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Entry #3

Discussion in 'Q1 2019' started by Xiph0, Mar 16, 2019.

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  1. Xiph0

    Xiph0 Yoda Admin

    Dec 7, 2005
    West Bank
    So this was death. When he was still alive, he had developed his theories, out of boredom if nothing else. He had written treatises on the matter in his head, some thirty years ago, when he still had the curiosity that came, as he thought, as a natural condition of the human mind. Anyone who did not possess that innate curiosity he had seen as defective, back when he was still among the actual living.

    For purposes of clarification, he had not considered himself to be truly alivefor some time before his end, instead he thought of himself as stuck in a state of perpendicular motion between life and death. His body consumed just enough nutrients so he wouldn’t starve, more out of unconscious, trained motion than active desire. He liked to imagine that at some point, he would have just stopped, and that would have been the end of that. But that was, of course, not what had happened. If there was one thing about his last moments on Earth that truly irked him, it was that he had been killed. By someone else. By a pretender, no less, and such a sloppy one at that. Occasionally, he had managed to charm a warden, and they would tell him all about the world’s events before they were removed following the next shift change. He never inflicted permanent damage, he had sworn off those methods some time ago, in fact. But naturally, he never saw any of them again. As such, he was appraised of the fact that the man who had styled himself a lord possessed, to him, nothing but a shadow of his own might at the height of his powers. Anyone could kill, intimidate and rule with brute force, but to him, Voldemort – what a ridiculous name that was – entirely lacked the people skills necessary for the job. His reign would have been nothing to his own glorious rule. Or glorious it would have been, he thought with a wry smile, if not for his decidedly inglorious defeat.

    He took the clarity of his own thoughts and emotions as a sign for the idea that, upon death, one did not just continue in their current state in the ethereal plane. That was good news, as far as he was concerned. He would have hated to continue for the rest of eternity as the burnt-out husk he had become. That being said, he decided that now was the time to go and explore this new world. He never had been one to dawdle in life, and did not want to take on the bad habit in death. And with that resolution, he opened his eyes.

    The white that replaced the dark did not blind him. He had to blink, unused to the sharp contrast, but it was not entirely unpleasant. Death, apparently, had at least some sense of decorum, but that did not concern him for the moment. Far more interesting was the fact that, together with his sight, all of his other senses had returned as well. It was not unlike putting one’s head above water after being fully submerged in it. He lay on his back, hands palms down at his sides, legs spread apart slightly. He did not need the sensations running up and down his back and legs to tell him that he was naked. As he looked down at himself, he noticed that this body, or the brand-new vessel for his soul, he supposed, since a body necessitated more than what was arguably there, was a younger version of himself. Something told him that he should perhaps wish for clothes, but with the last realisation, a slight giddiness had exerted its hold over him. That was good as well. A little debasing, but good. And definitely intriguing. He had barely thought the thought when he felt the handle of a small mirror in his hand. He did not notice it being placed there, it was, in fact, as if It had always been there. He slowly lifted his arm, and turned his hand so that he could look at the reflection on his face, What he saw made him laugh with joy for the first time in over fifty years, for he had always been a vain creature at heart.

    Apparently, death suited him. He thought it was only natural, considering the amount of souls, guilty or innocent, he had been personally responsible for parting from their mortal bodies. His body was not that of the miserable shadow that had spent the last half-century locked up in a cell, but that of an individual at the height of their own power. Granted, his hair needed a bit of work, but that had time for later. He stood up, now much more confident in his body that he knew what it looked like and, more importantly, what it had once been capable of. As he once again looked down at himself, he finally wished for something to wear. Once again, he had barely finished the thought when a set of simple black robes appeared next to him. Not his preferred choice of attire, but he supposed it would have to do. For the moment, and until the exact one he could scrounge up something better. Truth be told, he had always detested robes, and only reverted to battle robes once he had realized weaved-in enchantments lent itself far better to continuously flowing pieces of cloth than the comparative hack jobs that even your average tailor-made suit had been back in the day. Those robes had been of his own design, and managed to convey to the casual onlooker a sense of being hopelessly outclassed in both style and ability. Albus in particular had never really grasped the concept of a personal style, preferring simple suits and jackets when he had to venture into muggle London or similarly filthy places. He, on the other hand, had always dressed to impress. He wondered idly whether Albus had ever bothered to change that aspect of his personality. And then he wished he hadn’t.

