[Review] A Beautiful tragedy, and I love it.

Review rant for “Almost lover”–a Gramander fanfic written by 聆泠_懒萌懒萌
Fandom: Harry Potter/Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
Pairing: Original Percial Graves/Newt Scamander.
Side Paring: Original Percival Graves/Original Character, Newt Scamander/Porpentina ‘Tina’ Goldstein.
Genre: Angst, character death due to old age.
Please read the original fanfiction here: Original post written in Chinese

Hello Daisy,

It’s been a pleasure to talk with you, and I am happy that you loves Percival and Newt as much as me, although the way we express our love may be slightly different to the other.

When I love someone (fictional characters), I tend to fancy them as flawless as possible, because later I would make them suffer from unrequited love, from tragic farewell, from inevitable death. It’s a strange way to love, but my partner-in-fandom-crime taught me that if we are able to cry writing about our favourite characters, we can make our readers cry even more miserably. In the end, readers would love our favourite characters, and that’s the point.

I found your story in an unusual circumstance. I searched the tag Gramander on lofter, and found this post titled “Almost lover”, but it was not your post. It’s another review written by your reader, and unsurprisingly she loves your story as much as it broke her heart reading it. I just want to share this story with you, because, like I said, your fanfic is fascinating, and you deserve all the credit. You deserve to know that your story is appreciated.

I used to write fanfic and fiction when I was young. That old day I didn’t even know how to write a proper happy ending, because frankly I was a pathetic little piece of shit who didn’t want my characters happy while their mother suffered. But people changes, and I am still a pathetic little piece of shit, yet I hardly write anything angsty anymore; I am simply unable to do that. I understand the reason you want to write fluff, and I am happy because you are much better than me in dealing with emotion. It’s been years since I love something as much as I love Gramander. Sometimes that fact still freaks me out a little bit. With this level of devotion, I don’t know where it would lead me to, yet I am happy because at least I have chance to know you, masque, Tamaru, Surie, Pi, Sylvia and all the girls in our Gramander group that I ever have chance to be communicated with. You guys are amazingly adorable, I know it’s off-topic but seriously, I am grateful to know every single one of you.

Okay, back to topic, geez I feel like I am slipping from formal writing to something cheesy and trolling.

I am listening to “Almost lover” and writing this review, and I feel like the biggest sentimental fool because that is just another sort of self-torture. I thought a lot reading your story. It’s a typical story of romantic tragedy, but I can feel the tenderness lingering through words and sentences. I can close my eyes and picture Percival’s eyes smiling and filled with happiness as he looked at Newt; I can let myself be drowning in the flow of music and nostalgia mixed with melancholy. They are like cotton candy accompanied by bitter dark chocolate.

The part when Newt talked with the little girl in the park, it reminds me of my favourite quote from a French novel, Vous revoir by Marc Levy. I read “Vous revoir” when I was sixteen perhaps, and the novel teaches me that time can’t heal every wound. “Il y a des chagrins d’amour que le temps n’efface pas et qui laissent aux sourires des cicatrices imparfaites.” There is sorrow of love that time can’t take away, it leaves imperfection in our smile.

Yet a man has to hope, so Newt took matter in his own hand and made the decision for both him and Percival.

What a pity.

I often adore the passion of couple in love, but love is not only about the passion. It requires intimacy and commitment, and if Newt and Percival lived in different era, they would possibly have that consummate love, and voila happy ending.

From the title, the song, the plot, everything basically screams unhappy ending, yet “what you don’t know does not hurt you”, the last part just makes me lose my shit. Because Percival knew, he knew the whole time, he knew and he never once confronted Newt about “that choice”. How could he be that patient, be that forgiving? How could he tolerate some kind of betrayal like that after all those years?

If it’s not love, I don’t know what it is.


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