Reading Reviews for The Deathly Children
  
43 Reviews Found

Review #1, by GalleonScarlet A Funeral

3rd December 2014:
Amazing! Your style of writing is impeccable!

Author's Response: Thank you so much for taking the time to read and for leaving this lovely review! ♥ It really does mean a lot to me. :)

-teh


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Review #2, by patronus_charm Of Blood and Intent

1st November 2014:
Hey teh!! I am finally here and I canít believe how long itís taken me to get here *hides* Congrats on your Dobby win though, I canít think of a more deserving story! :D

Ooh I didnít think this story would visit the Gaunt family as well but Iím so glad that it did as they really are so intriguing and I love reading about them. The letter really caught his character and really showed how full of hatred Marvolo was and how bitter his feelings were, and I hope we can actually meet him in this story.

Ah Gellert is so dark and twisted and horrible and all ew and why is so strange? He is so fixated on the Hallows he even sees it in rock, paper, scissors which just shows how unhealthy this obsession is for him and I canít wait to see you explore his dark and twisted evil side more as it was really interesting here. You included a Creevey though! That made me a little too excited, but the way Gellert tried to wear him down on purpose made me so sad and I hope Gellert doesnít go out of his way to victimise him now, as that would cause way too many feels.

I really enjoyed Kendraís section because I so rarely find a story which explores her own feelings and thoughts so it was really great to get it here. I could tell that she loved Ariana and cared for her deeply too even if it was in quite a strange way, but Iím so glad that you showed that side of her as I do believe that Kendra did love her daughter. I liked the twist with Kendra teaching Ariana about magic as itís nice to know that they at least tried to integrate her into the magical community.

Ariana ♥ I really love her here, sheís just wonderful! I really like how she takes an interest in the world and believes that Albus is interesting, and that sheís curious enough to go out searching for knowledge, and how she doesnít believe sheís an invalid. All of these things just make her have her own sense of self and thatís so important in making her realistic and wah I just love her in this story ⋝

Albus and Gellertís conversation was really interesting though despite the sort of Ariana bashing from Gellert. I liked the way you sorted the Durmstrang students as it was a nice twist and fitted in well with how I imagine the school to be. The fact that Gellert just cares about magic rather than how much magical blood you have is really intriguing as it helps to explain why Albus did follow him, as it would have given his story more protection. Albus does really seem to care for Ariana and I am in this story, so I can sort of why he followed Gellert in order to make the world safer for his story even if it is a twisted vision.

Anyhow, a fabulous chapter teh! ♥

-Kiana

Author's Response: Kiana! ♥

Aww, thank you so much for coming back! I'm so pleased to see you back at this story, and askjdhkl THANK YOUU. That Dobby really means a lot to me, especially for this fic, which is my main WIP and the story I've been working on all year.

I didn't think the name of Gaunt would even be mentioned. ARGH this is a last minute thing, and I'm hoping the whole fic doesn't unravel because of these decisions. :P Marvolo is quite the character, isn't he?

Gellert is indeed obsessive and YES I did include a Creevey. Obviously I couldn't include Dennis, so I wrote an ancestor of the Creeveys. BECAUSE I HAVE NOTHING BETTER TO DO. Poor Creevey, being bullied by Gellert. :(

I loved reading your thoughts about Kendra! You're right that she teaches her daughter and cares for her in a very unorthodox and downright weird way - but it's my headcanon that the Dumbledores were always a very strange family, including Kendra. I didn't think I was going to write another flashback scene with Kendra in it, but I'm glad I did. After all, I've written quite a fair bit about her, just never posted it up.

Wah, thank you for your comments on Ariana! She does indeed have her own secret life, and her brothers especially Albus know so little about her, truly. And Albus and Gellert and all their big talk are fun as usual to write. :P

Thank you for this fabulous review, Kiana! ♥ And thanks again for coming back! *hugs*

-teh


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Review #3, by Aphoride The Women in the Walls

29th October 2014:
Hey, Nicole! :) I was so, so glad to get an
excuse to come back to this story, with the
exchange pairings this month - I read this over
and over again, you know, but I always find it
so hard to work out what to say other than
'WRITE MORE' :P

Firstly, though, I have to say massive
congratulations on your Dobby wins, and
especially the one for this story - they were
all so well deserved! :)

I love Ariana in this - I love the way you
portray as somehow both less and more than her
brothers, like she knows less about the 'real'
world, but she knows more in ways, too, and
there's this lovely, dark connotations
underneath all of that, with her - like her
knowledge is sinister, she shouldn't have it.
Like it's forbidden. I'm so curious and worried
about what's going to happen with Ariana!

Albus and Aberforth are great, too - though,
tbh, your characters are always amazing, so
that's no surprise! I love the interactions
between the three of them, the way it's so
clear that they're siblings and they start off
close, if not super-close, it almost makes
knowing how it ends all that much sadder, you
know? It's very cruel of you! ;)

I loved the glimpses of Gellert, being expelled
and then leaving, getting an illegal portkey
and then coming to Godric's Hollow. I love how
you manage to convey that he's this sinister,
dark kind of boy, with this violent tendency
and fascination with power and dark arts
without actually really saying it - you use
description so well with that, it's so subtle
but it's there and it comes across so well.
Also, I loved Gellert giving the flowers to
Bethilda - so smooth :P He's so determined to
do things, and so decisive too, but I liked the
way you explored parts of his character by
saying that it was abnormal for him to do those
things - like submitting to the Headmaster, and
not stealing the wand from Bartolomew (who, by
the way, was a fabulously interesting
character. I hope he turns up again!). It's
such an unusual way to describe someone, and it
was so great! :)

The use of the Crone, Mother and Maiden (Glass
Girl) was also so amazing - I love mythology
and copious references to it all, so I love how
you're using it here, even if I don't yet
understand how they're going to come into play
- but that's for later, yes? ;) Explanations
can wait, because it doesn't need to make
sense, and yet somehow they fit in so well with
this, and Ariana's state of mind.

All of the fire images and things were so
lovely - I like that she's literally volatile,
flammable in a way, and it's so terrifying to
think of. It's also a really interesting
version of what happened to her. And the little
mentions of Percival in Azkaban were
heartbreaking! Just imagining him there on his
own, carving the box for Ariana, in the dark...
:(

Your writing, as you know (or should do!), is
so gorgeous - this really is a perfect example
of why you won Best Description Dobby, though
honestly imo you could probably have won it for
any of your stories!

You should update this soon! Totally! :) I know
the phrase is absence makes the heart grow
fonder, but I'm not sure the latter is possible
where this story is concerned :P

Aph xx

Author's Response: Laura! ♥

Gah, thank you so much for this amazing review! I'm so sorry it has taken me ages to respond to...just asldkjlkj THANK YOU! ♥ I completely did not expect the Dobby for this story but it's honestly made me so happy. Thank you, lovely!

Ariana is fun to write. She's quite different from any character I've written before, and I love reading your interpretation of her! You're right; there are things that she sometimes messes around with, which she shouldn't. Nobody seems to understand her, so she does go along these sinister paths...I'm SO glad you like the interactions between the three Dumbledore siblings. Complicated sibling relationships are what I love reading and writing about!

Have to confess: Gellert is such an interesting character to write. He does indeed have violent tendencies, as revealed in DH, and I'm trying to slowly explore this side of him, while not forgetting that he's also a sixteen year old who thinks he's invincible self-important and everything.

To be honest, I won't be explaining some of the things / events that appear in the story, especially this whole Mother/Maiden/Crone thing. They will definitely come into play, but there'll also always be a bit of an unsolved mystery with them.

aslkjalsf Laura you're far too lovely ♥ THANK YOU FOR THIS REVIEW. I should indeed update this soon, but I need to edit. Everything is in shambles after NaNo. Thanks again!

-teh


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Review #4, by Spirit Of Fire Of Blood and Intent

21st October 2014:
This is amazing stuff, pure and simple. I read the entire thing in one day a little while ago, but I've just now got the chance to tell you what I think. Frankly, I think its one of the best I've seen on HPFF ever. This is a grounded, serious story, the kind which is sadly lacking from the archives lately. Dumbledore is such a mysterious character in his final years, but I think for a reader, he's even more mysterious in his youth. The Dumbledore we hear about in DH is so totally opposite from the Dumbledore we thought we knew, a lot of fans scrambled to make sense of it. Your version is one of the most thoughtful, believable explanations I can think of. Knowing what we know, we can see Gellert leading Albus along, but at the same time appreciate the subtlety with which he does it and how even Dumbledore could fall for it.

