Reading Reviews for The Story of You
18 Reviews Found

Review #1, by ❤️❤️ The Story of You

9th January 2017:
This is mind blowing. It's so good. I wish i could tell you MORE about how good it is.

Where is that one part, where it talks about the golden watercolours of Gellert's hair? Where is... ahh, can I point out the whole story.

The part about reading, escape... that's so true. And just.. so much of it. Like when he finally left and just how they bonded over that book of fairy tales (and the Deathly Hallows). Still. Honestly, this was WONDERFUL.

Author's Response: I've been coming back to this review for the last few days and just smiling over it :) I'm so pleased that you enjoyed this story! I loved writing it, and to find that other people enjoyed reading a story that I love so much is wonderful to hear!

Thank you so much for this wonderful review!

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Review #2, by TreacleTart The Story of You

18th September 2015:
Hey Sian!

I'm making an effort to review all of the Dobby nominated stories and that effort led me here! Congratulations on your nomination!

I have to admit that Albus/Gellert is quickly becoming one of my favorite pairings. I'm not quite sure that I ever noticed it in cannon, but after reading a lot of fanfic, I'm starting to see the logic behind their romance.

I think you did a lovely job of capturing Dumbledore's youthful desperation. He's trapped in the terrible position of having to give up his dreams to care for his mentally ill sister and socially awkward brother. It certainly isn't the ideal and I would think most anyone his age would feel terribly burdened by it. Add to that the isolation he feels when there's no one around for him to have intellectual conversations with and you have a recipe for a needy, overwhelmed person who's starved for a bit of affection. When Gellert shows up, it's really no wonder that he falls for him.

I thought that your writing was beautiful as always. You have such a poetic nature to the way you phrase things or the words you use. In places you even have an almost lyrical quality to your writing. And of course, your description is on point. Whenever I read your work, I can always clearly envision what is happening.

I'm desperately searching this story for any bit of constructive criticism that I can leave you, but it really, honestly doesn't look like there's anything that needs tweaking. This is absolutely lovely as it is.

Oh and I almost forgot! The conflict at the end was a nice little touch. You really did an effective job of showing exactly how torn Dumbledore was at the prospect of having to go after Gellert. I'm glad that in the end though he decides to. Humanity would've been in a much worse place if he hadn't.

As always, lovely work!


Author's Response: Hey Kaitlin!

Albus/Gellert isn't something that really inspired me from reading the books, but I have read some amazing stories about the pairing since I joined this site (particularly Laura's, if you haven't had a chance to check her writing out yet) and I think an angsty tale of their romance could work really well.

I'm so pleased that you liked the way I described Dumbledore and captured his character. When I wrote this, it became a lot easier to be sympathetic for him; in the books we view him from Harry's perspective, and Harry's obviously a very noble character and gives up so much for other people, but not everybody is like that and I can't imagine that it would be easy to give up on such wonderful dreams for what seems like a confined and unaffectionate life.

I'm so happy you liked the description here! I really put a lot of effort into it, especially with the conceit I used in this story, and it's great that the story was able to paint images in your mind.

I'm glad you liked the conflict at the end! I can't imagine it wouldn't have happened in some way, or Dumbledore wouldn't really have avoided seeing Gellert and confronting him over his actions for so long - but he managed to conquer himself and his emotions to save people.

I'm so pleased that you enjoyed this - and thank you for yet another wonderful review!

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Review #3, by TidalDragon The Story of You

16th September 2015:
Howdy Sian! As I began (much too late) my reviewing of the Dobby finalists, I was CERTAIN I'd R&R-ed this, but as it turns out I hadn't - and what a bitter blow that your soaring tale has eluded me for so long!

Once again, you have demonstrated yourself to be a virtuoso at using the second person and coupled with this high risk structure, anything could've happened. And yet, high risk is only high risk for lesser writers than yourself as you swiftly turned this into a thing of beauty and brilliance.

I'll confess I'm not much on Albus/Gellert, but you wrote it with such honesty, acknowledging the awkwardness of their ages at the time (especially in conjunction with Albus's isolation) gave me a new appreciation for its potential - especially in this time period. Kudos!

As far as the mechanics - well, as usual your descriptions are frighteningly fantastic and your characterizations captivating. I know it must take immense effort on your part to weave such artful people with such strong word choice - elegant in its simplicity - but the fact that you make it appear effortless to the reader is a further testament to your abilities.

Thanks for sharing, Sian! Good luck in voting!

Author's Response: Kevin! Don't worry about it - there are far too many of your wonderful stories that I still have to read, and I'm grateful to receive such a great review!

I swear that I say this time and time again in my responses to your reviews, but you really are far too kind to me when it comes to complimenting my writing. I'm so pleased that you liked this but I honestly don't feel very worthy of your praise at the moment - thank you nevertheless, because it's so encouraging to hear that you liked this and the writing style!

I've never been a big fan of Albus/Gellert until I started reading Laura's stories, really, and as long as it's done well then I think it can work really well - I'm so pleased that you liked the way that I wrote them as a pairing!

The descriptions are something I put a lot of effort into here and I'm so happy that seems to have paid off. To hear that it seems effortless and elegant is far beyond what I ever could have hoped for when I was writing this and all I can really say is thank you so, so much for this wonderful review and your continued support.

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Review #4, by Penelope Inkwell The Story of You

15th September 2015:
Hello again! Stopping by yet another Dobby nomination of yours--congrats on both!

I loved your descriptions before I even thought to check which Dobby this was up for, but when I found out, I certainly wasn't surprise.

I really like the book metaphor for Albus here. Like you say, he always did love books, and that's kind of how I picture him back then--the young, clever hero, just waiting for his chance to prove his worth. I mean, it's the start of so many stories. But then it really does just turn so tragic, in so many way. The sort of...golden tone you give to this story--I don't know how else to describe it--really suited. Even though it did darken, you were right. Albus was a hero after all.

You never stopped to think that hurricanes always release the debris they have gathered up, scattering them around, miles away from their point of origin, useless and discarded.
--I really loved this part.

The days dragged on when he left; empty, bleak. Winter came in the height of summer, spreading its icy darkness through your life once again, chilling your heart even as it beat, still, for him.
--this was another excellent moment of description. It made me so sad for him.

