Reviews For Just One Kiss
Reviewer: Equinox Chick
Date: 11/17/11 20:32
Chapter: Chapter 1

Oh, nooooooo, that's really sad. Poor, poor Albus. He really poured himself into that kiss and was rejected. I thought Gellert was going to give in and kiss him back - I really wanted him to. :(.

This is a sweet story, a very brief snapshot moment between this pair that we know next to nothing about (as a couple, i mean) the Albus here fits so well with what we later know about him. Even his rejection of love at the end is in keeping because although he places great store by it, I don't believe he ever fell in love again. And he recognises the power it can hold. *sigh*

sad but lovely, Bob, ~Croll~

Author's Response: Thank you, Croll - for reading and reviewing! I wrote this so long ago I'd forgotten all about it, but I'm glad you enjoyed it. ~Bob

Reviewer: GringottsVault711
Date: 09/30/09 17:36
Chapter: Chapter 1

The introduction to this story is excellently done; it sets the story up straight away and instantly grabs the focus of the reader, but without disorienting them. We automatically have a significant understanding of the who and the what of the situation, without a lot of slowly unfurling details. (Which can be nice in a chaptered-story, but which, I think, risks losing reader-interest in a one-shot.)

Furthermore, because of the concise impact of the introduction, the structure and flow of your story is set up in a way that allows you to deliver your exposition alongside the progression of the situation; it's a very steady deliverance that helps maintain the reader's interest after the initial attention-grabbing introduction.

I liked the characterization of Gellert. This is really the first story I've read with him, and it's honestly exactly how I pictured him. There is a certain Tom-Riddle-esque quality to him, but at the same time, he seems more human. Arrogant, cold, apparently unfeeling, yes, but also something more personal. I imagine this is, in part, because of Albus' perception of him. But also in the way he cleared his throat before he said he was leaving, and the way he asserted that Arianna's death wasn't his fault; I really liked that line, particularly. It puts me in mind of a very child-like emotion of insisting that other people recognise you're not to blame for something that had happened (and it's something that occurs as a result of a feeling guilt rather than a conviction of innocence.) So, again, that attributed a certain humanity to Gellert, but there was also a dark shade of haughtiness to it.

As to the main point of the story, Albus Dumbledore's misfortune in love and it's effect on him over the rest of his life, I found it was put across very well, though also very sadly. It could see the cause-and-effect playing out before even reaching the conclusion. Your Albus fits perfectly with the Dumbledore we see in the books, and this story enables me to picture the very lonely side to him that we don't really see in the books, though it's definitely there if we look for it.

I do, however, find the story itself, and Albus' character within it, difficult to believe. The first thing that struck me as off was how minor the fact of Arianna's death seemed, as the fact that it was a fight amidst Albus, Gellert and Aberforth that caused it. An example: "…the easy atmosphere between the two had evaporated and all that was left was awkwardness..." The focus here seems off to me, due to the use of "awkwardness." "Awkard" makes me think somebody did or said something insulting, rather than caused the death of a sibling. Also:

It was almost as if his friend was seeking a final bit of acceptance from him. Albus wanted to laugh. If only Gellert knew that he could do anything and Albus would still forgive him, still be there for him.

Again, this seems to make light of what is in reality a very dark, serious scenario. In DH, it says that Gellert used the Cruciatus Curse on Aberforth, and Albus tried to stop him, which resulted in duelling amongst the three of them, leading to Arianna being killed. After this, I imagine not only would Albus have a lot of difficulty forgiving Gellert (and himself, for that matter), but that he certainly wouldn't laugh off the idea.

I would expect Albus to be far more focused on grief, guilt, shame, even self-horror; on top of all that, deeply conflicted about his feelings for Gellert after what has happened. Overall, when compared directly to canon, I can't imagine this being how Albus and Gellert parted ways. If you take out that, though, I believe the story itself, could still work on its own if there was more weight given to Arianna's death, and if we saw an Albus that was more burdened with grief and conflict. It's definitely well told and structured, and works well as a story of unrequited love; just, for me, there should be more to the tale than that love.

