Hello, again! I'm loving the opportunity to be officially caught up and lay a review on one of my worthy Slytherin competitors for the review battle!
You added a lot of new depth to Helga in this chapter. She really is the salt of the earth. Hard work, dedication, and a deep devotion to her "family" of friends seem to define her. I loved the idea of her and Rowena becoming friends at a young age and sort of growing up together in the process of founding Hogwarts.
Her judgement, however, could probably use a little work. It seemed pretty impetuous for her to suggest running away with Venn to Helena before she's even had a chance to hear Rowena's side of the story. If, for instance, it turned out that Venn was involved in legitimately bad things, I think she would have felt terrible for sending her best friend's daughter off with a head of steam.
For Helena, though, it seems like Helga's words were exactly what she needed to hear. As sad as it is to see her turn her back on her mother, Rowena is being every bit as stubborn as intransigent as her daughter. Running off is probably the only way that Helena can force the issue at this point, because it seems like the two Ravenclaw ladies are no longer on speaking terms.
Salazar was fiendish in this chapter. I always assumed that he had more of a personal angle on the situation besides just the willy-nilly slaughter of muggle-borns. It seems that I was mistaken. His goal of purifying the wizarding world is, in a way, even scarier than Tom Riddle's because it was merely a means to an end for Tom. Tom used blood superiority as a rallying cry to gather supporters. His real goals were power and immortality. Salazar just seems to want to kill.
Venn is turning out to be very brave. It definitely took courage to pull his sword on Salazar, although he definitely overestimates the value of that particular weapon in the face of a wizard as powerful as his uncle. This crazy idea he seems to have of killing the Basilisk is practically suicide. But it is sort of endearing to see him worrying for Helena's safety.
Venn's counsel to Helena was actually pretty wise, although I feel like it's going to come back to bite him. But their reunion was very sweet. You're really making me like the two of them together. Whatever other issues they might have, they're definitely at a place and time when they seem to be genuinely in love.
I didn't see any typos or grammatical problems, and your writing was lovely in this. Everything flowed perfectly and I was done reading before I knew it.
And so I join the adoring masses, chanting, "Please update soon!"
Author's Response: Hi Dan! Unfortunately, you must have missed that I made a move to Ravenclaw last month. Still, the competition sounds quite exciting!
I'm so glad you liked Helga and didn't feel like I just piled her on there at the beginning. I really love her and I felt like she deserved a few minutes in the spotlight, especially given how important she is to the Ravenclaw girls.
I have this secret notion that Helga is a romantic at heart, which is why she would love to be the one to suggest a whirlwind elopement to young Helena and her groom. Yeah, it probably wasn't the smartest thing she ever did. I don't imagine Rowena would be pleased to learn about it, either--then again, that would require her to pay attention to Helena, which may be difficult right now.
The tension between Helena and Rowena is really at the boiling point, it seems. I'm sure you can logically follow how Helena would want to turn on her mother and steal the diadem at some point in the future. Rowena isn't foolish, though, and hopefully she'll figure out the error of her ways before long.
Salazar's quite frightening, even to me, and I wrote him here! I think he's scared of letting other people close to the precious gift of magic. On the one hand, he has a point about it getting into the wrong hands. Unfortunately, those hands seem to be his at the moment (and eventually Tom's, as you pointed out).
Venn is my little hero. I root for him so hard. (Sometimes, admittedly, it's a little tough for me to disentangle him from Charming in my head. Of course, we know he has some not-so-charming moments, and we haven't seen the last of those, sadly.) The basilisk is really very frightening to him, especially now that he's not just watching out for himself. Perhaps the idea of being in charge of a whole kingdom and family is starting to weigh on him a bit. Either way, I think he's growing more into that jacket of his father's that he couldn't fill.
I love writing this part of the story because you're right, Venn and Helena are really quite fond of one another. How long that will last, only time will tell. I want it to be forever.
Thanks for this fantastic review! I'm working on chapter fourteen now and hope it have it up at least before the end of the month :)