Reading Reviews for The Deathly Children
  
28 Reviews Found

Review #1, by CambAngst At The Churchyard Again

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author's Response: Dan!

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

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

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

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

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

teh


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Review #2, by patronus_charm At The Churchyard Again

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

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

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

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

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

A fabulous chapter, teh!

-Kiana

Author's Response: Gaahhh, Kiana! ♥

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

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

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

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

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

teh


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Review #3, by adluvshp A Funeral

2nd April 2014:
Hey Nicole =)

Here for the TGS review exchange!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author's Response: Hey Aditi!

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

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

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

Albus is very perceptive, but not enough it seems!

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

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

teh


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Review #4, by Lululuna At The Churchyard Again

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

teh


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Review #5, by marauderfan At The Churchyard Again

29th March 2014:
Yay new chapter!!

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

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

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

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

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

Excellent chapter, teh!

Author's Response: *squishes*

Eee, thank you, Kristin! ♥

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

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

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

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

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

-teh


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Review #6, by Pixileanin The Women in the Walls

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-teh


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Review #7, by Pixileanin A Funeral

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

No time like the present!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Great first chapter here!

Author's Response: Hello Pix!!

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

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

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

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

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

-teh


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Review #8, by MrsJaydeMalfoy The Women in the Walls

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

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

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

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

-Jayde

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

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

TIME WILL TELL INDEED.

Thank you so so much, lovely! ♥ ♥

teeh


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Review #9, by MrsJaydeMalfoy A Funeral

11th February 2014:
Hello there, lovely! ♥

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

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

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

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

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

-Jayde

Author's Response: Jayde! ♥

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

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

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

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

teh


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Review #10, by marauderfan The Women in the Walls

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I am excited from Albus to meet Gellert as well!

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

teh


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Review #11, by MissesWeasley123 The Women in the Walls

30th January 2014:
Hey teh! (that rhymed in my head, is it supposed to rhyme? :P) I'm sorry it's taken me AGES to reach here!

And wow, excellent chapter!

Your letters are always so mysterious! It's so troubling how it's a different letter from a different person, and I really don't know where this is going, because your abilities to write so nicely and mysteriously is aggravating! I love it though, so well written. You truly carried her voice you created back in chapter one in the letter, and it's highly interesting that she knows about the Hallows!

I will talk about Grindelwald, but MUST. TALK. ABOUT. ARIANA. I'm one of those stupid people who never really understood what happened during that whole scene with Abby dear telling us what happened to her. I always assumed something around the lines of the boys hitting her or throwing rocks at her because the magic wouldn't work, and so she was scared do it again, but your way made so much more sense, and was immensely heartbreaking. The rubbing of the mud -- that part made me shiver. It was so twisted, and ugh. And Percival's love :( That made me realy sad. Fathers. *flops over* I've been a real brat to my dad the past couple of months, and that part broke my heart, because he was in so much pain, and he loved her, and honestly it was making me cry because I suck and I'm probably hurting my dad as well, and eurgh I'm terrible.

The three women, god that was wicked cool.

I loved and hated everything about her episodes. Those were so chilling. From the Glass Girl, and then what Ariana would be once her episodes finished - limp and broken. That was heartbreaking. And Aberforth and Albus working together was warming, and especially when Aberforth would try to comfort her, but she was already finished on the inside, her sanity and will gone. It was a sad thought.

Grindelwald, gah. He reminds me a lot of young Tom Riddle, charming yet cunning. His entire part with the Headmaster was so well written. His dialogue and just his character -- you give him excellent depth, and it's so sad because in my mind it makes me really emotional to know that Dumbleodre does fall in love with him, and it's almost as heartbreaking as the Tom/Minerva ship and my heart, my heart is failing.

Just. teh, you are amazing. Keep on writing this, because it is absolutely breathtaking. ♥

Author's Response: You are very very VERY close to pronouncing my name. Er, my penname. Add a 'h' sound to the end of of the word, and that's how you say 'teh'. Like 'teyh'! Heyh teyh! lol.

Sorry nothing! THANK YOU for coming back ♥

And it's good that you don't know where the story is going, but it's not good that I don't know either. Well, we'll just have to write and see, eh. I'm glad you like the letters, though! I really do have fun writing them. And can I say that I'm so, so happy that you felt you could connect Bathilda's voice in the letter with the early appearance of her character in the first chapter!?

Ariana's past wasn't the most pleasant of parts to write, ugh. It made me uncomfortable; it was something so drastic and terrifying and I don't usually write these kinds of things. But it seems to have made an impact with some readers, so I'm glad. It was never meant to be easy to read or write.

And I've been a brat to my dad all my life lol. :P *feels guilty*

Albus/Gellert is probs one of my favourite ships ever! I used to read a lot of Tom/Minerva, but not so much anymore. And Grindelwald is going to be a tricky but very exciting character for me to explore!

Thank you for your brilliant review, Nadia! ♥ I won't stop yet, not for awhile! ♥ ♥

teh



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Review #12, by CassiePotter A Funeral

29th January 2014:
Hi teh!
I saw this story in the Hufflepuff Common Room and decided to come check it out! I'm so, so glad I did! I absolutely love it!
I love the letter at the beginning of this chapter! It was so thought-provoking and almost uncomfortable, since Albus is being called out on all of his mistakes and broken promises. We're being forced to think about him in a way that's not enjoyable, because he hasn't grown into the good person we have seen when he's older. It's another perspective on what Albus has done with his life, which is really, really interesting to read in first person!
I also loved the conversation between Albus and Bathilda. He really doesn't want to keep talking to her, and I can just picture how tense and awkward that conversation was for him. The lack of grief is also really striking. I was kind of unsettled when you talked about how he smiled when people started arriving at him mother's funeral... The image of that just made me shiver! Haha.
And then we met Ariana! I adored your descriptions of her! The way you talked about how she can feel the magic in her blood was fascinating to read! I can't wait to see more of her!
This story had such an intriguing start, and you've done fantastically with it! I'll definitely be reading more! 10/10
Cassie :)

Author's Response: CASSIE! ♥

Ahh, wow, what a lovely surprise review! Thank you, thank you! I'm so glad you decided to give this story a chance! Awww, your comments have reduced me to a melty puddle - I don't know where to start!

