Hi Amanda! I meant to come back sooner, but school likes to keep me away, unfortunately! I am determined to catch up with this before you next update though!
So my book twin reappears with Marco Polo! It just makes me love Helena even more when I see that we have the same book taste, it seems as if I have an obsession with medieval books! It was interesting to see how her views towards her mother have begun to change, and have started to become bitterer. I really love the use of foreshadowing, as itís not overtly obvious, which makes it even more effective in my opinion.
My sentiments towards the letter mirrored Helenaís. I thought it was a rather sweet portrayal of their relationship, because due to the time period they lived in, it was obviously going to be more formal than modern day relationships, but this spontaneity is just lovely, and it shows a more affectionate side to Venn, as though he had romantic thoughts about Helena, he never revealed them in actions, and I like this change to him.
I loved this line ĎVenn could not conceal his smile. This strange woman had an effect on him.Ē It just seemed to describe their relationship perfectly. Both of them are so odd in so many respects, that their oddness seems to balance one another out, and make them sort of normal together. Because here, theyíre just two young people in love, not an aloof baron, and an intellectual woman.
I liked how you made them have differences as well. I canít decide whether I liked Vennís reaction to Helena talking about the wedding, or Helenaís reaction about the hint about children more. Both of those things are so important to one of them, while the other detests it! I liked how you made them closer, yet showed cracks in their relationship.
I adored the abundance of fluff! The kiss was so fitting, and perfectly done. You can just imagine Helenaís initial shock, then her deciding to give in. Then Rowena appearing at the end was so unexpected, and dread to think what her reaction will be to it!
Another excellent chapter, and I hope to be back soon!
-Kiana :DAuthor's Response: Hi Kiana, nice to see you again :)
I'm happy to hear that you like the slow way I'm trying to build up the rift between Helena and Rowena. It's definitely going to get more intense as the story continues and Helena does more to defy Rowena's expectations.
Venn is beginning to break out of his shell around Helena. His actions have become slightly less erratic as he gets more comfortable with being romantic for her and really getting into the prince charming role. Like you mentioned, they're both a little unorthodox, and maybe they enjoy that about each other. Either way, Venn is beginning to enjoy spending time with his future bride.
Oh, yeah, can't have people be too perfect for one another, haha :) Like any couple, Venn and Helena disagree on some things, and the question is just how deep that runs, and what kind of consequences it might have for them.
Helena, like Venn, is beginning to embrace the opportunity to be impulsive, despite the bit of propriety inside screaming at her to hold back. She's caught up in a whirlwind romance, one that Rowena is clearly frightened by.
Thanks for your fantastic review!
-Amanda Report Review
Here I am - helping you to 200 reviews and supporting Claws in the mean time.
First off - ugh, your description! I know that we've encountered the Mirror of Erised in J.K's book, and even seen it in the films, but I still love your description. I wrote about it in one of my one-shots, but it is no way as good as is.
And that you've written about ghosts. I absolutely loved it in whenever J.K wrote about them - they've all got this amazing backstory that is so interesting to write about, just like you've done here. You usually see the Bloody Baron in one context - looking after Peeves (like you've mentioned in the chapter), and so this broken, fragile man/ghost is totally different. I love what you've done with the Bloody Baron, and the writing style you've employed for his 'POV' - older language, like behold and coronet, which really works.
Is The Bloody Baron meant to have Salazar's locket? It might just be my fazy horxcrux/house heirloom memory, but I like the touch. Slytherin, and all that.
Great first chapter, good luck getting to 200 reviews! What a milestone.Author's Response: A two-for-one deal! Thanks for helping me on the way to 200 reviews. I can't believe I'm actually approaching that milestone here, ahh!
I definitely enjoyed toying with the Mirror. It seems like if anyone could spend hours staring into the mirror and wallowing in regret, it would be a ghost, and the Baron specifically. I won't say that this is the last time you will see the Mirror in the plot.
It's cool that you enjoyed getting to know the Baron a little bit better and liked the writing style and the language. I didn't want it to be too old-fashioned, like thee-thou old, but I also didn't want it peppered with modern lingo. I think I struck a good happy medium.
Yes, that's the infamous locket. Later in the story, it is explained why he has it, but if you read on, I'm sure you'll piece it together. It has to do with why, of all possible people, the Baron was chosen to be Slytherin's ghost.
Thanks for this lovely review, Hattie :)
-Amanda Report Review
I saw that the next chapter of this was 75% completed, so thatís more motivation to finish this, and the fact I get the 190th review :D
It was nice to see more of Edeline in this chapter, as we hadnít really had that much insight into her thoughts during the story so far, so I really enjoyed reading this. It was strange to see that even though she was pushing her child to get married, that she still sensed some sadness about his departure, but I guess that would only be natural about your only child leaving home, and I liked that she had a caring nature to her, as it made her a warmer person in my eyes.
It was also sweet to her reminiscing about her son when he was a baby, as it reminded you that he used to be one of the innocent, and how much he had changed from the baby to the grown man he had become. Vennís such a complex character; itís hard to imagine him as a child, as theyíre so simple in comparison.
I really liked the return to Hogwarts, as it was nice to see that it was still remarkably similar to how it is in the present day. I think it was due to the rebellious first years, and the house elves being there and it made you remember that it was still the same school.
When you mentioned the first years blowing up the dungeon, it made me think of the chamber of secrets, and low and behold thatís where Venn and Salazar are off to next! It was funny to see that Salazar thought that Venn could be swayed by beauty, but from what Iíve learnt so far of Venn, is that he is still quite a private man, so I donít think he would reveal anything like that.
I felt so proud of Venn when I saw his reaction to Salazarís plans. I got a little scared by how vindictive he was towards the muggleborn pupils, and I can see what you mean about him not being so nice now! It was very well done though, and it was nice to see how such a horrible thing began in context, as it made you realise how much planning must have gone into it.
I liked the talk Rowena and Helena had, as I had been getting a little worried about the impending marriage, but I think thatís just me being biased because I know what Helenaís fate is. It was nice to see that Rowena had the courage to challenge her daughter, and ask whether she was sure of this. I liked that there was some tension there, as it was great way to lead up to Helenaís final days, where she steals her motherís diadem!
