Holy crap, Rowena is evil!
Oh my god she is the mother from hell. In most Founders stories I always feel so bad for her because Helena runs off with her diadem, and this is the first one I've ever read in which I think Rowena's lucky that's all Helena took! Forcing Veritaserum on her own daughter to discover whether or not she'd promised betrothal to the Baron is an extreme step. You would have to be one cold woman to do that. And when the truth came out that Helena had merely professed a crush for the Baron - when she was thirteen years old, no less - and Rowena declared that this was binding and she had to marry the Baron, I was like WHAT?! That's so cruel! And then she hit her. All of it makes me really hate the Baron, too, for being totally okay with marrying a girl who does not love him. He deserves the chains he now wears as a ghost, that's for sure. And Rowena deserved to have that diadem stolen. I must say, I am feeling mighty indignant on Helena's behalf. I can only hope that her short time on the run was a fun one because we all know that her past will soon catch up with her.
I'd like to add that the language and descriptions you used in this one-shot were wonderfully well-suited to the time period, and they helped me immerse myself into the story immediately. And I appreciate the unexpected darker characterization of Rowena. It's different from any other portrayal I've ever read, and that makes it stand out in a really good way.
A very engaging read!
- SarahAuthor's Response: Hello Sarah!
Yes, Rowena is most definitely evil. I wanted to write a new version of why Helena would have run off with her mother's diadem, other than 'I wanted to be smarter than her' -- it was more than a little out of my comfort zone!
The Baron, well. I've read some amazing stories where I actually like him, but in my head he's always been fundamentally evil. In a way, I'm sort of happy that you feel indignant, because it's what I was aiming for.
Thank you for the lovely review Sarah! Report Review
Hi there! Well, I was just browsing through your author's page and this story immediately caught my eye! I have recently grown to love such Founders stories and was intrigued by the summary, so I came to read it, and I don't regret it at all!
This was such a well-written piece and I loved it! I think you have characterised Helena perfectly, and the whole scenario surrounding her and her mother was amazing. I loved the way you showed the events leading up to Helena's run in such a plausible way.
Baron's description was nicely done too, though brief, it showed why Helena would not marry him. I loved the little detail of a Trelawney predicting that the Baron would murder someone, and the irony of him ultimately murdering Helena (as we know).
The dialogue between Helena and Rowena was also written very well, and I loved the way you characterised Rowena - it showed the Ravenclaw spirit in her.
All in all, this was a beautifully written piece and I enjoyed every word of it. You have a great writing talent.
P.S. I also want to apologize if I hurt your feelings in my previous (requested) review on your other story when I said that I hope you respond to my review as I'd seen that you hadn't responded to the others. I never intended to be rude, and I am sorry if I was. Once again, I'd like to say, you're a really good writer - much better than I am - and I am glad you requested for reviews from me, and also that I stumbled across this wonderful story. Thanks. All my love! Happy valentines!Author's Response: You again, hooray!
This fic was one that was completely out of my comfort zone when I first got the idea for it -- I'm very happy you enjoyed it!
The Baron, ugh. He's such a vile creature in my head for some reason, when there are some stories where I adore him -- academica's Diamonds into Coal, for instance. The irony with Trelawney was one I couldn't resist, you're actually one of the few people to have picked up on that!
Thank you so much for this review :)
By the way, you honestly don't need to apologise. You weren't rude at all, I just wanted to make sure you knew I'd get back to your reviews eventually! And you're a great writer too, you know -- I loved Moments of Perfection.
Happy Valentine's to you too! Report Review
Hi there! Was just dropping by your Author Page when I saw this Founders-era one-shot and I knew I just had to read it. I have absolutely no regrets, the story is wonderful! Everything in your story is perfect. From the language the characters used to what they wore.
I found Rowena's character a bit scary, to be honest. It's a bit of an opposite from what I'm used to, but I guess mean Rowena is kind of refreshing. Me being a Slytherin, likes her being mean. I mean, there are so many stories out there that portray Salazar to be the only evil one, so yeah.
