Oh, poor Helena. I'm already wondering where Venn is and what's going to happen and we're just three lines into the story… I love the detail you sprinkle into your description as well, and the reference to social class and okay. On with the rest of the chapter.
Yay, Helena and Witter moments! I've been waiting for a father/daughter scene since forever. And Rowena, hmm, I wonder if guilt is the reason why she's keeping to herself?
Aww... I'm sorry to tell you this, but I think a piece of my heart melted just there: But she sensed that Witter's demonstration meant more than this - the servants would be a reminder of home, familiar faces in a strange new place. It stinks of foreshadowing and negative times ahead, but I will pretend I don't know that and simply enjoy how lovely this scene was.
HELENA TSK TSK. If Venn finds out that you're bringing a good-looking young man along with you, things will not go well. Plot bunnies and strange theories have just popped up now, leaving me to wonder if Kendrick might end up being responsible for Helena and Venn's downfall...
Uh oh, Edeline's letter, though offering something kind, worries me. Rowena isn't going to take it well, and I imagine she'll refuse to cooperate with Edeline, right? (Rhetorical question, don't answer!)
Orange blossoms again -- had to point it out, sorry. I love the time you spend to insist on all aspects of a medieval wedding, and the fact that Helena goes against tradition by wearing white, which is traditional for us. Also, adding this now that I've gotten to the bottom of your author's note, the fact that even the flowers are significant to the story -- you spoke about my French, but this dedication to an entire new level.
Aha, so Helena is planning on going against her mother's will in terms of location. I like that she doesn't want to get married at Hogwarts, for some reason it doesn't seem for an appropriate venue for such an event. Plus Salazar has his basilisk there, which is definitely not a good idea. Though of course, no one knows that, and Edeline's arguments make sense. I wonder what Venn will think though, because he knows about Salazar's new pet.
I've been liking your characters so much that I'd forgotten that Helena was, in fact, quite vain, so thank you for the reminder. Your characters' flaws are what make them so believable.
Helena suddenly felt very claustrophobic. Edeline acted as if planning the wedding was a chore, when in reality Helena had dreamed of the day for years and years. Now that she finally had a face for her perfect groom, she was more excited than ever, even with the misery of her relationship with her mother clouding it slightly.
With this, you have Helena entirely. I adore her reaction and slight rejection of conventions so much. It makes her entirely different from the average wealthy noble, which is a wonderfully refreshing take, and right now, I could lean through the screen and give her a hug. For some reason, I feel like there's something slightly off with Edeline. Is she offering to help Helena in order to undermine Rowena? Possibly?
ANOTHER SQUEE-WORTHY MOMENT. Venn's gift to Helena is so original and yet so perfect and fitting for the relationship you've been building since the beginning. I think I'll hug you as well. &hearts
Venn stays dreadfully prosaic though, I wish he could step out of the boundaries a little too... His verdict is a little sad, I've got to say, and I regret the fact that he puts all his trust in his mother when she's precisely the one advocating the wrong way around.
I smell more foreshadowing there. Will Helena's marriage truly be boring though? I've got a nagging feeling that she won't have a chance to live until the boredom she's predicted herself. Her last thoughts, in today's post 1968 society, with women's independence, made my hair stand on edge. IN principle, I agree with it, but I wish believes in didn't sound as much like blindly obeys and follows.
This was a brilliant chapter, and I can't wait for the next one! &hearts
Author's Response: Hi Val! I'm sorry this response took a little longer than normal. I was very happy to see you christen this brand new chapter with its first review :D
I know people had been wanting a Witter/Helena scene, and I just love Witter, so I couldn't resist. He's like the warm little center of the Ravenclaw family, keeping Rowena and her daughter from constantly being at each other's throats. I feel like it would be a tough time for him as a father, preparing to lose his only daughter (and only child), so I think he would want to try to give her something to remind her of home and ensure she's well taken care of in her new life. But yes, will she even get to experience it?
As for Rowena--keep an eye on her.
The bit about Kendrick being handsome is just another way of showing that Helena isn't really mature enough to be anyone's wife. She's so interested in the fairytale and the perfect wedding that I don't think she really thought about what marriage would be like--until this chapter, at least.
Fun fact--I didn't look up the flower meanings until I finished the chapter. I literally chose them based on color alone. Freaky, right?
I think Venn thinks that he can somehow convince Salazar to get rid of his new pet before the wedding, so that all will be well and normal and Hogwarts will be the idyllic Founders' offspring wedding location it was meant to be. Between the details of his inheritance and events we'll return to in the next chapter, he has a lot on his plate, a little too much to be bothered by Helena's whining about the wedding. On the one hand, I totally think he should just become Prince Charming and stand up for her. On the other hand, I can kind of see his point--it's just a wedding. For Helena, though, it's yet another chance to go against the grain and act like her own person.
I chose the word 'claustrophobic' to describe Helena here on purpose. I picture her as having rushed into this fantastical romance against her better judgment, and now she's scared that she might have gotten in over her head. She just wants it all to work out okay.
Aww! -hugs- I'm glad you like the gift. I wanted to show that he has been listening to her, and more than that, he's been falling in love with her more than she really realized. But yes, he can only possess so much reckless abandon. He's not *quite* her perfect match.
Helena is forcing herself to settle quite uncomfortably into this role of a wife, someone who respects her husband's wishes. She's trying to be content with what she has. Wonder how long that will last... ?
Thanks for your fabulous review, as always :)