    He had noticed, as he had dressed, that shapes were starting to coalesce in the whites and off-whites of his surroundings, but had paid the matter little mind. He thought that perhaps this was the afterlife realigning itself to his unconscious desires, a notion that would have pleased him immensely had it been true. But when he finally recognized the place that was forming all around him, a burst of barely contained rage overcame him, and for the first time he wished that he had a wand. Death was not that foolish, though. Instead, he had to watch helplessly as a new reality reasserted himself around him.

    He was standing in a version of his childhood bedroom, the one he had lived in in Aunt Bathilda’s house. This version was much better maintained, but contained all of the essentials he remembered. Books on the shelves, the neatly made bed (if very little else, his temporary host had been a good housekeeper), the wardrobe that contained his old Durmstrang robes – the school’s crest burned off following their unamicable parting and replaced with the symbol of the Hallows, naturally – and the desk where he had spent hours reading or listening to Albus drone on about the fool Elphias Doge’s latest crackpot scheme. It was here where they had crafted their ideology, the one that was meant to unite them, and the one that had, in actuality, only served to divide them and proceeded to set the former allies on an inevitable collision course. As he looked at the desk, clear of the cluttered papers he knew he had left there upon his hasty departure (and which Albus had undoubtedly filched and seized afterwards, just like his books on the opposite side of the room), he felt a presence behind him.

    “Took you long enough,” he said, without turning around, a hand sliding casually over the afterlife’s poor imitation of maple wood. “I wondered when you would turn up.”

    “I very much doubt that,” a voice replied, and he was surprised to hear the wear and tear of age in it.

    He turned around. It was true, there stood his best friend and most bitter enemy, casually leaning against the doorframe, but not as he had known him. Instead, he was, in a word, old. Not frail, still radiating with a power far beyond that of most ordinary wizards and witches. He wore a robe of midnight blue silk, and half-moon spectacles he had not needed the last time they had seen each other were sitting on his crooked nose. A white beard with whisps of grey reached all the way down to his golden belt that held a single, black buckle.

    “You’ve aged,” he said, and he let the ghost of a smirk appear on his face.

    “You haven’t. I had suspected as much.”

    “Did you really?” he replied, a mocking edge to his voice, his hand still gripping the not-quite-maple of the desk.

    When Albus disentangled himself from the doorframe and stepped fully into the room, he realized with a start that, back in their glorious days of plotting world domination almost a century ago, Albus always had to duck under it to come in. Now he actually fit under it.

    “Even you would have to admit that it wasn’t hard to guess. I doubt you would have wanted to spend the rest of eternity looking like a common toothless muggle tramp.” Albus raised an eyebrow, as if waiting for confirmation that he did, in fact, want exactly that instead.

    “You always knew how to get a rise out of me,” he replied, somewhat wistfully, before knocking on the tabletop. It even sounded wrong, for Merlin’s sake. He stepped away In disgust and flopped down onto the bed. That was better. A comfort far beyond what he had ‘enjoyed’ in Nurmengard. “So, what are you here for? I think I’m a bit too old for a chaperone.”

    “And yet, here I am. What do youthink I am here for?”

    A teacher’s question. Of course.

    “Well, I don’t think it’s plotting the subjugation of billions of people from the grave, which is what we usually did when we were in here, so I am, for once, genuinely stumped. He wanted the wand, by the way.”

