Hi! :) I love this story, I think the idea of a lesbian Bathilda Bagshot in itself is very ingenious!
You say it’s mostly about history (and how it is written by victors), but I thought this story was mostly about women struggling in science.
I love the format too! The little snippets, and that they are not chronologically ordered! This really nicely resonates with your history theme, as that is supposed to be a chronological thing, but on the other hand a story is often easier to be told in a non-chronological order (and actually that’s what we do in science, so you find out one thing an that might be a presuposition of something you’ve found before).
Bathilda’s most important ’contribution’ to the HP books is most probably her knowledge about Dumbledore and Grindelewald, so I think you did great in including that line.
And you story-telling style is wonderful! I truly enjoyed every line! You have great characters in there, the relationship-development between them is just perfect. I also like that you have a little German in the text, it makes it all the more authentic.
I really became to like the character of Livia, and I’m happy that you choose such a strong female character, and that she became successful.
Wow. You have blown me away.
This is the first Bathilda Bagshot fic I have read and you have set the bar very high for any others I read!
The style is different, but it still flowed flawlessly, almost like poetry, and still gave me a good insight into Bathilda's personality and relationships.
The way you wrote Gellert, even as a child, gave me goosebumps!
Hey there - thank you so much for stopping by! :)
Ahh thank you - I'm so glad you liked it! It was a super challenge for me, because I'd never written anything in letter/diary format before (or, at least, not that much), but it was so much fun to do so I'm so happy you liked it :)
I actually loved writing Bathilda - she was so great and so interesting as a character, so I loved getting to explore a bit of her past, especially since I'd had a lot of it cooped up in the back of my head since L'optimisme started :P Haha, child!Gellert was so fun - he's so pouty and sullen :P But yeah, he's a bit chilling when he's a teenager - it's all the ambition, I think, and the self-belief; though that bit was one of the ones I was most nervous about, so I'm glad you thought it worked :)
Thank you so much for stopping by and for the lovely review - it was so great to get! :)
(Transferred from HPFF)
Hi Laura! I saw that you'd written this when you posted it and I couldn't wait to read it, but I've had it open on my laptop for a while before I got here. Can I just say how completely amazing this story is? ♥
Bathilda Bagshot is such an intriguing character to me, and I've only read maybe one or two stories about her before but there's so much about her that is really intriguing and for you to have written about her makes me so happy. I love the theme here, the idea of telling the stories that nobody else has told before, of Bathilda being a historian who wants to tell the untold stories, and then this being her own story told after she's died.
This is an era you write so well - every time I read something by you set in this era, I'm always struck by how well you capture the sense of the time period. The language that you use and the kind of restrictions that society placed on people, even though they're just the same as we are today and there was so much variety that was repressed. You just really portray the period well and it feels so authentic and interesting, almost like I'm actually reading something written by someone at the time.
Bathilda was brilliant here. I loved the way that she was an historian and telling those stories was really important to her. She was gaining so much renown and yet it never occurred to her really to write about women's history, one of those aspects that has been so overlooked for so long, and I love the idea of her choosing to write about it and being one of those people who actually made an impact. The idea of this collection was great, too - the magnum opus she intended to publish which never made it, so it's happening now and she's triumphed in a way.
There were so many little details in this that I just absolutely loved ♥ I've read a few of your other stories in this period now and I loved the way that your head canon for it came through here, with aspects like Kendra being from a Native American family and Percival's sister being called Honoria and all the tiny details that have appeared in some of your other stories. For me they just made this feel even more authentic and believable and I loved reading it.
I absolutely adored reading about Bathilda's relationships with the various characters mentioned here, too. I liked how she wrote to Albus and made a connection with him that way, but eventually grew to knew his mother too, and relate to her on the basis of her children. (I thought it was really interesting that you included all those references to what life was like for an unmarried, childless woman at the time, because it was so far from what was expected and didn't comply with the norms that it made a real impact on her life.) And then with Gellert, the doting aunt - it kind of made me wonder what she thought of him later on, when she saw him rising to power the way he did. And with Livia, of course.
Livia was so intriguing. She and Elladora kind of remind me of the Suffragists movement, and I love the way that they were fighting to promote women's rights and using the resources that they had to do that. At the same time, I can't help thinking that they were quite manipulative about it, and I'm a bit undecided on their characters. Rosamunde's was such a great idea, though, a place where people can kind of take refuge - it's the sort of thing that still happens today in places like Soho and I loved the way you included it.