I really liked the wedding plans in this chapter, and it was something more light hearted, in the relatively deep chapter, and it contrasted nicely. I really liked the sound of Helenaís dress, and I canít wait for the wedding scene, but Iím guessing itís a couple of chapters away, or perhaps it may not even happen? Either way, I need to know about the dress!
Another excellent chapter, and I canít wait to read on!
-Kiana :DAuthor's Response: Yay, 190th review! I cannot believe I've gotten that many on this story. When I wrote it, I was convinced that no one would want to read it, since it's a Founders' story that doesn't even focus directly on the Founders themselves all the time. I'm happy the plot has pulled you in.
I sort of equate Edeline's distress about Venn growing up with a parent sending their kid off to college in our day and age. Your parents want you to get an education and have a nice job, but they're also sad to see you leave the nest. Venn isn't leaving, but his role is going to change dramatically after the wedding, and he won't really be Edeline's little boy anymore.
I really love the contrast between Salazar and Venn. At times, I wish Rowena could be privy to it, because I think she'd feel a little more comfortable about Venn marrying her daughter. Though Salazar has clearly been an important influence in his nephew's life, Venn is still his father's son. I envision the elder Selwyn to have been a more honorable man than Salazar.
As a parallel to Venn and his uncle, the tension between the Ravenclaw women is also growing. Helena is totally caught up in dreams of her fairytale wedding, and Rowena is trying to think about things logically and do what she can to intervene before it's too late. It's great that you admire Rowena's courage because I know that a lot of people really start to dislike her around this point in the story.
Thanks for another wonderful review :)
P.S. Chapter fourteen will be up in a week! Report Review
Iíve missed Venn and Helena, so Iím glad to be back!
I liked seeing an emotional side to Rowena, she always seems rather cold towards her emotions in my mind, but it did seem really believable about how she reacted to what Salazar had become. It was nice to see some more of Witter as well, as I havenít seen much of him in the story so far.
So Helenaís facing some indecision regarding Venn then? I guess itís only natural after hearing what her parents said, and then how they both view the importance of magical blood very differently. I think my suspicion of Venn being the Bloody Baron earlier, is looking more and more likely to be right, and if it is, I think youíve done a great set up to show how it happened.
I liked the conversation between Salazar and Venn as well, as it again told us a lot more about the characters. Even though Salazar holds those extreme views, he still seems quite likeable to me, and he doesnít seem overtly annoying. Venn seems to be getting darker and darker though. The fixation he has with Helena, and his apparent need to marry her, is rather worrying, and again strengthens my belief in him being the Bloody Baron.
It strange how so much has changed, yet the marriage of Cepheus and Priscilla was still rather similar to that of Bill and Fleur!
I liked that scene at the end; it was lovely to have some Venn and Helena moments, even if Venn is starting to worry me. It was a bit of twist to see that he admitted that he was wrong, but then Venn does like to surprise us like that, and if he loves Helena as much as he proclaims, it would be natural that he did. Helena though was wonderful, and the way she made him apologise first, fitted her so well!
Another excellent chapter!
-Kiana :DAuthor's Response: Hi again, Kiana!
It's lovely to hear that you liked seeing Rowena become a little unhinged. It has been difficult for some readers to reconcile this change with her normally logical persona, and I was a little worried that I'd pushed the inconsistency in her characterization too far. I felt like it would be a powerful image to see her breaking down and weeping because there's no logical way to handle her daughter.
Yes, Helena isn't quite sure what to do about Venn. She still feels attracted to him, but it's tough for her to shake the immature, selfish way he behaved at the joust. She also doesn't know what to do with the fact that her mother doesn't seem to like him much, and yet she wants Helena to go ahead and tie the knot with someone, meaning that at this point she might have to start over with another suitor. It's a difficult position for Helena to be in.
I think you'll find that Salazar is less and less likeable as the story continues, and perhaps that will be true for Rowena as well. As for Venn's dangerous fixation--hold that thought. I'm happy you can see how someone with that kind of determination could be quite scary.
I really hope it's coming through with each successive chapter that I don't want people to make final decisions about Team Venn versus Team Helena so far. People logically enter the story thinking about poor Helena and her terrible fate, but it seems like I've inspired some pity and affection for Venn here, too. My goal is that by the end, you'll have seen the light and dark side of both of our young lovers.
Thanks for another wonderful review :)
-Amanda Report Review
Even though Venn and Helena are so similar in some respects, I like how youíve made them different in others. Youíre already showing how theyíre so different in one very important area. It was nice to see that Helena was quite comfortable among muggles, as I would like to think she wasnít a pureblood fan, then you showed how different Vennís views were, and it will be interesting to see whether this affects their relationship in the future.
I thought it was interesting that you included religion in this chapter, as Iíve always been interested to see how muggle religions would affect the lives of the magical people. It makes sense that Helena joined in with the festivities, and it was funny to see Vennís reaction to it all. Itís still making me wonder whether she believed it in as well, or whether she just joined in for the fun.
I really liked the banquet scene, as it made me feel as if I was actually there, and in medieval dress and everything. The same goes for the description of the village, as you could really imagine the crowds of people, and Helena crushing the flower petals.
I really liked the idea of the competition, as you often see it crop up in medieval tales, and itís always so exciting and tense, so whether the man who maiden really wants will win or not. It also gave us an insight into Helenaís feelings for him, as it showed that she was rather desperate that he won, and therefore, shows that she must have feelings for him.
You also showed differences between Helena and Venn in their character, as well as their views. Venn seems the more typical aristocratic man, with the colder demeanour, and not willing to give into freedom, whereas Helena seems freer, warmer, and more joyful!
Another excellent chapter,
Kiana :DAuthor's Response: The whole idea of Muggle friendliness versus Muggle avoidance or aversion is a big one in this story. It's always playing out in the background, even if it doesn't take center stage all the time. We'll have to see how it factors into this budding romance.
I knew I would have to tackle the religion aspect somehow when I decided to include this historical festival in the story. JKR didn't really feature it, but she didn't seem to shy away from it, either. I think if religion had ever needed to come up in the canon series, she would have handled it with grace. I tried to make my best attempt at that here, and I'm happy to hear it worked well for you.
Ah, yes, Venn's chance to shine! What girl wouldn't want to be swept off her feet, romanced by a handsome suitor who is willing to literally fight for her honor and her hand? She must have high hopes for the joust.