Easily a 10/10 for me, and I'm really looking forward to the next chapter, and hopefully, more letters from Grindlewald, I think those are fascinating.

Author's Response: Hello! ♥

I'm so sorry it's taken me quite a few days to respond to this absolutely amazing review! I've been so very busy.

And thank you so much for reading the whole thing (and in one day, too!) and for taking the time to leave me such lovely, wonderfully encouraging comments!! I'm blown away by all y our compliments. And I definitely agree with what you've said about Dumbledore. In the books, he's so perfect that it's hard to believe he's even human. His precision does lend him a certain mysteriousness. And the new version we hear about in DH only widens the gap of the character we've encountered and who he really is/was. This fic tries to expllore that.

Thank you once again! I'm so flattered and pleased with this review! ♥ And there'll definitely be more letters from Grindelwald. I love writing those, and I'm so, so glad that you enjoy reading them!

-teh


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Review #5, by marauderfan Of Blood and Intent

21st October 2014:
Before I begin my review, I just wanted to say congratulations on the Best Description award, teh - you totally deserve it!! ♥

This was such a great chapter. I absolutely love the way in which you continue to develop Gellert's character. The section in the beginning, where he sees children playing rock-paper-scissors and is reminded of the Hallows, was especially great because it shows the depth to which Gellert is really obsessed with the Hallows, seeing the signs everywhere.

I thought it was interesting too how he said magic is magic and who cares about pure bloodlines. That's really not what I was expecting from him, though now that I think about it, I don't remember Grindelwald ever being associated with Voldemort's style of pureblood supremacy, rather that Grindelwald was just "a dark wizard" - for what could be any number of reasons. So that was really cool.

I also noted the difference in how he behaves with various people - he's so unpredictable, but at the same time I can tell that there is thought behind all of it, depending on whether or not he sees the person as useful in his future. As in, he's quite rude to the boys, particularly Creevey, because they mean nothing to him, but he was rather kind (albeit condescending) to Ariana - only because he thinks that will put him in Albus' good graces perhaps. And upon seeing her magic, he doesn't underestimate her. He's a sly one, and I just love the way you write him.

Likewise, your writing of Ariana is really admirable and the way you write her illness and the Glass Girl and Crone showing up all over the place and Ariana mentions them as if it's nothing out of the ordinary, it makes Ariana's perspective seem really normal as that's what she's used to, but stepping back from her perspective it's obvious that the world doesn't look that way to everyone else. I have a feeling we're going to see more interaction between Gellert and Ariana, because although she's a bit mad, I think Gellert can see that she knows something or at least senses something about the Hallows, and he'll want to find out what it is and where she heard about it.

Really excited to read on - I'm so glad to see you're working on this for NaNo ;) Great chapter!

Author's Response: Kristin! ♥

I should probably be Crucio-d for taking so long to reply. *hides*

BUT ah, thank you so much!! For this amazing review, this one and the other one you left on my last chapter of Background Noise (I'm answering this review first because the other review cracks me up and I think I'd like to laugh a little longer, if you don't mind. :P )

Gellert is fast becoming my favourite character to write hahaha. He's definitely very unhealthily obsessed with those Hallows, and I think he might have a different approach to power compared to Voldemort. Well, they're both power hungry maniacs, but I imagine Gellert would be less about pureblood supremacy. But yeah, he's pretty much a bully to those boys, especially Creevey.

Thank you for your comments about Ariana! I really do try to present her twisted world as normally as I can, and I'm so glad you realise what I'm doing! I think there will definitely be more interactions between Ariana and Gellert - these two are my favourite characters to write.

Thanks again for this brilliant review, Kristin! ♥ SO happy to see continue to follow and support this story!!

-teh


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Review #6, by beyourbest A Funeral

19th October 2014:
Extraordinary! An excellent and fascinating story of the past of one of the most important characters in the Harry Potter series.

Author's Response: Thank you so much for reading and reviewing! ♥

-teh


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Review #7, by Helen J Haslam Symbols and Stories

29th September 2014:
I thought the pace was great, I loved the style of the story Gellert tells, and Ariana's passages are always mesmerising. Great work! Please don't take too long updating the next chapter!

PS, It's okay to get side-tracked by Supernatural ;-)

Author's Response: Hello again!

Hahaha Supernatural was waaay too addictive. :P Can I say that I'm super relieved that you thought the pace was OK? I've always been worried that things were too slow, too long etc. And it means a lot to me that you like Ariana's passages, and the story Gellert told. I put a lot of effort into those, and your lovely words make all that trouble worth it.

I've actually completed the next chapter! I need to edit it very thoroughly and then I'll put it into the queue.

THank you for your lovely reviews! ♥

-teh


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Review #8, by Helen J Haslam A Funeral

29th September 2014:
Very interesting start! Your style is beautiful, I'm intrigued to read more :-)

Author's Response: Hello!!

Thank you so much for your kind words! And thank you so much for taking the time to read. :D I'm so glad you like my style.

-teh


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Review #9, by wolfgirl17 Symbols and Stories

28th September 2014:
I can assure you that this chapter and the entire story is by no means too long or in any way boring. On the contrary, your in-depth exploration of this story takes my breath away and I must say, I'm yearning for more. Your portrayal of the incredibly complicated interactions and events surrounding the relationship between Albus and Gellert are utterly fascinating and just as I imagine they would be. I do very much like the way you are portraying Gellert as being of such a capricious nature and capable of such drastic shifts in mood with each breath. Your exploration of Albus too is intriguing and insightful. I have favourited this story and voted for you as having the story with the best descriptions in the Dobby Awards.
I can't wait to read more from you on this tale, and hope you will post again soon.
Breathtaking.
=) - Wolfgirl17

Author's Response: Hello wolfgirl17!

I have a load of other reviews to respond to, but when I read your lovely words, I felt that I absolutely /had/ to respond right away. Thank you so much! For reading, and taking the time to review, and favouriting! This story is pretty much my main WIP, so most of my writing energy goes into this fic, and to receive feedback like what you've just written is absolutely gratifying and amazing. It means so much to me that you love the complex interactions between Albus and Gellert; I was quite afraid to tackle their characters and their relationship when I was just beginning this story, and I'm glad you're liking them.

And lastly, THANK YOU very much for voting for this fic! ❤ I have actually completed the next chapter! But I need to edit it thoroughly first, and then it will be going into the queue! :)

Thank you again, love!

-teh


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Review #10, by The Misfit Symbols and Stories

11th July 2014:
AH ALBUS KILLED ARIANA *sobs* Unless Gellert is just messing with him...? Aargh. Aargh. *falls apart*

I loved this. I loved everything, particularly the letter from Gellert (the mention of Albus not answering made me think of Fortress: An Anatomy and wonder whether the Nurmengard in the letters and in Fortress is one and the same? Either way, I adore how he tries to make Albus concede and confess to his faults, despite the fact he's equally to blame. Gellert seems to be one of those people who insist on dragging you down with them, and poor Albus for being victim to that.

Death and Ariana! Our interpretations of Death are different, and yet I prefer yours -- the three women remind me of the three monkeys (see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil) and the way they (he? It?) subtly manipulate Ariana to draw the Hallows and behave like they desire is clever. The fable of the girl and the three witches was great, and the way it connects to Ariana is quite interesting; I'm intrigued -- with you, I doubt it's coincidence ;)

Actually, while writing this review I couldn't help comparing the three boys to the Hallows -- Albus is the Elder Wand, with power over Ariana (and Aberforth, to some degree) and he manipulates that power by dosing his sister with potions; Gellert is the Resurrection Stone, because after his imprisonment, he's latching on to Albus and their time together. And the way he talks about conquering the world -- it's like he was trying to show off, like a seventeen-year-old would. Aberforth is the Cloak, because though he's semi-important in the story (being Albus and Ariana's brother), he has the unfortunate habit of making himself constantly absent :P Of course, I could just be overanalysing the characters post-midnight...