I like how you had Albus struggle with what it all meant, even later. I think if anyone was wise enough to question the typical hero/villain tags, it would have been Dumbledore. And I think it's just like you write it--he wouldn't have known whether he ought to imagine Gellert complexly (which, to be fair, is what he'd try to do with anyone else), or if that's just his teenage heart talking; he'd wonder whether he was a fool, filled with wishful thinking, to imagine Gellert as anything other than a monster. I just feel like all that is so Dumbledore, and the way you described him thinking about those things fits him to a T. He always knew that he was clever, but he never thought himself the very best of men. I always felt like he felt Harry's pure heart was worth 10 of his own brilliant minds. I think that his season of moral weakness--considering being part of Gellert's murderous regime and agreeing with him about wizarding supremacy and all that--would definitely have haunted him all his life, and kept him from truly seeing himself as the hero he was.


I didn't really find much. I don't have any grammatical things, or anything. The only thing I do have is more of a suggestion, and it's a matter of opinion, so of course you may disagree and that's totally cool.

Tragedy – there is no other word for it – is one of an author’s favourite tools, and had someone been writing your story, they would have been using it liberally.
--this is a great quote. I just thought it might be improved by saying "the author" instead of "an author". When you say "an author" for some reason it sounds to me as though you are talking about a specific one. And I think "the author", when put in the sentence that way, would sound more like a generalization. Like it's one of the favorite tools of all authors.

Anyway, just a thought, and definitely a matter of opinion. Nitpicky, too, but you're such a good writer that nitpicky is what is left to me. ;)

Excellent work, as always. You did a great job with this!


Author's Response: Hi Penny! Thank you for stopping by here and leaving a review for this story as well as all the other Dobby nominees!

Ah, that's so sweet of you, I'm so flattered that you love my descriptions when you're such a fantastic writer yourself ♥

The book conceit is something I'd wanted to write about and use for a long time before I got the chance to use it here. I wrote the first couple of lines without knowing who I was writing about, but Albus seemed to fit so perfectly with it, and I'm really glad that you liked the way that I used it with Albus and the descriptions and imagery that brought up.

Honestly, I think Albus is such a grey character and it's so intriguing and interesting to explore the typical ideas of hero and villain, and I really enjoyed writing about him in that way, considering what's happened. I'm so pleased that you liked the way that Albus considered and questioned that binary here, because it's so great that you can see that as being in character for him. I was really worried about writing him and Gellert here since they're such difficult characters to get right, but I'm really happy you liked the way I wrote him.

I'll definitely have a look at the/an in that quote - I'm always really open to any CC that people have and any way to improve, so thank you for suggesting it :)

Thank you so much for such a wonderful and thoughtful review, Penny! ♥

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Review #5, by HeyMrsPotter The Story of You

11th September 2015:
Me again!

I loved how you started and ended the story with the books and then used that as a way for them to first start talking, and then that beautiful comparison to the story books and their relationship-perfect! Your characterisation of Dumbledore is incredible, there's that slight air of self-importance with the right mix of loathing and regret for what happened, and that wisdom we are so familiar with.

Congratulations on another well-deserved nomination!

Author's Response: Dee! ♥

I started writing this story without any real plot properly in mind, but those first few lines came to me and the whole story sprang from there. I'm really glad that you liked the way that the story began and ended with books - it felt like it fit so well with Dumbledore as a character, and I've wanted to use the conceit for quite a while since as a reader and writer I couldn't resist it.

Dumbledore was such a scary character to write - it's so intimidating to tackle him! I have to admit I took a lot of inspiration from Laura's characterisation of him to write this (especially since it was for her), but I'm so pleased that you enjoyed it and thought I wrote him well!

Thank you for yet another lovely review!

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Review #6, by Unicorn_Charm The Story of You

28th August 2015:
Hiya Sian! :)

I'm just going to start by saying that I don't think I've ever read a more emotional or tragically beautiful story on this site in all the time I've been on it. I am literally in awe of your command of the English language and your ability to tell a story. I'm blown away by this. Really and truly.

The usage of seconded person was flawless. If there was ever a tutorial on how to effectively use it to make sure the reader clearly feels what the character is feeling, this is what should be used. I felt everything and am left feeling horribly saddened after reading this. I don't even know how to properly find the words to describe how much this got to me.

I loved the way you used books and writing to describe everything. The way he spoke of his life like a story that was out of his control, being written by an author. It just... wow. It was beautiful.

"Isn’t that why people write? Why people read? Doesn’t an escape simply mean an end to loneliness?" This was my absolute favorite line. I think every single one of us are able to relate to that. I know that just like Albus, when things become too much, reading and writing are how I cope. It makes you feel like coming home to a friend. I just thought that was so well put.

The imagery and the descriptions were gorgeous. Like Gellert being a hurricane. And my favorite was him being compared to an eclipse, leaving everything feeling darker after he had left. Knowing what happened, and why Gellert did leave, that was so sad. I'm sure Albus' life would have lost a bit of its light after losing his sister, possibly at the hand of his lover, his brother or himself. :(

Their relationship was done perfectly. I always imagined that Gellert more or less used how Albus felt for him to his own benefit. And that's how it came across to me here. That he didn't care for Albus as strongly as Albus cared for him. A part of me even wonders if Gellert cared for him at all, or just saw him as a tool for his plans.

I can't even imagine how difficult that duel must have been for Albus, but you did a phenomenal job showing us. His inner turmoil and conflicted feelings came through so strongly. It broke my heart for him.

It's sad, Albus knows that he'd technically be considered the hero, but it felt like he still didn't entirely feel that way. After all that he had done in his life, the fact that he was truly never happy and still felt that way after all of those years is incredibly heartbreaking. This whole thing was heartbreaking.

The quality of writing here was far beyond most that I've read. You are so incredibly gifted that it's unreal. I have absolutely nothing but praise and gushing for this. It was amazing. I loved it (if you couldn't tell).

I haven't read too much Albus/Gellert, but this made me want to seek more out. You've made me really like the pairing, regardless of how tragic it is. This was beautiful. Just incredible work, Sian! I'm so thrilled that I read this! ♥

Hugs and love,

Author's Response: Hi Meg!

Gah, I don't even know what to say to this review and those fantastic compliments on my writing. Seriously, part of the reason that I'm so behind on all my review responses is because people are just so KIND and I turn to mush reading their comments and have no idea what to say. Thank you ♥

The second person couldn't have been any other, I don't think - it just seemed to flow really naturally for this story and work so well for what I was trying to capture with it, and I'm really pleased that you liked the way that I used it. The theme of using books and writing as a motif throughout the story was so fun, and it's something I've wanted to do for a long time, so it was great to finally get the chance here. I'm really happy you liked it!