Anyway, this is a really amazing story. I'm trying so hard not to think about the sad ending Helena's actions brought upon her (and the Baron.) &heart; Wonderful job!
26th review out of 100Author's Response: You have no idea how flattered I am to read your review, seriously.
I'm so glad you found Helena scary! That was the point, as you'll probably have guessed. I find that portraying Salazar as the only evil one is a bit simple, and having quite a Slytherin streak, I completely get your point!
Thank you so much for this review :) Report Review
I really loved this story, as it provided a really nice backstory to Helena. I liked the idea of that she mistakenly promised to marry the Baron, and how that led to her stealing the diadem. It was a really nice read, and you should perhaps, maybe write a one-shot which focuses on her in Albania as this was a really enjoyable read! Kiana :)Author's Response: Hello again!
I am planning a one-shot, but it concentrates on Helena's childhood more than anything else. Her time in Albania would be something fun to write though, I'm just not sure how to pull it off!
Thank you for your review :) Report Review
Hallooo! You know why I'm here. ;3
First of all, I am pulled in right away by the introduction. I was excited to see your non-humor stories; they are so so lovely and of I was very curious about your dark/angsty writing. It's still amazing, of course.
I think you've brought a very interesting (and probably very accurately canon) light to the Grey Lady. She's always seemed the most ethereal of all the Hogwarts ghosts; a wisp of a person, less like a human being than the rest, but had a serious dark side when confronted by Harry in DH. So I love that you've given her these qualities in life as well. I feel like the wispy qualities translated to Helena even more perfectly. I've never heard of a "founders next-gen" story before--this is a great idea!
How horrible that her mother makes her take Veritaserum. It's so terrible and almost grotesque that Slytherin confronted her as a child, telling her that he would woo her later in life--even if during this time period things like that weren't uncommon, it is really upsetting to read. And poor Helena, being too kind to tell him no. It's a really interesting character trait that Rowena values keeping promises so highly.
(Although I do love the inclusion of Astragale Trewlaney.)
I would like to see some more relationship buildup between Helena and Adeleine. Clearly the maid cares about her very much if she's willing to risk her job, and possibly her life. How long has she been at the Ravenclaws? Where is Helena's father? So many questions!
Taking the diadem was a really nice touch, but I'd like to know why she did it. Out of spite? To hold on to the memory of her mother? To sell it? All in all though, another brilliant work! :DAuthor's Response: Sarah, you are officially the most wonderful person ever.
How is it that you manage to weave imagery into a review? A REVIEW?! I'm going to steal the phrase 'a wisp of a person' and pretend it's mine, okay?
Rowena is a horrible human being in this story, I completely agree, but for some reason I don't imagine her as the warm, welcoming type -- that sticks more to my vision of Helga.
I'm writing a companion piece to this, that delves into the relationship between Adeline and Helena, that should hopefully answer your questions. As for why she stole the diadem, it would be out of spite -- she wants to take away what her mother cares for the most, and that's obviously not Helena herself...
Thank you again! Report Review
I'm finally here with the review you requested a while back. Sorry for the delay.
I have little knowledge when it comes to Founders era but I like where you took this story. I think Helena characterisation was good in this story. I liked her anger and her sadness at being betrayed by her mother. I think Rowena played the part that she should have with uphold her honor and give her daughters hand to the vile man. I loved the foreshadowing that the Baron commits murder and it was predicted by a Trelawney.
Flow was good and it was easy to read. You strongest imagery moment was when you were first describing Helena. This was great!
MegAuthor's Response: Hello!
I really wanted to give Helena some background for the theft of the diadem, other than just wanting to be smarter than her mother. I'm glad you enjoyed this! Report Review
Hiii it's preeah from the forums! I'm so so sorry
that this review is so unbelievably late but... better
late than never, right? Ha ha. Sorry again!