You don't have to worry about the chapter being too long -- in fact, i feel like the chapter should have been longer. You cover so much in your chapters, and yet you do it exceptionally fluidly that it's like drifting down a river reading the chapter: no many how many milestones you pass, you always feel like you've never gone very far when in reality you've gone miles... Excuse the weird water-related analogy (is that the right word?) -- it's all I can think of that connects right now :P

This chapter was amazing, as always ♥ Good luck with completing it by the end of the month!

House Cup Review 2014

Author's Response: Heeyy lovely! ♥

You know why it's so fun to write Gellert? Because nobody knows whether he's lying or telling the truth. Sometimes I sit back and think about this when I'm writing, "Wait, is this guy lying, or is he telling some obscure truth, or what?!" *sews you back together*

I've come to the decision that 'Fortress' and TDC are AU to each other! 'Fortress' is just too strange and out there (well, TDC's just got a bit strange as well in this chapter), and the two don't fit too well together. But they're the same characters, definitely! The same Gellert taunting Albus, and yes, he's vindictive in trying to drag Albus down with him. He's this vindictive ex-lover and muahaha I can't wait to write more about him. *evil purple devil*

I would love to read about your interpretation of Death! And that's a great way to see Death, the three monkeys! And clearly you've picked up that three-ness is kinda a recurring thing in this fic. Well, it's recurring outside of this fic as well, y'know, the pagan Triple Goddess, the Holy Trinity etc. I just plucked my inspiration from those concepts and wove them into the story.

THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS OVERANALYSIS MUAHAHA

*is in love with your flowing river analogy*

Gah, THANK YOU SO MUCH. ♥

It really means a lot to me that you like this chapter and took the time to review! After all, this story is yours and is still being written for you (sorry for taking ages eep).



-teh


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Review #11, by marauderfan Symbols and Stories

9th July 2014:
Teh!!! I know you posted this ages ago and I'm sorry it's taken me this long to get to it - but I finally have internet now, and thanks to the house cup, we get Hufflepuff points for this :D

So now for the chapter. As always, I really love reading the letters from Grindelwald - so twisted yet so entertaining. He knows which things to say to bother Albus the most, and since he has nothing else to do but wither away in his own prison, he writes them just to imagine how Albus will react and turn all these things over in his head. He's reminding Albus, as probably no one else would do, that despite the fact that Albus sent Gellert to prison and became famous as a symbol of good, that he's not that good. Essentially Gellert is saying "I know all your dark secrets". It's exactly the sort of letter that would haunt Albus' thoughts for a while, especially with that P.S. at the end. I can't decide whether Gellert actually knows this for a fact, or whether he's just saying it to make Albus feel guiltier.

Your portrayal of Ariana is so quirky and so wonderful. I feel like most of the things she does make sense, and then I realise that if it weren't from her POV there, she'd just be randomly throwing marbles at the wall and talking to herself. But in her vivid world with the three women and everything going on in her mind, I forget about that. And wow, the Deathly Hallows! I am so curious about that as well, particularly after Gellert's story, since those are the same three women. Death will not leave Ariana alone - it certainly makes her situation just a bit creepier than if they were just three random women she made up. And the Hallows symbol she drew on the skirting board - I think that'll come back in to the story eventually ;)

And what a story Gellert told! I have to admit I was looking for a moral in it too, and there doesn't appear to be one. It's a neat interpretation of the Deathly Hallows origin, and I wonder what Albus will make of it (because he loves riddles and will probably try and figure this one out, right?)

Also, random, but I loved how you described the light in the woods as 'syrupy', and the way the women's voices were like stagnant ponds or peeling tree bark. It's such unique, lovely description and I'm really jealous of your skills :D

I didn't think this chapter was too long! Your writing just grabs me in and I'm so absorbed in it that I don't notice the length. Anyway, I'm sorry it took almost a month for me to read this but it was an incredible chapter!!

For the House Cup 2014

Author's Response: Kristin!! HELLOO! :D

Gah, thank you for such a lovely detailed review! I'm so glad to see you back at this story. ♥

Gellert just won't let things go. And you're right, he has nothing better to do, anyway. All thanks to Albus. :P There was so much between the two, and now that it's all turned to poison for both of them. And the PS, hah! Sometimes I myself don't know whether Gellert is lying or not.

And ah, Ariana! I love your comment about how creepy it would be if she were actually imagining everything up, and you were an outsider looking in at her and seeing her toss marbles about and talk to an empty room.

As for the DH story, well here's where I start going a bit off the usual path for Albus/Ariana/Gellert etc. fics. I'm hoping that I can still make things believable and that most importantly, they'll tie together at the end! :P I'll probably be coming back to this story as the fic progresses. And yeah, Albus loves stories, legends, that kind of thing. I always imagine him as someone who's fascinated by narrative.

Aww, thank you for your squeeworthy comment on description! You write some lovely descriptive lines yourself! *hugs*

Thank you so much for this wonderful review, and I'm just really glad you're back! ♥ I should probably start writing the next chapter. :P

-teh


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Review #12, by patronus_charm Symbols and Stories

6th July 2014:
House Cup 2014 Review!

Hey, teh, I love this task as it means I really can set up camp on your page :P

Ahahaha that letter ahahaha that letter. I canít say anymore other than Gellertís voice was perfect with its arrogant and gloating and it was just so him. Especially that final line though I canít help but wonder whether heís just saying that because of the circumstances or whether he really means it or notÖ.

The section with Ariana was so chilling and fitted in so well with the chapter title. Iím not entirely sure whether those people with her were real or visions, because you wrote them so well and they had this really haunting air about them. I think Iím leaning more towards visions giving Arianaís mental state too, but their spookiness added to the atmosphere of mystery and death so well and it was really great!

Albus and Gellertís scene was so fab as I had so many feels in it! I think I liked it because of its unpredictability which matched both of their characters so well too with the way it started off with Albus recommending him where to buy his fruit, to a discussion about power to them having a mini duel. Youíve just written both of them brilliantly with their ever changing nature and they really are so intriguing to read.

I loved the story about the girl and she had the Hallows and confronted Death! It was just written so well and so poetically too I felt as if I was being soothed or something and I really liked how you put a new twist on it. The girl reminded me of Ariana in a way and the way there were 3 witches there too, so it will be interesting to see if they link up or not.

I didnít think this chapter was too long or anything, I thought it was amazing and so beautiful! :D

-Kiana

Author's Response: Heeyy Kiana!

Great to see back here! Baha, I hope you find your camping/living quarters satisfactory? :P

Ah, that letter. Why is it so fun to write mean and bitter Gellert? Oh, right, because nobody ever knows whether he's telling the truth or not. :P :P

Ariana is another one who becomes more and more interesting to write. Sometimes I throw in random unplanned details as I'm writing; that girl has a mind of her own. There's a good chance that she's completely mad. And there's a good chance that maybe she's not mad.

Aww, I'm so glad you like the Albus/Gellert scene and it didn't drag and such. These two never stay still, and especially not when they're together; I myself am kinda tracking them carefully as they move through the story, make sure they don't run off and leave me floundering behind. I'm glad you find them intriguing!

And ah, the story. I hope to build more on this in future chapters!

Thank you so much for this lovely review, Kiana! Thanks for coming back to read this chapter. ♥

-teh


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Review #13, by CambAngst Symbols and Stories

26th June 2014:
Hi, teh!

Another brilliant chapter in this awesome story! I'm really surprised that more folks haven't been actively following this. OK, maybe they are following it and they aren't reviewing, which would be a shame. Either way, I think anyone who's aspiring to write any story on HPFF -- especially one set in this era -- could learn a lot from the way you use language and imagery and your descriptions of physical sensations. You do an amazing job of conveying mood and moment using these things!

I love Gellert's letters from prison. They're high-minded and articulate, yet blunt. The Dumbledore he's addressing is exactly the flawed, regretful man that Harry meets in King's Cross station near the end of Deathly Hallows. Not that Gellert doesn't have plenty of flaws of his own. But in his letters he acknowledges many of them, and tries to hold Albus to task on doing the same. Interesting that even after his horrible misdeeds and his defeat at Dumbledore's hands, Gellert seems to view himself as a conscience of sorts to his former friend. A very angry, vindictive, mocking conscience, but nonetheless one who's trying to make Albus face his own worst tendencies and shortcomings.

