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Review:800 words of heaven says:

I really liked the sound of the summary, so I thought I'd give this a try!

Ooh! I love the way you've opened this. It really shows us something about Tom's character. Here he is, pondering this old artefact, trying to work out what it is, and how he can use it to further his own interests, and here are two of his year-mates, acting like seventeen-year-olds with normal relationships! I just love the way he treats them - he knows just how much he needs to do to make them leave him alone, but still maintain his power over them.

I actually like the way Tom thinks. There's clarity of thought, and a purpose to them, which is really appealing to me. And I like how he notices what goes on around him - he's never fully immersed in something, but always kind of keeps a watchful eye about.

Oh! That was a really amazing school song! I've always wanted to write one, but I don't know what to write, let alone make sure it rhymes. You've done so well with this! I am envious of your mad rhyming skillz!

The description of Tom's sorting is also very telling, in my opinion. You've shown through the Hat's reactions to Tom, that it somehow knew what was going on in that brilliant, evil mind of his, and almost as if it were in danger if it kept contact with him too long. The hat's always creeped me out a little, so it's nice to see it get its comeuppance, for once! And if it's at the hands of Tom Riddle, even better!

Oh! I think I kind of get it now! Are you saying that the Hat was his inspiration for Horcruxes and all the evil they could achieve? That's actually such a good idea! I used to think that the Hat actually was a Horcrux at one point, because it thought for itself, read people's minds, and was super creepy... kind of similar to what Tom's thinking now.

It's funny to hear that Dippet avoided Myrtle's toilet, considering it was a girls' toilet in the first place. That little line made me chuckle, even if I wasn't supposed to. Then I laughed harder about the Hat and the girl's underwear. He might have been a bit of an average headmaster, but I think he really understands the mind of your average Hogwarts student!

I keep saying this, but I really love the way you've shown Tom in this. I can understand his connection to the Chamber of Secrets. It's one of the few emotional connections he has, I think, along with Hogwarts. And his fear of death also makes sense in the context you've given it.

I love the relationship between the Hat and Tom! It's full of this snarky humour, and lightning wit and intelligence, yet has a malevolent undercurrent to it. It's just such a pleasure to read!

Whilst I was reading Slytherin and Gryffindor's story, I couldn't help but drawing parallels to James and Sirius' relationship. Obviously, we know that Sirius didn't betray the Potters, but when everyone still thought he was a baddie, and they'd reminisce about how close Sirius and James were at school... perhaps it's just the relationship dynamic, at least when Slytherin and Gryffindor got along, that struck me as similar.

I really liked that you gave a reason for Slytherin being so set on the preservation of blood purity. It's partly because he's stubborn, partly because that's what he's been brought up to believe, but also partly because he watched the witch trials, and they scared him. I really liked that about Slytherin, that there was quite a valid reason why he was so mistrustful of those who weren't pureblood.

Oh! The Hat's a Horcrux! But I think it's not a Horcrux in the same way Voldemort's Horcruxes were. The two Horcruxes are of quite different types, I reckon, like the intent with which they were made, makes all the difference. Gryffindor's is borne out of love, whilst Voldemort's are borne of fear.

So, overall, this was an amazing story. My favourite part was the fact that it was a story within a story. I think I was more emotionally invested in Slytherin and Gryffindor's tale, than the almost trivial tribulations of a young Tom Riddle trying to figure out how to make a Horcrux, in comparison. However, that being said, I thought it was very clever how you used Slytherin and Gryffindor's story as a plot device for the main one! Awesome job!

Author's Response: Hello! :) I'm glad you decided to check out this story!

I'm glad you liked Tom, and noticed the contrast between him and his friends. He's so creepy, eh? While they're quite normal, rude Slytherins he already knows he's above them. He knows exactly how to treat them and maintain his power. I'm glad you liked the way he notices everything.

Haha, I'm very pleased you liked the song! It might not have been completely necessary for the story, but I just couldn't leave it out, it was so fun to write! :)

I really enjoy your analysis of his sorting! You're right, the hat seems to sense his evil and wanted to minimize contact. Haha, the hat is a little creepy, isn't it? I'm glad you think the idea of a hat being a Horcrux is believable, it actually made a lot of sense to me and I'm pleased you noticed that too!

The bits with Dippet were supposed to be a little humour into an otherwise rather dark story, so I'm glad you enjoyed them! You're right, he does understand the students, and seems to know not to mess with them.

I'm very glad you like Tom and the Hat as characters in their own right, and the banter between them. Both are a little malicious in their own ways.

That's a great parallel with James and Sirius, I didn't even think of that! They were so close, and then broken apart by death/betrayal, even if it wasn't their fault. I'm glad you liked the story of the Founders and thought Slytherin's hatred was valid.

Yes, you're exactly right about Horcruxes, at least in my interpretation. Gryffindor's was a mistake and penance of a sort, while Voldy's were from fear and greed.

Thank you for this brilliant review! It was a story in a story, which I loved writing, and I'm so pleased you liked the tale of the Founders and were invested in it. This was so thoughtful and lovely to read, thank you! :D

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