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Reading Reviews for Let Perpetual Light
61 Reviews Found

Review #1, by nott theodore A Funeral

1st April 2017:
CTF Jailbreak Review

Nicole! It's been far too long since I read your work (and I'm aware I need to review the latest chapter of Jingle All the Way) but I've been wanting to read this for absolutely ages and I'm so glad to get back to your writing. I swear, every time that I read your stories I'm taken aback again by how beautiful your writing is.

That opening section, with the letter from Gellert - I am so impressed by the way that you managed to find his voice and characterise him so well. The description in that was brilliant, especially some phrases - talking about the whitewashing of history and wiping the slate. Albus's character only really becomes more well-rounded in the later books, and at the start of the series he's definitely the one we look up to as the hero. I also thought it was a lovely way to take us back - start from a point most of us recognised more, after this duel between Albus and Gellert, to take us back with Gellert's memories to when it started between them.

That last line, though - that seems to me so to be so cruel! It was almost like while he was saying that he hoped Albus had peace for one night, he was ensuring he'd never really be peaceful again - by saying that it wasn't Aberforth that killed Ariana, he never said that it wasn't Albus.

The switch to Albus's POV was really well done - and what I found interesting about it was that he wasn't actually the most likeable character. I know he's obviously grieving here, and he's still so young, and trying to cope with things the only way he can see, but at the same time he's being kind of insensitive to the others around him and not seeing what his siblings need. It must be such a burden for him though to have to face looking after his family and at the same time grieving his mother and a future he once saw for himself. I can't really blame him for that, but it captures perfectly the reasons he might be attracted by the ideas that Gellert brings.

My favourite part of this chapter was the focus on Ariana, though. I've only ever seen her in one-shots and never that much consideration of her perspective while this is all going on, so I'm looking forward to seeing more about her. Her insights into those around her were really interesting, and even though Albus wants to protect her, I got the impression from this that he actually underestimates her. I'll hopefully get back to this soon!

Sian :)

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Review #2, by marauderfan The Last Enemy

17th June 2016:
First of all - congratulations on finishing your first novel!!! ♥ That's such an exciting accomplishment :) *slices a celebratory cake*

This was such a great chapter. It really did justice to the story of the Dumbledores which we knew the bare bones of from the books, but this filled in all the gaps in such a rich way. I also like that you started and ended the novel in similar ways - although sad (as both chapters involved a funeral), it had the effect of sort of bringing things back around where they started, whereas the situations and the characters have changed in the meantime.

Grindelwald's letter in the beginning is markedly different from his earlier ones. The other ones were all sort of mocking and selfish, like Gellert enjoys the idea of tormenting Albus even from far away, partly because he's still bitter at Albus not going with him and for things not working out how Gellert wanted, I think, and also partly because he's bored in prison. Mostly the letters are for himself, even if he sends them to Albus. But this last one really is for Albus, and it seems to be the most honest Gellert has been in this novel. The fun of sending passive-aggressive letters has worn off, and he's still not happy. Though, because this is Gellert, I suppose part of the letter really is still selfish. I think he's trying to clear his own conscience as well.

The way you wrote Gellert's grief at Ariana's death was so perfect as well - particularly the image of him going back to Bathilda's house and collapsing (and Bathilda having no idea what to do), and then almost immediately putting on his mask again and carrying on. Obviously he's upset, but he's not really sure how to process it. Even if the reason for his being upset wasn't totally about Ariana, and more that Gellert never figured her out and that he might have been partly responsible for her death, I think that event really affected him - though not enough for him to stop seeking the Hallows. He is still stubborn.

I also noted the vast disparity between his reaction and Albus' reaction - with Gellert being upset and then just as easily moving on, while for Albus it's like the ultimate wake up call. As we know from later Dumbledore, this is the event that really changed him, and it's evident in his reactions and how he talks afterwards to Aberforth and to Gellert. I mean, there's definitely still elements of who Albus always was before, with him trying to convince Aberforth to stay in school, but his stubbornness is gone, in contrast to Gellert.

He turns the space of the kitchen and the living room into spirals of aimless miles. -- I really liked that visual.

Aw, thanks for that shoutout at the end! And aaah, so reading the last chapters of novels is always kind of bittersweet. You know, because I love the satisfaction of finding out how it all ends, but then there's no more! And with this story, which I've been following from the beginning, over 2 years ago, it's kind of sad to not have any more of it to read! But. This was a phenomenal story and I have so enjoyed reading it. You are such a talented writer. And congrats once again on finishing your novel!! ♥

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Review #3, by marauderfan At the Hour

20th March 2016:
Aah, once again a phenomenal chapter, teh. This is such a pivotal moment in Albus and Gellert's story and you handled it perfectly, all the lead-up and then the actual duel itself.