    He had thrown the last bit in there, purely to throw something at the proverbial wall and see whether it would stick. Albus, though, remained remarkably unconcerned.

    “I have taken certain precautions for that eventuality,” he replied, with just a hint of that infuriatingly superior smile and a twinkle that he strongly suspected Albus had perfected while playing surrogate grandfather to poor war orphans at his disgusting, beloved castle.

    “Don’t try to placate me with that saccharine smirk of yours. That barely worked when we were seventeen, and it won’t work now.” Despite the fact that he had never quite reached the height of emotional attachment he knew Albus had had for him when they were young (and, just as he had always suspected, long afterwards), it wasn’t like he had never cared for the only man he would have ever considered his intellectual equal.

    In response, Albus chuckled and came over to the bed, sitting down next to him.

    “Look at us, Gellert. Two fools, brought together by a love of magic, divided by youthful fancy, and now reunited once again in death.” He looked down at the floor, as if struggling for what to say next. “I never forgave myself, of course, but you know that better than anyone else. Used it against me, if I remember correctly.”

    “Fun times,” Gellert replied, tonelessly. And then, with more energy, “You know, I have almost forgotten what it feels like to hold a wand. Especially thatwand. To have that power coarse through your very blood. There was nothing like it.” He realized they were slipping into their old camaraderie, and he was curious to see where it would lead. If his counterpart realized that as well, he did little to discourage the notion.

    “The Potters had the cloak, you know.” If Albus noticed his one-time friend’s breath hitching, he did not show it. “James, Harry’s father, gave it to me. He did not want it to fall into Lord Voldemort’s hands if or when he got to them, understandably. I could scarcely believe it. I studied it for over ten years, yet I do not think it ever revealed more than a fraction of its secrets to me.”

    “What of the stone?”

    “A horcrux. A long story for another time.”

    “Does that fool believe in the Hallows? Like we did?”

    “I do not think he ever truly could. After all, he already considers himself the master of death. He does not need nor crave the cloak or the stone. Who would he want to call back from this realm?”

    “You. If only to flaunt his success in your face.” Both chuckled, and once again, a familiar sense of companionship enveloped Gellert.

    “He always was far too prone to monologue to be an effective villain.”

    “I think you have read decidedly too many sickle shockers, my friend.”

    There was that word. He had not planned on using it, it had just slipped out in a moment of weakness. Albus had always been able to do that to him, even a century ago. It was decidedly annoying, never mind off-brand. Then again, seeing as for the better part of six decades that brand had been to count his teeth as they fell out in the darkness of his very own prison cell, perhaps it truly was better this way. And if Albus had anything more to say on the matter, he chose not to press the issue.

    “I never did answer your question, did I? Why it was me who appeared to you here.”

    “If I were to take a shot in the dark, I would wager a bet and say that not many people would be particularly thrilled to see me.”

    “That is very true. It is also true that I was curious.”

    “What about?”

    “To see what you would be like. I must say that I did not expect whatever this has become. Forgive me for presuming, but it appears to me that fifty-three years in a cell might have indeed mellowed your megalomaniacal tendencies somewhat.”

    “Perhaps, perhaps not. All I know is that you don’t exactly get much to think about other than you own failings. It was eye-opening. In many respects.”

    “In that case, I propose we call a truce. Until such time that I can be sure of your intentions.”


    “But necessary, I believe.”

    “If you think so.”

    “I do.”

    “In that case–“

    And with that, Gellert stood up and sauntered to the door, took a deep breath, and stepped beyond the threshold, not waiting for Albus to follow, curious to see what lay ahead. It was finally time for the next great adventure.
  2. BTT

    BTT Viol̀e͜n̛t͝ D̶e͡li͡g҉h̛t҉s̀ ~ Prestige ~

    Aug 31, 2011
    Cyber City Oedo
    High Score:
    Ah, the requisite Grindelwald entry of this contest.

