Oh wow, I really quite enjoyed this story. I definetly thought that this had been about Harry until the twist at the end, your comparison of the two boys is really startling. But I think Albus summed their relationship up rather well when he told Harry that one's choices make all the difference in character development, as opposed to situational similarities. But, it is still haunting to think that, had something gone different, roles could have been switched.
I know a few people already noted it, but it seems too much of a coincidence that both Harry and Voldemort met a snake at the zoo and then discovered that they were a Parslemouth when the Chamber opened. I see it as being more likely that Tom looked into what his ability was and already knew about it when he opened the Chamber-- perhaps being why he opened the Chamber in the first place.
And I think the title you chose really accents the message of the story. I didn't really think about what the title could mean as I was reading-- I must admit I was caught up in the story-- but looking back I think the title fits quite well.
This was a very thought provoking story. The parallels between Harry and Voldemort are fascinating, but are rarely explored and, usually, only hinted at. You did an excellent job bringing some of Voldemort’s past into the story and making somewhat startling comparisons between their two childhoods.
I think that an apt characterization of the “relationship” between Voldemort and Harry would be of two lines running parallel and then forking. They would run parallel for the childhoods of both, as their childhoods bear striking similarities, and the fork would begin when they entered Hogwarts.
Both of them, upon entering Hogwarts, had the potential to turn out like the other. Tom Riddle, who was deeply impressed by magic, could have easily decided that making friends who shared his magical traits was more fun than researching his splintered family and learning Dark Magic. In the same vein, Harry could have obsessed over his apparent abandonment by his parents and gone the same way that Voldemort did. His choice, though, is the clear place where their paths fork away from each other. The choice that he makes to be different from Tom Riddle is much too clear, in my opinion. Harry quite literally chose to be a Gryffindor rather than a Slytherin.
After reading the story, though, it was somewhat eerie for me, as I began to think about how easily Harry could have turned into another Voldemort. *shudders*
There are a few grammar errors sprinkled throughout and they detract slightly from the overall quality of the work. Most of them are not serious, but are just small irritations. For example:
“What have you done to yourself now?!” she scolded. “Can’t you stay out of trouble for five minutes?”
You should try to avoid the double punctuation. It is tempting, I admit, to convey shock and anger through a question mark and an exclamation point, but stylistically, it is far better to describe the emotions, rather than letting symbols represent them.
On the note about grammar, you use ellipses a little bit too judiciously. Some of them, especially when they appear at the end of a paragraph, should really be periods. I do, though, like the use of ellipsis in the conversations. They really add the right amount of hesitancy.
The final paragraph of this story is incredible. As per you intention, the first time I read this, I thought it was about Harry. The last line really threw me. And then I went back and read it again and realized how the story could apply to both. You did an excellent job at being specific and yet ambiguous at the same time. At some points in the story, especially when the caretaker is screaming about the injury, I couldn’t tell if you were speaking about Harry or Voldemort. That was extremely well done.
Overall, this was fascinating to read. You write very well and there are really only a few minor grammatical corrections. More importantly, though, your plot was amazing. It was very unique and extremely original. Let’s put it this way: minor grammar mistakes are easy to fix, but the ability to form an interesting and thought provoking plot line is very difficult to develop; it’s a gift.
Wonderful job on the story – I enjoyed it immensely.
I actually stumbled upon your story by accident, but I'm really glad that I did.
I loved the theme of this story, with parallels being drawn between Harry and Voldemort and the importance of choice rather than destiny. Your summary really sucked me in, to be honest, because I was intrigued as to how you would write the difference between the being and the shadow. I have to say that you were successful, showing how alike these two men were, but also showing that despite that, they turned to very different sides. Really well done.
I was wondering if you thought of the Doppelgagner theory at all while writing this, because I think that it's very applicable to your story. I think the part of the lore that would be most fitting for your story would be how one's Doppelgagner is supposed to be a harbinger of bad luck and I think that's pretty relevant with respect to the relation between Harry and Voldemort. It was just something I was thinking about while reading this story. If you meant to make an allusion to it, that's brillant.