Poor Bathilda. That does indeed sound like a terrible summer for her, as she's just been kind of used - for her books, her knowledge, her house, and no one really notices her at all. If not for her sections in the story I doubt she'd be mentioned at all, because Albus and Gellert are far too caught up in their own things. And things are only going to get worse for her, considering she still has a high regard for Gellert and I have a feeling she's going to be hearing about this duel soon and Ariana's death.

The brambles of his handwriting -- ooh, I love this! Your descriptions never fail to impress me :D

ďYou can set your roots down now!Ē -- and this, this mid-battle pun, I love it. Not only because it's funny :P but also because this is so very much a thing that Gellert would do to irritate Albus, as he's bitter that Albus wants to stay put rather than gallivant all around the continent searching for the Hallows.

This duel though, and the lead into it with Aberforth finding all his goats murdered, it was superbly written and I liked how you addressed the changes in the characters. While it's been happening all along, it's only here that Albus realizes just how far Gellert will go, and what he thought he knew about Gellert is wrong.

I loved that you cut away to Ariana at this point and we saw this from her eyes. That scene with her and the three women was really interesting - as they tell her, she cheated death by surviving several years ago, and it sort of explains why the women have been following her around in her mind. The way you hinted that time is ticking for Ariana was really clever as well, with moss growing on the Crone, and the Tall Woman kind of disintegrating. And the way you orchestrated Ariana's entrance into the duel was not at all what I expected - rather than, as I had assumed, she kind of wanders in, here she does it in a way as a sacrifice. She cheated Death, and now it is coming in its three forms for the three duellers downstairs, and it's all because of her, so she walks in there knowing she's about to die. It was quite eerie. But it does seem that it was the force of all three of the duellers that killed her, and not one person specifically... I don't know if that makes me feel better or worse. But I love how you wrote it.

The last scene was what I'd have expected of Gellert. You show an interesting side to him here - he cares, and obviously he feels terrible about Ariana's death, but not enough for him to stop with his quest of the hallows, and that's what finally turns Albus away. Gah! I just loved this chapter and you did a wonderful job with it.

Nothing seemed clunky or protracted, but I did catch a few typos:

he sees pitch-black reservoirs and passion bordering on venom in the limpid eyes of his friendís. -- I don't think you need the 's at the end of this sentence.

Albus removes the hex on his leg and sends a. -- I think this was a copy/paste casualty :P

those aside, you've produced such a magnificent piece of writing here. I can't believe there's only one more chapter - I have really loved reading this. ♥

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Review #4, by marauderfan Witch in the Water

16th November 2015:
tehhh. ♥ I was so glad to see that this had just been updated the other day! :D

I've been waiting for this moment in the story. :p Not because I'm a horrible person and love seeing things fall apart into chaos (okay, maybe that's part of it :p ) but it's just really interesting to see the point where everything turns around and the worlds Albus and Gellert have both created for themselves kind of crumble and they're forced to deal with it - and they deal in such different ways.

I do wonder what was in Ariana's most recent letter to Bathilda! I don't think her correspondence with Bathilda had been mentioned recently. I did find Bathilda's unknowing "You seem quite like a child sometimes" remark pretty amusing though. Poor Bathilda, if only you knew.

Wow, Ariana's story in this chapter is really intense, how she kind of ended up at the bottom of the river with stones in her pockets totally unawares. I think the most interesting part of this segment though is that Gellert can see the three women at first. Do they exist? Or are they just something you see if you're determinedly seeking the Hallows? I'm guessing it's the latter but wow, that really did a number on my brain :p

And then we get the beginning of the division between Gellert and Albus. This is where they differ as they are both equally determined to reach the Hallows, but Albus is more patient, and his concern for his siblings finally takes precedence now that something happened to Ariana. Whereas Gellert is tired of being all talk and no action and he can't just sit around and wait. And then - I really loved this - Ariana says in deadly clarity that she will drive a wedge between Albus and Gellert - she doesn't even have to actively do anything, as she's already done so without knowing. (Or does she know? She knows a lot more than it appears.)

Music will always be one of the most beautiful mysteries of life for me.Ē -- this is such a small moment, but it makes me think of Dumbledore's speech in the first book (I think it was the first book) about music being a magic beyond what they do at Hogwarts - and I just love this nod to that aspect of his character here.

I'm worried about Aberforth - is something bad going to happen to him?! I know Gellert can't have gone into the barn to do anything good. And I know the big duel is coming up... ahhh.

Can't wait for the next chapter. This one, like as always, was amazing :)

also aw, thank you for the chapter dedication!! ♥ You are so sweet!

Author's Response: Hello again, Kristin! ♥

Responding to your last review here, and once again, sorry for taking so long...eep...you're far too lovely, by the way. ♥ ♥

Yes, this is where the world collapses and implodes on all the characters. :P And you've been waiting for it.

