Reading Reviews for Let Perpetual Light
  
52 Reviews Found

Review #1, by CambAngst A Communion of Saints

25th August 2015:
Hi, teh! You're right, this chapter has been a long time coming. But it was totally worth the wait! We're in the middle of a common room review event, so please indulge me for a bit of scorekeeping:

GryCReMo (Review #33)

I love the way you book-ended the chapter with the story of Marvolo Gaunt. I didn't expect to encounter him in this story and it was a really nice surprise. The physical attributes you gave him -- which could be taken as signs of inbreeding -- fit perfectly with his surly, entitled, arrogant demeanor. On the one hand I don't want Gellert getting his hands on the Resurrection Stone, but on the other hand I wouldn't mind seeing any number of bad things happen to Marvolo. What a dilemma!

You're doing a good job of working all of the angles to show how Albus is bored, unhappy and feeling very put-upon to have to stay at home and look after Ariana. Sitting around, writing tedious journal articles for money... it's obviously beneath him.

I love the way you write Ariana. It's hard to even come up with the right words to explain what I like so much about her. She's a little creepy, but also lovable. It's not at all hard to see why Aberforth is so devoted to her and why even Albus can't be cross with her when she's right in front of him. Nice allusion to the three women, by the way, even if Albus can't see or hear them.

Hmmnn... I wonder whether there's a bit of magic in that pine cone doll. Perhaps something that will come in handy when the final showdown between Albus, Aberforth and Gellert happens.

Another wonderful bit of color added to Gellert's back story. His mother's fascination with saints and martyrdom has definitely reinforced his feelings of being unfairly limited and restrained by a world that doesn't embrace his morally flexible views on the use of magic. The letter he sends to Albus makes his feelings abundantly clear. Why should he be the one relegated to the shadows of the world when he wields the power to change it?

The duel... I have to admit that I wish it had been longer. Two masters of the form could have made for such an incredible, mind-blowing, edge-of-your-seat experience. At a minimum, it would have been neat to see Albus use Transfiguration as a weapon, the way he does against Voldemort. Regardless, I loved the outcome. Gellert loses control and it ignites a fury within Albus.

Ah, the kiss! Very nicely done. I think you hit the perfect notes with that moment. And you even gave Gellert an odd sort of quasi-sincerity about the whole thing. Whether he's driven by his physical attraction to Albus or his desire for the unlimited power that Albus could help him achieve -- possibly both -- his infatuation felt completely genuine.

Great job! I'm really looking forward to more!

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Review #2, by likeness_of_a_seabird At The Churchyard Again

31st January 2015:
Hufflepuff Hot Seat Review, round three!

I loved how different Albusís and Aberforthís encounters with Gellert were. They fitted so well their personalities; Aberforth was direct and almost rude (well, not almost; completely rude) and got into a scuffle with Gellert, losing his wand in the process. Albus, on the other hand, was polite to him and got to see another side of the newcomer. Thatís what I love about Gellert; the way he can show different sides of his personality to different people to get what he wants is so great.

I also liked the encounter between Kendra and Ariana and Bathilda. I wonder if this is the first time Kendra has had to obliviate Bathilda or if thereíve been other times as well. If there have been multiple times, it could at least partially explain her memory problems. Old age has obviously something to do with it but Iíve got the feeling her memory problems arenít entirely of natural origin. Whatever the origin, Iím certain Gellert will find it useful. :)

I found it so adorable Ariana insisted on giving the doll to Aberforth. Iím pretty sure I know from who it is supposed to protect him from (his name starts with G and ends with ellertÖ) Iím even more intrigued than before by Arianaís ability to predict the future (these hunches she has). Iím absolutely convinced itíll play an important role later on.

Someone said in the Deathly Hallows (Aberforth, I think? I canít remember exactly and I donít have my copy at hand so I could check) that Albus was delighted by Gellertís arrival because now he had someone who was as intelligent as he was to talk to, and it definitely shows. The way he was humming and almost skipping on his way home was almost hilarious to read about; the aloof and respectable Albus Dumbledore humming and skipping on the cobles! I wonder what Gellert was trying to accomplish by returning Aberforthís wand? Is he trying to win Albusís trust? I donít trust his sincerity for a second, nope, nope.

