Really enjoyed this story. The plot was very good, and the wording was superb.Author's Response: Thank you very kindly for the nice review. Report Review
Wow, for a one-shot this story is certainly chalk full of detail and emotion. I absolutely loved it!
I appreciated your vast vocabulary and command of the English language. You appear to be quite the linguist.
I liked the beginning especially. When Godric is trying to find Salazar, I found it believable that Slytherin would put up all those barriers simply for his privacy.
I just don't know how Godric ever would have found him. Correct me, if I'm wrong, but I thought it was said that none of the founders saw Salazar after he left the school?
That being said, this was still a very interesting piece. I absolutely adore Helga/Salazar so this piece intrigued me. It makes me wonder why Salazar even liked her in the first place - if he has so much contempt for her after all those years simply because she was a half-blood.
As for the characters, though, what we see of them - well, I've found that they were spot on. Godric and Salazar especially. I liked how even all those years later they still bicker like they did when they were younger. There are some rifts beyond repair.
As far as spelling, grammar, and syntax go; I didn't stumble upon any glaringly obvious errors.
This piece seems quite polished, and it was very well written. So kudos there!
I really don't have any criticisms aside from the fact that Godric probably hadn't seen Salazar after he walked out, but this was a good supposition of something that might have happened had he actually seen him again.
LindersAuthor's Response: Thanks for the nice review. As a matter of fact, I was a French language major, with a minor in linguistics, so that might account for the vocabulary. I also read lots, although my wife reads much more than I do.
Yeah, this story wasn't really meant to be canon, more a "what if?" I find that most of my stories fall into the not-quite-canon, so I don't usually list them as canon.
What I always pictured from the two was a grudging admiration from Salazar at her skills. I picture his prejudices getting worse as the years went on and that's why he left. As to why they hooked up...I picture it just happening, as it sometimes does in real life. I also pictured their son as a bit of a 'miracle baby.' It's not uncommon now for women to have babies into their 30s and 40s, but in the tenth and eleventh century, it had to be uncommon, even for witches, I imagine.
I'm glad that you liked the characterizations, they're something that I really try to have true to the canonical characters when I write. The barriers are really metaphors for Salazar's isolation (sorry, hope that doesn't ruin it.) So I'm also glad you enjoyed that part.
I'm also glad there weren't any grammatical or spelling errors, as I pride myself on my technical writing and this piece is unbetaed.
Thanks so much for the review. I thought you might like this since it was on your like list.
:) Report Review
A very interesting piece. I liked that Godric went back to ask Salazar to come back. Even if Helga asked for it (I suspect), the moment must have been sad for Godric as well. I always imagined that in the end they would put aside their differences. However, that does not seem likely. Old wounds sting forever.
I am impressed by your vocabulary, even though I had to search the dictionary for some of them. But that may be caused by the fact that English is not my mother language, so it's mostly my problem.
Congratulations!!Author's Response: Sorry you had to search the dictionary for some of the words. I was trying to write in a Poe-esque way and that accounts for some of it.
I'm glad you enjoyed this story as much as I enjoyed writing it.
As for Godric and Helga. I think Godric and Helga both knew that Salazar wouldn't come back, but Helga had that hope that he would come back for their son. At the end, Salazar did recognise his heir, but did he do it because he would have been heirless or because he felt familial love? I left it up to the reader.
I think Godric always felt for Salazar, much like a religious man feels for an Apostate. Report Review
interesting story, very nicely writtenAuthor's Response: Thank you so much for your kind words. Report Review
This is the first Founders Era piece that I ever read. And now I have to write one for a challenge, so I'm glad I have something to base it on.
This is wonderful little one-shot. You got a lot of story into a relatively short oneshot, and that takes talent. You gave us background without having to tell the whole story. And I didn't see any major grammar things, but I have to admit I wasn't looking.
Playing review tag, hope to see you there!Author's Response: Thank you very much for the review. All reviews are precious.
I'm glad I gave you some inspiration for your challenge, however small.
I think a lot of people overlook how hard it can be to write a coherent one-shot that tells a story and gives a backstory at the same time. This is something that I've been working on. Now, if I can just apply the same discipline to my two novels and my novella in progress.
I must admit that I hadn't seriously considered writing about the Founders until I had to for a drabble challenge. When I had finished that, I had people tell me that I should write the Founders, so when the staff challenge came up, I had some inspiration for it.
