I could really relate to Helga's reluctance to buy something for herself. I'm really cheap, myself, and I don't like spending money. I swear, there must be some kind of thought pattern that exists in the world, because I was anticipating each of Helga's protests. I had guessed, of course, based on the summary, that Salazar would wind up buying a gift for Helga and she would reciprocate. I enjoyed both scenes, though.
The part where Salazar gave Helga the cup was especially moving. Shortly after the beginning, I found myself very much caught up in the story, interested and eager to read on. I think you conveyed emotion well without being sentimental. The amount of tension and tenderness between Helga and Salazar was just right.
Although most HP fans will know the basic information about the Founders (since there is so little), I realize that each writer, to some extent, has to explain to the readers how s/he is interpreting that little information. That is necessary, since there is a great deal of leeway. However, I found your opening paragraphs to be on the unexciting side. You listed a lot of facts pertinent to the story, but the "hook" wasn't until a bit later. Likewise with the ending. It had a very explanatory tone. The information was interesting, but the presentation was less so. The middle of the story, which is almost all of it, really, was significantly better, in my opinion, than the immediate beginning and end.
Speaking of the end (or near the end, really), Salazar's going-away scene was very well done. Actually, it was my favorite part of the whole story. It was heart-wrenching, and I liked that through an omniscient narrator, we were able to see into both Helga's and Salazar's thoughts and emotions.
Author's Response: Oh, Alopex, you do not know how much I appreciate this review!
I'm a bit in-between on buying stuff for myself. Most of the time I wait a long time to buy something and that is after much indecision, but sometimes I'll see something I have to have. And I'll always buy books. Looking back, I think I put a bit more of my mother in to Helga in that aspect, hmm...At any rate I'm glad you could relate to her.
I'm glad you think I did well with the cup and emotions.
I probably do need to work on my opening, I think...it's so hard for me to start on a story, and it's a weak point for me. I debated within myself whether or not to include the explanatory ending.
I'm so glad you liked his going away and the part of seeing both their POVs! It was so my favorite part to write!
Thank you so much for this review. I swear it's one of the best I've gotten!