I love the way that you tied Ariana's three women together with the three witches in Gellert's story. That was pretty brilliant. Death seems to speak to Ariana, which I guess isn't so much of a stretch for a story like this one. And she's unconsciously making the symbol of the Hallows. Weird, fascinating stuff!

I thought it was very sad that Albus isn't even following up to make sure Ariana eats any more. He leaves her food at her door and goes about his business. :(

I tend to agree that the meetings between Gellert and Albus are anything but accidental. In so many ways, Gellert reminds me of a young Tom Riddle. He charms Albus and gradually reels him in. Never revealing too much, always teasing with just a hint here and there of the true potential that lies within. I think he's also started to understand Albus's other interest in him. The one that Albus doesn't even necessarily recognize at this point.

Gellert's story was really well done, I thought. On one level, Gellert's right. There isn't some clever moral lying beneath the surface, waiting to be discovered. The point seems rather simple, actually. Death's gifts are not gifts at all. For those who have everything yet cannot be satisfied and happy -- the villagers -- there are no magical good outcomes. The poor girl tries to "fix" them and only succeeds in killing them. It's an odd story for Gellert to share, but one that I think might haunt Albus later.

Ariana's insights into Gellert's character seem spot-on. Too bad Albus doesn't listen to her more. I loved the little comment about chewing on her dolls. You have a really neat way of bringing her back to being a somewhat disturbed teenage girl whenever I start to lose sight of that.

I really enjoyed this and no, I didn't think it was too long. Awesome job!

Author's Response: Hey Dan!!

I feel awful for taking so long to respond to this brilliant review. But thank you so much for coming back and reading and reviewing, especially since this chapter had no feedback at all, but you came along and changed that. I think I don't have many followers because these aren't very popular characters to read about, at least in a longer WIP? Also, I'm not a particularly fast writer, which might cause readers to lose interest. But thank you so much once again for coming back!

Ooh, love the way you described Gellert's voice in his letters as a "vindictive, mocking conscience". He does indeed know Albus really well, and I'm of the opinion that he doesn't think Albus deserves his fame and victory and all, or at least that Albus is the betrayer of the bond the both of them once shared.

Aah, I'm so glad you like the way I linked up Ariana's "hallucinations" with the story! I was seriously worried about that one, and I'm going to keep on worrying about it, but you've given me absolutely encouraging comments on this. I'm also quite excited to develop this aspect of the story a lot more. And of course, this is where my fic possibly begins to twist and turn a little way off the canon track. But I don't think this will go AU at all.

Albus is odd, isn't he? I believe that right now he's completely unable to see beyond himself. Well, he understands his brother and sister, he knows them well, but there's a barrier between him and them (there's a barrier betwenn each of them, in fact), and he's just unable to be completely empathetic with them. At least right now. Gellert is a refreshing twist for him in his dreary new life, so of course, he seizes on to this bright spark and hopes he can find a kindred spirit, somehow. Something to alleviate the boredom of his life.

And as usual, I'm having a ball with writing Ariana. No, she's not the completely destroyed girl I often encounter in fic. Certainly not.

Thank you for this amazing review, Dan! It's wonderful to see your continued support for this fic! ♥

-teh


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Review #14, by Aphoride A Funeral

30th May 2014:
Hey there - sorry for getting here so late! I've been looking forward to reading this ever since the pairings went up, but end of exams and my birthday and my mum's birthday kinda threw everything out of whack :P

So, you should know that I adore Albus/Gellert. Beyond anything. They have, as far as I am concerned, the monopoly on tragic boyhood romances in HP :P I love stories about that summer and how they met and so on and so this seems exactly my kind of thing (plus your beautiful writing, which always helps! ;D)!

I love how you've started with a sort of almost prologue-esque letter, and how it's sort of accusing Dumbledore, even if not quite, it's angry and it's bitter and it works so well. Your writing is so brilliant and just gah... so nice! :) Even though we haven't technically met Gellert yet, as such, it still feels like because you've shown us what he becomes and sort of ends up as, that you've kinda let us know him already, if that makes any sense...

Your Albus is so similar to my head-canon young!Albus it's unreal :P I love how you didn't shy away from the harsh elements of his character - the loneliness, how he hates the village and doesn't really like Bathilda because she's nosy and irritating, how he and Aberforth don't get on... it makes him simultaneously sympathetic and not, you know, because it's understandable but also harsh things to feel. But yeah, he's wonderful. I'm so excited to see what else you do with him in this - how he develops and grows.

The last section is so sad. Poor, poor Ariana. I loved how you didn't make her stupid or anything, how she's still capable of understanding things, even if someone has to explain them to her, you know? And the way she's so scared of magic, and compares Albus and Kendra and kinda finds, in a way, both of them wanting, is so sad for all of them... I think it really highlights the tragedy of what happened to her - how she's scared of magic and Albus' gaze scares her and things, how she's barely ever alone... you've kinda taken things which might normally be little and created this debilitating condition with them. It's amazing writing, but incredibly sad.

As always, of course, your writing is stunning. The description is gorgeous and the detail is amazing - I loved the details about Kendra's body particularly (though it's kinda morbid to say) as they're so real and yet you avoid all the cliche things to say. The characters are so, so good before and I'm so fascinated to know what you're going to do with them later on...

So yeah, I'm hooked, and I'll be back at some time in the future for sure ;)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hello, Aph!

First of all, massive apologies for taking forever to respond to your review. -hides-

And speaking of that, thank you so much for leaving such a lovely detailed review on my fic! Your comments made me incredibly happy, and I love how you analysed the characters.

Albus/Gellert is my OTP of this fandom! I love them together - they're such a fascinating pair of characters - not the easiest to write, but definitely one of the most interesting character couples to read about in fic. And I'm glad you found it to be your kind of thing (I've seen you post somewhere on the forums that you have an Albus/Gellert, though I can't seem to find it, so maybe you haven't posted it up yet? When you do, I'm looking forward to reading!) Like you, adore this pair and I'm always looking for more about them.

Ah, Gellert's letter. He doesn't actually appear in this opening chapter, but I thought the letter would be sort of a hint to his character, or at least to show how the whole relationship has turned out. It also kind of opens up a different sort-of parallel timeline to the main action of the story; I dunno, I might have overdone things, but it was worth a shot, trying stuff out! :P

Albus Dumbledore as a character in the books is like the epitome of perfection. Seriously. Brilliant, witty, confident, assured, never wrong in his guesses, highly intelligent, sagely...beyond any sort of mistake. Until of course, that final book, when his whole perfect image is sort of shattered, and he's brought right down to the level of the average human being. Or as flawed as Dumbledore can get. So I decided to develop his more selfish negative aspects a little more, make him a little more vulnerable as a character. And wow, it sounds great that we both have such similar headcanons of him!

Ariana is the most interesting of characters to write for me. Her characterisation goes places and probably diverges from canon, mostly because I can't stand how she's portrayed in the books. Actually she wasn't portrayed at all, and she's only seen through her brothers' eyes. So she's a very elusive, mysterious figure, which provides me a little bit of free rein with her.

Thank you so, so much for this wonderful review, Aph! I'll be keeping an eye out for your Albus/Gellert, and once again, forgive me for taking so long to respond to all your lovely comments! ♥

-teh


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Review #15, by lovegoodlooney A Funeral

26th April 2014:
This is so good! I've been looking for it since your review on my story, and I have found it! The letter at the start really sets it off, and I love how you portray Bathilda. This is far better than my attempt of a Dumbledore fanfiction!

Author's Response: Hey there!

Wow, thank you so much for stopping by and taking the time to read my story! This is actually a fic that I really love writing, so it means a whole lot to me to receive this review!

Aww, I don't think it's better than your story; I think both our fics are different and yours is wonderful! ^.^ Here's to more Dumbledore family fics! ♥

-teh


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Review #16, by CambAngst At The Churchyard Again

6th April 2014:
Hi, teh! I love getting another crack at this story. You're doing such a good job with it!

Poor Kendra! You did a great job of showing the strain that Ariana's care -- as well as her responsibilities to Albus and Aberforth in the wake of their father's imprisonment and death -- caused her. She seems like a shadow of her former self, gradually losing her strength and substance. It's easy enough to see what. Any little thing can apparently set off Ariana's episodes. The poor girl can't be left alone for any length of time. That has to put a huge strain on everyone around her.