Ariana's last letter to Bathilda...I may reveal some more of it, or I may not... :P But there won't be much of it. There are a lot of gaps in this story, and I've chosen to leave some things unknown (even though I myself /do/ know what happened...I'm a terrible fic author sorry... *hides*). Ariana has actually been working steadily over the summer, ever since she saw signs of her possible demise in Chapter 4...well, she's a ticking timebomb, really. She did elude Death all those years ago, as a child, and this was no accident. Despite her psychological and magical condition, she is incredibly resilient and clever in her own way. As well as having her own strange, almost-mystical ways.

Did Gellert see the Three Women now? :P Some things can be seen...sometimes. This is just me being annoying, by the way. Gellert won't get a proper resolution, at least I don't think he will. By the end of summer, he'll have done far too much damage to the Dumbledore family for there to be any sort of reconciliation. Something like that. :P This isn't a spoiler. This is JKR's canon!! Sort of.

You'll just have to hang tight for the next chapter (will edit!! as soon as I can!!) to find out about That Defining Moment that set into motion events for the entire Harry Potter series.

And thank /you/ Kristin, for your amazingness, and shouting out this story several times on the boards; it really really does mean a lot to me. ♥ ♥

Not far to go until the end, now!


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Review #5, by ascendio A Funeral

15th November 2015:
(ONTO THIS. I can only fit in one chapter right now, but I figured why not at least start it and then come back later.)

Already I'm so impressed. Does your slate sparkle? Has the history of your doing been whitewashed? You nailed that letter! It was perfectly executed and it set the mood; a great setup to what I'm sure will be an equally great story. I am not that generous, old friend. Oh, Gellert, stop.


You've managed to capture the Gothic tone, but you also made it your own. I felt like I was reading one of the classics, albeit one with more immediacy, which I think has to do with the tense. The writing felt both of "now" and "then" - hard to explain, but it was very impressive.

This whole fic just feels like an immense achievement, and your descriptions are, again, superb. You capture just the right amount to serve the story without ever being extraneous, but there's still enough to make me flail. (Flailing, I'm guessing, is what most of my reviews for your stories will be). I loved how you added in the different aspects of the time, in regards to fashion and mannerisms and whatnot, and it all felt accurate.

I liked the way you've characterized Albus (aain, it felt accurate.) He's reserved and rigid and gentlemanly, in contrast to grass-flecked Alberforth and unstable Ariana. And I can see how he becomes intrigued with Gellert - who is like Albus, as both of them are intelligent wizards, but more worldly and less repressed - and I think that's probably what Albus kind of wants to be, but won't let himself become because of his family (and, uh, perhaps some of his own ideals, I'm guessing?) I'm eager to see your take on their relationship, how it'll be introduced and developed and such.

Also, Ariana. Sometimes she thinks that he knows her with a terrible precision, every interstice of her thoughts; he sees her and is unimpressed, bored. Other times, he seems blind, staring through her as though she is a ghost. I loved this. The whole situation with her reminds me of Bronte (and from your story summary, it seems like that's what you wanted, so yay!) And I guess she feels both powerful and scared - I'm probably way off, but I sense that she wants to be more..."innocent" isn't the right word, but I'll use it...but at the same time she distrusts something, and that makes her more guarded - more aware of herself and this uneasy magic - and she's kind of grateful that she has it to protect herself with? Eh, like I said, I'm probably waaay off. I mean, this is only the first chapter and I'll of course be continuing at a later time.

But right now I'm bouncing at my keyboard with excitement and crying with adoration for your writing skills (if they're ever on loan, tell me, please. I beg of you).


Author's Response: Hello Mo! ♥

I must apologise for the lateness of my response...I'm so sorry. *hides* And thank you, thank you, thank you for your absolutely beautiful compliments and this wonderful review of yorus. Thank you for stopping by my page and choosing to read this story; most people wouldn't choose this fic to read because of its long chapters and not-so-popular era/ship. So thank you, again!

LOVED your comment about tone, and the sense of immediacy you got from the writing. Time is a peculiar thing in this story...the bulk of it is set in the summer months at Godric's Hollow, and so far, the only parts of the fic to deviate from this specific period are Gellert's letters, which are dated after the duel between him and Dumbledore, and during his subsequent imprisonment within Nurmengard. And your comment about accuracy of the fic in terms of fashions, mannerisms etc. just let me breathe a huge sigh of relief. That was one of the things that was killing me at the start of the story...trying to capture the essence of the era without having to resort to grandiose depictions of cities and global events and stuff. Things are highly localised in this fic to the setting. There's a very restricted view of the outside world, to reflect the restrictiveness Albus feels in terms of his current situation.