Reviewer: Indigoenigma
Date: 09/29/09 15:30
Chapter: Chapter 1

Dear Hannah –

I have to start off by telling you that I was having a very hard time choosing a story of yours to review. Everything looked so interesting and intriguing! Then I noticed that this featured Albus and Gellert. I was hooked right there. I don’t write them as much any more, but they sort of hold a little corner of my heart because a young Albus is one of my favorite things to read in the entire world and I’ve always enjoyed the dynamic between him and Gellert. And your story was every bit as good as I hoped it would be.

What was really interesting about reading this was your characterization of Gellert. Certainly, this story is told from Albus’ point of view and the focus is more on him, but as a reader I felt as though I got a better sense of who Gellert was than of who Albus was. It’s like I absorbed Albus’ thoughts and who he was, but I was slapped in the face with Gellert’s identity. Frankly, I really liked your portrayal of Gellert. You could see so much of who he would later become, even though the reader saw him through Albus’ eyes and then only for a very brief time. He gave off that calculating and manipulative air while still retaining some of the emotion from his youth.

These lines really stood out to me as being so indicative of Gellert’s character:
“I have to go. There’s nothing worth staying for, I’ve found out everything this place can teach me.”

I thought that this was Gellert’s most powerful line. Here you have Albus mourning the loss of his sister and the imminent loss of friendship, and the only reason his “friend” gives for leaving is that the opportunities for learning have been exhausted. That is such a painful statement to read. I actually gasped at the line because I could feel how Albus was going to be hurt and absolutely devastated by impersonal-ness of it.

Even though this was a very short piece, you were very good at packing the emotion in. The line above is a perfect example of that as well. The words were very conducive to making the reader really feel what Albus was going through. At the very end of the story, you describe “…splinters to beat inside his chest.” By that point, it was as though I knew exactly how it would feel to have that happen. You have very powerful diction and you certainly didn’t mince words or dance around emotions; you described them very accurately and exactly.

I feel that a lot of authors (myself included) have tried to tackle the idea that Albus gave up on love while he was young thanks to this relationship that went so horribly wrong. I really like your interpretation of the story. It is very real in the fact that the characters both seem so young and immature, but possess parts of the personalities that they’re later going to grow into. The final paragraph is just so Albus Dumbledore, yet it also seems very young. There’s no seemingly wise sage butting in to utter a few statements from Albus - he seems very real and very much who he would be at that age.

I really enjoyed this story, Hannah!

~Kelly

Reviewer: XhayleeXblackX
Date: 05/30/09 19:26
Chapter: Chapter 1

Oh Hannah,

This was such an interesting and different story. I’ve not read many Albus stories, but I thought your characterization of him was believable for the younger Albus, an Albus that hasn’t been through the challenges and trials that have made him into the wizard he would become. You show that at this point, he is a broke man, but he is still strong. He hides his pain, and yet you can still so clearly see it through the words you have written, such as here:

Albus felt like he had been punched in the stomach. How could Gellert say there was nothing to stay for? Had their friendship meant nothing to him – the whole time he was here was his sole purpose simply to find out about the Hallows. Was Albus simply an extra in Gellert’s grand adventure?

I thought that this passage was very powerful because it was the first time in the story that I felt my heart ached for the pain Albus was going through. You bring out his emotions in a simple but powerful way.

The silence between the two stretched out, widening the cavernous gap that had already been created between them.

Your description in this story is what really makes it work because this is such an emotion driven story, so the descriptions have to say a lot of what you want to express to the reader. And the sentence above was my favorite bit because the word choice really helps the reader to feel the gap widening between Albus and Gellert. You give such great detail to their emotions – the awkwardness, sadness, indifference; it’s all done very well.