I'm pleased that you're enjoying getting to know Venn and Helena, and please do keep letting me know how you like them as their characters grow and change in coming chapters! Thanks for another fabulous review!
-Amanda Report Review
Your description amazed yet again! I think the best description in the chapter, was the horse at the beginning, it just made the animal so much more dynamic, and it made you view it in so many new ways. I donít find it too much at all, I love it!
This is coming from a vegetarian and animal rights supporter, so yeah! I just thought the whole hunting scene was great, first of all it fitted in with historical activities of the time which is really good, as I have read some founders stories where the characters are watching TV, and that made me immediately stop reading. Then it conveyed so many emotions, the tension of whether he would get it, and then the happiness it did. Again the description was great, and a key aspect of the scenes success.
You included a Black! I love that family, as I just find it so intriguing that it has Ďblood traitorsí and death eaters in it. I also loved it as it made sense that the Black family was there, as they are ancient, and probably friends with the Selwyns. It also adds something special to the story by keeping it canon.
I liked that little about Priscilla not being able to be compared to Helena! It just made me realise how much that little visit affected Venn, and seeing a man against marriage being softened, is adorable.
I rather like Vennís perspective of the world, as itís quite cynical and he makes so many observations that others normally wouldnít, it makes a refreshing read.
I liked how you showed the tension build up between the four founders. I found it interesting that it developed, as obviously if they only admitted purebloods at the start, they wouldnít encounter any problems, but now Godric wants to open it to others you can see the tension and feuds begin. I like how youíve included the four founders, theyíre not the main characters, yet they still feature in the story, and thatís really well done.
As I just mentioned in Yellow, one of my favourite parts of the chapter! I actually knew one of the terms today, which was harpy, which I felt impressed by:D
-Kiana!Author's Response: Hi again!
I have mixed feelings about the hunting scene because I got some (much-needed) feedback that the imagery felt a little heavy-handed there. But it's lovely to hear that you enjoyed it and felt like you could really picture the scene. Please tell me you haven't actually run across Founders' stories with TV in them!!
The Black family members are always playing up their ancient-ness, so it seemed fitting to put them in here. Lestrange is also a name that immediately came to me, though I definitely considered others (the Princes, for example). I like Cepheus a lot.
Venn is still very stubborn, but you're right, he's starting to fall for our dear Helena. At the very least, he can't deny how beautiful and dynamic she is, how she always interests him. Who else could get him to be so impulsive?
To be honest, I'm not terribly interested in stories that focus directly on the Founders. They just seem really far-removed to me, though I really enjoy including them as characters here since they aren't the leads. Salazar and Rowena do figure prominently, as you've seen, and Helga and Godric make multiple appearances (or at least they will). It's great that you like the brewing tension.
Thanks for another wonderful review, love :)
-Amanda Report Review
Hello, again! I'm loving the opportunity to be officially caught up and lay a review on one of my worthy Slytherin competitors for the review battle!
You added a lot of new depth to Helga in this chapter. She really is the salt of the earth. Hard work, dedication, and a deep devotion to her "family" of friends seem to define her. I loved the idea of her and Rowena becoming friends at a young age and sort of growing up together in the process of founding Hogwarts.
Her judgement, however, could probably use a little work. It seemed pretty impetuous for her to suggest running away with Venn to Helena before she's even had a chance to hear Rowena's side of the story. If, for instance, it turned out that Venn was involved in legitimately bad things, I think she would have felt terrible for sending her best friend's daughter off with a head of steam.
For Helena, though, it seems like Helga's words were exactly what she needed to hear. As sad as it is to see her turn her back on her mother, Rowena is being every bit as stubborn as intransigent as her daughter. Running off is probably the only way that Helena can force the issue at this point, because it seems like the two Ravenclaw ladies are no longer on speaking terms.
Salazar was fiendish in this chapter. I always assumed that he had more of a personal angle on the situation besides just the willy-nilly slaughter of muggle-borns. It seems that I was mistaken. His goal of purifying the wizarding world is, in a way, even scarier than Tom Riddle's because it was merely a means to an end for Tom. Tom used blood superiority as a rallying cry to gather supporters. His real goals were power and immortality. Salazar just seems to want to kill.
Venn is turning out to be very brave. It definitely took courage to pull his sword on Salazar, although he definitely overestimates the value of that particular weapon in the face of a wizard as powerful as his uncle. This crazy idea he seems to have of killing the Basilisk is practically suicide. But it is sort of endearing to see him worrying for Helena's safety.
Venn's counsel to Helena was actually pretty wise, although I feel like it's going to come back to bite him. But their reunion was very sweet. You're really making me like the two of them together. Whatever other issues they might have, they're definitely at a place and time when they seem to be genuinely in love.
I didn't see any typos or grammatical problems, and your writing was lovely in this. Everything flowed perfectly and I was done reading before I knew it.
And so I join the adoring masses, chanting, "Please update soon!"Author's Response: Hi Dan! Unfortunately, you must have missed that I made a move to Ravenclaw last month. Still, the competition sounds quite exciting!
I'm so glad you liked Helga and didn't feel like I just piled her on there at the beginning. I really love her and I felt like she deserved a few minutes in the spotlight, especially given how important she is to the Ravenclaw girls.
I have this secret notion that Helga is a romantic at heart, which is why she would love to be the one to suggest a whirlwind elopement to young Helena and her groom. Yeah, it probably wasn't the smartest thing she ever did. I don't imagine Rowena would be pleased to learn about it, either--then again, that would require her to pay attention to Helena, which may be difficult right now.
The tension between Helena and Rowena is really at the boiling point, it seems. I'm sure you can logically follow how Helena would want to turn on her mother and steal the diadem at some point in the future. Rowena isn't foolish, though, and hopefully she'll figure out the error of her ways before long.
Salazar's quite frightening, even to me, and I wrote him here! I think he's scared of letting other people close to the precious gift of magic. On the one hand, he has a point about it getting into the wrong hands. Unfortunately, those hands seem to be his at the moment (and eventually Tom's, as you pointed out).
Venn is my little hero. I root for him so hard. (Sometimes, admittedly, it's a little tough for me to disentangle him from Charming in my head. Of course, we know he has some not-so-charming moments, and we haven't seen the last of those, sadly.) The basilisk is really very frightening to him, especially now that he's not just watching out for himself. Perhaps the idea of being in charge of a whole kingdom and family is starting to weigh on him a bit. Either way, I think he's growing more into that jacket of his father's that he couldn't fill.