Glad you like my portrayal of Ariana! I will try to develop a very different character of Ariana from how she is usually depicted in fic. Or in the books in general. In DH, she was nothing more than a poor broken girl, a mere plot device to substantiate Albus's humanity...a plot device for male angst, basically. :P So here she's going to be very different, but you'll have to read on to find out more about Ariana. :P

Aww, Mo, you're just the loveliest person ever! ♥ Thank you once again for taking the time to read and review, and apologies for the belated response again. Much love, always. ♥


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Review #6, by Aphoride Symbols and Stories

14th November 2015:
NICOLE - I did say I'd be back soon! :P Got the chance to stop by again, so I'm not going to waste it! :) I've meant to catch up on this story for so long, so it's way beyond time! :D

This chapter... omigosh, where to start?! I love the letter from Gellert at the beginning. There's something wonderfully bitter and disdainful about it - and there's this beautiful way you have of writing it where his mind wanders so much, and goes off these little tangents, and at the same time it all feels half calculated, like he's deliberately trying to get a rise out of Albus, or get some kind of response. The last line - p.s. - was so strangely chilling. Gah, you're not going to break my heart with who killed Ariana, are you? Probably - I know you... ;) Wah, but I love the fact that you include it like another taunt - a little, final message just in case Albus has read it and isn't already annoyed :P

That story... Gellert's version of the three brothers tale - well, not quite his version, as such, but you know what I mean ;) - was so haunting, and so beautiful. I love the way you wrote it - it was so gorgeous and yet so obviously recognisable as a fairytale-style story - and how you incorporated the elements of the hallows into another tale, but one which is drastically different. I'd never have thought of that before, and I've never seen it before, but I love it! It's such a clever, unique idea - I'm almost jealous I didn't think of it first :P

Speaking of that, I love how Gellert's reason for telling it to Albus is that Albus likes stories - it's pretty manipulative, but so simple, and perhaps all the more powerful because it's simple, you know? Also, I love how it portrays Gellert definitely as appearing harmless, when he's so very obviously not, as we know, with the whole 'juvenile delinquent' aspect of it.

Also, dat duel, man. I know it was only playing, really, for both of them, but I loved how they end up being so evenly matched - it's a kind of jolting result after kinda knowing from HP that they're so evenly matched, and then Gellert mentioning in his letter that he surrendered after twenty minutes. It sort of comes full circle, almost, in a way, I guess, which I love - I have a strange fondness for circular motifs :P

I really, really love how malicious and powerful and unstable your Ariana is. There's something both frail and yet completely dangerous about her, and it's a brilliant combination. I also, as I think I've mentioned before?, love how you've turned her into more than just a damanged little girl. It's, again, like almost everything about this story, such a unique take on her, and it's so amazing, and so well-crafted it's incredible.

I love the little childish moments with Gellert and Albus dotted throughout this, intersperced with those moments where they appear so much older than they are - when Gellert steals the greengages simply because they're sweeter and he can, where they end up running through the rain together and when they're coming up the path and Ariana's watching them, like they've been friends forever, almost. It's sweet, which is almost a strange - but lovely - thing in this story, with all the tension around it :P (But they're still adorable! :P)

That ending, as well, with that last line... wow. It really vamps up the tension again, makes it feel as though the battlelines have already been drawn, so to speak - almost like this is the point from which nothing can go back. Gah, you're waaay way too good at this mood-setting stuff :P

Loved. It. As you know ;)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Oops, sorry about how my last response ended! *hides* I hit "Preview" and was intending to go back to edit, but clicked on "Submit" instead...gah, it's 7:30AM and I need to finish my coffee...

THank you once again for another brilliant review, Laura! ♥ And I apologise for taking ages to respond...I'm a terrible excuse of a human being.

Bahaha, I love writing Gellert's post-1945-duel letters a bit too much...I love writing his bitterness, his anger, madness, everything that infuriates him. And I love writing him taking all his issues out on Albus. Well, you probably know that his letters sort of lose focus and direction the more he writes. You're right, he is trying to get a response out of Albus, but he's also trying to resolve issues within himself. Things may or may not be resolved by the end of the story, but Gellert definitely knows something Albus doesn't. Am I going to break your heart about telling you who killed Ariana? :P I might tell you. :P I might. :P

Aww aww I'm so elated and so so relieved that you liked the other version of the fairytale. It was one of the things I was unsure about including in the fic; I did make it up :P And kind of based it roughly on the structure and logic of traditional folk tales.

I too love circular motifs. And these two don't really have a serious go at each other until...well until the end of summer of course. Still got to clean up that chapter and rewrite their skirmish scene, so re-reading your review really reminded me to do that... *hides*

I'm glad you see her as more than a damaged girl in this fic; that was one of my main things to explore in this fic, along with Albus and Gellert's teenage relationship. And I definitely see Ariana as someone who could have possibly turned out as brilliant and intelligent as Albus, were she not so severely affected by childhood trauma. Despite this strange internal world she inhabits, she does have plenty of moments of lucidity and is quite capable of planning things out very precisely. I think of her as a bit of a strategist (just like Albus) and a bit of a mystic as well.

