Reviews For If He Loved You
Reviewer: MerrryD
Date: 12/31/08 21:58
Chapter: If

-tackles-

Wow, Kelly, just wow. I don't know what Jenna's prompt was, but I have a feeling that involved the infatuation between Dumbledore and Grindelwald.

I don't have any nitpicks. Your writing is nearly flawless and I bet (having never worked with her) Suya is a stellar beta.

So...

Your mind attempts to fabricate a reason that involves caring for all magical beings, but it eventually simplifies itself. You love her.

Oh, Kelly, this is just... Amazing. Beautiful.

You did, after all, manage to miss out on one of the greatest adventures of your life due to unfortunate circumstances.

Aww... I feel so bad for Dumbledore. =(

One.

Two.

Three.


I don't know why (it must just be the magic of your writing), but I really love these three lines. I just felt so in the moment. I love the simplicity of them, too. It seems like a small, trivial thing, but it really just made that scene in the story.

Before I read your piece, I'd always kind of pitied Aberforth. I mean, strange as he was, I could see some sense in his accusations against Dumbledore (I can't bring myself to call him Albus >.>), but your story, and these lines especially:

Aberforth yells at you for this, too. He thinks that you’re abandoning the family.

kind of made me re-think it a little bit. Now, I feel bad on Dumbledore's behalf, and feel sort of irritated with Aberforth. I really like that your story made me think like that. I love when a story offers a different perspective on something you'd already formed opinions on and the story makes you re-think that opinion.

In your heart of hearts

I like this phrase. The image is beautiful.

You are caught in what feels like a hangman’s noose, only the hangman is the family that you love.

Gah. Kelly, you are just simply fantastic. The imagery in that is just fantastic, your diction is phenomenal, the emotion is so strong, it's just.... Indescribable.

Between the two of you, there is more intelligence (you say this somewhat humbly, though not really) than in most of the staff in Hogwarts and Durmstrang combined.

teehee. The parenthesis made me giggle. ;)

Not only because you selfishly wish that you could escape, but because you loved her.

I love that little 'only' stuck in there. It changes the whole meaning of the sentence and makes it much, much, much more real. It shows the big-headedness and almost na´veness of the young Dumbledore, juxtapose with the selflessness and compassion and wiseness of the old Dumbledore. -loves-

But who loves you?

My heart just broke, Kelly.

Ariana might love you, you think with a smile.

Awww.... That's so sad and sweet.

What’s the point, you think, of being immortal if no one loves you?

There would be nothing, no one, for you to live for. And you would live forever.

Forever would be an awfully long time without returned love.


There's a lump in my throat, and my eyes are burning.

And not to completely ruin the mood, but I love how you put each of those sentences on three different lines.

You give so much to life, and it gives you so little in return.

Oh, man. I so know how he feels. -throws a pity party for herself and Dumbly- ;)

If he loved you, the world, despite its glaring troubles, might be a little easier to bear.

-swallows hard-

Random Thoughts--->

Oh, where to start!

Kelly, you are a master at subtle tragedy. The heartbreaking bits beautifully woven into his routine in the beginning of the story and then the end is just... Well, you know.

I love your use of second person. I haven't read much in second person (other that textbooks and bad essays and such), so this was refreshing. I'm can't pull off second person, and this has just confirmed that. You write in it so well and so comfortably; it makes me want to find every attempt I've ever made at second person and throw it into the fire. >.>

I really like Dumbledore's musing about love and life. They're so sad and true (and very IC, too). I like your reasoning behind his infatuation with Grindelwald - how he's just so happy to have company besides his 'magical invalid' sister and resenting brother, that he doesn't really stop and think about the person as a person, like who they really are and what they really want in an ideal world.

I could go on and on about all the fabulous things about this story and your writing, but my family is rather impatient. >.<

Love you, hon.

-squish-

-Mere

Author's Response: Um, wow, Mere! Your review is incredible. What a New Year's gift! And, yes, you're right - Suya is one of the best betas I could ever ask for. She just...understands and gets everything. Wonderful, wonderful person, too. As for the diction, I have experimented with line breaks/incomplete sentences in several of my stories. However, I think that they worked out the best in this one. I'm glad that you liked how it turned out - I've always found that those are the most powerful way to get a message across. This was also my second attempt at second person (hehe - that sounds kind of funny) - so, you shouldn't give up on it! It's a very underappreciated tense that works very well in certain situations. Again, thank you so very much for your absolutely fantastic review.

Reviewer: h_vic
Date: 09/12/08 11:50
Chapter: If

First, before I say anything else, can I just say that you have a real talent for simple but powerful sentences, Kelly.

You are caught in what feels like a hangman’s noose, only the hangman is the family that you love.

That line completely took my breath away and I think it’s going to be one of those lines that stays with me. It’s one of those sentences that is almost like a slap when you read it because its impact is so forceful it’s almost physical.

I’ve actually just finished rereading DH, so seeing your take on a young Dumbledore is particularly fascinating in that context, because it begins to fill in some of the gaps that DH left in his character and the seeming disconnect between the young man we glimpsed and the old man we thought we knew.

I particularly like how you do have him actually care about Ariana but in a practical way that takes account of her best interests, not necessarily her wants, and is foreign to Aberforth’s understanding of love. It’s much more in keeping with the man he later became. As is the line:

Forever would be an awfully long time without returned love.

It’s another very powerful line actually and typical of Dumbledore’s later wisdom, which is obviously just beginning to take root in his psyche.

Yet, then you balance that wisdom perfectly with the black-and-white perception of youth:

You would have said that he loves you, but he is late. It’s an insult not to be punctual without an excuse.

An older Dumbledore would never, I think, view things that definitively because he understands that life is greyer than that, so it shows just how far he still has to go.

I thought that the ending was particularly poignant and beautifully crafted too:

If he loved you, the world, despite its glaring troubles, might be a little easier to bear.

It’s so sad, and so true and elegantly presented that it fits both the character and this story so perfectly.

Dumbledore’s a character who has always eluded me at the best of times, and his younger self even more so. I make no pretence at understanding him still, and yet having read this I feel that he’s perhaps no longer quite as incomprehensible to me as he was before.

~Hannah

Author's Response: Oh, Hannah. Thank you so very much for your review and the complements therein contained. It's always extremely touching and gratifying as a writer to have someone say that a particular line struck them (physically or mentally ;)). I'm also so very pleased that you thought that Dumbledore's character fit with what we were able to see of him in DH. Dumbledore is my favorite character in HP, hands down. I kind of consider the stories that I write about him to be a sort of homage. I'm glad that you think that I did it right. Again, thank you, Hannah!

Reviewer: potterfan48
Date: 08/29/08 20:44
Chapter: If

I liked the story. I do not know if you intentionally or I am seeing more than intended. However, when Albus thought about the prospects of being immortal without love, it seemed like a reference to Tom Riddle.
Huzzah! Hugglepuff's

Author's Response: I do like readers who read closely....:D

Reviewer: cjbaggins
Date: 08/29/08 13:06
Chapter: If

Interesting use of second person, always the toughest to pull off. I haven't read many Dumbledore fics, but enjoyed this one. Well done - I think you've captured his thoughts well. cj

Author's Response: Why, thank you very much for your review.

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