|Review:||Cirque Du Freak says:|
So I'm not going to be entirely coherent throughout this review, but I think the first thing you should know is how much I absolutely adore this.
I've read few of your other fics and haven't gotten round to reviewing them, but I thought I'd start out small first. :P
I've been waiting patiently for this one-shot to come out when you first updated your bio on your author's page about it - I didn't really have any inkling whatsoever to what it would be about and although this piece didn't really surprise me in the way of content it did with your intense expertise of writing Minerva.
The emotional build up and the familiarity of Minerva is really very strong throughout all of this and I love the order in which you have written this too, all the stolen moments out of Minerva & Albus' life together. They've always had a strong relationship throughout the books and I have to admit that while reading them I shipped the two together. They were salt and pepper, two very different beings, two different personalities, two different lives, but you couldn't deny their greatness together.
I love that you chose Albus to give over his secret, one that he must have kept with him for a very long time to Minerva, because that really portrayed their close relationship as a pair. It was a sign of ultimate trust even if they kept secrets from each other - there was always a closeness between them no matter the distance.
I like Minerva being the type of woman not to be one to sacrifice things - even though its an idea that anyone would like to do in a fairytale of princes and princesses, Minerva was practical. She wasn't going to give up on a way of life for love without it. It may be harsh, but I truly admire her, as a character, for that. I think you made the point that you don't always have to sacrifice everything or one big thing for something else if you don't want to - you just need to choose what you can live without.
I couldn't possibly tell you enough how much I think you have the characterization to pat, so maybe this sentence will be enough - for all its worth I didn't feel like I was reading the characters in a magnificient JK way, but rather I was reading it an even better way that she couldn't have succeeded in.
My favourite part of this piece is, really, from 1976 onwards - that's when, for me, Minerva really jumped out of the page, the screen, whatever you like - she was suddenly so very real and so very vulnerable and emotional. Not to the point where it wasn't unbelievable which was incredibly important - it was enough.
I've only resultedin gushing about this as I suspected I'd do when I first started typing this out, but every story needs a bit of love!
As a last comment -- the last line in particular was so fulfilling in that I had to let out a breath I didn't know I was holding in the first place.
Author's Response: Wow, this review is fabulous, and so are you for giving it! It means a lot to hear from readers on the one-shots as they're more of my show-pieces - I experiment a lot more with one-shots, making it far more important to receive feedback on them. And your review... *swoons* It's beautiful. It certainly made me feel a lot better about this story, which did not turn out according to plan, so I wasn't sure if it would have the same affect I was looking for. That you adored it is fantastic. I can't thank you enough for taking the time to read and review this story. ^_^
It's funny because up until the end of the series and the new information about Minerva's life, I never could have written this kind of story. I was adamantly against the whole idea of Albus/Minerva - the age difference being one major factor, as was the fact that they seemed more like friends than anything more - yet as I wrote this story, I found that I wanted to ship them! It was very strange, and I pushed it aside because it would contradict canon. I think it happened because of the emotional connection the two of them have - they're very much alike in their regrets and the way that they've repressed their emotions to a dangerous extent. In some ways, it's like Dumbledore encourages McGonagall to marry because it's the one thing he was never able to do whereas she has that opportunity to experience that kind of love.
I wish I could take credit for the scene when Dumbledore relates his secret, but that was actually mentioned in the Pottermore story - I just elaborated and dramatized it. Oddly enough, it's something I assumed he would do - even in an older story, I've had him tell her about his past because their level of trust was that powerful. She probably would have found out about it if he hadn't told her, rather like Harry did, and I wouldn't want to imagine McGongall having to find out that story from the wrong sources - she's too devoted to him.
I'm glad to hear that you admire Minerva for her strength. She won't give up her independence no matter what and I admire her for it too - she's definitely a strong role model in the series, and I love showing off her strengths when I write about her. Even with all of the emotional trials she undergoes, she still knows herself, and that's a significant thing.
*blushes* It means a lot that you think I have the characters spot on, more than I could possibly express. I love writing Minerva and have often enjoyed writing Dumbledore, too, so being told that they're exactly as they should be is fabulous. ^_^
Thank you again for reading and reviewing this story!