Thank you once again for this brilliant review, Laura! ♥ ♥ It means so much to me that you're reading / have read this story, and I'm always so grateful for your feedback.

Much love and thanks ♥ ♥


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Review #7, by Aphoride At The Churchyard Again

14th November 2015:
NICOLE! :D :D :D It's been far, far too long since I stopped by this story - and so, so regrettable that I haven't actually reviewed much of it at all (though I've read all of it so often!) so I'm stopping by to change that as much as I can tonight! :)

You know how much I love this story - or you should do, at any rate ;) - but I can't help but say it every time I stop by this, because, really, it is amazing. It's just... so entirely complete, you know? Like, an entire world in this story, it makes me forget that the world its in is JKR's because you've just taken it and made it your own so well, and so completely, and it's so, so good.

Also, there's this lovely sense of tension through the whole thing, which just puts me on edge and makes me wait for the unexpected - it's this lovely kind of mysterious quality which I can't quite describe, let alone even have any idea how to reproduce. It's an amazing skill you have, seriously! Your writing just really brings it to life - especially in that scene where Gellert and Aberforth fight, and Gellert steals his wand. The confusion you generate with that and then Gellert returning the wand and looking chastened is so clever and so mysterious - I really wanna know exactly what happened with that and why... but it's not necessary, you know? And it's just adding yet another layer to this, and it's so lovely! :)

I love your Gellert - the little tinges of violence, hints of madness and of danger with him, just beneath the surface. Though it kinda runs through all of them, though - the little strange moments with Ariana, just how unhinged she seems, in a way and at times; how frustrated and restless Albus seems, and how Aberforth seems to keep threatening to boil over. It's so very teenage in its way, you know? Like, the characters are so obviously young, but then the writing is somehow such high quality and so beautifully intricate, and I love how you've married the two together.

I love as well, how easily Albus' mood is lightened by meeting Gellert - there's something so telling about it, even though character-wise, he doesn't know, but we do - and how sceptical he is at the beginning about the tale of the three brothers and how it connects to the Hallows.

As always, your writing is just stunning. Seriously. I know I keep saying this, but tbh, I don't think it's ever going to get old or useless or worn out, so... ;) imma keep going :P Every wood seems so perfectly chosen in all of your stories, and the style you bring to them, the feel and everything, is just perfect for each one. I really, really don't know how you do it - but you're just so flawless, and it blows my mind each time! :)

Okay, so I already know what happens next (bad Aph... :P), but I love the sense of curiosity you give each chapter end - it's not quite a cliffhanger, as such, but I still want to read on so so much! I remember reading it for the first time and being so, so incredibly excited and curious and almost desperate to see what happens next, how Albus and Gellert and Aberforth and Ariana grow as characters, and how the relationships between them all develop.

This is a perfect, perfect story and I'm so sorry I wasn't back before now! Love it; as always! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Eep Laura! ♥ ♥ ♥

So your opinion of this fic really really really matters to me because you are like THE Albus/Gellert shipper of HPFF, and you write them so much and gah your versions of them are flawless, wand puns and all... :P So this review of yours is a real treasure to receive, thank you, thank you, lovely! ♥

I'm glad you like Gellert! Favourite character to write, next to Ariana! And you're absolutely right, every character in this fic is a little craycray...too much fiddling about with power, too much dabbling in the realms of magic that they don't understand well enough.

And I love what you said about the characters being so young...and therefore justifiably whiny, but that the fic doesn't get too bogged down in their angst...hopefully not? :P

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Review #8, by MeredithMF In Resurrection

12th November 2015:
I absolutely love this fic and I'm on the edge of my seat waiting for the next chapter. Wonderful characterizations and dialogue. Very original
Thanks so much for writing!

Author's Response: Hello! ♥

Wow, thank you so, so much for reading! And I'm ecstatic and very excited to have a new reader, and also that you enjoyed!? Thank you!

I've been so busy with RL, but I'm very nearly done with editing the next chapter. It will be posted over the next few days.

Thanks so much, once again! ♥


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Review #9, by marauderfan In Resurrection

23rd September 2015:
Yesss another chapter

Perhaps I spoke too soon at the end of the last chapter when I thought Grindelwald was posing as Thimble - it's Ariana who's doing so! I was expecting that even less, based on how well thought out and well written the letter was, but then I guess I've underestimated Ariana just as all the other characters have. And I realize that it's not even that surprising that it's Ariana who's been writing the letter - it fits so well with what's been told about her so far. And gah, she just keeps getting more interesting as a character!

also I forgot to mention in the previous chapter - I love that it was actually Albus who came up with the "Greater Good" thing, and Gellert just appropriated it for his own means.

