Hey there - so glad to see you re-request for this! I really am enjoying this story! Expect a favourite winging its way towards you soon enough ;)
As I said before, I love your characters. I think they're all so brilliant. They're all definitely flawed, with their own qualities and faults, but they feel so real whenever I read them and it's so nice :) Helga is so great - I love how you mentioned her intention to teach any student, no matter what qualities they possessed, and transferred that to a call for unity in Hogwarts and no houses. It seems perfectly logical, you know, and yet, like her, I can understand why the other three don't want to abolish the houses. It's not that they're too stupid to see it, they just see things differently.
Elaine and Rowena are wonderful, wonderful characters too. I loved the discussion about motherhood they had - when Rowena was smiling wistfully at Gareth - and the references to Helga and Rowena feeling like old maids and unloved at nineteen and twenty-one. Again, a really nice historical reference slipped in so well ;) Rowena was so good, though - it reminded me of Helena and Rowena's desperation to bring her daughter home before she died, and Helga's own want of a child (Salazar's child!) was a nice characterisation as well. Plus, it did make me curious about what happens vis-a-vis the continuation of Slytherin and Hufflepuffs' lines, both of which we know survive down to Tom Riddle's era ;) little Helgazar babies... even Salazar, I think, would smile at that.
This chapter is, I think, noticeably slower than the previous one, but I wouldn't say it drags, as such. It's more based on character development than plot, which is why it feels slower, but important stuff still happens in it - like the meeting, particularly - and Helga's failed decision to tell Salazar. I wouldn't worry about it, tbh. It's not slow enough that you'd need to cut anything out, I don't think, and even if you did, I'm not totally sure what you would cut out O.o
Plot-wise, I loved how you included the meeting where Godric effectively puts forward the first mention of a need for the Sorting Hat. It's obviously something that happens before Salazar leaves, but I've never seen it included in anywhere before, so it was so nice to see! And Helga's failed confession will, I think, be important later on... perhaps... :P Also, Salazar defending her from Godric, who can be so patronising at times, was kinda sweet :)
On length... I don't think you have a problem with it. Personally, I always aim for 3-4k words in a chapter, as that seems to me to be a good length. As long as you don't go overboard and start writing 7k chapters or more, in which case for the sake of our beloved validators, I'd have to object ;)
So yeah, I love this. Helga is great, Salazar is just lovely, I feel oddly sorry for Rowena, Elaine is kinda terrifying at times, a par of me wants to slap Godric, and Gareth is the cutest thing to exist. And a favourite is coming.
Please re-request! :D
Author's Response: Hey Aph, thank you so much for coming by! I'm glad to see you're still enjoying the story, and I really appreciate your thoughtful reviews :)
I wanted to show some of the conflict the founders might have had as they discussed the future of the school. Sure they're all friends, but like you said, they see things differently. Helga is more concerned with the students emotional well being than their intellectual accomplishments, and that attitude isn't really shared by the other three. I wanted to show that neither opinion is necessarily right or wrong, and I hope I pulled it off.
That scene with the girls and Gareth is one of my favorite ones in the story. I liked sort of hinting at Rowena's hidden vulnerable side, and Elaine was fun to bring back into the fold. It kind of came as a surprise to some people that they're so young, but I did want to follow the norms of the time.
Helgazar babies! Haha, that made me laugh. I mean, who knows what could happen down the road? ;)
I'm glad you thought the length was okay, and that the pace wasn't annoyingly slow. And that last paragraph is the perfect sum-up of what I hoped people would think of these characters! Thank you again for such an amazing review, and the favorite. You made my day! I'll definitely re-request :D