Ok! So now we're getting somewhere ;) Just kidding! The first chapter was lovely, but I'm glad I have a name for the Bloody Baron now. Venn is a very cool name, and you definitely threw me for a momentary loop with his last name being Selwyn. I thought I'd been wrong with his uncle being Salazar, but turns out I was right (since you set it up pretty obviously with the locket. Hehe. Interesting that Venn is a Selwyn since that's the name Umbridge pretended the "S" on the locket stood for in "Deathly Hallows." I guess it's pretty likely all these families were intertwined for hundreds and hundreds of years anyway.) I definitely appreciated your brief note at the end about the names. I also try to pick relevant names in my own stories, so I'm always interested to hear the meaning behind other people's. I think the age of twenty-five for inheritance makes a lot of sense with wizards living longer, like you said.
One thing that I think is kind of neat and might be different from a lot of Founders fics out there (I'm guessing since I've never read any others) is that it seems like you're starting this story out before Hogwarts was even founded. It sounds like Salazar barely even knows Rowena. It will make for an interesting relationship in the school later with them having to work next to each other after Salazar's nephew kills Rowena's daughter along with himself :(
For a brief moment I thought you were setting up some secret Salazar/Edeline action down the road until I figured out that, duh, they're probably brother and sister. She'd be a Slytherin herself, not a Selwyn, if she'd married Salazar's brother. There goes my big conspiracy theory of how Salazar killed Venn's dad to get with his wife (too much Hamlet on my mind I guess!)
All of the details in this seemed very period and fitting from the way you described the food at the feast (and seriously, you can't have a medieval setting without bread and cheese somewhere. You simply can't.) The emphasis on Venn needing to marry and continue his family line seems very accurate for the time period too. I like how spirited you're making Helena out to be besides just being beautiful. I would imagine being independent and unwilling to marry as a woman back then might not have been the most smiled upon thing. I'm curious how you're going to turn regular Venn, who had no interest in getting married, into the obsessed man who is so in love with Helena eventually that he destroys her.
Ok, well I guess that's it for now! This was a great pairing for me, and I'm glad I've finally gotten to read something else of yours. I'd love to continue with this when I have the time! I might take a review exchange or two off for a little while to hopefully make SOME progress on my own writing, but I would certainly not object to being paired with you again down the road! Have a great New Year!
Author's Response: Hello again!
Yes, you guessed correctly! Well done! :) The Selwyn family felt like a natural choice to tie in there with Salazar, especially given what we know about the locket. I tried to think of what would cause the Bloody Baron to end up being the ghost of Slytherin House, out of all the ghosts out there, and I figured it would make sense if he was part of Salazar's family.
Hah, I like your conspiracy theory! Actually, Rowena and Salazar have already been working together for a time in the setting for this story. As you'll see, Hogwarts has been founded, and it's even graduated its first students. However, a lot of the kinks are still being worked out--to put it mildly.
Hopefully you'll read on and get to know Venn and Helena a little more. I tried to make them complex and interesting and, more than anything, give the readers reasons to love and hate them both at alternating moments. I'm having way too much fun figuring them out and fleshing out their characterization with historical details, canon pieces, and my own crazy ideas. I hope you'll like the final product!
Thanks again for your very kind review :)