Reviews for Phoenix Insurgent
CittingAlmond42 chapter 11 . 5/18/2020
I am very pleased to see this updating again. How far down the rabbit hole will Albus go. How ruthless will Gellert make him. How will Harry react and change to Albus. I look forward to seeing all of these questions answered.
KingPlotBunny chapter 11 . 5/18/2020
Harry's reaction was very believable he's had more reason than anybody to have pent up frustrations with the ministry but never acted against them its kind of funny watching Dumbledore's willingness to escalate being reflected in Harry's own attitude as both there resentment towards Voldemort and the ministry boil over i cant wait to see how things escalate further
Kawisdom chapter 11 . 5/18/2020
Dumbledore is in a hard position, isn't he? At least this time, while he didn't hold back on power, he did maintain control over his and Gellert's actions. That may keep some allies that they're bound to need later.
I can't think badly of Kingsley Shacklebolt's uncertainty, or Hermione's, for that matter. Destroying a monster is one thing, overthrowing the government is a whole other goal. (I don't see the establishment agreeing to give up power. You notice there are new muggleborns added to wizarding society every generation, but it doesn't end up absorbing any new ideas?)
I'm a little worried about Harry, who's already all in on the new, more brutal strategy for fighting Voldemort. Dumbledore's likeliest successor as a leader of Wizarding Britain is also becoming comfortable with the kind of dark thinking Dumbledore had to fight against in himself. If he and Grindelwald do end up ruling instead of reforming, Harry might just adopt some of their cruelest policies as his own later on.
I swear I'm not Harry bashing. He's angry, tired and undoubtedly frightened as well. If the great leader he's admired and trusted for years now says that this is the way to fight, he isn't likely inclined to disagree right now.
ghaisdlkfns chapter 11 . 5/18/2020
Intriguing. The cracks are starting to form in the order and it is becoming increasingly clear that Albus' desire to do whatever is best not matter the cost is biting him in the back.

Grindlewald will without a doubt be key in what will happen to Dumbledore and the transformation he has.

I especially look forward to seeing how this effects other characters (more of the stuff along the same lines as the trio would be great).
PurpleKyu chapter 10 . 5/13/2020
You've written Grindelwald with such complexity. A mere four chapters or so ago, Grindelwald was begging Dumbledore to not allow him to slip down the path of enjoying murder again. He was going to get his redemption by helping Dumbledore. In this chapter, through his internal monologue, Grindelwald clearly has bought into supporting Dumbledore as his path to redemption, what with his whole hearted desire to play second fiddle to Dumbledore. And yet, Grindelwald is still advocating for the torture and death of those that oppose them.

Has Grindelwald forgotten his previous plea and desire to not become that corrupt person again? Highly doubtful. Instead, he seems to be revealing to the reader how deeply his philosophy that the ends justify the means seems to run. Grindelwald essentially seems to be advocating that as long as he doesn't enjoy it, and as long as the action is (in his mind) necessary, then the action is morally justifiable. And Dumbledore doesn't really have many intellectual defences against this kind of argument since he's always been vulnerable to this kind of persuasion.

While I love seeing Dumbledore push back against this philosophy, emotionally he seems kind of weak. There are a lot of pressures on him right now, but his vision and faith that seems to shine so clearly in the canon books wavers a LOT in this chapter. Yes, part of it is that Grindelwald gets under his skin more easily than anyone else, but I feel like part of it has also got to be how much he's suppressed these kinds of natural feelings of anger and righteousness for decades! Dumbledore is just as afraid of falling into corruption as Grindelwald, but I think he's less likely to admit that to himself.

[Harry] was certainly not, as many seemed to believe him, worthy of being Albus' apprentice.

Shots fucking fired lmao. But so accurate.

I can't wait for this story to continue, and I'm glad I started this!
PurpleKyu chapter 9 . 5/13/2020
I love the attention given to Harry's reaction to the fight. It's very realistic and relatable, and also kind of contrasts the sort of larger-than-life figures of Dumbledore and Grindelwald. I imagine that he would have had this kind of reaction in canon, if his emotions hadn't been completely overwhelmed by losing Sirius.

Except, first they have to be suggested by at least three pre-existing members of the Wizengamot.

Ugh oof fuck.

Sirius is kind of radical, isn't he? I guess compared to other people, he's much more onboard with destroying entrenched systems, especially having grown up around people plotting to take advantage of those systems. Even if it involves allying with people like Grindelwald.

The state of Grindelwald is kind of weird. We're always told, both in canon and this fic, how awful Grindelwald was and how he killed people and whatever lol. But we're not really shown. And when we do see Grindelwald, he's kind of pathetic (sorry dude). There's this kind of disconnect between these descriptions and what we actually see.

"I think, however, that Inferi is the most likely case."

Oh. Um. Lol. You know, I was really excited in the last chapter because I thought Voldemort was trying to make more Horcruxes. But this makes more sense, especially with Bellatrix's participation in the ritual. 'But Yuan,' you protest, 'Voldemort would never make more Horcruxes because he believes he has split his soul into seven!' But more Horcruxes is always safer than fewer Horcruxes, my friend. Not to mention there are other magically powerful numbers, surely. Like twelve. Or thirteen.