Flawed Albus is definitely what I was trying to write. He can't always have been his perfect twinkling self, as depicted in the books, and he does indeed have plenty of weaknesses. I love knocking characters off their pedestals and really examining them in detail. I'm glad you were unsettled, actually! Not that I like scaring you, but because, I did achieve some sort of effect. This story is going to be an unsettling one, at least for me to write. Albus really does follow his mother's teachings, and he places a lot of stock in facades and public appearances, hence his disapproval with Aberforth.

And I'm excited to write more about Ariana as well!

Thank you for the fantastic review, Cassie! ♥ ♥ I'm so glad you enjoyed this and I hope to see you around again! Much love.

teh


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Review #13, by CambAngst The Women in the Walls

28th January 2014:
Hi, there! I couldn't resist coming back for chapter 2. It's always such a pleasure to review for someone who's so warm and appreciative!

The letter from Bathilda to Master Thimble was another good scene-setter. I loved how, even back at the end of the 19th century, there were people bemoaning the fascination of the young with progress and newfangled things at the expense of tradition. Nice touch. Bathilda doesn't seem to place all that much stock in the legend surrounding the Hallows, being more of the opinion that the Peverell brothers crafted three exceptionally powerful magical objects with their own talents. I think that's a great way to square the legend with JKR's general preference for magic to be an orderly discipline, free of any sort of divine influence.

Your Gellert is a really awesome character. He's so self-assured and cocky. The small, defiant act of snapping his own wand was such a statement. "I'm not going to beg for your pity or understanding. I don't need your approval to be great." The exchange between Gellert and the Headmaster was brilliantly written.

"I would like to see you exhibit some sincerity for once, Master Grindelwald."

Gellert's eyes lit up at his teacher's irritation. "That is not something I have learned at your school."
-- Ouch. He cuts right to the bone. It was so reminiscent of the letter to Dumbledore that opened the first chapter.

Your description of the old wizard who supplies the black market portkey was really neat. You made it so easy to visualize this very unpleasant-looking old man. Then you follow with the entree to his pursuit of the Elder Wand. The description of the tree was every bit as awesome as the description of the old wizard.

Poor Ariana! The story of her injury was so sad. It's really no wonder that her father chose to exact vengeance on them, no matter the cost. Even when you write about his gift to her from Azkaban, the wooden box, you don't glamorize anything about it which I thought was a great choice. You've made the Dumbledore family perfectly imperfect, if you know what I mean. I absolutely loved the delusion of the three women. That was haunting and fantastically written. The personality you gave them and the descriptions were so good. It was also really, really nice to see the three Dumbledore children in a moment of relative peace, sitting together in Ariana's room. So much is made of the animosity that tore the family apart, but it can't have been like that all the time. Ariana really does love both of her brothers, just in different ways.

Gellert is such a smooth character. He literally drops into this village without shoes on his feet, a wand in his hand or a galleon to his name, but nothing can shake his confidence. By the end of the chapter, he's well on his way.

This has the beginnings of a really great story, and I hope that I can help to motivate you in some small way to give us more!

Author's Response: Hello again, Dan!! And thank you for yet another brilliant review!

Ah, yes, I'll be exploring aspects of the Deathly Hallows myth in this story, and I'm /probably/ going to lean a bit more toward the mythical side of things. I'm not sure about a lot of things in this story, but writing about myth and legend is always going to be fascinating.

And Gellert! I don't think I've ever had so much fun writing a character before! Yes, I'm glad you noticed everything about him: shoeless, wandless, alone and completely unfazed by anything (maybe). He's meant to be quite a charming but strange fellow; there is a darker side to him, but I don't want it to be too visible; I don't think Albus would be interested in a clearly evil character, - I find that things get a little bit dull with such unequivocally villainous characters (e.g. Voldie).

I'm glad you noticed that moment of quiet between the three Dumbledores; it's an uneasy sort of truce between them, but it is a moment of peace. You're the first reviewer to comment on this! And delusional!Ariana just may be about my new favourite thing.

You have /definitely/ motivated me to write more! I'm having a busy few days, but I have started the third chapter, and hopefully I'll get it done by this month! Thank you so, so much, Dan! ♥ You're far too kind, my dear.

teh


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Review #14, by CambAngst A Funeral

27th January 2014:
Tagging you from Review Tag!

Ooh, ooh, ooh! Do you know how excited I was to see that you have a new project going on? And such an interesting topic and time period, too! It's always really interesting to see a talented author take the Dumbledore family history apart and try to ferret out all of those interesting little events and relationships that left an old man so world-weary and wise.

I think Grindelwald's letter was a brilliant way to start this off. I absolutely loved that dripping condescension and self-assurance that comes through so strong. That certainty that it was not by lack of skill that he was defeated, but rather by some subconscious desire on his own part. Some need to be vindicated by seeing himself rejoined with his old friend.

I love the way that he tears at Albus's insecurities, laying bare all of the baggage that Albus confessed to him in his younger days. And the idea that the Elder Wand somehow gave its allegiance to Dumbledore before Gellert ever possessed it... wow. I'm really excited to see where you're going with that.

The last dig at Dumbledore was brilliant. A bit of information precisely calculated to hit Albus where it would hurt the worst. It pretty much leaves a 50-50 chance.

Your descriptions of the day of Kendra's funeral were excellent. They set the scene so perfectly for an event as emotionally bewildering as a funeral. Thankfully, I haven't been to that many, but I always remember not having any idea how to feel. I remember how everything seems artificial and disjointed and almost impossible to touch. The weather you created worked so well with that sort of feeling. There's no sun on your face, no breeze, no rain... just an overcast, grey summer day.

I thought you also paced the scene beautifully. It sort of drags along in a way that's perfectly consistent with Albus's mood. He doesn't want to be there. He's dreading all of the fake, formal pleasantries of greeting the other mourners. He just wants the event to be over so that he can go back to grieving over the wreck of the life that he was planning to live. Just as Albus is being held in the moment, you kept the reader held in the moment as old Bathilda engages him in mostly perfunctory conversation. There's only one thing that she might be able to help him understand and her focus sort of drifts away before she can offer him her insight. In the end, he can't even be troubled to try to rekindle the conversation.

It's pretty easy to see the animosity between Albus and Aberforth here. He treats his brother as barely useful.

Ariana was really interesting here. There is a sort of childlike quality to her, but at the same time she might understand more about what's happening around her -- and possibly what's happening to her, as well -- than she lets on. I loved her perspectives on the other members of her family. They fit so well with the canon characterizations as well as they way that you've started to build Kendra Dumbledore up. And the idea that her magic has become almost a painful thing coursing through her veins sounds like a great metaphor for the kind of damage that she's able to cause when it gets beyond her control.