    This is rather similar to the first entry. I do think ideas like these are somewhat inevitable when considering the prompt, honestly. I do like this one better than the other one, but it's got its problems.

    While you didn't skimp out on the description (as evident from the ginormous paragraphs), I did somewhat expect more emotional reactions from both Grindelwald and Albus. I don't really know how to word this well but it sort of feels like they don't really realize that their lives are over? They look back at what they've both accomplished and a little at what's to come. But the sense of nostalgia and the desire to know more about the future of the world they've both nearly spent hundreds of years in doesn't really come across that well.

    In addition, you progress from a very descriptive style to one that's more dialogue-driven. I'm not a great fan of the final parts of the dialogue, though. After a while, the sense of who's speaking fades. It feels incomplete and kind of incoherent.
  3. H_A_Greene

    H_A_Greene Professor –§ Prestigious §– DLP Supporter

    Aug 30, 2009
    High Score:
    The walls of text at the beginning made this very unpleasant to wade through early on. It took me longer than I would have liked to realize that this was Grindelwald's PoV, and then it took longer still for me to like what you were doing with him. I will give you kudos on the banter between he and Albus once Albus did show up, and unlike BTT, I don't feel that it became difficult to follow along who was who(although this is likely attributed to re-reading Orson Scott Card's novels at the moment, given his love of doing the same for some time).

    You have some minor errors with spacing around italicized words, and you repeat 'once' a few too many times in quick succession around the time that Grindelwald manifests his robes, but I do like how he just has to think about something and it appears to him. It is thus curious that he cannot or does not truly attempt to do the same with a wand.

    I would have liked to see more banter about their ideals, of the world in its current state since he was so disappointed in dying to Voldemort, just to hammer down the way that Grindelwald has matured and his further responses to a wiser Albus, but what is there does a serviceable job of showing something of that. If you have the time and interest to expand on this some time, I'd enjoy reading more.
  4. Sorrows

    Sorrows Queen of the Flamingos Moderator DLP Gold Supporter

    Jun 17, 2008
    It also took me a while to realise that this was Grindalwald. For a bit I thought it was a seriously mischarecterized Voldemort. The paragraphs at the beginning do drag a fair bit. Though they have a certain inate pacing that makes them manageable.

    Once the style transitions into conversation it is is very readable. It flows nicely and they have some decent banter going on.

    However a piece like this lives and dies on the strength of its charecterizations, since it is litraly two characters meeting in a room. Here I think it is not too strong. Grindalwald does not feel like he has spent 50 years locked in a cell while Dumbledore had a full life. In fact he seemsslittle different from thr 17 year old he looks like.. You can say they fell back into old patterns but I think this is a bit of a cop-out for a bit of writing that is all about these two people meeting again at the end of their long and very different lives.

    Equally they banter a bit and that's it. They have very little deep, meaningful, or emotional to say after 50 years apart. There is nothing really too their conversation.

    So overall, readable with some nicely flowing dialogue and some interesting visuals but lacks an interesting or arresting conversation.
  5. ChaosGuy

    ChaosGuy Unspeakable

    Aug 21, 2009
    Another one of these. Well unlike the first one, it took me a while to figure out who I was reading about and even after it took me an even longer while to realize what this even was or where it was I suppose. As for the meat of the story... meh. Grindelwald and Dumbeldore get to meet once again as somewhat equals and this is it? I did like they discussed the Wand, Cloak and Stone however. In fact, I think that was the best part of the entire story but it doesn't make up for how bored I was with the rest.
  6. Halt

    Halt 1/3 of the Note Bros. Moderator

    May 27, 2010
    So my first piece of advice is you need to cut down your opening by a lot. It needed to be spaced out, and I couldn't be bothered to read through most of it. There's just no way anyone ever needs that many words in such few paragraphs to set up the scene. The walls of text makes this an eyesore and a chore to read.