Anyway I'm just going to make some notes while I
read so here goes:
You have a great opener, truly. It really brings in
the reader and makes us wonder just what this
little white lie was - not to mention, your language
is just sublime. I really can be the most nitpicky
person when it comes to language and grammar
and the likes, but reading this story, I found
nothing to nitpick about! It was a breath of fresh air
Oh, and your imagery is wonderful, especially with
the paragraph about the rain and the tears. It was
so poignant and I could really visualise this
And even more impressing was your dialogue; all I
can say for that is that it was gripping. There's a
flawlessness in the way you write these characters;
well-rounded in such a short amount of words and
incredibly believable. I love the archaic way they
spoke as well.
And the flow was wonderful. Not too fast and not
too slow. God, I feel like such a fangirl because I
have nothing to criticise you for! Haha... It's a
great story. I really enjoyed it so thank you for
requesting a review! Please do keep writing!Author's Response: You feel like a fangirl? What does that make me?!
I have no idea how to respond to this review, to be honest. It'd be repetitive and blubbering, so I'll just stick to one phrase that sums up everything I feel right now:
THANK YOU. YOU ARE AWESOME. :)
Fine, that makes two, but you get my point! And yes, I''m definitely planning on keeping writing! Report Review
Oh such a lovely story!!! :D I love love love Helena after finishing The Deathly Hallows, so I liked this one a lot. :) Author's Response: OOOH, IT'S YOU, SECRET SANTA.
I'm glad you enjoyed this! :) Report Review
Hey! Perelandra here with your review!
Sorry it has taken a while...I've been busy writing like mad before my inspiration left me!
I love Founders era fics, so I just had to pick this one.
I love the narrative and description. Everything flows wonderfully and I can imagine everything that is happening without a problems. I also enjoy the fact that you're making 'Lady' Ravenclaw...a not so nice person.
Having written a Founders fic myself, I, too, have fallen with the usual 'Only Salazar is the mean, dark one'. So this different personalization of Rowena is great! I just cringed a bit away when she says:
..."that you have promised to marry him, and that he has come here to make sure you fulfil your promise. Is that so?"
I just wanted Helena to run away from her Mother's wrath! And the Baron...that horrible man! I really liked, however, how you had a seer say how he was going to be found guilty of murder. Details like that really make this a great one-shot.
Ugh, and the end is the most tragic one due to us knowing what happened.
This was a great read, Val!
--Rosie/PerelandraAuthor's Response: I am so late in responding to this review, sorry about that...
And to top it all off, I have no idea how to respond to this review!
I wanted to make 'Lady' Ravenclaw not such a nice person, mostly because I was triggered by the question 'Why on Earth would Helena run away from her mother in the first place?'
Loving Rowena didn't fit properly into the equation!
Sorry if this response is a bit rambly and inconsistent. I don't deal well with compliments.
Thank you for this review! Report Review
Hello! I'm here with your requested review--and yay for Helena stories! Thanks so much for following mine :)
Whoa, this is so different from my take on the story of Helena and the Baron! I really like it -- it's edgy. You made me feel a lot of pity for Helena and a great deal of fear of the Baron and Rowena, the latter of whom reminds me of the wicked Queen from Snow White. I also love that Helena isn't just a two-dimensional damsel in distress. At the end there, we start to see a flicker of her Ravenclaw wit. It does make me sad to think about what will inevitably happen to her in only a little more time.
One thing I did notice that interrupted the flow a little for me was the dialogue. Some of the ways you shortened things seemed ill-fitting to me. For instance, I would have chosen "I think" versus "Methinks" and "It is" instead of "tis." To me, the shortening implies a lighter, more casual and comical attitude, which isn't the mood of this story. However, that could just be my personal choice.
I loved your description. This was stunning:
Helena knew there was a storm coming. It was visible in the set of Rowena's jaw, in the way she marched rather than glided; and in the manner that she tapped the vial's wax stopper with her fingernail.
We also both have Edeline/Adelines in our stories, how funny! Anyway, I really liked this one-shot. I think the characterization and plot were the strongest points, and working on the dialogue will, in my opinion, improve the flow of the piece. Your imagery was also really nice.
Great work! I hope this review is helpful!
-AmandaAuthor's Response: Indeed, yay for Helena stories -- it's only natural for me to follow yours: it's really amazing.
