know! It's so sad that they didn't end up together - imagine what they could have accomplished together? And no one ends up happy in that situation, neither of them, so it's pretty sad. I wish JK would make an Albus/Gellert film... with lots of nice, Oscar Wilde-esque romance :P But eh, I'll just write this instead ;)

Thank you so much for the amazing review! :)

Aph xx

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Review #24, by pottered  Malapropisms

22nd February 2015:
aw the letters ): I'm so sad, and happy that he never threw them away or burnt them.
"that perhaps I could move beyond you, that perhaps I would find someone else-" but he never did ):

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

I couldn't resist having a letter-keeping thing in this :P It felt like it needed one. I wanted him to keep them, though, because they're both dangerous (because of the content) but also sort of personal memories of the summer, so they have a sort of dual meaning to them, I think. And yeah, no, Albus never quite manages to move beyond - which is something I really wanted to tackle in this, and to why he never did and why he almost found that he couldn't, because it's a pretty big, strange thing.

Thank you so much for the wonderful review! :)

Aph xx

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Review #25, by pottered  WŁrttemberg

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

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

It's not all that sad! :P I really wanted him to do something with the declaration - something Gryffindor-ish, but not completely mad, hence flowers :P It's just a shame Gellert doesn't understand who they're from... Ooh, Mathaus... he's not going to be much of a puppet, but he's definitely the kind of person someone like Gellert will find useful, if that makes sense ;) And Gellert will get a lot worse as things go on, haha, I promise! :P He's is kinda sweet at times, though :P

Thank you so much for the lovely review! :)

Aph xx

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