    Once we actually get to the dialogue, the lack of speech tags or identifiers makes this piece harder to read than it really ought to be. I wouldn't say it's incoherent, but definitely difficult. I had to reread it quite a few times to get it all straight in my head and whenever a reader has to reread your story for any reason other than enjoyment, something's gone wrong.

    I liked the banter between Dumbledore and Grindelwald, I'll give you that.

    However, something's lacking from their interaction. It doesn't really feel like they've changed much? It reads more as if Dumbledore and Grindelwald had just finished their final fight and died, rather than Grindelwald having been imprisoned for decades upon decades and Dumbledore dying in the midst of another war - as if their characters never evolved past each other, so to speak? And, I suppose, no real resolution or coming to terms with what they've done as a result.
  7. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter ⭐⭐

    Jan 6, 2009
    The South
    Ooh, Grindelwald. So many interesting things you can do with him in a story. And in a competition with 'death' as a prompt? I'm looking forward to seeing where you take this.

    I really like your characterization of him. I don't care much either way about the vain bit, but his intelligence shines through with his sense of humor. He doesn't feel like another canon character and is distinct. Granted I've seen similar characterizations for him before but it's always nice to see it again.

    Great ending too - that the person 'waiting' for Gellert was Albus and no one else, not really, and that he wasn't trapped in his room but rather it was his place of entry to the next great adventure.

    I like their attitudes to the whole scenario as well, something about how they approach this whole thing with a touch of 'just another day' fits quite well with the fact that both were elderly men who were genuinely prepared to die and unafraid of what doing so might entail. Having them be more overly emotional about either death or each other would make them into characters that I've never personally felt they were - but part of that is my head!canon. I like their easy acceptance of each other. That particular bit of characterization wouldn't work at all if they were still alive, but they aren't. They're dead and life is well behind them.

    A neat vision of the afterlife in a story that cleanly meets the prompt criteria.

    I checked the length and you clocked in at approximately 2500 words, which is a length I've found I like for short stories.

    I don't know what else to say. A simple and enjoyable read.
  8. Newcomb

    Newcomb Minister of Magic

    Sep 28, 2013
    The Evergreen State
    Just looking at the thing before I start to read it, I'm seeing some pretty dense paragraphs, unbroken by shorter ones. That's... a bit of a red flag, though not a dealbreaker. Usually with a structure like that, I'm extra aware of pace, degree of detail, repetition, and purple prose. We'll see how it goes.

    Hmm, okay. Writing is flowing pretty nicely, though stuff like the above definitely has some wasted motion.

    The voice is decent. It sounds cohesive, like we're really in his head.

    Pretty good conversation, and I think Dumbledore is pretty good. "Fun times" is a bit of a bad note for me - I don't really have a mental map of what Grindelwald would or wouldn't say, but that feels off.

    Nice beat.

    Ehh, and that's another off beat, I think. The tonal change gave me whiplash. There's a sly wink, and then there's outright Genre Savvy.

    The end is.... decent. Bit rushed.


    I liked it, but I can't say it swept me up. I think the best I can say here is that I can see what you set out to do, and you did it pretty competently. It lacked a certain fire, though.
  9. Stealthy

    Stealthy Groundskeeper

    Feb 21, 2014
    This is nice. I guessed Grindelwald quickly, but holding off on telling us didn't do anything for the piece. If there's no value in keeping the mystery, don't tell it. Your opening paragraphs flowed better than expected. Looked denser on the page than it did upon reading. Maybe could've still broken things up, but you did it well.

    As for the characterization, Albus feels fine, but looks like this is one of those Grindelwalds where decades in Nurmengard made him reflective but did nothing else. His body reverted to him in his prime, and his personality has too. I think this is a good version of prime Grindelwald and enjoyed things in the moment, but he should be carrying some baggage from a couple decades of solitary confinement. I'm not inclined to knock many points off for this, though.