Dumbledore falling to Grindelwald's words (and the Elder Wand's power) is exciting! Truly, very exciting. I just talked about how Grindelwald is not really shown to be in his prime, but here we get a glimpse of his philosophy before he was defeated. Perhaps the Elder Wand exerts power over him, as well? Will Grindelwald look back at this moment and regret it, when he has time to ponder?

So I regret saying what I said about Grindelwald being pathetic lol. Now that I've gotten to the Malfoy torture scene, that is. There are a lot of very obvious, direct parallels to Bellatrix at the Tonks's, eh? I like seeing that Dumbledore is more restrained than Grindelwald: he's not quite there yet, despite slipping down this path. But Grindelwald and Dumbledore are worse than Bellatrix, imo. They're infinitely more creative, controlled, and capable. RIP Malfoys.
PurpleKyu chapter 8 . 5/12/2020
Oh my God is Voldemort doing what I think he's doing...! What a way to ratchet up the tension and give Dumbledore and Grindelwald an actual challenge. Since this is an interlude I won't say much and just move on as quickly as I can to the next chapter!
PurpleKyu chapter 7 . 5/12/2020
Oh my god there was so much action in this chapter! And the war starts! I imagine that Grindelwald is going to start playing an even more active role than he has been! Dumbledore and Voldemort playing chess with each other is kind of scary, when both are portrayed as (kindasane grandmasters. It has the same energy as an actual game, where both players foresee what is going to happen through the next couple of moves, and they both deem the losses acceptable.

Dumbledore's sense of "disappointed fear" and his second-guessing himself for keeping Harry alive is, uh, delicious, terrifying, and thrilling, all at once. I'm a little afraid for Harry, though I have every confidence that Harry is quite capable of taking care of himself...!
PurpleKyu chapter 6 . 5/12/2020
(Is it just me or are your chapters getting longer and longer)

Gellert's simultaneous desire for and terror of his righteous punishment has never been as clear in this chapter. This poor man. He is so wracked with guilt that he desperately feels like he should be punished. He's convinced that he will, in the afterlife. And he might be terrified of it, like when he watches Herpo get banished back to wherever, but I truly think he'd actually be more terrified of not being punished at all.

In that exact same scene, Dumbledore has a bit of an unempathetic streak, eh? He doesn't even flinch at banishing Herpo, even as he screamed.

Your Snape is kinda milquetoast lol. He's very forgiving of Harry's clear sass. Maybe Snape is afraid this new Dumbledore would beat his ass if he didn't teach Harry properly lmao. I certainly would be.

"Whatever happened to your charisma?"

God damn, Dumbledore. Y'all are like, 150 years old. Charm'll only get you so far at that age.

"Very well. I will kill Antonin Dolohov."

Have you watched Clone Wars, the animated Star Wars show? For the vast majority of the show, Anakin is a legitimately good person and a good protagonist... But very rarely he'll do something that is so clearly proto-dark that it gives you chills, because it obviously is meant to foreshadow his eventual fall. I get the same kind of feeling here. Dumbledore obviously justifies this promise by telling himself it's necessary, and its not like death is really a new thing in the HP universe, but like... Still. It's so cold.

I do like that you're painstakingly tracing Dumbledore's steps, showing the work that's not shown in canon.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhh I have so many feeeeeeelings hahaha.
PurpleKyu chapter 5 . 5/11/2020
Damn, a lot happens in this chapter! Dumbledore sure wrote a lot of letters.

The conversation between Dumbledore really is interesting, I think. On the one hand, Gellert strikes me as a kind of... emotionally very dependent on Dumbledore, which is understandable, given his century of isolation. On the other hand, it is true that Dumbledore hasn't really been treating Grindelwald like an equal. More like a hired goon. Not to mention, pretty much all of the power plays could have been played without breaking Grindelwald out. Grindelwald has been freed, but I'm sure he doesn't really feel free. He's not free to make his own choices, and he's not free of Dumbledore's judgement (he feels).

Clearly a key difference occured between this fic and the canon timeline because Grindelwald was thereDumbledore didn't put on the ring), but they don't know that.
PurpleKyu chapter 4 . 5/11/2020
It's kind of astonishing to see Albus Dumbledore in a kind of power wank fic because... Is it really power wank if he's actually legitimately powerful enough to do these things in canon?

For example, contacting the different heads of state, putting pressure politically on them, calling in favors... Doing very simple things like _communicating_ with people... In a situation like this, it absolutely makes sense for Dumbledore to do these things. Giving Umbridge and Fudge one last chance to do the right thing (even though I'm sure he and we the readers all know they won't) actually reminds me a bit of Harry asking Voldemort to repent. If anyone else were doing it, it would just be a power play. But Dumbledore and Harry are both legitimately trying to warn their enemies before doing what must be done. I love it.

I'm very curious what Dumbledore wrote to Lucius Malfoy.

It's kind of thrilling to see Dumbledore so determined to de-Horcrux-ify Harry. I'm curious if you're going to let him succeed. On one hand, in your average power wank fic, de-Horcrux-ifying Harry happens every Tuesday. On the other hand... it would be fascinating if a failure of this magnitude could be enough to push Dumbledore into doing some truly awful things. I kinda want to see that.