Yes! Basically this story turned into a bit of a homage to books and writing on my behalf, through some attempt at writing a story about Albus and Gellert :P Shh, don't tell anyone ;) I really feel like a lot of us - if not all of us - here can relate to how much those things can mean.

I'm so happy you liked the imagery and descriptions, too! I couldn't avoid using a lot of it here, partly because I love writing them but also because it fit so well with everything that was happening.

Their relationship was kind of challenging and interesting to write at the same time. There are some fantastic writers here who have stories about it, so I'm glad that you liked it in this piece.

Albus really doesn't know what to make of his own story, I think - for so long, he questions himself and his own actions. He's always cast as the hero but there's this whole past that he's been hiding that suggests he might not really be a hero at all, and it was so fun to play around with that and the stories/writing idea at the same time.

Seriously, thank you so much for your wonderful words, Meg ♥ I don't know how to respond except to say that I'm really honoured that you'd say those things about this story and my writing, and I'm so pleased you enjoyed it. Thank you for this fantastic review!

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Review #7, by teh tarik The Story of You

27th July 2015:
Sian! ♥

Muahaha I'm here to add to your unanswered reviews!!

That's pretty much all I can say because I'm still quite blown away by this story of yours. I should probably be catching up on Jigsaw but ughjkasdjadsl I never can resist an Albus/Gellert and I adore Laura's Albus/Gellert and NOW YOU'RE WRITING THEM TOO. ♥ ♥ Not to mention this is the first piece of fic I've read in some months (500 word oneshots don't count :P ) and I don't really know why I stopped in the first place.

Your writing is absolutely gorgeous, and oh my gosh I've missed it! You write second person POV and Albus's character with so much ease and this is so amazing. The second person definitely works with the introspective nature of both the story, and of Albus's character, especially after that traumatic summer of 1899. I love how you bring out all of Albus's fears and insecurities and flaws, all the things that humanise him, make him so much more relatable than he is in the books (in the books he's pretty much a superhero with magic :P ). I think you've written teenage Albus perfectly, as well as captured the enigma and the brilliance of Grindelwald so beautifully. It's easy to see why Albus is so dazzled by Gellert. You write their relationship with so much grace and so much insight, and gah, it's just painful to read because you know how it's going to end and then it ends just exactly as you knew how it was going to end and that makes it even more painful. *cries and rambles on forever*

And all the references to books, stories, writing!!! It got a little meta in some parts, and I LOVE it.


you stole the pen from Life and wrote the ending of the story yourself. as;dlka;slf

Time has taught you that it had to end, that it is better that it did – both for you and the world, because you shudder to think of what the two of you would have achieved had you actually carried out your plans together

^ SO TRUE. SO TRUE. I've always wondered what would have happened if Albus had gone dark and joined Gellert and both of them went on their world domination quest together. Um, maybe you could do AU?? *hint hint*

Perhaps, then, it is no surprise that when he was gone everything seemed just a few shades darker, as though his very presence had scorched your retinas and afterwards you were never able to see things the same way again.

^ The whole eclipse metaphor as;dk;alsfjkhkasd ♥

OK, I'm going to end my review here because I'm not saying much (I've totally forgotten how to say decent, sensible things in reviews. But I just wanna say, thank you for writing this, for doing this pairing so beautifully. This was such an amazing story to read after months of not reading. LAURA IS ONE LUCKY WOMAN.


Author's Response: Nicole! ♥

*hides because it took me about five months to reply to this review, and that's not the worst of it*

Ah, I'm so honoured that you chose to read this story after taking a few months away from reading fic, and that you liked this version of Albus/Gellert! I couldn't ever compete with Laura's or even compare in any way with her writing (or yours for that matter, my love!) but I'm really pleased that I didn't butcher them and you liked the story!

The second person here felt so natural for me, and it was one of those lucky moments when the words just work, if that makes sense? I can't imagine writing it with any other voice, because of the themes that it deals with and the way it kind of reaches out to the reader and Albus too. When I started writing it, I hadn't even decided on Albus as the protagonist, but there wasn't anyone who fit it as well as he could and it just felt natural to incorporate him into the story, either.

Gah, I'm so thrilled that you liked my characterisation of Albus here, and the flaws and insecurities that he has! I really wanted to capture his character well and I tried to put a lot of detail and thought into it so that he wouldn't come out as some terrible one-dimensional version of Albus Dumbledore. Of course, having read stories by Laura about him really helps (and I need to read yours, too!) I'm so glad that you liked the way that Gellert appears in the story too, and the way that he kind of blinds Albus to what is happening and what he's doing. Their relationship was so interesting and challenging to write at the same time, and I'm so pleased you liked the way I wrote it, even if I couldn't make it end happily (though I'm not sure I'd even have wanted to because you know how much I love angst and torturing fictional people).

SO META. But I'm so happy you liked the idea of using the references to books and stories and writing in this, I had so much fun doing it! ♥

No, bad Nicole, no encouraging me to write other stories that I don't have time for :P

Thank you so much for this review ♥ It means so much to me to get such fantastic compliments from an author like you and I'm so happy that you enjoyed the story!

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Review #8, by looneylizzie The Story of You

23rd May 2015:
Sian! I'm here for the Gryffie Review Swap!!

I. Love. This. Story.

I wish I could take this whole story and just dissect it's amazingness for you, but alas, I think that would probably take WAY too long...

But there are a ton of little lines here that I absolutely adore!

"Tragedy – there is no other word for it – is one of an author’s favourite tools, and had someone been writing your story, they would have been using it liberally."

That's probably my absolute favorite. It's so true! Albus' life really is full of tragedy, and JKR definitely did use it quite liberally. :D

I love the way you took the concepts behind stories - the uses of heroes, villains, tragedy, love, conflict, etc. and aligned them within this story that Albus is telling himself. It's absolutely wonderful!

It actually reminds me of the book I'm reading (The Storytelling Animal by Jonathan Gottschall), because of all of the comparisons between the books Albus read as a child and the stories he knew so well with his OWN story... they're all very accurate comparisons, and VERY similar to some of the things that I LOVE about the book.

Sorry, rambling...