    The meat of the piece is Grindelwald and Albus talking. Solid stuff, but the conversation doesn't go anywhere meaningful, and the ending is abrupt. This is the big flaw of the piece imo. Your ending has no resolution, because it didn't earn anything. They were just talking. Not going anywhere, not trying to accomplish anything, not even fully digesting Grindelwald's death.

    Again, this is a nicely written piece. It just feels hollow.
  10. Zombie

    Zombie Black Philip Moderator DLP Supporter

    Apr 28, 2007
    So I'll skip everything else and just focus on what I liked about this. The Albus Grindlewald interaction, because the rest of the issues have been beat to death.

    I feel like the conversations between the two of them could have been a bit more meaningful. If they were lovers in the past, as well as old friends, there is a lacking familiarity between the two of them that you try and cover up by making both of them genial and accepting of death. In canon I always appreciated Dumbledore's ability to take the thunder out of a serious situation. Yes, he died, but he was never afraid of death. He knew it was inevitable.

    Considering both of their histories that is something that you reflect really well here. They both sought to become masters of death, and in their own way they did, because in the end they were not afraid.

    What your story lacks is a clear ending. Its rushed and I feel like it tramples on everything you built leading up to it. Competitions are hard because they make you feel like you have no time. My weakness in my own writing is plotting. I start with an idea and I usually enjoy the fuck out of writing it, and then my enthusiasm kinda tapers off towards the end and then I don't want to finish. I see a bit of that in this.
  11. Raigan123

    Raigan123 Banned

    Jan 23, 2015
    Salzburg, Austria
    First of all, the beginning of the fic is a chore to read. I really had to slug through the massive paragraphs. Please consider breaking them apart in the future.

    Grindelwald’s thoughts were easy to follow and understand, which I liked. In fact, the entire fic flowed rather well, especially once Albus arrived and you produced shorter paragraphs.

    I found Grindelwald’s thoughts on personal style and how he thought Dumbledore of all people didn’t have one. On the other hand, his dismissal of Voldemort as a incompetent Villain seemed a little off. After all, Voldemort succeeded where he failed, he managed to defeat Dumbledore. I think that should have played a greater Part in his thoughts.

    That brings me to their reunion, which I found rather lacking emotionally. I expected a little more gravitas, perhaps a little more bitterness. They have not seen each other in decades, presumably, so the friendly tone just doesn’t fit, in my opinion.

    Their conversation seems a bit short, in a longer conversation you might have been able to touch on more interesting and emotional topics.

    Overall difficult to read because of the spacing, but otherwise an enjoyable fic.
  12. Jeram

    Jeram Elder of Zion ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

    Jun 27, 2006
    High Score:
    A quick formatting note. When italics are used here, the space afterwards seems to be missing. I've had that problem before, likely due to copy-paste chicanery from another source. Keep an eye out for it.

    Here we have an unusual sort of mirroring of Entry #1, with Grindelwald and Albus instead of Riddle and Snape. I think overall this one works better, although the build up is so immensely slow, I was taken aback at the sudden ending. Thus my primary critique here is pacing -- too slow for the final moments. I see the point of the ending, but it was altogether too rushed and careless to fit with the more carefully thought out and considered inner monologues and dialogues.

    Dumbledore here does feel right, which I appreciate, and his specificity in afterlife makes sense too. There is an aspect to the camaraderie angle I do buy too, and I do also like the perspective and context comparison against Voldemort. The length feels decent for this sort of little thing, but there are issues as well.

    So what would I change? Those first few paragraphs need to be broken up and filtered, as they immediately force the story to a crawl and likely abandonment by most. The Grindelwald characterization needs work too, as it feels thin and without real substance. Where is the demagogue that carried a movement against Dumbledore? Here instead I see just a charming guy who would make a joke at your expense, punch you on the shoulder and say, "Chin up, mate, just having a laugh". And you'd forgive him, I suppose. And if this was young Grindelwald, perhaps that could work.

    There is a feeling here that works decently, and I think it just needs a bit more connective tissue to the end.