One thing that struck me here was the way that Bathilda kind of encouraged Gellert in his quest for power, even though I'm sure that she didn't intend for the outcome that it had. I just had this whole sense of foreboding when she started talking to him about these great conquerors and emperors and finding stories that he could read about them, because it was kind of clear that he was lured by the idea of glory and power and she probably didn't help by encouraging it. I thought it was so clever for you to play into that and examine how something seemingly so innocent might affect someone growing up and the person they become.
Gellert's characterisation was fantastic here, too. I think one of my favourite parts was the way that he had taken note of Albus's achievements before he even met him, and was aware that there was someone else his age who had the same level of skills and talents that he did. It felt like they could only ever really be allies or rivals and nothing in between.
This was really incredible, though, Laura, and I absolutely loved reading it ♥ I can't believe you managed to write something so beautiful in the time that you did, but I should probably not be so surprised any more because your writing always impresses me :P
Hello! I'm here for a Nargles review :) Wanted to drop in and check out this nominated one-shot.
It's such a unique piece of writing featuring under-represented characters; I can see exactly why someone nominated it for Most Original Story! Originally, I was kind of put off by its length - I find, for me personally, anything over 6K very difficult to read and review in one sitting - but, to my surprise, your story managed to hold my concentration throughout.
Yes! I love its feminist themes! Brilliantly done, and very apt, given the story's time setting. Love the sections focusing on the importance of the role of women, at a time when most women would have had to have been ten times their male counterpart to even be noticed in society. I'm glad Bathilda didn't feel the need to use a male pseudonym, unlike other authoresses of her day.
Fantastic descriptions of Gellert Grindelwald as a child. I can just imagine him being exactly as you portrayed him. I loved the interaction with Bathilda; how she coaxed him out of his shell.
Your use of language is beautiful and also in keeping with late 19th century style.
I really enjoyed this. Best of Nargles luck :)
Hello. I saw that this was one of the stories nominated for the Most Original Nargle, so I decided to stop by.
I will start by saying that the length of this initially scared me a bit. Eight thousand words is a lot, but once I began reading it the story did not drag. The way it was broken up into different entries helped. And even though the entries jumped around between dates and there were a lot of original or rarely written characters, it was easy to follow. The hinting at things that were to come kept me reading as well.
The knowledge of what would eventually become of Gellert Grindelwald gave me mixed feelings. It is clear that he was both brilliant but different as a child, which I imagine must have been the case for somebody who turned out like he did. The brilliance, the love of reading, the being easily bored, and the desire to always be right were so natural and so in character that I would not doubt that he was like you wrote as a child.
We know so little about Bathilda other than that she wrote the gold standard book for History of Magic and didn't appear to live with anybody during the fateful summer Gellert spent with her. Because of that, I would not be surprised to learn that she elected not to marry or have children because she was not interested in men. The same could go for Elladora. (And, by the way, I love that dear aunt Elladora with the house elf heads made an appearance. I knew I recognized the name but a quick Google made me happy that it was her of all people. Of all the people on the Black family tree, she was certainly one of the saner and less cruel ones.)
L'optimisme seems to be the golden standard of Albus/Gellert stories, so I am not surprised that you also mastered writing Bathilda Bagshot. The style just seems right for the late 1800s, while still being easy to read.
I wish I had more to say or something constructive to add, but I don't. You know these characters so well that I feel like anything I tried to add would be minor and/or a bit dumb.
Good luck in the Nargles! :)
Oooh, I LOVE the publisher's note. And the part about history being written by the victors. I once read a comment about how "colonisation" is seen as basically being on a par with "oppression" here in Ireland but in other countries it's seen as a positive thing.
I also really like her letter to Dumbledore. It seems so in character somehow - there's a touch of the professor to it.
And I'm now wondering how she felt about how Grindelwald turned out and the part she inadvertantly played in Ariana's death.
I LOVE the idea of the writing of women's history. Last year there as a real attempt in Ireland to place emphasis on the part women played in the 1916 Rising.
This line is amazing: "The snake may look beautiful and strong and so very elegant; that does not mean it is not poisonous."
Is living in a library really such a bad thing? *grins* I have...quite a collection of books.
*grins at her finding the child's stubbornness sweet because she is not a parent*
And I HAVE to like the idea of a child interested in history at five since I was such a child. I remember loving the nursery rhyme about how "England burnt like rotting sticks" and how interesting I found the plague and the Great Fire of London.
I really like the way you have Gellert appearing both interested in and competitive with Dumbledore. It fits with the relatively little we know of him.
That part about Gellert's loneliness is actually kind of sad. There is a hint of an untold story there, of something he did not acknowledge to anybody.