Here for Gryffie tag. :)
I really liked the way you started this story. You gave me a good sense of what kind of world Marianne is living in right from the start, and you worked it into the narrative beautifully. The comparison Marianne draws between her classmates saying it and Slytherin saying it indicated, at least to me, that she faces a fair amount of prejudice from her peers - including, from what you said about Louisa and Malane, other Gryffindors) It also indicated that, however cowardly she's feeling right now, she does have a thick skin in most situations. Both of those fit the time period well, IMO.
Additionally, I really liked the way you segued into a brief backstory after you'd already introduced the readers to Marianne. If you'd started with that, I would have appreciated the prose (which is really lovely), but I don't know that I would have felt a connection to her character. As is, I was intrigued and drawn into her story, and I love the way you crafted her background.
The way you described her parents' profession and how she felt about it was absolutely lovely, and I found your description of how she discovers that she is a witch to be perfectly believable. I do think you could have included a tiny bit more detail about why it took her parents a week to agree - were they concerned about the magic end of it? Religion? Her leaving home so early? A little more information on that would have helped to flesh it out a little more, though as I said, it was very good already.
However, while I did like it overall, I felt like there were a few parts that were a bit unrealistic.
First off, I didn't love the way you have Slytherin call her a Mudblood - I like the fact that he did and I liked her reaction, but it just felt a bit too contrived for me - that's exactly the sort of thing you'd expect the stereotypical villain to say, but it didn't really seem to fit the situation. If Marianne is practising human transfiguration, she must have been taught quite a lot already, and she is a fifth year; if that's the case, and if a simple mistake is enough to have Slytherin toss that word out, wouldn't she have heard it before? If he'd made some comment along the lines of, "Oh, so you really are a Mudblood after all," or something along those lines, it would have worked, but as it is, I would have liked to see a little more subtlety.
Similarly, while I liked the fact that you really did depict a wizarding world that was much more hostile to muggleborns than Harry's is, again, I wish you'd used a little more subtlety. The fact that Slytherin is the only prejudiced Head seemed a little simplistic to me - none of the others have any bias at all? I also would have liked to see more variety in the kinds of prejudice Marianne is describing - not all prejudice is that obvious. Off-handed comments or condescending attitudes without the person being overtly excluded and ridiculed. Yo
Finally, a few of the names didn't really seem to fit the time period. I could be wrong, but Erica and Michaela in particular just seem out of place, as did Marianne having a middle name. Again, this isn't my area of expertise, so I could very well be mistaken - it just stuck out as odd to me.
I also noticed a few small typos and grammatical errors - nothing big, mostly misplaced commas, and in your A/N at the beginning of the chapter you wrote "your" when I think you meant "you." It's not a huge deal and didn't really take away from the piece, but I think that it's worth looking over one more time. :)
On the whole, though, this was a great opening chapter, and I'll check back for chapter 2! :)
Author's Response: Hi :)
I'm glad you liked it. I'm really trying to figure out how to write founders right now, so it's great to hear what you have to say.
I see what you mean about the situation with Slytherin. I'll have to think about it and see if I can work it out a little better.
Hmm, I guess you're right on that too. The thing is, he's not really the only one who is prejudiced. But because it's from Marriane's POV, you just haven't seen the other founders' bias. It actually should become clearer in the next chapter. I'll see if I maybe can figure out a way to hint at it a little in this chapter.
Thanks for the tips about the names :)
I really appreciate your review! Thanks so much :)