Tagging you from Review Tag!
I've heard an awful lot about this story, so I have to admit I was a bit daunted by the prospect of reviewing it. Not that I expected there to be anything wrong with it, more just the fact that it was probably so good that I'd want to read it all in one sitting. Founders era isn't really my strongest area, but I'm going to do my level best to do your story justice with this review.
This was a fantastic way to introduce the story. Because of the enormous guilt that the Bloody Baron carries, I definitely agree that the Mirror of Erised would be particularly awful for him. Mortal men waste away sitting before it, but he is already dead. The mirror can't harm him in the physical sense, it can only torment him with visions of the life that he wanted most and lost through his own anger.
It took me a minute to figure out exactly who the man was and who the woman in the mirror was. That's actually a great thing about the Bloody Baron and the Grey Lady not being among the choices of canon characters in the story description. You were able to conceal the truth for just a bit longer, and then reveal it in a gradual way.
"He looked down, ashamed that the mirror had so easily deluded him once more, entertaining him with a fantasy that would never come to life." - This line is so sad. Not even the dead are immune from the mirror's deceptions.
All of your descriptions were beautifully done. I especially loved the way that you described the couple dancing and the effect that the vision has on the Baron. Am I understanding correctly that in this story, the Baron is Salazar Slytherin's nephew? That would certainly put an interesting twist on the story. My head is now spinning with all sorts of theories as to how Salazar might have fit into Helena's decision to flee with the diadem and break her mother's heart. Or maybe I'm just over-thinking things. ;)
Your writing, as always, was splendid. Everything flowed beautifully and your mix of narrative and internal monologue was great. You have an amazing knack for picking just the right word to convey your meaning. Very nice job!
Author's Response: Okay, knocking out some of those responses that I owe you :)
Wow, thanks! I'm glad that what you've heard is good, or at least it sounds that way, and I do hope it meets your expectations. You always have thoughtful comments, and I appreciate each and every review you leave.
I think the Baron would be especially tormented by the mirror. Not only does he have very little to do, leaving him with more opportunities to give in to the temptation of the mirror time and again, but as you mentioned, it's especially pitiful that he continues to be deluded by the mirror, having had the opportunity to watch mortals come and go and fall prey to it numerous times. In a sense, I think of it like an addiction; it's the closest he can come to the life that he wanted.
It's great that not knowing who the characters were right away was a plus for you. I liked it, too, because I think it added to the overall feeling of mystery that I wanted to enshroud this chapter. Hopefully it makes you want to discover more about these two young lovers.
I'm glad you liked the imagery! Yes, the Baron is Salazar's nephew, that's right. In fact, he's really like a surrogate heir, since Salazar has no children. Without giving too much away, I can say that Salazar will have much influence in this story, as you'll see in the chapters to come. I guess you'll have to read on and see :)
Thanks so much for this wonderful review!