Anyway, this is an absolutely breathtaking story and I am just in awe over it all. Your writing is incredible, and I wish I even came close to writing something like this!

Keep writing Sian!

Author's Response: Lizzie! ♥

Thank you so much! You're so sweet and I'm blushing like mad just rereading this review (even though I've read it multiple times already haha)!

Before writing this story, I'd wanted to do something with the conceit of authors/writing/books for a long time - it fit the character of Albus so well that I couldn't help but use it here, and I'm so glad that it worked and that people liked it, too. It's great that all the readers and writers on the site can also enjoy it!

Ooh, I haven't heard of that book but it sounds really interesting! It was a lot of fun - and kind of sad at times - to align Albus's life with his love of books and the way that he tried to write his own story, and how much power we really have. It's kind of convoluted but the ideas were so interesting to play around with!

Thank you so, so much for your wonderful compliments on my writing - I'm so grateful and humbled! And thank you for your fantastic review!

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Review #9, by endless_cacophony The Story of You

5th May 2015:
Oh, man. After trying to find inspiration to write the first couple chapters of my own Albus/Gellert, your one-shot by far surpassed any other story I've read thus far. Your voice acts as Albus' conscience after the fact, giving him a constant stream of memories and emotions that he didn't want to relive, but you made him. You got into the nitty gritty details that made their love oh so painful and you pulled them all out of their shadowed corners and into the light for our poor dear Albus to confront.
An absolutely wonderful piece of work, well done!

Author's Response: Hi there! Wow, this review... it's taken me a little while to respond because I really didn't know what to say.

There are some truly amazing authors on this site, particularly those who write Albus/Gellert, and for you to say that this is the best story about them that you've read so far really means a lot to me. You took everything from the story that I wanted you to take, especially with the second person narrative and the way that their love played out.

Thank you so much for this fantastic review! And I hope you find the inspiration for you own Albus/Gellert - I'd definitely be interested in reading it!

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Review #10, by marauderfan The Story of You

4th May 2015:
SIAN. This is GORGEOUS. Not only do I love all things Albus/Gellert, but this is just such a beautiful representation of them and ashdfjahsdki. Teach me your ways. I'm going to try to review coherently but be warned there will probably be significant keyboard smash/gushing and mostly consist of my quoting your own incredible words back to you.

Before I even get into the story itself, your WRITING. It's better than some professional authors, I swear. It just flows so beautifully, with metaphors so evocative, and you craft such timeless art with your words. Speaking of words, I do not have enough words to describe how AMAZING your writing is. Gah.

I love the use of second person, too - it's so personal here, but a bit detached, like the narrator is writing a letter to Albus after a long time; and that POV really brings the story to life.

it was your time at school that made you realise, slowly, that you couldn’t bury your nose in dusty pages and expect to live in the present -- this! ugh, I love it so much because it just works so perfectly with the narrative and I could absolutely see the young Albus being like this - and it fits in with his later assertion that "it does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live". Perfect.

I also love how there's about 6 lines of dialogue in here but in those few lines and the little character moments, their personalities are three dimensional and real and so present. You wrote their love in such a beautiful way - it was at the same time so happy and bittersweet, because Albus is afraid to write the words (which, once again, ties in to the books theme just too perfectly.)

And on the topic of the recurring theme of books and of life being a fairytale and who's the hero - I really loved that aspect because in Albus' eyes, surely Gellert was a hero for a while, as his first love and whatnot, but it all changes and then they're both simultaneously the hero and the villain (because they don't know who did it) and in the end Albus has to simultaneously listen to his heart and fight against it. He stops dwelling on the dream of his past, and on the fairytale it was once, and remembers to live for the present. It's really sad because you can tell that Albus still cares for Gellert, and maybe wishes that he didn't. THIS: Albus, as you fought your heart and your lover simultaneously; you stole the pen from Life and wrote the ending of the story yourself. -- I just love that line as it sums up so many of the themes that you've brought up in this story, not to mention is just so expressive and beautiful.

i have to quote you again: You never stopped to think that hurricanes always release the debris they have gathered up, scattering them around, miles away from their point of origin, useless and discarded. -- asdfhlahsj. JUST WOW. THAT IS ALL. UGHHH I LOVE THIS

I apologise if this review makes no sense at all, but I really did love the story so much, even if it reduced me to inarticulate keyboard smash. HULK LIKES STORY.

Please keep writing forever


Author's Response: Kristin! ♥ Ah, I don't even know how to reply to the amazingness of this review and thank you so much - that's pretty much all I can say here right now!

*flails* These are the sort of compliments that just make me blush forever because I'm not worthy of them, but THANK YOU SO MUCH and ♥.

The second person just worked so well for me here that I couldn't imagine it being written in another voice; I feel like all of us here have a connection to the value of reading and writing and the second person kind of fits with that as well as speaking to Albus through it.

Ah, I'm so pleased that you thought I managed to write the characters and personalities well! I was so wary of writing these characters because there are some truly amazing authors on this site who have written such wonderful stories about them, and so crafting their characters in this story was such a challenge. I'm thrilled you liked the way I wrote them, though!

Yay, I'm so glad you liked that part! It was so much fun to play around with the theme of books and life as a fairytale and writing and all of that - I'd wanted to write using that motif long before I actually got to write this story and I'm so glad that it worked here and there wasn't too much purple prose and confusion about what's happening. It's fantastic that you liked the way that there's so much ambiguity here in who is the hero and the villain and the way that all played into their characters.

This review made perfect sense and just left me speechless for about seven whole months so that I couldn't respond acceptably. THANK YOU SO MUCH and I'm so pleased you enjoyed this ♥

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Review #11, by Jay_HPFF The Story of You

4th May 2015:
I don't often write reviews. But I had to tell you what a wonderful job you did here. You are a very creative writer. Your words flow from one sentence to the next and this was very easy to read.

The actual craft of putting words on the page is not as easy as some people think. While the story itself is good, you are an absolute artist when it comes to the written word.

Author's Response: *flails* JAY!

It's taken me a while to respond to this, because seriously, what am I meant to say when JAY comes and leaves a review on my story?!

I'm so pleased that you liked this and the writing style, which I put a lot of effort into. I don't even know how to respond to your compliments on my writing though, Jay, so I'll just say thank you so, SO much for stopping by to read and review my little story - it means a lot!