And then Ariana actually meets Marvolo Gaunt and uses one of the Hallows! She is really quite intelligent even though she spends most of her life in a world of her own fabrication, and it makes me wonder what she would have been like if she'd not had that bad experience with the Muggles when she was a kid.

I found the bit where Kendra and Percival materialized really interesting as well - particularly the way they only repeated themselves and couldn't say much. Especially because I seem to remember the ghosts of James, Lily, Sirius, and Remus saying things to Harry as he walked into the forest, which made me start thinking if the stone can make people materialise in different ways, or if Ariana sees the deathly versions of her parents because of her particular magic or because she's more closely connected with the death side of things (given that she talks to the death crone nearly every day), or maybe Harry overlooked things like that which Ariana noticed, as Harry was seeing these faces to give him strength as he walked into the forest? I doubt any of what I'm saying actually makes sense outside my own head, so I'm sorry :p but wow, that was just such an interesting scene.

I saw one typo in the chapter so I figured I'd point it out: ďImagine all the powerat our disposal once we unite the Hallows -- should be "power at"

This was such a great chapter! I love this story so much and I can't wait to read more - it is really exciting that you've finished writing the whole thing, even if it isn't edited yet. Sending all my editing-muses to you :D

Author's Response: Hello again, Kristin! ♥

YES, PLEASE SEND ALL YOUR EDITING MUSES TO ME, PLEASE. Just...two more chapters to edit, just two more...I'm the laziest writer in the universe, and I want to apologise for existing. *hides*

Yay, yay, you're getting through the story! It's indeed Ariana who's Thimble. I was really nervous about this revelation, because when writing I was fairly sure that readers would shake their heads in disbelief and find it unconvincing. I've always seen Ariana as someone who is as intelligent and as clever as Albus, though she is impeded by the traumatic event in her past and her current mental state. She does have her moments of lucidity when she can plan things out accurately. And I feel that she is an instinctual user of magic. It comes naturally to her, though because of the damage the Muggle boys did to her, her abilities went out of control. She's both frail and strong at the same time, and not in the way that most others would see. Bottom line is, I love Ariana, and I love writing her as someone who is incredibly talented and capable of astonishing feats of magic. :P

Aaand yes, she met Marvolo Gaunt. And nobody will ever find out. :P Or I'd have to make the whole story AU.

The Resurrection Stone is portrayed very strangely and conflictingly in the books. There's the second Peverell rother who was driven to despair by the Stone's power. And then there's Harry, who finds strength and comfort in the apparitions conjured up by the Stone's power. I think there's a crucial difference between the two. With Harry, he had already accepted his fate to die, and so the Stone, being an instrument of Death, gave him some measure of comfort and confidence to get one with his task. But the second Peverell sought to reclaim from Death what belonged to Death, and found out, that despite all the power he held within his hand, he was truly powerless. With Ariana, unfortunately, it's more like Cadmus Peverell's situation, rather than Harry's. Ariana wants to /live/. She has fought for life so hard since her childhood, when she narrowly escaped death by fire, as a result of the attack. She has foreseen signs of her own death (it's something that I might not have developed properly in the earlier chapters, but I did include a few hints here and there), and she doesn't want to die forgotten and isolated. She seeks the Hallows because she's drawn to the stories she overhears, and the possibility of escaping her fate.

The Three Witches haunt her because they want to reclaim what is theirs, but Ariana is stronger than they anticipate. Ariana hasn't accepted Death yet, and she won't, not so easily. :P

Er, sorry for rambling!! I hope all that made sense to you.

And ugh, typos! Still haven't corrected that, I think. Thanks for pointing that out to me; I've still got a lot of work to do with this fic.

Thank you once again for another wonderful review, Kristin! ♥


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Review #10, by CambAngst In Resurrection

23rd September 2015:
Hi, teh! How do I not keep going after an author's note like that? :D

I never feel like this story gets as much attention as it deserves. It can be really hard to build a following around a story that doesn't fit a certain mold on HPFF. The pairing of Albus and Gellert doesn't seem to draw the same level of readership as Next Gen or Marauders-era pairings. Another thing that occurs to me is that an awful lot of people would find your story somewhat intimidating to review. Your writing style is so unique and intricate. The imagery you create is unlike any other story I've read on the archives. You're truly one of a kind.

Another bitter, angry letter from Gellert to Albus. You can really feel Gellert descending into madness in this letter. He's losing control of his message, wandering back and forth between being conciliatory and spiteful and nostalgic and vicious. It doesn't have the same focus and obvious purpose as his earlier letters. Near the end, he even sounds somewhat desperate.

I felt like I learned quite a bit about the three apparitions who haunt Ariana in this chapter. We also learn quite a bit about Ariana's madness. Or rather the method to it. She isn't as helpless or lost as Albus and Aberforth seem to assume. She has found a purpose and she pursues it in ways that they haven't realized.

