Hello, hello - I am so so sorry it took me so long to get here - real life pounced on me and refused to give me back until a day or so ago, and I've only just really got back here. (Honestly, I really missed this story - I must catch up!)
YAY - Helgazar! :) You have no idea how happy you have made me with this. It's odd, I used to be a Salazar/Rowena fan, but the way you write Helga and, well, all of the Founders, really, is just amazing. They're so... real, and their emotions and thoughts are so realistic I just believe them and... gah, yeah you've made a Helga/Salazar shipper. Are you happy? :P But yes, I'm very glad it's got to this point!
And no, poor Salazar! I love how you connected his hatred of muggles to their deaths and his family. It's not sweet, really, more it makes sense, if that makes sense, lol. Given the events, it makes sense he would hate muggles, and it makes sense he would have/develop views like that muggle-borns aren't worthy, and muggles shouldn't be allowed inside Hogwarts. He kinda reminds me of Snape, actually, in that he hasn't let go of the past, he's still bitter and angry about it and continues taking out his anger at the past in the present. It's definitely a good thing, though - it makes him a brilliant character. He's complicated, and it's fascinating.
Helga, yeah I just love her. I love how utterly steadfast she is, that she knows he might just throw her away and hate her when he finds out she's muggle-born, but I love that she stays there all the same and she insists on trying. Also, I loved how you included that she felt pushed down by Godric and the rest, that she felt they thought she was stupid. It's something I think a lot of people can relate to, and shows such good sides to Helga and Salazar, when he says he doesn't think she's stupid and everything :)
Also, I'm not sure if I've ever mentioned this before, but the way you write this is just incredible. You manage to get a sense of the time and the era without writing in old English, and the words they say and you write seem so natural and they flow so beautifully. It's really incredible - I'm not quite sure how you do it. Your style is beautiful - perfect balance of description to action.
You have no reason to worry about anything with this chapter or the story. I'm sorry for gushing totally in this chapter, but there's really nothing I can find to criticise - the little touches of the era were great (men don't invite women into their chambers alone, for ex.), the style is still gorgeous, Helga and Salazar are just too tragically perfect and I really want them to stay together and I almost don't want to read the rest of the story (except I do) because I suspect it won't happen, because of course he leaves in canon and everything... gah, what have you done to me? :P
Seriously, though, I love this. You are amazing.
p.s. if you do not request within a week, I'll review anyway - I can't wait that much longer to find out what happens! :)
Author's Response: APH. You're back! I totally understand RL snatching you up; it's currently doing the same to me. But I'm so glad you're here, and that you enjoyed the chapter *hugs*
Mwahaha, another Helgazar convert! Yay! I really saw them as being similar (or at least compatible) in many ways personality-wise, but their motivations for their students are so radically different that it's hard for a lot of people to see them getting along. Let alone in a relationship :P But I'm so, so happy that my take on it feels real to you.
I have been really worried that Salazar was going to turn out wrong. I had this idea of how I wanted him to come off, and from what you've said, it sounds like I've done okay in painting him as the troubled, bitter man that I see in my head. He does have some similarities to Snape, doesn't he? I had never thought about it before, but you're not the first person to say it, and it makes a lot of sense. I just hope I've been able to make him distinctive as well. And of course you know how much love I have for Helga. I'm so happy you've seen her steadfastness (that's a perfect word, I think). She sees a need in Salazar and cares about him, so she's going to try and help him the best way she knows how. (And they get to be all romantic and stuff--an added bonus :D )
Wow, what a wonderful thing to say about the style! I've really been striving for a folk-tale sort of feel, that takes readers back in time but is still accessible. I am so happy you're enjoying that aspect of this, because it's something I've worked really hard at.
You're so wonderful! Thank you so much for all your kind words, and I will head over to re-request very soon! And I really do hope that you keep enjoying the rest of the story; I won't give any hints about what's to come, but you'll get there soon :) Thank you so much for this amazing review, Aph! I am over the moon!