Hi, there! I was excited to read another chapter of your story and this morning I found the time. I wanted to say that I enjoyed it thoroughly!
First off, I must confess that I feel a bit dim, not realizing earlier how your story was likely to tie into the story of the Pied Piper. You've actually done a brilliant job of weaving two distinct narratives together. I understand now where the inspiration comes from, but the story itself feels completely fresh and distinct. You've done a great job of taking two sources of inspiration and creating something that is uniquely your own!
You've set up a really good conflict within Marigold, one that I can see playing out in a lot of interesting ways. By emphasizing her kind nature and her love and loyalty for her father, you've made it clear that she has deep roots in Hamlin. But then you layer on her fascination -- borderline crush, I would say -- with Stephane and I can see her heart ending up torn at the very least. Her dedication to her friends adds another dimension to her dilemma. Do you mind if I speculate shamelessly for a moment? Thank you, here goes: I imagine that Stephane is going to play his flute to lure the magical children away and find himself repulsed when Trip is among those who answer the call. Poor Marigold will be caught in the middle, torn between her fascination with Stephane and the limitless possibilities he represents and her loyalty to her muggle-born friend.
I've really come to like Stephane in spite of his bigotry. His heart seems to be in the right place... mostly, anyway. It could not be easy to be the son of Salazar Slytherin, especially a grieving, embittered Salazar Slytherin who seems to blame his son, at some level, for the death of his wife. I really liked all of the color you added to the Slytherin family in this chapter.
Maybe I missed this in the last chapter, but it just hit me that we're probably looking at the first magical Potter ancestor. Clever touch! Looks like the Potters and Slytherins will have been adversaries for a long, long time.
I am really enjoying your story. It's such an original and well-executed idea! Great job!
Author's Response: Hello! :) It's wonderful to see you back!
I'm so happy to hear you liked the story, and how the two stories tie together in HP and the Pied Piper. Hearing that the story feels fresh is very high praise, thank you! I loved writing this piece and incorporating the Pied Piper into the wizarding world, though it was a little tricky at times.
I love your analysis of Marigold - she is a very conflicted character who is about to go through a great many contradictions and trauma. Her fascination with Stephane is definitely at least a crush, since he's so new and original for Hamlin. But she does have the loyalty and love for her friends, family, and her history as a citizen of Hamlin as well. You know how everything plays out by now, but I love reading your speculations!
I like Stephane too, and I'm pleased you find him likeable. Exactly, he's a fundamentally good person but his father has him thoroughly under his thumb. I hoped to make Slytherin a little more sympathetic from the exterior he exudes, but he certainly is ruled by ambition and bitterness here.
I think you're actually the first reviewer to point out the Potter connection this early in the story! :)
Thank you so much for the amazing review, and the ones following. I really appreciate hearing your thoughts on the story, and it means a lot to hear that you enjoyed it! :D