I'm also curious if it really would have been so easy in canon to make Harry take Occlumency seriously. Honestly, I can't think of any reason why this wouldn't have worked. I think part of the problem in canon was that Dumbledore wasn't actually sure if he was going to tell Harry everything yet. In this fic, he's clearly made up his mind, and enticing Harry with information is sure to motivate him.

Loving it so far.
PurpleKyu chapter 3 . 5/8/2020
'I will not fall intro he same trap as him,' he told himself, 'I will not,'

Ooooooh hahahahaha. You know, what I love about these kinds of stories is that I desperately want to see the depths of corruption that the protag can reach. And I can't wait to see how low Dumbledore can go.

I am loving this Grindelwald who is broken and traumatized, but still has it in him to be threatening or sincere depending on the occasion. He feels kind of like a raw end, just sort of reacting to everything, taking everything in. I'm curious what's going to happen when he decides to start taking things into his own hands (as I'm sure he will).

I think your Ron and Hermione are pitch-perfect.

Already we see drastic differences, with Dumbledore and Grindelwald successfully cowing Slughorn into submission. Honestly, Dumbledore definitely could have done this alone, in canon, if he wanted to. This is a much more Gryffindor approach than what he did in canon, isn't it? Direct threat? As opposed to relying on Harry and his, erm, dubious charms. Lol.

The Order meeting was quite interesting. I'm actually quite astonished that Dumbledore brought Grindelwald around to meet the crew. I'll admit that almost everyone was way calmer than I would have been if Dumbledore put me in the same room as wizard Hitler, but I guess magical people have a higher tolerance for strange, bizarre, and morally repulsive things happening.

The man himself gave a jaunty wave, tipping an imaginary hat.

What a fucking neckbeard, fucking read the room lmao.

"It's interesting," Moody said, "that you didn't care about any of that until they attacked you personally."

Moody speaking absolute truth to power here.

Things are ramping up...! Loving it so far.
PurpleKyu chapter 2 . 5/8/2020
I forgot to mention in the last chapter review that I loved the repetition of Dumbledore's thoughts, as he tries to convince himself the logic of his position.

I still maintain that this flip in Dumbledore's philosophy is, uh, really fucking fast. Like, I'm getting whiplash with how easily he's able to throw away over a hundred year's worth of self-identity. What's funny is that Grindelwald seems to be feeling it a little too. Grindelwald was slowly being convinced by Dumbledore's letters over the years, and now that Dumbledore has shown up, completely flipped in alignment, Grindelwald is like, "leave me to my punishment." lmao.

I know we're kinda rushing to the good parts but a lot of a get resolved really quickly. Like the issue of Ariana. Such a huge character moment, and it gets resolved in like, four paragraphs? I mean, this emotional weight kind of defined Dumbledore for the entirety of his adult life. I can't help but feel that surely, in a future chapter, this is addressed again. Nurmengard is probably not the best place to cry about dead sisters, and all that.

I'm excited about Grindelwald's characterization, cause what's in this chapter is super promising. I'm gonna laugh and cry if Grindelwald turns out to be the slightly saner one in the pair.
PurpleKyu chapter 1 . 5/8/2020
First, I have to say that you have a very distinctive writing style! It's very unique and quite noticeable.

So I know that this characterization of Dumbledore is the _premise_ of the story, but I have such a hard time imagining him with the rage you've shown here. Especially to the point where he, without humor, people (ehem, Umbridgevermin", deserved or not. He almost seems kind of impulsive in this chapter, which I think was intentional on your part, what with him falling into the temptation of the Elder Wand. I am excited to see what repercussions that has in the future.

But I definitely think that canon Dumbledore is more intentional about things. Tbh, I could almost see him turning to Grindelwald in canon if he were feeling especially desperate, but I feel like it would have to be a feeling that stretched out over weeks and months, with Dumbledore turning it over and over in his mind until this moment, when he breaks.

Then again, I could be utterly wrong; after all, there was another time in the books when he was completely impulsive, and that was when he tried to use the Stone.

Still! I am totally here for badass Dumbledore. Onto the next chapter.
Inoeth chapter 10 . 4/26/2020
I just stumbled upon this story and i'm very much enjoying it. It's honestly one of the first times that I can remember that a fanfic author has swapped the usual trope of Harry going a bit darker and fighting with deadly intensity against both Voldimort and the Ministry and instead we get Dumbledore.

There are a few points where I feel your Dumbledore is getting a little ooc with his actions - going for those lethal strikes from the get go in the fight at the MoM for example but his continued fight with himself and Gellart about morals and actions and all that does seem fairly in character.

I look forward to seeing future updates. I'd be curious to see a Voldimort POV thoughts on what Dumbledore did to the Malfoys and his overall plans - to see those played off against Dumbledore's plans.

It was nice to get a little taste of Gellart's skills, abilities and dasrkness with that 'enhanced interrogation' of the Malfoys and I look forward to seeing him in battle against Death Eaters.
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