The magic is bitter, scalding; it tunnels deeper into her as though it is a live insidious thing, making its way to her heart. She can feel the strength of it and she is afraid. Her bones are kindling. -- I loved that passage, especially the last sentence.

Albus is so fake and distant toward her. It's really sad.

I saw one little typo in this, which is definitely a testament to the quality of your proof-reading:

She peels the blanket of her. It is much too hot; -- peels the blanket off her

Otherwise, beautiful writing! Excellent work!

Author's Response: Dan! ♥ Oh my goodness, what a review! I'm reading this for the fourth or fifth time, and I'm also resisting the urge to slam my fist down on the table and shout, "Yes that's it!" with some of the incredibly perceptive comments you've made about the story. I'll have to restrain myself, though; it's past midnight and people are asleep.

And I am honestly so flattered that you're excited about my new project!! Gah, THANK YOU. I am still working on this story very enthusiastically, though I've always been a bit of a slow one.

I'm glad you thought Grindelwald's letter was a strong start to the story. Gosh, I had enormous amounts of fun writing his sneeriness and his anger and sulkiness. Grindelwald, I think, is a Dark Lord I enjoy writing more than Voldie.

Your description of a funeral is exactly what I was trying to convey in this opening chapter. Death is a sudden event, a very alien concept to all three of the Dumbledore children; Percival may be long dead, but he died in prison and the children were far too physically removed from him to be able to fully comprehend the nature of death. The funeral is indeed 'emotionally bewildering' (great way to describe it!); there's a great focus on surfaces, on maintaining a kind of public facade (at least for Albus), as well as on things like ritual, order and custom. Everything that Albus cannot feel and cannot really care about, especially in such a difficult moment.

Glad you found Ariana an interesting character here! I have certainly made her a little more lucid than how I've read her in fic, or how she sounds like in DH, but she could also be pretty delusional, I suppose! I'm really enjoying writing her!

Ah, that typo! I spotted it the day after this chapter was validated...and never got down to changing it! :P I suppose I didn't want to go through the hassle of putting the chapter through the queue again etc. But now that you've called me out on that, it's high time I pick myself up and start editing properly!

Thank you so much for your fabulous, wondrous reviews, Dan! ♥ They really mean a lot to me. :)

teh


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Review #15, by toomanycurls A Funeral

23rd January 2014:
Hi teh!

I feel like I could read this several times and get a new meaning from it with each iteration. Your use of words is more than powerful and the way you've laid them so elegantly in the story is artistic.

The letter from Gellert to Albus is packed with innuendo and depth that shows both of their brilliance and cunning. The letter shows Gellert's clear contempt for Albus and perhaps a touch of fondness still. I love his taunts and air of superiority throughout his letter. The way Gellert lays out his own feelings of betrayal - that Dumbledore would have egged him on regarding the Hallows then left him to his own devices - struck me quite powerfully. Gellert displays the same facts we know in the books but makes tiny twists to contort information to his own view point. Ending the letter with that post script felt like his death blow. So many times people will save the most damaging injury for last and nothing could have shaken Dumbledore more than to know it could have been his spell that ended his sister.

Albus seems almost disconnected from the funeral and proceedings around his mother's death. I can imagine that it's easier to hold grief at a distance while going through the process of funeral arrangements.

I especially liked his question to Bathilda regarding his mother having lost her edge. It seemed like he wanted to find the reason she was killed in a magical accident caused by his sister when she'd been able to divert and prevent such occurrences for so long.

The slightly darker side to Ariana's care was brilliantly done. Having her mostly subdued with potions felt a bit more sinister than I expected. I'm dying to know what the time Bathilda recalls then balks from telling the entire story.

Ariana's brief section is incredible. I love how perceptive you've made her to the care she receives. The frustration, gentileness, and dutiful care - depending on the giver - seemed to be a cornerstone for her life. Oh it's heartbreaking to have Albus so sharp with Ariana regarding Kendra's death. It's terribly sad when Ariana realizes if her mother is gone, it's her fault.

You've made such a powerful story here! I look forward to reading more of this.

-Rose

Author's Response: Hellooo Rose!! :D

asldkjcif THANK YOU for this amazing review! I'm a bit floored at your wonderful compliments; thank you for agreeing to do a swap with me and for leaving such a thoughtful review!

Lovely analysis on Gellert's letter to Albus! I really enjoyed reading your thoughts about that; you've pretty much hit everything on the spot. Gellert is bitter and manipulative and contemptuous and yes, there is a touch of fondness in his writing; I'm glad you picked that up! There is a lot of familiarity between the two; they have such a complicated and intricate history together.

As for Albus, I'm going for a less perfect version of him. I imagine that he can't always be his wonderful, brilliant self (as he is in the books), and I'm quite eager to explore his possible flaws and shortcomings.

Ariana is one of my favourite characters to write. In DH, Ariana is one of the most glossed-over characters (hardly surprising, as she's long dead). Still, her role in the books, or at least in Dumbledore's past, is crucial, and her condition and eventual death really changed a lot about Albus, veered his life off to a completely different direction. It's sad that she isn't so well-explored in the final book, but not that sad, because yaya! I can write my own twisted version of her. And I'm enjoying meself greatly. :P

Thank you for this brilliant review! ♥ This has absolutely made my night!!

-teh


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Review #16, by marinahill A Funeral

23rd January 2014:
Here for our review swap :)

I cannot express enough how much I LOVE stories about the Dumbledores. I remember reading about their back stories in Deathly Hallows and I got a chill then and I was quite surprised to get a similar sort of chill just now.

The letter between Albus and Gellert - from a future time, if I'm correct? It's very telling about their relationship at that time, of things that are yet to come for Albus. Gellert, even then, shows this strong manipulative power over Albus. It's like he knows exactly what buttons to press and when. Interesting indeed.

The visit to Madam Bagshot was also very revealing. The way she describes Kendra... so true to her representation in the books. Of course she wouldn't have made friends if she wouldn't let anyone in. I imagine it makes it very difficult for both Albus and Aberforth to not really have anyone to really talk to about her.

Ariana seems incredibly powerful already. How simply she just decides to not take the medicine and that's that... Remarkable really. I already get a sense for this unpredictable and powerful young girl who hasn't quite grasped the reality of her surroundings and doesn't fully comprehend that her mother is gone.

I really love this, teh! An amazing first chapter with some truly remarkable characters.

Marina

Author's Response: Hiya Marina!

