Here for our review swap! I have been reading this story for a while so it was quite good that you offered a review swap because I always forget to review stories *guilty sigh*
Firstly, based on all of the previous chapters, I am completely in awe of your writing! It's so completely emotive and any problems your characters face, emotionally or empirical, are written so well that us readers are able to really empathize and wish, pray, beg for a solution :p
In any case though, I am here to review this chapter in it's own right :)
Firstly, you write Helga so well! Her nature is so caring and mother like and she reminds me of a younger Mcgonagall would be like, or what I have always imagined a younger version of her to be like. Also, I admire her morality and the way you write her values. Obviously they match the values of Hufflepuff house but it is always interesting to read about how those values got there :)
Slytherin is quite the character too and the scene with him and Helga in the dungeons was so well written! Aside from the fear and claustrophobia and the realistic feelings I got from the scene where Helga is trapped in the iron bars, the way Salazar handled the situation brought out his caring side. It seemed as though he opened up more now that she had seen a side of him not many had, or now that they have shared a common scary experience.
Over and above that, as I said before, you write problems very well and Godric's dilemma about bringing out the truth about his blood status was obviously something both him and Helga held important and I really felt that with your writing, well done!
All I can say is I cannot wait to carry on reading and keep up the great work!
Author's Response: Hi Bella! Thanks so much for the swap, and I'm so sorry to have taken so long responding to your wonderful review. But I'm here now, and I really really appreciate all your kind words. And don't worry about forgetting to review! Haha we're all guilty of it :)
I'm so glad you like Helga! I've grown really attached to her over the course of writing this story, and I hoped that people would love her as much as I do. I love the comparison to McGonagall...I've never heard that said about Helga before, but it makes so much sense! And yes, she does have a very strong conscience that guides her. She does her best to follow it, but sometimes it's hard for her to live up to that standard she sets for herself.
I loved writing that dungeon scene! Helga is such a free spirit, so I thought one of her greatest fears would be feeling trapped in any way. Hence the bars :) And I just loved writing their connection in that moment. You're right, the experience of shared fear did bring them closer together :)
A lot of the conflicts and problems in this story are more internal than external. I wanted this story to be character-driven above all, so most of the drama tends to unfold from the characters' own thoughts, emotions, and personal hangups. I'm glad you felt that they were well done, because I did worry about that! I hoped that being inside Helga's head would be interesting enough without adding a lot of outside happenings. Plot-driven stories aren't really my strong suit. That may be why my narrators tend to be characters that over-think, or at least tend not to be very action-oriented. And I'd say Helga fits this bill :)
Thank you for the lovely detailed review, Bella! I'm so glad we got a chance to swap!