And the return of the mysterious Mister Thimble! Iím even more convinced that he is after the Hallows since he asked about the old wizarding familiesÖ

Loved this chapter!

- Emmi

Author's Response: Hi Emmi!

I'm kinda ashamed at how long it has taken me to respond to your very amazing review. Thank you so much for reading this chapter and leaving such a thorough and detailed review. I apologise for the extreme lateness of my reply. *hides* But gah!!! ♥

You're far too lovely, my dear.

I'm glad you noticed that Gellert exhibits different sides of his personality to differnet people. I suppose it all depends which folks he wants to make an impression on, which folks he wants on his side. Clearly, he has very little regard for Aberforth.

I wonder, too, if Kendra actually tampered with Bathilda's memories in canon. I wouldn't be surprised. :P It was mentioned in DH that Kendra wasn't a very neighbourly person toward Bathilda initially, and I'm taking things a step further here. I may or may not develop Kendra and Bathilda's relationship in greater detail in future chapters!

Yes, Ariana does seem to have these 'hunches', as you so aptly described it. I thought it would be interesting to depict her in a way that made her seem less like the broken, unpredictable and magically impaired individual she is, and more of the powerful witch she could have become, had that awful childhood incident never happened to her.

Albus skipping and humming indeed. Nope, that takes his respectability and aloofness down a shade! When I was writing that part, I was thinking about the older Albus Dumbledore with his strange and unconvetional humour, and I guess it translated mildly into this scene.

Ah, Gellert is such an untrustworthy character. I love writing him so much!

Thank you for your brilliant review, Emmi! This really means a lot to me, and rereading it now just made me smile. ♥

-teh


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Review #3, by wolfgirl17 A Funeral

13th January 2015:
Hey teh!

Happy Belated Hotseat Review Day!

I couldn't remember if I had already reviewed this story for you. I think I did on one of the later chapters, but I wanted to come back and just let you know how absolutely intoxicating your writing is. It's like a drug I've begun to crave with wicked intent.

You have such in-depth and moving descriptions and this way of painting the picture in my mind that you yourself are imagining as you write that I find myself constantly hoping for updates and for more of this brilliant story.

I can't get enough of it. I love the way you portray this younger version of Albs and the problems he faces with an unwell sister and a resentful brother. I love the way you can transport me into your imagination with you cleverly wielded words. I just love everything about you and this story!

Please keep up the utterly breathtaking work! I'd love to see a new update posted soon if you have the time =)

xx-Wolfgirl

Author's Response: Hey Ellie! ♥

Wow, I don't even know what to say with this review! Sorry it took me so long to respond; RL has been slowly killing me and I just escaped from it...at least for a few moments. Which I'm not using to respond to your lovely comments.

I'm pretty much blushing at all your compliments on my writing; honestly, I'm over the moon that my writing can affect you in such a way!

Glad you like young!Albus; He's a tricky one to write, but I do enjoy writing him nevertheless, and every time he appears, I feel like I learn a little more about his character, even as I'm writing him. :)

I have finished the whole story! I finished it last November, but unfortunately, there's quite a lot of editing to be done. I'm trying to reread the whole thing and edit the next chapter and hopefully I can post it up soon! Stupid RL, though. *shakes fist*

Thanks once again for your amazing review, Ellie! ♥

-teh


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Review #4, by likeness_of_a_seabird The Women in the Walls

12th January 2015:
Hufflepuff Hot Seat Review, round two!

I love how this chapter started with a letter, just like the previous one. It gives a nice sense of continuity, even though the letters seem to be disconnected and the dates are so far apart from each other. Iím really interested about who this Master Thimble is. Is he merely interested in the history of the Hallows? Is he trying to find the Hallows? Iím leaning towards this option myself. If he is trying to find the Hallows, will he cross paths with Gellert? Will he return Bathildaís books in time? So many questions!