Yes, Rowena is quite like the wicked Queen; I hadn't made the comparison before but it is very appropriate! I'm glad you don't think of Helena as a damsel in distress, if that was the case I would probably go and rewrite this piece.
It's interesting that you think the shortening creates a more comical attitude -- in fact you're the first to say this. I chose this type of formulation because it seemed more archaic to me, therefore more appropriate (in all honesty, I looked it up in some of Shakespeare's works to make sure it was correct).
The Adeline/Edeline coincidence was quite strange, wasn't it? I started reading Diamonds into Coal after this was posted, and the first thing I thought was "I hope she doesn't think I copied her"!
I should be updating soon in the future, and I'll take into account your help...
Thank you for the lovely review :) Report Review
I'm here with your review!
So, please, please, don't get me wrong. I enjoy founders very, very much but I'm simply no expert (translation: I suck all hell at it) so I don't find myself being the best resource for help when it comes to factual/canon opinions I can help you with basic categories such as flow, grammar, pace, etc but I won't ever claim to be an expert in any situation regarding founders era.
Flow: This is perfect! There weren't any jumps or awkward transitions so it was wonderful:)
Characterization: I know this is weird, but I've written about seven different OCs with the name of Adeline and they've always been very rich and 'holier than thou' so XD random crap that you don't really need to know about. I loved reading about Helena very much, and the strong personality you bestowed her. I'm a little lost as to why Rowena would make her carry out something that she had said as a mere child though. I wish there would have been more reasoning behind it. Maybe I'm not reading between the lines enough but I was a little on the fence about it. The Baron really freaks me out. He seems quite threatening and I really wish he would just...go away or something.
The only thing I would really, really like to see more of is imagery. You had plenty of it describing Helena but there should have been more about her surroundings, Rowena and the Baron. Descriptions really bring a story to life and I would definitely like to see more of it.
I love your style of writing, it's so beautiful, and I'm looking forward to reading more!
EverAuthor's Response: Hi! Sorry to have taken so long to answer...
Honestly, not being an expert on Founders era is fine by me - I will never have enough people correcting my grammar or my spelling!
Haha, the name Adeline is usually associated to 'holier than thou', isn't it? Oh, well...
I'm glad you enjoyed reading this version Helena, I adored writing her.
Rowena's motives. Well. In the way I see her, a word given cannot be taken away, no matter the circumstances. She values honour and morality over anything else, and in her mind, her own daughter simply could not be untrue to her word because it would against Rowena's principles. I hope this makes things clearer?
Bleurgh for the Baron - he was such a slimy creature to write it made me shiver.
I will edit, soon, but this was written for a challenge and I don't know if it'd be fair to edit past the deadline when it hasn't been judged yet. I'm planning to add more imagery though!
Thank you for this wonderful review, I'm very grateful for it!
:) xx Report Review
Oooh, a darker side to Rowena Ravenclaw that I don't think I've read before. It was unusual; I love unusual. :D
This was a great one-shot. I love reading stories like this; ones that start with a key moment (Helena running away) and It being able to go in any direction. This is a new direction, one I haven't read before, and I think you did a great job with it.
I'm glad you put a link in my comments and I was able to read this. :)
SamMalfoy.Author's Response: Thank you very much for this lovely review!
I'm glad you enjoyed this unusual portrayal of Rowena :) Report Review
First of all, whoever made your chapter image is amazingly talented.
I am so surprised by your story. You were able to capture the wizarding world of the Founder's era very well and I could imagine the words being said and the Manor and everything. I love how you mention the village Seer and how you've included Veritaserum in it.
Overall, a very well done story! Again, the dialogue was just perfect and the characterisations of each of the characters seemed very believable, which is always a good thing ;) well done!!Author's Response: That would be smarticl398, and yes, she is amazing. I'll let her know!
Thank you, thank you, thank you! I feel like I say this to everyone, but I really do value your judgement and the fact that you enjoyed this means a lot to me.