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Review #12, by Aphoride The Story of You

4th May 2015:
Sian! :) Okay, okay, it's been way too long for me to get here - but in my defence, I've read this about five times, and each time wanted to review and tried to, but not been able to say anything other than 'THANK YOU. THANK YOU SO MUCH. OMIGOSH IT'S AMAZING, I LOVE YOU' which is true, but not very coherent :P

So I'm going to attempt to actually review this - but omigosh, really, reviewing stuff of yours before was always so hard, because I just end up repeating myself so much, but here? I'm going to need a dictionary find synonyms for 'perfect', I think.

And no, I'm really not joking.

Okay, so the beginning of this... just, wow. I loved how the entire thing was sort of told with so many references to books and stories, as though his life was a story itself (which, as an idea, can get very meta very quickly so I'm not going to go there, hehe): with the beginning, and the middle, and the idea of him being cast the hero of his own story, except is he? The bit where you comment that he's not sure he's the hero or the villain, but might be the fool is just so, so sad. Then, of course, it's counteracted by the ending, which is just such a beautiful analogy, really it is, and such a poignant line.

I loved as well how you talked about books being his friends in place of real ones, being a kind of solace and protection for him. It's such a sad, sweet thing to think of, and I loved how you returned to that each time he and Gellert split up :( Also, this: "It always amazed you, the way that shapes could become letters and letters words, and words could spring from the page and into your imagination, where they were given life as you breathed." is such an amazing quote! :)

I've just got to quickly mention the brief reference to Wilde - caught it, loved it! :D It is so so fitting, though, given the context and the time it was written :)

Your Gellert was amazing. Like, seriously. I loved how you described how he captivated Albus from the very beginning, and the Deathly Hallows drew them together - though the moment when Albus was so embarrassed by having them out and Gellert seeing the stories was so, so good :P - and how Aberforth noticed, even though Albus tried to hide it, and sneered at him about it. It's just so, so in character, and so emphatic of the difficulties of the time, too, that even Aberforth wasn't best pleased - and you make it so clear that it goes beyond the normal kind of brotherly teasing.

I loved the little references to how he wanted to sign the letters with love but could never do it, or say it either - it's so cruel to think that he never could, and you can't help but wonder about what if's, you know?

This line, and the whole metaphor/reference was just pure genius: "Neither you nor Gellert were the ones struck, and yet on that day the both of you pricked your fingers, sending another into an eternal sleep and tearing you apart from him." :)

I loved how you described the duel, too, with Gellert older and so much worse, but still him (and I loved that line, too, but I suspect I'm going to start running out of characters soon), and how hard it must have been for him to be there, and to have to do it. It was a really heart-wrenching moment, and I don't say that lightly! ;)

The way you tied Life in with the story/book metaphor was so, so great, and how inevitable the duel was as the conclusion of the story. I think other people have mentioned it before (they should have!), but this: "You held your head high that day, Albus, as you fought your heart and your lover simultaneously; you stole the pen from Life and wrote the ending of the story yourself." is just amazing. It's just so so good I can't even explain it other than to repeat myself.

You wrote them in love so so well, too, without even quite saying it explicitly, and I just love how you did that. It was so gorgeous - the way you described Albus as 'breathing Gellert in' and how even afterwards he regrets that it ended so quickly, and still loves Gellert, still can't think of him badly, the way other people would do. It's so expressive, and it's so heart-breaking, because even though I know what's going to happen, I still wish that there could be some kind of happy ending for them, especially with the way you make it so clear and so painful that Albus almost misses Gellert, and still loves him.

The way you wrote this is just amazing. Seriously. Like, every word is chosen so exactly and just fits in so perfectly... it really is amazing. I don't know what else to call it, tbh. You've always been so so good at making me feel for your characters, and believe in them, and everything, and of course I'm going to be biased by Albus/Gellert is my ship, man, but you write them so so well and whenever I've read this, once I've started I haven't been able to stop until I reached the bottom. It's an absolute gift you've got, and it's so beautiful, and I'm absolutely floored by the fact that you wrote this for me, and really, I have no idea what to say.

Thank you so so much for this - it's just amazing, and so beautiful, and gah, I'm just going to throw this everywhere around the forums in an attempt to say thank you, so please excuse me... :P :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Laura ♥ ♥ ♥ So you know already that it's taken me a shamefully long time to reply to this, but I would be lying if I said that I found it easy. Because - don't laugh - I'm pretty sure I teared up the first few times I read this review from you. Because you're such a fantastic writer yourself and these are YOUR characters (to me, anyway) and this was for you, so the fact that I got it right really meant so much. I'm sure that's appealing to your not-so-secret Slytherin side - killing me with kindness :P - but there you have it. So this response is essentially going to be me gushing my thanks at you in some attempt at forming a coherent reply.

Books and stories and writing have always meant so much to me, and I'd wanted to write a story using the conceit for a long time before I got the chance to write this. And then I started writing and it just worked so well for me with Albus and his life, and his love of books and everything, and then also the way I feel like it relates to everyone of us here, because we all love stories so much. It was so ridiculously meta at times but I'm really pleased that you liked the concept and the way that Albus was exploring the different ideas of what it means to be a hero and a villain and everything in between.

Hehe how could I not include a little reference to Wilde in a story written for you, my dear? :P

Gellert is such a hard character to get right, and I hope you know how nervous I was about you reading this, because you are like the QUEEN of writing Albus and Gellert and just capture these characters so well, and I'm so excited that you even liked the way I wrote Gellert, let alone thought I captured him in a relatively good way!

Ah, I had so much fun with the descriptions and imagery in this story, because there was so much that I could do with them and I'm really pleased that you liked it too!

Again, writing them in the duel, it was really difficult knowing that you've got your own versions of them and having to try and live up to that in a way. But I'm really glad you liked the way that I developed the characters for their later life and when they had to face each other again.

Life as a writer with the story/book metaphor wasn't exactly planned, it just seemed to fit in really well and I'm really glad that you liked it too. I really wanted to show the way that he kind of refused to give in just yet and that he tried to go against fate in a way, prove that he was good enough for something, if that makes sense, after all those people have suggested that he's a hero when he doesn't feel like it.

Writing them in love and in a kind-of relationship was so challenging but really interesting, too, but I wanted to include it without it being too forced. I'm so pleased you liked the way I portrayed their relationship, though, because like I said, you're essentially the queen of writing Albus/Gellert and I really wanted to show their relationship in the way that I see it but also fitting with your version, too. I always think Albus really loves Gellert, and Gellert loves Albus too but uses him more, I think... Anyway, I'm so glad that you liked the way I wrote them and I didn't completely ruin them for you!