I love writing this part of the story because you're right, Venn and Helena are really quite fond of one another. How long that will last, only time will tell. I want it to be forever.
Thanks for this fantastic review! I'm working on chapter fourteen now and hope it have it up at least before the end of the month :)
-Amanda Report Review
HI, there! This has nothing to do with the story, but I wanted to say how much I appreciate the fact that you always respond to reviews promptly and thoughtfully. I think regular reviewers take note of it. At least I know I do. It's much appreciated.
Now, on to the chapter. I loved nearly everything about the meeting between the four founders. I suppose that they would be somewhere between ten and thirty years into the existence of the school by this point, and it's good to see that it's still a work in progress. I thought the idea that they all started off with a very hands-on approach to running Hogwarts and then gradually took a step back was a really good one. They're obviously building an institution that's meant to keep going strong long after the four of them are gone.
Salazar's prejudice and his attempts to keep the muggle-born children out of magical society in general and Hogwarts in particular sounds perfectly in character for him. The icy greeting that his proposals receive from the other three founders also fit perfectly well. He was definitely a cold, wet blanket tossed onto the meeting.
The only thing I wasn't wild about was the way you wrote Godric. He seemed rather... subdued for my tastes. I expected him to be more animated, especially confronted with Salazar's naked bigotry. I also would have expected him to have a noticeable accent, given his ancestry, unless the idea is that learned men and women are above such parochialism.
I'm going to skip ahead to Venn's hunt with Cepheus and then come back and address Rowena all at once. This scene was beautifully executed. Cepheus is the perfect foil to help Venn come to terms with his changing attitudes toward being married and growing up. The two are lifelong friends, and Venn can readily see the positive effect Cepheus's marriage has had. Cepheus is someone safe for Venn to open up to just a bit about his feelings for Helena and how she makes him feel. I wanted to pat both of them on the back and yell, "good on you, bro!"
Now, on the Rowena. This was the only part of the chapter where I struggled to keep up with the narrative. It's no mystery at all why Rowena is so upset with Salazar. Where I'm having a hard time is making that leap that somebody as intelligent and thoughtful as Rowena Ravenclaw is able to paint Venn with the same brush without a moment's consideration. If Venn had given more outward signs of embracing his uncle's extremism in prior chapters, I think I'd have an easier time accepting it. As it's written, I just felt like she jumped to her conclusions too quickly. The arrogance she displayed toward Edeline also seemed out of character.
That said, I thing you've set up Helena's theft of the diadem and her flight from Britain perfectly. The writing is on the wall at this point.
As always, your writing was pristine. I didn't see a single typo or grammatical problem.
I'm one chapter shy of being current! This story has flown by!Author's Response: That's nice of you to say, so thank you :) I've been better about responding to reviews quickly and not letting them build up, so I'm glad that someone has noticed and appreciates that.
It's great that you liked the meeting of the Founders and the way they're slowly building up Hogwarts into the (mostly) well-oiled machine we know and love. I figured that as they started taking more students and got busy with paperwork and projects, they would need to generally step back and take more of an administrative role. Can you imagine the pressure that would have been felt by that first round of professors and staff members?
It's good that you felt an atmosphere change as Salazar entered the room and began spewing his Muggle-hating bile. I see what you mean about Godric. He isn't meant to be a major focus in this story, but I can kind of see where I dropped the ball with him, especially compared to the deeper characterizations of the other three Founders. I've made a note to do more with him in future chapters, so thank you for the critique. As for the accent, I haven't really been including them for anyone, mostly because they're hard to write. I'm sorry on that front.
I'm happy you liked the bromance scene! I felt like Venn needed some perspective, even if Cepheus has only been married a short time. It also served to help explain some of Venn's impulsive actions and changing feelings. He's falling for this girl, and it's about time for him to really begin accepting that fact.
Rowena's strange behavior is purposeful. I thought it would be hard for even her to resort to logic when it's her own daughter's fate in question. She feels some regret over rushing her daughter into what she sees as an unexpectedly poor outcome, and so she's panicking and trying to take it all back now. She's terrified that she'll lose her daughter to the Slytherin set of ideals, despite the fact that Venn has been (mostly) a gentleman up until this point. She hasn't forgotten that bit of arrogance he showed at the joust. However, it's not like she's going to admit she was wrong, which is where her own arrogance comes in. I just mean to show that the events in this story are confusing a lot of characters and causing some erratic behavior--for Venn and Helena, it's more proximal with their romance, but for Rowena and Salazar, they see the big picture, the writing on the wall about their conflict of interests and different ideologies. In that context, I hope Rowena's behavior makes a little more sense to you.
Thanks for this fantastic review! See you again for the next chapter--you're almost caught up!
-Amanda Report Review
I said you should expect some more reviews, so hereís one of them!
I really liked that little bit of information you gave about how the first pupils of Hogwarts came from. It gave you a sense of the dynamics of the school, and it made you understand how precious having one of those few places must have been. I also liked the idea about the heads swapping each year, it would seem like something they would do. And Gryffindor had a son! I didnít expect that, but it made sense the way he died and all.
That was a really cool idea making Venn and Helena know each other from school. I like how you showed that Helena may have liked him a little due to the glances she gave him from across the lecture room. It reminded me of how Venn had already liked her before meeting her. It seems as if theyíre meant to be together!
I know I shouldnít say it again, as Iíve mentioned it in every chapter, but itís so good I canít not say it. I love your historical accuracy, itís such a pleasure to read, itís so good, that Iím probably going to end up mentioning it in every other chapter I review!
I have some suspicions forming as to who the Bloody Baron is, and Iím sort of guessing it may be Venn, but that almost seems too obvious, so itís probably not!
Even though it was brief, I love the dance and the walk, it just seemed so romantic. Then Helena went and invited him back! I canít wait to see how this romance develops!
Again you spoil us with the hidden meaning things! I love them, theyíre almost the best part of the chapter!
Another great chapter!
Kiana :DAuthor's Response: Hey girl :)
Thanks! It was fun to think about the initial years of Hogwarts being like Plato's school in Ancient Greece, where only the who's-who children of the elite families get to attend. I felt like that would be more realistic than them opening and immediately taking a huge class of students from all corners of the globe. Naturally, things would build up over time.