Gah, what an absolutely lovely review! Thank you! :D I love stories about the Dumbledores as well, and I'm blown away that my story affected you in such a way. I suppose I must be doing something right with this. :P

The letter is indeed from the future - many years after the events of the summer of 1899. I am beyond excited to explore the power dynamics between the two; Gellert is indeed rather bitter and manipulative in that letter. Ah well, he did just lose a major duel after all, and has been pretty much consigned to the prison of his own making for the rest of his life.

I loved scouring DH for little telling details about the Dumbledores and other characters surrounding them, and I love expanding on these tidbits of information even more! I'm glad you like the glimpses of Kendra! Sadly, she won't play too big a role in this story, seeing as she's already dead.

Thank you so so much for your fab review, Marina! This was absolutely lovely to receive !! ♥

-teh


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Review #17, by patronus_charm The Women in the Walls

22nd January 2014:
Aw, hugs to teh! Iím suffering from a terrible cold right now, so I feel your pain! But even though I already said this your banner is just ♥. It matches the story perfectly if that makes sense :P

The letter at the beginning was just great! The language was so time appropriate which was a really great touch because I could see the care you had put into it. Then the historical context you supplied with the brief hints at the industrial revolutions and the towns creeping in was just great and so enjoyable to read. Bathilda was so knowledgeable about the Hallows and all of the sources which talk about them which was such a great nod to her life as a historian. It was just great really!

AH! ITíS GRINDELWALD. MUST CALM SELF DOWN. Iíve always had a strange soft spot for him, and he was just perfect here! I loved how we got to witness him at Durmstrang and him being expelled. It was a rather strange moment in his life with the way heís rebelled enough to get expelled but is still under a certain amount of influence as seen by him snapping his wand. I really liked that dynamic and it just differed so much from Voldemortís experience at school where he did everything to seem like the perfect student whereas Grindelwald was the reverse. This line ĎGellert does not forget people. Ď was really great as it showed the dark side to him and possible need for vengeance.

You showed another key canon moment! Gah, I love you for doing this teh it just makes it all the more real! I really felt for Ariana in that moment, the way those boys kept on terrorising and demanding more and more from her. It really broke my heart to read the bit where they were rubbing mud on her, it was just horrible. I thought you caught her mind-set perfectly of a little girl who just wants to be accepted and left alone, and it made me want to hug her and cheer her up so badly!

The way you wrote Arianaís descent into madness was really great. She was such a sweet girl the way she was just sitting there and drawing and being young and happy. I really did feel for Albus too because I could see he was trying really hard to be patient with her, and I liked that aspect of him because it sort of forewarned how he wasnít a natural for this job and why he would turn to Gellert in the end. Then there was Aberforth just being a babe really. Heís such an underrated character that I liked he got a small chance to shine here by being Arianaís saviour.

The ending was really great because it means that Gellert is in Godricís Hollow meaning he could meet Albus soon meaning I will squee a lot from excitement. Gah, I just love this story so much, itís seriously one of the best ones Iíve read on here in HPFF, and I havenít felt so excited for a story update in a while :D

-Kiana

Author's Response: Hugs to you too! ♥ Hope you banish that nasty cold as soon as. AND THAT BANNER. YES. I love it and I cannot stop capslocking EVERYTHING whenever I look at it. Eagh.

I'm glad you like the letter; wow, that was difficult to write. :P I flailed a bit at your "time appropriate" comment; my general attitude toward my writing is 'don't make it /too/ contemporary or anachronistic'. So your comment is like a whole bucket or relief to me.

GELLERT GRINDELWALD. YES HIM. Finally, I get to write a Dark Lord, and a smiling one, too! The part where he snaps his wand is just him being all dramatic, but he also does want to leave on his own terms; he's quite insolent, actually. :P I think I'll have a bit of fun with Gellert in this story!

And Ariana's incident :( :( I had to include that canon moment; I really didn't enjoy writing that part - it was kind of painful, actually. Also, I just realised there's a huge glaring canon error that I forgot to fix with that scene; if I'm not mistaken, in DH, Aberforth says that Ariana was attacked by three Muggle boys, and I somehow forgot to include the third one, though I'd been meaning to. *hides* CANON FAIL #1.

Gellert is in Godric's Hollow? THAT MEANS GRINDELDORE ♥

Your comments were absolutely fabulous, Kiana! Thank you! It's so wonderful to see that you're enjoying the story, and I'll do my best to get the third chapter written as soon as! ♥ ♥

teeh


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Review #18, by Lululuna The Women in the Walls

22nd January 2014:
Hi teh! :) Here for your 3rd of 5 prize reviews.

This was a fantastic chapter! I really love how you're expanding on the few clues we have from DH and really creating a world and these fascinating characters. I like the way you write Gellert - he's very chilling and calculated, and he reminds me a little of Voldy as well when he was young.

I like the idea of Bathilda knowing about the Hallows - it's interesting to think how she might have been intruiged by the legends and more mystical secrets of the wizarding world while still being by all accounts a very detailed and factual historian. I also love the voice you used in the letter - how she seems so vivacious and eloquent, and how she was scoffing at the idea of the muggle cities. It's a really cool idea to begin each chapter with a letter - this really establishes the story as being pieced together from the past.

A bead of blood trickled across his front teeth, staining them scarlet, and out the corner of his lips, crawling up his cheek and toward his eye, a tear going the wrong way. I really liked this line, and how visual it was in a grotesque way. Poor Avarin! It was also so interesting how all signs pointed to Gellert- I like the idea of his getting away with these dark goings-on until one day it snaps.

I thought Gellert's fascination with wands - symbols of strength and power in wizard terms - was very interesting. I was quite worried for the man whose wand he considered stealing, and his ruthless interior contrasted with his charismatic exterior is quite terrifying.