I also love your portrayal of Gellert. This line especially caught my attention: ďTime is only precious when it is malleable, when it can be warped and fashioned to his will. All things that are beyond him are useless.Ē It seems to capture the very essence of Gellertís arrogance. I also liked how he is obsessed with wands, the Elder wand particularly.

Arianaís POV is simply delightful to read. I particularly enjoyed the flashback and the three women that constantly accompany her and how annoyed she is with them. The way she draws signs on the floor was really interesting. Does she have some kind of gift of seeing the future, or is it something different? Did she always possess that ability or did she gain it after she was attacked by the Muggle boys? I suppose weíll find out the answers eventually. :)

Another great chapter!

- Emmi

Author's Response: Hi again, Emmi! Thank you for coming back to this story! I really do appreciate it, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading your detailed and thoughtful review.

Yep, every chapter in this story will start with a letter of some sort. It's because I can't seem to stick to a nice linear storyline; I like to have parts of the story operate beyond the space of the present; I like exploring how various aspects of time can be manipulated within a story and how it can affect the structure of narrative.

More will be revealed about Master Thimble later ;) And you're not the first reviewer to ask if he will return Bathilda's books! This made me giggle a bit. But a very valid question, certainly!

I'm so glad you like the way I write Gellert. He's a character I've enjoyed exploring greatly; we know so little about him from the books, which is kind of surprising, seeing as he's a dark lord and all, and that he had such close ties to Dumbledore.

Ariana's condition is always a bit of a mystery. She certainly sees those women; they're real to her. I explore the concept of myth a bit in this fic. And yeah, you /may/ find out the answers eventually if you read on. :P But then again, I /may/ leave some things unanswered.

Thank you, my dear! ♥

-teh


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Review #5, by Roisin A Funeral

8th January 2015:
THE WAND WAS NEVER GELLERT'S! OH MY GOD! Of COURSE the wand was never Gellert's! I always wondered how Dumbledore could have beaten him, if the whole POINT is that the wand is unbeatable. And it's not like he sneaky killed Gellert in the night--they had a proper duel and all. And it just fits SO WELL with canon wandlore that the wand was always Dumbledore's! AH!

Okay, stopped reading to say that, and then got incredibly engrossed in the rest of the story.

I feel redundant praising your word choices AGAIN, but your language is always so unexpected, yet still gives me the exact impression of what you're saying. I really love the way this offers multiple perspectives, because you manage to include details that are so specific to the person perceiving them. It's not just a change in voice, it really is a change in /perspective./

Also, this is the very first ever thing I've read from Ariana Dumbledore's perspective--and I just can't even! She was such a tragic figure in canon (and she IS a tragic figure), but I love the way you inhabit her mind. Like, by making her REAL, you give her a lot of strength and agency (while objectively, she wouldn't seem to have much, given the circumstances). And its known that Ariana was difficult (for good reason), but I love how her Difficultness is also, like, the expression of her agency, kinda.

This is just amazing! Ah!

Author's Response: Roisin! ♥ Thank you for this lovely surprise review! I always love your thoughtful reviews; thank you so much for stopping by and taking the time to read.

I really enjoyed reading your thoughts about this. And your interpretation of Gellert's letter. I reveal more things as the fic progresses, at least I hope I do. It could be that the wand was always Dumbledore's, or it could be something else. But I'm fairly sure that there was no simple straightforward final duel between Dumbledore and Grindelwald.

Multiple perspectives were fun to write!! Aww, thanks for your comment on the character-specific details; I really worked hard on this aspect, especially with the earlier chapters.

Ariana is indeed one of the most tragic figures in canon, and she doesn't have much of a story, surprisingly. Definitely no voice at all in canon, since her story is told through others' accounts. So I definitely wanted to give her her own voice, agency, perspective where she isn't always the frail sick girl that everyone in DH implies her to be. Ariana was incredibly fun to write, and I do try and develop her more as the fic goes on.