Well, they sort of know each other, but they didn't really... you know? They didn't really pay attention to one another beyond noticing that the other person looked somewhat familiar. Venn was probably a little too wrapped up in himself, and Helena would certainly have been preoccupied with being under the steady gaze of her mother. But yeah, there is a little something there, it seems.
The historical accuracy wanes a little as you get further in, I'm sure, just due to my increasing time constraints in writing. But I'd rather do a little research here and there when I can than force the plot along and get low-quality chapters posted more frequently. Hopefully each new one is worth the wait.
Hmm, I won't answer that. We'll have to see!
It's great that you like the budding romance here. Venn and Helena seem to slowly be falling for each other, and it will continue.
Thanks for another fabulous review, dear!
-Amanda Report Review
Guess whose back? :D
And weíre back to Venn!
Again can I just saw I love howíve you made this story have historical muggle events in it. Iím guessing by the books Helena was reading in the previous chapter, and the Scandinavian wars, theyíre possibly referring to the lead up to The Battle of Hastings in 1066? My history knowledge isnít that great, so sorry if Iím wrong!
I loved the way Edeline described how Helena looked. It seemed to be done so beautifully, and just the language she used seemed so befitting of Helena and the time period, it was just lovely to read.
Well in fact I love all of your description! Itís just so well done, and really vivid you can really immerse yourself into the scene. Iím so glad that thereís so much of it, as many people underrate the importance of having it, so itís nice to see that youíve included it in your story! Also you didnít just describe humans in detail but nature as well, and thatís what just makes this story so special!
Helena and Venn met for the first time then. It was funny to see that he was already getting excited about meeting her, even before he had met her! She seemed so wonderfully in his eyes, almost as if she had some magical quality about her (yes I know sheís magic, but something extra special I guess!).
So another excellent chapter, and I canít wait to read on!
-Kiana :DAuthor's Response: Hello again, Kiana :)
Hmm, it's been a while since I wrote this one, but that rings a bell. I think it was the Battle of Hastings that took poor Venn's father from him.
I was heavy into Once Upon a Time and Snow White and the Huntsman when this was published, so I will admit that I drew inspiration from those sources. OUAT continues to inspire me--if only I had time to catch up on the current season, agh. I'm happy that you liked Edeline's take on Helena.
Around this time, I was struggling a lot with writing imagery too heavily, so I'm happy to hear that the amount didn't drag it down for you. Please don't hesitate to poke me in a review if you ever find it too heavy-handed. Nature is actually easier for me than humans :)
Yeah, Venn has weird feelings about Helena right now. He can't deny that she's gorgeous and has a sort of "magical" quality about her, as you mentioned, but he's still trying to stubbornly cling to his bachelorhood. I guess we'll have to see how things look from Helena's perspective in the next chapter...
Thanks for this lovely review!
-Amanda Report Review
Why did life have to get in the way, and not let me carrying on reading this story! I will catch up with this eventually, I just have so many other stories to catch up on as well, so it may take a while!
I can totally understand what Helena was going through! I know the feeling of what itís like to run out of books, so I can sympathise with her. We actually have the same reading taste as well, as Iíve read Beowulf, and The Canterbury Tales, and I really enjoyed bother, so perhaps I should check out La divina commedia? Ok enough about our twin book tastes! I really liked that you made Helena read muggle books, as it does seem very fitting, and the fact that you made them fit the time period, is also great, as it just makes the story authentic.
The vocabulary that you use, is so fitting for the time period, and again that just makes the story so much more authentic and believable. I think thatís my biggest issue with Founders era, so many of the stories just have modern slang in them, so itís so nice to find a story where that isnít the case.
I rather like how Helena doesnít fit the stereotype of women of that time. She seems rebellious, and of course educated, I mean she isnít the daughter of Rowena Ravenclaw for nothing. Usually sheís depicted as a flighty and flirty girl, but I have to say I much prefer your portrayal of her. I guess the fact that she is rebellious makes her similar to Venn, as he doesnít want to marry, which makes him unusual. I do wonder who her father is though, and I canít wait to find out who managed to seduce Rowena!
I really love all the little things you include, and I donít appreciate them until you get to your authorís note. Thatís one of the things I loved about JK, as I love Greek and Roman Mythology, so it was fun seeing what people named, and connecting up the meanings behind them. Youíve managed to bring back the fun in this, and I just want to say a thank you for all the time it must have taken in researching this.
I will be back, but probably not as soon as I want it to be, Iím already in love with this story at chapter 3!
Kiana :DAuthor's Response: Kiana, love, take your time! I'm pleased as pudding that you're even being so kind as to follow this without being requested to do so, and I'm so happy every time I see a review from you.
I'm glad you liked Helena's book selection. La divina commedia is just the Italian title for The Divine Comedy. I'd highly recommend it, especially the first book, The Inferno. Dante's writing is beautiful, particularly his imagery, and I just really love reading The Inferno.
Founder's stories seem to vary between too much slang and too much formal thee-thou speech. I tried to strike a happy medium, and I'm glad you think I did a decent job with it.
Helena's still a bit flighty, but as you pointed out, she's not super overtly flirty. I wanted her to be rebellious without it being too non-traditional for that time. If you ever feel like I'm pushing the boundaries so much that it's unrealistic, please, do let me know!
Aww, you're welcome! I had fun researching it, and I wish I had time to do more in the later chapters. It's great to hear that it makes the story better and doesn't weigh it down.
I'll hit up your other review soon! Thanks!
-Amanda Report Review
Hello, again! I am back -- not as soon as I hoped to be, but back.
Poor Helena! The nightmare of picking out a wedding dress seems to be an experience that's universal: muggle or magical, present-day or distant past. I loved your description of the visions that haunt her: With each blink, her dress became too small, then too big, then a horrid green shade. I also loved the way that she wants to make her mother happy, but not too happy. She acts like such a teenager at times.
I have to say, this was a bold and kind of impressive move on Venn's part. He seems so shy at times, but when you least expect it he steps up and seizes the initiative in some very non-traditional ways. And he even had the sensitivity to send flowers! What a guy!
Awww... the poor guy is just a bundle of nerves. It's like the First Date Experience, 1200's version. And she doesn't do much to make him more comfortable at first, does she? One of the things I love most about Helena is the minimal respect she has for avoiding social taboos. Keeping his visit a secret from her parents and more or less hijacking the lead on selecting a place for their ride are so unladylike by the standards of the time. Venn can hardly decide what to do with himself. It's hilarious.