So, again, thank you! :) Report Review
Well done! I like how smooth Helena's thoughts are from one to the other. I never thought about why Helena might have stolen her mother's diadem, or what her relationship with the Baron must have been, so this was interesting to read. Great work!Author's Response: Thank you for this impromptu review, it made my day! :) Report Review
Hello! This is SapphireatDawn from the forum with your review.
I really liked the premise of this. I love Founders Era stuff, and this was very refreshing. I’ve not read many fics featuring Rowena, Helena and the Baron, but this one was different in its portrayal of Rowena. I really loved that she was such a dislikeable character because often, it’s assumed that the Founders must have been really wonderful people. I can still see the powerful, highly gifted witch that prized intelligence in her students, but she is also a product of her era. I really love that you’ve included the not-so-nice parts of the era into this.
However, I would have loved to know more and as it is, I feel I have more questions than answers after finishing this. Why did it matter so much that Rowena get the truth out of her daughter? Why does she want Helena to marry the Baron? Why is it all so important to her? Why does it matter? Also, if you think back to canon, Helena wanted the diadem to make herself more important, more intelligent than her mother. Why is it different here? Is this something she’s convinced herself of over the centuries? If so, why did she feel the need to conceal the truth? And the Baron, I would have liked to have seen more of him. The picture you paint is of a not-very-nice man, but we get no further than looks, and so the overall affect is one of a cliché Bad Person. He’s nasty because of his looks and nothing else. I would have liked to have seen perhaps an interaction between Helena and the Baron. This would also help to highlight exactly why Helena doesn’t want to marry him.
I liked the language that you used. I find that it’s very easy to go completely over the top with dialogue and speech patterns from this era, but you’ve got a nice balance here. It’s formal and adds to the atmosphere of a historical setting, but it’s readable. I don’t have to wade my way though words and phrases that don’t make immediate sense to me. I really liked the way Helena addressed Rowena as ‘my lady’; typical for the era, and also added to the forbidding aura cast by Rowena.
I did find some of your general word choices a little odd, though. These were small things, like, ‘Her mother had never lifted a hand on her before this day’ should be ‘her mother had never lifted a hand to her...’ and ‘words Helena had tried pushing away from her thoughts’. The idea of pushing thoughts away from thoughts is odd. ‘Pushing out of her mind’ or something similar would have been a better phrase.
Also, you sometimes referred to Rowena as ‘Mother’ in the narrative. It’s being told from Helena’s point of view, but not by Helena herself, otherwise it would have been in first person. Therefore, the word ‘Mother’ as you’ve used it doesn’t fit, because it is not the narrator’s mother. Just like in the Harry Potter books, Lily and James are not referred to as Mum and Dad in the narrative, only when Harry, whose parents they are, speaks about them.
I hope this review helps you! I did enjoy reading the story and for me the highlight was the characterisation of Rowena and how different the situation between the characters was to other things I’ve read. Thanks for requesting!Author's Response: To answer your questions about Rowena, it's for her values: she believes in respecting promises and cannot stand the idea of being lied to, especially by her daughter - even though Helena isn't even lying here.
The fact that Helena refers to Rowena as Mother in the narrative is because this is written as an internal narrator. It's basically stream of consciousness centered on Helena - if you have read Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf you should be able to understand what I mean.
I will go and edit, to develop some of the points you mentioned.
Thank you for the review, it was very helpful! Report Review
Hi there! I am finally here with your review! I am sorry that it has taken me much longer than anticipated. I really, really ejoyed this and was highly excited when I saw it was a Founder Era story. I don't get many of those in my review thread so when I do I get crazy happy. :)
I really liked the way that you told the story of what caused the Baron to go after her. What led up to it and what occured to make her run away. I like that you tied her mother into it and showed us a side that is entirely possible of her mother.
I liked your use of more subtle details throughout the story. I felt that it gave a lot for being less. Which is a wonderful thing! :) I enjoyed the images that were provided as well. Like when she is in the antechamber with her mother and the Baron. It is a creepy moment and you really do get a sense of fear for Helena being in there.
