I saw that youíd just posted any new chapter and I metaphorically ran over here!
Seriously how do you make things which are generally classed as boring things such as cleaning and preparing the castle for the wedding sound interesting? I was drawn in by the first paragraph and I donít think itís ever been like that before. Itís a talent you should be proud of, Amanda :)
So thereís still a certain level of animosity between Helena and Rowena then? Even though Iím sad for them to be like that, I did like the fact that Witter got to make a bigger appearance because of it, and I always enjoy it when he appears. One thing I did notice in this chapter is that Helenaís stubborn nature was becoming more apparent due to her insistence that her mother came, and then with her mother being ill it can only mean one thing. The big scene which Iím sort of eagerly anticipating and dreading is getting even closer.
I see what you did with the locket! As Venn is a Selwyn, Umbridge was partially right, as she mentioned it being a Selwyn locket and how she was related to them. That was very sneaky, Amanda, as I wasnít even guessing one it was going to appear. Perhaps Gryffindorís sword and Hufflepuffís cup will also make an appearance, as the Diadem made a brief cameo just then, too. I liked how you weaved the reasoning for it being there into the story, and I can guess what happens to it after the wedding.
I was beginning to wonder when the cracks would emerge even more between Helena and Venn and they just did. There were two divisions you brought up there and they were both really effective. The first being the more obvious one of how they both view the importance very differently. Then the second one being how Venn views women as inferior to men, with that remark about how the land would be his and she neednít interfere with his affairs. Iím really enjoying the subtle hints, because theyíre gradually showing me how Venn and Helena seriously misjudged the other.
Everything really is beginning to escalate now, with Salazar being asked to step down. That scene was really well done, and both Godric and Salazar were perfectly in character. Iím not sure if Iíve said this before, but Iíll say it now, Iím really impressed with the balance youíve managed to maintain between the younger generation and the Founders, as itís made the story really interesting on the whole yet kept it focused on Helena and Venn.
I think Helenaís beginning to realise her doubts about the marriage with the last-minute dress change. Either way, it shows what a good nature Helena has deep down with the way she does want the less well-off people to feel envious of her. Then the ending scene with Rowena was wonderful, even though there was a little bit of bitterness lurking the background I think it was more disappointment in how she couldnít save her daughter.
That was another fantastic chapter Amanda! I really donít want this story to come to an end, as I really have grown to love it and itís one of, or if not, the best Founders story Iíve come across. I have a little more free time at the moment so I should be heading over to Post Scriptum more often :D
Author's Response: Yay, first review on a brand new chapter -does the dance of joy-
I thought it would be cool to open this chapter from the servants' point of view and show how much work went into planning the engagement party. Too bad it didn't go well...
Yeah, Helena is really self-absorbed in this chapter, which I hope you can see replicated in what we know about how she ends up. First she decides that her mother is just faking being sick to be difficult, and then she delays the wedding on purpose to teach her groom a lesson and avoid having to face up to her commitment (which Rowena tried to warn her about). She won't just get to carry on this way forever, as you'll see in the near future.
The necklace and diadem are both symbols of the fact that Venn and Helena have heavy burdens to bear in their life as husband and wife, not only in terms of the problems between them but also the responsibilities that come with being rulers and close relatives of the Founders. Both of them suddenly seem turned off by the objects they previously desired, but they can't quite explain why.
I think the honeymoon is wearing off for Venn and Helena, so to speak. They're actually getting to know one another and their love isn't enough to outweigh the nasty little secrets each of them is starting to uncover. You brought up some great points about Venn, and I think Helena, too, has some faults--for instance, she ran out on her own party, humiliating her hosts and father, instead of trying to resolve the argument or put it aside for a more private discussion. It shows that they are both selfish and juvenile and not really ready for such a commitment.
Thanks for your comment on the balance! Several reviewers had pointed out previously that Godric had not had much of a say in things so far, and I agreed that he deserved more of a strong personality, so I tried to give him some of the spotlight in this chapter (if only briefly). I hope it's clear that he has been paying attention to the strange way Salazar's been acting and that he does feel the need to take a stand for the good of the school.
Well, Helena does seem to care a lot for the people in her kingdom, but I really think her motivation with changing the dress is more selfish than that. She just needed a legitimate-sounding reason to do it, you know? As for Rowena, her pneumonia here is related to her time spent out in foul weather back in chapter twelve. If only she hadn't shut herself away, Helena might have realized she was actually ill.
Thank you for another fantastic review :)