In the end, though, things seem to work out really well for the two of them. Venn could not conceal his smile. This strange woman had an effect on him. Good on him! Between throwing off his uncle's influence and embracing some of Helena's quirks, I'm actually starting to root for the guy. And they both want to talk about anything but the wedding. That was a great touch, I thought. Planning a wedding is a pain. If you have parents and elves who are willing to do all the work for you, why wouldn't you take them up on it?
The awkwardness between the two of them while they ate and tried to talk was... unfortunate. I think it portends difficulties in their future. At some level, the two of them have a real problem connecting. She's looking for him to say something different, and the feeling seems to be mutual. It almost seems like she's giving him a complex, which is a little funny in addition to being sad.
And then he kisses her! Wow, I did not see that coming. Venn is one smooth devil, you know, in a stunted, awkward sort of way. Wow, that made no sense. Anyhow, I loved her reaction to it. Part of her wants to tell him to stop, part of her is too overwhelmed and mostly she just loves the way that it shocks her mother speechless. More than anything, it's that last part that really makes me question her motivations. It's that unruly teenager coming out again.
My dear, you are doing a fantastic job of laying the groundwork for the tragic events that I know must come. You've done such a terrific job of setting these two characters up in such a way that Helena's flight and Venn's pursuit will, I think, seem perfectly in character when the sad chapter is written. Until then, I will continue to enjoy this little dance they do. No typos or constructive criticism for this chapter, it was just lovely!Author's Response: Hi Dan, nice to see you again :)
Helena is a lot like an unruly teenager, as you pointed out several times in this review. I suspect that you can see how that might contribute to her eventual downfall, without saying too much too early. Venn, meanwhile, does definitely have a sense of boldness within him, despite his shyness in many social situations. Again, could be a good or bad thing.
Awkward date is awkward! I'm trying to let Helena be a bit of a rebel without making her perfectly anachronistic, so do keep an eye on that for me, won't you? While Venn is at times enchanted by this, as you pointed out, it does make it difficult for the two of them to relate in expected ways. Neither seems willing to just slip into conversations familiar to nobility, like the weather or the misbehavior of elves.
Lord knows I am trying to make poor Venn charming. With his back story, I feel like I have my work cut out for me, but I want Helena to fall for him, because he's been vulnerable enough to start falling for her. I want what comes eventually to be appropriately heart-rending, not just for the characters but also for the reader, because so much will have been emotionally invested.
There's that impulsivity again. I felt like Venn and Helena needed a chance to do something crazy, to let themselves get caught up in the passion of their seemingly unlikely romance. As you pointed out, the consequences of the pacing and all these strong feelings could be dire.
Your reviews are always such a treat. Thank you so much, and hope to see you again soon!
-Amanda Report Review
I really liked that your story seems historically accurate, as Iíve read so many founders era stories, where youíre just left wondering, did that really happen? So itís such a delight to find that this story is historically believable, as thatís part of the success of founderís era stories. You also used British landmarks not that well known, I really like that, because as Iím a Brit, I get bored when people just choose the well-known places, but here I can tell youíve research places like Norfolk, or youíre a Brit as well!
Your description was great in this chapter, and really allowed you to envisage the scene before you, and now I just have images of peasants working in fields, in my mind!
I feel as if I know Venn Selwyn and his mother very well, and thatís considering that theyíve only just been mentioned. You can sense the family dilemma of Venn finding a wife, and I thought it was an interesting rule to include, as it does fit with the era. I was just wondering whether he was related to the death eater Selwyn, or whether that was just a coincidence.
I thought it was really interesting that you made Helena Ravenclaw exist, before Hogwarts had been founded as Iíve never seen that done before. She and Venn do seem like kindred spirits though, and I always like reading about people who rebel against the social protocol, so I can see it will be interesting to see how this continues.
I also love how you made Salazar, Vennís uncle as itís nice to learn about Salazarís possible family. It was also nice to see him portrayed as rather nice, as thereís always that temptation to make him out as an evil guy from the start, when Iím sure he wasnít always like that.
I thought this was an excellent chapter, and I feel as if Iím immersed in Medieval England! Youíve set a great start to the story, and Iím excited to see how it continues!
-Kiana :DAuthor's Response: Haha, I'm only a wannabe Brit, so I'll just take that as a huge compliment! But yeah, I did do a lot of research about the modern day cities and towns that would be where the Founders each came from in the Potterverse. I'm happy you like the historical detail and that it keeps you interested.
Venn is meant to be related to the Death Eater. I guess you could say the latter Selwyn is an ancestor of a cousin or something. This idea of Venn needing to marry and yet not really wanting a wife will be a big part of his character development in these early chapters. Maybe Helena will change his mind...
Well, Hogwarts has been founded, it just doesn't play a big role directly in this story, since both Venn and Helena are out of school. You're right that both of them do rebel against the social protocol, but hopefully not in ways that are too grandiose or unrealistic given the era.
I always say that there are two sides to every story. I won't promise that Salazar will remain likeable, but for now, he's like a father figure for Venn. Their relationship will remain an important one as the main plot develops.
Thanks for another lovely review, and I hope to see you again soon for chapter three :)
-Amanda Report Review
I keep on seeing you post a new chapters, and Iíve been meaning to read it as I love the founders era, so now I have an excuse!
Iíve never seen the Mirror of Erised appear in fan fiction before, which seems odd considering what a cool object it is, so I thought it was great that you included it here. I found it really interesting to see how much this objects affected so many people so much. Though it shows what you desire, it makes people desire it a lot as well.
I liked that the narrator was ambiguous through this first chapter, and it was a nice surprise to find it was the Bloody Baron, as Iíve never read much about him. I thought it was interesting that he saw Helena in the mirror, as given both of the deaths I wasnít entirely sure how much they really loved one another. I thought it was a nice twist, as it showed how much love and desire can get conflicted, resulting in death.
I thought this was a great start to the story, as itís really intriguing as it started in the Hogwarts era, and Iím guessing it goes back to the Founders era. Iím off to read chapter 2, as this has caught my attention!
-Kiana :DAuthor's Response: Hey Kiana!
