|Review:||Violet Gryfindor says:|
There's a lot to this chapter, and while reading I found myself wishing that you'd included Slytherin's chapter sooner because there's just so much here to deal with. His backstory is probably the most complicated of the four founders, certainly the most conflicted. I was fascinated by the relationship between him and Maeve even while I was anticipating its inevitably sad end. The idea that Slytherin was engaged to a Muggle and had struggled to gain her love is wonderfully creative and adds a new facet to Slytherin's characterization - he's not just a straightforward pureblooded Muggle-hater. There has to be something more to it like this that precipitates his breaking from the other Founders, too. You've found a way of filling in that gap in wizarding history, and it's very effective.
It had to be something abrupt like this that brought on its end, and the fact that it was over a green snake was absolutely perfect. That was really well done! However, I wish that the chapter as a whole, detailing their relationship as it did, had been drawn out more. Time passed so quickly that it's difficult to properly understand Maeve's character and Slytherin's motivations. You give an idea that Maeve doesn't comprehend how magic works and where it comes from, but it still seems strange that Slytherin talking to the snake disturbs her to such a degree - was her love just that fragile and shallow, despite her claims earlier in the chapter that she now trusted and loved him? Is it because his ability to speak to snakes makes them not the same (as she also claimed at an earlier point)? Why does she turn on him in that way, so completely? I can't blame Slytherin for overreacting like he did, not if Maeve's love proved so fickle.
This chapter contains strong scenes like the one with the snake and the one between the Founders as they discussed the school's progress and further development. You write the four of them together so well, and it's great to see how these aspects of Hogwarts developed slowly through trial and error. You take into account things that most authors would forget, yet the way that classes are taught and the organization of those classes is hugely important. I love seeing those kind of practical considerations - they make the story feel that much more realistic.
The one thing I think could be improved upon with this chapter is that, especially in the first half and at the very end, you include a lot of telling. You cover a considerable amount of material in a single chapter, and it's rather overwhelming. It would help if you divided the scenes more, especially those between Slytherin and Maeve - it's a significant aspect of the narrative, and right now, it feels rushed. The different times they meet blur together too easily, and while there are important markers of the growing tension between Slytherin and Maeve in their dialogue, the narration doesn't do enough to support it. The narration in the scene with the snake did a lot more to enhance the dialogue and bring out the characters' emotions, whereas when Maeve asks to learn magic - a very important scene - the narration isn't as effective. I hope that this critique is helpful to you in some way.
It was great to have the chance to read another chapter of this story! It's fun to follow along with your interpretation of the Founders! :D
Author's Response: Hi!
I'm glad you like the story of Salazar and Maeve, their abrupt ending, and the deeper aspect of Salazar's personality. I agree, it would be nice to have included more about him earlier on, but I think the previous chapters worked best as told by their respective narrators, so Slytherin came fourth, unfortunately. Maybe I will try to include some facet of their relationship as seen by one of the other Founders, in an earlier chapter, when I edit.
I will also make sure to include more about Maeve in this chapter - now that I look back at it, as you mentioned in your last paragraph, she only has a couple of scenes. To be honest, my intention in writing this was a kind of love-blinded Salazar who doesn't really consider everything he should - and for that reason didn't see how shallow Maeve is. I will try to make that clearer, thanks for pointing it out :)
I'm so glad that you liked the slow development of Hogwarts, the trial and error of classes. I was really hoping the practical and relatively uneventful things like that wouldn't bog the story down, so this is really great to hear.
Thanks for your review!