    Hope this helps!
  13. Shinysavage

    Shinysavage Madman With A Box ~ Prestige ~

    Nov 16, 2009
    High Score:
    Leaving aside the huge paragraphs at the start, this was pretty decently written. I twigged that it was Grindlewald pretty quickly, although it was more process of elimination once a couple of facts had been made clear than anything else, I suspect. As far as we know anything of his character, it felt true to it - I've mostly repressed my memories of CoG, so I can't really compare this to canon. Dumbledore also felt in character; I did feel that perhaps a bit more could have been made of their conversation, as the majority of it is just banter - something I'm often guilty of myself, I confess - but it felt believable. Two old friends, maybe lovers, reverting to their (relative) youth in death, because why not?

    Technically, it's sound enough. It reads smoothly, but as I said, there's not a massive amount going on. We get enough to establish that Grindlewald has chilled out a bit since being imprisoned, which is fine, but also means that this is basically just a slightly funnier expansion on his one scene in DH. As with a couple of the other entries, it suffers as well from a fairly abrupt finish.

    All in all, I think it's solid. Enjoyable enough to read, but not that memorable.
  14. Selethe

    Selethe normalphobe

    Feb 13, 2012
    Other reviews have said it, but I'll say it again... the start is extremely overwrought. I would bake in some of the general details from the first few paragraphs into Grindelwald's conversation with Dumbledore, such as Grindelwald wondering if Dumbledore's sense of style had ever improved. Honestly I'd cut the entire beginning until this paragraph:

    I quite enjoyed the back-and-forth between Dumbledore and Grindelwald. But there's just something... lackluster about it all. I think it's because there's no sense of change in either characters. They learn a few facts, have some bants, but at the end nothing really happened. I'm not exactly talking plot either-- emotionally, at least from my perspective, the story ends with them being in the exact same state with which they entered. Does Grindelwald feel peace knowing that his friend-enemy is willing to accept him? Does he feel remorse for his actions? I would have expected them to talk about how Grindelwald never gave up the location of the Elder Wand, knowing that Dumbledore had it. Or a sense that they are sidestepping the topic.

    This line stuck out to me as one I liked. Using the word "chaperone" gives Grindelwald more character than if he'd said something typical like guardian/attendant/warden.

    Sickle shockers. LOL
  15. ScottPress

    ScottPress The Horny Sovereign ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

    Apr 22, 2013
    The Holy Moose Empire
    High Score:
    The first thing that comes to mind is that this seems really overwrought. The text is dense and could have used trimming and rearranging of paragraphs. It's a chore to get through walls of text and my mind starts wondering, and when I finally arrive at some dialogue I've lost the surrounding context.

    I think you went in the right direction with characters here--they're not immediately chums again just because they're both dead now, there's some bite in the conversation, though it's guarded, like they're feeling each other out, and Dumbledore is the more guarded of the two. I liked the contrast between how they appear in afterlife, Grindelwald enjoying the returned glory of youth, while Dumbledore accepts that he is (or was) an old man. Perfectly in line with what I imagine--Dumbledore accepts death, Grindelwald, while not terrified by it like Voldemort, is defiant. And for all that lore now exists outside of canon books suggestion the close bond between those two, here they meet after decades apart, and they're both different now, so the interaction, with things held back and left unspoken, works.

    However, there's not much to bite into in terms of narrative. This seems like an opening to a short story perhaps (but still longer than what's here), where two old friends traverse afterlife and maybe reconcile, maybe they influence each other, now burdened with the weight of life experience they didn't have when they plotted world domination as teenagers. There's potential here, but it's unrealized, so I can't very well grade you on what you didn't write.

    To sum up: the opening especially really needs a rewrite because those walls of text hurt my eyes (and immediately put me off reading), and you have a solid setup for a bigger story. On its own merit, I think it misses the mark. I wouldn't call it outright bad, but it's too unfinished imo to call it good.
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