Reading Reviews for Behind You
8 Reviews Found

Review #1, by TreacleTart Run

19th May 2015:
Hey Sian!

I'm here for the Gryffindor Review Battle! Go Team Red!

I'm not sure if you know this or not, but horror and mystery are my two favorite genres, particularly in combination. That being said, it is incredibly hard to find well written horror my opinion. A lot of the time graphic blood and guts is substituted for the terror of a psychological thrill because it's easier to write. That is not the case with this story. This whole story plays on a psychological thrill. It is quiet and haunting, but definitely very creepy.

Gellert really does seem to be the perfect character for this. It was interesting to see how this person haunting him coincides with different turning points in his life. It really was brilliant how you tied him in to some of the moments that might normally cause someone to feel shame, anger, or grief. It seems almost like this phantom is a surrogate for the feelings that Gellert doesn't know how to handle.

The ending was just perfect. The idea that his older self had been following his younger self all of these years, watching sadly as he made his mistakes is really intriguing. It seems to sort of dawn on him at the end and all of his regrets help him make that final decision to protect his old friend. This was a really unique way of showing it.

I'm sure in every review you've received from me, I've gone on about the quality of your writing and I intend for this one to be no different. You really are a league above the rest when it comes to description and creating a setting. The feeling resonates so clearly through all of this.

This was excellent. I'm so happy to have stumbled across this story. This is a true example of why a psychological thriller can be much scarier and/or more interesting than blood and guts. Great work!


Author's Response: Hey Kaitlin!

Mystery and horror are really cool genres, and I really enjoy reading them - writing this was kind of terrifying, though. I was hoping to get something that was creepy and kind of haunting, and definitely psychological rather gory (I'm not good with blood and guts :P) so it's great that you got that from here!

Gellert is really such an interesting character - every time I read something about him or mention him in one of my stories, I always get intrigued and want to write more. I'm really pleased that you liked the way that I tied him in with this story, and explored some of the different moments in his life when he should have typically felt a certain emotion and didn't necessarily. I'm really intrigued by your idea about what the phantom is there for - I love the way that different readers have interpreted it differently, which is part of what this story was all about.

I'm so pleased that you liked the ending, too! I really wanted to make it work after everything else and it was interesting to try and tie that moment into what we know from canon.

You're far too sweet, Kaitlin! I've been absolutely terrible at responding to your reviews but you're so kind to me and thank you again and again for all your lovely words and reviews!

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Review #2, by Aphoride Run

11th January 2015:
Hi, Sian! :) I really hope you don't mind me stopping by on this one - I know it's not quite as recent as some of your other works, but I couldn't resist. It's Gellert Grindelwald, plus doppelgangers and horror - really, I just had to stop! :)

I loved this! The whole thing was built up so beautifully, with the ending and the use of the canon scenes and events... it was so brilliant. I loved as well, how it's never quite explained if the doppelganger is real or if it's a figment of Gellert's imagination, a fear he's creating himself. The uncertainty is amazing; it's so cool. Well, the whole thing is such a cool idea in general! ;)

I loved how you characterised Gellert as well - how he was so driven, so determined, so hungry for knowledge as well as power (and I loved the tie-in to his Great Aunt by saying it was a family-related thing, too!), and maybe, in the end, repentent for what he did and caused. I guess you could argue that was what he was always running from - that the doppelganger was his own guilt in human/shade form. I don't know if that's what you were going for, though ;) Still, it's such an amazingly creepy thing, and I love how you've used a character whose normally portrayed as strong/evil/etc. and had the doppelganger kinda haunt him, in the sense that it haunts and follows, rather than helps or anything.

Your writing in this is gorgeous. Seriously. I love the way you never really describe the doppelganger itself, only at the end (I think) saying it looks like him, that he's looking at himself. It's such a creepy idea, that there's something out there that looks so much like you... it feels almost as though it should be comforting, except it's not. I loved as well, all your description of the locations and Gellert's emotions - I can't really pick any one thing or part of your writing out, it was all just so gorgeous. And it flowed perfectly, with this wonderfully haunting sort of tone to it.

