*Tranferred from HPFF*
I haven't read one of your stories for ages, and I really missed your writing! I also love reading entries for the Every Word Counts Challenge - it's so awesome, and you've done a really good job here.
I really love that you've chosen this moment. It's very heartbreaking and real, and I can't help but seeing the parallels between Dumbledore and Harry. They both want their families back; one, who has never known them, and the other, whose wish they didn't know him.
The Mirror of Erised is such a heartbreaking artefact, and I really love how you've captured that. You can't help but be drawn by its lure, even though it'll break your heart every time. I guess that's why people keep coming back to it - except for Ron, of course, who was one of the wisest against it, surprisingly.
I'm sorry for getting a little rambly in this review, but I really enjoyed this! Good luck with all the challenges :)
Dumbledore strikes me as somebody who has a great deal of difficulty taking his own advice, so I really liked that you opened this by saying Albus has defied his own advice to Harry, and that his shortcoming is believing he is too wise to be taken in.
While it is no surprise that Albus would see his family in the mirror, I find it very powerful considering the fact that he did not appreciate them that much when he had them. When he was young and had his family, he would have seen a very different future for himself in the mirror, but now he just sees the past he didn’t cherish.
Pride, sadness, and regret. What a poignant mix.
I like that he doesn’t quite remember his family as they were, but as an idealization of them - his mother showing more emotion that she would, Ariana carefree, and a more positive relationship with his father than is hinted at by canon.
You capture it really well with the line “His brother had never looked at him like that. Aberforth didn't consider him to be family. Never had, never would. Albus Dumbledore wanted his family back very much.” What an excellent contrast, at the same time acknowledging that he never really had what he wishes for, while perpetuating denial of that and wishing he could have it back.
So sorry for the delay in responding, it's been almost two months I AM REALLY SORRY!
Personally throughout the series I always got the feeling of do as I say, not as I do from Dumbledore which is probably pretty common because a lot of people are like this. And I feel like Albus's situation could be applied to most people, do all of us appreciate the people around us as much as we should, I feel like Albus just like everyone else probably took for granted that his family would always be around, or at least around for a lot longer than they were.
Thank you so much for reviewing!
Hello! I've seen you transferring so many stories over to the archives recently and thought it was about time I spread some love to you as well!
I really loved the way you took such a simple and brief moment in the books here and crafted it into a story which really allowed you to flesh out some of Albus Dumbledore's character and in particular his family background. I love missing moments like this one, inspired by one line in the first book, and I thought it was very cleverly written.
The opening paragraph was a great introduction to the story, reminding the readers of a moment we know well, and an answer which Albus Dumbledore gave to a child. I remember Harry realising that Dumbledore might not have been truthful when he said he saw himself holding socks, but until reading this story I hadn't actually really considered what it actually was that he saw in the Mirror of Erised.
That paragraph, with the repetitions of sentence structure, felt almost like Albus was trying really hard to justify his visits to the Mirror to himself. Even though he knew he shouldn't go because of the addictive properties it has, and though he has warned Harry against it, he is unable to resist the lure. We get a glimpse of his arrogant streak here, one which he seems to have worked to suppress since he was a young man, when he convinces himself that he will be strong enough to walk away.
I think my favourite aspect of this piece was the way that you conveyed so many of the emotions which Albus was feeling in this moment. The sense of longing for his family, and the desire to see them all again, happy and whole, was very strong. His regret seemed to frame the whole scene, as he looked at his family in the Mirror and blamed himself for what had happened to them.
The family portrait, as it were, which we see in the Mirror with Albus was really well written - I know we only get a glimpse of them, but your descriptions of each family member fit well with the characterisations I imagine of them. And the last line, after Aberforth seemed to have scorned him, felt very poignant and emotional. I really enjoyed this story and this glimpse into Albus Dumbledore's character.
I was gone for like a really long time and I was shook when I came back and found out that there was an archives now so I had to get onto moving my stories around hella fast (those first five days of June were a blessing). First off, thank you so much for leaving a review and second of all I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed it. Honestly I hadn't given much thought to what Dumbledore saw in the mirror after the first book either until Half-Blood Prince and the Deathly Hallows where we learn more about his family life and then it just kind of hit me like oh it might be his family.
You get to see little glimpses of Albus's confidence throughout the series when he admits to being the best at things and it's always backed up by proof that he is in fact the best, but even Dumbledore falls into the trap of overconfidence just like the everyone else. And because he'd spent his whole life working towards the greater good he probably felt justified in allowing himself this one indulgence.
As the oldest child (if my memory serves me correct?) I can see why Dumbledore felt the need to take responsibility for everything that happened to his family especially since it all seemed to start with his friendship with Grindlewald and we know that he never really forgave himself or forgot about the role he played in that situation.
Thank you so much for leaving a review I really appreciate it.
Hey there, wow this was such an emotional piece. Poor Dumbledore.
I gathered that he had lied to Harry when he said he saw a pair of socks but I always wondered what it was he actually saw and this makes so much sense. His family. It must have tortured him knowing that things could have been different and I think you got that across so well. The stark contrast between what things are actually like and how they could be, or how he wants them to be.
I also love how this shows just how weak Dumbledore actually is, both in terms of him not being able to stop himself going and watching the mirror and seeing what it shows him even though he knows it’s dangerous and also because there is something that albus really wants more than anything and he’s probably willing to go to great lengths to get it, like in the lake in The Half Blood Prince.
Your description of his family is so touching, no family is perfect and Albus recognises that but he also doesn't really care, he just wants his family back and to not be alone and I think you’ve showed that amazingly well. In so few words you’ve managed to give off such emotion, it really is a beautiful fic!
- Shaza :)
Hey I really wasn't expecting any reviews on this so this came as quite the surprise but thank you for leaving one! I'm really glad to hear that you enjoyed reading this very short one-shot. I never really gave much thought to what Albus must've seen when he looked in the Mirror of Erised but after Deathly Hallows it just always seemed really obvious that it was his family because it was so obvious that he missed them and loved them so much, especially when he drank that potion when he went to retrieve the locket with Harry.
I feel like Dumbledore probably did have the strength to refrain from going to the mirror but after such a long time of spending his life on his own, assuming he wasn't close with Aberforth, he probably felt that he was entitled to indulge just once on something that he knew wouldn't last.
Thank you so much for leaving a review.