Kendra is so dedicated to her daughter, though. She subdues Bathilda without hesitation, barely a thought given to what she's doing. I'm sure her apology is sincere after some fashion; she knows that what she's doing isn't right. But in the end, she does what she must to keep Ariana's secret safe.

I really like what you did with the confrontation between Aberforth and Gellert. You showed some common flaws between the two of them, like impatience and a quickness to violent solutions. But whereas Aberforth is rash and heated in his approach, Gellert is cold and calculating. He concedes the blow to his own face in order to get Aberforth's wand away from him. I'm making careful mental note of the fact that the allegiance of Aberforth's wand is now in question. If the wand is now loyal to Gellert and it comes to a duel...

Aberforth is so good to Ariana. It's no wonder that she loved him so deeply, even though it was Albus that she truly idolized. She's such a sweet girl, in spite of her problems. She's committed to trying to hold what's left of her family together. She knows that her brothers need each other, even though both are too stubborn to admit such weakness. I'm really curious about what she's done with the pine cone doll. You keep weaving these clever little details into your story and I have the feelings that many of them will surface again.

Gellert plays Albus pretty well in their first encounter. He isn't cloying or overly deferential; that would have made Albus suspicious. Instead, he treats him like an equal and he doesn't look down upon him for being bound to the "boring" village of Godric's Hollow. He holds just enough of a mystery in front of Albus to whet his appetite, but he doesn't come right out and ask for his help. He simply shows him a direction and then steps aside to allow Albus to decide whether to follow it. Very clever, indeed. And then the coup de grace: he gives Aberforth's wand back. In one smooth act, he shows thoughtfulness and contrition while placing a potentially tainted wand in the hand of a potential enemy. Genius!

I thoroughly enjoyed this chapter, to the point where I'm not quite sure whether this review does it justice. Other people's chapters are easier for me to review because I can always pick out a handful of passages that I want to specifically highlight. You write so smoothly and your work is so well-balanced that it's hard to pick out the high points. It's all excellent, but I can't very well copy and paste the whole thing. ;) Difficult, but it's a burden I bear happily. Great job!

Author's Response: Dan!

Gah, thank you for yet another wonderful review. It really is such a treat when a reader engages so deeply with the story, theorising about the characters and so on...I'm going to have to be really, really careful not to have any plot holes - or too many plotholes. :P

Taking care of Ariana does indeed put a huge strain on everyone responsible; that's what I was trying to show with Kendra, and how Albus is possibly doomed to go down that same path. In my opinion, when I was writing Kendra, I wanted to write someone absolutely bent on holding the remnants of her broken little family together, even if some of the decisions she makes are of an equivocal morality.

YES. You're the only reviewer to point out that Gellert conceded the blow to his face just to obtain Aberforth's wand. I got very excited when I saw your comment on that. You're incredibly perceptive! Aberforth is indeed the most selfless of the Dumbledores, and it was great to see that you understand Ariana's feelings for him, but also that she adores Albus so intensively. I'm quite looking forward to developing more of Ariana; she's my favourite character to write so far, namely because too many fics have relegated her character to a kind of mad, helpless, and irreparably damaged figure. I'm looking to change that.

All scenes will Albus and Gellert in them together are going to be pretty tricky for me to write, so it's great encouragement for me to read your comments about them. I'm glad this first meeting works for you!

Thank you once again for yet another brilliant review! I've enjoyed reading your comments and compliments, and they honestly mean a great deal to me. Thanks, Dan! ♥

teh


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Review #17, by patronus_charm At The Churchyard Again

2nd April 2014:
Yayaya, Iím sort of glad I didnít have time to review this straight after reading it as it gave me an excuse to come and read it again now Iím reviewing it :D

I loved the opening section when Bathilda discovered Kendra and Ariana as it was such a fantastic way to fit it with canon and made me view it in a completely different way. Your characterisation of Kendra was so fantastic I can barely describe it but it fitted perfectly with how I imagined her. There was the fierce loyalty to her daughter and the secret and the way she almost became predatory when Bathilda suggesting contacting St. Mungoís about her illness and then had to immobilise her. You humanised her though and it seemed as if she did regret what she had to do even if it meant protecting Ariana and that mix of emotions was really great!

Can I just say that I love Aberforth thanks to you? In that scene with Gellert I was just cheering him along throughout as heís just so good and loving and caring. He genuinely just wants to do whatís best for his sister and seeing that is so touching as sibling love is so rarely explored, and that contrasted nicely with this cold and vicious character of Gellert. I really liked it for another reason as this altercation gave some background as to why they never really got on and it will be interesting what future spats the pair of them have.

The scene at the graveyard with Ariana and Aberforth was so touching (I swear I use that word all the time when mentioning him :P). It just tied in really well with what I just said about Aberforth and we got to see more about the vulnerable character of Ariana. I canít help but wonder whether because she senses Albus blames her for their motherís death it will make her deteriorate more rapidly or not.

Ooh so they met! I almost canít cheer them on after Gellert got into that fight with Aberforth, but on the other hand theyíre both so curious Iím so happy we get to see them together as theyíre so fascinating to read. Again, I canít help but wonder whether Albusí infatuation with Gellert will make him believe in the Hallows more or whether he genuinely does think they exist.

A fabulous chapter, teh!

-Kiana

Author's Response: Gaahhh, Kiana! ♥

THANK YOU yet again for another fabulous review! Honestly, I feel so lucky to have you as a follower of this story; from the start, I didn't think I'd get many readers for this, because of the not-so-popular era and my slow updating speed. So, have more hearts: ♡ ♡ ♡ ❥

Aslkjlasf your comments on Kendra THANK YOU. She was one of the main characters in the original NaNo novel, but not in this fic, since she's already deceased. But still, I have a lot of material that I've written about her, so I feel like I know her character pretty well. Above all things, she wants to hold her family together, even if it means that her actions become a little morally ambiguous. Poor Bathilda, she hardly stood a chance against Kendra. But then again, Kendra is dead and Bathilda isn't, and won't be, at least not for a very long time.

Aberforth is seriously one of the biggest surprises for me. When I began writing, I thought that he would be sidelined a little, while I focused on Ariana, Albus and Gellert. But somehow he started playing a larger role in the story, which of course makes things more balanced, and develops the Dumbledore siblings in more detail. And also makes things far more complex to write. :P Aberforth, despite his odd nature, is the one who loves and adores Ariana the most, and this is something that she recognises. I also didn't expect Aberforth to meet Gellert first, but then I rearranged the chapter and thought, hmm, this is odd, I don't know if it will work, but let's try it out and see.

And YES, they met. That was like, the hardest scene to write EVER. My gosh. I honestly hope I did those two justice! As for the Hallows, you'll have to read more to find out! Wait, that means I have to write the next chapter. :P (I'm planning that out, and hopefully it won't take too long!)

Thank you so much for coming back to read, Kiana! ♥

teh


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Review #18, by adluvshp A Funeral

2nd April 2014:
Hey Nicole =)

Here for the TGS review exchange!

I skimmed through this chapter once before but didn't get time to properly read and review it. So, I'm glad I got that chance today as this was really a very well-written chapter and the story seems amazing!

I loved the letter in the beginning. I think it set the perfect tone for the story. Grindelwald's "style' of writing was also interesting and quite impressive, and essentially how I'd imagine him to speak/write. The way he addresses Albus and appears to know him so well and the way he comments on certain things about him, it was very unsettling and I worry for Albus now. This just shows the powerful writing it was!

Then, as we moved into the past - of the day of the funeral - we got an insight into Albus' mind which was pretty brilliant. I absolutely love your characterisation of him. I think a younger Dumbledore would have been a lot like that. The most interesting aspect of this segment was how Albus "mourned" the death of not just his mother - but his "life" as well. It told a lot about his personality and I found myself not being able to decide whether to sympathise with him or dislike him. At the same time, I also liked how concerned he was that the "family" shouldn't be tarnished - circulating a rumour etc. Bathilda's inclusion was also a nice touch to emphasise how much he disliked sympathy and how he suspected something to have gone awry - I just wanted to shout and say Bathilda's memory has been modified when that scene happened where she couldn't remember what she had to say but of course Albus couldn't have heard me.