Yeah, this was just incredibly amazing. If this was your first time at writing horror, I'm gonna be so jealous, because you nailed it completely ;)

This is an amazing story. And I'm clearly going to have to stalk your page more often, because looking at it, I've been missing things! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hey Laura!

Of course I don't mind you choosing this one to review, although it scared me a little bit to see that you'd chosen the one story with Gellert in when you write him so well!

You don't even know how much of a relief it was to see that you'd enjoyed this, believe me :P I wanted to leave some ambiguity and uncertainty in the doppelganger's existence so that the reader could decide for themselves about it, so I'm glad you liked that and the way I used the canon events.

I didn't really know how to characterise Gellert when I started off; he's a difficult character to capture and I had to think about the reasons that Albus would be attracted to him too. I really enjoyed writing him though, and the idea that he wasn't as unburdened as Voldemort always seemed to be by the fact that he was committing terrible acts.

*blushes* Considering what your writing is like, it's a massive compliment for you to say that you like the writing in this too! This was the first time I tried anything that was really horror, although dark and angst are kind of my go-tos :P I'm really glad you enjoyed it and thought I did a good job writing!

Thank you so much for the lovely review! ♥

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Review #3, by patronus_charm Run

23rd December 2014:
Happy belated birthday Sian! :D

Wow this story was creepy and dark but I loved it for that exact reason! I think the first section was perhaps the scariest as it set the tone for the rest of the story really well with the idea of Gellert being haunted by himself and it always lurking by him like a shadow. Just the idea of it was really cool and it was great how you followed it through in the rest of the story.

Another thing I liked about this story was Gellert's character as it had a softer edge compared to how we usually see him, almost vulnerable I suppose, but I guess having a doppelganger was a reason for that. It almost reminded me of The Double by Dostoevsky because the character seemed to get weaker and weaker in that as they continued to be haunted by their doppelganger so it was cool to see it happening in this story as well as we could really get a sense of how Gellert lost control of his world because of his double.

As well as having that sort of demon, there were the personal ones with the memories of Dumbledore always lurking away there and reminding him of what he may have done. I really loved that touch as it made Gellert's existence almost spectre like as he was always being haunted by shadows and memories and never really living his life, and because he was always haunted by that it sort of suggests he might have given into Dumbledore a little in the final battle between the two of them and that's an interesting thing to think about.

The ending with Voldemort was perhaps my favourite section because by then Gellert had had that time in isolation to think about everything and reflect on his actions and it seemed as if he had reached the point where he could repent, because by seeing Voldemort he could really appreciate the horrors he did and I really liked that moment of clarity. I think it was fitting in a way that Gellert died before he could say anything as it just seemed more natural and more him, and perhaps his double will redeem Gellert for him.

Fantastic story Sian, and it was so thought provoking and fun to read! :D


Author's Response: Kiana! ♥ Ah, it was so sweet of you to stop by with birthday reviews!

This story was a) really strange and b) really hard to write, but I'm glad that you enjoyed it all the same! It was a bit darker and creepier than the things I normally write but that part was kind of fun.

I haven't read that book, actually (behind on my Russian literature, as you know :P), but I'm glad it reminded you of something like that, because that's the sort of idea I was working on. The doppelganger's almost like a conscience that he tries to hide from, and twinned with his memories of Dumbledore and what he's done in the past, he's constantly haunted.

I really liked the ending with Voldemort too, I'm glad you enjoyed it! I thought it was good for it to come full circle and show the humanity in Gellert compared to Voldemort, who doesn't care what he's done.

I'm really pleased you enjoyed this, and thank you for the lovely review!

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Review #4, by Cannons Run

22nd November 2014:
Hi, thanks for swapping with me! :)

I really liked the first couple of sentences which really set the tone for the rest of the piece. They are especially thought provoking because we don't know who they are about at the moment and when they are matched with the title, they come across as especially powerful.

