Hey there, it's Molly from the forums with your requested review!
First off, let me say that I was so thrilled to see that your review request was for a Founders fic - and a Helga/Salazar no less! I actually read the first chapter before I read this, just because the plot interested me, and I was not disappointed. You might not have requested that chapter for a review but I must say that I was really impressed by how accurately and strongly Helga's voice came through. Sometimes that can get lost in first person narratives, strange as that sounds, but I felt very comfortable with her by the time I started reading this chapter; she was familiar and I trusted her.
That said, I was not at all let down by this chapter. If anything, I want to skip ahead to the next one because it's that good!
I know you were worried about your characterization of Salazar and I must say, this is probably one of my favorite ones yet. The bit in the first chapter when she turned him into a cat? Absolutely priceless. I am glad that I read the first chapter, though, otherwise I wouldn't have known what Helga was talking about - a small thing that wouldn't affect any other reader as they would've read the first chapter. Anyway! I digress - Salazar's characterization is, in a word, delightful. I love that he's a pureblood, yes, but he is by no means noble in terms of his status in society. Most Founders fic that I've read cast Salazar as a proud noble so to see him come from such humble - for want of a better word - roots is so refreshing. I also liked that yes, he was cold towards her but once they started to engage one another in conversation, he loosened up - and in the dungeons of all places! I suppose that's where he would feel most comfortable...anyway, I thought his sense of humor was very believable for someone who goes through such an effort to put on the airs of being cold and proud. Not that those are necessarily airs, of course, but you get what I mean. :P It's nice to see that he is capable of acting warmly towards his fellow Founders, something I was worried about when we first encountered him. It appears I worried for no reason at all, haha.
I'm already in love with the dynamic you've established between Helga and Salazar as well as her relationships with Rowena and Godric. They're all very believable and enjoyable.
As far as plot goes, it's very engaging! The pacing was nice, starting off smoothly and slowly easing us into the action. Ending on that cliffhanger was brilliant, I might add! Definitely makes me want to read the next chapter - and the next and the next! I'm going to go out on a limb here and says that the creature they're investigating is a Boggart and that Salazar's is fire? Interesting! I can't wait to see how you incorporate that into the story. In fact, I'm just really eager to see how this is all going to play out and where the plot is going to go.
You've done a great job with this chapter. It's a good follow-up to the first, giving just enough exposition to flesh out the characters but not so much that I'm snoring, waiting for interesting things to happen. Also, might I add that your descriptions are delicious? Again, just enough that when you do go into detail, I find myself smiling as I picture it. Very well done.
This is great story you have here. I'm definitely going to continue onwards, so don't be surprised if you get a few more reviews from me on this.
Author's Response: Hi Molly! Wow, what an in-depth review. I love it! Thank you so much for making time for this :)
I'm glad you read the first chapter too, and that you got a good feel for Helga's voice as a narrator. She's just a pleasure to write :) Salazar is more difficult since I've never really met anyone like him. But I did want to make sure he didn't come off as completely evil, just proud. He's definitely able to work with the other three and even make friends with them. I love that you picked up on the fact that he's more comfortable opening up when he gets to the dungeons! That's how I imagined it, and you're the first person to mention that. So cool!
The relationships are fun to explore, especially between Helga and Salazar. Everyone has unique dynamics together, and I'm really trying to bring that out. So happy you liked it!
Pacing has been a big issue for me with this story, and I actually had to go back and start this from scratch since the plot was going too fast (this is actually version 2.0 of this story.) So I'm especially relieved to know the plot is moving at a good pace, and that it's intriguing. And you're right about the creature: it is a boggart, and Salazar's fire will play an important role later :)
I'm so glad you liked this! I really appreciate all your comments, and I'll definitely be back to re-request for ch. 3 :) Thanks again!