Gah, I don't even have the words to reply to this, you're so kind to me and I'm so grateful that you enjoyed this story and that you liked the writing style too! You're such an amazing author and I'm so thrilled that you liked the writing in this story. I don't even have any words left to say thank you but thankyouthankyouthankyou ♥

Thank you so much for this incredible review which is far better than the story and way more than I deserve. Thank you &hearst; ♥ ♥

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Review #13, by Diogenissa The Story of You

3rd May 2015:
Hai Sian! My goodness how long's it been since we did a swap? Seems like eons ago!

First things first--I meant to have this done and up this morning BUT I hadn't slept well and sinuses blech so sorry this is so late! :-(

That first paragraph sets the stage so very well and draws to mind Albus and his overall character to the letter. He has always come across to me as someone who's always meant well but has difficulty in conveying that (which is probably one reason why he clashed with Aberforth so much). He truly means well.

The overall book theme and applying to various and significant points in Albus' life was brilliant, and the descriptions flowed smoothly and I got the sensation of something rich and fluid. You brought both Albus and Gellert to such radiant life and you could truly -feel- Albus as he tried hard to share his feelings yet is awkward--just as he means well and has a hard time showing that, so here too and it's understandable (I mean, it's Gellert ;) :P ).

This-- "There was nobody there who could have witnessed the battle and told of your internal struggle, of the way that your wand faltered for just a second and you almost let him escape. You held your head high that day, Albus, as you fought your heart and your lover simultaneously; you stole the pen from Life and wrote the ending of the story yourself.

Perhaps that means that, of the two of you, you were the hero of your tale after all, Albus."
-- ends it powerfully and 'closes the book' so to speak in a firm way, and one that gives a sense of finality and closure, even if it's a sad ending for Albus as he most certainly did what he had been avoiding and finally found the strength to do, no matter how much it hurt--my heart went out to him and even now.

Overall I loved this! Your descriptions and words were flawless and again brilliant and the emotions were raw and intense. Awesome job darlin' and thank you so very much for both a great story and the swap--let's do it again sometime! :)

Karen xoxo

Author's Response: Hey Karen!

I'm really glad that you liked the opening paragraph - I actually wrote the first few lines of this story without knowing who or what they were going to be about, so it's great that it helped set the stage for the story and capture his character a bit.

I'm really pleased you liked the conceit of books and writing and the way that tied in to Albus's life in various different ways! It's something I've wanted to use for a while and I'm so happy with the response to it; I really feel like it's a theme so many of us here can relate to and it really seemed to apply well to Albus's life.

Thank you so much for this lovely review, Karen! I'm so pleased that you liked this story and thank you for the swap!

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Review #14, by 1917farmgirl The Story of You

3rd May 2015:
I know this is going to sound weird, but I think the thing that struck me most about this story wasn't so much the plot of it (though that was stellar as always!) but rather the craft behind it. You know I've been struggling with how to put into words what reading this made me feel, and so I hope I can express it now.

I think what you did here was amazing. It's like you used a story made up of words to pay homage to all words and all stories. The very essence of why we struggle to write and why words can be so very powerful was contained in this one-shot, wrapped and tucked neatly inside the plot - but also in a way, independent of the plot. It really touched me, because I can relate to so much of it. Some of my very best friends are found in books. Fictional characters are often so much more real to me than real people. It's not something I'm always proud of, but I do deeply understand the sentiment.

And while we are on the subject of words, I am once again in awe of yours! You are so gifted with writing! You paint a picture in my mind with the words that you chose and it's so amazing to me. Everything flows smoothly and has such a beauty about it. Seriously, I love your writing so much. I really need to make time to read more of it.

This isn't the longest review, and for that I'm sorry, but I do hope you can realize that it's a very sincere one.

Thank you for sharing your talent with the world. :)

Author's Response: Hello!

It doesn't sound weird at all! In fact, it's probably what I was aiming for in this story; my one-shots tend to be a lot less plot driven than longer stories and I really wanted to explore all I could do with the writing in this piece, especially with the conceit I chose to employ, so I'm really pleased you liked that.

I've wanted to write about books and writing stories as a conceit for a long time - I wrote the opening few lines of this fic without really knowing where I was going with it, but Albus seemed to fit it really well and I couldn't not use him. I'm so pleased that you liked the way that I tried to pay homage to words and stories with this story. Words really are so powerful and it's clear that they've touched everyone on this site, and I'm so happy you could relate to it. I don't think it's something you shouldn't be proud of, if that makes sense - a lot of us find our truest friends in books, and I think that's what makes a real reader.

You're far too kind to me, and I'm blushing right now even reading this, but thank you so much for your compliments! I was aiming to write something that could maybe be called beautiful in a way and I'm so pleased I achieved it in some measure. Thank you so, so much for this beautiful review and I hope you know how much it means to me! ♥

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Review #15, by Infinityx The Story of You

2nd May 2015:
Sian! Here for our review swap! (finally)
I only hope I can do justice to this review because your one-shot was just absolutely exquisite.

First of all, I adore a well-written second person fic and this was just perfect. The words and phrases you used were completely fitting for the tale of Albus and Gellert, and there wasn't a single moment when I felt that the writing style could have been different or something could have been changed. It was absolutely perfect. I'm of half a mind to just stop writing.

I love how you've begun with relating his life to his love of books. It brings about a completely poetic air to the story, and there's also this archaic feel to every sentence from the way you've written it. (i'm not sure if that makes sense) I really like how you've brought in Albus' childhood and all the little events that led him to become the person he was instead of just jumping to the Albus/Gellert interaction. Those bits about his parents fighting and his mother paying attention to Ariana while he was cast aside just gave a whole other layer to this story. Even in the books, we didn't get to know much about him until the very end and at times, he still remains a really finicky character when I think about him. But the way you've described his childhood here helps me actually form a base to his personality and I think that's really amazing.

I absolutely love the way you've written Gellert. His sentences so clearly show that English isn't his first language and even though you've mentioned that they took a while to communicate with each other, the dialogues give a really good insight into his character as well.

There's this kind of charm to the tone of the story. Very reminiscent and airy in a way. Since there are suggestions throughout this about it being Albus' story, it's brilliant because even while reading it, it doesn't seem completely real. It's weirdly mystical.