The story of how Ariana was tortured was just heartbreaking. I thought it was quite creative (and horrible) how they shoved her into the fire that she had desperately created, because witches are supposed to burn. It was so tragic and cruel, while still showing how some people might have feared magic at that point in time. Poor Ariana. :(

Percival working to make the box for Ariana in prison was truly heartbreaking. It showed how desperate and sad the end of his life was, and how much he loved the daughter for whom he sacrificed his freedom for. However, I do think it was a little foolhardy to go after the Muggle boys - they were just children (albeit awful ones) and by throwing away his freedom he wasn't there for his family anymore and that's rather worse in the long run. So I have mixed feelings about him. But I did love the box. :)

I loved the three women who follow her around and speak with her, and especially the name "Glass Girl." There's something very fragile and beautiful about it, and I imagined the Glass Girl as sort of an embodiment or projection of Ariana herself. The Glass Girl crying out during Ariana's fit and Ariana's sharp dislike of her seemed to indicate a sort of personal identity and link between the two of them, and I'm looking forward to seeing more of how the three women develop in telling the story. :)

It's interesting to see how articulate Ariana is as well. It almost makes her even more relatable and shows how her mind has been so catastrophically disturbed and damaged, beyond her control. I felt especially sad for her when she apologized to her brothers: even though Albus reassured her, there's sure to be some resentment and grudging resignation in his responsibility to her, and I think she knows that.

Haha, I also liked how Bathilda thought of her nephew as "Gellert-Giftbearer." He really seems so smooth and irresistible, making him all the more ominous.

This was a great chapter, I loved it! :) Looking forward to the next one! :D

Author's Response: Wow, Jenna, did I ever mention that you're like the best reviewer ever!?! Because gaah! Thank you for this amazing and very quick review on my new chapter ♥

I'm glad you like the idea of starting each chapter with a letter; that being said, I'm now officially struggling to keep up with the rigid structure of this story eep.

Gellert is indeed a strange one to write, and I must say I do enjoy trying to imagine him and pinning him in words. I suppose he is indeed a bit like Voldie, but perhaps a happier Dark Lord - or at least, one who smiles a bit more?

I did like the box, too! ^.^ It's one of the details that just came to me as I was writing; I thought it would be interesting to mention Percival in the chapter. He won't be mentioned very often in this story, though at this point, it's hard for me to say just exactly how the thing is going to turn out.

The three women were originally meant to be three men *cough the Peverell brothers cough*, but that made things sound a bit forced, so I dropped them from the fic and decided to work on a different idea. I'm quite excited to expand more on these ideas! And yes, Ariana is both quite lucid and demented at the same time.

Thank you for yet another amazing review, Jenna! This has absolutely made my day ♥ It's going to take me awhile to post up the third chapter seeing as I'm a terribly slow writer, but I'll get there, I think. Eventually. :) Thanks again!

teh


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Review #19, by AlexFan A Funeral

19th January 2014:
I seem to be reading quite a few stories about the Dumbledore family these days.

The writing in this was so beautiful but at the same time it was so sad. Everything flowed so well and it sucked me into the story. The writing in this was almost poetic. I love how you started out with a letter from Grindelwald. I was actually wondering who had written the letter because it sounded a lot like something that Albus would've written to Grindelwald.

I think Grindelwald changed from the person that he was when he was younger, all of those years spent in his prison cells must've changed something in him. The fact that he admitted in his letter that it wasn't Aberforth who killed Ariana convinces me even more that Gellert Grindelwald changed a little bit.

I liked your portrayal of Dumbeldore as a teenager as well. You showed how he must've been when he was younger. The impatience that he had with people, the way that he treated his brother is very different from the Albus Dumbledore that we've all known and loved. Your version of Albus seems almost cold, cut off from everyone else in his life. It's almost like he doesn't want to become close with anyone that he met.

I also enjoyed how you showed the family dynamic. You made it very clear that although Albus, Aberforth, Kendra and Ariana were related, they were by no means close to one another. They cared for each other but they weren't close. My favourite character has to be Kendra. I always got the impression that she was a strict, no-nonsense sort of woman, and you showed that, but I love how you also showed that she cared for her daughter. Kendra wasn't hiding her daughter because she was ashamed of her, she was hiding her from the world because she didn't want anymore harm to come to her or anyone else.

The Dumbledore family is definitely an interesting part of the Potterverse that isn't written a whole lot about and you're definitely off to an interesting start with the story.

Author's Response: Hello Grace! :)

Thanks for such a lovely review! I know there are a few Dumbledore family stories circulating out there, and hopefully you weren't tired of them by the time you got to this story. :P Thanks for your wonderful comments on my writing; it's most interesting that you think that the letter sounds like something that Albus would have written to Gellert. I suppose it might have something to do with the sense of betrayal within the letter.

I do agree with your statement that Grindelwald would have changed over the years he spent in prison. The letter is dated 1945, though, so I think he was only a few months in his own cell after his defeat by Dumbledore...so...possibly something else is happening? Something else that changed him? Hmmm.

I was trying to portray Albus as a more flawed version of his perfect old self, twinkling at everyone, giving ludicrous bits of advice but being a bit of a genius all the same...Albus here has more discernible faults, and I think I'm really enjoying writing him the way he is.

I'm glad you like the family dynamic of this! You're right, not all of them are close to each other; they're stuck with each other because of circumstances, but there's plenty of conflict between them, grudges, resentment, bitterness. Ah, I love exploring families sometimes. Hopefully I'll be able to develop Kendra's character a little more as the story unfolds.

Thank you so much for this lovely review! You've made some really thoughtful comments, and I really do appreciate them; they've certainly made me think about some things in the story.

-teh


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Review #20, by Infinityx A Funeral

14th January 2014:
Hi! I'm here for the review swap.

First of all, that was absolutely brilliant. I think that was the best piece of writing I have ever read so far and I completely loved it.

The way you started with Grindelwald's letter was perfect. You've brought out his voice so strongly, with his proud, condescending way of writing. He uncannily made me think of Dumbledore. With the way you've portrayed his attitude to be, I can totally imagine the two being best friends.

Your descriptions are overwhelmingly powerful. I literally got chills while reading this chapter. There were certain phrases which I loved.
muzzle the whole damned continent, the one who trampled the faces of pitiful kings and politicians - you should have heard how their spines moaned .. This part was so incredibly vivid. Then the P.S. had such a lingering impact. It was such a perfect way to end the letter. I also think the way Albus describes Kendra's features is so picuresque. I could just imagine her face before me. Great job!

I love the way you characterized all the three Dumbledores. The tension between the two brothers is very clear. And Albus is so cold and unloving in this chapter. It's hard to believe that the same person would later tell Harry that love is what is most powerful. I'm really curious about how his character would develop. Ariana causes a great deal of mystery to envelop the chapter. There's a subtle hint that she's dangerously powerful. Maybe she had a role in Kendra's death? I'm eager to find out.

Once again, the descriptions involved when it comes to Ariana's way of differentiating between her brothers and her mother are incredible. You've brought out the child in her as well as her perceptiveness. I'm eager to see how her character will progress.