Again, I really enjoyed this and I loved having the chance to review such a well told missing situation from an era that we don't know much about! Keep up the awesome writing!! :)
-SR17Author's Response: You see, this is the kind of review that I have no idea how to answer because it makes me ramble with joy and embarassment.
Oh, you. *blushes*
This was really a piece that I could not not write, so honestly, thank you so much for being this positive about it, it means a lot!
I really liked the theme of betrayal in this, and I think that your title for it is perfect :) Thank you regardless for the sweet mention ♥
Anyway, this was a much different take on the account of how she and the Baron were betrothed than I’ve ever read, and I really enjoyed it. It’s painful to think that Rowena would allow just one small thing a thirteen year old girl said ruin her life so terribly. I love that you tied the Baron and the Diadem together, and the fact that she stole it while fleeing from marrying the Baron helps it makes perfect sense on why Rowena would have sent him to be the one to bring her back.
Okay, so right now I’m reading one of academica’s novels about Helena and the Baron, Venn, and he’s royalty and charming. So it was so different to go to this man who is vile and terrible and really just not a good person. I think your descriptions surrounding him were fabulous; you really made me shudder at the thought of Helena having to marry him.
The way you started the story out, with her scrutinizing her own appearance as well as the mark on her face, was very cleaver and an excellent way to get me hooked.
The only thing I have to suggest would just be to pain the picture of her and the maid talking, then her escaping, a bit more vividly. You use some incredible amazing descriptions throughout this, and I understand not wanting to drown you piece in details, but that scene specifically I think (because of how much tension/fear/adrenaline she was probably feeling) could be beefed up just a tad.
I like how well you gave a personality to the woman we know only as a ghost. She’s soft and lovely, but at the same time she’s been through too much and she’s breaking. She’s slipping away before out eyes and the line about her making the most of her freedom was really heart breaking, because we know she doesn’t have it for long.
I couldn’t help but start spinning off with the small detail about Rowena’s drinking habit, as well.. It would be much more difficult to help reconcile three other friends to keep their school together if you’re an alcoholic… maybe each founder contributed to the other leaving… That small tiny detail was just enough to get my mind turning and I loved that :)
This was a really well written one shot! Feel free to re-request for anything else you may need an opinion on :)!Author's Response: Glurps. This review has been sitting here unanswered for so long, I'm ashamed. That said, here I am.
To most of the things you've said, my answer stands in two words: THANK YOU &hearts
Your appreciation, from the things you write, means the world to me.
I'm reading academica's novel as well, and I'm so glad you've enjoyed this - personally, I have very little faith in my writing compared to hers, but I will value your judgement.
I was planning to go and edit this story in the distant future, so I will bare/bear (I'm never sure how to spell it) in mind your advice!
You have grasped the personality I wanted to give to Helena so well that I'm a tad scared right now.
As for the detail about Rowena, well, I suppose your mind turning is a good thing?
Thank you so, so much for this. The mention was only natural. :) Report Review
Hi--sorry for the slight delay in delivering your review, but here it is, as promised! :)
I thought this was a great one-shot. The opening paragraph really did a good job of hooking me in, and I think it set a mood that was carried consistently throughout. The imagery you created at the start, with Helena examining her reflection, was vivid.
Characterization was also well-done. I liked how you focused on Rowena's perfectionism; it helped explain not only the fractured mother-daughter relationship, but also Helena's fragile psyche. I think you really set up the motivation for Helena stealing the diadem well. The only moment I thought rang a little off was with Adeline, the servant. I wasn't sure why she switched from refusing to help Helena to agreeing so quickly, and I think a little more description between the lines of dialogue in their exchange might have helped. Plus, when Rowena eventually wakes up, Adeline will probably take the blame for Helena escaping. Does Helena feel any guilt about that? Does she know that Adeline is compassionate, or that she secretly resents Rowena, too? Answering any of those questions somehow in the narrative would have made Adeline a stronger character, I think, rather than just the facilitator of Helena's escape.
One of my favourite parts was the foreshadowing and superstition that were all wrapped up into this line: "He is a vile personage, insufferable, dishonest like a snake, and the village Seer once said he would be guilty of murder!"