Thank you so much once again for your amazing review, roisin! ♥

-teh


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Review #6, by CambAngst Of Blood and Intent

1st January 2015:
Hi, teh! I was very pleasantly surprised to find a new chapter. I obviously haven't been keeping up well.

I really liked the first scene with Gellert. First off, the description of Godric's Hollow and Gellert trying to get his head around the lay of the land was beautifully done. "broken fences teething through the ground" is one of my favorite descriptions I've read in a long time. It's absolutely no coincidence that this story won the Dobby for Best Descriptions. Congratulations on that, by the way! The scene with the young muggle boy, Creevey, was excellent characterization of Gellert. It showed how his obsession with the Hallows is redefining the way that he looks at everything, as well as his absolute need to control all things around him. He doesn't just defeat the Creevey boy, he absolutely dominates him and declares an end to the contest when he has decided that it is over.

You made Bathilda seem pretty lovable in this chapter, which is an unusual way to write her. Or maybe I just feel that way because when we see her in the books, she's dead and being reanimated using dark magic by a giant snake.

The description of Gellert's relationship with his mother fits perfectly with the way you've built up the character. There isn't any sort of authoritarian relationship there, merely an odd sort of camaraderie. A lot of the most Type A people I know come from that sort of family, now that I think of it.

I loved what you did with the piece of back story on Ariana's relationship with her mother. I instantly thought of Aberforth's warning to Harry about Albus and how he learned secrecy from their mother. This felt an awful lot like the Kendra Dumbledore that Aberforth was alluding to. So I'm guessing that this potion somehow uses Ariana's blood magic to help limit or contain her outbursts? Sounds like this might be a lot more than just a Pain-Relieving Potion. One thing I love about this story is you've never been afraid to be ambitious with your plot. Having Kendra dabble in borderline dark magic is the sort of plot device that could end up sounding very weird or cliche in the wrong hands. You've put it in a context where it's very believable.

Before I dig into the chapter's final scene, I wanted to say how much I liked the quick little mention of Albus moving into his mother's room. The cognitive dissonance of trying to act like there's no reason not to move in there even though it obviously bothers him a great deal was perfect for his character.

The back-and-forth between Albus and Gellert felt about right. Somebody is definitely leading somebody else along. Although Albus is a very willing participant in being misled. I like how you're dancing that thin line between "are they or aren't they?" Somehow it's more satisfying to let one's imagination wander in this case.

Among the three Dumbledore siblings, Ariana seems to be the only one who's mostly immune to Gellert's manipulations. Somehow her condition gives her an advantage. Or maybe she just has the benefit of a more detached point of view. Regardless, she puts him in his place, after a fashion.

Looking into her brotherís incisive eyes has a lightening effect on her, turning her demure and empty. -- Perhaps she sees enough of their mother in Albus that she feels the need to obey.

I'm curious what Ariana is planning to write.

This was a really beautiful chapter. I couldn't spot a thing wrong with it, and the whole thing flowed beautifully. Again congratulations on your Dobby! Looking forward to the next chapter!

Author's Response: Hi Dan!

Thank you for your wonderful New Year's review! Aaand of course I have to apologise as usual for being sluggish with my responses. This review certainly caught me off-guard...in a VERY good way.

You're spot on with your analysis of Gellert; he's pretty much a downright bully in that part of the chapter. And the relationship between Bathilda and Grindelwald has always fascinated me since it was mentioned in DH. How did the two get along? Were they close at all? Did Gellert actually treat Bathilda with any affection at all, or was he just using her house as a way to escape his bad reputation in his homeland after his expulsion? There isn't much evidence of their relationship, so I had some liberty with writing the two together. I like to think that Grindelwald would at least not be so completely cold, or that he would display no empathy at all to a single soul. And I'm glad you like how I hinted at the relationship between him and his mother! Authoritarian parents are something of a common feature in stories on this site, I think. :P

Yeah, here's where I start to mess around with the boundaries of canon. Things can either go very wrong (in terms of plot) or they may just work. It is a little ambitious for me; but I sometimes like to work with a little risk in my writing. I'm hoping that this subplot will work, somehow!