I am so glad I read this. Please update soon! I can't wait to know what happens next! :)

Cheers!
Erin.

Author's Response: Hello there, Erin!

Thank you so much for choosing to read my new story! :) The best piece of writing you've ever read so far? *blushes* Thank you! *hugs* That is honestly such an amazing compliment!

Oh, your comments on the letter were wonderful. It's interesting that Gellert's way of writing made you think of Dumbledore. I do think the two boys might have some similarities; in my mind, they're both quite self-absorbed and immensely proud of their own abilities.

I'm very nervous about writing Albus Dumbledore :P I'm a little afraid about how he's going to turn out to be, and whether or not my portrayal of him as a character is a believable one. Ariana, in my opinion is certainly powerful. She did have uncontrollable fits of magic; I think it was mentioned in DH somewhere. And these episodes of hers were powerful enough to cause Kendra's death. So I do think that she is indeed a very powerful witch, though not one who is in full control of her magic.

Thank you so much for your wonderful review! I shall indeed be updating soon, and I hope you'll be back! Pleasure doing a swap with you.

-teh


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Review #21, by Lululuna A Funeral

8th January 2014:
Hi teh! :) I'm here for your 2nd of 5 prize reviews!

Ah, this is just fascinating. I've been re-reading DH recently and I love how you're filling in the empty spaces and mysteries surrounding Dumbledore's early life. The letter at the beginning was very interesting, and I loved the very sinister and almost mocking tone of it: it reminded me of how a mad serial killer might speak. Grindelwald reminded me of Voldemort in a way, but I felt that Grindelwald unlike Voldy could understand and sense love here, since he uses love to taunt Albus, so that was a really unique distinction. The description of what he did in conquering Europe was wonderful too, and so chilling. I love it when stories explore how Grindelwald was involved in muggle wars and politics, and by the looks of the date he would have just been imprisoned after WWII so is writing this quite soon after.

The little details and mysteries in the letter were very intriguing as well: I loved the phrase "hallowed ambition" and its subtle allusion to the Deathly Hallows (if that's what you intended!) and the mentions of Albus never winning the Elder wand from Grindelwald. Hmm, I'm so curious! Did Albus win the wand from someone they were dueling with and then Grindelwald stole it from him? The idea that Grindelwald was never a master of the wand and that perhaps during their duel something similar to Voldy and Harry's ownership of the wand might have happened is very creative.

Wow, if Bathilda is already old when Albus is young then I can't even imagine how old she must have been by the time Harry comes round! :P Although I suppose she was possessed by a snaky Horcrux for a bit.

Something which I think is interesting so far is that I don't really "like" any of your characters here in the traditional sense. I feel like they're well-developed and beautifully written, with that element of imperfection and humanity which brings the rottenness in each one parallel with their good attributes. Albus is selfish and rather manipulative in the contrast of his outer poise and his inner angry thoughts. He has a sort of sinister impatience which casts a dark foreboding about him. Ariana, though I feel sorry for her, has a sort of inner death which frightens me as well. I'm looking forward to see how you develop them further and explain some of the mysteries surrounding the story. :)

I had a lot of favourite lines and there was some really lovely and powerful writing here, my dear! :) I think my favourite part was the description of Kendra's mouth blending in with the rest of her face: it was so gruesome and really conveyed the dehumanization and grotesque objectivity of a dead body, I could really picture it. I also loved how Ariana sees Albus, how she is sort of afraid of him but also thinks he is disappointed in her- in fact, he seems to be disappointed in his life and the fact that he is now responsible for her, so she is right to be nervous. I think, as awful a fact that Albus' attitude towards his sister is, it's something that anyone can relate to a little no matter how good of a person they are. :)

Sorry for the rambly quality of this review- I loved the story and am looking forward to the next chapter! :D

Author's Response: Hiya Jenna! ♥

Aahh, this is such an amazing review, I'm not quite sure what to say! Thank you for taking the time to read my new story and leave such lengthy, detailed and extremely flattering and kind comments! ♥

I will indeed be attempting to fill in some of the gaps surrounding Dumbledore's early years; I will also be trying to stretch canon a little bit in some areas. I'm glad you liked Gellert's letter. I've been wondering whether it is a mistake on my part to open up /that/ part of canon, to hint at a separate timeline from the main story...but I'm going to stick with this structure and plot for now. Gellert, in my opinion, is a lot more fascinating as a Dark Lord compared to Voldemort. Voldie sometimes feels a little bit two-dimensional to me. 'Hallowed ambition' is indeed a reference to the Deathly Hallows. I'm glad you picked that up! The Hallows were such a big part of Albus and Gellert's lives and relationship during that summer. It was really interesting reading your thoughts and guesses at the hints in the letter; hopefully I'll be able to explain things with more clarity as the story progresses (hopefully). :P

Yeah, Bathilda is an old one! I was originally going to make her a bit younger, but then during 1899, she is already a 'great aunt' with a grand-nephew (Gellert), which perhaps suggests that she's fairly old.

Well, I really love how you described my characters. I understand about not 'liking' them; they're flawed, all of them, and they are not necessarily relatable to the reader. Albus is far from perfect; I did want to explore that other side of him: his self-absorbed and slightly arrogant self. And I'm going to focus quite a bit on Ariana in this story, because I think she's a really interesting character to explore! "Inner death" is quite an appropriate way to describe her! :P I honestly cannot wait to write these characters in greater detail, and show how they interact with each other.

Thank you so much once again for this fantastic review! It isn't rambly at all, and I do hope you'll be back to read the next chapter of this!

teh


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Review #22, by marauderfan A Funeral

6th January 2014:
Teh! Lucky you, you get 3 reviews from me today. I read this earlier today but didn't have time to review until now... so, not-as-luckily, it's after midnight so this sleepy review may not make much sense, just warning you :p

I remember you mentioning this story a while ago, so I was excited to see it posted today! The letter from Grindelwald - what a great way to start out this story, it's such an ominous beginning. Love it. Though Grindelwald doesn't actually appear in person in the books at all, this feels very Grindelwald-ish to me (oh dear, one paragraph in and I'm already not making sense). The tone of the letter is at the same time friendly and incredibly bitter and spiteful - reminding Albus that even though Gellert is the one in prison, Albus isn't free either, as Gellert reminds him to make him feel guilty.

I really like your characterization of all three of the Dumbledore siblings. Albus is so refined, so... conforming. His outward appearance to society is really important to him, whereas Aberforth couldn't care less, I see him as more of an escapist. Where Albus is refined, Abeforth is free. And Ariana seems a little confused, but very strong.