I was going to review it part by part as and when I felt I needed to say something, but at first I couldn't quite grasp what exactly was going on and then I got to the end. I can seriously say that this is one of the best one shots I've read.
There is so much depth to this piece it is crazy.

Tell me if I am wrong because I feel as if a lot of this could be up to the reader and how they interrupt it.

It's such an interesting idea that you've written about, someone who is so powerful, that even some of the teachers at Durmstrang are wary of him. Someone who can match Dumbledore and have half of Europe under his power can be undone by simply, himself? I'm presuming that the doppelganger is just in his mind?

It's interesting to think that he is running from himself, at least that is what I got from this. All his life searching for power and building fortresses and crazy things like that but it seems as if he is using these things to hide the bits/doppelganger within himself. As if the more power he has on the outside, the more control he will have of himself on the inside.

I really loved how that even in his fragile physical state he still called Voldemort a 'boy', that was really powerful. It shows that however disconnected he had become from the world, the brilliance of his mind was still there somewhere.

Really, after reading the whole thing twice I love the way you have started the whole thing.

I feel as if the 'doppleganger' could symbolise some of his regret? He knows what is right and wrong and maybe that is why he was different from Voldemort in the end. The worse his actions were the bigger and more unstable he became.

Honestly I had a lot of fun reviewing and reading this. I don't know if anything I mentioned was what you were going for but I would love to know.

Ultimately what I am going to take away from this
is no matter how powerful you are on the outside, you can still be taken down from the inside!

Thanks for writing this!


Author's Response: Hi Fin!

I'm really glad you liked the first few lines of this story! They just kind of appeared in my mind, and although this piece changed several times in the process of me writing it, those lines stayed the same.

Wow, I can't believe you think it's one of the best one-shots you've read! *blushes* Thank you!

The doppelganger is an ambiguous figure, and I'm not sure that, even now, I have a definite answer about where he comes from. You're right in that I really wanted the reader to be able to interpret that how they wanted - it's been amazing to get so many different responses to the doppelganger's appearance!

I definitely picture Gellert as running from his doppelganger, though, and you're right, I thought this would cause its power to expand and that, whichever way you interpret it, he is essentially running from himself. Which isn't necessarily going to be a successful enterprise.

That moment at the end of Gellert's life is something we only see briefly in the books, but I loved his defiance there and I wanted to include a bit more of it in this.

I'm so pleased that you enjoyed reading and reviewing this story! I've loved reading your interpretation of it, and you certainly had some reactions I was hoping to inspire!

Thank you for this lovely review!

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Review #5, by adluvshp Run

8th November 2014:
Hey Sian!

Tagging you back xD

I really, really loved this. The darkness was played on thick and I thoroughly enjoyed it (because I do love these kind of stories). Grindelwald's characterisation was very interesting. I liked how there was a pattern of him 'running' throughout, and running from his 'doppelgänger'. What is even more interesting is that you can almost see Gellert losing his mind slowly yet not really - it's implied but it may or may not be true. I love such unreliable narratives which keep the readers guessing, so brilliant job there.

The inclusion of Dumbledore was very nicely done as well. I especially liked how Gellert was almost guilty of it. I also liked the theme that whenever he made 'bad decisions' the 'doppleganger' appeared - sort of like his decisions and actions haunting him, reinforcing the first bit of the story - he was afraid of himself.

The ending was very powerful and almost made me feel sorry for Gellert. He ultimately tried to stop Voldemort in his own way and I liked the way you portrayed his thoughts during that time.

All in all, this was beautifully written with great descriptions and was very chilling in some places, and I really loved it.

Great job!


Author's Response: Hi Angie!

Yay, I'm so glad you liked this! This story was one of three written in two days to try and madly complete them before a challenge deadline, so the fact you enjoyed it means even more! I definitely wanted to write something dark here, and I'm glad you found Gellert's characterisation interesting, too. Hehe, unreliable narratives are so much fun to write, I love seeing what the reader's reaction is!

I'm glad you picked up on that as well! I kind of saw Gellert's doppelganger as the sort of reinforcement of his conscience in a way, but he's afraid of that because he's done so many awful things.

