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Reading Reviews for Let Perpetual Light
  
71 Reviews Found

Review #1, by StarFeather The Last Enemy

3rd August 2017:
Hi, Nicole. Thank you for mentioning my name at your A/N. Iím deeply honored by it.

It must be sad for Albus to read Gellertís letter. Gellert told him to lay the blame of Arianaís death on him, which must have annoyed Albus more. Gellert kept saying he still loved Albus, but Albus couldnít love him in the same way as the time when Ariana was alive.

Gellertís attitude towards Bathilda was perfunctory. His words, ďwhat I do not have, I do not need.Ē is very selfish. Perhaps his motherís way of bringing him up was wrong. Or he didnít mention about his father, so lack of fatherís love let him behave like that.

It sounds painful that Kendra pulled Albusís decayed tooth. I wondered again why Ariana didnít write the reason why she sacrificed herself in the letter to her brother. She might choose her motherís mysterious way to sacrifice herself. Two women's act, consideration not to let their family worry would keep tormenting both Albus and Aberforth.

Though I could understand Aberforthís sorrow which couldnít be given vent at all, itís so heartrending to read Albusís wish to live with his only brother.

Even after Albus made it clear he wouldnít be Gellertís friend any longer, Gellert looked childish, he couldnít understand peopleís mental pain forever, which must have led him to the next evil deeds.

Itís a meaningful letter that Ariana wrote to Gellert. Her last sentence is very similar to the one on the gravestone of Potters. Though Gellert didnít care Airana from his heart, his words, ďLet perpetual light shine upon your soul, now and forever.Ē are very beautiful and what you changed the title was great!

StarFeather

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Review #2, by StarFeather At the Hour

31st July 2017:
Hi, Nicole. Though I predicted what was coming next in this chapter, Iím deeply impressed. Reading each scene, I wondered how long you had planned to form this story. Every scene is marvelous. The mystery why she was always with the three mysterious witches, they represented Death (right?), was revealed. Ariana was destined to die when the Muggle boys attacked her, but barely escaped. The question still was left. Why didnít she tell Dumbledore what Resurrection Stone was? Alright, I know. If she told about it, Dumbledore in J.K.Rowlingís books could have been alive now. :D

What Iíd like to say most, you built up each scene very carefully. You showed Gellertís malicious aspect to readers via his brutal deeds against Aberforth and his goats. Then the dueling scenes among Aberforth, Albus and Gellert is terrific. I remembered how Albus Dumbledore beat Voldemort protecting Harry in the film when I spotted he dismissed the Chimaera.

Back to the first letter by old Gellert, I have one question. Did Ariana become a ghost and appear in front of him in the jail?

When I spotted these, I got thrilled. : ďThe bloodline of the third brother is hidden, even from us,Ē sighs the Crone. ďSuch a pity, I would have loved to pay him a visit. Maybe we shall one day find his descendants. I expect there are plenty of them, scattered across the magical families, and proliferating in utter unremarkability.Ē
Even the Three Witches couldnít find Potters.

Itís very impressive that you let Ariana think in that way, ďShe will be forgotten, but that is hardly important. Despite all her efforts, she isnít important after all. The stories wind on beyond and without her, and she slips away from them, a loose narrative coil spiralling away into the uncatalogued annals of untold stories.Ē Her self-sacrificing is beautifully written.

And one more mystery is left. Who did she send her last will (a letter without her signature) to before she sacrificed herself?
I wish she could go to Hogwarts, because I read this spot, ďIf you had ever gone to school, my dear, you would have been exceptionally talented in the subject of Divination.Ē In that meaning, your plot about Arianaís ability worked for readers.

And you indicated us why Dumbledore gave up Gellert. He couldnít feel or think of Albusís loss though he loved him so much. Another great chapter!

StarFeather

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Review #3, by StarFeather Witch in the Water

31st July 2017:
From Bathilaís correspondence, we recognize Ariana was very wise as Albus Dumbledore but at the same time her behavior was immature or apt to go to extremes.

Why did Ariana try to kill herself with stones in her pocket? Or did the three women try to finish her? Did they think Ariana was dangerous in the world? Why could Gellert see the three women? Did they appear in front of him intentionally? You also did a great job upon Marvolo Gauntís characterization.