I liked the little bits of language you used to give this more of a medieval feel, like "Methinks" and "'tis", and the reference to the asphodel turning blue. It really enhanced the historical feel of the story!
Barring that one little quibble about Adeline, I thought this was a really fantastic story. Great work!Author's Response: If you apologise for the wait for this review, I don't know which words to use to excuse my delay in replying. Anyway. I will try to be coherent, but I'm not sure how that will work out.
First things first: thank you so, so much. I've read some of your work, which is amazing, so you saying that you liked reading this means a lot to me.
I'm glad you liked the imagery, because I'm normally pretty terrible at it - although I had an awesome beta who writes beautiful imagery, which helps.
Adeline, well, was there because she had to be, if that makes sense. I didn't see Helena escaping without any help. Her character and interactions with Helena should have been more developped though, I totally agree.
I don't think Helena would feel guilty, at least not at first - she's too exhilarated to be away, and I also think she is partly like her mother, sometimes very cold and unconsiderate.
I will probably go and edit sometime soon, putting more thought into that part of this one-shot...
Thank you, thank you, for noticing that line, it's one of my favourite!
As for the medieval language, it was a pain to write, so thank you for appreciating it.
And, because ÃƒÂŽ cannot possibly say it enough, thank you for this review - it really made my day.
It's Molly from the forums with your requested review!
As a huge fan of the Founders era, I've got to say that this is one of the more original stories I've read in regards to the reason behind Helena's fleeing and eventual murder.
I was surprised by the characterization of Rowena in this - in a good way, I assure you! I haven't ever seen her characterized quite so darkly before, it made for a very interesting read! Usually she's proud and formal, yes, but still compassionate. In this, however, I feel that her attitude definitely fits the time period as well as the status of someone like her - assuming, of course, than the Ravenclaw family is one of pureblood, which everyone, including myself, seems to think. Basically what I'm saying is that I love this deliciously dark take on Rowena. She still has some redeeming qualities in that she wants what she thinks is best for her daughter, meaning that her heart is almost in the right place, just not quite there yet :p I thought it was a brilliant characterization.
I felt very sorry for Helena in this. Her helplessness is palpable, but not so overwhelming that she comes across as whiny or pathetic. I can't imagine how hurt and betrayed she felt after her mother slapped her for doing something that she can hardly be faulted for. And the Baron taking advantage of her like that - oh, I could slap him! I really could! Which, you know, is a good thing because that means you did a brilliant job at writing his character as well.
The only thing I'm disappointed with is the fact that there's not more of this! I'm dying to find out exactly what she did in those precious moments leading up to her death!
At any rate, this was fantastic! Great job!
- MollyAuthor's Response: Phew. I'm going to try and respond to your review as best as I can.
I wanted to portray a dark Rowena. When writing this, the only thing I had in mind was the idea that Rowena values reason and duty over anything else - even the quote on the diadem says it. It made sense (in my very complicated mind) that it would even overpower her relationship with her daughter.
I wanted to slap the Baron too - writing him made me squirm for Helena. I really wanted to portray him like a slimy, manipulative, over-confident person, and I'm glad that you disliked him even through the very short appearance he makes.
I might write up another one-shot as a sequel to this, but I'm not sure. It'll come if it feels like it, but I don't want to force myself then write something terrible, if you know what I mean.
Thank you for the wonderful review! Report Review
Hi, Elphaba here with your requested review!
First of all, you've done a great job of developing the characters of Rowena and Helena. In the case of Helena, for instance, "She was still beautiful, she decided..." shows that she is conceited about her looks, while, "She had adjusted her blue silk robes..." shows that she has been pressured by her mother to look perfect.
You also show that Rowena is very formal, "She was only permitted to call her Mother in private," and obsessed with family honor, "If you made a promise, you are to honour it."