Ok, I must admit though... Bathilda Bagshot's hat, with the tulips and crows on it. Hahahha. It's ludicrous but somehow seems to fit right in with the zaniness of the wizarding world. They do seem to like odd hats (thinking of Neville's grandmother with her vulture hat.)

I feel like I should also comment on your word choice. I've noticed this with many of your stories - you use such interesting and sometimes odd words, which help create the vivid descriptions you're quite famous for ;) Like describing Bathilda's back as "beetled" - it's a peculiar choice but is perfectly descriptive. Your sentences are very stylized, very carefully crafted with words I never would have thought to use, and I absolutely love the way it shapes the story.

Wonderful chapter! I'm really looking forward to keep reading this. And once again I'm sorry about the oajhohaewq-ness of this review.



Author's Response: Kristin! ♥

I am indeed too lucky!! ♥ ♥ (giving you plenty of hearts because YOU ARE McAWESOME)

Thank you for taking the time to drop by and read and review my new story! I really do appreciate it, and I was excited to read your thoughts about this. This is different from everything I've written so far (I say this for all my stories, haha - guess I'm having trouble settling on a single style/era).

I intend to explore the three Dumbledores in a bit more detail...actually more on Albus and Ariana rather than Aberforth. :P

Bathilda's hat! ♥ Muaha. That's just me trying to think of exactly /what/ sorts of clothes people wear in those days, and then failing to come up with anything satisfactory, so I put something ludicrous in the story and blame it on the weirdness of the wizarding world. :P

Thank you for that lovely comment on word choice! I love using words, especially simple everyday words, in unexpected ways! Hopefully it will breathe a bit of life into the language and prose of the story! ♥

falskcjoimsck thank YOU for this review, Kristin! I really hope you'll be back for the next chapter! And sorry for the general silliness of this response. :P

-tehhh


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Review #23, by Violet Gryfindor A Funeral

6th January 2014:
I really can't express how excited I am about this story! This will be a short review because there is too much to say and far too much flailing would occur. So to save you from the squees and flails...

What you have here is fantastic. The style feels very 19th century in the rhythm of the sentences and your descriptions - it's hard to put words to what exactly that style is, but you've captured it very well. I was looking forward to seeing how you'd approach the period after your topic on the forums, and there's a lot of important aspects you've included, from the decorum and rituals of society to the wondrous fashions of Bathilda (her hat made me laugh even though I'm sure someone back then actually had a hat like that). Two things in particular stood out in regard to the setting/atmosphere.

The first is Albus's performance of the proper Victorian gentleman in contrast to his brother, who pretty much stepped out of a Thomas Hardy novel. It fits perfectly with canon, but it's also a major concern of the Victorian period, the idea of the natural person versus the person constructed by society. Albus tends to live by the book - even Gellert acknowledges this, and calls Albus out for it. It's at once his strength and his weakness - he represses too much of his feeling, and thus loses both Ariana and Gellert, but it also gives him the strength to fight against Gellert (despite what he feels for him). Aberforth is easily the happier brother, more at home in nature, separating himself from the complexities and contradictions of human society. I really like how you've characterized both brothers so far. There's already so much one could say about them, dissecting their characters to one's heart delight, and I'm excited to see how you'll develop them from here.

The other thing that stood out was the wonderful Gothic atmosphere you evoked in the section with Ariana. It has shades of "Turn of the Screw" in it for sure, as well as shades of the Brontes' novels, but it's also very much your own. I loved the way you described Ariana's magic and her "affliction" and the way it burned in her veins and filled her mind, making everyday things seem supernatural. And that last line. ^_^ She could have been a victim, but she doesn't accept that role - that image of her fighting the blanket being wrapped tightly around her again and again is excellent for symbolising her struggle against the barriers her family and society have placed upon her. Not only is she a young girl, but she's different (dangerous), and in that world, it makes her almost worthless. But you show that she's strong. Despite their weaknesses, the three Dumbledores are strong people.

Okay, this review is starting to get long, and I haven't said enough about the letter. The voice of Gellert Grindelwald was haunting. It came across so powerfully that I could hear it in my head - in a rather Moriarty-ish voice - but the best part was when the flow of his words began to break, revealing how overwhelmed he is by hate. It is the betrayal that angers him most, and in revenge he attacks Albus with the best ammunition he knows: Albus's guilt. Ugh, it was perfect.

This is the kind of story I wish I could have written. The subject matter is fascinating, multi-faceted with plenty of grey area to explore. These characters are complex to the extreme, where all of them are victims and villains in their own way - they all destroy one another, no matter how good their intentions may have been. And of course it's also a period piece, for which you've done excellent research. The resulting chapter is brilliantly-put together - it's an amazing introduction to your story!

(And yes, this review did get long although I tried to hold back.)

It's an automatic favourite - I knew even before reading it that it would be perfect, and it's even better than I imagined!

Author's Response: Hello Susan! ♥

Oh my goodness, what an amazing and detailed review! I'm sitting here, reduced to a pile of squees, but I'll do my best to coherently answer all the wonderful and very perceptive points you brought up.

First, thank you SO MUCH for your comments on the style! When I was writing this, I honestly didn't think I could accurately employ a 19th century style of writing; I'm very much a contemporary writer, and I think my usual style is quite informal. With this fic, I pretty much decided to be a little more formal with my sentences and with things like dialogue, but otherwise to write as I normally do, so my writing won't be completely unrecognisable to myself. :P Your comment really means a lot to me, and it has definitely made me feel more confident with how I'm approaching the story.

Young Albus Dumbledore is indeed a very restrained character; he does keep up a very clean public appearance, and I think I was a bit influenced by Aberforth's story in DH, about how Albus was brought up with "secrets and lies", which he learned at his mother's knee, or something like that. He is very much the responsible gentlemanly figure, and he did do his best to help Kendra maintain the Dumbledore family image. I'm so, so glad you picked up on how he lives "by the book"! I intend to explore this characteristic of his a little more; he is certainly going to be a bit of a contrast to Gellert (and to Aberforth as well). I think I'm going to enjoy exploring all the flaws of young!Dumbledore and make him less of the lofty, brilliant tactician and teacher which we are so familiar with in the books.