Ariana does indeed see through Gellert! She is unaffected by his charms, and this is something that I found so amusing to write, that this 'poor damaged girl' can hold her own and see where things aren't right. Albus is getting a little infatuated with Gellert, and Aberforth is just all rage.

Thank you, Dan! Your compliments and your analysis are, as always, amazing and I'm really happy that you came back to this story. I've completed the whole story (finished it last November), but of course, there's a lot of editing to be done, and it's a massive task. I hope to be able to tackle the next chapter and then post it when I've cleaned things up a bit! Thank you once again! ♥

-teh


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Review #7, by HeyMrsPotter A Funeral

30th December 2014:
Hello, teh! A belated happy hot seat day to you! It's been too long since I paid a visit to your author page, but I've come prepared for heartbreak, sadness, and complete jealousy at your wonderful writing!

I've seen a lot of this story on the forums and have FINALLY got some time to start reading it (though it'll probably take me about 6 years to catch up on it!)

As with every word you write, this is such a fascinating opening chapter! I really love all of the characters. Dumbledore, though younger and affected in his own way by grief,is still ultimately Dumbledore. I like the contrast between him and Abeforth too. One of my favourite things about your writing is your knack for subtlety, and its there in the differences between the two brothers. Albus is determined to be polite with Bathilda, and Abeforth makes no effert to hide the fact that he sits as far away from her as possible and doesn't even speak to her.

Ariana was brilliant too, she's such an interesting character but definitely under-represented in fanfiction. I wouldn't even know where to begin with writing her and here you go and do it perfectly! She has all those problems with her magic and what happened to her with the muggle boys, but I loved that you write her thoughts so coherent and articulately. I enjoyed how she compares her brothers and her mother by the ways they tuck her in. It made me sad that she couldn't remember her mother had died and that she immediately blames herself.

All in all, an excellent opening chapter. I can already see why it won a Dobby!

Dee :)

Author's Response: Hey, Dee! ♥ Thank you! Thank you for stopping by and reading and leaving this lovely review *squishes*

Yes, this story indeed has some unmanageable chunk chapters. :P BUT I'm so glad you started reading it!

Aww, I'm so glad (and relieved) to hear your thoughts about the characters, in particular about young Albus. I was kind of half afraid that readers wouldn't recognise the DUmbledore we know from the books here. And I love your comment on subtlety! I'm a fan of it as well, and I like to see it in others' writing.

Ariana is fun to write, and I do agree that she's serious underrepresented in fic. And writing her thoughts coherently was all part of things shifting to her perspective, giving her a larger role in this story than what she had in the books (which was pretty much a few passing references in tales told by others).

Thank you for your loveliness, lovely! ♥

-teh


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Review #8, by Diogenissa A Funeral

25th December 2014:
Heyllo teh! Happy Hufflepuff Hotseat Day! (a day late ack!) I'm here ready to rock 'n' review!

I have only the basic understanding of Albus/Gellert from my initial research for another project, as well as read another story here with them as the primary characters but I really really like them and they fascinate me so here I am! :)

O--M--G I absolutely LOVE the way you open this. It seems both scathing and affectionate all at once. It is very clear to me that Gellert is intent on getting some sort of revenge in his reminding Dumbledore of his entire past (or the past in which they were together). I can sense a lot of sarcasm when Gellert calls him 'old friend'. I also love how he lays it all on the line and is upfront and truthful, unafraid and not sugar-coating anything at all. He is telling it like it is (at least in his mind and according to his perspective). That and he comes across really creepy (sorry can't think of any other word *lol*). Awesome so far!

