HI, there! This has nothing to do with the story, but I wanted to say how much I appreciate the fact that you always respond to reviews promptly and thoughtfully. I think regular reviewers take note of it. At least I know I do. It's much appreciated.
Now, on to the chapter. I loved nearly everything about the meeting between the four founders. I suppose that they would be somewhere between ten and thirty years into the existence of the school by this point, and it's good to see that it's still a work in progress. I thought the idea that they all started off with a very hands-on approach to running Hogwarts and then gradually took a step back was a really good one. They're obviously building an institution that's meant to keep going strong long after the four of them are gone.
Salazar's prejudice and his attempts to keep the muggle-born children out of magical society in general and Hogwarts in particular sounds perfectly in character for him. The icy greeting that his proposals receive from the other three founders also fit perfectly well. He was definitely a cold, wet blanket tossed onto the meeting.
The only thing I wasn't wild about was the way you wrote Godric. He seemed rather... subdued for my tastes. I expected him to be more animated, especially confronted with Salazar's naked bigotry. I also would have expected him to have a noticeable accent, given his ancestry, unless the idea is that learned men and women are above such parochialism.
I'm going to skip ahead to Venn's hunt with Cepheus and then come back and address Rowena all at once. This scene was beautifully executed. Cepheus is the perfect foil to help Venn come to terms with his changing attitudes toward being married and growing up. The two are lifelong friends, and Venn can readily see the positive effect Cepheus's marriage has had. Cepheus is someone safe for Venn to open up to just a bit about his feelings for Helena and how she makes him feel. I wanted to pat both of them on the back and yell, "good on you, bro!"
Now, on the Rowena. This was the only part of the chapter where I struggled to keep up with the narrative. It's no mystery at all why Rowena is so upset with Salazar. Where I'm having a hard time is making that leap that somebody as intelligent and thoughtful as Rowena Ravenclaw is able to paint Venn with the same brush without a moment's consideration. If Venn had given more outward signs of embracing his uncle's extremism in prior chapters, I think I'd have an easier time accepting it. As it's written, I just felt like she jumped to her conclusions too quickly. The arrogance she displayed toward Edeline also seemed out of character.
That said, I thing you've set up Helena's theft of the diadem and her flight from Britain perfectly. The writing is on the wall at this point.
As always, your writing was pristine. I didn't see a single typo or grammatical problem.
I'm one chapter shy of being current! This story has flown by!
Author's Response: That's nice of you to say, so thank you :) I've been better about responding to reviews quickly and not letting them build up, so I'm glad that someone has noticed and appreciates that.
It's great that you liked the meeting of the Founders and the way they're slowly building up Hogwarts into the (mostly) well-oiled machine we know and love. I figured that as they started taking more students and got busy with paperwork and projects, they would need to generally step back and take more of an administrative role. Can you imagine the pressure that would have been felt by that first round of professors and staff members?
It's good that you felt an atmosphere change as Salazar entered the room and began spewing his Muggle-hating bile. I see what you mean about Godric. He isn't meant to be a major focus in this story, but I can kind of see where I dropped the ball with him, especially compared to the deeper characterizations of the other three Founders. I've made a note to do more with him in future chapters, so thank you for the critique. As for the accent, I haven't really been including them for anyone, mostly because they're hard to write. I'm sorry on that front.
I'm happy you liked the bromance scene! I felt like Venn needed some perspective, even if Cepheus has only been married a short time. It also served to help explain some of Venn's impulsive actions and changing feelings. He's falling for this girl, and it's about time for him to really begin accepting that fact.
Rowena's strange behavior is purposeful. I thought it would be hard for even her to resort to logic when it's her own daughter's fate in question. She feels some regret over rushing her daughter into what she sees as an unexpectedly poor outcome, and so she's panicking and trying to take it all back now. She's terrified that she'll lose her daughter to the Slytherin set of ideals, despite the fact that Venn has been (mostly) a gentleman up until this point. She hasn't forgotten that bit of arrogance he showed at the joust. However, it's not like she's going to admit she was wrong, which is where her own arrogance comes in. I just mean to show that the events in this story are confusing a lot of characters and causing some erratic behavior--for Venn and Helena, it's more proximal with their romance, but for Rowena and Salazar, they see the big picture, the writing on the wall about their conflict of interests and different ideologies. In that context, I hope Rowena's behavior makes a little more sense to you.
Thanks for this fantastic review! See you again for the next chapter--you're almost caught up!