Even the romance - it's fleeting, and really light. I mean, it's really powerful without having too much emphasis on the romance itself, but their obvious connection and the adventures connected to it. Again, I'm not sure if I'm clear about what i'm trying to say. :P

I love that part about Albus stealing the pen from Life. Absolutely love it. Especially since there's a subtle contrast between life and death here - Albus trying to find all the Hallows to become the master of Death, and stealing the pen from Life. I don't know if you wrote it that way intentionally but it sure does make a huge impact.

I absolutely LOVED this, Sian. You are such an amazing writer. ♥

Author's Response: Hi Erin! Ah, you're far too kind to me!

I love second person - I think it's probably my favourite narrative voice - and I couldn't imagine anything else working here, with the conceit of reading and writing running through the story, because I really felt that that motif appealed to all of us here. But no, never stop writing because you're incredible ♥

The opening few sentences were some that I wrote before I'd even decided what to write about here, and I'm so pleased that you liked it. Albus's life seemed to fit so well by relating it to his love of books, and I loved writing it from there. The archaic feel definitely makes sense, because I was trying to write more old-fashioned prose to fit the period for the story, so I'm glad that worked! And I'm so happy that I managed to develop his character enough in this story to give you a real base for his personality. I've never thought about Albus in this much detail before but it was really important to me to try and form a rounded, complete character for the story.

Gellert doesn't actually say much, but I think he's got such an important role in the story and as soon as he arrives it's like he consumes Albus's vision. I'm really happy you liked the way that I portrayed his character and the slow way that they developed a sort of friendship.

Eep, that's so exciting to hear - I kind of wanted this to be Albus's story but all the same, it's a /story/ and it's so difficult to tell where fact means fiction sometimes. I kind of wanted to give this a fairy-tale, mystical sort of feel and it's so exciting that you caught that when you read this!

The romance was meant to be really light - I didn't want to delve too far into it, partly because I don't have a lot of specific head canon on it and partly because I know there are other stories that describe the relationship a lot better than mine (like Laura's novel). I'm so pleased that it still managed to come across powerfully without being emphasised too much, though.

Those last few lines, with the conceit of Albus choosing to write his own ending, were so much fun to write and play around with. And I love the contrast that you picked up on between life and death here too.

Thank you so much for this fantastic review, Erin ♥ It's taken me far too long to reply to it, but I really appreciate it so much!

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Review #16, by Cannons The Story of You

30th April 2015:

I'm seriously considering uninstalling Scrivner and not writing again. You've just weaved this together impeccably, it is flawless. Second person POV is my favourite to write and you've just owned it. Like this is the standard I need to be aiming for from now on. It's so polished so well done!

I copied this line as I was reading - But on that first night, after watching him retreat down your neat garden path, like an exotic bird that had found itself in the Welsh valleys, you fell asleep to a watercolour of gold and blue behind your darkened eyelids. - This line really stuck out to me, the golden and blue behind darkened eyelids, powerful imagery.

Another thing that stood out was the rhythm to this piece, it never felt overdone or like there was something missing, it just flowed naturally. Which is important for this view point imo.

The hurricane idea was impressive because of how much sense it made, especially as we already know what is about to happen.

Some other lines I really enjoyed where - 'That summer; heady, hedonistic, believing, hoping, that the long, hazy days would stretch out forever and reality would forget to return.' - 'You held your head high that day, Albus, as you fought your heart and your lover simultaneously; you stole the pen from Life and wrote the ending of the story yourself.' -

Thanks for the swap Sian, as honestly I probably wouldn't have clicked on this due to my unfamiliarity of the ship but I am happy that I have read it as now come away slightly inspired to up my game.



Author's Response: Hi Fin!

No, don't do that - never do that! You're an amazing writer and we'd all be so sad if we didn't get the chance to read more of your stories one day. But I'm so flattered by all of your lovely compliments on my writing - I put a lot of thought and time into this (it's amazing how much more concentration not having internet gives you) and I'm so pleased that it seems to have paid off. I love writing second person POV too and it felt like it fit really well with this story. It's great that the flow was natural too.

The imagery and description was probably something I concentrated on most with this piece - I really wanted to explore different imagery and I'm so glad that you liked it and found it powerful in places!

Thank you so much for the lovely review, Fin, and for the swap!

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Review #17, by The Queen Of Gossip The Story of You

24th April 2015:
Hi Sian.

I'm The Queen Of Gossip, a sister and predecessor of Gossip Girl (you may have heard of her, because she got oh-so-famous for that TV show of hers. But I'm the one that does most of the work, I'm the original Gossip Girl). Rumor has it your story is the next big thing, so I'm here to find out if it's true or not, so I can share whatever I think with my millions of followers that rely on my site to find stories to read. And since I'm such a nice person, I will let you know what I'm going to tell them:

The rumors are indeed true. The Story of You are one of the best stories there are to find at HPFF at the moment, and you should all hurry over and read it, as I'm sure it will soon be the most popular conversation topic on HPFF. In 2695 words (Yes, I counted), Sian manages to capture sides of Albus and Gellert I am sure not even they could've properly expressed through fiction.

As many of you already know, I was once in a relationship with Albus. It was long before he met Gellert, of course. He was very interested in me, but I had to let him go. I thought to myself, "The Queen of Gossip" you cannot bother yourself with a relationship. Think about your career, about your gossip site! (well, back then it was a news paper, of course, because we did not have internet then). And I can tell you, my dear readers, it is a very accurate portrayal of the man I knew back then. Albus would be very proud of his story being told with such great care!

The description is flawless, you are garanteed images in your head and symphaty for the man that we all know as the greatest wizard of them all. This, my dear readers, are the work of what must be one of HPFFs most talented writers, no doubt. And I encourage you all to visit her page as soon as you have the time for it.


The Queen of Gossip

Author's Response: Hi Queen of Gossip (or, I can now say, Lotte)!

Eep, there are rumours about me? At least they're nice ones... I hope.

Wow, I don't even know what to say to that, that you think this story is one of the best on HPFF at the moment. That really means a lot, and I'm so pleased that you think I managed to capture Albus and Gellert here. I'm really pleased you liked the way I characterised them and wrote their relationship!