I loved how you wrote Ariana as well. I can guess it would have been hard to characterise her as she has an unstable and almost naive mind and at the same time she is quite sharp (I think) but you nailed it. I adore her and enjoyed reading her thought process. It was interesting to see what she thought of her brothers and her mother. The last bit also made me slightly sad that she didn't know her mother was dead but at the same time she suspected something was wrong.

All in all, I think this was a beautiful chapter with great descriptions. I am eager to read more, and see more of Aberforth too. The plot is very intriguing and your writing quite powerful. I am already hooked to the story so I'll be returning (hopefully) soon to read on.

Great job =)
10/10
Cheers,
AD
(AditiDraco95)

Author's Response: Hey Aditi!

Thank you so much for such a lovely review! This was wonderful to receive, and thank you for all the lovely compliments!

Glad you like the starting letter, and how it seems to fit Grindelwald's voice. He does indeed know Albus very well, too well, in fact, and it's good to hear that this familiarity does carry through his words. Those two do indeed have a lot of history together.

Waaah, so flattered to hear your thoughts about young Albus! He's such a tricky character to write; I don't want him to be the same as the old Dumbledore, who's so very wise and all - I was aiming for a less perfect picture of him in his youth. One where he has flaws as the rest of us, where he doesn't hide himself so well, as he does when he's much much older. Albus in this fic does indeed exhibit a degree of self-absorption; but after all, he's still a teenager, barely an adult, and already he has the huge burden on his shoulders.

Albus is very perceptive, but not enough it seems!

As for Ariana, I wanted her to be sharper than how she's usually portrayed in fic. Not so sweet, but self-aware and fairly lucid. Things will get a little strange with her, though. She's my favourite character to write!

Thank you so much for your wonderful comments, AD! This review really made my day! ♥

teh


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Review #19, by Lululuna At The Churchyard Again

29th March 2014:
Hello, teh! :) I think this is the 4th of your 5 prize reviews? Something like that, anyway, I was so excited to see you updated this! :D

Can I just say that Theophilius Thimble is just an adorable name for a little old wizard? It sounds like something JKR would think up. I'm very intrigued by Bathilda's letters and the effect they might have on the story, and I like how well you've captured the formal yet friendly tone of the letters and the time period. The language the characters use is very believable.

I like how this chapter seemed to have three main sections to it - each of the Dumbledore siblings, and how that fits with the theme of the number three through the Hallows.

Kendra was standing at the kitchen table crushing Sopophorous Beans, a pile of thick, earth-clotted Gurdyroots at her side, her face half-curtained by shadow. I loved the little details like this, the descriptions of the almost mundane actions of the characters' lives. They really bring the story to life in a powerful, visual way, and for some reason this scene in particular stood out to me.

Kendra's character is fascinating here, how she seems trapped inside herself in the same way that Ariana is, how worn down and fatigued her spirit has become. I like how observant Ariana was about her mother, how observant and sensitive a girl she is. The moment where Kendra curses Bathilda to forget was so dynamic in showing how her sense of right and wrong when it comes to her daughter are warped and how she'll intrude upon Bathilda in order to protect Ariana - that moment showed how she's almost mad with her desperation to keep going. Changing somebody's memory seems like such a pervasive thing. That section also had me wondering how Ariana's life might have been if she had been sent into the hospital - considering the Muggle treatment of the time for the mentally impaired, it probably would have been a harsh experience, but I wonder if there is some rationale to Bathilda's claim that Ariana should not be posing a danger to the Muggles of the village.

My poor Bathilda, the Dumbledores are so mean to her! :( From calling her old and foolish, to wiping her memory. She's brilliant and beautiful, guys, stop treating her so harshly! :P

...the Crone interjected, her face protruding from the wall like an unsightly growth. I loved the mention of the women in the walls - that was one of my favourite parts of the last chapter, and it's so interesting to see how they're a regular part of Ariana's daily life, always there and pestering her and making little comments which both reflect and oppose the way she seems to see herself.

Gellert is written perfectly here, and it's fascinating to see how he treats both Dumbledore boys so differently. The explanation that he read about Albus' work at Bathilda's and how he heard about Albus makes me think that Gellert planned to befriend Albus, or at least to use him.

His treatment of Aberforth was just despicable, but suited how underhanded and greedy he is. I was quite surprised to see him return the wand to Albus, but that does make sense - after all, Albus might hesitate to befriend him if he knew that Gellert had stolen Aberforth's wand, no matter their strained relationship. I found that whole encounter really interesting, and like how you used the HP-lore of "winning" a wand in the story. :) It shows how poor Aberforth is really no match for Gellert.

It also made me sad how Albus didn't defend his brother, but admitted that he has a quick temper instead of giving him the benefit of the doubt. And how Ariana knows that he blames her for their mother's death - you do a really good job of showing how Albus is quite self-involved and unable to love his siblings purely unconditionally. Another detail I found interesting, though, was how Albus is trying to sell his writing to make money, presumably to support his family. I felt that Aberforth blamed Albus for paying more attention to his work than to his siblings, but he is doing it for them as well. So that showed yet another misunderstanding between the brothers, and how they are just unable to empathize with one another.

Then the contrast with Gellert's greedy underhandedness and then his charm with Albus is also wonderful. It shows what a slippery person he is, how he manipulates people and can change his face like a second skin.

They pass stone angels with outstretched wings and hands clasped in prayer, square crosses with jagged stumps of arms, weathered arches, wrecked slabs of granite and marble veined with dirt, and crumbling mausoleums with missing doors and unimaginable darknesses within. I absolutely loved this section and the descriptions of the village and the churchyard. Just the word "churchyard" feels so delightfully old-fashioned, and I like how there's that forlorn, silent kind of feeling to it brought to life by your beautiful writing. The mentions of the ghosts in the church were wonderful as well, and such a great detail.

Well, I'm going to run out of room, and I blame you for writing such a lovely story that I just want to ramble about! :P This was a flawless chapter which I really enjoyed, and I'm looking forward to the next one already. Amazing job, as usual, my dear! ♥

Author's Response: Gah, thank you for this absolutely amazing monster review, Jenna! ♥ Your comments were absolutely wonderful to read.

Ah, I'm so glad you thought the tone and language of the letters were believable, and this really means a lot coming from you (you write historical fic so well!).

I loved your comments on Kendra as well. I've written quite a lot about Kendra actually, so I know her character fairly well, though she won't feature so heavily in this story, given that she's already deceased and all. I feel that for Kendra, keeping the family intact is of the utmost importance to her, to not let that incident in the past along with Percival's imprisonment and early death tear her family apart. I think it was mentioned in DH that she wanted to keep Ariana home because if the Ministry knew of her dangerous and uncontrollable condition, they would lock her up in St. Mungo's for good. I think it was also mentioned that Ariana's powers were a threat to the Statute. So I think I drew quite a lot from canon there, with regards to why Ariana remains at home instead of treatment being sought for her. And I think you're definitely right about how hospitals during this time period would have been a lot harsher to people with conditions like Ariana's, compared to present day hospitals.

Poor Bathilda! :( The Dumbledores do seem rather impatient around her!

And I'm glad you like Gellert; he's hard to figure out, and sometimes when I'm writing him, I have to stop and think, what exactly is he up to now?

There are plenty of misunderstandings between the siblings; I'm glad you noticed! I feel that sometimes they're a bit self-absorbed, or they're resentful toward each other, and they're all struggling to cope with this new living situation in the wake of their mother's death. I think Albus is only about seventeen or eighteen, and already he has to make such sacrifices.

I love that word as well! Churchyard. I had so much fun depicting that scene, and describing the setting of the cemetery. I had to look through quite a number of Google pictures to see how cemeteries looked like across the centuries.

Ah, thank you so, so much for this fantastic review! This has just made my day, and I'm so glad you enjoyed this chapter! I'm planning out the fourth one now, and hopefully will start writing soon! Thank you, lovely! ♥

teh


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Review #20, by marauderfan At The Churchyard Again

29th March 2014:
Yay new chapter!!

Flammable sneezes... dragon pox must be the worst. Ok now for the real review.

