I really love the premise of this story... I think a teacher (especially one so experienced as Albus) has an interesting relationship with their pupils and an amazing ability to observe people when they're young, and sometimes see some of their best and worst moments.
It's perfect that you started with Tom and ended with Harry, because to me their Sorting shows the difference in what each chose. And those last few lines about Harry are just so perfect.
I thought the interspersed sections where Albus was talking to Gellert in his head, because everything that happened back then had such a profound effect on him essentially for the next hundred years, especially in how he related to people.
I thought the way you described Sirius was interesting, especially when he is signing up for the Order. It's like, because of what Sirius did to Snape, he has an understanding with Dumbledore, and Dumbledore knows that Sirius knows what it will take to fight in the war (I apologise for that terribly constructed sentence).
I loved the duplication of the line that Gellert used and then Albus used with Snape... it draws some interesting connections, and shows that love can lead you the wrong way as much as the right.
I loved the idea that Albus sorts all of the students in his head... it seems like exactly the kind of thing he would do, and I also liked that he didn't want to sort Harry, because I think even now he can see the mistakes he has made with Harry, and might have an inkling of the mistakes he will make.
Just one small thing - to me it didn't seem quite natural for the Bloody Baron to say "Mwahaha"... of the whole story, which generally flowed so well, that just felt a bit awkward to me.
Oh and I loved both sections which featured Minerva, I thought your reason for her choosing to become an Animagus was very plausible and really fit with character.
Lovely story, Carole, and well-written as always.
Author's Response: Katrinaaaaa - Thank you so much for reviewing and I'm very pleased you liked the story. I do always like writing Dumbledore, although for a long while I could never quite get his voice (think lyrical, was the advice given to me). This story (for the lovely Natalie) was a chance to devote a whole story to him because he's her favourite character. You seem to have picked out the bits I enjoyed writing the best, namely Minerva, Sirius saying he would die and could kill, the repeated lines and then the last line of the fic which I'd had in mind from the beginning.
I take your point about the line from the Bloody Baron and it does seem a little off to me, as well, but I wanted something scary, I suppose, and yet something that we'd realise isn't that frightening.
Thanks again fro the great review ~Carole~
I liked this story. It was interesting to listen in on Dumbledore's thoughts and feelings. Not sure that it really needed the warning. Well done.
Author's Response: Thanks for the review and glad you liked the story. I added the warning because of the Hatstall situation with Minerva, and also because it's a new warning and I really, really, really wanted to try it out - ha ha - Yes, I am that daft. Thanks again ~Carole~
I am crying. Yeah, this is what I meant on AIM lol. This is just one of the most amazing things I have ever read, not only because it was written for me (hehehe), but because it is utterly brilliant in its execution! There were so many lines that literally made me shiver, and I think my brain had multiple nerdgasms as each student was assessed. Interlacing their entrances with his internal monologue about Gellert was brilliant! I always think Albus/Gellert is a ship that cannot be written on its own merit; it is much deeper, sadder and more meaningful when we fully understand the impact it left on the rest of Albus' life. I don't know what to say more, except that it was spectacularly done! Thank you so much, my darling ho.
Author's Response: PHEW! *wipes brow* The decision to delete three attempted Luna/Rolfs is vindicated. :)
So pleased you liked it, Natatat. I was struggling for an idea, but once I thought of Dumbledore, I knew what I wanted to do. (and then just prayed it didn't clash too much with your thoughts about the man.
I agree about Gellert and the impact on Dumbledore. It shaped him in so many ways, not least the fact that he appeared too awed to ever form a love relationship again, although he doubtless loved many people. *sigh* I'm all sad for Dumbles now.
Thank you for reading and reviewing. So glad you liked it. ~Carole~
I don't know how to review this. Um, well, this is brilliant, Carole. Dumbledore is one of the hardest characters to write - he's up there with Luna ha! But this is just brilliant. I think you caught his voice so well. I believed I was reading his thoughts, I could hear his voice so clearly in my mind, so I think that means you were on point. The way you structured this was also very creative. I loved the way you wove his thoughts directed at Gellert with the Sorting of various characters.
There were so many breath-catching moments. The way you had him use Gellert's line on Snape made me shiver. And the scene where the Marauder's demand to join the Order gave me chills. Minerva approaching him to become an Animagus... and, of course, the ending was also striking in such a gentle way: But in essence he is Lily. It made me tear up, I must admit.
Gah. I'm just sitting her staring at the screen because I'm in complete awe. Carole, you are an amazing writer. Never stop.
Author's Response: Thank you so much for the lovely review; it means a lot.
I have to give credit to Kara because she suggested that I add a Snape scene (I think she's obsessed with him - hee hee) and once I picked the one, I then went back and added the Gellert line, and also tried to reinforce the parallels between Dumbledore and Snape.
The last line had me tearing up a little as well. I so wanted it to end positively, but that's also a little sad because she's not there to see her son enjoying Hogwarts :( - Oh I'm all sad now.
Thank you, once again ~Carole~
Very enjoyable and an interesting style. A happy birthday to Natalie.
Author's Response: Thank you very much. I shall pass on your good wishes to her :) ~Carole~
It's eerie how Albus uses Gellert's line on Snape. What a master of manipulations.
Young Minerva is adorable and whole piece is amazing.
I was just expecting a little more of Sirius, especially after MM said he would let them down again. I would like to read a fiction depicting the meeting between Sirius and Albus in Flitwick's office, where Albus learns he's been wrong again. Do you know any oneshot like that?
Author's Response: Thank you very much. Hmm, I didn't really want to include anymore of Sirius because this was more of a story about Albus and him watching over all the students. I haven't read any stories like that, but not a bad idea ...
Thanks again ~Carole~