For so long he had hidden from his feelings, unable to face up to what they meant, but now that he had finally accepted and understood, it was too late.

This was a very sad realization to read. For Albus to finally realise his feelings for Gellert and to finally be ready to show them, only to find it was too late, was just heartbreaking. You described the scene in which Albus kisses Gellert very well because I could vividly picture Albus’ happiness as well as Gellert’s look of pure hatred, which I also thought was good characterization.

They had never really known or properly understood each other and now, thanks to one foolish mistake, they never would.

Hannah, I think that this is one of the most accurate depictions of their relationship that I have ever read. It’s almost as though you are one half of the relationship, you understand it so well. It really makes sense that they didn’t properly know or understand each other, as they grow to be such different people in later life. I was really impressed by your insight in this.

If this was love, then he wanted no part of it.

This sentence was a great ending, but it also gave a stark contrast to the ‘love is the greatest power’ Albus we see in later years. It makes sense, though, because it gives him a reason to find that nothing can be solved or conquered without love, and thus to become a firm believer in the power of love. I think it would be interesting to see a follow up of how his thoughts of love change from not wanting any part of love to believing in it.

The only criticism that I have is that I would have liked to see more about Albus’ feelings on Arianna’s death. Even if he was in love with Gellert, I think that Albus would have felt more guilt that his sister had been killed during their fight with Aberforth. So a little more elaboration on his feelings on her death would have been nice to see in order to fully understand how Albus was affected by the ordeal.

Please keep up the good work, dear. I enjoyed your writing and this story so much.

-Haylee

Reviewer: A H
Date: 04/13/09 15:42
Chapter: Chapter 1

The main thing that stands out: This is a very angsty story, as-in the emotions and tone is that of angst, but the tone and theme wasn't even a touch overdone; you really handled the emotions well all throughout this. Dumbledore's narrations were all thorough and yet not overdone, and... I don't know. Somehow you really captured his character, even though this is decades before we meet him in canon. Really nicely done.

As for the story in general, the... hesitance between their actions, and the unwillingness to get close (not after the kiss) really set the mood for this, and led up to the big moment fantastically. Up until then, it's very calm and sad and then BAM you're readingthrougheverywordsothatyoucangettothenextone.

(I like visual effects :D)

Also, the last passages after the kiss are quite heartbreaking. These moments are so often done, and therefore many small things become cliche, but I think you've avoided every cliche there is. It was a very 'beauty in the breakdown' kind of moment.

So, honestly, I can't find anything negative to critique. What I could find is just personal stylistic preference, and if it works for you it works for you, so I can't complain. Truly touching story here. :)

/Ari

Author's Response: aw, thank you so much - that review made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside - almost enough to make me want to tell you what is coming! I'm glad you liked this piece - it's so good to hear what someone thinks :)

Reviewer: inspirations
Date: 04/10/09 12:26
Chapter: Chapter 1

This is really well written, Hannah. I was completely and utterly sucked into the story - and I don’t even read slash normally. But the summary intrigued me, so I had to read on. XD

Anyway, you described Albus perfectly. You could feel the anguish at the idea of Gellert leaving and his rejection, and you could see and sense how brave Albus was to make his feelings known. I felt crushed here: hatred, pure and utter hatred, piercing his own - poor Albus! The thoughts Albus had when they kissed made me almost expect it to be a happy ending, you see, though we know from canon that it isn’t. And you stuck to canon. But that phrase I pulled out, it’s like throwing all of those ideas that washed over him in those few seconds of contact back in his face.

Albus felt like he had been punched in the stomach. How could Gellert say there was nothing to stay for? Had their friendship meant nothing to him – the whole time he was here was his sole purpose simply to find out about the Hallows. Was Albus simply an extra in Gellert’s grand adventure?

