Interesting... I feel like the more I read, the more difficult it's becoming to draw a bead on what Rowena really thinks about her daughter's upcoming wedding. In the previous chapter, she was weeping bitterly in the belief that her daughter would become a spinster and in this one she seems to be trying to talk her out of marrying Venn. There are obviously a lot of conflicting thoughts and feelings. I wonder whether the disagreements she's having with Salazar play any role in her misgivings.
So the Chamber of Secrets is being constructed already. I suppose the time frame would be about right, but it still seems almost impossible to be reading about the genesis of something so dark and shrouded in mystery. I liked all of the details that you worked into the scene: the fact that this was so important to Salazar that he was even willing to get his hands dirty, the expense involved in acquiring the Basilisk and his grand ambitions to see the beast kill all the muggle-born children. I get the feeling that Salazar probably didn't mean for it to take 800 years for Tom Riddle to come along and fulfill his role as Slytherin's Heir. Perhaps Salazar meant for Venn and Helena's child to do this? An intriguing possibility...
Venn seems appropriately repulsed by what Salazar is planning. His prejudices aside, he seems like a pretty good guy at times. Here's a question that dawned on me. If the Bloody Baron knew about the Chamber of Secrets, why didn't he tell Dippett or Dumbledore? I'm not expecting a fully detailed explanation, but I'm curious as to your thoughts.
Helena seems to be awash in a sea of emotions that she doesn't quite understand. She's convinced herself that she's happy, or at least that she's going to be happy. All of her girlish dreams about about to come true. Yet in the midst of all the preparations, she seems barely able to concentrate.
So I couldn't find a single typo in this! Very well done. Overall, you're continuing to round out the story very nicely, pulling in canon events and offering very solid explanations and back story. Back again soon...
Author's Response: I think what you're picking up on is the way Rowena is beginning to diverge from her usually cool, logical way of handling things. There's nothing she can do to logic her way out of this situation with Helena and her lack of a husband. She definitely wants to see Helena married, but the more Muggle-born intolerance she sees from Salazar, the less and less palatable she finds the match with Venn. Unfortunately, things will only get tougher for Rowena from here on out.
It's great that you liked all the detail with the Chamber of Secrets. It was chilling to imagine what it would be like to construct such a thing and formulate such an evil plan, and as a result, I think you'll find my Salazar becoming more and more distasteful as we go on. My theory is that Salazar meant to open the chamber himself and had the heir as a precaution, just in case he passed away, but that's just me talking. I like your theory, too.
That's an excellent question--you're right, under his tough exterior, Venn isn't all bad. I'd say that he kept quiet for the same reason he's keeping quiet now: whether or not he disagrees with Salazar, it would take a lot for him to betray his blood. Maybe he hopes that Salazar will eventually see the error of his ways. But I hadn't really considered it before.
Yes, poor Helena is getting opinions from all directions, and she's understandably confused. You've pinned her down well in that she wants happiness but feels overwhelmed with all that it will take to get to the wedding. Things will only get more complicated from here on out, sadly.
If your lunch hours are anything like mine, you really have to use every minute wisely. As such, it means a lot to me that you keep coming back to read on in this little story of mine. Thanks for another fantastic review, Dan!