I really liked that you gave a nice and concise summary of Bagshot--for those of us such as myself who haven't gotten to Deathly Hallows yet, this is a NICE introduction to a character in which we've never heard of, let alone know much about so thank you for this! :-)

Very good flow, easy to follow and moves fluidly! I could very easily see the story as it was going on--from the gray skies, his seemingly frozen state as his thoughts take over a little stronger than they had recently, the colorlessness of his eyes, etc.--very very nicely done!


I must admit to a bit of amusement when Aberforth first shows up! From his earlier mention and background, he sounds like that one oddball sort of sibling a lot of folks have but fun and loving toward his family. He seems a bit on the cheeky side.

The relationship between Aberforth and Ariana is lovely and certainly a lot better than hers is with Albus. While reading through Ariana, I can't help but detect that part of her is not only mourning for their mother, but for the fact that she seems to wish for a better relationship with Albus, it really feels written all over the latter part of the chapter.

I don't think I can really say too much more given that I indeed haven't gotten to Deathly Hallows yet. I really enjoyed this opening chapter (ESPECIALLY that letter--gahhh I can't say enough about that)!

You have a wonderful gift for description (that Dobby is more than well-earned *polishes it extra nice and shiny* :D ) and that is something I really love personally. Thank you so much for a beautiful opening and I'll be sure to come back and check out the rest when time is a little kinder to me.

Karen xoxo

Author's Response: Karen! ♥

OMG what is this review!! THANK YOU.

You're far too kind; thank you for polishing my award. :P But really, I can't thank you enough for all your exceedingly lovely comments and your general amazingness. Oh, you haven't read DH yet? I'm hoping I didn't spoil anything for you with this chapter!

I'm so glad you like Gellert's letter! There are more of his letters in later chapters, and I love writing them. I love trying out Gellert's voice, all his scathing affection, as you so eloquently put it, and his bitterness, and that little hint of creepy.

And I love all your analyses on Albus and Aberforth and Ariana and their relationships with each other. They're not the most united of fmailies, and I can only imagine how hard it must be for all of them.

Thank you so much for your wonderful review, Karen! ♥ This is muchly appreciated, and you've made my day!

-teh


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Review #9, by likeness_of_a_seabird A Funeral

24th December 2014:
Hufflepuff Hot Seat Review!

I absolutely loved the beginning! A letter from Grindelwald, sent from NurmengardÖ That was simply grand. It really crabbed my attention and made me curious about the history Grindelwald was referring to. Obviously I know the story Ė but I had to stop and ask, how much, exactly, do I really know about what happened between Dumbledore and Grindelwald before Albus defeated him and he was locked in his own prison. Iím really excited to read your interpretation about their history.

I also loved the way you write Albus. He is exactly as I imagined; lamenting the death of his mother, but more importantly, the death of his own future. I really liked how he refers the village as quant and how he feels the need to put up an act for the mourners. It really feels like he is a young man who feels like his motherís death robbed him of a brilliant future. I also liked how distant he seems to his siblings.

I really liked Arianaís POV and how confused she was when she woke up in the middle of the night and there was no one in the room. I loved how you described her magic being like fire coursing through her veins. Itís such a powerful image; no wonder Ariana is afraid of her powers.

An excellent first chapter! I canít wait to read the rest!

- Emmi

Author's Response: Hey Emmi!

Thanks for your lovely detailed review! :) I'm so pleased you like the beginning and Grindelwald's letter. I really enjoyed writing that part...I rather enjoy writing Grindelwald. :) There's not much detail about the actual duel between DUmbledore and Grindelwald, so I'm going to take a bit of liberty with things here.

I'm glad you liked my version of Albus! And really pleased that you imagined him this way, too! He's waaay more of a flawed (and human, probably) character than the wise old headmaster who hardly ever errs or displays much vulnerability. I wish he wasn't so distant to his siblings,

Ariana's one of my favourite characters to write!

Thank you so much for your wonderful review. :)

-teh


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Review #10, 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 #11, 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 #12, 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 #13, 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 #14, 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 #15, 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 #16, 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 #17, 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 #18, 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 #19, 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 #20, 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 #21, 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 #22, 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 #23, 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 #24, 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 #25, 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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