The questions in that paragraph help us get into Albus’ shoes well, and the rhetorical questions really get us thinking about Gellert and his character, and I got a feel for Albus’ muted incredulousness, if you know what I mean. Also, you need a question mark after ‘hallows’, honey.

If this was love, then he wanted no part of it. - I loved this last line, because it’s kind of… ironic, in a way, because in the later books Harry gets annoyed with Dumbledore at times because he relies on the power of love so much, etc.

I have a few nit-picks:

The first paragraph is quite choppy. Although I like the use of short sentences, as it sets the mood effectively, I would suggest adapting a couple of sentences into one longer one. You also start quite a few lines in that paragraph with ‘he’, whereas it would be better with a little variation.

Because Albus’ sister was dead and even though no one would ever know who had sent that final curse, it was impossible for things to stay as they were. - a comma is needed at ‘and’ I reckon.

Today, however there was no scheming, no talk of their utopia, no discussion of all that they would do `for the greater good`. - I think a comma is needed after ‘however’.

Good work, dear. xx

Author's Response: wow - what a great review (I think it's the longest I've ever had :D) and a wonderful easter egg - thank you! It was really good to hear you liked it and it's great to know bits that were particularly effective, even if slash is not usually your chosen genre - it's not mine either really because of my whole canon-obsessive thing but this appealed to me because of what JK has said in interviews and the canon aspect. - er yes, sorry that was a bit random. But anyway, thanks for pointing out my mistakes - I'll go fix them in a minute.

Reviewer: liquid_silver
Date: 10/01/08 10:00
Chapter: Chapter 1

Aww . . . this was amazing. I want to say it broke my heart, but it didn't. It smashed it into a billion tiny pieces.

Reviewer: MysticalMayhem
Date: 08/31/08 16:14
Chapter: Chapter 1

This was great, I really enjoyed it..it's just a shame it's so under-reviewed. It was so sad...I loved the last line. You did very well showing the unrequited love, a very good slash fic. :D

Reviewer: MysticalMayhem
Date: 08/31/08 16:12
Chapter: Chapter 1

This was great, I really enjoyed it..it's just a shame it's so under-reviewed. It was so sad...I loved the last line. You did very well showing the unrequited love, a very good slash fic. :D

Reviewer: Scarlet Rose
Date: 07/12/08 13:29
Chapter: Chapter 1

Aw! *huggles Albus* That's so sad! I truly loved it, hon.

Author's Response: thanks for the review and I'm glad you liked it. I hope your writing is going well!

Reviewer: MissJewell
Date: 05/29/08 11:49
Chapter: Chapter 1

Great job! (Slash is sadly ignored most of the time...) You did a wonderful job with their relationship. The last paragraph is heart-wrenching...you're very talented!

Author's Response: Thank you so much, I'm glad you enjoyed it, slash is such a tricky genre because often people just don't like to confront it.rnrnIt's also good to see you've been reading my other fics, despite their varying genres.

Reviewer: Rhi for HP
Date: 05/20/08 22:23
Chapter: Chapter 1

Hannah! Oh dear, this was so terribly sad! Few things are so terrible as unrequited love. But you did a wonderful job in telling this. Well-written; simple, but eloquent. Well done. My favourite line: 'But there was nothing to say because for the first time Albus had shown himself, how he truly was and he didn’t know how to fix that.' So sad!

Author's Response: thank you so much for the review - it really cheered me up! I'm pleased you thought this was a good fic, I was little nervous about it because romance doesn't tend to be my genre so to hear that it worked is great!

Reviewer: Wicked_Quill
Date: 04/29/08 16:26
Chapter: Chapter 1

I liked it a lot!

Author's Response: thanks - I'm glad you enjoyed it and took time to let me know!

Reviewer: Winnyy
Date: 04/28/08 12:47
Chapter: Chapter 1

AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!
I DEFINITELY enjoyed that!
Write more soooooon!:)

Author's Response: thanks for the read and review - I'm glad you enjoyed it!

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