Your compliments are so sweet here - I'm really happy that the description in this worked; I know there was a lot of imagery and metaphor involved in it and for you to say that I'm one of the most talented writers here - I can't even respond to that *blushes*

Thank you so, so, so much for this fantastic review which completely made my day! ♥ ♥ ♥

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Review #18, by MargaretLane The Story of You

22nd April 2015:
I'm not even sure WHAT to say about the opening paragraph of this story - it's just so perfect, almost poetic. And it is, in my opinion, in character for Albus, to describe things in terms of books. And as for the dreams of riches and glory. It's such a majestic image, yet we know it will be a hollow, even harmful mirage in the end.

Second person is something I'm often wary of, but THIS is exactly how it should be written. It reminds me of one of the few published novels written in the second person I have come across, one where it was handled so deftly, I could almost hear the accent. Here, it's not so much the accent I hear as the thoughtfulness and reminiscence. There is an element of Albus addressing his younger self or something.

I love the way you show how Albus's intelligence isolates him from the rest of his family.

LOVE the part about how part of him knew he had to take care of his siblings and was resigned to the idea that that was far more important than a "gap year," but that another part still resented it. I think Albus's attitude was very understandable. What 18 year old wouldn't feel some resentment at the thought of giving up a glittering future to care for an ungrateful and wayward younger brother and a sister with mental health problems. However much they loved them, it would hardly be natural if they didn't feel some reluctance.

And I love the line about Gellert being "as golden as your summer was supposed to have been." It both captures his infatuation with the other boy and also shows how Gellert becomes a substitute or replacement for everything he feels he's lost - his old schoolfriends, the trip abroad, the challenge of academia, the planned future.

I really love the way you introduce the issue of the Deathly Hallows. It would be a difficult subject for either of them to raise, as it isn't something a teen would necessarily admit to believing in to somebody they were trying to impress, but the way it happens here REALLY makes sense, Gellert seeing the sign and thinking Albus already has a belief in it.

The imagery of the hurricane is really interesting, as it would usually be a negative, frightening, threatening one, yet Albus uses it as a positive one. But it's more usual interpretation lurks in the background, reminding us of the turbulence Gellert will bring into Albus's life and how he will not only blow down the walls of his prison, but also so much of what he cares for.

It's actually an interesting question - what would have happened if Albus and Gellert had carried out their original plans? Of course, it could never have happened, since Albus would have been hard put to leave home and go on that journey and I think if he did, the gradual revelation of Gellert's true character would have forced them apart anyway. But if they did: would Albus have been able to rein in Gellert's excesses, creating perhaps a rather less vicious regime. Of course, forced government is never good, but there ARE degrees. Or would Gellert (or even the conviction he was doing what was right and the end justified the means) have corrupted him completely and created an even more powerful regime. I find it hard to imagine Albus countenancing things like Grindelwald's infamous prison. Perhaps even, Gellert could have been defeated sooner, if a breach between them caused a fight in which Albus defeated him.

I like the way you connect Albus's view of the romance with the books he read. There's a feeling that none of this is reality, which of course, it wasn't.

And you've actually made me appreciate the romance, which isn't easy, but then again, you once made me feel some sympathy for Crouch's predicament and after THAT, anything is a possibility.

I LOVE the way he cannot entirely cast Gellert Grindelwald as the villain, because even after everything he later did, he still remembers his more endearing characteristics. And of course, the end of his life indicates that he wasn't a complete villain. It doesn't justify anything he did, but it does add some complexity to his character.

And I love the part about him only being "the fool, the half-wit." Again, it is almost poetic.

One thing that seemed a little off to me. In the late 19th century, I think it would be difficult to find books about men who loved men.

And I LOVE the part about him stealing the pen from life.

This is a fantastic story. 10 out of 10.

Author's Response: Again, it's taken me far too long to reply to this fantastic review, and I can't apologise enough for that, but I'm SO grateful for it and it's been really difficult to find the words to respond to something so wonderful and complimentary. But thank you for this ♥

I'm so pleased you liked the opening paragraph! I'd actually been wanting to use this motif for quite a while before beginning this story, and when I did begin it, I just started writing the first few lines without any idea of a plot or even which character I wanted to use in the story. Second person seemed to work so well for this story that I couldn't have used anything else - I think it's partly because this is a theme that I think relates so well to each of us reading stories here, and I really wanted to reach out to the reader with that.

From what we see of Albus and his family in the books, I think the relationship between them was probably a little strained even before their parents died; Albus's intelligence probably played a role in that, even if he couldn't help it, since he felt separate in some ways to the rest of his family. Having had the chance to show off his excellence and then having independence within his grasp, it would have been so frustrating for him to return home to care for his siblings. I don't think anyone would have reacted to that very well, to be honest.

I'm really pleased you like the way that I introduce Gellert and describe him - you're right, I do completely imagine him becoming a substitute for everything that he's lost, and in a way that's why he holds such an influence over him for so long. And I'm glad you liked the way that they began to talk about the Deathly Hallows! It was difficult to come up with a way for that to happen that made sense and was plausible, but I'm glad you like that little detail.

I really loved getting the chance to use so much imagery in this piece, and it's great that you enjoyed it too! It was fun to play on the different interpretations that a hurricane might have in this context, and like you said, it was something exciting but then negative for Albus in the end.

It's such an interesting - and scary - question to wonder what would have happened if Albus and Gellert carried out their original plans. I don't think even Albus knows himself, from what he said at the end of the final book... of course, we all want to think that he would have tempered Gellert or gone against him earlier, but I'm not sure that he would have done, at least not early enough to make a real difference. I guess it's one of those things that we'll never really know.

Ah, I don't know if you have any idea how much it means to me that I made you appreciate the romance in this story, and the fact I made you appreciate Crouch's predicament too. It means a lot that you even read this, considering you don't usually read romance, and I'm so glad I could make you appreciate it here!

I don't think it would be very easy to cast anyone that you've once loved as a villain in their entirety; there will always be those reminders of why you loved them in the first place. I'm really pleased you liked that part and the complexity that it added to his character.

In those references to the books about men loving men, I was more referring to the coded messages within them that could be deciphered if you read closely enough, if that makes sense. There's a lot of poetry that alludes to male lovers, and then stories like The Picture of Dorian Gray that would probably fit into the category to some extent.

I'm really happy you liked that metaphor! It was so fun to play about with the language in this story and use the conceit of writing and reading and tie it all into Albus's life. I'm so glad you enjoyed it!

Thank you so, SO much for this fantastic review, I really can't thank you enough for it!

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