Gellert did try and stand up to Voldemort at the end and I'm glad you found it powerful and could have some sympathy for him!

Thank you for this great review, it put a big smile on my face! :D

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Review #6, by Diogenissa Run

22nd October 2014:
Good morning!

Okay this is my very 1st review ever so bear with me. :)

First I got to say that what made me want to read this particular one was that I had read just a touch of Gellert from various sources and he piqued my curiosity even if I haven't yet touched Deathly Hallows yet.

This was absolutely awesome! I could feel the chills he feels and I got an image of very dimly lit and haunting settings he travels to, especially when he talks to his minion.

It's interesting as to how it seems our lives flash before us and it's easily recognizable with him as he is seeing the effects of his own life has had not only on others but himself as a whole. There is also the sense of even though he had folks around, he in a sense has always felt lonely and isolated.

In a way it seemed to me that in his encounter with Voldemort it's like, in a way, a chance to a small degree perhaps redeem himself for some of his past as he sees the kind of evil the Dark Lord is and embodies. (I want to make a special note here as to how he thinks of Voldemort as a boy *lol* I was like 'OoOOO' -- makes me wonder what a duel between them would be like! :O ).

This was absolutely fantastic and great writing, setting, and charcterisation (sp?). You've also further piqued my interest in this character that is very much unfamiliar to me and has made me look forward ot reading more about him when I get to Deathly Hallows. Thank you so much for great story!

Author's Response: Hi! Ah, I'm really flattered that your first review is on one of my stories - and don't worry about content, because if you'd seen my first review then you'd be laughing right now :P

Gellert's a really interesting character to write about, although a lot of the stories I've read about him focus more on romance, so it was fun to make this into something more creepy and dark!

You understood what I was trying to convey perfectly - Gellert's faced with his doppelganger, this shadow of himself, which is kind of like a conscience because it makes him face up to what he's done. When he's running away from it he continues to act terribly, but then when he finally finds the courage to confront it, he is able to try and redeem himself a little.

In the books (not trying to give too much away) that encounter is portrayed in that way, so it's great I got that across. And I couldn't resist him thinking of Voldemort as a boy, because I wanted to show he's not scared of him.

Thank you so much for this lovely review, and it's great that I managed to interest you more in Gellert Grindelwald!

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Review #7, by MargaretLane Run

21st October 2014:
Dumbledore is my absolute favourite character in the Harry Potter series, so I really like the idea that he's going to appear in this, even if it sounds like it might be focused more on Grindelwald.

I really like your writing, which is one of the reasons I've been jumping at your review swaps (that and the fact you give awesome reviews). It reminds me to read more of your work.

There's something about the way you characterise Grindelwald that reminds me of Voldemort.

Love the introductory part about "yourself" being what you fear most. It seems to fit with the dichotomy between Grindelwald's dreadful behaviour in his youth and middle age and his courage against Voldemort at the end of his life. Not that I believe courage equals morality, and Scrimgeour's courage doesn't make me like him any more, but there are hints that Grindelwald's courage is inspired either by some level of loyalty towards (or guilt) Dumbledore or else an anxiety to make some kind of amends from the past.

One thing I wonder is whether Drumstrang would have prefects. I guess there's no reason why not. I just don't know if they'd be as common in Eastern Europe.

Hmm, I wonder what he is running from at the end of the first section.

You're sort of building a pattern of him running.

And even after what I know he has done, I can't help having some sympathy for him when you portray him sneaking away after Ariana's death. He is still only a boy, after all, and the thought of what might happen if he were found guilty of killing somebody after everything that had happened in his past, must be terrifying. And he has now basically been driven from two homes. Of course it's his own fault, but you still show signs of the confused and frightened boy who has lost everything as a result of what he's done.

And I like your hints that he does feel some guilt for how he's hurt Albus.

I think you connect the different eras quite well. It's not easy jumping such huge periods of time, but this manages not to sound at all disconnected.

And your description of how his name now haunts people's nightmares is chilling.