I really enjoyed reading this. All the historical accuracies in this make me love it! The characterizations and descriptions feel right, and I think the situation you set up with Helga/Salazar is intriguing. He broke his own rules. I didn't expect him to acknowledge his son, but I knew he would have to if this was going to stay canon. This has a very Arthurian feel to it, and I think all good Founders stories should have at least a hint of that in there. You should totally go write and publish some historical fiction! :)Author's Response: The Arthurian touch was very, very deliberate, but I also made it subtle (I thought) so that you'd only see it if you knew a lot about Athurian tales or were looking for it. I tried to make it period, and I'm happy you think I suceeded.
I might just write about Helga and Sal's encounter to show that Mordaut was a bit of a 'miracle baby' from late in life.
I won't write historical fiction for one reason: I can't imagine doing all the research needed to make sure a piece was accurate and avoided anachronisms.
I tried to present Sal as a conflicted character with deeply rooted beliefs, but also who wanted his name to continue regardless of the cost of purity.
Thank you again for your very nice review. I'm blushing.
Wow, this was truly a great story!!! I enjoyed it emmensly! I've never read a story set in the Founders year but I'm glad this was my first! It has a fantastic plot, and it's written really, really well. The characters are so believable as is what happened to them in the story as well. I thought it was really cool at the end with the locket! It was really clever! You're really good and I hope to read more from you!
Clair :DAuthor's Response: Wow! Thank you so very much for your kind words. I'm so happy that mine was one of the first Founder's fics that you've read.
Characterisation is very important to me, so I'm glad that you enjoyed how the characters interacted.
You've made my day with your very kind review. Report Review
I liked it but Slytherins descendents are half Hufflepuffs?Author's Response: Yes, in this story they would be...and of partially half-blood descent as well. This would even further horrify the already half-blooded Tom Riddle.
Thanks so much for the review. Report Review
its ok just it is a new concept i have readAuthor's Response: Thanks for the review.
I seriously don't think helga should go with slytherin. That's just my thought and helga shouldnt be old. Other than that it was good.Author's Response: Well, I was tired of reading Salazar/Rowena ships and wanted something different.
As for Helga being old. This was circa 1070 A.D. Let's say she had Mordaut when she was thirty, which would be quite late for the time period, even with witches living longer than Muggles. That would make her about 47 at the end of the story with Mordaut being about 17. For the time period that was ancient, when life expectancies were in the late twenties or thirties.
I think that she was even older than that and used magic to conceive her baby (Mordaut) by Salazar. Report Review
First of all, I have to comment on the banner. It's a lovely banner, but Sean Connery is a particularly nice choice for Gryffindor. (I assume that's Gryffindor.)
Ah, the vorpal blade. Great reference
l love the wyrms as servants. It is a touch that is absolutely in character. Of course, Slytherin, master of serpents, would be be served by enchanted serpents.
Indeed, your description of Slytherin's abode was beautifully thought out. It reminded me a bit of the architecture of Mordor. (It's been too long for me to think of a specific building.) Not Isengard -- this place, with its sulphur moat, seems much nastier.
"I would never lie with a Half-blood like Helga!["] -- isn't that what they all say/
I liked the scene a great deal. I found it very moving. I did wonder why, if he had such detestation of half-bloods, Slytherin ever went into partnership with Hufflepuff (and their colleagues) in the first place. But really like scenes that dray you in so much you have to analyze them.
Um, speaking as the mother of a kid in his mid-20s: Mordaut, in his last year at Hogarts, should be about 18. Just how far over the hill is Helga supposed to be? Just asking.
That disclaimer aside, I lthought the scene between Helga and her son was a lovely finish. It was all the more effective with Salazar offstage.
As I mentioned in my PM, I enjoyed this story a great deal.Author's Response: With Helga and Mordaut, I figured he was a 'miracle' baby from when Helga was about 40, very much a miracle in those days. Even if wizards and witches live longer lives than Muggles, she would still be in her mid to late 50's at the end of the story. Not old by today's standards, but ancient by the standards circa 1070. This would slightly push back the timeline of the school's founding, but not so much as to make it unviable. Alternately, she could have used magical means to ensure a baby ("get with child a mandrake root" from John Donne's poem 'Catch a Falling Star').