Creamed porridge sounds good (We had porridge in the morning the other day. :D ) Oh, Nicole, I almost shed tears at Albus Dumbledoreís blaming himself and his song and dance with Ariana. I felt both a brother and a sister missed their parents and they cared each other. Then Ariana chose her death for her brothers to free them from her? Still Ariana had a will to write a letter. In the water, did she just try to calm down her intense magic power?

And Gellertís pester him made Albusís agony more noticeable for readers. I noticed how severe life Albus was forced to live without his parents, like Harry Potter. The scenes Albus served porridge for his sister and cooked potatoes showed us how he had to manage everything in spite of his strong desire to see the things in the world. And Iím very impressed by your description of the heat that wrapped Gellert in the kitchen and his impatience against the fact that Albus would never change his will. Writing the process from the spot to his evil intention against Aberforthís barn is superb!


StarFeather

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Review #4, by StarFeather In Resurrection

29th July 2017:
Chapter 7

Hi, Nicole, I love your beautiful picturesque descriptions about clouds in the sky Albus looked up and his imagination about Svalbard Gellert told him.
(Maybe it was a typo, would ĎGellertís murmur, ďI imagine all the poweratĒ be ďthe power at our disposalĒ?)

You created an interesting plot how Gellert urged Albus to go out of his house taking Ariana with him. Perhaps half of him was so fascinated by Gellertís wild and reckless heart not only by his physical appearance.

Oh, what a surprise! I couldnít guess Thimble was her! I got so excited by your way how Ariana used her blood magic. I was so thrilled at the scenes: how she used her magic upon Aberforthís wand and slipped out of Albusís ward so easily. And you prepared more! A highlight is the scene when she met Gaunt. Oh, Nicole, I really like this. Her blood magic! I held my breath reading the spot, how she got a chance to get Resurrection Stone and how her parents appeared. All descriptions about Kendra and Percival and Arianaís response, so impressive and Iím speechless, just terrific!

I recognized the Crone, the Tall Woman and Glass Girl were very important in your story. Then I had one more question. If Glass Girl is the embodiment of Invisibility Cloak, will Ariana continue to live after she vanishes from Albus and Aberforth? ( Maybe just my imagination). Itís very intriguing.

StarFeather

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Review #5, by StarFeather A Communion of Saints

28th July 2017:
Hi, Nicole!

I really enjoyed this chapter.

The story begins with the letter written by Thimble to Gaunt, and it ended with the scene, Gaunt visits Godricís Hollw. I suspect Thimble is Dumbledore. I wonder how Dumbledore knew the Invisibility Cloak. Will you write or have you already written about it? Or am I wrong? Is Thimble Gellert? Itís very intriguing.

I like your description about summer, how July was followed by August and a living vapour of mosquitoes and midges! I could imagine Dumbledore struggling with his publication dripping with sweat.

Ariana had foresight about relationship between Albus and Gellert. She might have prompted her brother to send owls to Gellert.

The episode, Aberforth observed the doll is also mysterious. Ariana must have enchanted it, so it smiled back to her second brother.

Writing this review, I feel sad knowing her fate, she showed her love to Albus with the owl and to Aberforth, the charmed doll.

The descriptions about the deserted chapel and the statue of saints are teriffic! And I felt chill when I read the spot, Gellert Hill. On the contrary, I smiled at the scene, Albus sent his Patronus, a silvery shape of Phoenix.

After thrilling duel scenes between Albus and Gellert, you set their kiss carefully. Itís like a beautiful cut from the film.

StarFeather

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Review #6, by StarFeather Of Blood and Intent

26th July 2017:
Itís impressive that you started a story with Marvolo Gauntís letter. Readers remember the episode about Stone, one of the Deathly Hallows. Then I notice all of your story are connected with the secret, all mysteries came from there.

I like your tone when you start describing Gellert. The scene with Creevy makes him a rascal, in that meaning, you succeeded in expressing the person, Gellert Grindelwald accurately.

You gave us a visual image upon the act of seeking of the secret about the Deathly Hallows, which was like your description, Ďchildren spinning round and roundí.

From which we can imagine how Albus and Gellert repeated discussion about the Deathly Hallows.

Itís thrilling to read how Kendra prompted Ariana to use her magic. I held my breath and waited until I made sure she did it with Kendraís potion. Blood magic! I remembered Lilyís magic for Harry.

The scene of Albusís room is terrific. Iíve never read such a painstaking description from Arianaís eyes under Albusís bed. Iíve never known how you can tell the situation only from a state of each foot seen or heard from the narrow space under the bed.