I loved the scene you created with the imaginary soup party and the trestle table. It read like a constantly changing swirl between moments of hallucination and lucidity.

So it was Ariana who lured Marvolo Gaunt to bring the Resurrection Stone. I was convinced it was Gellert. It's also pretty amazing that she discovered something that Albus and Gellert missed in spite of all of their intelligence and obsessive pursuit of the Hallows. Albus is leading Ariana toward her death in more ways than even Gellert realizes.

By the end of the scene in Ariana's room, I was starting to think that the three apparitions are starting to merge into some sort of personification of death. That would explain some of their comments, as well as the way they call out to her.

Albus is completely smitten with Gellert. So much so that he's become convinced he can have it all: his life with Gellert, their pursuit of the Hallows, taking care of his sister, possibly restoring her to health... The world seems pretty boundless when you're young and in love, I suppose. You did a really good job of defining Gellert's feeling for Albus. There isn't much there that I would call genuine affection. There's certainly lust -- both physical attraction and a lust for the possibilities that Albus represents -- but I don't feel anything more.

I really, really loved the scene where Ariana escapes from the house. The way that she coopts Aberforth's wand and the way that she circumvents Albus's wards were brilliant. They made my inner magic nerd dance (awkwardly. he's a nerd) with joy. Also, the way that she performs magic made perfect sense. She has no formal education. Incantations and wand movements are unknown to her. She simply lets the feelings flow out through the wand.

And she lays a beat-down on Marvolo. I can't say that I feel especially bad for the guy. He's the nineteenth century wizard equivalent of inbred mountain hillbillies.

The scene with the shades of Percival and Kendra is beautifully written and heart-breaking. It's just perfect. I read the scene and thought, 'Yes! This is how the second Peverell brother was driven mad.' The shades of Ariana's parents have a palpable sadness to them. The whole experience is filled with regret and unfulfilled expectations. There is no peace for Ariana. There are only the Crone, the Tall Woman and Glass Girl.

Send us back, Kendra seems to be pleading through her eyes. Send us back. You and your brothers are nobody to us any longer. -- This. Oh my god, this.

This story gets better with every chapter. Until next time...

Author's Response: Dan! ♥

Dan Dan Dan.

I have to say this particular review of yours struck so many chords with me. I don't know how many times I've said this, but thank you for being here reviewing this story. Thank you for understanding what I'm trying to do, for telling me that you understand, and for every encouraging compliment and occasional critique you've left me. I really really appreciate your time and effot, and your reviews have been a massive boost in my confidence. So thank you, again and again until the end of this fic. ♥

Certainly, you're right about Gellert's letters. They started off bitter, filled with resentment and malice, and they do lose focus the more he writes to Albus. Grindelwald is indeed a mess; there may be forces stronger than him at play, things that he doesn't expect. Madness is something that recurs in some characters.

I'm glad you learned a bit about the apparitions Ariana sees. They're inextricably linked to (Gellert's) story of the Hallows, and to Death, and to Ariana herself. So maybe Ariana projects herself onto these apparitions; maybe they exist and she understands them in her own terms. I also do think that Ariana narrowly escaped death all those years ago when the Muggle boys attacked her as a child. With the magic she was capable of performing, I do think she's much more powerful than most people (including her own family) think, and she fought very hard to survive, even if it meant existing in such a state of alienation. Albus is portrayed as a very gifted and brilliant wizard in the books, and I like to think Ariana is similar to him, just as intelligent, though she is impeded by her past trauma and her mental condition. Magic is instintual to her, and she has the ability to plan things with great accuracy, which is something I've been trying to show in this chapter and the last (all her letters as Thimble etc.)

Your description of Marvolo as the "19th century wizard equivalent of inbred mountain hillbillies" made me choke a bit. :P Good Lord, I'll never see him as anyone else now.

I'm so glad to hear that the final scene where Ariana uses the Stone to resurrect her parents struck a chord with you. I was incredibly nervous writing it, and now I can breathe a sigh of relief...because...it works? For you, at least?

Thank you once again for another amazing review, Dan! ♥


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Review #11, by marauderfan A Communion of Saints

23rd September 2015:
TEHHH ♥ Gah, I saw that you'd updated this story weeks ago and because I'm a horrifically slow reviewer I have only just now found the time to catch up and read these most recent two chapters, which I'm so glad about because I'd missed this fic! Also, I really love the new title. Anyway, enough of me rambling, onto the review!

The swollen heat of July collapses into August, drawing out of the marshlands a living vapour of mosquitoes and midges. The summer loses its sharpness and turns clammy and permeable, seeping through all layers of earth, brick, fabric and skin. - !!! Your descriptions are SO GOOD. Every time I read anything by you I'm just blown away - like I don't just see the scene, I feel it, because you incorporate so many senses and details into your descriptions. I'm in awe, really.