I'm so glad you love Founders era, because it really is cool once you get into it :)
Yeah, I thought the Mirror would be particularly tragic for someone with so many regrets who fell so far away from the life he planned for himself. You're right about the reciprocal relationship there, with the Mirror holding someone's desires and causing them to desire it in a way.
I love writing the Baron, at times more than Helena. I've worked hard to make him more pitiable in this story, though he and Helena definitely have their flaws. It was also important to me to explore the complexities of their relationship, since there is a definite possibility that they had once been in love.
Thanks so much for your kind review :)
-Amanda Report Review
Interesting... I feel like the more I read, the more difficult it's becoming to draw a bead on what Rowena really thinks about her daughter's upcoming wedding. In the previous chapter, she was weeping bitterly in the belief that her daughter would become a spinster and in this one she seems to be trying to talk her out of marrying Venn. There are obviously a lot of conflicting thoughts and feelings. I wonder whether the disagreements she's having with Salazar play any role in her misgivings.
So the Chamber of Secrets is being constructed already. I suppose the time frame would be about right, but it still seems almost impossible to be reading about the genesis of something so dark and shrouded in mystery. I liked all of the details that you worked into the scene: the fact that this was so important to Salazar that he was even willing to get his hands dirty, the expense involved in acquiring the Basilisk and his grand ambitions to see the beast kill all the muggle-born children. I get the feeling that Salazar probably didn't mean for it to take 800 years for Tom Riddle to come along and fulfill his role as Slytherin's Heir. Perhaps Salazar meant for Venn and Helena's child to do this? An intriguing possibility...
Venn seems appropriately repulsed by what Salazar is planning. His prejudices aside, he seems like a pretty good guy at times. Here's a question that dawned on me. If the Bloody Baron knew about the Chamber of Secrets, why didn't he tell Dippett or Dumbledore? I'm not expecting a fully detailed explanation, but I'm curious as to your thoughts.
Helena seems to be awash in a sea of emotions that she doesn't quite understand. She's convinced herself that she's happy, or at least that she's going to be happy. All of her girlish dreams about about to come true. Yet in the midst of all the preparations, she seems barely able to concentrate.
So I couldn't find a single typo in this! Very well done. Overall, you're continuing to round out the story very nicely, pulling in canon events and offering very solid explanations and back story. Back again soon...Author's Response: I think what you're picking up on is the way Rowena is beginning to diverge from her usually cool, logical way of handling things. There's nothing she can do to logic her way out of this situation with Helena and her lack of a husband. She definitely wants to see Helena married, but the more Muggle-born intolerance she sees from Salazar, the less and less palatable she finds the match with Venn. Unfortunately, things will only get tougher for Rowena from here on out.
It's great that you liked all the detail with the Chamber of Secrets. It was chilling to imagine what it would be like to construct such a thing and formulate such an evil plan, and as a result, I think you'll find my Salazar becoming more and more distasteful as we go on. My theory is that Salazar meant to open the chamber himself and had the heir as a precaution, just in case he passed away, but that's just me talking. I like your theory, too.
That's an excellent question--you're right, under his tough exterior, Venn isn't all bad. I'd say that he kept quiet for the same reason he's keeping quiet now: whether or not he disagrees with Salazar, it would take a lot for him to betray his blood. Maybe he hopes that Salazar will eventually see the error of his ways. But I hadn't really considered it before.
Yes, poor Helena is getting opinions from all directions, and she's understandably confused. You've pinned her down well in that she wants happiness but feels overwhelmed with all that it will take to get to the wedding. Things will only get more complicated from here on out, sadly.
If your lunch hours are anything like mine, you really have to use every minute wisely. As such, it means a lot to me that you keep coming back to read on in this little story of mine. Thanks for another fantastic review, Dan!
-Amanda Report Review
SO MUCH HAPPENS IN THIS CHAPTER.
Salazar is eerily cheerful about his basilisk, to the extent that it makes him sound terrifying -- Voldemort-type terrifying.
I knew Helga would help Helena, I knew it! She completely fulfills my expectations for her as a character. It's too bad Venn didn't go with the plan, even though his motives are completely understandable.
You make me feel so mixed up about your characters, ugh. I loved this chapter.Author's Response: Really? I was a little afraid it would seem like filler even with the attempted elopement. Yay!
Salazar creeps me out a lot, especially in the end of that scene with the basilisk, where he's preparing to kill the deer to feed his "new pet." He's turned out nastier than even I expected.
Love Helga! She's just awesome, isn't she? Too bad the plan didn't work, but we'll just have to hold on and see what happens next.
That's so great, Val. Thanks :)
-Amanda Report Review
Ugh. I am so angry at Rowena for taking her bitterness against Salazar and directing it towards Helena.
There was too much crying in this chapter, and the emotional idiot I am cannot cope with it. It's a good thing you told me a new chapter would be coming soon, or I don't know how I'd have coped. I really hope things get better...
And it has just hit me... Can this be a possible motive for the theft of the diadem? Perhaps?
Another wonderful chapter, I can't wait for the next one!Author's Response: There is a ton of crying in this chapter. You're so sweet for wanting to read on so badly. I love hearing your perspective in these lovely reviews!
As for the diadem, you'll just have to wait and see. I have the ending all planned. It's a doozy. Luckily for you, I just posted chapter 13.
Thanks again, and can't wait to hear your thoughts on the new chapter :)
-Amanda Report Review
You know what I hate about your stories, because it makes me really jealous and then I feel like going to hide under a cover and weep? It's the fact that none of your characters are black and white.
Rowena's mental breakdown in this chapter just proves again how talented you are.
The only thing I can think of right now, having read the end of the chapter, is 'AAAWWW THEY'RE SO CUTE' in a highly undignified, fangirly way. So I will stop before I damage your hearing with my ridiculous squealing.
Amazing chapter!Author's Response: Aww, don't weep! No cover-hiding necessary! I blame my psychological background and insatiable need to be different from other writers. I'm really happy to hear that you like the way I've broken Rowena down from her usually proud, strong, logical portrayal.
They'll get cuter. I can't resist it. Le sigh.
-Amanda Report Review
AHA! TOKENS OF AFFECTION!
Sorry, that just screamed at me... Anyway. Unconventional Helena again, hmm. The contrast between her and Rowena was striking in this chapter, Rowena so cold and respectful of social codes; Helena so impulsive. I'm starting to really see why it would click between her and Venn!