As for Ariana, I had a lot of fun with her. I find Ariana a rather undeveloped and useless character in canon. :P She exists solely to illustrate the flaws in Albus' character, and has been relegated to the role of a tragic figure in Albus' troubled past. I was influenced by the whole 'mad woman in the attic' concept, and I'm glad you thought the atmosphere was Gothic enough to have shades of the Bronte sisters! There most certainly is a dangerous aspect about Ariana; in many fics I've read about her, she seems to be this sweet, innocent, tormented girl, and I find that sometimes writers overlook the fact that her magic is very powerful, powerful enough to cause a fatal accident to her own mother.

Grindelwald's letter! Ahh, I'm so happy that his voice had some impact on you! I have a very soft spot for Grindeldore, though admittedly, this ship is a doomed one, filled with nothing but angst and tragedy. All your comments on Gellert's letter are spot-on; he is indeed very bitter and taunting - he does feel that Albus has betrayed him, and he knows the latter well enough to be familiar with all his weak points. Grindeldore is a very complex ship, and I'm a little nervous trying to write this!

I love your comment on the character complexity, and how they're all victims and villains; they most definitely are, and I suppose one of the things of this story I'm most excited about examining is the interactions between the characters, and how they act and react to each other!

Ahh, thank you again! ♥ Thank you for the favourite, and I do hope you come back to this fic! I'm a slow writer, but I'll get there! :) ♥

teh


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Review #24, by BookDinosaur A Funeral

5th January 2014:
Hello teh! I'm here for the Tenth of the Twelve Days of Reviewing. :)

Ah this was just all amazing how do you do it? :O


The letter, we'll start with the letter. It was just so perfect, the way Grindelwald wrote it with this slightly condescending attitude but at the same time an odd familiarity that does make sense, because they shared a past. It said so much but then at the same time it didn't say enough and I'm left here saying no I want more.

And wait. Aberforth didn't kill Ariana. I have a feeling that Gellert knows who killed her, and he wants to tell Albus who did and just gaahhh I want to read more!

I think the section with Albus narrating was just perfect, all the narration was so him I could tell easily. The way he was so cold and unfeeling and just nothing when it's his mother who's dead unnerved me a little, and this line: It isn't so much a Soothing Solution as it is a powerful Sleeping Draught. I mean - why? Why is he so cruel to Ariana, he just wants her out of the way, he doesn't care for her at all. It's the equivalent of a doctor overdosing a patient because he doesn't want to deal with them. :(

Bathilda was great, I can't wait to find out what she's got up her sleeves. I think you really managed to capture her character and create something out of it, and I want to know what that strange episode with the forgettting was all about.

I think the Ariana-narrated section was perfect as well, you captured her voice so perfectly I knew exactly who was talking. I loved this line: She imagines Kendra, Albus and Aberforth slipping up to her, one by one, each with a blanket, trying to wrap her up like a parcel, suffocate her in a sheath of her own body heat. It's just perfect, your descriptions and your imagery is so perfect. I can see everything that's happening throughout the story so clearly.

All in all, this was just an amazing chapter, I'm so glad I had the chance to read it. Well done!

Author's Response: Hi Emily! faslkdjscm thank you for this lovely review ♥!

Am glad you like Grindelwald's letter. I really did enjoy trying to write his voice, how he would sound like, and his bitterness and anger toward his former old friend, Albus. I did try to convey the sense that they shared plenty together in the past, which I'll HOPEFULLY be revealing slowly as the chapters progress. Ooh, who killed Ariana Dumbledore, indeed This is beginning to sound like a murder mystery whodunnit. :P I still don't know if it IS indeed a murder mystery whodunnit.

Gah, thanks for your comment on Albus' narration. I've always seen Albus as having a bit of trouble really relating to other people: he understands and analyses the thoughts and emotions they feel and experience, but I have this strange sensation that he can't quite feel the same as them...the things he does in his later years, manipulating characters like Snape and Harry for the greater good showcases his brilliance and all, but I do find a certain lack of empathy, somehow in the way he acted. He really does stick to his 'for the greater good' motto, long after Grindelwald's defeat and long after that summer of 1899.

I loved writing Ariana, and I'll be exploring her in more detail in the next chapter. I do hope you'll be back to read. :) And I'm really, really gratified that there's a sense of clarity in the prose; clarity in writing is a very big deal for me.

Thank you, love! This was an absolutely wonderful review to receive. ♥

-teh


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Review #25, by UnluckyStar57 A Funeral

5th January 2014:
On the Tenth Day of the Twelve Days of Reviewing, I'm giving you a review! :D

Okay, this is only the first chapter, but I already CAN'T WAIT for the next one! I love that you're writing about the Dumbledores at that so-pivotal point in their lives, in which Kendra died and Grindelwald came into the picture. The letter at the beginning was very powerful. My favorite phrase of the story comes from it: "the one who trampled the faces of pitiful kings and politicians." I thought that it was a perfect description of what Grindelwald did, and that phrase, along with the material preceding it (and coming afterwards!), was phrased so magnificently. Each word was incredibly powerful!

Albus Dumbledore as a seventeen-year-old is extremely unlikable. He is selfish and vain, wrapped up in worrying about how his future is ruined. Whatever my thoughts about him are, I loved having a look inside his thoughts. It gave a whole new dimension to the story that Aberforth told in DH. I'm sure that the next chapter will continue to elaborate on this new dimension, and I am really excited to see what Grindelwald is like!

The character that surprised me most was Ariana. I always pictured her as mute, simply because I presumed that when she went mad, she went silent as well. However, that is not the case in this story, and I quite like the idea! Thanks for showing me a new perspective of the Dumbledore family!

~UnluckyStar57

Author's Response: Hey there, UnluckyStar!

Wow, thanks for this fabulous review! It was really such a lovely surprise, and this is my new story as well.

This is indeed a pretty crucial period int he Dumbledores' lives, and certainly, the summer of 1899 is possibly a very important turning point in Albus Dumbledore's life, and will pretty much dictate what kind of person he turns out to be in his later years.

I was certainly trying to portray a significantly more flawed Albus, hence his degree of self-absorption. I do feel that he couldn't always have been his perfect self, and it was fun making him waaay more human, bringing him down to earth and showing all his weaknesses and all. Grindelwald will appear in the next chapter. I'm excited writing him as well!

Ooh, your interpretation of Ariana is interesting. She isn't mute in this fic, but she still has been badly affected by that traumatic childhood incident with the Muggle boys. I'm actually looking forward to exploring her character in a lot more detail.

Thank you so much for this wonderful review! I'm glad you thought this was a new perspective on the Dumbledores!

-teh


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