I actually meant Sean Connery as Slytherin...I think he should look just a bit more dissipated and perhaps 'evil Jedi,' but I'm happy with the banner.
I'm so happy that you liked this story as your opinion means a lot to me. Thank you for your comments especially on the little epilogue. I thought it had to happen with Salazar off-stage. It would have been different with Mordaut and Helga bedside to receive his birthright.
I've always wondered why Slytherin started Hogwarts with the others. He must have started the main part of his pure-blood mania after the school started with just hints of it before. I don't have a good feel for his character at the actual time of founding, but this scene from after his departure feels right to me.
Of course, Sal would have serpents as servants, and I pictured a wyrm, with vestigial legs and a basic intelligence. Could be natural or a result of Sal's experimentation... Report Review
Brilliant! This is the first founders story I've ever read and I loved it!Author's Response: Thank you very much, I'm glad you enjoyed it. A good friend of mine told me that I should write a Founder's piece, so I took up the Staff Challenge. Report Review
An enjoyable read, very discriptive, especially when showing Slytherins tower. Where did the inspiration for the name 'Mordaut' come from?Author's Response: Mordaut is another name for 'Mordred'. All of the kids have Arthurian names. Ambrosius is another form of Merlin.
Thank you for the compliment and the review. I'm glad that you liked the descriptions, since that's something I've been working on writing better.
:) Report Review
Have you ever read anything by Piers Anthony? I'm thinking of his Xanth series in particular. The way Godric had to make his way through some unpleasant challenges to finally access Salazar's tower put me in mind of similar situations faced by characters in Xanth. Only in general, of course; the facing challenges to gain entry to a castle storyline isn't exactly rare.
I really enjoyed the nasty little things you included that underlined a certain unpleasant something in Slytherin's psyche: the Venemous Tentacula, the attacking plants, the pointy fingernails, and of course, the abode being in a stinking swamp. You really made the setting come to life. The descriptions almost made my skin crawl with expecting something slimy to drop from a tree and slither down the back of my neck any moment.
What you did with Salazar's character was really interesting. One one hand, he was this creepy, disgusting, scary, disturbing individual. He seemed quite unbalanced, really. On the other hand, he was a bitter and almost pathetic person. It was hard to feel badly for him, but I couldn't completely turn away and reject him for being evil and nasty and unpleasant either. Does that make sense? He was a well-rounded character, not one-dimensional at all. (I don't mean he was a well-rounded person; I mean that as a character, you fleshed him out and made him complex.)
I liked the way Godric turned around and left without making a big dramatic scene, just leaving Salazar to rot in his swamp and stew in his hate. However, it was really nice that you ended this on a hopeful note. Godric obviously left Salazar with some thoughts to mull over. And let's face it, what else does he have to do there in that swamp?
My immediate reaction when you swiched POVs at the end was a resounding NO! You did such a good job with Salazar and Godric that I didn't want you to move away from them. The transition jarred me a little, but on further consideration, I believe that you did conclude the Godric & Salazar storyline adequately, and there's no way to really ease into the bit about Mordaut. In other words, the transition there isn't as jarring as my first impression made it seem.
The ending really intrigued me, slightly more so than the rest of the story. For one, as I said, it was nice to end on a hopeful note. You gave Salazar the opportunity to redeem himself, at least to a certain degree. And in a way, Salazar did return to Hogwarts symbolically: he sent his locket and recognition. Interesting, and rather deep.
This story really deserved to be one of the winners for this challenge. I think it's excellent.Author's Response: First of all, thanks for the review and the CC. I'm blushing a bit with your praise. I honestly feel that 'Ashes' for the first challenge was a better written piece, but this piece seems to capture people's attention.
With the ending, I had to switch POV to really show the impact. My thought was that the only reason Salazar finally recognised Mordaut as his heir was so that the line of Slytherin didn't die out. It was almost purely selfish (almost).
I'm glad that you thought I rounded out Sal's character. I wanted to show he'd slipped into the Dark Arts, so I borrowed a bit from Star Wars and made him a bit 'Dark Jedi'. But, I didn't want him to be completely unredeemable, hence his still human emotional reactions.