Even after Aiana was found, (and how picturesquely you wrote about Gellert who found her!) you didnít let us have a break, you showed us how strongly Ariana could do her wandless magic. Especially, I like how you use plants and flowers effectively to portrait characters, like snapdragons. Itís like reading traditional folklore when I spotted Glass Girl who evaluated the situation with Ariana.

I recognized how mystic Ariana was by your marvelous descriptions, compared with her two brothers, the one was longing for a true friend to understand him and freedom, the other didnít mind living obscurely in the country, both of them struggled in their real life, in that meaning, she was really witchy and enigmatic.

Kenny aka StarFeather

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Review #7, by StarFeather Symbols and Stories

13th May 2017:
Hi, Nicole. I finally made it here!

Like the previous chapter, the story begins with a letter. I compared the age, this time, the age is 1946, so 47 years passed from the time when Theophilus's letter. I was thrilled again when I reread the previous chapter, the mystery about Godric's Hollow including the Deathly Hallows had just begun from chapter 3. There existed a young wizard's hope, Gellert's ambition, full of energy of youth.

The letter of chapter four, inspite of the fact he had the wand and seemed to give it to Albus Dumbledore, the last words,"It was not me who killed her" are so intriguing. So this letter indicates Albus did a dreadful duel with Gellert and he won.

Not only the impressive start with the letter, you showered me with your endless rich words which I have to take notes (where did I put the notebook I took notes from chapter 1 of this story...my bad...I seemed to have lost it...so many activities happened related with the forums!)
One of marvelous expressions I spotted is "taking a large bite, his teeth making a ticking sound against the wrinkled stone at the centre." I really could imagine the sound, Nicole!
I could also learn a new expression about the duelling scene, one of impressive ones is "nicking through the air like a razor", which I've not read anywhere. That timing you let Albus say "A Sherbet Lemon"! You are a genius, Nicole!

In the middle of chapter, I enjoyed a new version of the tales of Beedle the Bard. It's quite interesting, Death are the Three Witches.

In the latter half, I could take in the process how Albus was fascinated with Gellert naturally. And Ariana's insight about him made me nervous. She could predict ominous fate for Dumbledore brothers and her?

Kenny

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Review #8, by nott theodore A Funeral

1st April 2017:
CTF Jailbreak Review

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

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

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

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

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

Sian :)

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Review #9, by marauderfan The Last Enemy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Review #10, by marauderfan At the Hour

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Review #11, by StarFeather At The Churchyard Again

31st January 2016:
Hallo,Nicole.

I was very moved by your beautiful but very sad description of three children in the previous chapter and I felt in the same way again. I nearly shed tears when I read these sentences, "Before Kendra left the room, she smiled. Ariana saw, for the first time the slow fading of her mother. The strength was seeping out of her, and the hard glint of her dark eyes had become veiled and imprecise. Ariana considered going up to her mother and flicking a stray tuft of hair from the latterís eyes. The door closed slowly, cutting the smile off Kendraís face but that little abstract curve of her lips seemed to linger on in the room long after she had left." I felt I could think of the sad tune to this scene. Kendra tried protecting her daughter till the very end. She even removed the memory from Bathilda.

From the Dumbledore's house and Bathilda's garden, the scenery was changed to the farm. I could visualize the bored young man, Gellert in the pastoral scene. Your creation gave me much imagination, how Aberforth cared his sister and how he got to know Gellert and hated him. The scene where Ariana gave her pine cone doll let me imagine it will really protect Aberforth from the incident later.

You hooked me to the interest that the secrets were hid in the Godric's Hollow through Gellert's eyes. The grave yard scene is thrilling. I got excited when I read "IGNOTUS PEVERELL". Realeased from a care of his sister for a short time, Albus must have had a joyful moment with Gellert. You portrayed his feeling very well! Albus in humming! I imagine Albus can't stop admiring his future friend by your excellent picturesque description.

Kenny

Author's Response: Hello Kenny! ♥

Thank you for yet another wonderful review, for coming back to this story! I really cherish all your reviews and your kind words, and I'm very honoured that you're reading my fic.

I'm glad I managed to move you with the part about Kendra and Ariana. It is quite sad. You'll learn a bit more about Kendra in the later chapters. And yes, removing Bathilda's memory shows the extent that Kendra will go to to protect her daughter.

And I'm glad you could visualise Gellert and his boredom and youth. I really enjoy writing Gellert a lot, and you'll definitely see more of him in later chapters! I have plenty of fun exploring his character!

