I have so many feelings but I don't even know where to begin. (I was going to use caps lock to fully express my adoration for this one-shot, but then I was feeling so many different emotions because of this story, mostly variations on sadness, that my brain couldn't handle the excitement. But I just wanted to let you know that your story definitely deserves excited caps locks that just screams love for this wonderful piece.)
The way you split this story up between second person POV for Ariana, and third person POV for her parents, is just so cool?? Like I'm just sitting here, absolutely boggled at how you managed to accomplish this so successfully. Each point of view was written with such clarity and skill that the characters' voices were all so distinct, and I'm just. Wow. (Also second person POV is honestly impossible to write so I'm just in awe haha.)
I love that you wrote about Ariana. It's so great hearing her voice, seeing her perspective, understanding what she's going through. Her trauma from the attacks by the Muggle boys is something that no one ever deserves, especially someone who seemed to bring light and love to the lives of her family members. You wrote her so well. The last part that she narrates just stabbed me right in the heart when I read it. So good omg.
ALSO let's just talk about how phenomenally you wrote Kendra and Percival? And also Aberforth and Albus, even though they were just briefly mentioned. Because they felt real, so real, and in the future, I'm probably going to have to struggle to remove this fic from my memories of canon. This is how it all happened, this fic, and I refuse to believe otherwise, haha.
Omg. I'm just so in love with this. <3
Oh, my Merlin, Abbi... did you want to make me cry?
Anyway... hi, hon! Here with a snowball (hug) for you! :)
Before I comment on the story itself (and the heartbreak it caused...) I would like to say how much I loved the structure. I loved the alternance of second POV Ariana and third POV her parents. Also, Kendra and Percival are rarely characters on which there is so much focus and I really loved to get to know them, their thoughts and feelings through your writing (which is as lovely and beautifully emotional as usual)
Ariana's story (and the Dumbledores in general) is probably the most tragic of all the HP series... poor child... you really captured how lost she was, I loved how you wrote her inner conflict, what she was and what she is now, how she's sort of trapped inside herself. Also, the way she couldn't laugh anymore and how that was the moment she realized she didn't have a chance... it's so powerful. And so terribly sad...
Kendra's section killed me too. How she needs to show this stony facade to the world, how she keeps going even if it would be much simpler to just let go, only because she knows her children need her. You don't normally think of her as a model motherly figure, but she really is doing her best for them and she's doing it amazingly. I love this characterization.
Ah, Gellert... interesting how Ariana could feel the darkness in him, how she could see him as the manipulative individual that he is. While she can't really do anything about it, she is incredibly perceptive and I love that. Also, the way she can read both her brothers is awesome, too.
Ah, Percival... this was even more heartbreaking. His love for her kids, especially for Ariana, is so strong and I love that it served as a bit of an anchor for him in Azkaban. It's such an awful destiny... it's so horrible.
It's kind of sad that they all found peace only in their deaths, but it is sort of conforting that they could reunite and reconcile and find some happiness at least in the afterworld. Or at least I hope so. I loved how Ariana's parents were there to welcome her in heaven, it's sort of hopeful, even if it's still all so sad...
This was so awesome! You are really an incredible writer!
Lots of love,
ABBI THIS STORY IS FANTASTIC OMG!
I love that you chose second person for Ariana. I find it so hard to write so I'm really impressed by this and I think it works really well. I LOVE the way you describe the relationship between Aberforth and Ariana, how close they were and how she couldn't laugh anymore when he left.
Kendra is amazing too. She's so resilient and strong but she breaks my heart. She lives for her children but sometimes she doesn't know how to do that. The part where Kendra wonders if she likes Ariana's bad days more because at least she shows some semblance of life is particularly strong.
To have Percival's point of view is incredible. I've never read it before. Or anything to do with him, really. I love that Ariana is daddy's little girl, and that she's the light that keeps him sane in Azkaban.
I HAVE SO MANY FEELS. Also tears. Oh gosh the ending is so bittersweet. They're all together in heaven and that's so beautiful, and freeing for all of them.
Laura is a lucky lady! Beautiful job with this, Abbi <3
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU
YOU ARE AN AMAZING WRITER AND SUPER TALENTED
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU
I was so excited when I realized this was an Ariana story. There aren't enough of those! Your descriptions of how she views her life are really interesting and so sad. I like that you focus on specific images, but the emotion around them is unclear and unstable - it's like even though she can't remember her name sometimes, these images like Aberforth's blue eyes are the things she remembers most and can understand. It's such an effective way of showing her emotional/mental state.