I have read Piers Anthony, but it's been almost 15 years since I read anything. I enjoyed the 'Adept' series and the first few Xanth novels, but I felt he ran out of steam after that. If I could write like anyone, it would be Terry Pratchett, which isn't so far off from Piers Anthony. The real reason for the journey by Godric is to show how far that Salazar has separated himself from wizard society.
Yeah, I don't know if I did a good enough job showing Godric's disappointment, not just in Sal not coming back, but also in his refusal to acknowledge his son. It would have only come to blows if Sal had kept poking at Godric. I couldn't see Godric making a bigger scene. Emotions and descriptions are my biggest challenges right now in my writing development, so I'm happy you thought I got some of it right.
I'm so happy for your review. You always have great CC and that helps to make me grow as a writer. Thank you sincerely. Report Review
This was pretty interesting. I liked the overall feeling to it. The violence seemed a little overdone. For example, I don't know how necessary it was for the snake to be beheaded. I was shocked when you revealed that the mother was Hufflepuff. I always thought of Helga Hufflepuff sort of a squat, matronly figure. So, it was alright thinking of her as somebody's mother, but kind of strange to think of her as a sexual being. I also thought it was interesting that you took note of the time period and had people carrying around paintings with them. It seemed a little awkward, but I kind of liked it. Overall, I think you did a fantastic job.Author's Response: Hmm, thanks for the comment about the violence.
I didn't want to go with the standard Rowena/Salazar ship, this seemed different to me. Even motherly types are human, too as you noticed.
I really appreciate the review and CC and I'm always striving to improve. I appreciate that you took time to review and invest in CC.
This was really inventive.
Twas brillig, and the slithy toves did gyre and gimble in the wabe.Author's Response: Yes they did...also, the mome raths outgrabe.
Thank you for the nice review and I'm glad that you thought it was inventive. Report Review
As usual, your descriptions are flawless. I loved the choice to put the creature's speaking in Latin- showing just how premedieval they were. What is a wyrm, though? Is that the old word for snake?
One quick question I have is how Salazar manages to take the items from Godric without leaving his tower, especially since there's a moat between them.
I thought that the story was brilliant, and it was something that I had never seen explored before. You always do a wonderful job with descriptions and the images you paint with your words. I was left unsatisfied by the ending, though. I think one more line could have done it. It was a little bit too abrupt for me. Other than that, nice work! I wish you more reviews! :)Author's Response: A wyrm is an old word for a type of dragon. They were usually presented as a large type of snake, sometimes with vestigial limbs like I showed here. Thanks for the nod to the vulgar Latin.
The drawbridge opened, Godric was standing on it and Salazar came up to him..
"A tall, hooded figure appeared on the interior of the tower, backlit by torches. Godric crossed the drawbridge carefully, not wanting to slip off the slick surface. When he came within ten feet of the figure it spoke."
later..."Salazar strode forward and snatched the drawing from Godricâs hand."
Perhaps I'll add '...strode forward onto the drawbridge..." just to make it more clear. Thanks for point that out.
Hmm, I'll take another look at the ending. I wanted it to be abrupt, but perhaps it was too abrupt. I need to make it clear that Salazar only recognised his heir with his dying breath.
Thank you so much for taking the time to review this. I always enjoy your reviews and you help a lot with your CC.
I really enjoyed this and how you used the locket. The description in the first scene of Slytherin's tower and everything surrounding it was vivid and emphasized how much he had separated himself from everyone.
At first I thought Slytherin wouldn't acknowledge his son, but did you decide for him to acknowledge Mordaut because that's the only way Slytherin could ultimately have an heir (in order for the Chamber to be opened several centuries down the line)?
Great challenge submission!Author's Response: Yes, we knew that he had to have an heir, so I chose to have him recognise his son at the last before he passed on. I picture him as someone conflicted; he genuinely hated Muggles and Half-bloods, but he didn't want to disown his own son and he did feel something for Helga, but couldn't reconcile it with his beliefs.
Thank you for catching the reason for the opening scenes; it was precisely to show how far into isolation and Dark Arts that he had fallen. Report Review
I really enjoyed this. A very interesting read!
Only comment is that a few sentences here and there came by as rather clipped and awkward. If you know what I mean, like they came buy as too short and didn't fit in with the tempo of the piece.Author's Response: Thanks for the nice review. Hmm, I'll have to go back and look over the chapter and see what you mean about it being clipped.
Glad you enjoyed it. Report Review
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