The only thing that really took away from your story were some small grammatical errors, especially in terms of dialogue and puctuation. Also, I think sometimes there were a few too many coincidences between Harry and Voldemort, such as the way they learned Occlumency and the scene at the zoo.
But your ending really made this story. After I read the ending, I went back and read the story again and had a completely different perspective of it. I think this is amazing because so many authors are concerned with having an amazing body that they forget that the ending is the thing that really stays with you. I applaud you for writing a strong fic with an amazing ending.
Overall, this story was fantastic.
Wow, I must say that you’ve written quite the impressive fic here. Your characterization was certainly the strong point of this story. Anyone can point out the differences between Harry and Voldemort, but the way you used their similarities to strengthen their characterization was absolutely astounding. The parallels between the two were extremely well done. For example, your paragraph toward the beginning about Voldemort’s childhood was great – it could have pertained equally well to Harry. That’s the great thing about this story – how you were able to keep the ambiguous perspective without giving away whether it was written about one character or the other, until the end.
And wow, that ending! I really was not expecting that. It’s been much too long since I read an ending that blew me away like that one, and caused me to go back and reread this fic. Even after that, I had to reread it a few more times to fully appreciate the effect of your theme.
One thing that stood out to me is when you were talking about Voldemort finding out he was a parselmouth. Obviously the reader at first thought this was Harry’s perspective, but when I went back to reread it the second time, it just struck me as too big of a coincidence that Voldemort would have discovered that he was a parselmouth the same way as Harry. A lot of these parallels were great, but a few struck me as not really applicable to Harry or Voldemort.
Also, I did notice quite a few grammar mistakes in this story. I’d recommend finding a beta to look this over, but other than that, this is a truly wonderful story. It got me thinking quite a lot about the similarities between Harry and Voldemort, and it made me wonder where they each got their views on good/evil with such similar upbringings. Very few stories get me to think this much anymore. Really – well done!
Soon the images came to him from his past like an unforgivable curse, unblock-able and unrelenting in its force.
What an incredible comparison! This sentence made me stop and reread.
“Hey weirdo!” yelled a boy who was crisply dressed and easily stood a foot taller. “Going to do any more maaagiiiiic today?” to the raucous cackling of his two friends.
Hmm I don't think anyone could've named what Harry could do before he was eleven. In the books, he seemed surprised to hear that he could do magic. If people kept teasing him that he could do magic, wouldn't he have reacted more in anger or in sadness, at least at first?
I don't think they have principals at the schools in Europe. Headmaster is the correct term. But you don't need to put (Principal) in parentheses. I also don't think Harry could've Apparated into the headmaster's office without anything happening to him bodily. Remember how hard Apparating is? Something probably would've gone wrong; the chances that he was able to Apparated perfectly without any control over his magic are very slim.
When we glimpsed Occlumency in OotP, it was implied that the person viewing was not able to feel the emotion of the person who's being subjected to Occlumens. The images were also merely flashes, not really a story timeline. I suppose for the purposes of a story, it was changed, but keep that in mind when you write another Occlumency scene. The only problem with this particular Occlumency scene is the ending where Voldemort seemed to get into the thoughts of the person he's seeing. Voldemort, throughout this chapter, is looking at the thoughts of the Harry in bed. However, in the end, Voldemort is looking at the thoughts of Harry pacing in his dorm who is in the thoughts of Harry in bed. Kind of confusing, I know, but does it seem likely that Voldemort's reach goes that far? If so, he would've been a lot more powerful and a lot more all-knowing than he is in the series.
Make sure you capitalize Muggle and Boy Who Lived.
I like the twist at the end when we realize that this entire story was actually from Voldemort's point of view instead of Harry's.
Eh? Who's the boy??
This fic was really good. I like how you showed Harry's frustration through the flashbacks.
hey! I like! I didn't quite "get" the ending, though. I think this would be better as a part of a larger story as you originally intended, 'cuz I can see there would be lots to build on still!
Yay, I'm the first reviewer. I love your portrayal of Harry's frustration and hatred with everything since Sirius' death. The flashbacks and such were a nice touch too. 10/10