OMG I CAN'T BELIEVE THIS IS FINISHED!! SO MANY FEELS!! ASDFGHJKL;
Well, I really loved this chapter. It was very bittersweet and I am glad it ended on a hopeful note. I have to say, you really have grown as a writer in the course of this story, so congratulations =)
I think both Helga and Salazar are written beautifully and realistically, and their relationship has been a great pleasure (and sometimes pain - heartache kind) to read. Godric and Rowena were also written very well, and I loved your portrayal of the four founders and their relations.
This chapter tied all the loose ends very nicely. I am glad Salazar came back though it was sad to see the way he acted around Helga. The gradual passing of seasons was also efficiently done and your descriptions were truly magical, especially of Helga's turmoil. My favourite line was: "I would no longer be Helga then, but simply a churning mass of grief and tenderness, longing and bitterness, all housed in the body of a stranger." I think you've described the pain of a broken heart very well here, of the struggle of not being able to talk about it too.
Then, I loved the letter Salazar wrote. It suited the personality you've carved for him in this story, and it made me want to smile and tear up at the same time. He really has grown as a character too. I just wanted to hug Helga then and later hug Salazar too (though he wouldn't have appreciated it xP). And Helga's response to it was also very believable. I am glad it somewhat bridged the distance between them.
The childbirth scene was also nicely done - Godric's reactions were perfect. I also liked the little interaction Salazar and Helga had, and then of course the ending brought it all together so sweetly - so great job!
All in all, I loved this chapter. I think it was perfect to end the story with it. The entire story of course was amazing and I loved every bit of it. I hope you write a sequel as I'll be more than delighted to read it.
Truly speaking, this is one of the best stories I've read on HPFF. Congrats on writing something so wonderful once again and seeing it through until the end =)
I'll be back to check out your author's page from time to time as you've become one of my favourite authors and I'd love to read more from you!
*bids adieu to Down Comes The Night*
If it wasn't emphasised enough, I want to say it once again, I loved this story and found it simply beautiful. Great job!
Author's Response: I've been really struggling to find an adequate way to respond to this wonderful review, AD. I just...I don't even know what to say except thank you so much for your support and encouragement throughout the process of writing Down Comes the Night. You were one of the readers that kept me inspired and kept me going to the end! Honestly, I'm not sure I could have finished it without you! I know it's been a really long time, but I'm going to try and give you the response you deserve.
I"m so glad you felt both the good and the bad of Helgazar. They have so much potential to be a great couple, and yet there is just so much in their way. Although, many of their problems are brought on by their own stubbornness, I think. They just aren't ready to commit to each other and all the baggage it would entail. I knew it would end this way, but it was surprisingly sad to write it! I was glad to see people rooting for them, and there just might be hope for them in future stories (or not? Haha, time will tell!)
I'm so happy that you enjoyed the descriptions, especially in that section that showed the passing of months. I've been working really hard on that kind of thing over the course of this story, and I feel like I've improved a lot. It means so much that you think so too! I definitely look at this story as sort of a writing journey--reading it from beginning to end shows how far I've come as a writer over the past couple of years.
The letter was my favorite thing to write in the entire chapter. I knew Salazar would be much more expressive in an indirect way, such as a letter. And I really wanted the readers to be able to see what was really going on in his head, and his heart (and to give him a chance to show off his romantic side.) So a letter seemed like the best way to do it. Ugh, I was so tempted to use it as a way to get them back together immediately! Haha, I had to really force myself to end the story the way I felt it should end, because I hated to cause these characters pain. It's funny how that happens. I didn't really believe people who say they are so attached to their characters that it's hard to put them through tough situations. Now I totally get it.
The birth scene was unexpected! I wasn't sure how to end the story, and I hadn't intended for the Gryffindor baby to make an appearance. But the arrival of a new life seemed like a great way to show hope for the future, so I decided to include it. I'm glad I did, and I'm so glad you liked it! I'm already planning adventures for the Gryffindor boys to have in the castle :)
Oh goodness, I wish I could thank you enough for all your support, AD. It means the world to me that you followed DCtN all the way to its end, even though it took me forever to get there. I just love you! You're the best! *hugs*