Your portrayal of Ariana is so fresh and interesting, both from her own point of view and as seen by Albus and Aberforth. As seen from her own perspective, things make sense because that's how she is experiencing things (until you step back and really analyse what's happening and see that it's all in her head), and as seen from an outsider like her brothers, she seems to just exist in an entirely different phase from everything else. Like she'll be there in one moment, aware, knowing that her brothers underestimate her, or having a normal conversation about wanting an owl, but then sort of check out in the next moment and lose interest. She's just so interesting to read about. I loved that she uses her own voice to be the voice of Glass Girl and the other women she regularly 'sees'.

I really love the way in which you've been developing the relationship between Albus and Gellert, writing letters all the time, analyzing each other's character, and the hints of anything more than friendship are so subtle because of the time period, but evident - and I was in a way unsurprised that the kiss happened when it did - even though I think there was sentiment behind it, in a way because of the timing it felt sort of as a way for Gellert to get back at Albus for winning the duel - he points out something Albus is trying to keep hidden. Gellert is such a mastermind, such a calculating thinker.

(also, that duel was awesome.)

And Marvolo Gaunt shows up at the end! :O Wait... it has been months since the Thimble letter plot was introduced so this might have already been covered and I'd forgotten, but is Gellert posing as Thimble to get the Hallows from Marvolo Gaunt?!?! AJSDFJASLDJ WOWOW things just got really interesting (not that they were uninteresting before but... this is like a whole new twist thrown in and I just didn't predict that at all. I'm excited.

And there's another chapter waiting for me! :D See you again with more gushing words of praise on that one.

Author's Response: Kristin! ♥

FINALLY I'm responding to all your wonderful reviews. I'm so sorry... *hides in shame*

Thank you so much for yet another fantastic review; thank you for continuing to read and follow this story, and the huge encouragement you've given me all this while with your amazing comments. *sobs*

I do love reading your analysis of Ariana! I feel that you really understand her, and that you understand that the apparitions/visions/hallucinations/whatever that she sees are valid and real to her. I would watch for those moments when she "checks out" though; Ariana is not as mad as everyone thinks she is.

Albus and Gellert ah ♥ Talk about relationships that could have been...Gellert is definitely on the more manipulative side of things; I think that he would be immensely attracted to Albus, and is perhaps a little desperate to have Albus on his side. And he's so used to getting whatever he wants. If only he had more empathy, more reason, could think more rationally.

Marvolo Gaunt indeed shows up. :P Young Marvolo Gaunt, at least. I dont know if I'll even be successful with that particular subplot, or if it's realistic and will fit into canon, but hopefully it will be. :P

Thank you once again for the fabulous review, Kristin! ♥


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Review #12, 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!

Author's Response: Dan! ♥

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

...four months later and here I am, responding to your amazing review. *hides* I'm so sorry for my tardiness; you are one of the few readers who've been coming back faithfully to this fic, no matter how long it takes me to update. And you're right, this chapter was indeed long overdue...nearly a year, I think.

And of course you know what's happened to Gaunt by now. I included Gaunt in this story (even though his appearance in Ariana's life probably wouldn't have crossed JKR's mind...) to throw in something unexpected. We all know the Dumbledore story; JKR pretty much told us the whole thing (albeit with gaps and missing perspectives) in DH.

Love the way you describe Ariana! Lovable and creepy--I'm glad you find her intriguing as a character in such a way. I don't want her to be a helpless little child who can hardly speak; I wanted to interpret her character in a more interesting way, perhaps to make her as capable as Albus and Aberforth and Gellert, though still not free from her past trauma.

I did have a bit of fun with Gellert's background. I was toying around with the definition of the word "hallow", which is an archaic word for "saint". And a bit of research to Gellert's name led me to the discovery that one of the patron saints of Hungary was called Gellert (Sagredo)...and that gave me a clearer picture of where Gellert came from and how he grew up.

You know, after reading your comments, I do wish that I'd made the duel scene longer. With more stunts and spells. I'm slapping myself for the missed opportunity! :P But there is still at least one more duel scene/skirmish, so you just might get all the magical action, if you stick around! :P

Thank you once again for all your brilliant reviews, Dan! ♥ Thanks for your support, your compliments and your encouragement. You're a wonderful friend.


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Review #13, 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. ♥


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Review #14, 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 =)


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! ♥


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Review #15, 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! ♥


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Review #16, 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! ♥


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Review #17, 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! ♥


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Review #18, 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! ♥


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Review #19, 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!


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Review #20, 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. :)


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Review #21, 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. :)


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Review #22, 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! ♥


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*


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Review #23, 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

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!


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Review #24, 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!


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Review #25, 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!!


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