Kendra's section is so sad. I love that you pointed out that she sometimes prefers Ariana's rage and distress to the days when she's void of emotion, because at least anger isn't just emptiness and Kendra feels liek she's sort of still there. Ah, it must be so hard for her. It made a lot of sense that she prefers to do all these tasks by hand as well, as it is something to take her mind off things and be productive, when she probably feels like she can't make any progress with Ariana which must be so heartbreaking and frustrating. I appreciated her thougths about her sons as well, as sad as they are, but it really shows how it's not just Ariana who's become distant, even if Ariana is the only one Kendra can do anything to help.
He reminded you of a spider, spinning words like webs. All his words were silky and full of purpose -- What an absolutely perfect description of Gellert. You hadn't even said who you were describing at this point but I could tell who it was instantly - it's so perfect that you don't even need to say, it's all there in the description. Honestly, I love this line. You capture Gellert's manipulation and strategizing without saying exaclty that, because Ariana doesn't really see the specifics, but she just gets a feeling and it's of silky words. Perfect.
Poor Percival :( It must be torture to have to relive that moment over and over. But I'm glad that he has memories of Ariana's good days to keep him sane in there... even if they're fleeting. Gah, this part is really sad.
Even though the last section of this is so sad, as it takes place during the fight that causes Ariana's death, I love that you manage to spin it into something positive at the end as Ariana joins her family, her mother and father who both doted on her so much, and they wait for Albus and Aberforth to join them too. And it kind of ties the story together too, as you had those other sections from Kendra and Percival's POV about how they thought of Ariana, and then she joins them. It's almost uplifting, this thought that they have a second chance, wherever they are.
Wonderful writing ♥ and have an amazing birthday!
Abbi! I promised you that I'd be here this weekend, didn't I?
I loved this piece - I really enjoyed reading your version of Ariana, and I thought you portrayed her really well. The use of the second person narrative (probably my favourite) pulled us straight into the story and the confusion in Ariana's mind. I thought it was really effective in making the reader understand how difficult and overwhelming life can be for her, particularly as her family keep seeming to leave her behind. She's still a little girl in some ways, and she can't quite seem to process what's happening as she gets older and moves away from the child who was attacked by the Muggle boys.
The sections in third person with Kendra and Pervical were brilliant - I loved the introspection in those sections, particularly with Kendra, and the repetition of the tasks that she does to try and survive. She's got so much to deal with and I can easily see the housework being a way for her to keep hold of control and feel like she's making a difference. Your portrayal of Percival was really interesting, too - I don't think I've read about him before, but I really enjoyed seeing the way that he was so protective of his little girl and that the thought of her was what kept him struggling for sanity. I found it so interesting that he'd probably do what he did over again.
The section when Grindelwald was introduced was brilliant - the imagery there was so evocative, and I loved the description of him spinning his words like spiders' webs. The darkness and the sense of threat and danger came through really well in that section.
The final scene was kind of bittersweet - the image of them waiting through the years to be reunited, and the fact that death was a release of sorts for each of them. I liked the idea that the family were together again, though - and I'd love to think that all the misunderstandings and conflicts from over the years between them get resolved now, too.
Hey there! I'm here for the winter wonderland! I don't think I've read anything by you, but I've always wanted to, so I'm super glad that the event brought me here.
Right off the bat, the writing style is captivating. You entranced me with how beautiful, and even poetic, your prose is, especially in the first section of the story. You communicate the character's pain and emotional turmoil so well and yet write about it so elegantly. And you get me hooked.
I also really enjoyed how you approached the topic of motherhood and talked about the struggle, the responsibility, and all the emotions entagling all of that and conflicting her. And while mothers may be slightly biased, they do judge/analyse their kids better than most people. So it was quite nice to get to know your characters through the way Kendra percieved them. The line about how she couldn't tell if which state she perferred Ariana in because at least when she was being erratic at least she felt alive? Ah, that hit me right in the heart. Your eloquent writing still transitions and persists in this section as well.
I like that it's easier to identify Ariana in her second section. And I admire that you you second person in Ariana's part especially when you mention that she feels like she has a monster in here, like she's not entirely herself. It just helps emphasize this dimension/otherness. It's also nice to know that despite her being reclusive and secluded, she has good instincts and could see right through Gellert. Although it's a bit heartbreaking when she thinks she can only decipher him because they share the same sort of darkness. The poor thing. It's even more heartbreaking that she finds comfort in death. But I appreciate that you ended it on a better note (sombre as it still may be), being reunited with Aberforth and the rest of her family in another realm.