Their actions throughout the piece remain consistent with the traits you establish for them. I like that you give Helena more of a motivation for stealing the diadem other than "I thought it would make me wise." :)
This line: "Please! If I do not flee, I will die! You must help me!" made me think she might be threatening to kill herself to convince Adeline to help her. I may have thought of this because of "Princess Bride." :)
"Never again would she let her mother betray her like she had," definitely seems like something someone in her position would think and feel.
Although your writing is very polished, I did notice one phrase that seemed off: "Her mother had never lifted a hand on her to this day." I wonder if "to this day" should be "until this day" or "before this day"? It's really minor, but it stuck out because everything else seemed so right.
Great writing overall! :)Author's Response: Hello, and thank you very much! Your review had me leave for school grinning like an idiot...
You have perfectly grasped the image of Helena and Rowena that I wanted to convey, and I am so grateful, because I wasn't sure if it was clear or not.
The motivation for the theft of the diadem was, in my opinion, dismissed in the books. I wanted to show Helena as having more depth than the "I thought it would make me wise" - after all, she had to be close her mother as there is no Mr Ravenclaw we know of - that you described.
I haven't actually seen "Princess Bride", but that is indeed what she was threatening to do. I didn't make it explicit though, because she is still a child after all, and the concept itself was probably rather vague in her mind. Makes any sense? I hope so...
Oops, I will go and edit that sentence. It's a direct translation from French, so that may explain why it sounds off in English...
Thank you very much for the review, it means a lot to me!
:) Report Review
The "little white lies" line ties everything up very nicely. Good shift in time between the "before" and the "after." You've got a very adept build up here.
You've made Rowena a very stern piece of work - in fact her callous and cold attitude reminds me more than a little of how Helena was in DH. Like mother like daughter? Regardless, you've got me rooting for Helena so much so that I was just as happy as she was when she stole the Diadem.
You've captured an "old" feel for speech rather well (tho I might use less "on" as opposed to "to" with reference to the slap). The formalistic tones work very well.
And Trelawney's ancestor was an excellent touch! I especially liked how Rowena paid her no mind.
A right entertaining tale. I enjoyed it quite a bit.
EldyAuthor's Response: Thank you very much, both for the positive feedback and for answering so fast!
Yes, Rowena is very cold - I've always imagined her as such, with an intelligence that is purely intellectual (that's a bit redundant) but nowhere near emotional. She values reason over feelings, and I'm happy to know that you found her portrayal satisfying.
Trelawney's ancestor wasn't planned, though it seemed natural to me when she came around... Thank you very much for noticing that!
I will say it again, but thank you for the great feedback :) Report Review
Hello! I'm True Author with your requested review! =]
First of all, I think this was a totally touching story. It's always very hard to explain a person's emotions as a third person, but I must say that you did it properly! Helena's anger and her mistakes and Rowena's bitter decision is very nicely written and you have ended the story perfectly. while reading deathly hallows i hated the grey lady (Helena) because she was talking like that about her mother but after reading this i've begun to understand what would have happened with her. =[
But please do some small corrections. this story is written for a challenge, so you wrote some lines about little white lies and i think you should separate it from the rest of the story. a line will do. I didn't understand how helena got the diadem so easily. it was her mother's favorite and i think Rowena must've kept it in protection. don't you think so?
AshwiniAuthor's Response: Thank you for being so prompt to anwser!
I'm glad I made you change your opinion on the Grey Lady, that means a lot to me, and it means I've managed to convey what I wanted.
The few lines about white lies are important, they're Helena's musings about the situation she's in.
As for the diadem, yes, Rowena did protect it, but she is tormented by what she did to her daughter, and on top of that, as mentioned, she's had a bit to drink. The theft of the diadem didn't seem impossible to me. Besides, why would Rowena think of protecting the diadem from her own daughter?
I hope this answers your questions, and thank you for the review! Report Review
Love love love it! :D This is absolutely incredible and I'm nominating it for the Dobbys right now! It's the most intricately detailed and fascinating story I've read! I was glued to it the whole way through! I rarely give these but 10/10! :DAuthor's Response: Wow, thank you! I wasn't too sure how readers would like this, but you've just erased the doubts I might've had.
THANKS SO MUCH :) Report Review
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