I know that you said that you should probably stick to fluff and humour but this is really well done! I can imagine it as Dumbledore's voice--he says things in a way that asserts his knowledge, and his wisdom, but still his gentleness.
Although I found the intense conglomeration and heavy reliance on metaphor throughout the story (although my first thought in the place of this word was "poem"--does that say something?) slightly off-putting, it isn't too unlikely that Dumbledore doesn't always think this way. It is very other--seeking to escape, like he always wished as a boy, the basest life, the grungy fatality of the human. Perhaps this demonstrates the irony of the human struggle--we fly in circles--begin as creatures of slag and end the same way, without a bang, without a quiver, but with a last breath.
I love the image most of all of the moth. I think that as a young man, full of zest for thought, and for heightened awareness, for power and manipulation over human fallibility, death in flame and a burst of hell is very apt. I also love the line, "I was a boy, and therefore knew everything." I thought it might have been nice to carry over the structure of this sentence when revealing that he is older now and no longer presumes to have such an extensive and superior understanding of the world--"I am a man, and therefore know nothing." I understand that this could border on melodrama, but I savor parallelism--there's something about it that pops between the teeth, you know?
The images of the clock are effective I think mostly when regarding the man-made infrastructure of time, and how it's relative, and the most that we can have on it is a loose grasp, but it has so much power over us reversely. I think that you implicated this wonderfully :)
Overall I really like this! It speaks to me in Albus's voice, and makes me feel like I'm right there with him while he explains. Recalls the passage at the end of OotP where he explains to Harry that old men are fools if they forget what it feels like to be young.
--lily :)Author's Response: Thank you for the lovely, long review!
I do agree, there is an awful lot of metaphor and overall weirdness in this piece. Part of what I was doing at the point I wrote this fic, was trying to break away from my usual style, which tends to be much more straightforward (and almost pedestrian, I think sometimes). So I was going for a super-stylized approach, where the meanings aren't readily obvious. Also, I thought Dumbledore's mind would probably work in really weird ways - he tends to speak almost in riddles, or at least you always get the sense that he's not expressing all of what he's thinking.
I love how much thought you put into this review, reading into the fic and the images in it - what with the clocks and manmade infrastructure of time, etc. - I love that it made you think so deeply.
I'd almost forgotten that line from OotP! But I love that this made you think of it.
Thank you again for the thoughtful review!!
Melanie Report Review
Do you keep Dumbledore stowed in your back pocket? Or in your head, somewhere? It seems like it. I swear I could hear his voice narrating this. At the very least, there's a definite aged feel to the narrative - like someone Dumbledore's age, near the end of HBP, was telling it. How you did it, I don't know, but it's an amazing feat.
It's weird, but in a pretty way. :P The language is brilliant, extremely poetic so that it reads more like a poem than a story. This is only emphasized by the repetitive lines at the end - very lyrical.
My favourite line of all, though, was this: For you gave me lift, and I gave you gravity, and so we merely hung, suspended, unable to walk nor fly. *explodes with happiness* I love the image of it and how perfectly it suits Dumbledore and Grindelwald.
I bow to your skill. While I adore your abilities with humour and light stories, your more dramatic ones are equally amazing. :DAuthor's Response: Gah, you reviewed this story too?? Thanks so much!
It makes me so happy to hear that I succeeded in really making this story stay true to Dumbledore's voice. He is a particularly difficult character to write, in my opinion. I decided that, if I was going to write him, it was going to have to be lyrical and philosophical and artsy - no run-of-the-mill narratives for him! I don't think that's how his mind works.
That line is one of my favorites, too. ^_^
Thank you again, Susan! I really appreciate it, and I'm highly flattered, hearing this praise from you, of all people!
Melanie Report Review
Ah! I have been looking for a story with this pairing for some time now, and I happen to find one that you have written! Imagine my delight! A Melanie story about Albus/Gellert! *squee*
Okay, I'm done being fangirl-ish. (Maybe not)
Can I just say that you are AMAZING. Your writing isn't just great because it's pretty. And believe me, it is. It flows like poetry and it's so... beautiful. I swear, your writing is never superfluous or forced - it's concise, perfectly sewed together, and effortless. *jealousy* BUT, it's also amazing because there's weight to it. There's thought behind everything you write, and power. This piece is distinctly philosophical (which is perfect for Dumbledore), and I thoroughly appreciated that. It made me stop and think, and I was breathless from your sheer brilliance!
Stop making the rest of us look bad, kay? ;)
Anyway, I suppose I'll stop around here by thanking you for writing 1) this pairing, and 2) such an amazing piece of fiction. You never cease to amaze me. An easy 10/10.
GinaAuthor's Response: Thank you, Gina! :-)
You flatter me way too much, but all the same I really appreciate your review.
This was a daunting pairing to write, because Dumbledore is a very complicated character, but I wanted to write it because it hasn't been written very much. I'm happy to hear you felt it really fit with Dumbledore's character. I couldn't ask for higher praise than to hear that I got the character right. :-)
Thank you again!! I was so happy to read your review.
Melanie Report Review
Many of your sentences take a while to decipher.