Ooh, the part about Kendra doing a Memory Charm on Bathilda was intense! Bathilda made a good point, though. Also, I think someone's put a Memory Charm on me, because I can't remember (if it was even mentioned in DH) why they never took Ariana to St. Mungos for possible treatment in the first place. But you made a mention of it here when Kendra reacted, so I'm hoping you go into that a little in future chapters.

Ariana's POV is always interesting to read. I can never tell what's real and what's not, which is rather fitting as I suppose it's all real for her, including the crone in the wall.

I didn't expect Aberforth to be the first one to meet Grindelwald! That encounter did not really surprise me, though, given their personalities, both a bit hotheaded but Gellert more in control of his temper and much more manipulative. And after this, I can certainly see why Aberforth would be especially annoyed at Albus for spending time with Gellert - someone of whom his first impression was already negative, and then adding that to the fact that Albus stops looking after Ariana.

So Albus met Gellert! I think that despite his insistence that there's not much to the Deathly Hallows, he's going to start researching all he can about them because of what Gellert said, and of course because I think Albus is the type of person to have to go research something just to find out more and satisfy curiosity.

Excellent chapter, teh!

Author's Response: *squishes*

Eee, thank you, Kristin! ♥

I can't take credit for the flammable sneezes; I read in the HP Wikia that dragonpox sufferers may sneeze sparks, and I just thought it would be funny if those sparks were actually highly flammable haha. Guess a person with dragon pox should never go to a gas station.

Glad you thought the bit with Kendra and Bathilda was intense. In my original NaNo novel, on which this fic is based, Kendra was one of the main characters, but she's not going to have a very large role here. I think, from DH, it was mentioned that Ariana's accident and resulting condition was kept secret because her powers were a threat to the Statute of Secrecy, and she would be confined to St. Mungo's for the rest of her life. So, so far, I'm sticking to canon here! :P

I didn't expect Aberforth to be the first one to meet Grindelwald, either! I honestly thought it would be Albus. But this chapter went and wrote itself, and at the end when I was editing, I decided to swap things around. I'm not sure how this fic is going to pan out yet, but it won't have that many chapters, so I'm going to move through things fairly quickly. Gellert is a bully, baha!

And the Hallows, ah. More about that in the next chapter, which I'm going to have to think about very carefully!

Thank you so much for your lovely review, Kristin! ♥

-teh


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Review #21, by Pixileanin The Women in the Walls

27th February 2014:
First let me start by saying that I love the chapter titles you have so far! They are so emotive! But don't let that put any pressure on you for future chapter titles or anything. I know how it can be a challenge... how many chapters do you have planned for this story? Do you know yet?

"One of the things I adore about history is the complete unreliability of it, the irrelevance of any measure of objectivity."

Me too. Though, I don't adore it. I tend to not take it as seriously, but for the same reason. Hehe!

Now you've got me insanely curious about this Master Thimble person. Who is he, what does he really want, and are Mrs. Bagshot's books going to be returned in any semblance of dignity that they were loaned with??? Oh, the books! I am so worried!

Oh, Gellert! What a monster! He has no heart at all, that boy!

I loved the way that the wand snapped inside his head, "a fracture of his thoughts". That was lovely, and incredibly powerful. Though I'm inclined to think that Gellert's mind has already been snapped in two... or at least the part where his conscience should be is severely damaged.

"Oak is stolid and lutreless and stupid..."

I loved that line too. Of all the horrible things that Gellert seems capable of, you've given him some fantastic lines.

He treats his exit from that school like he's being let out of prison of sorts. It makes me wonder how he came to be there, and if anyone had put him there against his will... or maybe it's just because, as he said, he had outgrown the school and this was an excuse for him to leave early. Either way, Gellert's attitude has alarm bells ringing in my head. I feel like I should be calling several Ministries and warning them about his unauthorized use of a Portkey.

Ariana's story is frightfully tragic. I loved the spin you put on the reason why she is damaged, why her magic is damaged now. The three people in her room seem to be connected to that event somehow. It makes me want to guess theories about them, and I wonder if they are connected to the box or the contents of the box, or if that's just Ariana's imagination at work. so intriguing!

Her episodes seem so tied in to the fire incident. It's great how you used that, and your description of things seems to dance around the light and the hot, and things like that. It all blends together and makes the narrative a delight to read... even though we're dealing with the dark things. I find myself pulled into it. So well done there!

So... um... you got a next chapter hiding around here somewhere?

Author's Response: I do have part of a third chapter sitting in my computer! There's about 2K written for it, and I'm hoping to have it completed by the end of next week. ^.^ THANK YOU, PIX ♥ ♥

You like the chapter titles? Thanks! I had no idea they could be considered emotive; I actually enjoy coming up with chapter titles, maybe because I don't have many WIPs I'm working on, so it's not often I get the chance to come up with titles of things! And by the way, I have ten chapters planned for this, and I think that's all it will take to finish the story - or maybe eleven chapters if there are plot holes that need filling :P

Ooh, I think you're the first reviewer who has actually exhibited interest in Master Thimble! You're on the right track, my dear. Will the books be returned in excellent condition? Will Bathilda's books EVER be the same again!!?

I enjoy writing Gellert. Like seriously, really, completely; I never knew it was so exhilarating to write a Dark wizard/future Dark Wizard. I'm glad you like Gellert's lines! I do select his lines quite carefully; I mean he has to come off as fairly intelligent, and somewhat condescending and arrogant. He doesn't like anything restricting him, which explains why he's actually pleased to be expelled from Durmstrang.

As for Ariana, with her sections, the lines between reality and imagination are always going to be a little hazy. I hope I'll be able to pull this off!

Thank you once again for your absolutely wonderful reviews, Pix! ♥ I'm so glad we were paired up for this month's TGS exchange! I do hope you'll stick around for the rest of the story.

-teh


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Review #22, by Pixileanin A Funeral

27th February 2014:
Hey, it's about time I came around here to review this! Sorry for the "end of times" delay, but you know about RL and all that. I am excited to be paired with you this month! I've read this story a few times already, but I never had the time to put my thoughts together.

No time like the present!

I am really excited about the time period you chose for this story. I haven't read a lot of stories in this era, and it's one of those periods that leaves us a bunch of room to play, so I can't wait to see where you take us!

Your opening already has chills on my arms, because it sounds like he's coming after Albus Dumbledore in the worst way possible, calling him back to the roots of something that he knows Albus wants to forget. I love the last line, where he says that he is "not that generous", and then the last-last line, the one about how Aberforth wasn't responsible... is he going to come back with claims against Albus' character? Will it be worse than that???

You've gotten me seriously worried with the first section. How can you do that to me? Great opening, if you didn't get the point of all that. The letter carries a sense of wrongness to it, something that should be left alone that he's bringing into the light.

So now you take us back to the beginning of the story, where Albus tries to deal with the grief and guilt that is his family. I loved how you included Bathilda in this, as the concerned neighbor. She seems to know what the family needs, even though Albus is reluctant to accept the help. He seems so concerned about the story of his, making sure that no one can find fault with it or point a finger elsewhere. It shows his protective nature over his family, his sister. I can see why he doesn't allow himself to grieve over his mother, he has other things on his mind, like how he's going to manage his sister.

I loved the details that you gave Albus' mother, that she was strong and patient and put all of her energy into Ariana. It really gives us a clear picture of what kind of life Albus faces for himself now. He has to become that person that his mother was, and he will do it. But I can sense that he will hate it. I love that line you threw in, where he's mourning his previous existence, like he's burying his life along with his mother's. This seems very fitting for someone of his age and temperament that I got from the HP story. I've never seen it expressed quite this deliberately before. It's great, and it's refreshing.

I also love how you introduced Ariana. I'm excited that she's a conscious, thinking being, and she has this strange awareness of the things surrounding her. Your description of the way that the magic burns within her, like a sickness instead of a friend, it tells me that something bad will happen from this. You're setting up quite a scenario, and I can't wait to see how you have it play out.

Great first chapter here!

Author's Response: Hello Pix!!

My goodness, this is some review you've left me! Thank you!! For taking the time to read and leave such detailed comments. And don't worry about 'end of times' delay and all that; RL refuses to be easy for most of us, unfortunately.