I loved your portrayal of Helga. She tends to be left aside, or presented as someone fairly simple-minded and innocent, and I adored the fact that you did a U-turn and made her the most progressist of all. It would almost make more sense if Helena was Helga's daughter, no?
I hope we see Helga again afterwards, for instance when Helena steals the diadem!Author's Response: Hi Val :)
Yeah, Helena identifies a lot more with Helga than her mother at times, as you'll see. Unfortunately, this impulsive nature that she shares with Venn is likely to get them both in trouble, like you pointed out.
Helga is one of my favorite parts of this story, just because she's a nice bit of comic relief in the face of the tragic overreaching themes. I'm glad she seemed different from the norm and that you liked her very feminist-y style. You'll definitely see her crop up more later on.
Thanks for your lovely review :)
-Amanda Report Review
Helena's childlikeness (that's not a word, is it?) attitude is so wonderful to read, even when we know what's coming. Their was a striking contrast between her and Venn in this chapter, something that suggests darker days ahead?
The description of village life in this chapter was beautiful, and amazingly well-done.
Okay. I know this wasn't the point of the passage, but that glove/gage handing at th end made me laugh, because I've been studying Shakespeare and there's a scene of 'you drop my glove so I drop mine so I drop my other one'. So yes. Slightly pointless comment, but voila.
I think this is one of my favourite chapters so far, particularly because of the opposing views on Muggle-borns and what is due to people of inferior rank.Author's Response: Yes, the contrast is definitely there!
I'm glad you liked the description and the historical details. The argument about whether Muggles should or should not be trusted and included will become a big theme in this story.
Thanks again for all of your wonderful reviews! Hope to see you again soon to continue with this story. I'm planning to post the next chapter tomorrow for V-Day :)
-Amanda Report Review
Blacks, Rookwoods and Lestranges: more cannon!
Well, isn't Venn daring! The encounter with Helena was a lovely read. I like the fact that Venn doesn't know how to react to Helena, it's a really interesting thing to see in such an (apparently) assured character!
Also, I spotted the reference to orange blossoms in your author's note, and it reminds me (linking this to chapter 3): I love the fact that you made Helena an artist! It gives her some kind of independance and place to escape from reality, which I really like, instead of making her a character restricted by social boundaries and intolerant parents...
Great chapter!Author's Response: Yeah, he comes across as self-assured but he's pretty awkward. He doesn't know quite how to handle women, especially one he sort of likes. I think it's cute watching him trip over his own feet.
Yeah, I like that, too. I should bring that back in at some point. She's very independent, but not so extremely that she shuns societal expectations entirely. Poor girl just wants to be happy, you know? I'm glad you like her.
-Amanda Report Review
Higgeldy-piggeldy, my favourite moments of this chapter.
The history of the first Hogwarts students. Rowena reminding Helena of her manners. Helena wanting her mother's diadem.
But the best part of all was the foray you gave us into the relationship between Helena and her father's relationship. The fact that he calls her 'darling' seems very significant, and I'm assuming she's closer to him than she is to her mother. Do I smell foreshadowing? I believe I do!Author's Response: Writing a brief history of Hogwarts was fun. I wanted it to be kind of an ancient Greek school where only a few students can attend and learn from the greats. Obviously it expanded later.
You just might, especially in the chapter I'm writing now :) I like Witter a lot, and I think he's a nice balance to Rowena, as you'll see.
-Amanda Report Review
That first line is one of the most gripping I have ever read. You put so much about Venn in one line, the fact that maybe, unconsciously, he isn't as self-assured as he'd like, that he has someone's shoes to step into, that despite everything he says and does he's still fragile. I suddenly like him a bit more.
Their first encounter, wow. You pulled it off brilliantly, completely in tune with the medieval atmosphere. And, very important, you reminded me that Venn was in fact a human being and not just some kind of manipulative idiot, so thank you, because I'd kind of forgotten about that.Author's Response: I really like the first bit about the jacket. I meant for it to symbolize exactly what you said--Venn is a young man stepping into shoes too big for him, not really ready for that burden. I'm glad that made him more likable for you.
Yeah, part of my devious scheming for this story was to get people to like and dislike both Venn and Helena at certain times. I want to take an old story and complicate it a little, so you don't know who to root for, if anyone. Maybe you'll wind up rooting for them both...
Thanks again :)
-Amanda Report Review
This may sound ridiculous, but I just transposed Helena into present times and imagined her complaining about some football-centered bloke.
Anachronies aside, I've got to tell you yet again how wonderful I find your imagery and description of characters. Helena's introduction at the beginning of the chapter was brilliantly done, and, again, I could see her, almost like a movie (and a good one at that!)
Then there's your author note at the end, that almost amazes me as much as your writing. You include so many little things that could just come from the back of your head (which, don't get me wrong, would be pretty good too) but are entirely cannon or with historical meaning. HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE. You've obviously put quite a lot of thought and research and time into writing this, and the impulsive, 'oh hey let's not proofread and see what happens' person I am can't do anything except congratulate you.Author's Response: Haha, that's funny, and quite accurate :)
It's good that you still like the imagery and the historical detail. I don't want it to be cumbersome, just to add a little something extra to the overall plot. I have put a lot of thought into this story, and I'm pleased that you can see and appreciate that, so thanks!
-Amanda Report Review
So many little details that flow so smoothly -- I could really, really visualise the scene, without feeling like you were sticking the description in my face.
The reviews I leave may seem a bit strange and out of the blue, but I'll say things as if I was reading this for the first time -- which is almost the case, because I've forgotten since last time.
Anyway. Venn seems like a fascinating character, though extremely cold and calculating (proof comes afterwards, so I won't act like a Seer or anything).
It's interesting to see that you've made a link between him and Salazar, wasn't there something in DH about the locket potentially being Salazar's? In any case the connection is interesting, and something I hadn't paid attention to before...Author's Response: Oh, that's great! I felt like I was trying a little too hard with the imagery in the first part of this story, so it's lovely to hear that it was smooth for you and helped you to picture the scene.
I'm happy you like Venn, too, or at least find him interesting. There was something in Deathly Hallows about the locket being his, and I think the other potential family was the Selwyns--Venn's family! Salazar's relationship with Venn will continue to be important.
-Amanda Report Review
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