The paragraph about Albus' heart growing larger isn't clear enough for me to interpret a definite meaning.
I still don't understand the flying in the face of fate question.
the metaphors in this were quite beautiful.
I commend you for your imagery as well.
Things are crystal clear again until you mention Albus preferring the butterfly. Things are slightly confusing after that, but the whole effect is quite poetic.Author's Response: This is definitely one of my more poetic, obscure, confusing pieces. I'm generally more of a straight-shooter, so I wanted to be a little more cryptic - I felt it fit Dumbledore's character.
Thank you for the review! I appreciate your comments. Report Review
Wow. Just-wow. I am impressed, as always, by the complete diversity of your writing styles. You convey your meaning so clearly, but with such poetic lines, that I am left speechless. You captured the soul of Albus Dumbledore, so filled with regret and doubt. That moment in time seemed so filled with promise before it was shattered by reality, and he was left to pick up the pieces and be the wise one. The stable one. I loved how you left him with such hope of redemption, such conviction that he'd made the right choice no matter how painful. So beautifully done.Author's Response: Thank you very much! I'm glad to know that Dumbledore's emotions came through for you in this fic. He can be a terribly difficult character to write, though when I took it from this angle, he became a little less foreign to me - I almost feel that I understand him better now.
I love your reviews, and this one is especially flattering, especially since this one-shot was just a random thing I decided to try. Thank you again! Report Review
This is absolutely beautiful. The story of Dumbledore and Grindelwald is one we still know very little of-- we don't even know if Grindelwald returned Dumbledore's feelings or if they had an official romance. This stays true to that. I love your writing; never stop.Author's Response: Thank you so much! Report Review
Delightfully Dumbledorish! Perfectly in character all the way through, though I expected nothing less! :D
I loved all the different words that you used (I should say "varied vocabulary" but that would make me sound a bit like my old English teacher) and you really know how to make words fit around different characters flawlessly.
It really flowed and gave a detailed insight into Dumbledore's head and all the things that he never told anyone over the years.
A lovely little thought piece that I really enjoyed reading! Don't just stick to fluff, for you can write everything! (Not that I am complaining about fluff! Definitely not. :D)
10/10Author's Response: Thanks so much for the great review! I am so happy to know Dumbledore seemed in character - he really is a difficult character to write! Report Review
Back in September, I read Tales of Beetle the Bard and I had the idea of writing a Dumbledore fic on Grindelwald, but mine was a flash of when he was younger and they were friends/romancing. Unfortunately, since Dumbledore is so hard to write, I ended up scrapping it about half an hour later, hahahaha. Yours is much much better. :D
It was so touching, in a very "sad smile" sort of way. The symbolism of the watch was brilliant! I love how you brought Dumbledore down from that high pedestal that I think most readers hold him on. You made him into a very real person who has regrets and feels lonely and unsure. I think a lot of readers forget that; I know I do.
Great! AND good!Author's Response: Dumbledore is indeed difficult to write, which I think is why I had to take such an abstract approach to him - but I'm positive mine is NOT better than yours!
That's true, he is on a very high pedestal, and I gave a lot of thought to that when I was writing this. I think there is something very sad about him and his life, and on some level he is a sad old man with many regrets and bad memories, and those are things that even the reverence and respect of others can't fix.
Great and good. XD Hahaha, thank you so much! Report Review
Wow, Melanie - I know now what you meant about weird. This WAS weird. And I am completely in awe of it!
Using the metaphor of the clock was a great idea - it really gave lift to the idea of Albus moving forward, and Gellert going backwards. While I would not necessary notice the slash the first read over, once I thought about it for a while, it really hit me. Like, why they were so connected, you know?
I completely adore these reflective pieces, you know. They're amazing and I so jealous that you can a) write them at all, and b) write them so well! This has a sort of dreamy effect and I love all the metaphors and bits of personification you slipped in - ugh, amazing! Jealous, jealous, jealous.
My favourite bits: I didnít realize until later that the great star had blinded me.
This is so canon, it's almost scary. So very, very true and you got that idea across splendidly.
How is it, Albus? How is it in your sacred tower?
There is a mocking tone to this, and I just adore it. Love love love!
For you gave me lift, and I gave you gravity, and so we merely hung, suspended, unable to walk nor fly.
Again, I loved it - it really brought across a) the romantic component, and b) the idea that they were never going to be able to be together. AMAZING.
Anyway, this was completely amazing and I resent you for being able to write this even when suffering from The Block :P Surreal, captivating and, as stated before, so canon, it's scary! Stop making the rest of us look bad!
Wonderful, Mel ♥
xxAuthor's Response: Georgia.
You speak nonsense. :-P
I have no idea where the clock thing came from, but I do like how it worked out. The thing about clocks moving in reverse was just a random idea that came to me, and I sort of built the whole piece around that concept.
And it's true, this isn't totally slashy - but it's there, just a bit, so I think I can still consider it my first actual slash. XD
Thanks for the quotes! I always love seeing the lines that make the biggest impact - and those quotes were some of my favorite to write.
Thanks so much, Georgia! Your reviews mean the world to me!
Melanie Report Review
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