And yes, Albus and Gellert do meet and I do like the idea of instant friendship between them. There's something about Gellert that completely changes Albus's gloomy mood. I couldn't resist portraying him as humming! Albus and Gellert will definitely have more interactions in the coming chapters.

Thank you so much once again for your lovely review, Kenny! ♥

-teh


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Review #12, by StarFeather The Women in the Walls

13th December 2015:
Hi, Nicole. I thought of stopping by my NaNo mother's work. There are plenty of new words for me so I was late for this review.
The story begins with mysterious letter from Master Thimble to Bathilda Bagshot. And you finish this with the meeting between Bathilda and Gellert.
I wondered what riddle you cast us. I guess the letter was written by Albus Dumbledore, wasn't it?

You focused on descriptions of Gellert and Ariana. As we know their episode from J.K.Rowling's book, so I was very impressed by your story set here. Your characterization of Gellert is very poweful and very cool. He was likely cunning and fearless.

On the contrary,Ariana is too pure and her magic is unstable even after she lost her father who tried to protect her and loved her so deeply. The scene he had given her his last gift that was uncompleted, was so touching. The scene when two Muggle boys trapped her was unforgetable. The contrast between the wind with autumn leaves and the fire are stunning!
Moreover, she spent her life with her imaginary three Goddess. It is very awesome she lived with them who embodied all woman's life, the youth, the mother and the old woman. The space for Albus and Aberforth was small in this story but I could feel how they cared their sister. The most impressive description is "All three of them are leaning into each other on the floor, in the dimness of the room." After they lost their parents, they live supporting each other, which is very sad and beautiful.

The divination scene was interesting,too. What Ariana used sheep bones reminded me of my country's diviner. What a creative imagination you have, Nicole! I'll be back again.

Kenny

Author's Response: Hello Kenny! ♥

Thank you so much for coming back to this story! Thank you for leaving me yet another wonderful review! ♥ And no worries, I really don't mind how long it takes you to review, or how late you feel you are...I'm just really so honoured and pleased that you're here, reading this WIP of mine. *hugs*

The letter is indeed very mysterious! It may be Albus who wrote it...or it may be someone else. You'll have to read on to find out, though. :P

And yeah, that scene with the Muggle boys was awful. It was really difficult for me to write as well, because I dislike writing scenes with a lot of violence in them. Poor girl had to endure so much pain and suffering at such a young age. :( The incident definitely unbalanced her magic; Ive always believed that Ariana's magic and her natural magical abilities were far above average, but that awful incident affected her so severely, that her magic simply went out of control. But still, she isn't completely helpless.

I'm glad you pointed out the closeness of the three Dumbledores. This is one of the last scenes where the three of them are portrayed taking comfort in each other, even if they have just finished going through one of Ariana's rather violent episodes. They do love each other, the three of them, but they're all so very young, and they have so much to deal with, and sometimes being forced to shoulder so many burdens at such a young age can take a toll on their relationships with each other. Not to mention that Grindelwald will soon be arriving, and this will definitely put a wedge between Albus and Aberforth.

I'd love to hear about your country's diviner! Do tell me about the story when you have time! ♥

Thank you so much once again for a wonderful review, Kenny! I do hope you come back to this story and continue reading, but I'm just really so glad to have met someone as nice and encouraging and amazing like you. ♥

-teh


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Review #13, by marauderfan Witch in the Water

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author's Response: Hello again, Kristin! ♥

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

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

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

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

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

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

Not far to go until the end, now!

-teh


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Review #14, by ascendio A Funeral

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

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

::

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

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

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

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

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

Mo

Author's Response: Hello Mo! ♥

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

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

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

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

-teh


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Review #15, by Aphoride Symbols and Stories

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Loved. It. As you know ;)

Aph xx

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Much love and thanks ♥ ♥

-teh


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Review #16, by Aphoride At The Churchyard Again

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Aph xx

Author's Response: Eep Laura! ♥ ♥ ♥

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

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

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


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Review #17, by MeredithMF In Resurrection

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

Author's Response: Hello! ♥

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

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

Thanks so much, once again! ♥

-teh


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Review #18, by StarFeather A Funeral

18th October 2015:
Hi, Teh.

Thank you for adopting me for NaNo.

Iíve checked this story which got Dobby Awards, and Iíve been curious to read since Dan recommended to read it. So itís about time to explore your story.
The House of Horrors is REAL, I felt excited to know how Dumbledoreís mother died. I wondered how her children would feel after her death.