I haven't read a lot of stories in this era either! And those which I have read, well they're mostly one-shots. Ah, I'm glad you found the opening part, letter and all, unsettling! There is indeed a sense of wrongness to it - Grindelwald was always a bit wrong, right up to his death, I believe.

And ah, Albus. Yes, he's in such a miserable situation - being gifted and brilliant and all that...and very trapped as well. He is indeed mourning his loss of freedom; just like what he says in DH, it isn't as though he does not care about Ariana or Aberforth, but there's an element of self-centredness and self-absorption to his character. I'm glad you find this refreshing.

And Ariana isn't going to be the vacant, sweet-faced girl who occasionally throws a dangerous fit, as she is usually portrayed in fic. I do mean to make her more conscious and aware of things; it's so much more fun to write her this way, in my humble opinion!

Thank you once again for this lovely review!! It's made my day and I loved reading your comments and observations about this opening chapter!

-teh


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Review #23, by MrsJaydeMalfoy The Women in the Walls

11th February 2014:
Another amazing and intriguing chapter, dear! This chapter really gives a lot of insight into Gellert and Ariana's characters. First, there's the scene with those horrid boys, and Ariana burning in her own magic... that certainly makes her condition more understandable and heartbreaking. And then the description of the women that only she can see - I honestly got goosebumps reading that bit! Your description made it so easy for me to picture them, slowly sliding out of the walls. And I certainly found it interesting that they appeared when she was burned and haven't gone away since. I'm really curious as to who these women are. Are they simply a figment of Ariana's fractured mind, or are they something more? Perhaps some sort of ancient equivalent to the Peverell brothers, or a personification of Ariana's magic, speaking to her? (I know you may not be able to answer these questions without giving away the plot - I'm just sort of thinking out loud here). :)

Although her episodes are absolutely horrible, I really loved your description and explanation of them; the light setting her off, and her whole body seeming to be consumed by that flame she was shoved into. And the Rune-reading... wow! I'm really curious as to whether or not the Rune is predicting Gellert's arrival.

Speaking of Gellert, I'm really curious about what's going to happen now that he's in Godric's Hollow. But, I suppose only time will tell!

Outstanding chapter, and I eagerly await the next! 10/10!

-Jayde

Author's Response: You're incredibly perceptive, my dear Jayde! So many of your guesses are on target; the rune-reading was in fact sort of predicting and alluding to Gellert's arrival - it's one of the little things I added to Ariana's character. I really do want to write my own version of Ariana Dumbledore, which isn't going to be all sweet and vacant and helpless. I see her as someone who may be both delusional but at the same time very lucid, who fights fiercely against her condition, who is talented in her own way. She /is/ a Dumbledore after all.

The three women were originally meant to be the Peverell brothers! Gah, your guesses are amazingly accurate. But I couldn't quite fit the Peverell brothers in without the story sounding too forced, so I changed it a bit, and now...muahaha! I have my own weird version of events here.

TIME WILL TELL INDEED.

Thank you so so much, lovely! ♥ ♥

teeh


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Review #24, by MrsJaydeMalfoy A Funeral

11th February 2014:
Hello there, lovely! ♥

First off, let me just congratulate you once again for winning Featured Story! And now that I've finally got some free time on my hands, I thought it was about time I came and gave your story some love! :)

Judging from your other pieces that I've read, I knew that this was going to be good... you really never fail to amaze me. This covers such a 'dark' period (dark because of Kendra's death and its effects on Albus, but also dark because this is a period we don't know much about). I think it's safe to say that you have a knack for taking little-known characters, time periods and situations and turning them into something so well-written and amazing that it could easily BE canon! :)

I found this first chapter to be beautiful and heartbreaking. I really loved seeing things from the three different characters' perspectives. As we discovered in "Deathly Hallows", there is something sinister in the past of the man we all know and love as Albus Dumbledore, and I think you did an outstanding job of conveying that complexity.

My curiosity is piqued; I'm wondering what Bathilda is reluctant to tell Albus, and I'm also wondering if we'll see any more letters from Grindelwald in the future.

As always, the flow and writing itself are just plain phenomenal. An absolutely amazing first chapter, and I'm off to the next!

-Jayde

Author's Response: Jayde! ♥

Ahhh, thank you SO MUCH for your absolutely fabulous reviews, my dear, and I'm so sorry for taking so long to respond! UGH. Thanks for taking the time to read and review both chapters, even though you have such an absolutely hectic life; I really appreciate this! ♥

Honestly, you're far too kind with your compliments *hugs* I am indeed hoping that this piece will fit into canon; it pushes the boundaries of canon a lot, but still, I'm hoping that things will fit in the end, and dare I hope, offer a different insight on these wonderful canon characters and the fateful events that affected them and completely changed their lives.

I do agree, there is something sinister about Albus Dumbledore; his clean, dazzling record is...not so clean after all. In DH, it was revealed that he was still human after all, he had weaknesses, plenty of them - he had pride, ego; he was selfish. Brilliant, but with his fair share of faults. And I really wanted to explore this aspect of him.

Thank you, my dear! You'll find out everything all in good time! :P ♥ ♥

teh


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Review #25, by marauderfan The Women in the Walls

2nd February 2014:
Ok, I know you don't want to respond to more reviews now, but who doesn't like a review? :D besides, I've been meaning to read this ever since you posted the second chapter.

I love the way you started off this chapter with a letter too. The voice you've given Bathilda is fantastic. It sounds properly like an old lady kind of rambling on about her books, and I think it fits so well with a character who we know has a fondness for magical history!

ok but the first line of the actual narrative, when Grindelwald is standing by the plain... hdhsuhvhfiays how do you use words?!? I love it. Seriously, the words flow so musically and the imagery is wonderful.

I'm beginning to realise this will not be as short of a review as I intended if I keep gushing about every paragraph. So it may be long and obnoxious to respond to... your own fault really, for writing such a beautiful story. :p

I love your portrayal of Grindelwald. He's so arrogant and sly and I really don't like him haha but he is EXACTLY what I imagined Grindelwald to be like at that age. Based on the interaction with the wand snapping, how he wasn't really taking it seriously and then broke it himself - he thinks he is so clever and superior. You have done so well commmunicating his personality just by a few actions.

I really liked the way you wrote the 'episode' from Ariana's POV. (I love her thoughts on 'episodes' too, haha - the neck of Ariana!) But anyway, she's so in her own world and living in her head, so that's not what her episodes look like from the outside - what Albus sees, as he doesn't see Glass Girl or Mother, it must look like Ariana just talking to herself. As sad as it is, I really like this view into Ariana's mind and what she sees and is dealing with. Her thoughts on that are interesting too, the way she sees her brothers as blind because they can't see the three women. But I liked the way you wrote both brothers trying to comfort her though - I know they argue and generally don't get on but here it is obvious how much they care for their sister.

The flashback about the Muggle boys bullying her was heartbreaking. She was so fragile and that really just put her in a dark place.

And Grindelwald at the end, being so charming... reminds me a bit of Tom Riddle! I am excited for him to meet Albus though.

excellent chapter teh!! This is such a wonderful story!

Author's Response: Ahahah, yes I do love reviews indeed! And here I am responding to your not-obnoxious-at-all review. :P THANK YOOUU. This was such a lovely review to receive!

What...how do I use words? Same way as anyone does! With a blender of course. :P

I'm glad you like Bathilda's rambly letter. She doesn't have that great a role in this story, but I still wanted to give her a bit of a voice, and a personality.

Grindelwald, ha! Arrogant little twerp. :P Absolutely hilarious to write! Yes, he does think very highly of himself, doesn't he? But he would be a proper Dark Lord in the future if he were all humble and self-deprecating and such. I'm so so glad you thought Gellert's character was appropriately written! He's quite an intimidating character to write, both him and Albus.

Ahaha, you're the first one to comment on those 'episodes' of Ariana Dumbledore. I rambled a bit at that part, but thought it worked well with everything else, so I left it in. There's going to be a thin line separating delusion from reality, madness from myth, and I'm very eager to explore these concepts. The three women are quite possibly a hallucination of Ariana's. Or they are quite possibly something else. I dunno. We'll have to wait and see, and I've got a lot of sorting out to do with this story!

I am excited from Albus to meet Gellert as well!

Thanks for the fab review, Kristin! Thanks for swapping with me and making me respond to more reviews. :P ♥ ♥

teh


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