Did you intend Heinrich Nacht to be reminiscent of Heinrich Himmler?

OK, you are really making me feel sorry for Grindelwald here. But then, after you made me feel some understanding of Crouch's behaviour, I guess I shouldn't be surprised.

And the train of running through the story comes to its climax. As does my original idea of a similarity between Voldemort and Grindelwald.

This is a really excellent story. Ten out of ten.

Author's Response: Hi Margaret! Aw, thank you, it's so nice of you to say - and I love doing review swaps with you, your reviews are always so thoughtful and detailed, plus your stories are great too!

I definitely took some inspiration from Voldemort for Grindelwald's characterisation, particularly at this early stage in his life when he's going after power and control. And I'm glad you liked the introduction and the sort of the dichotomy it introduced - you managed to understand the idea I was trying to convey with that perfectly!

You know, I hadn't even thought about whether they'd have prefects or not at Durmstrang, so that's definitely something to consider. I've not got much experience of Eastern European schools, but I think they might be less common in European schools in general, so I might revise that. Thanks for pointing it out!

I'm glad you could feel some sympathy for Grindelwald, even if it doesn't mean what he did was forgiveable - but I think he's intended to seem more human than Voldemort in the series, and I wanted to expand on that. I definitely think he felt guilty because of Albus being his friend - it would be hard to walk away from that without ever thinking about it again.

I'm really glad you liked that description of his name haunting people's nightmares - I always imagine his rule and power extended in a similar way to what happened during the second world war, so I would imagine that a lot of people were haunted by the idea of him! And I hadn't even noticed the connection between Heinrich Nacht and Heinrich Himmler (this is what happens when you rush to finish two stories in a day) but I love the fact that parallels could easily be drawn there!

Thank you so much for this review, and all of the compliments on the story and my writing! :D

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Review #8, by TidalDragon Run

20th October 2014:
Howdy Sian! First of all, thank you! It was incredibly kind of you to write me something! Second of all, I'm sorry it's taken so long to get here. I've been going a bit off the rails lately to be honest, but I'm thrilled to have made it!

Finally, let me just say that this story...was creepy and disquieting - but in a good way. I really like how you took the "truism" from the beginning and extended it through with Grindelwald. It's such an interesting take on him really because we know from the books and later interviews with JKR that a key point is that Grindelwald and Voldemort were NOT the same. Because of that it's believable that Grindelwald would actually seem less invincible and more subject to one day being forced to see himself for what he truly was.

I also just loved your writing (as usual :p). I think other than the awesome beginning you set up (chilling stuff), what I loved most was how you personified the shadow (reality?). It just added so much to the creepy, inescapable, ever-present feel - giving the ending that air of inevitability that a singularly-focused creepy story always needs.

On another note, though I don't have the kind of heavy load on my plate that Grindelwald would, I'm always hopelessly introspective and so I can totally identify with feeling haunted by decisions you've made and even just confronting yourself from time to time.

Thanks so much for this story Sian! I WILL get back to the PM soon!

Author's Response: Hey Kevin! Of course I was going to write you something, you were just one of the more difficult people to write for :P And don't worry about taking time to get here, it means a lot that you even made the time to review!

Well, I remembered you saying that you liked dark stories, so I went with that because the idea of writing some of your favourite pairings had me breaking out in a sweat :P I really wanted to build up the fact that Gellert's worst enemy was himself, that he brought about his own downfall and while he was running away from his doppelganger, he continued making the wrong decisions and becoming a worse person. In a sense the doppelganger was kind of like his conscience, and only when he finally confronted it was he able to properly show some repentance. Well, that's what I was hoping for, anyway :P It turned out a bit strange...

I'm really glad you liked the writing here, and that you think I did a good job of making it seem creepy - it's not what I'm best at, so that means a lot!

Well I hadn't even thought of the real life link, but I can see it too now that you've pointed that out - I kind of got the idea with that, in a sense. It's cool that you thought of it!

Thank you so much for this review, and I'm really pleased that you liked the story, Kevin!

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