The story began with the letter, I wondered who wrote it. I guessed Grindelwald wrote it at first. The expression ďyour whole life and mine, separate, forked like a serpentís tongueĒ is very impressive. And I wondered what the following sentence implied: And yet all forks have a single, stout root that they cannot leave behind.

Then my guess was right. The last part was about the Three. I felt excited remembering them and wondered if Dumbledore had beat Grindelwald so he sent the letter from the prison.

Then the scene was switched to the funeral day of Kendra. Your description about young Dumbledore is awesome. I think Dumbledore was like the man you wrote in this chapter.
His appearance is friendly to anyone and didnít show his true feeling and thoughts to others.

The conversation between him and Bagshot was interesting, too. Her attitude changed, which is very intriguing. What did she try to say to Dumbledore?

The thoughts of Dumledore seeing his mother in the casket made me imagine many things. I have seen funerals and the deceased person in the casket and wondered about the life of human-beings reading this scene.

The last sentences are very impressive. Especially, this one: untimely loss of Kendra Dumbledore as well as the death of his very own life.

The latter part of this story is full of mystic mood. Ariana hid her magic from her mother and her brother Albus saw her with his piercing blue eyes to search for something. Iím eager to read the next chapter to see what will happen next.

Kenny

Author's Response: Hi Kenny! ♥

First of all, I want to thank you very much for choosing to read this story of mine! This is the story I've spent a long time writing, and it's nearly complete, and any feedback on this fic is always so helpful to me! And thank you so much for being such a wonderful friend; I'm so happy and so wonderfully lucky to have met someone like you ♥

Yep, you're right, the letter was written by Grindelwald, not too long after his loss to Dumbledore. I like to think that once, many years ago, Dumbledore and Grindelwald were together, unified as the best of friends, though now they've gone their separate ways; hence, the whole "forked tongue" metaphor. (Sorry, I do tend to get a bit heavy-handed with the metaphors, sometimes...it's one of my many weaknesses :P )

Aww, I'm glad you like my portrayal of young Dumbledore! ♥ He isn't the easiest to write, and I found him a very daunting character to manage when I first started out this fic, so it's very reassuring to read your comments and analysis of his character!

And ah, Bathilda! You'll have to read on to find out about that sudden change in her behaviour.

I, too, have been at funerals and seen dead people in their caskets, and it can be a very unsettling experience. For young Albus here, the death of his mother also feels like a certain doom spelt out for him...the death of freedom for him, and the beginnings of all his burdens in the form of his responsibilities toward his younger brother and sister. Dumbledore wasn't so selfless in his youth, unfortunately.

"Mystic" is a good way to describe Ariana. She certainly knows a lot more than what others think, and she's a lot sharper and more lucid than her brothers give her credit for. I do hope you'll continue to read on and find out more about Ariana! :)

Thank you once again for this wonderful review, Kenny! ♥

-teh


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Review #19, by marauderfan In Resurrection

23rd September 2015:
Yesss another chapter

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

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

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

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

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

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



Author's Response: Hello again, Kristin! ♥

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-teh


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Review #20, by CambAngst In Resurrection

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author's Response: Dan! ♥

Dan Dan Dan.

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

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

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

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

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

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

-teh


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Review #21, by marauderfan A Communion of Saints

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

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

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

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

(also, that duel was awesome.)

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

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

Author's Response: Kristin! ♥

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

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

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

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

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

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

-teh


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Review #22, by CambAngst A Communion of Saints

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

GryCReMo (Review #33)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author's Response: Dan! ♥

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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

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

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

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

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

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

-teh


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Review #23, by likeness_of_a_seabird At The Churchyard Again

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

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

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

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

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

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

Loved this chapter!

- Emmi

Author's Response: Hi Emmi!

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

You're far too lovely, my dear.

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

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

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

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

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

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

-teh


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Review #24, by wolfgirl17 A Funeral

13th January 2015:
Hey teh!

Happy Belated Hotseat Review Day!

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

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

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

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

xx-Wolfgirl

Author's Response: Hey Ellie! ♥

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

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

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

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

Thanks once again for your amazing review, Ellie! ♥

-teh


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Review #25, by likeness_of_a_seabird The Women in the Walls

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

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

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

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

Another great chapter!

- Emmi

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you, my dear! ♥

-teh


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